Bug Out Bag Checklist And Essentials

your ultimate bug out bag

A bug out bag, also popularly known as BOB is essentially a portable gear that contains supplies that could last for 72 hours in an emergency or a disaster. Other familiar name for a bug out bag includes go bag, quick run bag, INCH (I’m Never Coming Home) bag, GOOD (Get Out of Dodge) bag, personal emergency relocation kit or PERK in short, 72-hour kit or battle box.

So What Is A Bug Out Bag?

what is a BOB?

Bug out bags are really, backpacks or portable sacks that are filled with essential items one needs to survive a disaster for 72 hours, at least. A bag out bag is basically a survival kit filled with emergency supplies and tools you will need in an emergency scenario.

The name, “bug out bag” is belief to have been originated from the emergency kit known as a bail out bag carried by military aviators. “Bugging out” also means an individual’s intention to leave home due to an unforeseen disaster or emergency situation. So, naturally a bag (any bag for that matter) that is used to store essential survival supplies during a bug out would be called a bug out bag.

What Is The Purpose Of A Bug Out Bag?

It’s so that you can get out of a disaster as quickly as you can, knowing you have bug out supplies that would last you for at least 72 hours!

Every year, thousands are left homeless due to natural or man-made disasters. You have got to be ready at all times. Preparedness is key here, but you will be surprised to know that 48% of Americans are not survival ready. That’s right, almost half the country’s population could potentially be whipped out on the next disaster strike.

Think about it…

A bug out bag checklist should be your first priority in getting all your essential bug out supplies in place. We have done a substantial research on tools, emergency rations; materials and survival gear that will help improve your bug-out survival chances.

It goes without saying; a bug out bag checklist varies with individuals and different disaster situations. Nevertheless, they will fall within these 11 key items highlight below:

  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Air
  4. Shelter
  5. First Aid Kit
  6. Clothing
  7. Multipurpose Tools
  8. Lighting
  9. Heat
  10. Defense
  11. Navigation Tools

Now, take your time to run through the categories below to decide items are critical to have for your situation. As you run through the list, it is important to bear in mind the main idea of a bug-out bag. And it is, ease of transport. With that as key, you would limit to only essentials that are absolutely critical to your survival.

Bug Out Bag Checklist


The first thing to bear in mind when it comes to water is, you can only last for 3 days without water. Hence, water is one of the most, if not the most important supply that you must have in your bug-out checklist. There 2 main sources of emergency water you that you can rely on:

WATER POUCHES: Also known as water packets, come in packets filled with fresh drinking water. They are properly sealed and protected from contamination.

PORTABLE WATER FILTRATION KIT: This is a must have in your bug out bag. With a portable water filter, you can practically drink water out of the swamp and it’s easy to be carried around.


You would need food to last for at least 3 days, remember the 72 hour rule?

EMERGENCY RATIONS: Is what you need and choose rations that are easy to prepare and easy to carry. They must also meet our; weight, size, preparation, servings, calories and shelf life criteria that you can learn more about it here.

SURVIVAL KNIFE: A good survival knife is important. It would come in handy to set up traps and for use to prepare food gathered from surroundings in desperate times. It can also double as a weapon for self defense if need be.


Do you know that you can only survive for 3 minutes without air? Anything more than 4 minutes and you would have suffered brain damage. Even if the doctor successfully revives you!

AIR MASK: It is important to have a good air mask ready and one that filters out particulates. Again, depending on the emergency situation you are in, this could be your only access to clean breathable oxygen.


You will need a shelter to rest your body or to keep your family warm at least, after a bug out. This could be in the form of:

A TENT: Waterproof survival tents made of Myler to be precise. Myler has a good property in repelling water and retaining heat. So, this makes it a good candidate for your bug out bag checklist.

SPACE BLANKETS: This is my favorite choice by the way, mainly due to the fact that they are feather light and very effective in heat retention and keeping you dry as well. To me, space blanket is a must have in your checklist.

