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.
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. 
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.

Remember that this pack should be prepared and stored somewhere easily accessible and rodent proof. It is also a good idea to review the contents of your pack every 6 months to ensure you have appropriate clothes packed for the season and that your gear and rations are in order. This will help you feel confident that your Bug Out Bag is ready to go at a moment’s notice!


Water for washing, drinking and cooking. Canada recommends 2 litres (0.53 US gal) per person per day for drinking and an additional 2 litres (0.53 US gal) per person per day for cleaning and hygiene if possible.[18] New Zealand recommends 3 litres (0.79 US gal) per person per day for drinking.[19] The US recommends 1 US gallon (3.8 L) per person per day.[20]
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.

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).


It is an extremely important list in my opinion but dances between the motive. Sometimes it’s hiking, sometimes it’s nuclear bombing and sometimes a fugitive (I even felt Zombie Apocalypse). I think you should set specific scenarios and then try creating a list. For example, a person leaving his home to find a job in a new city or a person who is on a constant move. So you can think about what exactly matters and what does not. We are easily confused homo sapiens, we don’t need a big list of items that may come to our use, we need a list of items we may have forgotten but are very important to us. So, having a scenario-specific list is better. But I do like the list, it made me add a few more items to my almost perfect list.
Consider your family’s situation. How many people are in your family? Does anyone in your family need special consideration? Allergies? Medicine? Do you have an infant? All of these things will determine what you want to pack in your 72-hour survival kit. Keep in mind that your pack should be as minimal as possible—the more you pack, the heavier your 72-hour kit will be.
Have an extra set of clothes good for whatever season you’re in, plus extra socks. Keep a good, sturdy pair of shoes handy in case you have to walk. You’ll want to have dry clothes available if you get wet, be able to layer on more if it is cold, and change into something clean if you get hot and sweaty or dirty. If you’re wet, having something dry to change into will be a useful thing.
One thing that the article doesn’t reference is “How many people will there be in your Bug Out party?” The point being, that although there are some items that need to be in everyones B.O.B, there are others that don’t require duplication. Figuring out which items can be used by all the members of your party can reduce duplicating these items in each bag. For example, does everyone in your party need to carry a 1 quart backpacking pot, or will 1 or 2 suffice for your whole group? Those types of items can then be parceled out to the members of the group, and cut the weight down.
The bag can be loaded and then cinched down with compression straps to keep your gear from shifting. The bag has 11 different exterior pouches allowing for good organization. The bag comes loaded with PALS webbing which allows any MOLLE webbing accessory to be added. The price point is good since the quality is high and the pack is so large.  The carrying capacity of the bag is 173 liters and comes with a Lifetime Warranty.
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others - especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life. Read more...
This was a great article but I have to say that as far as fire arms go I wouldn’t suggest a .22LR. Yes the ammunition is light and yes you can carry more but in a self defense situaton a .22 isn’t an ideal round. I would suggest if it’s a rifle your looking for go with a .556 NATO or .223 because they are still light weight rounds and they would be more beneficial they are great for defense and hunting larger game. As far as hand guns go a revolver is reliable but the rounds are heavy and most of them are quite bulky a 9mm Luger would be your best bet because they are reliable and the ammunition is one of the common and available round there is so even if you run out obtaining them won’t be that difficult. Plus most full size double stack mags carry around 10-17 rounds which means more rounds before you have to reload.
Great read & outstanding list of items. Extremely helpful & very much appreciated. While I’ve found over the decades that there are usually several ways to accomplish most things, focusing on the core items/goal while adapting to the situations & environment an individual(s) find themselves in is crucial. You can have everything known to man & still have limited skills/experience leaving you vulnerable. You can have all the skills but arrogance & overconfidence can do you in. Applicable intelligence, balance in actions/approach to problem solving on the fly & practice with skills/preps can make the difference in most cases. So one has a 35 year supply of beans and rice, great to have no doubt, but who wouldn’t trade some of it for a coke and some M&Ms for normalcy occasionally? That may be just enough encouragement to get the companions/family through to safety. Again, it’s all a wag for the most part…do what preps you can, develop usable skills…plan, persevere & prevail. Fantastic prep checklist & ideas…thanks! Proverbs 27-17…As iron sharpens iron, so on man sharpens another!
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