Disaster preparedness doesn't need to be complicated, but you’ll find that shopping and collecting gear for a DIY bug out bag can prove to be difficult. In many cases, the DIY approach may prove more expensive than necessary, leaving you with items you don’t really need—and shouldn’t waste your money on. Instead of forcing useless items into a bag that won’t hold up, opt for a pre-packed, top-rated bug out bag. 
A bug-out bag or BOB[1][2][3] is a portable kit that normally contains the items one would require to survive for 72 hours[4] when evacuating from a disaster, although some kits are designed to last longer periods. Other names for such a bag are a 72-hour kit,[5] battle box, grab bag, go bag, GOOD bag (get out of Dodge),[6] INCH bag (I'm never coming home),[7] personal emergency relocation kit (PERK), or quick run bag (QRB).[8][9]

The 4-Person, 3-Day Emergency Preparedness Kit is approved by the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. The American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, a volunteer committee of nationally recognized health care, aquatics, preparedness and educational professionals, helps establish and assure the scientific basis for Red Cross programs, products and public guidance. Council members’ contributions help ensure that the Red Cross is using the latest science, addressing current needs and is preparing for future changes.
When asked what were the major reasons that they were not prepared for a potential catastrophe, 40% of Americans said they “couldn’t afford to buy or stock up on certain supplies.” More than ¼ (27%) said they didn’t know what they should be doing in order to prepare. About ¼ of respondents (24%) said they didn’t need to prepare because they “didn’t think any catastrophes will happen.”
A new coronavirus—similar but not identical to the viruses that cause Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome—has emerged from China, and is causing human cases of pneumonia-like illnesses in several countries. Without sustained human-to-human transmission, most American workers are not at significant risk of infection. However, workers involved in airline operations (including cabin crewmembers), healthcare (including clinical laboratory personnel), and border protection may have exposure to travelers infected with the virus in China or other affected areas. OSHA's 2019 novel coronavirus webpage provides information for workers and employers about the evolving outbreak and ways to protect workers on the job.
If you are stranded on the way, your car can serve as a shelter. However, a packed shelter can give you peace of mind in case you are no longer with your car or are given rest in an area without your own shelter. A simple tarp + rope can serve as an emergency shelter, or you can tie a small tent to the bottom of your pack, or make a bedroll out of sheets and pillows. We keep a tote of just the camping equipment that can be attached to our backpacks if needed. We live in an area that even in colder weather, we don’t need heavy-duty gear, so please pack according to your environment.

MOLLE organization systems are a great added feature for a BOB. MOLLE webbing is straps built into the outside of your pack that allows for additional gear and even other packs to be attached externally. If you have a sturdy pack with MOLLE webbing and carabiners, you can add a lot more gear on the outside of the pack that you otherwise might not have been able to pack inside your BOB.

According to the Bug Out Bag Academy, the origins of bug out bags can be traced to the bags that many aviators in the military put together before missions. These were first referred to as ‘bail-out bags’ and they held items that would be critical for survival if a plane was shot down or experienced critical engine failure. Many WWII aviators actually carried gold or silver bullions in their bug out bags, as these were (and still largely are) considered the ‘universal currency’.

The Ready America bug out bag features a 107 piece first aid kit, survival blankets, emergency whistle and more, including 4 ‘food bars’. Since those food bars won’t get you very far the company, like many others, is counting on you to provide your own rations and that’s fine. There are plenty of places to purchase ready to eat, vacuum sealed meals as well as dehydrated food that you can stuff in the generously proportioned backpack. The backpack itself is well built, water resistant and easy on the shoulders. It can also be carried at your side using the convenient top handle. If you live in an area prone to hurricane strikes, tornadoes or flooding you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to invest in a bug out bag like this and keep it at the ready. It’s 100 bucks very well spent.
The Basic 3-Day Emergency Preparedness Kit is approved by the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. The American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, a volunteer committee of nationally recognized health care, aquatics, preparedness and educational professionals, helps establish and assure the scientific basis for Red Cross programs, products and public guidance. Council members’ contributions help ensure that the Red Cross is using the latest science, addressing current needs and is preparing for future changes.

