List of Essential Gear for a Bug Out Bag

List of Essential Gear for a Bug Out Bag

Preface:  While Bug Out Bags have connotations of Doomsday Preppers rushing away from a soon to be crushed metropolis, the sad reality is that with the growing prevalence of bushfires and floods Bug Out Bags are a topic requiring serious consideration for many.  In this article by Kyt Lyn Walken, considerations for Bug Out Bags are laid out for you.  Everyone's situation is different but some simple and wise preparation now could make a major difference if you are in the unfortunate situation of having to leave your home in an emergency.


In previous articles, I’ve discussed essential gear for creating a natural shelter, purifying water, and more. Now, let’s delve into the individual elements that a solid bug out bag should contain, considering the macro categories we can group them into.

A standard Bug Out Bag (designed for at least 72 hours) must meet specific requirements. Remember, the contents of your Bug Out Bag (BOB) depend on several factors, such as:

  • The duration of your time away from home
  • The current season
  • Temperature
  • The bug out location you aim to reach
  • And more

Moreover, all components must be:

  • Reliable
  • Durable
  • Stored in a safe, dry place
  • Regularly checked
  • Tested before use

On the General Prepper website    , you can find most of the elements needed to set up your Bug Out Bag.


The Only Way to Go… Is to Prepare Yourself

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Choosing the right backpack depends on your expertise and comfort in carrying it for a considerable amount of time. Here are a couple of recommended backpacks for their reliability and toughness:

  • Savotta JÄÄKÄRI XL (70 Lt)
  • Snugpak Bergen (100 Lt)

As for bags, my personal choices are:

  • Snugpak Kitmonster (120 Lt)
  • 101 INC Range Bag (50 Lt)

These bags can be easily stored in the back of your car and are always within easy reach.

On Hygiene Products and First Aid

(First Aid Kit, Duct Tape, Tourniquet, Tooth products, menstruation items…)

On the specific page dedicated to Hygiene, First Aid, and First Aid Kits, you can find valuable kits to start setting up your Medi-Kit. I suggest combining several together, such as Cederroth & First Aid & Burn Station with First Aid – Lifesystems Traveller and First Aid – Lifesystems Mountain. This way, you can count on different pieces, covering a wide range of emergency situations.

Additional elements to store include:

  • Snugpak Hands & Face towel
  • SOL Tight Pack Survival Towel
  • Sjö & Hav Outdoor soap 200 ml

(You can find much more in the Camping – Hygiene section of the website)

On Clothing

(Dry and clean clothes, waterproof jackets, warm clothes, proper shoes, scarves, hats…)

Your self-knowledge and the risks associated with a SHTF (s##t hits the fan) scenario should be the keystones that help you determine your clothing. Remember, the best option is always to go for a multilayer system. This means pairing different clothes together like thermal underwear, thermal long sleeve t-shirt, fleece, soft shell, anorak, merino wool socks, ArmaSkin antiblister socks, and so on.

On this page, you can find organized bags where you can pack your clothes in, such as Cocoon Packing Cube Light Set, Snugpak packbox, and so on.

On Tools and Weapons

(Multitool, survival knife, weapons of your choice, ammo, cleaning kit…)

Having more than one tool is mandatory, especially if caught in the middle of nowhere. To accomplish several purposes like batoning, sharpening, opening, scratching, and so on, the choice of your blades needs to be performed with accuracy and awareness. Fixed blades like Fällkniven A1 or Gerber LF II Infantry can be combined with some folding knives like EKA Swedblade or Fällkniven PXLBM.

I suggest adding a Multitool (Gerber MP600) along with some shovel, saw, and repair kit that you can find here.

Setting up the Survival Kit represents another important part of your BOB. If you have no previous knowledge of what to pick, here you can find some good kits which already contain the main important pieces.

On Navigation

(Mobile Phone, Compass, maps of the area, GPS, batteries, charging station, pace counter, watch, adequate marking items…)

Navigating your way out of a dangerous area is crucial. Having reliable tools within easy reach and, most importantly, knowing how to use them can mean the difference between life and death. General Prepper offers a wide selection of signalling devices, binoculars, compasses, maps, walkie-talkies, and more. My personal choices for essential items include:

  • Brunton Truarc 7 Compass
  • SOL Rescue Flash Floating Mirror
  • Carson RD Binoculars
  • SOL Slim Whistle

I also recommend having a detailed map of the area you’re in.

On Protection and Shelter

(Tent, tarp, Space Blanket, Paracord, Sleeping bag, Bivy tent…)

Choosing essential gear related to protection and shelter requires careful consideration. The importance of solid and durable gear cannot be overstated. Here are some recommendations for what you might need to spend more than one night out (always considering the season you’re in):

  • Mat: Robens Polarshield 80
  • Sleeping Bag: Snugpak Softie Antarctica
  • Bivy Tent or Tent, Hammocks: Big Agnes FlyCreek HV, Eno Skylite Hammock Pacific

You can find other solutions on the “Camping” page.

On Nutrition

(Purifying tablets or Filtering Systems, Betadine, energy bars, MRE, aluminum, cutlery, canteens, collapsible bottles and jerrycan…)

When it comes to purification, freeze-dried food, stoves, and cooking utensils, you have a full range of gear and ready-to-eat meals to make your SHTF days away from home comfortable, like the Primus Light Stove System or Optimus Electra Cook Set. Being prepared means having all the tools (and food) you need to make things easier.

ID Documents and Stationery

(Personal documents and licenses, pen, pencil, colored pencils, permanent marker, Rainproof notes…)

Never go without a rainproof notebook! When bad weather strikes, you’ll need to keep all your ID safe and dry using a waterproof bag.

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln


About the author: Kyt Lyn Walken

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