Bugout Bag Essentials

Your bugout bag is THE bag for everything you need to get out of town in a hurry. If the zombie apocalypse strikes or the in-laws call you from the airport, you can hit the ground running in minutes. Your bugout bag should have everything you need to survive for at least a few days until you can set up a base of operations.

Here is a shopping list with some brief explanations where needed.

Hydration –

The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have drinkable water. You can survive for weeks without food, but without water, you’re dead in days and sick in much less.

● Life Straw – This a straw that purifies water while you drink from it.
● Water bottle – Collapsible is best, so it can be packed away easily. There are many choices, but you want to make sure it is reusable and not easily cracked or broken.
Water Purification Tablets – to make sure you do not get sick and should be used each time you add water from a creek or river.

Food –


Food might be hard to find and you need to make sure to keep your energy up.

● Protein bars – Six or eight protein bars will be important. Avoid something that’s more like a candy bar.
● Can opener – You can find those little keychain openers in every sporting goods store.
● Metal cooking kit – There are a lot choices just make sure it is not to heavy to carry, check your camping sections in stores.
● Bottle/ wine opener – You never know what you’re going to find on the road, so be prepared to open everything.

Clothing –

You might not have time to pack so have clothes in your bugout bag. Here is a lot of personal choice, but make sure you have underwear, long and short sleeve shirts, long and short pants, wool socks, a hat with a wide brim, work gloves, and a shemagh. It will also be important to have rain gear, like a poncho.

Shelter –

This can get a bit larger, but it can be made to work.

● Tarp
● Tent
● Wool Blanket or Mylar Blanket
● Sleeping bag

Heat Source –

Make sure that you have some redundancy here. A lighter, matches, and flint may all be needed. If one fails, you might be in trouble.

● Lighter
● Wooden matches
● Flint
● Tinder
● Waterproof storage container

First Aid –

A first aid kit is a bare minimum, but make sure you have a mylar survival blanket. They are very cheap and can save your life or keep someone from going into shock.

Cleanliness –

Castile Liquid Soap is perfect because it can be used for almost everything. Have a mirror, toothbrush, and tooth powder (it’s a bit lighter than toothpaste). Any other personal hygiene items you might need.

Medication –

if you are on any daily or prescription medication. Check and make sure you always have up to date medication (not expired).

Tools –

Here’s where you can choose, but these items are necessary:

● Collapsible shovel
● 10-12 inch knife
● Hatchet
● Multi-tool

Radio –

A small battery operated or hand-crank charged AM/FM radio can help to keep you informed. You might want a portable CB radio, but that’s is optional. A cell phone that can be charged, even it’s not connected to a network, can dial 911.


There are lots of options, but the basics that you need are a couple of small, but powerful, flashlights and a box of small candles.

Extras – Here we branch out into situational stuff. You might want cash in your bag, your passport, birth certificate, and a credit card. Weapons, like a handgun or takedown rifle, are optional, but will depend on your most likely scenario. Other things, like parachute cord, a sewing kit, and sunglasses are among the tools you might want.

Any walk through an Army/Navy store or a good sporting goods store will help you find other things that might be good to have. This list is just some of the basics.

Above all – make sure it is not to heavy for you to carry…