The term "bug-out bag" is related to, and possibly derived from, the "bail-out bag" emergency kit many military aviators carry. In the United States, the term refers to the Korean War practice of the U.S. Army designating alternative defensive positions, in the event that the units had to retreat. They were directed to "bug out" when being overrun was imminent. The term has since been adopted by military training institutions around the world, with Standard Operating Procedures involving a bug out location, a method of withdrawal, and the bare supplies needed to withdraw quickly but still survive in the field. The concept passed into wide usage among other military and law enforcement personnel, though the "bail-out bag" is as likely to include emergency gear for going into an emergency situation as for escaping an emergency.
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.
Tent. It’s important to know that a two-man tent probably won’t fit two people and their packs, especially if you want to be comfortable. You’ll probably only need one tent for the entire family, but you need to plan for its size accordingly. If you have four people in your family, we suggest going with a 6–8 person tent so you’ll have room for everyone and their packs. Also, make sure to store your packs inside the tent at all times. You don’t want bugs or other animals getting into them.
Knife. Many people will pack a Leatherman tool and call it good, but we suggest having multiple cutting tools in case one is misplaced or doesn’t work for the job. Having a knife with a large, fixed, non-foldable blade, may come in handy if you find yourself needing to cut through large items or cut for a long time. Check Amazon prices on the MTech MT-086.
Picture this: A local emergency of some sort has emergency personnel knocking on your door telling you that you have 5 minutes to evacuate your house (fire, gas leak, railroad collision, earthquake). What will you grab in those 5 minutes? Hopefully, you’ll get your children and your 72-hour kit (and then whatever else you think you have time to grab and can carry).
A small size generic spray bottle (or two) with a good spray head (that does not leak) and fits on standard size plastic bottle threads can also be handy to direct fluids exactly where you want and reduce usage. Flushing wounds with water or alcohol, squirting metho through a small flame to put fire on something or someone, cleaning stuff you dropped (phone, torch, glasses), flushing eyes, mouth and teeth, ears, nose and other tricky holes, tracking the ration of your water supply one squirt at a time or just misting some water on your face to cool off … if you can spare it 😉
2 black backpacks. 5 ziplock bags. Waterproof document holder. 4 Reflective sleeping bags. 4 adult ponchos. 2 x two person tents. 4 Hand warmers. 4 3600 calorie bars. 24 4.2 oz. water pouches. 5 x 1 Litre water purification powder. Folding water container (1 litre). Water purification instructions. Dynamo AM/FM radio/phone charger/flashlight. 4 Light-sticks. 61 piece First Aid kit.
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.
What I will do is recommend that you build your own First Aid Kit instead of buying one of those prepackaged first aid kits that claim to have 1001 things to get you through any emergency. While some are ok, in my experience these types of kits are usually filled with a lot of stuff you are unlikely to need and not enough of the things you will probably need a lot of.
When calamity strikes you’ll still need to eat and if there are no shelters in the vicinity stocked with emergency supplies what are you supposed to do? The answer is the Food Insurance bug out bag that provides you with copious amounts of prepared food sealed in vacuum pouches and ready to be eaten. Every Food Insurance meal has a shelf life of more than a decade and requires only a bit of water to prepare. Everything from lasagna to omelets to rice and beans are here along with the stove to cook them. Add some of your own survival gear like a tactical flashlight, survival knife, emergency blankets and water filter and you’re ready for whatever comes down the pike.
Below is a list of necessary items to include in your 72-hour kit in the event of an emergency situation. Be sure to store them in an easily accessible spot (we keep ours in the car along with our emergency car kit). The preparedness mindset is “one is none” (meaning you have no backup) and “two is one” (meaning once you use your extra, you only have that one left). The idea behind this kit is that you have what you need to get through a short-term crisis before you can return home or until you can find shelter and/or help. You don’t need to take your kitchen sink, but where you can, have a backup or a plan if something fails or gets lost.
There are many choices of packs out there that would make a good Bug Out Bag. In the end, the important thing to keep in mind is your personal preference. Bigger doesn’t always mean better when it comes to selecting the right bug out bag. Remember that a Bug Out Bag is recommended to store 3 days worth of rations, water, and gear in a survival situation.
I think this list is good too for a person that would not be able to get home but would need to wait where they are until a family member could get to them. For instance I know someone who would have to go thru the middle of a city to get home and I know she would get lost trying to go around the town. Someone would need to go get her at her work place.
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.