10 Must Have Items For A Bug Out Bag

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10 Must Have Items for a 72 Hour Emergency Kit or Bug Out Bag

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Are you ready to be self-sufficient if a natural disaster or emergency occurs? It is very important for the safety of everyone in your home, to be prepared for an emergency. You want to be able to survive without utility services, emergency personnel assistance for at least three days. For this purpose, there are emergency 72 hour kits or as some folks call them Bug Out Bags.

The contents of your Bug Out Bag should fit into one or two containers. Your storage containers should be easy to carry and grab on-the-go. You should have enough of everything on the list below for each family member for a minimum three days:

Food and Water

  • image-500x270 web mode_500x270Purified drinking water.  1 Gallon of water for each person per day. Consider a top quality water filter from www.ClearlyFiltered.Com
  • Canned food (beef, tuna, beans, Vienna sausages, etc.) and juice.  Pop-top cans that can easily be opened without a can opener are a good idea. If not, pack a can opener.
  • Candy and gum. Melting jolly ranchers can be used for flavor, along with mint chewing gum to make your foods taste better.
  • Trail mix, dried fruit, protein and granola bars for healthy snacks.

Clothing and Bedding

  • Blanket or sleeping bag, mylar emergency blanket.
  • Poncho, rain coat or large plastic garbage bags. Pack any item that can be used in case of rain or water in order to keep each person dry.
  • Change of clothes, enough for at least three days. Pack both long/short sleeve shirts, pants, shorts, a jacket, socks, etc…

Light and Fuel

  • Battery operated lights – flashlights, lamps, lanterns. Pack extra batteries!
  • Flares, candles, lighter, and water-proof matches.
  • Oil Lamp and extra lamp oil.

Equipment

  • Eating utensils, plastic/paper plates and manual can opener.
  • Toilet paper. Take out the cardboard center to easily flatten the roll for easier storage. This way, you can store multiple rolls without taking up so much space.
  • Mirror, compass and whistle.  The mirror can be used for signaling and starting a fire. Compass can be used to find your directions of North, South, East or West. And the whistle can be used to signal location to a search team or other around you.
  • Two sharp knives, pocket knife.
  • Shovel, rope, duct tape.
  • Radio, pen and paper.

Medication and Personal Items

  • First Aid Kit
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Immunization records, over the counter medication, prescription medication
  • Cleaning supplies – shampoo, body soap, dish soap, hand sanitizer
  • Infant items – diapers, lotions, etc.

Money and Personal Documents 

Place these items in plastic zip-lock bags:

  • Any and all legal documents that may be needed
  • Birth certificates, passports
  • Insurance policies
  • Credit cards and cash money
  • Pre-paid phone cards

Inspect Your 72 Hour Kit Regularly

Check and update your emergency kit once every 6-months. This will help to ensure that all water, food and medication is fresh, nothing has expired, clothes still fit, etc.. Pack small games and toys in order to stay entertained and make the time less stressful.

You can add any other items that you may need or think are necessary for your family to survive in an emergency. Store these items in a location that is dry, not too hot and not too cold. Make sure that they are in a container that will be easy to transport and ready to grab – a backpack or a bag on wheels.

Author Bio

This article was written by Chett Wright who is an emergency preparedness expert. To learn more about emergency preparedness visit FoodInsurance.com today.

 What Items Do You Pack In Your Bug Out Bag?

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10 Responses to 10 Must Have Items For A Bug Out Bag

  1. Pieter says:

    I like the article. One thing I like to mention is that, when choosing extra clothing, to avoid cotton. When cotton gets wet, it is useless to keep you warm. Remember the saying that cotton kills.
    Pieter recently posted..New itemsMy Profile

  2. I really did not know this saying about the cotton! Thank you, this one may save my life….
    Paul @ Survival knife guide recently posted..Muela Knife ReviewMy Profile

  3. Jorge says:

    I was about to say something similar about Cotton. It happened to me once: it got wet and it became useless for almost all my trip. Avoid it at all cost!

  4. Gabe says:

    I would probably add an inexpensive .22LR pistol and a $7 box of 100 rounds. You never know. Or just leave a nice .22 pistol in the bag when you’re not using it.

  5. Looks like a nice start. One question…you recommend a water filter. Do you also pack some method of purification like chlorine dioxide? I just worry about the viruses in a bug out situation that filter don’t remove.
    Josh’s Survival Kit List recently posted..This is where the Reviews will Go!My Profile

  6. Jack says:

    Skip most (maybe even all) of the food. If this is a 72-hour kit, people can survive a whole WEEK without food. We regularly fast for 24 hours during normal/good times. Going 72 hours without food can be uncomfortable, but it is easily achievable.
    Personally, I’d repurpose the food space for something/anything else.
    If you feel that you MUST bring some sort of food, them make it worthwhile! e.g. Three bottles of “energy shot” like 5-hour Energy (maybe ration them one per day, to give you that extra little boost of energy when you think that you just can’t walk another mile.) Beware, however, that this can dehydrate you!!! So, make sure you have access to plenty of water if you are going to leverage energy-shots.
    Maybe three high-calorie breakfast bars, too? Don’t worry about carbs, or fats, etc. FOCUS on calorie count! SKIP the “healthy” low-calorie breakfast bars, and opt for the highest-calorie bars you can find (and you are willing to eat.) Heck, even candy bars would be better (of you can prevent them from melting.)
    If nothing else, toss in a package of beef jerky. (Again, make sure you have access to plenty of water.)
    But, there’s NO USE wasting space and weight of cans of food. Heck, carry fishing gear or a wrist rocket (sling shot,) in that space, instead.