THICK PLASTIC or OILCOTH: Oilcloth tarpaulins or thick plastic will help to keep moisture from the ground out of bedding. They can also be used to build a tarp tent to shelter from rain.

First Aid Kit

It goes without saying that a properly stocked, first aid kit could save your life when disaster strikes. Make sure you have these in your kit:

a)  ANTISEPTIC WIPES: This is to keep bacterial infections at bay. The smallest cut can cause you your life with a bacterial infection, so, always include these in your bug out bag.

b)  STERILE GAUZE PADS: treat open wounds with gauze pads to keep clean.

c)  DISPOSABLE PVC GLOVES: Or medical gloves help to prevent contamination while you are treating the wounded.

d)  PAINKILLERS: Will come in handy for relieving pain temporarily. This include aspirin and ibuprofen.

e)  MULTI-SIZE BANDAGES: Keep cuts and wounds covered with bandages to prevent infections.

f)  ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT: Typically provides pain relief and healing.

g)  FIRST AID GUIDE: Have this handy, as this will provide instructions where instructive care is required. This include guide on how to perform CPR and basic injury aid.

h)  SLING: A sling is used to immobilize or support part or parts of the body that is injured.

i)  BURN GEL: This is critical for burn injuries and provides the required relief.

j)  SUNSCREEN: In instances where you need to be under the sun without shelter or shade, a sunscreen can help to prevent sunburns.

k)  Other Important Items Include: Safety pins, forceps, medical tapes, scissors, sting relief pads, CPR mask, Trauma shears, instant ice pack, tourniquet and triangular bandage.


Proper change of clothes and clothing to keep warm when the temperature drops at night, is important in keeping you a life. Waterproof windbreakers, cold weather gloves and a head gear will come in really handy to keep your body warm.

The clothes on your back could be the thing to save you in a survival situation. Make sure you have access to the following items in your bug out bag.

Multipurpose Tools

MULTIPURPOSE SURVIVAL TOOL: Like the Leatherman Wingman Multipurpose Tool, is an ideal survival tool to have in your bug out bag. It’s lightweight and com pact design makes it really portable and easy to use.

MULTIPURPOSE SHOVEL: A good example will be the Pagreberya Compact Outdoor Folding Shovel. It comes packed with; a glass breaker, compass, multi-functional saw knife as the handle, a flint rod made out of magnesium with compass and a screwdriver. It also comes with adjustable angle spade.

SURVIVAL AXE: Can be used to prepare firewood or shelter and it can also double as a weapon for self defense.

PARACORD: Can be worn on your wrist like a bracelet if you want to. It can also be used for hunting, fishing, secure shelter and even climbing. Paracords also come in many different lengths to suit your requirement.

DUCT TAPE: I like the saying. “If it’s not working, it’s because you’re not using enough duct tape”. They are widely used for emergency repairs on tents, clothing, bags, gears you name it. The list goes on and on…and a must have bug-out essential.


TACTICAL FLASHLIGHTS: This should be compact, long battery life, bright, waterproof and durable.

CHEMICAL LIGHTS: A standard chem light can last for 12 hours and is visible from one mile away. The main advantage is, they have long shelf lives which make them great additions to your checklist.

HEADLAMP: Is also a good addition for hands-free illumination.


HAND AND FEET WARMERS: Are really effective in keeping you warm. Easy to carry, you can chuck them in to your shoes to keep your feet warm, armpit or just squeeze them in your hands to keep them warm.

FIRE-STARTERS: Fire will not only keep you warm, you need it to cook food. A fire-starter is always my first choice for source of fire. They are reliable and work even when wet.


SURVIVAL KNIFE & AXE: As mentioned earlier, your survival knife and axe double as self-defence tools and in an emergency situation; you really do not know when you will one.

PEPPER SPRAY: Is light, easy to carry and very effective in keeping animals and attackers at bay. You can get one here!

Navigation Tools

COMPASS: This is the very basic navigation tool there is, but it’s useless if you do not know how to use them with a map. Learn to use them to take you and your family to safety.

