Bug Out Bag List For Preppers And Survivalists

bug out bag list

The task of making a bug out bag list is challenging, even if you are only planning for one or two kinds of emergencies, the list of items you would like to have is always longer than what you can carry.

Preparing a bug out bag is one of the most important things you can do. In the long term, you will benefit significantly from knowing you can deal with nearly anything, even if you never use it.

There are times when even the most expert and skilled people must make tough choices about what to pack. We would be foolish to believe that there is no risk of a terror attack, a military conflict, or severe civil unrest in our world where political and economic structures are volatile.

Man is not only threatened by acts of violence and conflict. Man-made structures might fail, such as dams breaking, power plants exploding, pipelines bursting, and oil spilling due to explosions. Furthermore, diseases and pandemics, as we’re all too aware, even warrant an evacuation.

What are the essential things that you need to put on your list for your bug out bag? You should always be prepared in the event of a disaster or any emergency situation. A bug out bag should contain all the essential things that you need to bring with you during an emergency.

Bug out bags should last for 72 hours or more. The reason why it should last 72 hours is that this is the minimum timeframe before help arrives. Remember to pack your bug out bag small and light. This will enable you to grab your pack quickly and leave when disaster strikes.

For this reason, you need to make sure that you have a list of all the items that you need to put on your bug out bag. In fact, we cannot predict or tell exactly when a disaster would strike. In general, the important things that you need to include are water, food, and shelter.

Bug Out Bag List

Before anything else, you will need a bug out bag. You have to select a bug out bag made from durable materials, lightweight, and waterproof. I would recommend a tactical bug out bag.

Of course, your bug out bag will be your preference for as long as the shoulder strap paddings are comfortable and there are extra compartments for other important survival gears. It should have a hipbelt and should include a MOLLE system.

Now let us go over the things that you should include on your list for your bug out bag.

Water And Hydration Tools

Water is very important, but during a disaster or when you need to evacuate your home, you might not be able to carry water with you and you will need to find a water source along the way. In fact, the normal water supply might be contaminated and the water source that you might find is not suitable for drinking.

If you plan to carry water, it would not be a good idea. Water is heavy and it will be very uncomfortable to carry them, especially when you need to walk long distances. The first thing that you need to add to your list is a stainless steel water bottle.

The reason why you should choose stainless steel bottle is that you cannot boil water on plastic. So I would recommend bringing a stainless steel bottle so you can use it to boil water if needed. You can simply refill your bottle along the way or you can also use purifiers or water filters.

It is also essential to bring water purification tablets. As a matter of fact, try to look for the cleanest water source possible. Boiling water can be time-consuming so purification tablets would work best. Another thing, they do not consume space on your bug out bag and are lightweight. In fact, you can purify water on the go.

Portable Water Filter

A portable filter is another excellent choice. You can actually use the purification tablets as a backup just in case your portable water filter breaks. The best thing is that you can drink water on the go. This is extremely faster than boiling or purifying water.

There are many water filters in the market and some brands would include water filter pumps and gravity filters. You can choose between solo water filters or if you need to evacuate in a large group, you can consider buying a large filtration system.

This is the reason why you need a MOLLE system so you can add equipment that you can easily access.

Food Supplies And Tools For Your Bug Out Bag List

In the event of a disaster, probably one of the most important things that you need to include on your bug out bag list is food. There is a wide variety of MRE-type food (Meals Ready-To-Eat), but there is much debate about this type of food.

I would suggest freeze-dried foods that are lighter and easy to prepare. You just need to add boiling water and stir. In fact, they are very easy to pack in your bug out bag. Make sure to pack food that is good for three days.

Just in case you need to pack more for your family, I would suggest having one bug out bag per person. If you can pack one week’s worth of food, do it. It is always better to have extra food with you just in case help does not arrive after three days.

Another thing that you would want to include on your bug out bag list is an eating utensil, preferably a stainless steel spork. Of course, you do not want to eat your food with dirty hands. This is small and light and does not take up space on your bug out bag.

A small stainless collapsible bowl is also an essential part of your list. The reason why we prefer stainless steel materials is that you can use them for boiling water. As I have mentioned earlier, it is impossible to boil water in plastic material.

You can also add a portable fishing pole and fishing line, just in case you would need to survive for more than three days. Fish is a very good source of protein. Portable fishing poles are very easy to pack and do not take up much space as well.

You just have to make sure that you have fishing hooks, swivel, sinker set. Just make sure that your fishing equipment is complete. Of course, you cannot catch a fish if your equipment is not complete.

Do not forget to include medication especially if you have diabetes or a heart condition. You can also add multivitamins and over-the-counter medications for fever, headache, and cough.

