Note, many non-perishable foods such as several listed here don’t have a long shelf life, usually just several months. You’ll want to have a system in place in order to “cycle” your non-perishable food before it expires: When non-perishable food nears it’s expiration date, either eat it or even donate it to a local food bank (food banks usually give food away within a short time of receiving a donation). Then, once again purchase fresh non-perishable food and add it to your emergency food stores. With a system like this in place, you’ll have a continual supply of fresh non-perishable foods. That way, if a catastrophic disaster strikes, you’ll have a variety of non-perishable foods for at least the first few months following the disaster and you or your family won’t have to rely solely on freeze dried food, as so many people are stocking up on today.
The man or woman of God living a Christian life is put in a hard situation, when he or she has to choose between sharing food with others, during a time of crises, or storing it away. The Bible says that God is a rewarder of the faithful, and that God also provides for his people in times of need. The idea is to live without fear, knowing that God will provide what you and your family need for each day. He fed the Israelites with manna and quail. He brought streams of water up from the rocks.
Fire piston. I don’t have one of these fire pistons yet but they look pretty awesome. You basically put a tiny amount of something to burn in it, such as char cloth (link to how I make char cloth), and push down hard. The air pressure increase catches the cloth on fire. I wouldn’t use one of these for a primary or even secondary item on my bug out bag list but they are a pretty cool utilization of basic physics. These fire pistons are pretty cool but I think there are easier ways.
As mentioned, there are many ways to organize what goes into your survival gear bags or boxes. Each pack should have things from each category represented. Remember: Two is One and One is None. You should overlap different categories so that you’re covered whether you can only grab one survival bag or can get to all of them. Here is how I break down the checklist into different categories of essential survival gear to have in your bob bag:
No one likes thinking about natural disasters or other emergencies that might put your family at risk, but ignoring the possibility won’t keep you and your loved ones safe. Being prepared is the best way to ensure that your family is as safe as possible no matter what might happen. If you live in an area that’s prone to earthquakes, an earthquake kit is an invaluable to have on hand. A good kit should contain everything a family needs to survive for a few days, in case help can’t get to you right away after a disaster. You can build your own earthquake preparation kit, but purchasing a pre-made version is often easier, cheaper, and safer than assembling the pieces yourself. But that’s only if you choose the right kit with all the proper supplies — and that can be tricky if you’re not exactly sure what a well-stocked earthquake kit should contain. At BestReviews, we can help make the shopping process a little easier. We don’t accept products from manufacturers, so our recommendations are completely unbiased. We also conduct field and expert research to examine the top earthquake kits on the market more closely, which allows us to pass along all the info you need to choose the best kit for your family. Choose from our top picks, and for general info on choosing an earthquake kit, continue reading our shopping guide.
For someone new to being a Survivalist building your first Bug Out Bag can seem like a big task. Everybody you read about has been tweaking theirs for months or even years and has a pile of gear built up. It’s hard to know where to start, but if you cover all of the basics in a survival situation you will still be much better off that 99% of the people.

But regardless of the actual situation, it’s a very good idea to equip yourself just in case. Better safe than sorry and all that. And you definitely won’t be sorry if you arm yourself with these essential survival tools, which include everything from pocket knives to Leatherman tools to hand-crank radios. Everything on this list will keep you alive even when nature wants to kill you.
The communications equipment may include a multi-band receiver/scanner, a citizens band (CB) radio, portable "walkie-talkies" with rechargeable batteries, and a portable battery-powered television. The power supplies may include a diesel or gasoline generator with a one-month fuel supply, an auto battery and charger, extension cord, flashlights, rechargeable batteries (with recharger), an electric multi meter, and a test light. Defense items include a revolver, semi-automatic pistol, rifle, shotgun, ammunition, mace or pepper spray, and a large knife such as a KA-BAR or a bowie knife.
We live in NW Oregon where a 9.2 quake is expected “any time now”. If it occurs, and if we are able to get out of the house or other buildings alive, we will have about 15 minutes to run to high ground which is almost a mile away. We are in our 60s and only moderately fit. We could easily fast-walk that distance in daylight with the ground not moving. Otherwise, doing that with a survival bag, possibly at night with falling trees and torn up, heaving streets will be challenging. So I’d like to keep the bag as light as possible.
Build Quality – The last thing you want is to be trudging through the windswept landscape trying to escape the oncoming storm surge and have your pack split open and spill your survival gear all over the place. The bug out bag should be made of durable, water resistant nylon and have high quality zippers (waterproof if possible) and double stitching all around. The shoulder straps should be firmly affixed to the bag and be well padded to help absorb the load you’re carrying. And if there’s a waist strap it too should be well-padded and preferably adjustable to accommodate people of different heights.

