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.


If you have small children and the elderly with you, you might need 2 or 3 changes for accidents and diaper changes. Be sure also to include any extra diapers and diapering equipment you might need. Small children might revert to pre-potty trained days because they might be scared or you can’t make quick potty stops as often as they need them. It might be time to think about a portable potty, too, because restrooms might not be readily available.


Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and strong enough to remove 99.999% of waterborne parasites and bacteria, including E. Coli and Salmonella, the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter works for everything from camping to traveling. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter not only removes waterborne parasites and bacteria, but it also removes microplastics (down to 1 micron) and turbidity (down to 0.2 microns). LifeStraw is put through rigorous testing, with one Personal Water Filter durable enough to provide 1,000 gallons of clean drinking water. Pros: The filter acts as a giant straw, with users able to drink directly from natural water resources like lakes and rivers. We also like that for every LifeStraw product sold, a school child receives clean drinking water for one year. Cons: Because the LifeStraw is a personal water filter, it’s not ideal for using to gather large quantities of water for a group. Some customers noted that the LifeStraw does require quite a bit of suction, which can make users who are hiking at high altitudes dizzy. Image courtesy of Amazon  
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.
There are 2 types of bug out bags; homemade and pre-made. While there are some folks content to make their own bug out bag there are also plenty who would prefer to simply pick up one that’s already been well thought out and prepared for them. In this review guide we’re going to take a look at the best of those pre-made bug out bags and discuss what makes each of them the best bug out bag worth having should the creek rise or a hurricane make landfall in your area.

One of the interesting findings from the survey was that the majority of Americans believe that a major catastrophe will occur within in the next 20 years. When asked how prepared they feel compared to their neighbors, half (53%) said they were “about as prepared” as those around them. Nearly ¼ (23%) said they were “more prepared” and another ¼ (24%) said they were “less prepared” than the rest of the country.
Some will think the omission of foodstuffs from this bug out bag to be a bit odd but it’s not if you think about it. It might be years before you have to use the bag so it makes sense that you’ll want to procure your own emergency rations and review their condition a couple of times a year, replacing anything that might look dodgy. That said this bug out bag does emergency kit right with the aforementioned items as well as a dozen pouches of purified water, rain ponchos, quality toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving razor, comb, emergency whistle, emergency blankets, survival handbook, duct tape (!), paracord and more. There’s also the obligatory deck of cards for when you finally settle into the emergency shelter. Toss in some dry clothes for everyone involved, charger cords for your smartphone in case you run into a power source and a good book or two and you’ll be ready to wait out events in good shape.
Look for a pack that has multiple compartments, with pockets and organizers built in to help keep track of the small items, and try to pack your BOB strategically with items grouped that you’ll use together. Remember to pack clothes and bulky items on the bottom and heavier items at the top for better weight distribution and to ease the strain on your body.  
Build Quality – The last thing you want is to be trudging through the windswept landscape trying to escape the oncoming storm surge and have your pack split open and spill your survival gear all over the place. The bug out bag should be made of durable, water resistant nylon and have high quality zippers (waterproof if possible) and double stitching all around. The shoulder straps should be firmly affixed to the bag and be well padded to help absorb the load you’re carrying. And if there’s a waist strap it too should be well-padded and preferably adjustable to accommodate people of different heights.
One thing about Eberlestock packs is that they are built with high quality and they are tough. The packs are expensive but you won’t need to buy another pack again. Made with top-notch materials in the United States. Users have given it fantastic reviews and we agree, this is a high quality pack that can be used to carry a small load or a huge load. The pack is very versatile which makes it an attractive choice for a bug out bag.
Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and strong enough to remove 99.999% of waterborne parasites and bacteria, including E. Coli and Salmonella, the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter works for everything from camping to traveling. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter not only removes waterborne parasites and bacteria, but it also removes microplastics (down to 1 micron) and turbidity (down to 0.2 microns). LifeStraw is put through rigorous testing, with one Personal Water Filter durable enough to provide 1,000 gallons of clean drinking water. Pros: The filter acts as a giant straw, with users able to drink directly from natural water resources like lakes and rivers. We also like that for every LifeStraw product sold, a school child receives clean drinking water for one year. Cons: Because the LifeStraw is a personal water filter, it’s not ideal for using to gather large quantities of water for a group. Some customers noted that the LifeStraw does require quite a bit of suction, which can make users who are hiking at high altitudes dizzy. Image courtesy of Amazon  
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I have to agree with Steve: I have a bug out bag ready in case the SHTF. That doesn’t mean that there’s going to be a lot of “safe places” to run to. If we get together with like minded people, we can make a long term plan. The only reason for a “three day bag” is if “they” are coming for you specifically and you can go to another sane location. I personally have packed a .22 revolver and 200 rds., carry a .38 Special and pack 100 rds., and shoulder a Saiga .223 carbine with 200 rds. of “penetrators”, FMJ, and some soft point if I need to take a little larger animal. And, another thing, if you pack “pills” in a baggie and happen to get stopped along the way, you can bet on a trip to the station!
We keep the plastic storage totes safe in our home, full of food and water, and rotate them out often. The backpacks serve as our Get Home Bags (the ones we travel with all the time) and are a portion of our 72-hour kit. We have a suitcase for family clothes and blankets. We keep a camping kit handy with two 2-person tents and some supplies in another tote not seen in this photo. You can easily transfer the items if needed, but they’re created for quick and easy storage, gathering, and use for us if we need to leave. We understand that if we had to trek for many miles, we wouldn’t be able to drag those plastic totes, but we’d do some quick rearranging and make things work better for the situation at hand. We also keep a first aid kit (the bottom-most tote) handy.
A good read and a very good list to ‘pick and chose’ from – I try to carry ‘multi-person items as much as possible – cuts down on the weight – as a ‘senior citizen’ the packs I carried years ago I can’t carry now so I have to make changes that match my physical ability – Also a good idea on up-dating – at least every three months or seasonal (which also changes pack size and contents) Lastly, don’t just put a bag together – take a weekend and use it occasionally – carry it distances in different terrain – make sure you have the physical stamina to bear the load – it’s useless if you can’t ‘take it with you’..
The Emergency Zone bug out bag is one of the best equipped you’ll find with everything from the expected like drinking water and flashlight to the unexpected like works, a tube tent, toilet paper and even a multi tool. What it’s light on is food but there’s plenty of room in the water resistant bag for 4 or 5 days of food or more. While the shoulder straps on the Emergency Zone backpack could use some more padding the rest of the pack is logistically sound with plenty of external pockets for the included gear plus your own compass, GPS device, tactical flashlight, maps and more.

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Good list! I have/use my daughter’s old diaper bag for compartmentalized carry. It is the bigger “gym bag” type with adjustable shoulder strap with multiple compartments. Best part is it comes ready for “messes” so each compartment is also waterproofed to keep liquids from going to other areas. Also, was made with carrying stuff around in mind so the strap has a big cushion that fits comfortably on my shoulder when using.
I’d love to know what all that crap weighs you really don’t need half of it… dump all the water purification crap and boil water. You don’t need a bowl because you have a canteen cup to heat over a fire. Forget the MRE’s it’s heavier than freeze dried. Bring one large solid tang knife you can hit and dump the rest you don’t need saws and hatchets. Bring a .22 some ammo. Dump all that electronic crap & batterys. Forget the carabiners you can’t carry all that crap anyway, face paint, walking sticks, you name it. Take only what you need, bring a bic and learn how to make a fire bow with some 550 cord

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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