The Budget Bug-Out Bag: 20 Cheap Essentials

By CTD Suzanne published on in Buyers Guide, Camping and Survival, Gear

Prepping can be an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Stockpiling non-perishables—especially prepackaged, long-shelf life meals—takes a good chunk of change. Not to mention, some survival equipment is costly. Don’t let the price of prepping scare you off. You can prepare a go-bag for less. If you are strapped for cash, you can build a budget bug-out bag perfect for your car or for an unexpected disaster that will keep you dry, fed, warm, and hydrated for 24 hours.

Note: prices are subject to change without notice.

Picture shows the back of a military surplus backpack with brown vinyl bottom in Polish puma camo.

A military surplus backpack makes a cheap bug-out bag.

The bag
Polish Puma camo ruck sack $9.97
The shelter
Coghlan’s tube tent $7.85
The warmth
Coghlan’s emergency blanket $2.18
Stay dry
Texsport emergency hooded poncho $1.18
Coleman biowipes $3.35

Knife and Tools
Ultimate Survival Technologies SaberCutsaw para knife $17.00

Coghlan’s emergency candles 2 pack with metal candle holders $3.20

The little extras
Coghlan’s survival kit in a can with 38 items $11.46

The food

The water

The fire

First aid

Picture shows a blue foil package of Natural High's freeze-dried three bean chili.

Just add water for this three bean chili.


For about $120, you get everything you need to survive 24 hours in case of emergency.

Have you built a budget bug-out bag? Tell us what is in it in the comment section.

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Suzanne Wiley started shooting at a young age when her older brother bought a Marlin 60 and taught her to shoot. She took to shooting and developed a love for it when she realized she was a natural with a .22 LR rifle at summer camp. Suzanne has been an outdoor adventurer since she can remember-being from the Ozarks, there were bountiful caves, national parks, lakes, and camping spots to explore. From a young age, she has camped, fished, rode horses, went ATV exploring, rappelling, and even dabbled in beginner spelunking.
Suzanne joined the content team with over eight years experience at Starting out as a product description writer, Suzanne has extensive knowledge of the Cheaper Than Dirt! product base and is a good resource for suggestions on which products you need. Suzanne specializes in writing for the female shooter, beginner shooter, and the modern-day prepper. Though she prefers plinking with her S&W M&P 15-22, Suzanne also loves revolvers, the 1911, short-barreled AR-15s, and shooting full auto when she gets the chance. Suzanne is a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

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