Its also of the utmost importance that you have access to Two-Way Radios in your kit. If the cellular network is out of range or out of service you’ll need another way to communicate. They are very useful to keep your family in contact and organized during an emergency. You can also use them during recreational activities like backcountry camping. Have a look at my report on the Best Walkie Talkies and other Two-Way Radios.
Great information. But, please don’t tell people that pepper spray will drop someone in seconds. I was a chemical agent instructor for a medium size police department. I’ve been sprayed by a lot of stuff. Not all of it works on every person. I’ve seen people just sit there and look at you when they were hit full in the face with very good, very reliable chemical agents. We only taught that it was a distraction technique. Use the chemical agent to distract the person so you can hit them next, take them down, flee, whatever your plan is. But, it is only a distraction technique.

*Service Guarantee Terms and Conditions: Requests must be authorized and/or paid for before 12:00pm, Monday-Friday to qualify for same day service. Requests received after 12pm (Monday-Thursday) will have service provided by 5pm the following day. Same day service guarantee does not apply on requests received after 12:00pm on Friday. Same day service not available on Saturday or Sunday.
If you are stranded on the way, your car can serve as a shelter. However, a packed shelter can give you peace of mind in case you are no longer with your car or are given rest in an area without your own shelter. A simple tarp + rope can serve as an emergency shelter, or you can tie a small tent to the bottom of your pack, or make a bedroll out of sheets and pillows. We keep a tote of just the camping equipment that can be attached to our backpacks if needed. We live in an area that even in colder weather, we don’t need heavy-duty gear, so please pack according to your environment.
At 70 years young I have survived many natural disasters. These include tornadoes, wild fires, earthquakes and many hurricanes. In each case the “government” did NOT show up within 72 hours! That is why I never recommend a 72 hour BOB. My personal BOB is packed with enough light weight food to last two weeks. To accompany these provisions I always carry snare wire and a light weight fishing kit. I also carry at least two books, a wild edible foods guide and a book on medicinal wild plants and how to prepare them. All of these should be used from day ONE. Reserve the food you carry in your BOB for those unlucky days when you can find nothing else to eat. You WILL last a lot longer if you do and you will not starve to death.
I agree with all except this one, “you should carry a water filter instead.” That water filter does NOT filter viruses which can incapacitate or kill just as quickly as can the bacteria it does eliminate. Carry purification tablets & a couple gallon sized double-ziplock baggies or an aluminum/titanium pot (multiple uses) or learn about SODIS instead. Why plan to fail?
A survival kit is one of those items that you carry in your pack in case you need it, but hope you never have to open it, and if you find yourself in a situation where you have to open it, you better make dang sure it includes what you'll need. To help, here are a few considerations you'll want to take into account as you prepare your own emergency, survival, bug-out-bag, as well as some packages that have some of the vital components already included.
Here’s another bug out bag that’s designed to help you survive in the out of doors for several days following a natural or man-made calamity. As you might expect from a company call “Ultimate Arms” this particular bug out bag is heavy on the armaments including an EDC knife, a large survival knife, a tomahawk and a full sized machete. Oh yeah, there’s also a pick axe and plenty of bandages in case you really get into it with hordes of the undead.
The unfortunate reality of our world today is that we’re never quite sure when our comfortable existences will be dramatically disrupted. We can, however, prepare so that we are as ready as possible if that does happen. In this section, we’re going to offer answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about bug out bags so that you can further gather knowledge that will help you make your selection.
I wanted a 4 season shelter/sleep setup that was 5 lbs or less, very compact, is not effected by geting wet, all of it being capable of being worn as a poncho. What I came up with was a highly modified Escape bivvy, a bag made out of a 6×8 PEVA shower curtain, a bag made out of a pair of casualty blankets, a bugnet bag. I used velcro to create a seall the way around the Escape. I added a removable hood, with drawstring and another drawstring at the neck. I made the bivvy a foot longer and 6″ wider at the shoulder. I created the other bags by installing a snap every 5″, all the way around and by sewing (1 edge only) a 3/4″ wide strip of muslin sheet. These strips “tangle” and hold in body heat really well. The casualty bag is stiff enough to serve as a pack frame, letting me save weight and money in my pick of backpack. The shoulder straps and hip belt can be padded with dark socks and underwear. This again lets me save weight and pack cost. My hammock is made out of monofilament gillnet, minus the lead weights, becomes a hammock via the muletapeThe bugnet bag is of course
I may have been a bit dramatic in my response in cases, but mainly to show you the absurdity of the way you dramatically declare most of that useful kit should be discarded, as if you know best, as if you’ve been there done it, survived, worn the t-shirt, as if you think you’re come special forces commando that has survived behind enemy lines in every environment/climate the globe has to offer, totally ignoring the idiosyncrasies of each location around the world, for example you say knife .22 and “dump the rest”, because people living in an area with limited game but masses of water and fish to ditch their fishing line, hooks, weights etc for a .22… OK yea, I know who not to join up with in a disaster, the man carrying a f*cking sword to a gun fight
Water. Water should be #1 on the list for every 72-hour kit; it is the most basic and most important thing you need to survive. However, storing enough water for you and your family quickly becomes a problem. The recommended of amount of drinking water is one gallon per day per person. One gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds, so if you’re like me and packing for a family of three, 72 hours worth of water becomes 75 pounds of water—not exactly realistic to carry.
The whole point of a bug out bag is that it is ALWAYS packed and ready to go. In a true emergency, you might not have the time to throw those last few items into your bug out bag that you’ll really need. So, the short answer to this question is that the bag should be packed and ready to go at all times. But you should also be careful to regularly check any items in your bag that could expire or need replacement if they’ve been sitting for a while.

