Build A Bug Out Bag

Everyone has heard of the bug out bag, who really understands it?

What You Need To Know About A Bug Out Bag

A lot of people out there have what they call their bug out bag. It will be better than nothing but do they really have what they need to survive? How long are they planning to survive? How long will it take to have it in hand and on the road if the need to evacuate is immediate?

There is a bit of misconception in general on what you are looking to accomplish with this item. If you look at what FEMA, local authorities, and some who claim to be authorities on the subject recommend you will find they suggest a lot of items that will help you survive for about 72 hours. If you have read any of the articles on this site you should already have what you need for that on hand. That is prepping!

This is where we sort of cross the line from prepping to a survivalist. A real bug out bag checklist will have things you will need to provide the ability to acquire food, water, and shelter. It will contain things to allow you to live off of your surroundings for a much longer period of time. You will need to have this ready and available for instant deployment. Like, if you need to bug out!

If you are ready to build a bug out bag and skip the explanation go to Where To Start and scroll down to Bug Out Bag Checklist and get your stuff now so you are ready before you have to be!

Why Bug Out

Here is another reason for the misconception of a bug out bag. I know if I have to bug out it will be the last resort. I do have a plan but it will not be used unless I cannot stay where I have prepped to survive. You may need to bug out for a short duration due to a flood or some sort of natural disaster. In this case, you will most likely be able to return within a certain period of time. For this, you can pack things from what you already have stored.

I myself would not bug out unless there is some sort of man-made disasters like economic collapse, war, or terrorism. If I were to make the decision to bug out, I would disappear in an instant and not plan to come back. You may be able to at some point but the point is to plan like you will not.

Bug Out Bag Contents

What I am writing here is my opinion. This is what I have come up with from my research and experience. I will back this thought process up with a few links for you to research yourself if you like but please come back to this site and finish what you are obviously interested in that brought you to this page.

Check out a few of these links from a few subject matter experts:

Bug In or Bug Out

Making Your Move

Now we can talk about your bug out bag list so you can build your bug out bag. I have given a description of what and why you should do this. Now it is time to do it. I will give you a list to start from and provide a link where you can get all of these items, and more if you wish. Go to Where To Start and scroll down to Bug Out Bag Checklist. There you will be able to build a bug out bag just like the ones I have set up.

The Bag

Let’s start with the most critical decision. How do you pack and carry the items that will ensure you and your family‘s survival? Here are some of the key things to look for when purchasing a bug out bag:

  1. Size – Big enough to carry what you need but not so big that an individual can’t carry it for any length of time.
  2. Compartments – Multiple compartments allow you to carry more and makes it easy to find certain items while you’re traveling. Make sure to get one with loops to attach items (bedroll, tent) to the outside.
  3. Frame – A frame distributes the weight of a pack better and will allow you to carry your equipment longer, farther, and with less pain and strain.
  4. Durability – Your bug out bag will be subject to harsh conditions and will potentially be with you for a long time. Durability is not negotiable. And make sure it’s waterproof.

And by the way, everyone in the family should have their own bug out bag, each designed to suit the age, size, and needs of that individual. Make sure to distribute the essentials in each bag in case one gets lost or stolen.

The Gear

You should also have backups for your most important needs. That means you need two ways to start a fire, two ways to purify water, two ways to cook food, two ways to light your camp, and so forth.

  • Communication and Navigation
    • Compass, maps, walkie talkies.
  • Fire and Light
    • Lighter, fire steel, flashlight w/ extra batteries, candles.
  • Food and Water
    • Cook kit, canteen, water purification, backpacking food, fishing hooks, and string.
  • Medical Supplies
    • First aid kit, rubber gloves, OTC medicines, prescription meds, N95 masks.
  • Personal Hygiene
    • Washing, dental, shaving, sunscreen, toilet paper.
  • Shelter and Clothing
    • Tent, sleeping bag, rain gear, two changes of clothes, mylar blankets.
  • Tools and Weapons
    • Hatchet, saw, knife, handgun w/ extra ammo, multitool, folding shovel.
  • Miscellaneous Items
    • Duct tape, plastic sheeting, trash bags, ziplock baggies, zip ties. paracord, insect repellant, cash, survival guide.

When Do You Stop

All bug out bags are a little different. I could keep going with ideas to add to one. The thing is you are supposed to be able to carry this bag for an extended length of time. The more you have in the bag, the heavier it gets. You do have to consider how much you want to carry. All I can say is be picky about what you don’t take but be sensible with what you do put in it.

