But how do you pack effectively and what exactly should you be packing? In this 72-hour kit checklist, we explore questions you should consider prior to packing and break down your pack into things you need, things you’ll want, and what’s nice to have in an emergency situation. You can also take a look at premade 72-hour kits you can buy here and then consider what you want to add to them.
Disclaimer: This website and the material covered is for informational purposes only. We take no responsibility for what you do with this knowledge. By taking and/or using any informational resources from this website you agree that you will use this information in a safe and legal manner, consistent with all applicable laws, safety rules, and good common sense. Full disclaimers here.
As important as the size of the pack you choose is the comfort of the pack. Many of the packs that we reviewed have compression straps, extra padding, and other features to ensure that your body is healthy and able to carry what you need. In general, comfort is largely a balance between enough padding and a lighter weight so that the bag doesn’t hinder your ability to move efficiently. When you’re considering the comfort of a given bug out bag, you’ll also want to pay extra attention to how the pack’s hip belt is constructed.
Tent: In many emergency situations, shelter may be hard to find. While packing a traditional tent may not be a viable option, a good bug out bag should always include a waterproof survival tent. The best survival tents are made of Mylar, which can retain heat and repel water. Pro-tip: Be sure to stack leaves, grass or anything else from around the campsite against the tent for added protection from the elements.
*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.
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:
Tip: Like with eating new weird food that you got from the internet, don’t assume you’ll know how to make a shelter with your tarp and rope. Take a night to camp in the backyard and use these supplies to build your shelters so that you’ll have a basic understanding of what you need to do. Trying to set up for the first time in a harsh weather event will make things even worse.
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.
There’s no denying the that first aid kit, paracord, emergency tent, waterproof poncho, compass, tactical gloves, candles and more will all come in handy should you find yourself forced to flee with no shelter in sight. The tomahawk will also save you the need to try and harvest wood for a fire using a survival knife and the machete, beyond its obvious self-defense cred, may come in handy if you decide to hack some underbrush to make a cover for your shelter. Where this bug out bag drops the ball a bit is in having virtually no purified water (although to be fair it does include a water filter) and only a single package of emergency rations. Nonetheless if you find yourself wandering the wild due to natural disaster this bug out bag when augmented with food and water, will stand you in good stead.

Yes, this is something that often goes overlooked. I wouldn’t COUNT on everyone being there for a bug out situation, as by nature you never know where everyone might be at the moment and if they will all be there with you, but spreading the weight across several people can make a huge difference. Suddenly an unfathomable 50 pound carry load becomes more than reasonable with a family of 5.


Some additional items that you should look for in a quality bug out bag include a hydration tube and bladder compatibility (although you’ll usually have to buy these separately), hip belt pockets (where you can store items you want quick access to), and at least one large compartment (where you can fit bulkier items like a tarp, sleeping bag, or large clothing).

Recent Examples on the Web Among the tech zillionaire classes, a place to bug out in the event of an economic collapse, environmental disaster or violent uprising became the thing to have. — Alex Williams, New York Times, "Why Don’t Rich People Just Stop Working?," 18 Oct. 2019 Amazon says the intervening year has given it time to shake the bugs out of the new facility, which now employs 2,000 – a third more than the company initially forecast. — Mike Rogoway, oregonlive.com, "Amazon warehouse in Troutdale: logistical marvels and persistent worker complaints," 6 Aug. 2019 This was three years after the Raiders had bugged out for Los Angeles. — Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "Raiders opponents singing no sad songs about soon-to-be-vacated Coliseum," 12 Sep. 2019 Keep glass and bugs out Shards of broken glass can pierce your vacuum bag, Morris says, causing it to leak and send dirt into the motor. — Washington Post, "Clean up your act: Five ways to get your vacuum to work better and last longer," 11 Sep. 2019 For those who may get bugged out and need a break, 8 miles of scenic trails await hikers. — Greg Burnett, cleveland.com, "Lake Metroparks Penitentiary Glen Reservation goes buggy," 6 Sep. 2019 Jeanelle Cornelius still remembers her son Brandon as an easygoing 25-year-old who’d play video games with his buddies and catch and release a bug out of the house instead of kill it. — René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "T-shirts honoring dead youths part of puro San Antonio culture," 21 Aug. 2019 As those plants dry out, the grasshoppers bug out in search of food. — John D'anna, azcentral, "Massive waves of grasshoppers are swarming Las Vegas. Could Arizona be their next target?," 30 July 2019 Those big-as-hubcap pupils bugging out from Mike Singletary’s face, the Hall of Famer’s intensity unmistakable. — Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "Bears defense still buzzing after weekend spent rubbing elbows with legends," 11 June 2019