Portable Stove

Unless you want to build a campfire or use a portable stove, it really depends on your preference. The advantage of having a portable stove is that you can easily cook food or boil water. The only downside is if you consume all the fuel that you have, then you would have to build a campfire.

If you decide to use a portable stove, you just need to make sure to pack extra fuel. I would suggest packing three day’s worth of fuel. However, use them sparingly or as needed so you can save fuel until help arrives.

Clothing Supplies For Your Bug Out Bag List

With regards to clothing, you just need to pack enough for your bug out bag. Do not carry clothing that you do not really need. This will only take up space and will add weight to your survival pack. In general, you might be using the same clothes until you reach a safe location.

Keep in mind that changing clothes often will not be an option if you are in a survival situation. So it is very important to carry clothes that you only need. Bring extra underwear and socks and quick-drying garments.

You might want to add a sewing kit and safety pins since you might end up using or rotating clothes in a survival situation. Consider adding survival gloves to your pack just in case the weather gets really cold. Do not forget to include stocking caps and body warmers.

In particular, include a raincoat on your bug out bag list. This will help protect you and your gear against the rain. In fact, this will help you avoid loss of body heat and prevent getting colds or sick. So, make sure to carry only what you need.

Tarp Shelter And Sleeping Pad

When it comes to shelter, it is not advisable to carry a tent. However, this will be your personal preference. Tents poles and anchors are heavy. The whole point of having a bug out bag is to pack as light as you can and just enough to help you survive for three days or more.

The best option for shelter is a tarp. Tarps are easy to set up and are lighter compared to tents. In fact, you can use a tarp in many ways. You can use it to collect rainwater or use it as a cover to protect your gear from the rain.

One of the best things I like about tarps is that they are versatile, unlike tents which have a limited function and are heavier. Tarps are very easy to pack and will not occupy space and add weight to your bug out bag.

You can choose to add a sleeping pad that is also lightweight, but it will depend on your preference. It will keep your body warm and protect you from the cold hard ground. You can also choose a light sleeping bag.

Fire Starting Tools

You need to pack at least three types of fire-starting tools. If one does not work you have a backup tool for building a fire. I would recommend waterproof matches, windproof and waterproof coil lighters, and a steel firestarter.

I would not recommend using an ordinary lighter as it cannot withstand wind. In fact, you cannot use it if it is soaked in water. Rechargeable coil lighters are much better.

A steel firestarter is a bit challenging since you need to practice striking the steel with the striker. But this is a reliable firestarter tool.

First Aid Kit For Your Bug Out Bag List

As I have mentioned above, you will need to pack any personal medication that you might need. A complete first-aid kit is essential for your bug out bag. For instance, diabetes medication, allergy medication, and heart medication. Make sure to pack enough for three days or more.

Do not forget to add gauze pads, surgical tape, band-aids, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, alcohol, cotton, cotton buds, tweezers, sunscreen, and insect repellant. Also, do not forget to pack painkillers, antibiotic ointment or cream, and burn ointment. A survival first aid kit is one of the most important items in your bug out bag.

Personal Hygiene

Of course, you would need a towelette, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, soap, tampons, and sanitizers. You can add more items for as long as it does not take up space and put on weight on your bug out bag.

Survival Tools

This is perhaps the most important thing that you need to have aside from food and water. A survival knife is useful for hunting food and at the same time, you can use it for protection. In fact, you can use it to build shelter and cutting wood.

A map and compass will guide you in the right direction. You do not want to get lost during a survival situation. Use this to navigate and reach your destination. I would not recommend a GPS device as it runs on batteries and you will have to rely on your map and compass.

A portable shovel is also essential for your bug out bag. You can dig up a hole for waste disposal. You can also use a shovel for clearing the ground for building shelter.

In addition, you can include a survival hatchet, a portable solar system for charging electronic gadgets, a whistle, pencil, paper, hand-cranked radio, flashlight, and a multipurpose tool.


It is extremely important to prepare a bug out bag list. You will never know when disaster will strike. In reality, there are millions of people around the world who are becoming preppers. Somehow, you’ll need to prepare things that you need during an emergency.

Being prepared will help you surpass any difficult situation. So make sure to have a bug out bag list for you and your family. In addition, I would recommend packing one bug out bag for your home, office, and car.

Survival can happen anywhere. Also, make sure that your bug out bag is easy to grab and reach just in case you need to evacuate immediately. Your life depends on it.

The above are just suggestions and you may add things that you think you might need and is indeed important for survival. Remember to pack light so you can move to a safe location easier and faster.