    Also leave out the oil and oil lamp. They are just a recipe for leaks and disasters for your gear. Instead, opt for some sort of small, lightweight, LED crank light. It will take a fraction of the space in your pack (heck, bring TWO so you have a spare.) Plus, they are MUCH safer, and put out a MUCH BETTER quality of light, and brightness.

    Add a camping air mattress to your inventory. Each one rolls-up smaller than most canteens. These are INSTRUMENTAL to keeping yourself warm and dry (e.g. keeping you off the ground, and putting an insulating layer between yourself and the Earth.) They can also be inflated and leveraged to cross rivers/streams and such.

    Clothing: FORGET three days worth of clothing!!! When there’s a situation that requires you to bug out and use this kit, a fresh set of clothes every day will be the LAST of your concerns! Instead, focus on ONE set of minimalistic needs:
    1.) Pair of leather work gloves (for heavy work)
    2.) Two pairs of wool socks (one pair for your feet, the other pair can be used as mittens if the weather is cold.)
    3.) winter cap (that can roll-down to cover your face, like the bank robbers use,) plus a boonie hat (to keep the sun/rain off your head.)
    4.) a lightweight set of fishing pants, and fishing shirt. These can become an extra layer over whatever you are already wearing, or a lightweight option. The MAIN reason for these, is sun protection. e.g. in case you are caught off-guard wearing only a t-shirt and shorts when TSHTF. Remember, you ALSO have your poncho, too.
    If you are in a cold-weather climate, then keep a set of warm clothes adjacent to your bug out bag (e.g. so you can toss them on before you put the bug out bag on your back.) Then, head out the door. But, no need to pack EXTRA clothes in your bug out bag.
    Add a small pair of binoculars. And, if you can afford it, a night-vision monocular. If TSHTF, these will provide you with “safe distance” from risk, and provide you with safer navigation at night. MOST people don’t have night vision devices, so this gives you a HUGE edge over others (including the bad guys.) Both of these can also be used for hunting, too.

    Soaps?… Really?.. For only three days of “survival?” Again, you probably won’t need to eat during this time (and barely sleep.) You likely won’t change clothes, either. If, if, if, you are going to bring soap, bring ONE type of soap, and use it for WHATEVER you do. Wash your body with it, wash your hair with it, wash your dish/cup with it, etc.

    I find it odd that you mention all these soaps, but don’t mention something like sunblock, lip balm, and bug spray? (Sure, these would probably live in your first aid kit.) But, you mention a half-dozen types of soaps, you might as well mention what you REALLY need, instead.

    How much use is that compass, without a map? A map of your immediate area, plus a map of your destinations area (bug out sites.)

    Do your best to keep your bug out bag TSA-safe. Many people talk about guns and ammo. Sure, these are “nice-to-have.” During MOST 72-hour emergencies, however, MOST people do NOT, NOT, NOT need guns/ammo. Being TSA-safe also means: No MREs, limited lighters, no fuel bottles, etc. If/when TSHTF, sometimes the best/fastest way to put a BUNCH of miles between yourself and danger, is the next flight out of Dodge.

    Friendly reminder: the folks at Rust-Oleum have recently released a new waterproofing spray. It’s AWESOME!!! e.g. PERFECT for coating your maps, and the outside of your pack. Probably perfect for coating a tarp or rainfly, as well as the bottom and lower six inches of tent walls?
    I’m not sure about the “breathability” of the product, yet, however? e.g. would it work well to waterproof shoes & boots? Or, not allow your feet to breathe? Would it be ideal for the exterior of down-filled sleeping bags? Or, would it cause you to sweat too much at night?

    Peace, and keep on preppin’ !!!

  7. Thanks for the great tips! I’d just like to stress the regular (6 month) checkup, as plenty of canned goods only have a year or 2 shelf life.
    Wade | TheSurvivalistHQ recently posted..Survival Food List – Your Second Shopping TripMy Profile

  8. Steve says:

    I really need to pull a bug out bag together. This list will help me get started. A friend of mine at work has one in his car and he keeps telling me I should too. In addition, the comments helped to refine the list.
    Steve recently posted..By: Brett @ Best Pocket KnifeMy Profile

  9. Billy says:

    Great article! As others have mentioned, you gotta keep the food rotated so you have edible food. Also, it makes sense to make a specific list for certain places. Here is an example: We just completed a road trip from Denver to Moab to North Rim to Santa Fe. You can imagine we may not need too much in the way of warm clothing but maybe a little extra water and food for the dog. Thanks!

  10. Hi JJ, thanks for such a great article!
    For the Equipment part maybe you can also mention having a good Multi Tool. I have a Leatherman Wave packed in my bug out bag. This is a great tool for any situation. In the Food and Water part you mentioned to pack a can opener in case you dont find Pop-top cans, well many multi tools in the market comes with a can opener so you will be covered there by a multi tool, plus its benefits of having good blades, pliers, scissors, and more. Let me know what do you think. Thanks
    Sebastien @ Multi Tool Reviews recently posted..Leatherman MUT Multi Tool ReviewMy Profile

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