Bug Out Bag List of Contents (For the Emergency Prepper or Survivalist )

bug out bag list of contents

You want to be ready when disaster strikes but don’t know the bug out bag list of contents you will definitely need, or even what type of bag to be the basis of your disaster survival kit? Then this article will help you find answers to those questions and many more. Take this information as a primer on the best way to prepare your bug out bag. This information will help you get through a disaster or crisis where you must leave voluntarily or forced to evacuate.

Bug Out Bag List of Contents: THE LIST!The Bug Out Bag List

After reading an exhausting number of sources from well re-knowned emergency preparedness and survival experts.

Then I tabulated the survival gear and supplies they suggested into my list. I also applied a rule commonly followed in the survival prepper world. It is known as “The Rule of Three,” into developing the list.

So with this and sourcing from The Boy Scouts of America and the Army Survival Manual, here’s are suggested items placed in the following ten categories (in order of importance):

I provide my list below that will without a doubt help you put together the best bug out bag equipment and gear. Please review it and try to select the items at the top of each category listed.

72 Hr-3-Day BOB

Defining the Bug Out Bag Categories of Prepper SuppliesList of Crucial Bug Out Bag Disaster Equipment

Through my research, I found all emergency survival items and gear to be classified into one of the ten categories below. These ten categories became apparent after reviewing the survival gear and essential emergency supplies from the various sources I examined.

Shelter & Clothing– According to the “Rule of Three,” It only takes three hours to be gravely affected by overexposure to your surroundings.

Exposure to heat or cold can cause your body to go into hypo or hyperthermia. Either way, your need to conserve or release heat  and keeping your body away from the effects of the elements becomes omnipotent.

Fire/Light – According to prepper experts, the ability to start a fire  not only has its obvious benefits but also a psychological boost to the survivalist . It gives you a sense of security and safety. As for the practical applications, fire provides heat, light, drying, cooking, boiling and sterilization needs.

Information & Documents – In the event you are forced to evacuate your home, you want to have all your most important documents . If not in case your home is destroyed, but to prove your identification if traveling beyond your immediate surroundings.

Preferred would be to have these docs stored in both a compact and discreet manner. Furthermore, you all want to have both paper and pencil to write down critical data. Even these items can be optimized by choosing water and windproof versions to have in your BOB.

Signaling/Communication – In a crisis scenario, the ability to communicate with loved ones may be limited. Additionally, it becomes crucial to get the latest intelligence reports, information and without these vital stats you  may make a fatal decision.

Navigation –  Navigation skills become crucial if you are forced to leave your familiar environment in a disaster situation. You want to have pre-planned multiple escape routes so you and your family can get to a pre-selected and safer destination.

Because GPS may be ineffective or undesirable, practicing using highlighted maps and a compass will help you find your way out of danger.

Water – One of the most difficult survival item to have is water. The difficulty in locating a clean source and carrying enough of it can be very difficult and extremely limiting. But according to the survivalist’s Rule of Three, a person cannot live long without it.

If deprived more than 3 days, the body goes through agonizing changes resulting in death.  This is why in this one area of emergency prepping you want to have multiple sources of water and  filtration redundancies.

Food – There exist a major misconception about food that without an immediate source of food one will definitely perish. Although, you may have stomach pains, truthfully most,  can last a good while without it. Nevertheless, you need to have food if not for nutritional needs for one’s psychological well being.

Since it is conceivable you may need to transverse a distance with your Bug Out Bag, weight and space become factors to consider when selecting the right kind of food to choose. There are items you can select that would be compact and very lightweight. However, usually these food essentials can become expensive.  There are alternatives you can find. Just make sure to be liberal on the quantity you decide to stow away in your emergency bag.

First Aid-Personal Meds & Hygiene –  Because of the uncertainty to the outcome of a disaster or crisis exists, keeping yourself  clean and injury free becomes a major priority. Your very life depends on it.  Therefore, you want to have on hand a high quality first aid kit, ample supply of personal meds and hygienic supplies.

Longer than a three day supply of  various pain, stomach relievers and extra prescription medications should be stored away in a dry container in your BOB. For the most part, many of these over the counter drugs will last a lot longer than their expiration dates.  Nevertheless, take special precautions when it comes to using antibiotic medication past their due dates.

Safety & Protection – In any kind of crisis or disaster, you have to think about personal protection. Protection can be safety gear  to non-lethal and lethal weapons. Whichever items you chose, compact and discreet are key when selecting the right kind of personal defense gear.

