Great information. But, please don’t tell people that pepper spray will drop someone in seconds. I was a chemical agent instructor for a medium size police department. I’ve been sprayed by a lot of stuff. Not all of it works on every person. I’ve seen people just sit there and look at you when they were hit full in the face with very good, very reliable chemical agents. We only taught that it was a distraction technique. Use the chemical agent to distract the person so you can hit them next, take them down, flee, whatever your plan is. But, it is only a distraction technique.
So despite the impression many people got from my “50 Items” article, I don’t think you should pack your bug out bag with as many items as possible. In fact, I think you should check your bag for any non-essential items with a large weight-to-space ratio and remove them. To that end, here’s a list of survival items I’ve seen in various lists online that, in my opinion, you don’t really need in your bug out bag.
A favorite of hikers, trail mix has a variety of ingredients, raisins, peanuts and other nuts, and often pieces of chocolate, and sometimes dried fruit and berries. The simple sugars in the raisins, chocolate and dried fruits can be a quick mood booster and source of short term energy. Trail mix is a way to include dried fruits in your survival diet plan.
Your get home bag should (as much as possible) go where you go. That means keeping it in the trunk of your car when you go to work, taking it with you if you go on a trip, etc. The get home bag is the bridge that will get you from wherever you are when disaster strikes to the safety of your home where you’ve already prepared emergency supplies and survival tools and equipment. If you don’t have a suitable survival backpack to put together your get home bag, make sure you read our guide on the best survival backpacks and pick one of the top choices.

"Mini survival kits" or "Altoids tin" survival kits are small kits that contain a few basic survival tools. These kits often include a small compass, waterproof matches, minimum fishing tackle, large plastic bag, small candle, jigsaw blade, craft knife or scalpel blade, and/or a safety pin/s. Pre-packaged survival kits may also include instructions in survival techniques, including fire-starting or first aid methods. In addition, parachute cord can be wrapped around the tin. The parachute cord can be used for setting up an emergency shelter or snaring small animals. They are designed to fit within a container roughly the size of a mint tin.
This nasty piece of work was made especially for truckers, but as you can see, it’s also a killer survival tool for anyone out there alone in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. You can do just about anything with this tool that a trucker would need to do to keep his rig on the road regardless of conditions, so it should definitely help you keep your Chevy Lumina moving, especially when the zombies come.
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.
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There are many names for bug out bags, and actually different types of bags, as well as many definitions and schools of thought for each bag. One of the key things that I try to preach is that your bug out bags shouldn’t look tactical or military. A huge camouflage bug out bag with lots of equipment hanging off of it, worn by a guy in 5.11’s and a khaki shirt screams prepper (amateur one at that) and that guy’ll be a prime target for people with more training than sympathy. Watch your OPSEC when deciding what to wear.
Have you ever tried to quit drinking coffee, after years of counting on it to get you up in the morning and through the day? If not you, someone in your party is likely to consider coffee (or simply caffeine) an essential, and may be tired, lethargic, and have headaches without the stuff. Coffee doesn’t have to be a top priority, but being able to grab it will be something more than one person in your party is likely to be thankful for. It’s a quick mood booster and good for morale. And it’s also something that could be traded like a commodity during a crises situation.
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.
This was a great article but I have to say that as far as fire arms go I wouldn’t suggest a .22LR. Yes the ammunition is light and yes you can carry more but in a self defense situaton a .22 isn’t an ideal round. I would suggest if it’s a rifle your looking for go with a .556 NATO or .223 because they are still light weight rounds and they would be more beneficial they are great for defense and hunting larger game. As far as hand guns go a revolver is reliable but the rounds are heavy and most of them are quite bulky a 9mm Luger would be your best bet because they are reliable and the ammunition is one of the common and available round there is so even if you run out obtaining them won’t be that difficult. Plus most full size double stack mags carry around 10-17 rounds which means more rounds before you have to reload.

Having enough stored food and water during an emergency can literally mean the difference between survival and not. In the short term, you can prepare for the unexpected by purchasing and storing nonperishable food items, properly preserving perishable food, and using empty beverage containers to store water in your garage or basement. Stock your emergency food supply to feed your family and perhaps a little extra as "trade goods".