GPS NAVIGATION: The easier way of course will be to use a GPS navigation. They cost more, but they are easy to use with a less steep learning curve. Your smartphone is more than capable to get this job done. But always have your compass and map as a backup.

Other BOB Essentials

Medicine & Multivitamins

Make sure there is enough supply to last for at least 72 hours.


Always have standby chargers available for your smartphone, GPS navigation system, flashlights and other survival gears.


Is a good when you need to ask for help or just to keep in communication with your loved ones should you need to roam out of the shelter area.

Sewing Kit

This may not be a top bug out bag essential, but they are very useful for repairing torn clothes, blankets and the sort. After all, a simple sewing kit weighs next to nothing and do not take up much space at all.

Copies of Personal Documents

Make copies of your personal identification card, passport and titles for your vehicles, insurance policy and loan agreement. You never know when you will need them.

Emergency Cash

It’s a good idea to keep some cash in your bug out bag for emergency purposes, in case you need to pay for help of services.

A Small Mirror

In case you need to flag for help and all your lighting sources are not functioning anymore.

Hand Sanitizer

A great way to keep your hands clean, and maintain good hygiene.

Family Emergency Preparedness Plan

Do you have an emergency plan prepared for your family? You will be surprised to know that 39% out of the people surveyed, do not have one. Now is a good chance to have one done.

Qualities of A Good Bug Out Bag

Ok…you’ve got the essentials ready, now you’ve got to find a bug out bag that can handle your entire bug out supplies. Here are the qualities to be met:

  1. Durable and tough material
  2. Water resistant
  3. Airtight-built
  4. Multiple compartments and pockets
  5. Roll top design for extra storage space
  6. Padded straps

What Bug Out Gear To Pick?

Don’t make disaster preparedness complicated, but the fact is shopping for a DIY bug out bag can be frustrating. In many instances, the DIY option leaves you spending more than necessary, while other bug out gear forces you to take essentials you don’t need! Stop wasting your money and opt for the pre-packed, ultimate bug out bag.

Opt for The SEVENTY2 Survival Backpack from Uncharted Supply Co. It contains all the essentials highlighted in the checklist, and weighs only 11lbs!

SEVENTY2 comes highly recommended as it meets our bug-out list requirement and we have received very positive feedback from fellow survivalists as well. With it by your side, you are prepared to face off-the-grid life and challenges.

Your Ultimate Bug Out Bag List

  1. Water Pouches
  2. Portable Water Filtration Kit
  3. Emergency Rations
  4. Survival Knife
  5. Air Mask
  6. Tent
  7. Space Blankets
  8. Oilcloth Tarpaulins
  9. Antiseptic Wipes
  10. Sterile Gauze Pads
  11. Painkillers
  12. Multi-size Bandages
  13. Antibiotic Ointment
  14. First Aid Guide
  15. Sling
  16. Burn Gel
  17. Sunscreen
  18. Safety Pins,
  19. Forceps,
  20. Medical Tapes
  21. Scissors
  22. Sting Relief Pads
  23. CPR Masks
  24. Trauma Sheers
  25. Instant Icepack
  26. Tourniquet
  27. Triangular Bandages
  28. Warm Clothing
  29. Multipurpose Survival Tool
  30. Multipurpose Shovel
  31. Survival Axe
  32. Paracord
  33. Duct Tape
  34. Tactical Flashlight
  35. Chemical Lights
  36. Headlamp
  37. Hand & Feet Warmers
  38. Fire-starter
  39. Pepper Spray
  40. Compass
  41. GPS Navigation
  42. Medicine & Multivitamins
  43. Chargers
  44. Whistle
  45. Sewing Kit
  46. Copies of Personal Documents
  47. Emergency Cash
  48. Small Mirror
  49. Hand Sanitizer
  50. Family Emergency Preparedness Plan
  51. A Quality Good Bug Out Bag

I hope this article has been helpful, and please feel free to leave a comment and share 🙂

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