But before securing any type of defensive hardware, think over the following. Survival expert William Simpson raises the question whether it is worth the risk  to give one’s child a gun given the high probability of being shot  to death by accident due to their inexperience. Although, I do personally agree for the need to instruct youngsters on the proper and safe use of firearms, I am uncertain whether to agree or disagree with Simpson’s argument.

But he leaves something for us to ponder about the moral implication of such an act. Furthermore, in a grid down situation or civil unrest, it is uncertain whether you will be confronted by these military or civilian authorities to search you for counter band or firearms. What will be your response in such a very real scenario? One should at least be familiar with your local and state laws on everyday carry, knife and semi-lethal weapons.

Miscellaneous – This category is the wildcard. Many of the prepper supplies and accessories listed here tend to be tools or repair items. Multi tool, duct tape and paracord appear to be extremely popular items in this category. They provide multiple uses and are all around tools that can save or rescue you from many predicaments.

I thought it was a good idea to discuss the very real reasons you want and need to secure all the survival gear and supplies as possible above. Now, after reading my rationale for each category above,  I have the Bug Out Bag List illustrated above in a downloadable pdf format, link here.

The list I created used numerous sources provided by experts in emergency preparedness and survivalism. I reviewed their suggested lists, tabulated the data and thus compiled this unique “master” manifest. While skimming over it, make sure to look at the legend to have a complete understanding on how to use the list.

What Sort of Bug Out Bag is Best for Disasters?Assorted Bug Out Bags

The question should be “what sort of backpack is best for you and which gives you more utility?” There are a couple of types that are perfect for a disaster kit.

Duffel bags are great because they can be fitted with the largest amount of equipment, and they are relatively cheap. Unlike backpacks, you are able to use every available space. I found this out personally when trying to fit my personal items into a backpack.

Because the backpack is already formed into its rigid shape, you often lose some storage areas. Also keep in mind, the rigid shape of your survival gear also causes packing issue. When it comes to the duffel it’s fluid form allows for the packed item to fit nicely inside. Thus, you are able to have more content stuffed into your duffel.

On the other hand, mobility can be an issue, especially when you are in the urban area during the disaster, because carrying a huge bag with no free arms can be problematic. If you store the bag in your car, the mobility problem is solved and the duffel bag then becomes a very good choice as a basis for every survival kit. It worthy to note that many duffels nowadays have carry shoulder straps giving you an option to wear it on your back.

A classic backpack comes in many forms. Most should have enough room to adequately store enough items to last you 72 hours. Although you can purchase a larger bag, you will be most likely to over stuff it. This additional weight could be a factor if forced to travel a great distance on foot.

For those who has physical challenges, a rolling bug out backpack would be of tremendous use.  It would allow you to cover distances with relative ease. The type of wheels, material and sturdiness of the bag you choose are crucial to think about in selecting the right bag for you. It might cost more to buy a quality bag, but it would be well worth it.

Exactly how big your selected bug out backpack should be? How much can it hold? What features should it have? I give detailed answers to this very questions in my article here.

You want to have a bug out bag for every member of your family (elderly and infant as well) including pets! Preparing a pet bug out bag is not very complicated. Feel free to  download my bug out bag guide for both dogs and cats.

Here is a video discussing other factors that may help you pick the right bug out bag for you.


What is The Best Size of The Disaster Ready Bag?does-backpack-size-matter

If you are planning on moving on foot ,then a highly mobile backpack that can store a large amount of equipment is a must.

Always look first for the storage size; you never know how long you’ll be outside during the disaster. If you plan on moving in a vehicle then a duffel bag can be a right choice.

You need to make sure the bag you ultimately select, fits your torso. It would be awkward if you have a long torso and purchase a ready made bug out bag on line and its too small.  Here is a guide to help you decide which size works best for you.

A Couple of Tips for When Disaster OccursSituation to use a Bug Out Bag

Travel alone or in a small group, consider that traveling in large groups makes you more vulnerable to robbery and armed assault by another group of survivors.


  • Traveling alone or in a small group makes you a hard spot to target and way more mobile.
  • Be always on the move, stop only during the night when there is a smaller chance to be spotted. Movement is life!
  • Gather and hunt your food, don’t rely only on the food you brought with you.
  • Try to blend in with the crowd or environment around you.
  • Select clothes and bag that are discreet.
  • When selecting prepper gear or supplies try to find items that are both lightweight, compact and of the highest quality.
  • Practice whenever possible using your gear and survival items include others as well.
  • Be informed to the local and world news. Try alternative news programs which may give more accurate reports. Although they may be extremely slanted, you will at least get another point of view.
  • Always be vigilant.
  • Make escape plans and alternative plans now. If you do not, when the SHTF it will be too late. The last think you want is to be herded into a holding pen or camp.
















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