It would be reckless of me to make my own personal suggestions and advice regarding bug out bags.
Instead, through research from expert sources (ex-military and survival experts), authoritative documents and notable sites (top BOB sites) dedicated to emergency preparedness or survivalism, my goal is to provide you with the most sensible and reliable information available.
With this in mind, I have compiled a general but useful bug out bag list to use as a primer or guide to get you started in your mission to buy a ready-made BOB or create your own personal but effective and efficient bag.
Different Bug Out Bag Types and Their Main Purpose
After reading over the material and listening to the experts, I realized how confusing the concept of different types of bug out bags could be.
I have therefore combined the many types of BOB’s mentioned from the various sources I have read and thus propose the following three types of BOBs for the reader to use and review simply and successfully; 1. Mini/Small Survival Kit-Bag or Everyday Carry (EDC) 2.Medium/Get Home Bag 3. Traditional 72 Hour or 3 Day BOB.
All three are essential to have but most importantly serve the same function, to provide the necessary items and equipment to aid the user in successfully overcoming a natural or man-made catastrophe that may occur without warning or at a moment’s notice.
Rationalizing the Bug Out Bag list Furthermore, I apply a slightly different prospective in my development of my BOB list.
In my review of experts, I have embraced the ideas of John D. McCann of Survival Resources, Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast and Colonel S. Paul Howard, USAF (retired) and life-long member of the United States Special Operations community.
These experts suggest the need to have various types and sizes of bugout bags/survival kits that will be more effective and efficient during crisis scenarios that are most likely occur.
In fact, they emphasize the need for your BOBs to be compact/modular in size and shape with survival items that have multiple use functions and whenever possible have a redundancy quality for more effectiveness and utility.
It is more likely that an event will occur during the normal routine of your day and not when you are conveniently at home with all your supplies near at hand.
Therefore, I present three classes of bugout bags/kits that could be used under different circumstances and situations (I will discuss the vehicle bug out bag and other related bug out bag information in future posts).
Please note that the categories I present in the following list are placed in order of importance according to John McCann, The Boy Scouts of America “Wilderness Survival Guide” book and “The United States Army Field Manual (FM 21-76).”1
Also note the items listed are general and basic examples of what you might include in your bag/kit.
Although one can purchase a readymade bag or make one from scratch, the experts agree that the eventual contents selected or added to your BOB should be personalized (ex. preferred foods. prescription medicines) to fit your specific needs and circumstance (ex. urban/rural, tropical/arid region, etc..).
The following BOB list was researched, compiled and tallied by me using the suggested items mentioned by the BOB experts in their article, book, internet post audio or video presentation.2
I provide the list of sources I used for this list below it. There is a “Key” at the end of the graphic that details the color bands used within the BOB list.
- The order of categories in the checklist (ex. Shelter/Clothing, Fire & Light, etc… ) comes from the order of importance recommended by McCann, Boy Scouts and Army book or manual.
- I compiled and tabulated the data from the top 10 sites as listed in Google and included the input from various other experts regarding bob items. A list of sources is conveniently provided at the end of this article.
BOB Citation and Sources
Mini/Small Survival Kit-Bag or Everyday Carry (EDC)
eBay, Inc. “ULTIMATE BUG OUT ALTOIDS TIN EMERGENCY SURVIVAL KIT – compact survival gear,” [Online Document], [cited 2014 Feb 09], Available Ultimate Bug Out Altoid Tin Wikipedia: Mini Survival Kit. (September 2008). FL: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved February 10, 2013, from Mini Survival Kit Sardina 454. (nd). Altoids Survival Kit. Instructables.com. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from instructables Yodasoda6.(nd). Altoids Survival Kit. Instructables.com. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from instructables 2 Cat6_racer. (nd). Urban Altoids Survival Kit. Instructables.com. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from instructables 3 John. [Florida Adventurers]. (2011, November 4). Altoids Survival Kit [Video File]. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from Youtube 1 xWillie763x. (2012, September 18). Altoids Tin Survival Kit! [Video File]. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from Youtube 2 Bennett’s Expedient Survival Tin (BEST). (nd). Retrieved from Survival.com Rawles, J.W. (2011, October 29). The Ultimate Altoids Tin Survival Kit, by J.C.R. Survivalblog.com. Retrieved February 09, 2014 from Survivalblog Crew, Its. (2014, February 21). New to the ITS Store: Mini Survival Kits and Pebble Leather Morale Patches. Itstactical.com. Retrieved February 28, 2014 from Itstactical Mini Pocket Survival Kit. (nd). Retrieved February 21, 2014, from The Key to Survival Build Your Own Every Day Carry (EDC) Survival Tin: Featuring the RSK Mk5 Knife. (2011, February 13). Willowhavenoutdoor.com. Retrieved February 21,2014, from Willow Haven Outdoor Edge. (nd). How to Make a Mini Survival Kit. Wikihow.com. Retrieved February 09,2014, from Make a Mini Survival Kit McCann, John. Build The Perfect Survival Kit. 2nd. ed. Iola, Wisconsin: Living Ready Books, 2013. 249-250. Print Alba, Johnangel. Will 2 Survive Personal Pocket Survival Kit (personal collection). Tampa: 2009-2010.
