Bug Out Bag Essentials


Here is a list of some basic survival items that you will want to have in your 72 hour bug out bag:

  •  A Bug Out Plan– Know what you’re going to do and how you will do it.
  • Water and/or water purification ability – The best way to purify water is to boil it. There are also cheap chemical methods such as iodine, chlorine, etc, but make sure you use them properly.
  • Food – You want something that will not spoil such as MREs, dehydrated meals, canned goods, smoked meats, etc.
  • Shelter – You need something to keep you safe from the elements. Whether you have a tent and sleeping bag or a poncho and blanket is up to you.
  • Fire making means – The obvious is a simple Bic lighter. Make sure to have backups such as waterproof matches and/or a flint and steel striker. It is also a good idea to carry tinder such as dryer lint or cotton balls in a water tight container.
  • First aid kit – This also includes any personal medications you might be taking. You can buy a pre-made first aid kit, or a cheaper option is to buy the individual items at your local dollar store.
  • Security/Self-defense items – This is up to your personal taste. You can have knives, hatchets, machetes, pepper spray, rifles, handguns, shotguns, etc. A reliable, light weight, and relatively inexpensive weapon is a .22 caliber handgun.
  • Extra clothing – Make sure to pack for the climate that you are located in and change out your clothing with the seasons. Always keep plenty of socks and an extra pair of boots/shoes.
  • Miscellaneous items – Duct tape, 550 cord, multi-tool, whistle, playing cards, hand sanitizer, compass, fishing line/tackle, etc.

Remember, the more uses one item has, the more valuable it becomes because you will have to pack less items. For example, a poncho will not only keep the rain off of you, but it can be used as a shelter or catching rain water. Hand sanitizer will obviously keep your hands clean preventing infections, but can also be used as a fire starter because of its high alcohol content.

Think outside the box and be creative when choosing your survival items to pack in your bug out bag.

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photo credit: Robert Scales via photopin cc

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