Go Bag vs Bug Out Bag (2 Important Equipment Packs)

 get home bag vs edc
Pexels / Pixabay

Preparing for unexpected emergencies and the ability to survive in any circumstance that may come your way takes a lot of work. There are many factors that must be considered and pieces of equipment that must be collected. The process of organizing all your information and equipment also takes a lot of effort. One helpful step in organization is considering go bag vs bug out bag for your needs.

Difference Between Go Bag and Bug Out Bag

When thinking about go bag vs bug out bag, you need to be focusing on your unique needs for your survival plan. If you’ve heard about go bags and bug out bags before, you may be wondering just what the difference between them is.

Understanding the difference between these two bags is critically important, as they have two different purposes, and you want to be sure you’re prepared with the correct supplies in any given situation.

Go Bags are meant to contain things such as your important documents like passports and birth certificates, in addition to enough survival materials for a short amount of time. Go Bags should not be too large in size, as they need to be comfortable for carrying.

Bug Out Bags are geared toward a more serious type of fleeing. Your Bug Out Bag should be equipped with a collection of all materials that you would need to survive, including non-perishable foods and equipment like tents and sleeping bags.

The main difference is that Bug Out Bags are designed for emergencies that have a much longer recovery time and a widespread effect.

Go Bag Basics

While your Go Bag may not be purposed for long-term emergencies, it’s still essential to have one packed and waiting in the event of an emergency such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack. You don’t want to find yourself at the moment and unprepared to flee, as it could affect your chances of remaining safe.

When you pack your Go Bag, there are a few basic items that you need to be sure to include:


  • Documents: you need to have copies of your essential documents ready in your Go Bag. make sure to include documents such as your family’s birth certificates, house deed, driver’s licenses, wills or trusts, medical records, social security cards, pet medical records, and passports. You can also have these documents digitally stored on USB drives.
  • Basic Emergency Supplies: your Go Bag should not be too large, but you will still want to include a few emergency supplies. Try to have some non-perishable food items, water or a purifier, a basic first-aid kit, flashlight, batteries, change of clothes, and anything you need daily for your children or pets.
  • Evacuation To-Do List: having a to-do list to follow in case of an emergency will help you ensure that you do all that needs to be done even if you’re panicking. Keeping the list with your Go Bag is a smart idea, as it ensures you will see it before leaving. Note down tasks such as turning off utilities and properly locking your house before leaving.


Remember that your Go Bag should be a reasonable, but compact size. If you are part of a family, then one person can be designated to carry the biggest Go Bag, which will be equipped with many compartments, and able to accommodate a decent amount of emergency supplies. Everyone else should have a small Go Bag, which will not be cumbersome.

Another logical way to prepare your family’s Go Bags is to have one member carry a pre-prepared bag with emergency items such as non-perishable foods and first-aid tools, while other members carry smaller bags with documents.

Bug Out Bag Basics

Your Bug Out Bag requires more detailed packing than your Go Bag, as it is meant for a longer and more severe period of time. This bag should contain everything and anything you can think of it that you may need in an emergency situation. While that may sound impossible, proper preparation will help you create a Bug Out Bag that contains everything you need.

Before you start packing your Bug Out Bag, you need to make sure that you and your family members have invested in bags that are durable and suitable for the purpose. If you have a large family, a smart move is to invest in a ready bag which contains basic items you will need for survival for one member to carry and create customized bags for other family members. This is simply a backup method to ensure nothing is forgotten.

When it comes to choosing the bags for your customized Bug Out Bags, durability, space, and organization are key. Consider investing in bags designed for use by the military, as these bags tend to be sturdy, reliable, and strategically designed for optimal survival.

When packing your Bug Out Bag, be sure to include the following essentials:

  • Means of water. Invest in filtered, reusable bottles.
  • Non-perishable food sources. Collect freeze-dried and dehydrated options.
  • Clothing that is suitable for a variety of climates and weather conditions.
  • Shelter and bedding which can be used throughout all seasons.
  • Heat source or tools to create one.
  • First-aid supplies including things like mylar survival blankets.
  • Necessary hygiene items like toilet paper, soap, and toothpaste.
  • Versatile multitools.
  • Various lighting tools.
  • Weapons to be used for hunting and self-defense when necessary.

Remember that your Bug Out Bag should contain what you will need to last at least 72-hours in survival mode. If you can manage, it’s best to prepare your Bug Out Bag in a way that the supplies are flexible for supporting your survival for long periods of time.

Final Thoughts

Survival in the face of unexpected emergencies is no easy feat. If you prepare ahead of time, you will be able to face the challenge head-on. Take the time to prepare both a Go Bag and Bug Out Bag, as they serve different, important purposes! Don’t forget to plan for the survival of your pets, as well!

Recent Posts