When creating your plan, make sure that it can be used for the many different worst-case scenarios that can happen. Take a look at the different types of disasters that are likely to happen in your area and make sure you have a deep multi-scenario plan for each.Some people fall into the trap where they think that they are prepared, but it's been so long since they have checked in on that plan that they really don't remember it, or circumstances have changed that make it important to change your plan. For instance, you may have some food stored up, but have you checked the expiration dates lately?
Denier is the term that is most often used to suggest the strength of the threads in the fabric used to create the pack. And when it comes to the quality of the seams, look for a pack that advertises double-stitched seams if you want a pack that will last longer and holds up against the environmental factors it could be exposed to in the event of an emergency. Ultimately, your pack is an investment in your survival and the contents of the BOB don’t do any good if your pack fails and you can’t carry everything.
The most popular option is the backpack. For adults, it should be of good quality and an ergonomic pack. It’s not so important for children because they will not be carrying their full packs. Look at a military surplus store or at a sporting goods store for a hiking pack. This will help prevent back injuries and increased durability. If your child can carry a backpack with most of what they need in it, this is the best option.
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.
Non-perishable food. Don’t just get non-perishable food; look for “non-cook” items for your survival pack, as well. You don’t want to have to rely on a stove, fire, or any other cooking mechanism in an emergency situation. If you don’t have to cook, you don’t need cooking supplies, which means you can save space—and more importantly, weight—in your pack.
They contain food rations and water as well as first aid gear and much more.  Making the decision to leave your home should be the last resort in an emergency. But if you have to, you’ll want one of these bags. We recommend having bug out rations and even buying extra ration packs and I’ve listed a great deal at the end of this report for food rations.
People with guns tend to be lowest form of animal life on the earth, that have no mercy for babies or innocent adults. One person I used to know became a hero by helping kill 100,000 civilians fleeing an invasion of a city. The good thing is his house caught fire and he was heard by neighbours screaming while being roasted alive for his sins; he did not have to go to hell first.
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.
Some additional items that you should look for in a quality bug out bag include a hydration tube and bladder compatibility (although you’ll usually have to buy these separately), hip belt pockets (where you can store items you want quick access to), and at least one large compartment (where you can fit bulkier items like a tarp, sleeping bag, or large clothing).
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.
Tent: In many emergency situations, shelter may be hard to find. While packing a traditional tent may not be a viable option, a good bug out bag should always include a waterproof survival tent. The best survival tents are made of Mylar, which can retain heat and repel water. Pro-tip: Be sure to stack leaves, grass or anything else from around the campsite against the tent for added protection from the elements.

You use of this website constitutes and manifests your acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy, and awareness of the California Privacy Rights. Pursuant to U.S. Copyright law, as well as other applicable federal and state laws, the content on this website may not be reproduced, distributed, displayed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, without the prior, express, and written permission of Athlon Outdoors.
Customize this list to what you need for the particulars of your family. There are many other things that you can add to the list that you may find helpful depending on the vehicle you may be able to evacuate in or the modes of transportation you may use, where your planned final stop might be, or whether you have extra bodies to help carry. Use this as a starting point for what you need to do for the basics and expand it as your family needs and as circumstances dictate.
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.

