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Bug Out Bag Guidelines – The Prepper Journal

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Final Up to date on March 6, 2021

If you end up assembling your Bug Out bag, most individuals start by scouring the web in search of concepts. If you’re like me, this may invariably result in a protracted checklist of provides in your bug out bag that sounds nice, however weighs a ton and have very particular makes use of that you could be not encounter.

What I wished to do was create a easy bug out bag guidelines you need to use to get a jump-start at constructing your individual bug out bag that has considered a couple of of the teachings I already discovered after I did this myself. This bug out bag guidelines can be accessible as a downloadable PDF so that you could print this out and maintain it with you as you construct your individual bag.

What’s a Bug Out Bag?

A bug out bag incorporates the necessities it’s good to stay if you’re compelled to go away your location. This bag could have every thing you want plus some extra provides, however cautious thought and consideration ought to be given to what you’re placing on this bag. Why? As a result of you’ll have to carry all of these items and the extra you add, the heavier it will get. I wrote a publish some time again about weight concerns referred to as “Is Your Bug Out Bag Going to Get you Killed?” and should you want extra convincing about weight, perhaps you must learn that article first. For the remainder of you I’ll assume that you simply need to fastidiously take into account the provides you want on this state of affairs. For folks such as you I’ve created this easy checklist of Bug Out bag contents, a downloadable PDF and somewhat rationalization for every.

The correctly loaded Bug Out Bag ought to provide you with every thing it’s good to stay for 3 days at a minimal so that’s the framework of this checklist. I gained’t be packing two weeks’ price of meals in right here and most of this checklist may be thought of the naked requirements by some.

What do it’s good to know earlier than you pack your bug out bag?

To begin with, I prefer to ask the query of why I’m bugging out within the first place. This helps me body the aim of use of my bug out bag somewhat, however not drastically. Like I stated above, the Bug Out Bag or BOB is for saving your life. It is not going to and shouldn’t be regarded as the magic field with all you’ll ever want. The checklist of provides we may put in right here is gigantic should you begin from the angle of pondering of every thing you would probably want in an SHTF state of affairs.

I imagine that the gadgets beneath ought to go in just about each bug out bag that’s assembled whatever the purpose you’re Bugging Out within the first place. Will you pack completely different gadgets if the economic system has collapsed versus a Hurricane? Most likely, however the important Bug out bag gadgets will keep the identical; you’ll simply add to what we’ve contained right here.

Before you leave the house make sure you have thought about all the items on our bug out bag checklist
Earlier than you allow the home ensure you have considered all of the gadgets on our bug out bag guidelines

What gadgets ought to be in your bug out bag guidelines?

Water is important to anybody’s survival so you have to have a plan for carrying it, acquiring recent water alongside the way in which and treating it so that you could drink it with out catching a illness that may knock you in your butt on the worst doable time. If you happen to don’t imagine me, simply take into consideration the final time you have been away from house and you bought sick.

Water Bottle – I like Nalgene bottles as a result of they carry rather a lot, however are very light-weight when empty and the opening suits at the least one of many water filters I like to recommend, the MSR Miniworks EX Microfilter. You possibly can’t boil water in a Nalgene Bottle although so that you want choices for that which we talk about within the Instruments part.

Water Filter – There are two survival water filters that I like. The primary is the MSR Miniworks Microfilter that I discussed above. The second filter that’s nice in your bug out bag is the Sawyer Merchandise Mini Water Filtration System. Each will do a wonderful job of changing water that you simply gather into drinkable water. What about UV pens or Water remedy tablets or chlorine? I don’t just like the style of remedy tablets or chlorine and I don’t need to depend upon something that wants batteries for my ingesting water. Do you run the identical dangers with mechanical techniques? Certain, however I’m betting the filters above will final me lengthy sufficient to maintain me alive for a couple of days.

Further Capability – I just like the common Nalgene bottles, however to avoid wasting journeys to the creek, I additionally pack a backup water container within the Nalgene Broad Mouth Cantene (32-ounce). This enables me to replenish two bottles and that usually lasts me all day until I’m in excessive warmth environments. This Nalgene canteen collapses all the way down to just about nothing so area or weight when it’s empty isn’t a problem.

5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Military Backpack

5.11 Tactical RUSH24 Army Backpack

Fairly merely the most effective tactical navy backpack available on the market. This Rucksack bug out bag incorporates a roomy important storage space, twin zipping facet pockets and a stuff-it pocket with built-in draw twine and glove pleasant pull tabs


OK, water is roofed, for essentially the most half, now we transfer to the subsequent most essential survival merchandise and that’s meals. This matter is easy, however everybody has their very own concept of what surviving is. I’ve seen some folks suggest cans of tuna, pop tarts, and ramen noodles in your bug out bag. This may definitely work. You may as well add dehydrated meals designed for tenting too. I’m specializing in two issues in the case of meals in your bug out bag. The primary is how lengthy you may retailer it and the second is how easy is it to organize/vs. dietary worth.

