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).


Can you imagine what it would be like to eat freeze dried food, day after day, month after month, in a time of extended disaster? Not only can packaged, processed foods be harder on a person’s health (due to food additives and preservatives, high cholesterol, sodium, etc., in some freeze dried products), but it may also get very, very boring in time.
Brown Rice is high in calories and protein, as well as essential vitamins and minerals like iron. As a dry, non-perishable food, brown rice also has a long shelf life making it a great survival food. Brown rice has one problem though: Typically, it must be boiled for several minutes (30 minutes or longer — even up to 1 hour with some brands). During a long term emergency where no electricity is available, the last thing you want to do is use precious fuel to cook food for this length of time; whether that’s on a propane, butane, or wood burning stove. So, for an extended survival emergency, where you are stocking up your pantry, “brown rice hot cereal” is potentially better choice because it cooks in just 5 – 8 minutes and is still packed with nutrients and high in calories (one cup of brown rice hot cereal provides 600 calories, 12 grams of protein, and 16% daily value for iron and is easily rationed out in to smaller portions).

Look for a pack that has multiple compartments, with pockets and organizers built in to help keep track of the small items, and try to pack your BOB strategically with items grouped that you’ll use together. Remember to pack clothes and bulky items on the bottom and heavier items at the top for better weight distribution and to ease the strain on your body.  

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.
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.
The GR1 is a USA made backpack made to Armed Forces specs but with a civilian friendly design. The pack is a favorite among travelers, military personnel, law enforcement, hikers, emergency preppers, students, and of course GORUCK Challenge participants. This pack was specifically built for the Special Forces and has been used in Baghdad and New York City.(2)

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.
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.
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.
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.
The bag can be loaded and then cinched down with compression straps to keep your gear from shifting. The bag has 11 different exterior pouches allowing for good organization. The bag comes loaded with PALS webbing which allows any MOLLE webbing accessory to be added. The price point is good since the quality is high and the pack is so large.  The carrying capacity of the bag is 173 liters and comes with a Lifetime Warranty.
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.
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.
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.

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.


These come in many flavors but most of them will do the jobs of a hatchet (obviously), pry tool, shovel, and wrench. We should look for any opportunity to remove high weight to volume ratio items such as steel tools to build the best survival kit, so being able to leave behind any of these is a good step. For more info check out our in depth reviews of the BEST survival tomahawks here.
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.

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.
Mountain House has a long history of producing emergency food supplies for the U.S. Special Forces and today is a top retailer of long-lasting food rations to the civilian market. Frequently praised by reviewers for making tasty rations that are filling and easy to eat on the go, Mountain House is a top brand to consider when shopping for emergency food supplies.
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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.

SHTF is an acronym that stands for sh*t hits the fan. This means that something drastic has happened, like a natural disaster, financial crisis, or a war has started. This term is generally used for when things go south quickly. The other acronym that is commonly used to signal it is time to pull out your bug out bag is ‘TEOTWAWKI’. This stands for ‘the end of the world as we know it’.

Pack things that make you self-sufficient – if you are thinking about an item that you will need to pair with something that you are going to need to source on the way, forget it.  If you are moving to safety, the last thing you want to do is worry about scavenging.  Pack complementary and multi-purpose items that can be used both individually and together to save space.
SHTF is an acronym that stands for sh*t hits the fan. This means that something drastic has happened, like a natural disaster, financial crisis, or a war has started. This term is generally used for when things go south quickly. The other acronym that is commonly used to signal it is time to pull out your bug out bag is ‘TEOTWAWKI’. This stands for ‘the end of the world as we know it’.

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.
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.
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.

The most important factor that will determine the right size bug out bag is your torso size. You can measure your torso by having a friend or casual acquaintance measure the distance from the top of your Iliac Crest (hip bones) up to the bony prominence at the base of your neck (the last cervical vertebrae). Knowing the length of your torso will help you choose a bug out bag that fits comfortably.


In arctic or alpine areas, survival kits may have additional cold weather clothing (winter hats and gloves), sleeping bags, chemical "hand warmer" packets, sun glasses/snow goggles, snowshoes, a collapsible shovel, a snare wire for small animals, a frying pan, a camp stove, camp stove fuel, a space blanket, matches, a whistle, a compass, tinder, medical equipment, a flint strike, a wire saw, extra socks and a tent designed for arctic use.
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