Steel four in one tool which features a shovel, saw, pick, and bottle opener. 11 in 1 credit card survival tool. Machete, wire saw, camping tube tent, camouflage bag, compass, 8 inch blade, magnesium alloy fire starter, axe, 18 fortified food bars, first aid kit, 12 pouches of drinking water, military style poncho with hood and pull cord which features grommets that can be used to anchor it for rain protection or as tent as well as other purposes like as a wind shelter. US Army Survival Field Manual. Glow sticks, whistle, polar shield blanket. Three in one belt buckle (whistle, flint fire starter), weatherproof matches, ceramic knife sharpener. Lifestraw (advanced chemical free water filter which can filter up to 1000 litres of water).

Cold Steel shovel, Crunch multitool with saw blades, lockaid “gun”, 2 qts of water, (depending upon the area) 1 plastic canteen, one plastic canteen, water filter, water treatment pills/fluids, 2 canteen cups, medical kit (to include tape and condoms) firekit, heavy-duty trekking poles, Kindle reader with survival info, “shaker” AA light with Campmor headband to hold it, keychain led light, 2 lbs of rations (almond butter, Tang, instant oatmeal, powdered Gatorade, spices, Day pack, OD green socks, underwear, sleeping/shelter gear (5 lbs) about 5 lbs of clothing/boots(beyond what you’d wear to the office) NVD goggles, about 25 lbs. 3 lbs of soft armor, 2 lbs of pistol and ammo, and possibly another 12 lbs of autorifle, silencer, scope and ammo.


The Wise Food Company 56 Serving kit is an excellent addition to your bug out bags and home hunker down food supply. It includes 28 breakfast and 28 entry servings. The food packs have a 25 year shelf life. One container has enough servings for 1 adult (2 servings per day) for one month. You can buy multiple kits for your whole family. Just add boiling water and enjoy.

On another note, the only thing I had trouble with was #1. Yes, sleeping bags are big and fat and are a pain to carry, but they will make up for it in heat. You need that heat, at least here in the Pacific Northwest where I live. You use a space blanket or bivvy, you get either a miserable night (lucky), or hypothermia (normal). I wouldn’t mind packing a bivvy instead if I lived in a warmer climate, but seriously, don’t skimp on the sleeping bag.