Some consumables like protein bars and canned goods you throw in on the way out the door will be removed once consumed. Pack a bit heavy and if it becomes a burden you can lighten up on the way.

This article is to guide you through getting your bag ready before you have to be ready. I have also provided a place to get most everything you need in one place. Just go to Where To Start and scroll down to Bug Out Bag Checklist and you can find all that you need to get your bag started for each member of your family.

As an Amazon associate, I will get a small commission if you go through this site by placing cookies in your browser. It will not cost you any more than if you go direct. This helps me help others to understand the importance of prepping and survival skills. Please if you plan to purchase products from Amazon, go through my site.

Remember, Be ready before you have to be ready!

Thanks for reading. If you have questions or comments please leave them below and I will respond. If you haven’t done it yet, fill out the form on this page and get your free prepping guide Not By Water Alone.


10 Replies to “Build A Bug Out Bag”

  1. Hi Chad, I spent over 21 years in the military and the survival mindset is still with me today. And as you stated a Bug Out Bag is another great tool to have in your toolkit for being prepared for any situation. Whether your a prepper or just to have in your car for emergency situations.

    • Hi Shawn, 

      First, thank you for your services! I will always have respect for those who give themselves to promote the stability of overall existence as we know it.

      That is where the purpose of me doing this page and the point behind the article comes from. Most people are comfortable and used to the conveniences of a stable society. They can not understand what it would take to survive because they have never had to think about it.

      If you never prepare for any emergency, it will be worse if you ever have one. 

      Thanks for the support! 


  2. Thanks for this educating and enlightening tips on how to build a big out bag. A bug out bag seems necessary, but rarely used. Well, I have never had the thought of wanting to bug out. But in case I would ever need to, with what I have learnt form reading this article, I can be sure of having a reliable bug out bag.

    • Hi, 

      You have a valid point. I will respond with a new post on this very topic soon. A bug out bag is not something that gets used very often unless you are practicing. In the event you have to put your bug out bag in use, it is going to be better if you are familiar with its contents and have practice using all of the items. 

      To sum this up I will say, Camping is fun too!

      Practice makes perfect and helps you be ready before you have to be.


  3. As someone who knows about EMPs and other threats, I can say that this will help us all out if something does go bad very fast, All though there are great things, What if someone doesn’t like, have the bag all made up? or someone doesn’t think they need a bug out bag? what do they do?

    Thank you for writing this post, I have bookmarked this site, it’s that good lol. 

    Hope you have a good day. 


    • Rebekah, 

      Thank you for the kind words! 

      I going to recommend what you just did. Bookmark this site and come back. I will put what to do in order for you. Go to, where you can fill out the form and get a free copy of my guide on how to start prepping, what to prep, and why. 

      From there come back to Where To Start, then you can get what you need to fortify your castle. Once that is complete move on to Build A Bug Out Bag. Then come back to Where To Start and scroll down to Bug Out Bag Checklist and start building your bug out bag.

      There is also a useful article on Powerless Tools. I have laid out where to get those on Where To Start also.

      From there we will continue to explore DIY projects and training to help you know how and what to do in the event we are forced to survive on the bare minimum.

      In the event you have not done all of this before you have to be ready, I wish you well but it will be difficult without the proper tools and training.

      Be ready before you have to be!


  4. Hi Chad! Can i really thank you enough for this? Very insightful, I have never really thought of what I may do if a disaster or unforseen circumstance was to come up today. I do not think I would be able to rest easy after seeing this article  and not get a Bug out bag,  even tho it may never be used. I am glad I came by this tho

    • Hey there mister!

      I am also glad you have come across this article. Your response is the root goal of my site. There are many people out there that perform well in life as we know it. They plan their lives and set goals, they complete tasks to get them where they want to be. There are so few that think about how they would function in the event life was not as we know it. 

      If I can reach out to as many people as I can to plant this seed. Helping folks to be ready before they have to be will save lives when that time arrives.



  5. Interesting. I really like everything you’ve outlined on this article about the bug out. I have really now obtained a new spectrum on what are used to view a certain way. You have done that for me with this article, I hope that you keep doing that for other people with other articles including with this one.

    • Hi there, 

      Building a bug out bag was one of the first things I did that started me on my path to being ready before I have to be. It was really just a compilation of camping gear that evolved into my bug out bag. 

      I still think staying put is the best alternative in surviving in an emergency but sometimes the need may be to bug out. This is easier to do if you are prepared to grab and go.

      I hope I can help people to see this is a good way to start.



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