What should be in a bug out bag?

Don’t pack your Bug Out Bag. Yet!

Your “bug out bag” preparations are the last you should set up, after every day, getting home, and staying home. So, since you are reading this post, please bear in mind that you really should be pretty far down the road on the first two and a half plans and kits before you start seriously tangling with “Bug Out” prep.

Plan Before Kit

The other cart-horse thing to keep in mind is that, for each of the three and a half preps, you need to plan first and assemble a kit second. Before building a “bug out bag”, you need to plan where and how you intend to bug out. If you live out in the country already, you may well be planning to bug out to the wilderness. If that is the case, your preparations will be fundamentally different from mine. If you live in a heavily urbanised area – just a couple of miles away from a big city – Starting from here, it would take serious effort to get to a patch of wilderness, and much more effort to avoid the millions of other people in this area that may have the same idea.

Since this thread will be looking at a family’s bug out plan (make sure to take a look at my survival hygiene post for family as well) and kit, remember that this is an urbanite’s look at things. We will be figuring on running away to another building somewhere, not to the woods. There may be some time spent camping out in the open, but that will be the exception, not the standard.

That being said, the needs you will have to satisfy with a bug out plan/kit are the same regardless of the situation; the difference will be in how you go about meeting those needs.

Kit Before Bag

I highly recommend that you assemble the stuff you want in your kit before you select a bag or other container to hold the kit. If you buy a backpack or other bag first, you will find yourself selecting items based on whether or not they fit in the bag. It would be much better to run through your list of needs, select items that will meet those needs, set them aside somewhere, and then get yourself a bag that fits them.

Many Names, Many Purposes

Bug out Kit.
Get Home Bag.
Get of of Dodge Kit.

Bug out Bags have many names, and can serve many purposes. The key element is it contains key supplies that can be carried somewhat easily that will enable someone to reach pre-positioned supplies over the first 24-72 hours after a disaster. For the suburban survivalist, these pre-positioned supplies will be at either home, a remote storage location or at a remote country site.
Often these items are assembled in a backpack.

General recommendations found on the internet are that all items be in one bag. However there are some advantages to having kits divided up into multiple bags. One such possibility is having a “Primary Bag” that is stored in the back of the car, and then a second bag containing items needed for an NBC enviroment. This solves two problems:

  1. If there is an NBC event, having all NBC gear in one location will speed up the ability to access the equipment faster,
  2. In an event where NBC is not a factor nor expected to be a factor, it leaves a easy way to shed weight for food-based travel.

So Consider either:

Single Bug Out Bag System, or
Dual Bug Out Bag System with a Primary Bag & NBC Bag

What you should have  in a “Single Bag” Primary Bug Out Bag?

(weighs approximately 17 Pounds)

Military Goretex Jacket
Two T-Shirts
Two Pairs of Underware & Two Paris of Socks
Two 20oz bottles of water
Ten Dollar roll of quarters
Silver Liberty Half Dollars (16)
Silver Dimes (10)
Bar of soap in ziplock bag
1oz Off! (100% DEET) in ziplock bag
Hand Sanitizing Wipe (Set of 12)
Three lighters
15-Days of Potassium Iodite / Iodate
Set of Single Edge Razor Blades (Approx 25)
Ear Plugs
Mini LED Flash Light (AAA)
Small LED Flash Light (AA)
Gerber Multi-Tool
42″ Mini Umbrella
Canadian Gas Mask
M-95 Filter (New & Sealed)
Israeli Filter

What you should have  in a “Dual Bag” Primary Bug Out Bag?

(weighs approximately 22 Pounds)

In addition to this bag, there should be a carry bag that contains all the NBC equipment needed.

Assembled in a Backpack:
Pair of Khaki Shorts
Pair of Blue Jean Shorts
Details Map Book of your area
Hand Towel & =Wash Cloth
Underware (3 Pairs)
Socks (3 Pairs)
Good T-Shirt
42″ Mini Umbrella
Binoculars 16×32
Liter Water Bottle (2 Bottles)
Jack Links Ground Beef 10.6 oz (2 Packages)
FM 21-11 First Aid for Soldiers
PVC Rainsuit (2 Piece w/ hood)
Basic Toiletry Bag
250ml Listerine (never opened), in a Ziplock
4oz Gold Bond Foot Powder, in a Ziplock
Bar of soap in container
Cotton Swabs (30)
Tootbrush in travel carrier
Tootbrush un-openedw
1oz Hand Sanitizer, in a Ziplock
Triple Antibiotic ointment
Blistex Lip Medex
Dental scraper
Razors (3)
Small LED Flash light (AA)
Small LED Flash light (AAA)
Mini LED Flash light (AAA)
Lensatic Compass
Ten Dollar roll of quarters
Silver Liberty Half Dollars (16)
Silver Dimes (10)
Set of various fishing hooks & weights
Set of Single Edge Razor Blades (Approx 25)
Box cutter that uses Single Edge Razor Blades
Emergency Poncho
15-Days of Potassium Iodite / Iodate
Cheap China-Trash folding knife w/ 3″ blade
Good folding knife w/ 3″ blade
Bar of soap in zip lock bag
Travel size mouth wash (sealed) in zip lock bag
1oz Iodine Tincture (sealed) in zip lock bag
1/2 oz eye drops (sealed) in zip lock bag
Emergency drinking water tablets
Bottle of Vitamin C
Bottle of Garlic pills
Travel size hand lotion in zip lock bag
Tube of Orajel in zip lock bag
Set of plenty of band-aides
Folding letherman type tool
watch and/or stop watch
Four lighters
Eight AA Batteries
Four AAA Batteries
Small Brush
Hand Sanitizing Wipe (Set of 12)
Hair Ties (Package of 20)
Good fingernail Clipper
Backup fingernail Clipper
Toenail Clipper
Cuticle Sissors
Fingernail file
Ear Plugs

What you should have  in a “Bug Car Tub”?

Keep a box or plastic tote with some critical spare parts in the trunk of each car. All items should be emergency items specific to the car.

Set of Spark Plugs (new and gapped)
PCV Valve
Set of fuses
Set of light bulbs (parking & break)
Set of head lights
Air Filter
Belt Dressing
Slick 50 Grease (Tub)
Radiator Sealer
Bottle of Oil Fuel Stabilizer
Small bottle of water
Zip Strips (Several sizes)
Duct Tape

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