10 Things You Need in Your Bug-Out Bag
In the event that something unforeseen happens, it is always a good idea to have some kind of bug-out bag, ready bag, emergency bag, or whatever you would like to call it.
Here are 10 things that you should already have in your bug-out bag, and if not now you may want to get these items to have on hand.
We can't have a bug-out bag without a bag. There are so many types to choose from, choosing one will ultimately be up to you. However, Patriots Prep recommends bags that have different compartments and the ability to add things or clip attachments.
Here are a few that we like and recommend to our readers.
- 24BattlePack Tactical Backpack (various colors) from a Veteran-owned company
- Pre-Packed Bug-Out Bag comes with almost everything mentioned in this article and more (in various colors)
When it comes to surviving any situation, water and food are critical. Without either over a period of time you will need medical help, or worst case scenario, loss of life. We want everyone to survive and wish no one harm or ill.
Some of the water filtration products that you should include in your bug-out bag is a membrane filter such as an Alexapure personal water filter, or Lifestraw. The Alexapure filters are small and you can either use them like a straw and drink straight from the water source or fill a plastic bottle and attach it where the cap would go. Along with your LifeStraw, it would also be good to have a water bottle that has a filter inside of it. A water bottle such as an Alexapure G20 Water Filtration Bottle would be an excellent choice. Aside from water filtration, you may need to treat more water, perhaps for a group of people. In this case, you might look at something like Chlorine Dioxide Water Treatment, or Drinking Water Tablets. One last option for having drinkable water is by boiling your water first. You will need a pot or some kind of cookware to place onto a fire to boil the water. Here we have a few options to choose from. You have a Solo Stove Pot or cooking kit, or coffee pot. There's even a full 5 piece mess kit.
For a full list of personal water filtration products click here
For a full list of cookware products click here
Fire and Lighting Supplies
Next to having water having the ability to start a fire and providing light for safety is also something you should carry with you at all times. Some of the best items we have tried include a pocket-size rechargeable plasma lighter and a fire rope fire starter. There are other things that you may want to include such as waterproof matches and fire starter pouches.
With our lighting, we like the solar options available to us. We have tested and reviewed an NPET T10-5 Solar Rechargeable Flashlight which works well for most of what we do. To charge the non-solar rechargeable lights we have a few cell phone-sized solar recharging packs.
For a full list of lighting options click here
For a full list of fire-starting options click here
Shelter and Clothing Needs
Having a place to shelter and the proper clothing attire is also very important to remember to place in your bug-out bag. Going without adequate sleep and protective clothing is crucial to stay alert and healthy. Some items we recommend is things like a sleeping bag. One of which will protect you from the elements from your area. Something that takes up little to no space could include a hammock or an emergency blanket. Next to sleeping, we need a way to keep ourselves warm and dry. A bug-out bag isn't complete without some wet weather gear (top and bottom).
Multi-Tool and Knives
Having a tool like a screwdriver, pliers, or even a knife, can be handy in a lot of situations. As a former Army guy, I can't tell you how many times I used my Leatherman. The uses they have are countless and are always nice to carry around. With that said, you should have something of this nature included in your bag. Along with a few different types of knives. For a list of different types of multi-tools with a knife blade, or if you prefer a Leatherman multi-tool. For an additional knife/multi-tool, you can also look at a swiss army knife with a fork and spoon. This way you can carry eating utensils and a knife, among other things included with it.
Saws and Tools
While multi-tools and knives are great to have, some situations may require you to have bigger or better tools. A few of these items we recommend. A pocket chainsaw like this or this. A foldable hand saw like this. A hatchet is a must-have. A hand auger drill bit with a carrying case such as this one or this one will work nicely.
Medical supplies are absolutely another must-have item in your bug-out bag. You can start off with a smaller kit or if you want a larger kit to cover most medical emergencies then please do so. You won't regret it. For a wide variety of medical kits and single medical items, there is something for everyone.
Rope, Cords, and Ties
A less common item that most wouldn't think about including is paracord. In the Army, we called this 550 cord but nonetheless it is the same. The only difference is the amount of weight the cord itself can support. A few reasons why you may need a paracord are for securing your tent or other sleeping arrangements, tying together bundles of sticks to carry for your fire, or climbing. A good quality paracord (shown below) has many uses. This paracord has 10 strands inside, 7 nylon strands, a waterproof tinder line, a 40-lb polyethylene fishing line, and an absorbent cotton line that can be used for things like sewing. We would also like to note that if you are not very good at making knots, it will probably be a good idea to grab a waterproof knot pocket guide which you can pick up here for just a few dollars.
With a good quality paracord in hand, another thing that would be great to include is some zip ties. Be sure to grab various lengths and quality. You never know when you will need a few of these.
Yes, believe it or not, most people completely forget this. We highly recommend this storable food company. Their food is hands down the best. They have many options to choose from. Whether you are looking for a lot of long-term storable food or just something you want to throw inside your bug-out bag. They also carry a variety of freeze-dried foods and yes, they also have MREs ( Meal Ready to Eat ). For us coffee drinkers, we can't forget that either, so go there now to get you some.
Navigation and Books
It's always nice to know where you are at and how to get where you are going right? Well, the next item we have in the 10 things you need in your bug-out bag is a map (atlas) and compass. Some of the products we mentioned earlier have a small compass built in, like our flashlight.
One item to think about including is a small Survival Handbook which gives you the basic knowledge to help you through any unforeseen situation. Another book would also include an Edible Wild Plant book. These books can help you identify edible plants that you can safely eat, identify snakes, and other important things. My opinion is this is a must-have in our bag.
Above all else, in this article, it is critical that you have some form or way of protecting yourself, your family, and your friends. We won't recommend anything specific, or a certain way of protecting yourself. But, we would advise you to do your own research and consider a firearm or firearms. Learn how to use it, practice, practice, practice, and get comfortable with it and using it, if you have to do so. Be sure to have extra magazines and ammo in your bag.
If you are not comfortable with using a firearm there are other options. While a firearm is probably the best option to have, you may also include or use something like a taser, or pepper spray.
We hope you get a good general idea of some of the more important items that you should have, or get for your bug-out bag. The items listed here are by no means all of what you may or may not need. Each person is different, your specific location, skillset, etc.
Let us know your thoughts and what items you may have included in this list below in the comments. We would love to hear your suggestions.