Some will think the omission of foodstuffs from this bug out bag to be a bit odd but it’s not if you think about it. It might be years before you have to use the bag so it makes sense that you’ll want to procure your own emergency rations and review their condition a couple of times a year, replacing anything that might look dodgy. That said this bug out bag does emergency kit right with the aforementioned items as well as a dozen pouches of purified water, rain ponchos, quality toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving razor, comb, emergency whistle, emergency blankets, survival handbook, duct tape (!), paracord and more. There’s also the obligatory deck of cards for when you finally settle into the emergency shelter. Toss in some dry clothes for everyone involved, charger cords for your smartphone in case you run into a power source and a good book or two and you’ll be ready to wait out events in good shape.
Yet another fantastic, incredibly well thought out article. You’re fast becoming my favorite lunch time reading, so I’m afraid you’re going to have to write faster (without sacrificing quality of course). 😉 Request: I would love to see an article about preparing an INCH bag. I feel like I’ve got the BOB / 72-hr thing pretty much down, but when I think about what I would need if I were never coming back, let alone how I could possibly get that in a BAG (or whatever), my brain just sort of shuts down. I get as far as seeds, water purification, and underwear, then I panic. Thanks so much!
Before building your emergency food supply kit, start keeping a record of what everyone in your family eats in a day. In addition to emergency survival food staples like rice, beans and canned or powdered milk, you'll find a wide variety of emergency foods, including freeze-dried survival foods, that will let you approximate your family's normal diet. For breakfast, you'll find scrambled egg mix, pancake mix, oatmeal and other hot cereals and more. You'll also find a wide variety of soups, chilis, fruits and vegetables, as well as pasta, rice and meat dishes in a wide range of flavors. Including a few treats, like hot cocoa and Pudding, can help your family maintain morale when times are tough.
There’s an energy bar nowadays for every taste. Look for brands with a high calorie count as well as plenty of protein and a wide range of nutrients. Chocolate bars – Chocolate can be a quick source of energy and a great morale booster, while also being generous in calories. (Chocolate is also likely to become a commodity in demand in the weeks and months following a disaster.)

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!


A commercial option for people who choose to take the minimalist route is the Pocket Survival Pak from Survive Outdoors Longer (SOL). This wallet-size packet of miniature multi-use survival items includes duct tape, a pencil, safety pins, seweing needle, nylon thread, aluminum foil, compass, fish hooks and sinkers, magnifying lens, braided nylon cord, stainless steel wire, scalpel blade, signal mirror, fire starter, tinder, waterproof paper, whistle, and a waterproof instructional sheet on the items.
“Natural” brands of beef, turkey, etc. jerky do not contain any or as much of the harmful added ingredients seen in many commercial jerky brands. What is jerky? Jerky is a tasty form of dried meat. Dried meat, if you remember, is a long time proven survival food used by Native Americans and American pioneers alike, and also used by primitive tribes around the world. While these primitive tribes use smoking and sun drying methods to create “jerky”, today commercial methods of drying meat do this on a much larger scale. You have two choices: One is to buy the smaller serving packages, or to purchase your dried meat in bulk and have it shipped to you directly.

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.

So the first thing you need to do is get a bag. Why on Earth would you do this first? I’ve seen lots of people pick what they need first, and then get a bag to fit it all. This, unfortunately, means picking a bag that suits your contents and not your back. You should get an idea of what kind of bag you’re looking for (everything from your every day carry bag do your SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival pack) and then fill it with whatever essential items will fit, being careful to leave some room for things you find along the way or other things you decide to pack later on.
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?
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.
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.
Food supplies in a bug-out vehicle include hundreds of pounds of wheat, rice, and beans, and enough honey, powdered milk, canned goods, bottled fruit, vitamins, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, salt, pepper, spices, and oil for several months. In addition, the kits often contain high-calorie energy bars, a cooking kit, utensils, liquid soap, and towels. The water supplies may include bottled water, filtering kit, bottles, collapsible water containers, and chlorine bleach for water purification. Food preparation and washing equipment may include items such as a grain grinder, a bread mixer, a strainer, a manual can opener, a steam canner with canning jars and O-rings, cutlery, knives, an electric 12-volt cooler icebox, kerosene lamps and heaters, kerosene or propane stoves, extra fuel, a clothes wringer, a foot-operated treadle sewing machine, and an electric hot plate (which would require an inverter to operate off a car battery).

Canned food is heavy and not portable – which means that if push comes to shove, it will be difficult to travel with a large amount of it. Canned food should be a part of your survival food plan though — it can be the food that helps you get by the first few weeks, as long as you don’t have to evacuate or travel (particularly on foot). If you have canned food, you should also have a survival multi tool with you (rather than a can opener). A can opener is a single use tool – and generally you want to avoid those.
Note: For long term reliable food supplies you should of course plan for a garden and growing your own. It is important to know that storage of seeds from many hybrids and other cultivated plant varieties sold in stores is not a good idea as their second generation seeds can't be repropaged in subsequent years. If they do produce viable seed, the resulting plants are usually inferior to the parent plant. Accordingly, we recomment purchasing open-pollinated, non-hybridized seeds or heirloom seeds for storage.
There are 2 types of bug out bags; homemade and pre-made. While there are some folks content to make their own bug out bag there are also plenty who would prefer to simply pick up one that’s already been well thought out and prepared for them. In this review guide we’re going to take a look at the best of those pre-made bug out bags and discuss what makes each of them the best bug out bag worth having should the creek rise or a hurricane make landfall in your area.
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.
A good military style entrenching shovel can be the difference between life and death when you’re out there all alone, and this foldable beauty can be hauled with you everywhere you go. Made from tough carbon steel, it will dig through whatever ground you need it to, while the pickaxe that comes with it ensures that you’ll be able to break through those extra-tough complications along the way.
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.

It is best to make your own disaster kit / emergency kit that you can make to meet your biggest area threats. You would never need a life vest if living high in the mountains. So, designing an emergency kit for your needs is very important. Many things always remain the same like your survival food supply. You can use Mountain House freeze dried food, MRE’s, Survival Cave freeze dried food, Wise freeze dried foods or any other long term storage foods. The key is planning and having your food supply before the emergency. Once something happens, the stores empty within hours. Preparing your emergency kit& survival food kits can actually save you and your family from even the worst disaster.
On another note, the only thing I had trouble with was #1. Yes, sleeping bags are big and fat and are a pain to carry, but they will make up for it in heat. You need that heat, at least here in the Pacific Northwest where I live. You use a space blanket or bivvy, you get either a miserable night (lucky), or hypothermia (normal). I wouldn’t mind packing a bivvy instead if I lived in a warmer climate, but seriously, don’t skimp on the sleeping bag.

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.
A survival kit is one of those items that you carry in your pack in case you need it, but hope you never have to open it, and if you find yourself in a situation where you have to open it, you better make dang sure it includes what you'll need. To help, here are a few considerations you'll want to take into account as you prepare your own emergency, survival, bug-out-bag, as well as some packages that have some of the vital components already included.

The kits provided for Soviet and Russian Cosmonauts are optimised for survival in the temperate and sub-arctic mountains, forests and grasslands in the east of the country. Soyuz spacecraft kits include "food rations, water bottles, warm clothing, rope for making a shelter using the capsule’s parachute, fish hooks and miscellaneous other survival gear". The TP-82 Cosmonaut survival pistol, was provided to defend against predators such as wolves or bears. It was able to fire conventional bullets, shotgun cartridges and flares; the folding stock could be used as a shovel and it also had a fold-out machete.[8]
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