Tuna fish and Pop-Tarts are easy and don’t require any heating so they’re a plus, however I don’t need tuna in a scorching automobile all summer time. I additionally don’t need to have to fret if they’ve gone dangerous however I feel the largest factor is that if you’re working in your life with every thing it’s good to survive strapped to your again you will want some critical energy.

For my bug out bag, I like two choices relying on the place I’ve my bag saved. For hotter circumstances like within the trunk of my automobile, I like Mainstay Emergency Meals Rations. These actually are emergency meals bars and withstands Temperatures of -40° F to 300°F (-40°C to 149°C). It isn’t connoisseur eating, however it should take the extremes of summer time (until you reside on Mars) and provide you with a ton of energy.

The second (and most popular) possibility if I’ve my selection can be Mountain Home Freeze Dried meals designed for tenting. I get the pouches that feed two simply in case and seize the very best calorie packs you will get. The Breakfast Skillet is superb and at 680 energy will fill you up and provide you with much-needed vitality for mountaineering with that pack. I feel the Chilli Mac is even larger and likewise tastes nice. You don’t want something for these however a spoon and scorching water. Simply fill the bag up with the really helpful quantity, let it sit, and dig in. You possibly can pack 9 of those in your pack or 6 and people pop tarts.

Clothes & Shelter

Meals and water, examine. OK, the final leg of the survival pyramid is shelter and on this, we are going to rely clothes in addition to one thing to maintain the weather off you.

Garments – That is easy, or it ought to be. You need a good pair of lengthy pants, lengthy sleeve shirt, a change of underwear, and a spare pair of socks. What whether it is scorching? Shorts are good, however not mandatory since you are already residing with out the comfort of air con most definitely so you’ll already be sweating. Why lengthy pants? As a result of they’ll present extra safety in your legs. Similar with the shirt and within the heat climate, you don’t must get a sunburn.  What whether it is chilly? You can be carrying hotter garments anyway so this could already be in your particular person and never in a pack. Layers are one of the simplest ways to go about clothes however bear in mind, that is simply to avoid wasting your life. You don’t have to be fairly and also you gained’t die if it’s a must to put on the identical pants for 2 days in a row. It’s the identical with the underwear.

I’d additionally add some rain safety in both a raincoat or poncho.

I wouldn’t depart the home with out sturdy footwear I can stroll for a very long time in and you must pack acceptable headgear for the season too. Within the winter I like a beanie to maintain my head heat, however once more I’ll most definitely be carrying this and gained’t have it within the pack. Gloves are additionally a pleasant addition and I’ve one thing that may maintain my arms heat within the winter, however one thing designed for work regardless.  A very good pair of leather-based gloves ought to be added as nicely to guard your arms.

Shelter – That is simply to maintain the weather off you and gained’t substitute a heat and toasty home. The shelter can go from the extremes of a tent to the straightforward tarp. Not {that a} tent is excessive, however tents add a very good little bit of weight, take time to arrange and tear down, and are actually noticeable from a distance usually. For tenting, I take a tent, however for Bugging out I’d take into account a tarp-like the ENO Professional Fly Rain Tarp as a substitute of a full tent. Tarps are a lot lighter and provide you with safety from the weather very like a tent. You gained’t be capable of maintain out bugs although – once more, that is about life-saving, not the final word in consolation.

Sleeping luggage are one other weight consideration that takes up a very good little bit of area. My tent and sleeping bag are simply the heaviest and largest gadgets in my common backpack for tenting. You should purchase very light-weight and compact sleeping luggage, however anticipate to pay at the least $400 to avoid wasting the load and room in your pack for all the opposite goodies you want. Within the theme of survival once more, I’d suggest an Journey Medical Kits SOL Emergency Bivvy as a substitute of a sleeping bag. These are cheaper than an everyday bag at round $15, match within the palm of your hand, and solely weigh 4 ounces.

Hearth & Gentle

For hearth, you will get difficult or maintain it protected. For me, I like to recommend a number of good Bic disposable lighters saved in a water-proof bag. Straightforward and just about foolproof. Moreover, I carry a Swedish Firesteel as a backup. You may as well pack all kinds of different implements however likelihood is that should you can’t begin a fireplace with a lighter or a firesteel you gained’t be capable of begin a fireplace anyway.

GearLight LED Headlamp Flashlight S500 2 Pack

GearLight LED Headlamp Flashlight S500 2 Pack

Weighing only one.8 oz (3 oz with batteries), it’s the perfect headlamp equipment for runners and out of doors adventurers. The detachable, washable, and adjustable headband comfortably suits grownup and kids alike.