Disaster preparedness doesn't need to be complicated, but you’ll find that shopping and collecting gear for a DIY bug out bag can prove to be difficult. In many cases, the DIY approach may prove more expensive than necessary, leaving you with items you don’t really need—and shouldn’t waste your money on. Instead of forcing useless items into a bag that won’t hold up, opt for a pre-packed, top-rated bug out bag. 


My philosophy on a bob is substantially different. I go by the precept that everything should be modular, and part of the next generation up the scale the bob should be the lowest level. To the military mindset, it would be the escape and evasion kit, a Pilots survival kit of the class that was once mounted to the bottom of the ejection seat on a fighter jet, not the small pocket sized survival kit we see in the forums. A 72 hour kit should add to this with necessary food rations. Since 72 hours is only 3 days, clothing is rarely a necessity other than in specialized cases such as infants and specific weather conditions. Weather should be covered by what you are wearing on your person, and special needs is something that has to be judged accordingly, including the ladies sanitary needs. the next level would be too heavy to carry and would require vehicular transport, or distribution among other people. and the more gear you add, the less food and supplies you will have room for, so this all comes down to no single universal setup, which beings me back to my belief that the bob should be the basic E&E kit and the rest is an adjunct to it, for example a man would not carry feminine sanitary supplies in his but a woman would… it is the most basic of needs.
When calamity strikes you’ll still need to eat and if there are no shelters in the vicinity stocked with emergency supplies what are you supposed to do? The answer is the Food Insurance bug out bag that provides you with copious amounts of prepared food sealed in vacuum pouches and ready to be eaten. Every Food Insurance meal has a shelf life of more than a decade and requires only a bit of water to prepare. Everything from lasagna to omelets to rice and beans are here along with the stove to cook them. Add some of your own survival gear like a tactical flashlight, survival knife, emergency blankets and water filter and you’re ready for whatever comes down the pike.
If you’re into the great outdoors and survivalism then you will find our cool survival gear category. We have hand selected all the coolest survival bracelets, camping gadgets, fishing tools and hunting gears and featured them all on this page. So sit back, relax and take your time while you make your ultimate survival gear list to take on the great outdoors!

Fishing. Fish are one of the best items to get in a survival situation and one of the easiest to pack for. A couple of fish hooks take up almost no space and is usually one of the EDC items to carry. The weights and bait can usually be found where you find the fish. You’ll need some kind of line to hang the hooks and since fishing line is great for tying things up, I pack that along with hooks in my smallest bags. In my bigger bags, I keep a small fish net.
Viral pathogens most often found in water are typically Hepatitis A, Norwalk and Rotovirus, all of which are smaller than most filters are incapable of trapping. They’re species specific which means human to human transmission, and all 3 are associated most often with fecal contamination, thus the further you get from population centers, the lower the risk becomes. For viral coverage, water purification is needed to kill the virus. Chlorine base chemicals are the best treatment next to boiling. UV pens and filter add-ons work good, but are not as effective as heat/chemical treatment. If you know the area you’re heading to, has a previous reputation of human traffic (like campgrounds), then avoid the UV treatment. If the area you’re in is not a high traffic area, UV is alright for use, but personally, I’d rather heat or chemically treat to be sure, and just bypass the expense and extra weight of a UV purifier.
Disaster preparedness doesn't need to be complicated, but you’ll find that shopping and collecting gear for a DIY bug out bag can prove to be difficult. In many cases, the DIY approach may prove more expensive than necessary, leaving you with items you don’t really need—and shouldn’t waste your money on. Instead of forcing useless items into a bag that won’t hold up, opt for a pre-packed, top-rated bug out bag. 
I agree with all except this one, “you should carry a water filter instead.” That water filter does NOT filter viruses which can incapacitate or kill just as quickly as can the bacteria it does eliminate. Carry purification tablets & a couple gallon sized double-ziplock baggies or an aluminum/titanium pot (multiple uses) or learn about SODIS instead. Why plan to fail?
The Wise bug out bag comes equipped with most of the things you’ll need to keep yourself and your loved ones well fed and comfortable during a crisis although you’d do well to take the claim of 32 meals with a grain of salt, since they’re counting a 12 serving whey package as 12 meals. As such you’ll want to use some of the extra space in the bag for additional food which you can pick up at any store that sells mountaineering equipment. As for the rest of the items there’s a well-appointed first aid kit, 5 function emergency whistle, an LED flashlight, dust masks and even a deck of playing cards to keep everyone occupied during those long hours in the storm shelter. The nylon bag is water resistant though not waterproof so keep that in mind, but it’s comfortable and well made. If you’re looking for an affordable, well stocked bug out bag you’d be wise to have the Wise Food bug out bag ready and waiting in the closet.
Water. Your first priority in any emergency situation is to make sure you have enough water on hand for you and all of your family members. You should store at least one gallon of water per person per day in a cool dark place. In addition to whatever you have prepositioned in plastic containers it's adviseable to fill up your bathtub and sinks with water before the water system breaks or becomes contaminated.
Stocking up on food for long-term storage has never been easier thanks to our survival and emergency food kits and buckets. Ranging from 2-Day to 14-Day supplies, these emergency food buckets and kits ration the perfect amount of food to power you through any situation. Backed by the longest shelf life in the industry, each freeze dried meal is rich in flavor and nutrition, offering that homecooked taste without all the time-consuming preparation. Simply add hot water and you'll be able to enjoy delicious favorites like macaroni and cheese, lasagna, and scrambled eggs anywhere, anytime. And with a 30 Year Taste Guarantee, you can rest assured that these emergency food kits will stay delicious in the long run. Shop our freeze dried survival kits and buckets today and see for yourself why Mountain House has been the top brand of freeze dried food for over 50 years!

