A bug-out bag doesn’t necessarily have to be the bag that sits around in your garage waiting for a possible emergency evacuation situation. It can also be your grab and go bag for all different types of situations like road trips and hunting, camping, and hiking trips; basically any type of situation where the possibility of being stuck or lost is plausible. Your bug-out-bag should be packed with the survival basics that will get you through at least 48 hours. Fortunately, if you have gone through all the right steps before heading out, like telling someone exactly where you are going and when you expect to get back, if you are lost or stuck, it generally takes search and rescue 24 hours to respond to a distress signal.
I personally prefer a backpack for a bug-out-bag instead of a duffle bag. It’s more comfortable, frees up your arms and hands, and carries the weight more evenly. For more room for other essentials and save weight, get a backpack with a built-in hydration system.
To save room for other stuff in the backpack, attach a MOLLE-style first aid kit to the outside. A basic first aid kit is a good start. You can always add whatever you want to it to suit your personal needs. For example, I add lip balm, sunscreen, aloe lotion, QuikClot®, tummy medicine, and more pain reliever. The Tactical Trauma kit is a good start though. It includes the basics such as various bandages, antiseptic wipes, and a pair of tweezers. It contains 55 first aid items.
To save a little bit of time and money, purchase a pre-assembled survival kit. Survival kits range from containing very few items such as a firestarter and compass only to everything you need to survive for two weeks.
Another excellent kit I like above all the others is the Ark personal survival 72-hour kit, because it includes six packets of drinkable water. Having water in an emergency is my top priority and this really solves the problem on how to carry it or acquire it. Buy two of them, one you can keep in your bag and one to keep in your car. The cool thing about the Ark is if you keep it packaged in the box, you can use the box for tinder to start a fire. It’s about the size of cigar box, so it should fit under the seat in your car or in your bug-out-bag. Not only does it have the water, but also it includes energy bars, a light stick, a hand warmer, a candle, matches, an emergency blanket and a first aid kit. It is designed to sustain one person for three days.