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Disclaimer:  Our recommendations for outfitting a Bug Out Bag (BOB) is our own personal choices, based upon what we keep in ours.  Many things govern what needs to be included in your bag, such as environment, type of survival situation you’re in, current health conditions, etc.  Our recommendations are just that, recommendations.  The items we list on this site work for the conditions we anticipate.  We are constantly updating and changing our bag based on new products, reviews, etc.  We recommend checking back often, as we update this site often

People refer to Bug Out Bags as "3-Day, 7-Day, etc." I don't follow this way of thinking.  Your bag should keep you alive for as long as it's needed to do so.  Therefore, I fit my bag out to do just that.  The adjustment to it is only in the amount of food and water rations I have, and not the survival equipment.


First thing is to choose a good, rugged bag for all your equipment.  There are literally hundreds of choices for this one.  Being a gadget freak, it seems like I have tried most of them!  Currently, I’m using the ALPS Outdoor Z Commander Backpack.  It's an actual hiking backpack versus a "bag” Packed, it weighs in at about 60 pounds.  Which is within 25% of my body weight. 
You can get it here-
ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag

  Bug Out Bag



Choose a quality first-aid kit.  Remember, you are taking care of minor injuries, cuts and scrapes with this, not major injuries.
Ours is from FIRST AID ONLY.  You can get it here-
First Aid Only All-purpose First Aid Kit, Soft Case with Zipper, 299-Piece Kit, Large, Blue by First Aid Only

Insect repellent.  This is often overlooked when outfitting a Bug Out Bag.  Until you find yourself being eaten alive because of all the mosquitos that are suddenly everywhere now that power is out, and stagnant water is everywhere.  It's a personal choice, but I have Repel Sportsman in my bag.
You can get it here-
Repel Sportsmen Max Formula 4 oz Insect Repellent Lotion 40% DEET HG-94079

Personal Hygiene Kit.  This is your basic brush your teeth, shave, deodorant, mouth wash, etc. kit.  Personalize as you need to.  I started with the Man On The Go kit, because it was in a nice travel bag with a handle that I could clip onto the side of my pack. 
You can get it here-
Convenience Kits Man On the Go Premium 11-piece Travel Kit

Toilet Paper.  This is always a tuff one.  it's bulky, and hard to carry.  We stumbled across toilet paper tablets.  Yes, tablets.  They are about the size of a lifesaver.  You dunk them in water for a second, and they will open into a nice size, bio-degradable rag for taking care of not only your number two business, but any other need that requires a tuff rag to do.  These are HIGHLY recommended by us
You can get it here-Wysi Wipe Multi-Purpose Wipes 100 Pack - Just Add Water!

Potassium Iodide Tablets.  These tablets are for use during a nuclear fallout event.  While I understand that is at the extreme end of survival, it could happen, so they are in our bag.
You can get it here-Thyrosafe Potassium Iodide Tablets, 65 Mg, 20-Count

Antiseptic Povidone PVP Iodine.  This is the stuff your momma probably smeared all over your cuts when you wear a child. 
You can get it here-
Pac-Kit by First Aid Only 10-004 Antiseptic Povidone PVP Iodine Swab, 0.018 oz Capacity (Box of 10)

Ammonia Inhalants.  For light headiness or fainting.  Break them open, and hold under one's nose.
You can get it here-Dynarex Corporation 1401 Ammonia Inhalant 10-Pack

Compression Bandage.  These are the 6" thick absorbent pads for controlling bleeding. 
You can get it here-
Ever Ready Bandage Battle Dressing First Aid Compression Bandage, 2 Pack (6 Inch)

Splint for broken bones.  You could always improvise in this area with a belt and a couple of sticks, but the SAM Splint is specifically for this purpose.
You can get it here-
SAM Rolled Splint 36", Orange/Blue

