Must Have Items for Your Bug out Bag

Your bug out back is your lifesaver in the event of a disaster. Quite a few people ask, what are the most essential things to place in a bug out bag? Here’s a list of must have items you should have in your bug out bag and why you need them.

–          Crank Radio – this is probably one of the most essential pieces of kit because it doesn’t need batteries and you may even find some makes with solar panels. You’ll need this because you obviously want to stay connected with what’s going on. If there alert messages are being sent out on radio channels you’ll definitely want to know about them.

–          First Aid Kit – You can find special first aid kids which contain your entire bug out essentials and also you may want to add a small first aid book so you know how to treat injuries effectively and safely.

–          Water and purification drops. It’s recommended you try and take 1 gallon for a 72 hour period (includes drinking, cooking & washing) but this may not be an option if you need to reduce weight in your bug out bag. Take enough at least for 24 hours but be sure to have an action plan route where you know water will be in abundance, like a stream or river. Use the purification drops to purify any water you find.

–          Wind and waterproof matches as well as an additional butane lighter are essential (as is a fire lighter kit) These are small and can easily be carried in a waterproof box.

–          Sleeping bags – try and invest in some good camping ones that fold up in a compact way. You can also use woollen blankets too.

–          Glow sticks and crank torch are easy to carry lighting tools.

–          Personal hygiene items such as toilet paper, soap, toothpaste/brush, and feminine hygiene and if needed for babies, diapers. Don’t over pack – just take what you feasibly need.

–          Swiss army knife with scissors is a great compact tool to have for just about anything you need it to do while outdoors.

–          Maps and a compass – try not to reply on any digital compass (like on a cell phone) if the batteries die you’ll have no way to charge it up.

–          Whistle and small emergency flares are used to alert others to your presence or ward off attackers or dangerous animals.

–          Heavy duty thread and small sewing kit for obvious wear and tear of clothes and sleeping essentials.

–          Towels, Dishcloths and multi-unit cutlery.

–          Tent and Tarp

–          Enough warm clothes for each family member (you should include gloves and hat also)

–          Cards and travel board games are essential if you have children.

–          Medication – enough for 72 hours at least.  You may want to pack some extra glasses too.

–          Garbage bags – take at least 25 to 30 bags. These can be use for garbage, raincoats, shelter and ground cloths.

–          Rope – light weight rope for binding and possibly rescue.


Many of these items can be picked up very cheaply and you should check your local thrift store for second hand equipment.


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photo credit: By michael pollak

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