Here’s another bug out bag that’s designed to help you survive in the out of doors for several days following a natural or man-made calamity. As you might expect from a company call “Ultimate Arms” this particular bug out bag is heavy on the armaments including an EDC knife, a large survival knife, a tomahawk and a full sized machete. Oh yeah, there’s also a pick axe and plenty of bandages in case you really get into it with hordes of the undead.
Obviously food is important but you can go for several weeks without it and survive. The biggest danger of not having food is that your brain requires calories to function and when you’re starving, you’re not going to think properly. You need to consider these in your bug out bag: carried food, hunting, fishing, and trapping. Keep in mind that hooks and nets can be fashioned from items you find in nature so packing items such as a knife can also double as food-procurement items.
Prepping is kinda associated with people who prep for stupidly over the top unlikely SHTF scenarios were if the world as we know it has gone then yes maybe a lot of electronics will be useless, but not all, the longer you keep your mobile alive the longer you could have access to what is basically an e-reader which could house millions of survival books and associated materials like mechanics, first aid etc etc, I’d rather carry my tiny phone and a few batteries and a small solar charger than the weight of a stack of books, because in reality you’d need much more knowledge to survive than the significant majority of people possess in their heads, knowledge is power.
If you want to get a headstart on building up your stockpile, there are some excellent survival food kits out there that can help you do that. None of us know when disaster will strike, and you’ll be kicking yourself if you had plans to build a stockpile but started too late. That’s where these food kits come in. Most of them have 25-30 years of shelf life and include a pretty good variety of flavors. Now, granted – with these emergency food kits, you’ll be paying more per calorie/per meal than if you build your own stockpile. But if you’re looking to get a headstart because you feel like something catastrophic could happen at any time, then it might be a good idea to pick up one of these food kits ASAP so at least you have the beginnings of a longer term stockpile of survival food.
What I will do is recommend that you build your own First Aid Kit instead of buying one of those prepackaged first aid kits that claim to have 1001 things to get you through any emergency. While some are ok, in my experience these types of kits are usually filled with a lot of stuff you are unlikely to need and not enough of the things you will probably need a lot of.
I know this is a list of the Top 10 Multi Purpose Survival Tools but this is really worth mentioning. Your own brain is the most valuable multi purpose survival tool that you have. Your mind contains the willpower to persevere in a dire survival scenario, and as importantly, the ability to improvise and modify your Bug Out Plan to overcome unforeseen problems. Rely on your own thinking before any of these other tools we mentioned, it will get you out of most sticky situation.
I may have been a bit dramatic in my response in cases, but mainly to show you the absurdity of the way you dramatically declare most of that useful kit should be discarded, as if you know best, as if you’ve been there done it, survived, worn the t-shirt, as if you think you’re come special forces commando that has survived behind enemy lines in every environment/climate the globe has to offer, totally ignoring the idiosyncrasies of each location around the world, for example you say knife .22 and “dump the rest”, because people living in an area with limited game but masses of water and fish to ditch their fishing line, hooks, weights etc for a .22… OK yea, I know who not to join up with in a disaster, the man carrying a f*cking sword to a gun fight
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Great read & outstanding list of items. Extremely helpful & very much appreciated. While I’ve found over the decades that there are usually several ways to accomplish most things, focusing on the core items/goal while adapting to the situations & environment an individual(s) find themselves in is crucial. You can have everything known to man & still have limited skills/experience leaving you vulnerable. You can have all the skills but arrogance & overconfidence can do you in. Applicable intelligence, balance in actions/approach to problem solving on the fly & practice with skills/preps can make the difference in most cases. So one has a 35 year supply of beans and rice, great to have no doubt, but who wouldn’t trade some of it for a coke and some M&Ms for normalcy occasionally? That may be just enough encouragement to get the companions/family through to safety. Again, it’s all a wag for the most part…do what preps you can, develop usable skills…plan, persevere & prevail. Fantastic prep checklist & ideas…thanks! Proverbs 27-17…As iron sharpens iron, so on man sharpens another!
I found an absolutely screaming deal for a ridiculously bright and cheap AA flashlight that uses a CREE bulb. I liked it so much that I did a complete review on it and I now have several of them all over the house and one in each vehicle. It also happens to be the best selling flashlight on Amazon and is #4 in the entire Tools & Hardware category. I like it so much in fact that I keep buying more. They’re less than $5 and ridiculously bright. I keep one in every vehicle and bag and will be handing them out whenever I forget to buy a gift for someone.