Rescue Tourniquet.  While always a last resort to control bleeding, it can also be the one item in your bag that can save a life.
You can get it here-
Rescue Tourniquet Combat Military Issue Tactical Army Application the Best Life Saving First Aid Trauma and Perfect for Hiking Exploration & Emergency Kits

ACE Bandages.  I keep three of these in my bag for sprained ankles, wrists, etc.
You can get it here-MEDca Self Adherent Cohesive Wrap Bandages 2 Inches X 5 Yards 6 Count with Strong Elastic First Aid Tape for Sprain Swelling and Soreness on Wrist and Ankle (Skin Color)


In a survival situation, one must stay dry, warm and hydrated.  This is what we pack to stay dry and warm.

2 Man Tent.  Each member of my family has their own Bug Out Bag, and each has their own tent.  In a survival situation, you will want each member to have space for their equipment as well as a place for privacy and to sleep.  We use the Coleman Sundome Tent to meet this requirement.  Its durable, light and easy to set up.
You can get it here-
Coleman 2-Person Sundome Tent, Green

Coleman 2 man tent

Rain Poncho.  A good quality rain poncho can be a real life saver.  It will keep you and your pack dry, and can double as a rain collection tool.
I like the Charles River Pacific Poncho.
You can get it here-
Charles River Apparel Men's Pacific Poncho, Navy, One Size

Emergency Thermal Blankets.  These are the Mylar 52"x84" survival blankets.  I buy them in packs of 10.  They have other uses as well as for warmth.  They can be used for signaling, to reflect heat back onto you from a campfire, etc.
You can get it here-Primacare HB-10 Emergency Foil Mylar Thermal Blanket (Pack of 10), 52" Length x 84" Width

Sleeping Bag.  One question I get often is how to choose a sleeping bag.  I'm sure an entire blog could be written on this subject alone.  Your sleep bedding choice is the single most important item in your Bug Out Bag.  I use a Hyke & Byke Quandary 15 degree down ultralight mummy bag.  I can sleep comfortable down to about freezing in only shorts.  I add clothing as the temperature goes lower than this.  I have used the bag in temperatures as low as 10F, bundled up a bit.  If I anticipate being exposed to temperatures lower than 30F, I have extreme cold weather gear that is in a different Bug Out Bag that goes along with me.
You can get it here-Hyke & Byke Quandary 15 Degree Down Sleeping Bag for Backpacking, Ultralight Mummy Down Bag with Lightweight Compression Sack and Five (5) Color Options

Waterproof Tarp.  A good quality tarp is a must have item.  Put it beneath your tent for an additional moisture barrier, use it to build an emergency shelter, use it to keep the sun off you, the list goes on and on. 
You can get it here-
OUTAD Waterproof Camping Tarp for Picnics, Tent Footprint, and Sunshade


This is another one of those topics that an entire blog could be written about.  I have many different fire making tools in my bag.  From a simple lighter to Punky cloth, flint and strikers, store bough strikers, cotton balls, and others as well.  Here are some of the main tools I have though

Lighter.  Until it runs dry, any lighter will obviously be your main resource for starting a fire.  Unless it's just for practice (and I do recommend you practice) rubbing sticks together or using char cloth and such in the 21st century just doesn’t make sense. I like the UCO stormproof torch refillable lighter|
You can get it here-
UCO Stormproof Torch Windproof Lighter with Bottle Opener

Water Proof Matches.  I like the UCO Stormproof Match set
You can get it here-
UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case, 25 Stormproof Matches and 3 Strikers - Orange

Charcloth.  This could be an optional item in your bag, but is my standby when I don't have another source available.  I make it from old blue jeans.  You can find many good videos online as to how its done.  I like the one from The Crazy Russian over at Youtube.