Medium/Get Home Bag
Dayle, Stephanie. (2013, November 14). Get Home Bag for Everyday People. Why You Need One. Americanpreppersnetwork.com. Retrieved February 13, 2014, from Americanpreppersnetwork How to Build a Get Home Bag (+Book Give Away). (2010, May 10). Artofmanliness.com. Retrieved February 13, 2014, from Art of Manliness Henry, P. (2013, February 9). Prepping 101-Get Home Bag. Theprepperjournal.com. Retrieved February 13, 2014, from The Prepper Journal Creekmore, M. D. (2011, October 10). Don’t Put Together a Get Home Bag Until You Read This! Thesurvivalistblog.net. Retrieved February 13, 2014, from The Survivalist Blog Dale. (nd). Make a Get Home Bag. Survivalistprepper.net. Retrieved February 12, 2014, from The Survivalist Prepper Get Home Bag Contents. (nd). Geekprepper.org. Retrieved February 13, 2014, from Geek Prepper Joe Tactical. (2013, August 24). Get Home Bag. [Video File]. Retrieved, from youtube 1 Pointshooter. (2013, June 9). My Get Home Bag. [Video File]. Retrieved February 13, 2014, from youtube 2 Wikia: Bug Out Bag. (nd). Retrieved February 12, 2014, from Zombie Wikia Bug Out Bags (BOBs). (nd). Survivalstate.com. Retrieved February 12, 2014, From Survival State Lawrence, Mark. (nd). How to Pack a “Get Home” Bag. SecretsofSurvival.com. Retrieved February 15, 2014, from Secret of Survival McCann, John. Build the Perfect Survival Kit. 2nd. ed. Iola, Wisconsin: Living Ready Books, 2013. p.251. Print
72 Hour or 3 Day Bug Out Bag.
75 (BOB) List Essentials.(nd). Bugoutbagacademy.com.
Retrieved February 4, 2014, from Bug Out Bag Academy The 7 Types of Gear you must have in your (BOB). (nd). Survivalcache.com. Retrieved February 4, 2014, from Survival Cache Kearney, James. (2013, October 21). The Survivors (BOB) List. Doomsdaynews.com Retrieved February 4, 2014, from Doomsday News Home. (nd). Mybugoutbaglist.com. Retrieved February 4, 2014, from My Bug Out Bag List Survival Gear and BugOut Bag. (nd). Offgridsurvival.com. Retrieved February 4, 2014, from Off Grid Survival Project, Prepper, The. (2013, April 30). Shtfplan.com. Retrieved February 4, 2014, from Shtf.com BOB Checklist. (2013 April 18). Theprepperproject.com. Retrieved February 5, 2014, from The Prepper Project Hardin, Geoffery. (nd). (Bugout) Bag Item List. Retrieved February 5, 2014, from Civil and Defense Force Wikipedia: Bug Out-bag. (March 2014). FL: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved March 4, 2014, from Wikipedia Henry, P. (2013 June 4). Bug Out Bag List. Theprepperjournal.com. Retrieved from February 4, 2014, from The Prepper Journal McCann, John. Build The Perfect Survival Kit. 2nd. ed. Iola, Wisconsin: Living Ready Books, 2013. 252-253. Print Spirko Jack, auth. “Episode-290- An Interview with John McCann .” The Survival Podcast. N.p, 05 October 2009. web. 09 Feb 2014. Spirko Jack, auth. “Episode-124-Overlooked Items for the (BOB).” The Survival Podcast. N.p, 16 January 2009. web. 09 Feb 2014.