What is a Bug-Out-Bag?
A bug-out-bag (or BOB) is a survival bag (usually a rucksack) that contains the most important items you will require to survive after a disaster. The idea is to have the bag packed and ready to go, so you can grab it quickly, get out the door and get long-gone should disaster happen.
What Should go in the Bug-Out-Bag?
When planning your bug-out-bag you need to consider the three things that are vital to survival: water, shelter and fire (in that order). Food is important, but not vital. Remember the (simple) rule of three, you can survive: 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and three weeks without food. In an extreme survival situation, I would also add 3 hours without fire and shelter. Below is a list of items (in no specific order) you should consider adding to your bug-out-bag. Where possible we have included direct links to high quality recommended products. We either have experience with these products, or they come very highly recommended by others. Make sure your bug-out-bag is planned to your specific needs and requirements. You will not need all the items listed on this page and without doubt there will be some items you want to include which are not listed here. Give special thought to the area you need to survive in, consider your local geography and climate and tailor your bug-out-bag for survival here.
The Bag Itself!
Water – something to drink
- Klean Kanteen 27-Ounce Classic, Poly Loop Cap Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets
- MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter
- Lifesaver Bottle 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle
- Nalgene Wide Mouth Cantene (48-Ounce)
Shelter – protection from the elements
Fire – to keep you warm
- Light My Fire Original Swedish FireSteel Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter – Black
- Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch Fire Starter (Black)
- Disposable Lighter
- Dry tinder
Food – something to eat
Pack enough to last 3-4 days. Rice, oat meal, beef jerky, tinned sardines, nuts, chocolate, and high calorie sports bars etc. Freeze-dried foods and MREs (meals ready-to-eat). Choose foods that are light weight and high in calories and nutrition.
Sleeping - something to sleep in and on
- Kelty Cosmic 0 Degree Down Sleeping Bag Long Solid Color
- Emergency Foil Blanket
- Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout Mattress (Regular, Sandal)
- Roll-up Foam Sleeping Mat
Cooking – for eating
- Esbit 11.5g (0.4 Ounce) Ultralight Folding Titanium Stove for Use with Solid Fuel Tablets
- MSR Pocket Rocket Stove (packs nicely into th GSI Halulite Microdualist below)
- GSI Halulite Microdualist
- Army Style Canteen and Aluminium Cup
- Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set
Light – so you can see
- Petzl E49P TacTikka Plus 4-LED Headlamp, Black
- Streamlight 88031 Protac Tactical Flashlight 2L with White LED Includes 2 CR123A Lithium Batteries and Holster, Black
- Fenix E05 R2 Flashlight
- Energizer Weatheready 3-LED Carabineer Rechargeable Crank Light, Red
Tools – to get things done
- Knife: Gerber 22-01629 LMF II Black Infantry Knife with 4.8-Inch Blade
- Knife: Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife
- Multitool: Gerber 22-41545 Black Diesel Multi-Plier with Sheath
- Army Style Folding Shovel: Gerber 30-000075 E-Tool Folding Spade with Serrated Blade
- Pocket Chain Saw: Chainmate CM-24SSP 24-Inch Survival Pocket Chain Saw With Pouch
- Lightweight Axe: SOG Specialty Knives and Tools F09-N Hand Axe
- Knife Sharpener:Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener
First Aid – to patch you up
Communication – to get the news
- Etón FR160B Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power and Cell Phone Charger (Black)
- Sony ICF-S10MK2 Pocket AM/FM Radio, Silver
- Signalling mirror
Clothing – your most basic form of shelter
- Spare pair of socks/underwear. Waterproof jacket, trousers and gloves. Also make sure you are wearing good quality appropriate boots and clothing to begin with if possible.
Hunting/Fishing – renewable food
- Daiwa Mini System Minispin Ultralight Spinning Reel and Rod Combo in Hard Carry Case
- Gill net (for fishing)
- Snare wire, although you can make a snare with the inner strands of 550 paracord.
- Barnett Black Widow Slingshot
Navigation – know where you are going
- Local Maps and Trail maps. Try to ensure these are the water resistant laminated ones.
- Silva Polaris 2801100 – Compass
Binoculars – see them first
- Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular, 8 x 25-mm, Black
- Alpen BAK4 LE Rubber Covered Monocular
Firearms – to keep you safe
- I am staying out of any recommendations here. Everyone has an opinion on what is best and as I don’t have a lot of experience in this area, I will let you make your own mind up. Of far more importance than specific makes and models is actually learning how use your firearm of choice. Get some professional tuition.
Books – so you know what you are doing
You will not regret taking one of these books with you. They provide invaluable information and advice, even for the seasoned survivalist…
- US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76
- SAS Survival Guide 2E (Collins Gem): For any climate, for any situation
Other stuff – doesn’t fit any of the categories above
- Sewing kit, duct tape, head net, 50 feet of 550 paracord, whistle, sunglasses
- Small bottle of hand sanitizer
- Some zip-ties
- Maxi Pads – they can be used for wound dressing and the inner material can be used for tinder
- Repel 100 Insect Repellent, 1 oz. Pump Spray
- Goal Zero 19010 Guide 10 Plus Small Adventure Kit