Radio.  I actually have a couple different ones.  I have a hand crank/solar one that works for light use, and will even charge my cell phone.
You can get it here-
Ambient Weather WR-099-AC-KIT Compact Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/WeatherBand Digital Radio, Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger, Cables and AC Adapter
I also have the C. Crane AM-FM radio with NOAA Weather.  It runs on two AA batteries.
You can get it here-
C. Crane CC Pocket AM FM and NOAA Weather Radio with Clock and Sleep Timer

Flashlight.  I use the J5 Hyper V Tactical 3-Mode flashlight for my primary lighting need
You can get it here-
J5 Hyper V Tactical Flashlight - Amazingly Bright 400 Lumen LED 3 Mode Tactical Flashlight
I use the Vont Bright lanterns for my tent and camp area.  They are battery powered LED.
You can get it here-Vont Bright 2 Pack Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern, Black, Collapsible

Headlamp.  My choice for headlamps is the Boruit rechargeable LED light.
You can get it here-Boruit LED Headlamp Rechargeable Waterproof Head Flashlight Lamp with 3* Cree XM-L T6

Single Mirror.  I like the Coghlan 2"x3" reflective mirror
You can get it here-
Coghlan's Survival Signal Mirror, Size: 2" x 3"

Light Sticks.  One item you want to have are 6" light sticks.  When all else fails, these will provide you with adequate lighting.  I like the white light over the green light.  They come in packs of 10.
You can get it here-
6" Premium Lumistick Glow Light Sticks White (Tube of 25)

Compass.  I carry two different compasses.  The primary one is the Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Metal Sighting Compass
You can get it here-Eyeskey Military Optical Lensatic Sighting Compass with Pouch Metal Waterproof Compass Color Camouflage

By backup compass is the Suunto A30L Field Compass
You can get it here-Suunto A-30L Compass

Emergency Whistle.  My choice for whistles is the Wingoo three tube, 150 decibel stainless steel whistle
You can get it here-
WINGOO Emergency Whistle Stainless Steel Three Tubes High Decibel EDC Outdoor Tool Lifesaving Whistle

Phone.  Provided the cell networks are still up, your phone will be basically all you need.  The above items come into play once your phone no longer functions.  Don't forget charging adapters and USB cables.


This section is the performance part of my bag.  All the gadgets that make things easier

Dry Bags.  You will want at least one of these.  I use the Adventure Lion 40L bag.  If you have to cross a river, or other water obstacle, putting your cloths in a dry bag and crossing in your birthday suit is far better than hyperthermia. 
You can get it here-
Adventure Lion Premium Series Waterproof Dry Bags For Kayaking, Camping, Boating

Heavy Construction Garbage Bags.  I keep four of these.  I use one to actually put my pack in if I have to cross a river or other water obstacle.  You can pick them up at any grocery or hardware store.

Duct Tape.  I never leave home without it!  I prefer full size rolls over the smaller camping rolls.
You can get it here-
Duck Brand 285636 Color Duck Tape Duct 3-Pack, 1.88 Inches x 20, 3-Roll, 60 Yards, Black

Zip Ties.  Along with duct tape, make you have plenty of zip ties.  I keep the 12" ones in my bag.
You can get it here-
Cable Matters 100 Self-Locking 12-Inch Nylon Cable Ties in Black & White

Paracord.  Make sure you get Military grade cord.  There are a lot of cords being sold that are not the real thing.  Trust your life to quality cord in this department.  I keep 100ft of TITAN MIL-SPEC 550 paracord in my bag.  It's authentic MIL-C-5040, Type lll, 7 strand, 5/32" Nylon Military Survival Cordage.
You can get it here-
TITAN MIL-SPEC 550 Paracord / Parachute Cord, 100 Feet, Olive-Drab | Authentic MIL-C-5040, Type III, 7 Strand, 5/32" (4mm) Diameter, Military Survival Paracords.