On point number 9. It is best to try and reduce the carry weight but having utensils can drag you down. One solution that I have used is to take a frisbee instead of a plate. Its lightweight, easily cleaned, can be a water dish for any pets, they can be brightly colored for signaling and it has the added bonus of being a toy. A little stress relief can go a long way when times are rough.
Size – Everyone overestimates how much they’re carrying when they go backpacking (if everyone who claimed to carry a 100 pound pack actually did we’d have thousands of hiker deaths every year in the US alone). But a survival situation is one time when you need to be cold-light-of-day honest about how much you can carry and what that load should be comprised of to give you the best possible chance of survival. As a general rule you shouldn’t carry more than 15 or 20% of your body weight, which for most people will be between 20 and 40 pounds. With this in mind you’ll want to take into consideration the weight of the pack itself (which must be deducted from the total load) and its volume so that you wind up with a bug out backpack that can carry the appropriate amount of supplies.
Tent: In many emergency situations, shelter may be hard to find. While packing a traditional tent may not be a viable option, a good bug out bag should always include a waterproof survival tent. The best survival tents are made of Mylar, which can retain heat and repel water. Pro-tip: Be sure to stack leaves, grass or anything else from around the campsite against the tent for added protection from the elements.
It’s an impressive lineup – did we mention the 2 person tents? – that, like many of its competing bug out bags, is light on food. Although there’s plenty of room in the heavy duty nylon backpack for all the food you’ll need to survive several days in the wild. The company advertises their bag as being ‘discreet’, which is their way of saying others won’t recognize that it’s full of high quality survival gear and try to steal it from you. That may very well be but if Hurricane Harvey is bearing down on your location you have bigger things to worry about. The 2 person tent we mentioned is minimalist in nature but will provide welcome shelter if you can find a dry place to set it up and the waterproof backpack cover that comes with the bug out kit is a major plus this bug out bag has over some of the competition. The Stealth Tactical bug out bag costs a little more but it’s ready for whatever comes.
Plan your bag with a defined time period in mind.  72 hours is a good starting point as this is approximately how long a person can survive without water.  Once you start planning for weeks out you will have added too many complications to your list of Bug Out Bag essentials.  Have a look at our post on Making a Bug Out Plan to see what you need to consider as a part of your survival preparedness.
• Long term Food Storage: Mountain House freeze dried long term food that has a shelf life of around 30 years if stored in a cool dark place. Survival Cave offers pre-cooked canned meats for the best tasting survival food on the market today. Wise Foods offers freeze dried food at a lower price point. Wise freeze dried food is about 25% less than Mountain House freeze dried food. But, I personally store Mountain House foods due to the great taste. Along with long term food storage you should have some survival camping gear, emergency essentials, disaster preparedness food and energy bars.The best advantage of long term food storage is that you can get these foods in bigger units an at more affordable prices.
Personal Locator Beacons: These are smaller, affordable, reliable, and offer many new features. Companies like SPOT and DeLorme now offer products that post almost real-time tracks of adventurers far off the grid. The SPOT Gen3, for example, sells for as low as $150 and enables users to send simple, pre-programmed messages (all ok, send help, etc.) to friends and family or initiate rescue through a first-responder network.
A good read and a very good list to ‘pick and chose’ from – I try to carry ‘multi-person items as much as possible – cuts down on the weight – as a ‘senior citizen’ the packs I carried years ago I can’t carry now so I have to make changes that match my physical ability – Also a good idea on up-dating – at least every three months or seasonal (which also changes pack size and contents) Lastly, don’t just put a bag together – take a weekend and use it occasionally – carry it distances in different terrain – make sure you have the physical stamina to bear the load – it’s useless if you can’t ‘take it with you’..

Simon, I keep a canvas shopping bag in the bottom of my BOB. It has a ton of uses. You can use it to filter water out of muddy ground by digging a hole and lining it with the bag, or by filling the bag with mud and letting it drip out. It makes good material to fix rips and tears in your gear. It’s good for keeping flies off meat, good for putting wet clothes in and hanging on the outside of your pack, good for carried foraged food, good for getting wet and using it to cool things, and like you say, good for packing up all the crap that you’ve Tetris-ized into your bag when you had it on a nice clean, living room floor that doesn’t fit now that you don’t have 4 hours to pack your BOB.
Fire piston. I don’t have one of these fire pistons yet but they look pretty awesome. You basically put a tiny amount of something to burn in it, such as char cloth (link to how I make char cloth), and push down hard. The air pressure increase catches the cloth on fire. I wouldn’t use one of these for a primary or even secondary item on my bug out bag list but they are a pretty cool utilization of basic physics. These fire pistons are pretty cool but I think there are easier ways.
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