Survival kits, in a variety of sizes, contain supplies and tools to provide a survivor with basic shelter against the elements, help him or her to keep warm, meet basic health and first aid needs, provide food and water, signal to rescuers, and assist in finding the way back to help. Supplies in a survival kit normally contain a knife (often a Swiss army knife or a multi-tool), matches, tinder, first aid kit, bandana, fish hooks, sewing kit, and a flashlight.
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).

There are many different situations that could lead to a survival scenario, and any of them could happen to you. It's not always the extreme skier that's gone off course or the trail runner that's been injured in ­the middle of the wilderness. Your vacation tour group may have accidentally left you behind. Or maybe y­our car has simply run out of gas on a desolate stretch of wintery road. The question isn't whether you could find yourself alone or stranded in a potentially life-threatening situation. It's whether you'd be equipped to deal with it.
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.
Natural disasters and their occurrences are never known to anyone prior to the event. But, people must know about the threat in areas that are more prone to natural disasters. People also need to take personal responsibility for their own safety. Knowledge and planning is the key to survival in any emergency. Bug-out-bags, survival food supply, quality water filter, and basic survival gear are just part of not becoming a victim.
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.

Look for the bulk seed/nut area of your grocery store, and specifically for unsalted, and unshelled (if possible). You want to choose survival foods not high in salt, as too much salt will make you thirsty and isn’t good for overall health. Peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and a number of other nuts / seeds typically sold in supermarket bulk foods section are high in essential vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, and have a fair amount of protein. They’re also conveniently light-weight and a serving size of bulk unsalted nuts may be as small as a 1/4 cup, so you’ll get many servings out of a large bag.
An excellent resource regarding bug out bags is a new book by Max Cooper called, “Realistic Bug Out Bag, 2nd Edition: Prepared to Survive.” This is a monster book at over 600+ pages. It has scenarios, drills, and is full of useful and insightful information. I like that the author stresses planning and has a section devoted to bug out plans and how to practice & train your plan. He is also a huge advocate of designing a BOB that fits your needs based on factors that pertain to your situation. I highly recommend this book.
We covered Survival Knives generally in our Bug Out Bag Essentials post but they are so useful it is worth re-hashing here. Generally you are better off getting a solid, full tang knife from a trusted knifemaker such as Ontario, Camillus, Becker, or Gerber. Stay away from hollow handled survival knives if at all possible. The small amount of storage space will not make up for the overall inferior build quality. For more information on choosing a good knife for any outdoors situation, check out our comprehensive guide by CLICKING HERE.
In a time of extended disaster, trust me — having a bag of M&Ms;, smoked beef jerky, or even a soda from time to time can be a big boost to morale, especially if you have children. With that said, do not overlook the value in having bulk freeze dried food stocked up in your pantry, especially if you would like to help neighbors and other family members who have failed to prepare. Leading producers like Wise Company (with its Entry Variety Pack) and Mountain House (with its Classic Bucket) factor in food fatigue and include variety deliberately, and as such they come with many flavorful choices for you and your family.
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.
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. 

It’s packed with protein and essential fatty acids, as well as contains many essential vitamins and minerals (such as copper and iron). For the best health, choose “natural” brands like Skippy Natural Peanut Butter (Skippy offers the best price I can find for buying in bulk off places like Amazon). Just a couple tablespoons a day of peanut butter can help a person survive a period of limited food intake (during a disaster, one of your strategies to survive needs to include an understanding that it’s time to cut calories — most people eat a lot more calories each day than they actually need to survive. Cutting calories means your food will last longer, at the same time helping you lose excess weight, making potential evacuation on foot at some point easier than if you’re carrying around extra pounds).

Like any emergency kit, the Pocket Survival Pak — which was developed by Doug Ritter, founder of the survivalist website Equipped To Survive — can help lost or injured explorers signal helicopters and planes, start fires, boil water, melt snow for water, catch fish, navigate through the woods, trap small animals, perform rudimentary first aid, and repair damaged gear.
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.
The Emergency Zone bug out bag is one of the best equipped you’ll find with everything from the expected like drinking water and flashlight to the unexpected like works, a tube tent, toilet paper and even a multi tool. What it’s light on is food but there’s plenty of room in the water resistant bag for 4 or 5 days of food or more. While the shoulder straps on the Emergency Zone backpack could use some more padding the rest of the pack is logistically sound with plenty of external pockets for the included gear plus your own compass, GPS device, tactical flashlight, maps and more.