Classic Leatherman Multi Tool.  I have had mine for years, and still use it everyday.  Although a part of my Bug Out Bag, I wear it on my belt daily.  Spring-action needle nose and regular pliers, spring-action wire cutters and scissors, wire stripper, knife, package opener, ruler, can and bottle openers, wood/metal file, Phillips screwdriver, and medium and small screwdrivers.
You can get it here-
Leatherman Wingman Multi-Tool With Premium Nylon Sheath  

Knife and Blade Care.  Another oftion overlooked item is a means to sharpen and maintain all your cutting utensils.  I use the Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic for this chore.
You can get it here-
Lansky PS-MED01 BladeMedic

Knife-Personal Protection.  The Smith & Wesson H.R.T. SWHRT9B Full tang spear point fixed blade with 4.75" blade.
You can get it here-
Smith & Wesson H.R.T. SWHRT9B Full Tang Spear Point Fixed Blade Knife PPE Handle  

Knife-Utility and Work.  The WORKPRO 2-piece outdoor and camping Hawk Axe and Full tang 12.5" blade Bowie style knife.
You can get it here-
WORKPRO 2-Piece Outdoor Camping Hunting Survival Steel Hawk Axe and Knife Set Full Tang Wood Handle

Knife-Utility.  This is my go to knife, and the one that does 90% of my work.  It's the Schrade SCHF9N high carbon steel model.  This thing will take what you throw at it!
You can get it here-Schrade SCHF9N Knife

Knife-Fillet.  Rapala 7.5" Fish'n Fillet Knife
You can get it here-Rapala 7 1/2" Fish'n Fillet Knife / Single Stage Sharpener / Sheath

Knife-Skinning.  Mossberg fixed skinning knife
You can get it here-
Mossberg Fixed Skinning Knife

Solar Charger.  The BigBlue 5V 21W foldable outdoor solar powered charger with SunPower Solar Panels.  Has dual USB ports for charging phones, etc.
You can get it here-BigBlue 5V 21W Foldable Outdoor Solar Powered Charger With SunPower Solar Panels Dual USB Ports for iPhone iPad Samsung Galaxy LG Cellphones and Devices (21W)

Misc. Assortment of Nails.  Here is another overlooked item.  Put some different size nails, Common and Finish, as well as some eyehooks in a container and keep them in your bag.  You would be surprised the different uses you will find for them.

Gloves.  Mechanix Wear-M-Pact Covert Tactical Gloves
You can get it here-Mechanix Wear - M-Pact Covert Tactical Gloves (Medium, Black)

Gloves.  AMMEX-ABNPF48100-BX-Medical Nitrile Gloves
You can get it here-
AMMEX - ABNPF48100-BX - Medical Nitrile Gloves - Disposable, Powder Free, Exam Grade, 4 mil, XLarge, Black (Box of 100

Prybar.  Stanley 7.5" Wonderbar.
You can get it here-
Stanley 55-045 7-1/2-Inch Wonder Bar II Pry Bar

Eye Protection.  Pyramex SBL5010DT Highlander Safety Glasses
You can get it here-Pyramex SBL5010DT Highlander Safety Glasses Black Lime Clear Anti-Fog Len(12 Pair)

Respirator Mask.  3M Particulate Respirator 8516, N95. with Nuisance Level Acid Gas Relief
You can get it here-
3M Particulate Respirator 8516, N95, with Nuisance Level Acid Gas Relief (Pack of 10)

Multi-Function Utility Key.  This tool will open most water and gas valves on.  If you are in an Urban survival situation, this gadget is a must have,
You can get it here-Willbond 4-Way Multi-functional Utility Key for Opening Electric Water Gas Meter Cupboard Cabinet (Black)

Breaching Tool.  Handy all-purpose hand tool for cutting branches, chipping ice or busting down a door.  Includes axe, hammer, spanner, nail puller, tire chain hook, pry bar and lever.
You can get it here-
Trucker's Friend All Purpose Survival Tool-Made in the USA

Fishing Kit.  This a basic assortment of hooks and artificial bait for fishing purposes. 
You can get it here-
Best Glide ASE Survival Fishing Kit - Basic Version