The bottom line is: unfortunate things happen all the time and you are the first and best defense for helping yourself and your family. "Do not put off the improbable for the unthinkable... If there is a one in a million chance of something happening to you then it is happening to 300 people in this country right now:' Richard Gist, Kansas City Fire Department For getting disaster-ready: First, you need an emergency preparedness plan. Here's an easy Emergency Evacuation Plan template you can use—just fill in your information and you're ready to go! After your plan is in place, you'll need:
I you live an an area that gets cold, use a real back pack and not a bag so that you can carry a real sleeping bag and tent or tarp/mylar. Good luck out in freezing weather with a tube tent or space blanket! I have camped many nights in the snow and I have mostly done it with just a 9×9 mylar , tarp, and backpacking matris and sleeping bag. I think it would not be good at all with just a tube tent/space blanket that is on a lot of BOB lists.
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.
It’s an impressive lineup – did we mention the 2 person tents? – that, like many of its competing bug out bags, is light on food. Although there’s plenty of room in the heavy duty nylon backpack for all the food you’ll need to survive several days in the wild. The company advertises their bag as being ‘discreet’, which is their way of saying others won’t recognize that it’s full of high quality survival gear and try to steal it from you. That may very well be but if Hurricane Harvey is bearing down on your location you have bigger things to worry about. The 2 person tent we mentioned is minimalist in nature but will provide welcome shelter if you can find a dry place to set it up and the waterproof backpack cover that comes with the bug out kit is a major plus this bug out bag has over some of the competition. The Stealth Tactical bug out bag costs a little more but it’s ready for whatever comes.
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.
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).
People with guns tend to be lowest form of animal life on the earth, that have no mercy for babies or innocent adults. One person I used to know became a hero by helping kill 100,000 civilians fleeing an invasion of a city. The good thing is his house caught fire and he was heard by neighbours screaming while being roasted alive for his sins; he did not have to go to hell first.
Dig up or purchase the items on your list. You will be surprised how much is already have around the house. In addition to the basic list, at least one family member should have a big First Aid Kit (see First Aid Kit Ideas on Amazon), and everyone else should have a small kit – even if you make a simple one from the dollar store. Plus you’ll need some basic sanitation items like toilet paper.
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!
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.
Best: The most important part of making your 72-hour kits is not that you (the parent) hurry and put them together. It is very important for your children and spouse to help with this process. Include them in purchasing items, planning food, and packing their kits. Complete as much as you can and schedule out the rest along with making a “due date” and family reward for when they’re finished.

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.
They contain food rations and water as well as first aid gear and much more.  Making the decision to leave your home should be the last resort in an emergency. But if you have to, you’ll want one of these bags. We recommend having bug out rations and even buying extra ration packs and I’ve listed a great deal at the end of this report for food rations.
If your bag is so heavy that you can’t carry it more than a few miles, you’ll have to ditch some of the items, anyway. And what’s going to happen if you have to run from attackers, jump walls, and climb fences? Having a bag that’s too heavy could get you killed. Ideally, a bug out bag should weigh about 15% of your body weight, assuming you’re in decent shape. 20% of your body weight should be the absolute maximum.
The Ready America Deluxe Emergency Kit is a bug out bag with serious survival in mind. As such it’s heavy on practical, tactical gear such as dust masks, duct tape, a multi tool, rain ponchos, protective goggles, a well-equipped first aid kit and maybe most impressive of all, a 4 function emergency power station that requires no batteries or power cord and acts as a flashlight, radio, emergency siren and cell phone charger. Just crank it for 1 minute to get 30 minutes of power for the various functions. Clever and essential survival kit.

The biggest misconception about bug out bags is the idea that the contents in and of themselves will be enough to keep you alive. The truth is that the contents of your bug out bag are only as good as the individual using them. If you don’t know how to make the most of the contents of your bug out bag or ration them appropriately, they won’t help you survive any more than a firearm without any ammunition. You should always take the time to familiarize yourself with the contents of your bug out bag and feel comfortable using everything so that you’re best prepared when TEOTWAWKI does occur.


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.
×