Water. Your first priority in any emergency situation is to make sure you have enough water on hand for you and all of your family members. You should store at least one gallon of water per person per day in a cool dark place. In addition to whatever you have prepositioned in plastic containers it's adviseable to fill up your bathtub and sinks with water before the water system breaks or becomes contaminated.

A very detailed and extensive list! But the only problem I have is all the electrical stuff. When we had survival training after qualifying, We were very limited in the tools they gave us, but we managed (basically eating everything we could). When hiking/camping for several days we always have the best experience without bringing any electrical gear.

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Solar. Bring along a small magnifying lens to start a fire. It’s easy to fit into a small pouch but the smaller ones aren’t too effective in real life. Keep in mind that reflecting a concave surface such as the polished bottom end of a soda or shaping ice into a lens will do the same thing. I found an absolutely fantastic backup way to start a fire by using a cheap fresnel page magnifier that’s about the size of a piece of paper. I did a whole review with video on my here.

Any number of catastrophic disasters could occur. A hurricane that wipes out the shoreline and devastates communities several miles inland. Or a super-typhoon that strikes an island nation, turning life upside down for cities and neighborhoods.It could even be a terrorist attack with a WMD or the much feared EMP attack that shuts down power across a nation, interrupting transportation and shipping for several weeks, resulting in widespread food shortages.
GW, I have one exception to your list (well two really but the second is not that serious) first and foremost, You made an error, common to most people who are use to carrying, and living where carrying is an option. That is putting weapons too far down the list in priority. This is a common mistake that WE make when we live with weapons 24/7. We all need to remember that for many people this isn’t the case. For them we need to point out the need of defensive weapons early on in their kits, and that they need to be kept readily available. In true disaster situations, people lose all civilized manners and turn into thugs real quick. looking back to Hurricane Katrina should emphasize this point.
If you live in an area that experiences natural disasters that could result in an evacuation, it’s crucial to have a pre-packed bag with sufficient supplies for traveling. Convenient “grab ‘n’ go” survival kits have everything you need to stay safe, and well-fed while making your way to safety. Food, water purification tablets, personal blankets, and other necessities are provided in a duffle bag or backpack, so you don’t have to take the time to gather supplies before heading out. Typical kits contain enough food and water for 4 adults for 3 days.
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