Folding Shovel.  Military folding shovel and pick
You can get it here-
Military Folding Shovel and Pick with Carrying Pouch, Multi Purpose for Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, Gardening - Tactical Army Entrenching Tool, Trench Shovel, Survival Steel Spade


Stun Gun.  I only recently added this to my arsenal.  Mainly because it was a gift, and I didn't know what else to do with it.  But if you want to add it to your bag,
You can get it here-
VIPERTEK VTS-989 - 990,000,000 Heavy Duty Stun Gun - Rechargeable with LED Flashlight

Pepper Spray.  This comes in handy more for dogs than human beings.  I have had to use it a few times over the years, including on a bear once while hiking.  Get the SABBRE Red Pepper Gel, with 18' range.  The stuff is nasty, and doesn't atomize like sprays do.
You can get it here-
SABRE Red Pepper Gel - Police Strength - Tactical Series with 18-Foot (5.5M) Range, 18 Bursts & Belt Holster

Hand Gun-Walther PPQM2 45 AUTO (ACP)
You can get it here-

Rifle.  Marlin Model60 .22 LR Semiautomatic rimfire rifle
You can get it here-


This is the area of my bag that changes based upon needs.  I typically carry seven days’ worth of rations at any given time.  Under normal conditions, it would take me about four hours to get to my actual shelter.  There I have approximately a year of everything I feel I need to keep myself and my family alive, fed and well.  I get that I may be the extreme when it comes to being a prepper, but the status of the world doesn't look all that well, so call me paranoid I guess.  But for a temporary situation, such as a hurricane or major power outage or something, having a seven-day supply will keep you going after exhausting what is in your cabinets, or get you to a government shelter. 

Eating Utensils.  WETPIA 4-in-1 Camping utensil.  It has a stainless-steel fork, spoon, knife and can opener. All the basics
You can get it here-
WETPIA 4-In-1 Camping Utensil Stainless Steel Fork Spoon Knife Bottle Opener Set for Camping Cutlery Set/ Travel /Survival (Green)

Can Opener.  Military style P-51 can opener as a backup.
You can get it here-
2 Pack Survival Kit Can Opener, Military, P-51 Model

Water Purification.  I use the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for small quantity drinking. 
You an get it here-
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness  

Water Purification.  For larger quantity water needs, I have Potable Aqua water purification tablets in my bag.
You can get it here-
Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets with PA Plus Jumbo Size Pack 2-Count (100 Tablets Per Package)

Water Canteen.  I have the RevoMax Twist free insulated stainless steel water bottle.
You can get it here-RevoMax Twist Free Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Standard Mouth

Food Rations.  I have 4 packages of Grizzly Gear emergency food rations in my bag most of the time.  Each package will provide you with 3-days supply of rations and 1,200 calories per day.  These kind of taste a bit like a lemon cookie, not bad at all.
You can get it here-
Emergency Food Rations - 3600 Calorie Bar - 3 Day Supply - Less Sugar and More Nutrients Than Other Leading Brands - (5 Year Shelf Life)-9 bars

Water.  For water, I keep 3-kits of Daytrex emergency water pouches in my bag.  That is enough for 9-days.  I utilize my Life Straw and water tablets the majority of the time, therefore I don't keep a full 14-days worth of water on me.
You can get it here-
3 x Datrex Emergency Water Packet - 3 Day/72 Hour Supply (24 Packs)

For long term survival ration needs, I rely on Wise Foods to provide quality, good tasting foods with a great shelf life.


I hope this inspires you to prepare.  Remember, any Bug Out Bag is better than no Bug out Bag!  I have spent years putting mine together, changing it, and adding to it, so It is far overkill for a small scale typical survival situation, but is mine.  Guys like me are the ones that plan for world doom, and the whole zombie thing I guess.  I suggest using my recommendations as a good starting point, and go from there.  If you build your bag exactly like mine, you will shell out about $1,500.00.  Find your happy point, and good luck!