For lighting, I like to recommend headlamps for everybody. This can be a good hands-free choice to mild your means that’s nice even for teenagers. I personally have Petzl E91 Tikkina 2 Headlamps for each member of my household. They’re vivid sufficient for any job, sit in your head, and are adjustable. Plus, they take common AAA batteries and never some bizarre off nomenclature or rechargeable batteries that among the higher-end headlamps do. Rechargeable is a good concept so long as it’s in a typical measurement that has a number of makes use of.

Self Protection

The gadgets above ought to be capable of maintain you alive if you’re out within the components by your self. If you’re out within the components with different folks, you must take into account one thing for self-defense. The selection of implements for cover fluctuate by the state of affairs you’re in and what you would be confronted with. I’ve weapons so that’s my go-to possibility for self-defense. If the rationale I used to be bugging out was whole bedlam, anarchy I’d take a rifle and a pistol. If this was a short lived bug out on account of a climate occasion or one thing that I believed was momentary I would solely take a hid pistol. No matter what the state of affairs is, you have to one thing in your self-defense. I’ll depart the selection as much as you.


The communications choices are restricted to the state of affairs you’re in. If we’ve a minor occasion the place you may fairly anticipate life to return to regular someday, a spare cellphone battery may be all you want or a option to cost the telephone you’ve got. If cell service is down your solely actual possibility can be walkie-talkies which have a really restricted vary or HAM radios. I like to recommend carrying a hand-held HAM radio able to broadcasting and receiving on UHF and VHF and a dual-band antenna that can provide you extra vary.

For the radio, I like to recommend the Baofeng UV-5RA as a result of they’re solidly constructed, provide any function you may fairly want for grid down communications and solely price round $35. You simply can’t beat that! Pair this radio up with a Slim Jim antenna and 50 ft of coax cable and lastly an adapter connector and you’ll simply speak or hearken to anybody broadcasting 50 to 100 miles relying on the place you’re. Simply loop some paracord across the antenna, throw that up right into a tree and you’re all set. You must learn to use this gear, however it’s in my view the only greatest Bug Out Bag possibility for speaking if the grid goes down.


The instruments I take into account bringing considering weight is a multi-tool like a Leatherman, a very good pocket knife like a Tenacious G10 from Spyderco, and a bigger multi-purpose knife like a Gerber LMF II. What about bolt cutters, pry bars, and chain saws? I don’t suppose these are good for a bug out bag. Ought to you’ve got them at house? Certain, however the possibilities you have to one thing like which might be slim. What if the SHTF you ask and I’ve to interrupt right into a warehouse for shelter? I hear you, however I merely don’t suppose it’s definitely worth the weight.

Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife

Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife

Discipline examined with American troops, this 10 inch survival knife was engineered in partnership with our nation’s bravest

The Multi-tool will meet most of your wants for positive instruments with pliers, a small noticed and a wrench. If you happen to plan on rebuilding an engine with it although…

Different instruments are one thing to cook dinner/boil water with a very good first assist equipment and a few paracord.

For boiling-water and cooking I like to recommend a JetBoil Flash. The entire equipment and gas match properly in a single small, comparatively light-weight container. With this, you may boil water in your freeze-dried meals or disinfect it. It’s additionally actually good for espresso too.

Journey Medical Kits make a extremely first rate ultralight first assist equipment. This gained’t mean you can carry out surgical procedure within the woods or take away a bullet however cowl many of the bases. I’d increase one among these per bag with a bag of Fast Clot and a few bigger stress dressing bandages. Tampons and Maxi pads are additionally nice blood stoppers… clearly.


I do know some folks throw the complete medication cupboard of their bug-out luggage, however once more I’m solely eager about survival not going to the promenade so the fundamentals – a bar of cleaning soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, chap-stick, floss, hand sanitizer. What about ladies? I’ve added a few additional niceties to my spouse’s BOB solely as a result of I do know that may enhance her outlook ought to we be compelled to bug out. Your mileage might fluctuate.


For miscellaneous, I’d add some duct tape which you’ll be able to wrap round your water bottles, lighters, or absolutely anything else, bandannas which have a thousand makes use of, and spare batteries for any gear that requires them. What about essential paperwork? I’m nonetheless on the fence about that however I plan on writing about that later. I simply don’t see an Ellis Island kind of state of affairs occurring the place it’s good to present your beginning certificates, however something is feasible. I can see having an ID together with your present handle to show the place you reside.

I do know a few of you’ll ask, what in regards to the bag? Nice query, however the bag goes to depend upon what you carry. I’d collect your bag’s contents first after which choose the bag primarily based upon what you propose on carrying.

I hope this checklist offers you numerous to consider however extra importantly an awesome begin on constructing your very personal bug out bag. If you happen to see something I forgot, please let me know within the feedback beneath. The PDF of this checklist might be downloaded right here or on our Assets web page.

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