The most important factor that will determine the right size bug out bag is your torso size. You can measure your torso by having a friend or casual acquaintance measure the distance from the top of your Iliac Crest (hip bones) up to the bony prominence at the base of your neck (the last cervical vertebrae). Knowing the length of your torso will help you choose a bug out bag that fits comfortably.
Just as you might imagine a company called “Ultimate Arms” would produce a bug out bag heavy on weaponry so to you’d be safe in assuming a company called “Food Insurance” would produce a bug out bag tripped out with food rations. This bug out bag eschews the notion that you’ll need to hack your way through starving, blood crazed, fellow survivors and instead assumes you’ll need to eat in order to keep your strength and spirits up should you be dislocated due to natural or man-made disaster. As such there’s ample food for a couple to keep themselves fed for a week or a single person for 2 weeks and still lots of room in the backpack for other things like Uzis, pepper spray and concussion grenades should you feel the need to bring them along.
So despite the impression many people got from my “50 Items” article, I don’t think you should pack your bug out bag with as many items as possible. In fact, I think you should check your bag for any non-essential items with a large weight-to-space ratio and remove them. To that end, here’s a list of survival items I’ve seen in various lists online that, in my opinion, you don’t really need in your bug out bag.
An excellent resource regarding bug out bags is a new book by Max Cooper called, “Realistic Bug Out Bag, 2nd Edition: Prepared to Survive.” This is a monster book at over 600+ pages. It has scenarios, drills, and is full of useful and insightful information. I like that the author stresses planning and has a section devoted to bug out plans and how to practice & train your plan. He is also a huge advocate of designing a BOB that fits your needs based on factors that pertain to your situation. I highly recommend this book.
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.

Some survivalists also recommend keeping a get me home kit in the car and/or at work. This is a kit to enable a person to get back home from work in an emergency where all transport cars and public transport have broken down. It is designed around personal circumstances where, for example, a walk of 25 kilometres might be required from work to home. The get me home kit can include, for example, enough water to get home, suitable walking shoes, a map (not electronic), enough food for 12 hours, clothing for adverse weather, etc.
Be prepared at work with a 72-hour kit filled with our recommended emergency supplies. Add a rain poncho to your backpack in the event of a weather disaster. If you can’t get home from work because of transportation issues, you might have to walk home for miles. We recommend keeping your emergency kit in your office desk in case disaster strikes outside. Then you have all of your emergency supplies right there at work.

Large high quality water resistant backpack.  24 Mountain House food servings. 48 Datrex Water packs. 2 LED lanterns, 2 flashlights, Fully stocked first Aid Kit, 2 Bath wipes, 4 Emergency blankets, 1 Portable stove and cookware, 4 bows and utensils, 4 whistles, 1 Sawyer Squeeze water filtration system, 1 MoraKniv Knife, 1 Ferrocerium rod fire starter, 4 InstaFire tinder. 8 Cyalume Snaplights (glow-sticks).

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:
An excellent resource regarding bug out bags is a new book by Max Cooper called, “Realistic Bug Out Bag, 2nd Edition: Prepared to Survive.” This is a monster book at over 600+ pages. It has scenarios, drills, and is full of useful and insightful information. I like that the author stresses planning and has a section devoted to bug out plans and how to practice & train your plan. He is also a huge advocate of designing a BOB that fits your needs based on factors that pertain to your situation. I highly recommend this book.
I am in the process of finishing up the first book in a new survival fiction series that I think readers of this blog and my other novels will relate to. Set in America in the near future, this series of stories will deal with a collapse scenario caused by coordinated terror attacks, riots and widespread civil unrest. Considering the situation that is unfolding in Europe now and potentially spreading, I think this type of SHTF scenario is more likely than the solar EMP collapse I have written about in my previous novels.
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.
Professional security contractor, Eric Branson, has been plying his trade overseas, fighting the ongoing insurgencies raging across Europe, when he realizes America faces the same fate. Before he can make his way home to south Florida, a powerful hurricane deals the final blow to an infrastructure already ravaged by burning and looting, leaving survivors cut off and on their own. It is here amid the death and destruction that Eric begins his search for those he left behind, and here that his warrior skills will be tested as never before.

What if you forgot to add a change of clothes? Or you find out that the recommended pocket-knife actually sucks? Testing your kit gives you an opportunity to find what you’ve missed and make tweaks that will improve its usefulness. If you packed for an infant but now have a toddler, your needs are going to change. Also, take this chance to check battery life, switch out expired food items, and update your 72-hour kit, as needed.
Professional security contractor, Eric Branson, has been plying his trade overseas, fighting the ongoing insurgencies raging across Europe, when he realizes America faces the same fate. Before he can make his way home to south Florida, a powerful hurricane deals the final blow to an infrastructure already ravaged by burning and looting, leaving survivors cut off and on their own. It is here amid the death and destruction that Eric begins his search for those he left behind, and here that his warrior skills will be tested as never before.
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.
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