A Bug Out Bag Checklist for 2014 & Beyond

Article Posted: August 27, 2012

Standard Bugout Bag Gear List- this is a must have checklist of items to be found in your primary bugout bag. The items listed here will cover most known emergencies, but be sure to add your own items accordingly. This bag is for someone wishing to travel to a secondary/safer location in an emergency.

The bag covers minor first aid, short term hydration, emergency shelter, minor car repairs, short term food supply, traveling without modern gps, fire building and cooking, illumination, staying informed, keeping your family safe, personal hygiene, short term finance, and taking care of pets. [jump to checklist]

Typical Bugout Bag Contents

Small First Aid Kit - a premade kit from a drug store is a cheap way to acquire some of the most common first aid items. They usually include band aids, gauze, burn cream, pain medicine, space blanket, scissors, cleansing wipes, cold compress, butterfly wound closure, gloves, cotton balls, small finger splint, and more.

Water - A few bottles of water are a must. Water is more important than food. It weighs alot and yes you can get some water purification tablets that are lighter, but for immediate usage while on the go water is very important. You may also want to include small tube water filters, and water purification tablets for long term.

Parachord - Pick up some 7 strand 250lb parachord for $10 at a local camping or army surplus store, or replace your shoestrings with the stuff and have it on your person at all times. Each chord has 7 strands.

If you plan to head into the woods this is beyond essential as it can help you build shelter, dry items, act as a turnakit, hoist food into trees away from animals why you sleep, stabilize a broken arm or leg, and more.

If you plan on driving long distances it can be used to secure overly packed trunks or hatches, secure items to the top of vehicles, act as a leash for pets and more.

Duct Tape Duct Tape - duck tape is a must. you can use it to fix leaky hoses, patch holes in tent, re-attach bumpers, fix tail lights, fix fan belt, patch radiator, reattach mirrors, repair shoes, repair jeans, cover exposed wires, and more.

Peanut Butter or Power Bars - peanut butter contains 100 cal per tsp. It contains essential fats, proteins, and carbs. Not a fan of peanut butter or allergenic to nuts? Buy some peanut free power bars. The point is to carry a calorie dense food in a small place to get you by until you can get some real food.

Multitool/Swiss Army Knife - A good multitool is a no brainer. Don't skimp buy a good one. A good mulitool is compact and will contain screwdrivers, knifes, pliers, files, scissors, rulers, bottle and maybe even can opener.

Small Roll Up Tool Kit - a small roll up tool kit or wrench set (not socket manual) will take up less space than a paper towel tube and will allow you to make repairs to cars, strip other cars of parts, and tighten down loose bolts.

Map + Compass - most people don't even know how to read a map or compass nowadays. These manual methods of navigating the highways are essential to a good bug out bag. If you plan on bugging out to a specific forest be sure to get a local topographical map of the area.

If the GPS satelites fail you will need the items above to get from point A to point B.

Waterproof Matches Matches and Butane Lighter - even if you don't plan on hitting the woods have 2 forms of fire ready. Fire up a grill, melt the ends of your cut parachord to prevent fraying after use, burn off ticks (put a match to a tick and they let go enough to be pulled off), start a signal fire, cover up that bad odor in the bathroom, light candles, and burn through strings in absence of a knife.

Flashlight - Hand crank, solar, or just rechargeable a good flashlight is a must. The ability to manually create light or recharge the light is essential. If you can't find one of those 3 then get an led flashlight with extra batteries. LED's use less energy and produce more light.

If your car breaks down in the middle of the night you will need light, scavenging for items in unlit buildings you will need light, going for a midnight pee in the woods... you will need light.

Small Waterproof Tarp - use this to create temporary shelter, act as a rain jacket or umbrella, seal up a broken car window (use with duct tape and multitool), collect rain water, collect rain dew, wrap up food and string from trees with para chord to keep away from animals while camping, and more.

AM/FM Weather Portable Scanner - get a portable scanner from radio shack or similar place. there have been some recent changes in the way things are broadcast so make sure your scanner is compatible with those changes. Most scanners also get NOA for weather alerts as well.

AM/FM Radio - Options include solar, standard battery, and hand crank am/fm radios. Whatever you choose make sure you have one even if you plan to be in a car. You want to stay informed as to how the current emergency is panning out. The AM/FM radio to the left is solar powered, hand crankable, and includes a flashlight, and emergency broadcast notification. Purchased at amazon if you are interested. Details on the AM/FM/NOAA Radio

Handgun - Let me first state that you should be VERY well versed in gun safety before you should even consider bringing along a fire arm. This one item in the kit could cause more damage than any disaster scenario. If you are not comfortable with this item then skip it.

A pistol will provide protection from vandals, thiefs, predatory scavengers, and more. The visual presence of a hand gun is more than enough to defend your family from most all forms of danger. Again make sure you are well versed in safety and comfortable with this firearm.

We also suggest you familiarize yourself with your local conceal laws and gun regulations, and if need be take a conceal carry class. Research pistol prices and reviews

Personal Hygiene - be sure to include personal hygiene items. In situations where disasters have occurred just having the ability to brush your teeth, or clean your hands or face will be huge moral boosters. If you are a girl or have a girl be sure to bring tampons and other such feminine hygiene products. Tampons being absorbent can be used for many things other than just personal hygiene.

Last Minute Items - certain items like medicine cannot be bagged and stored in a closet. These items should be added before you leave. Items like diabetic supplied must be kept cold making them even trickier to travel with. Whatever your medical needs do some research and be sure to grab your meds on the way out the door.

If the grid is down then your check or credit card is useless. Keep some cash stored in a safe place as it may not be safe to keep cash in your bag. Just be sure to grab it at the last minute, in many instances cash will be king. (in some instances such as financial collapse silver dollars may be better suited)

Last minute items may also consist of pets, pet food, and even pet carriers.

Checklist (ctrl+p to print this list) Click to Print

Print this list and modify it as needed. Space has been left at bottom of the form for extra items.

Small First Aid Kit
Water
Parachord
Duct Tape
Peanut Butter or Power Bars
Multitool/Swiss Army Knife
Small Roll Up Tool Kit
Map + Compass
Matches and Butane Lighter
Flashlight
Small Waterproof Tarp
Portable Scanner
Personal Hygiene _____________________________________________________________
Last Minute Items _____________________________________________________________
Extra Item 1 _____________________________________________________________
Extra Item 2 _____________________________________________________________
Extra Item 3 _____________________________________________________________
Extra Item 4 _____________________________________________________________
Extra Item 5 _____________________________________________________________

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