What is a 72-hour kit? It is a kit (sometimes referred to as a Go Bag) in a backpack or tote that allows you to live away from your home for up to 3-4 days in an emergency. It is different from a Bug Out Bag (BOB) as a B.O.B. is meant for the possibility of permanently living away from home. Your 72-hour kit is intended to allow you to escape an immediate threat, live for 3 (or 4 if you stretch it) days without relying on authorities or going back home (though sometimes, home won’t be an option if it is bad enough and that BOB will be a blessing).
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.
Here’s another bug out bag that’s designed to help you survive in the out of doors for several days following a natural or man-made calamity. As you might expect from a company call “Ultimate Arms” this particular bug out bag is heavy on the armaments including an EDC knife, a large survival knife, a tomahawk and a full sized machete. Oh yeah, there’s also a pick axe and plenty of bandages in case you really get into it with hordes of the undead.
Bug-out bags are standard kit for most any survival-minded American. These handy lifesaving devices are typically unobtrusive and compact while containing the critical gear you might need to survive a disaster. For those whose circumstances might mandate a more protracted adventure, however, two companies provide the equipment to take this concept to a whole new level.
When asked what were the major reasons that they were not prepared for a potential catastrophe, 40% of Americans said they “couldn’t afford to buy or stock up on certain supplies.” More than ¼ (27%) said they didn’t know what they should be doing in order to prepare. About ¼ of respondents (24%) said they didn’t need to prepare because they “didn’t think any catastrophes will happen.”
Backpack. One of the more common mistakes for 72-hour kits starts with the backpack. Choose a backpack that has multiple compartments in which you can divide your survival gear. Sifting through an unorganized pack, where everything is jumbled into the same large compartment can be frustrating and time consuming. By subdividing your stuff into different pockets you can access what you need quickly. Amazon has a variety of military-style packs to choose from.

Everybody’s circumstances are different, but if your neighborhood is such that a mobile stash of survival gear kept ready to deploy or use on site is practical, these two companies can help you get there. These units are well thought out and logically designed. Pretty much any vehicle is compatible with these trailers, so you can just hitch it up and go. It’s a simple three-step process if you have a hitch on your vehicle already. In an emergency, you can simply hook up and bug out in a hurry.

We should clarify that this reduced water recommendation is strictly for limiting the weight of your 72-hour kit if you need to evacuate. In many emergency situations, you will not have to evacuate your home and may simply be without power or running water. We recommend storing the maximum amount of drinking water—at least one gallon per person for three days—in your home food storage. Only for emergencies where you need to evacuate do we recommend reducing water weight.

Design – The best bug out bag is one with plenty of pockets. This allows you to compartmentalize your bug out bag essentials so that you know exactly where everything is and you don’t have to dig through mountains of other stuff to find what you need. Put all your fire and light things together such as tactical flashlight, candles, headlamp, fire starting kit and storm proof matches. Put maps, GPS devices, compass and other navigation related items in their own pocket and so on. The more you can separate things the easier it will be to transcend your difficulties.
I have an idea , I read an article about pepper spray awhile back. In the article they discussed effective use of pepper spray and at end they made a suggestion that stuck with me. They suggested wasp spray instead of pepper spray because wasp spray will shoot up to 25′ or 50′ that gives you distance & distance could be very vital in survival. I am pretty sure a face full of wasp spray will stop someone especially since wasp spray foams. Just an idea plus it would serve two purposes.

Size – Everyone overestimates how much they’re carrying when they go backpacking (if everyone who claimed to carry a 100 pound pack actually did we’d have thousands of hiker deaths every year in the US alone). But a survival situation is one time when you need to be cold-light-of-day honest about how much you can carry and what that load should be comprised of to give you the best possible chance of survival. As a general rule you shouldn’t carry more than 15 or 20% of your body weight, which for most people will be between 20 and 40 pounds. With this in mind you’ll want to take into consideration the weight of the pack itself (which must be deducted from the total load) and its volume so that you wind up with a bug out backpack that can carry the appropriate amount of supplies.


Canned ready-meals – Canned foods are ideal for a 72-hour emergency kit list because they are designed with a long shelf life. Canned items are inexpensive and available from almost every grocery store. Also, canned foods contain water which is ideal for keeping your food hydrated and long-lasting. You can even eat food directly from the can without an oven.
That’s like me saying you are wrong to recommend a .22 because it would eventually succumb to the end of the world and become useless as pellets dry up, don’t bother wasting your time packing a finite resource, a knife will do everything for you, it will rebuild society!! But as you unwittingly acknowledged, you pack the .22 knowing it will be useful at first and will eventually become nothing more than an ornament you could discard or stash somewhere safely in case you ever come across more ammunition.
×