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.
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.
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Design – The best bug out bag is one with plenty of pockets. This allows you to compartmentalize your bug out bag essentials so that you know exactly where everything is and you don’t have to dig through mountains of other stuff to find what you need. Put all your fire and light things together such as tactical flashlight, candles, headlamp, fire starting kit and storm proof matches. Put maps, GPS devices, compass and other navigation related items in their own pocket and so on. The more you can separate things the easier it will be to transcend your difficulties.
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.
By choosing the right bug out bag, or set of bug out bags, you can make sure you can carry the thing for longer distances with greater comfort. It doesn’t do any good to pack 80 pounds of emergency gear into a bag and then bug out into the wilderness, only to have to drop 40 pounds of survival gear because you can’t carry it all. You need to practice wearing your gear in whatever terrain you might need it in. What you can put in it will be based on how much you can carry. Don’t forget that you also need to carry water in it. Here are some thoughts on how much water you should carry.
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.

A note about grain storage: Storing brown rice, and other grains, in a cool, dry place in large airtight containers is important to maintain freshness. Store bought brands of brown rice and brown rice cereal may only have a shelf life of 3 – 6 months however. So, you will want a plan in place to cycle your brown rice cereal every 3 months so that it’s eaten in your home (makes an easy, healthy breakfast and is an alternative to sugar packed cereals).

One thing that the article doesn’t reference is “How many people will there be in your Bug Out party?” The point being, that although there are some items that need to be in everyones B.O.B, there are others that don’t require duplication. Figuring out which items can be used by all the members of your party can reduce duplicating these items in each bag. For example, does everyone in your party need to carry a 1 quart backpacking pot, or will 1 or 2 suffice for your whole group? Those types of items can then be parceled out to the members of the group, and cut the weight down.
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.

This could be a bag, box or container and it’s usually placed at a location outside of your home somewhere. It’s designed to hold survival equipment (weapons, money, a bug out bag) so you can get it if you’re out. Some people put them at strategic locations outside of town or even at a friend’s house. One good idea is to have one (or them) located on the way to your bug out shelter where you’re going if SHTF. I’ve written an extensive post on how to plan your cache locations here.


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.
How to Make a Bug Out Bag? – If you decide to make your own bug out bag you’ll want to start with a good-sized, water-resistant backpack and then fill it with a combination of food and practical implements that will allow you to transcend any difficulties you’re likely to encounter. You’ll want to include purified water as well as a water filter (in case the emergency has fouled the local water supply), plenty of freeze dried food along with power bars (but no perishables) and things you can use to protect yourself from the wind, cold and any precipitation that may be falling. Which means you’ll want emergency blankets, dry clothes and rain ponchos. You’ll also want to include other practical implements like a compass, tactical flashlight, walkie talkies, multi tool and more.
Guess what? Your best survival tool is always going to be your mind. Stop making that wanking motion and listen, okay? This book of 100 survival skills was compiled by a Navy SEAL based on experiences in the goddamn killing fields, so I think it can probably help you survive a week or two camping. But really, it doesn’t matter what tools you have if you don’t understand how to use them, or how to use the environment around you. This book carries you longer than any single tool could.

Keep it SIMPLE – you are not trying to build a mobile home that you will carry around. Many sites list dozens and dozens of items to buy and bring, adding cost and weight.  Remember that electronics need power and are prone to breaking.  Pack simple, reliable, things to cover your basic needs.  Check out our Free Bug Out Bag Planning Tool to plan what you want to include and see how your items will affect the overall weight of your pack.
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.
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.
I used to have bug out bag but not anymore because we are living in the end times, the rapture and the 7 year Tribulation are right around the corner. Get rapture ready, people: accept JESUS CHRIST as your personal Lord and Savior who paid on the cross for our sins and came back to life on the 3rd day!!! We have to come to the cross as broken sinners.
I keep spare ammo and a cleaning kit in my bug out bags. You should start with an off-the-shelf cleaning kit to begin with but then add things to suit your needs. One of the first things I added to mine was a dental cleaning kit. Start with a larger dental cleaning kit and pull out the ones you need. For your smaller bags, you may want to consider using a hacksaw and cutting them down to size.
A “Bug out bag” (sometimes called a “bail out bag” or “survival bag”) is loosely defined as a backpack-style bag that a person keeps at the ready in case they need to evacuate in a hurry (bug out) due to natural disaster, civil unrest, fire, war or any other similar type of calamity. A bug out bag won’t be much good should a comet the size of Dallas hit the earth but for the type of events listed above it can make the difference between thriving and barely surviving.
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