Camping & Survival

Bug Out Bags and What to Put in Them

Bug-out bag and gear

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. BLACKHAWK! R.A.P.T.O.R. PackYour 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.

Tactical Trauma Kit
Tactical Trauma Kit

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.

Emergency Kit In A Bottle
Emergency Kit In A Bottle

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.

Personal Survival Ark 72 Hour Kit
Personal Survival Ark 72 Hour Kit

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.

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Comments (12)

  1. I put in 3 ways to make fire, some small LED flashlights(PAKLITES), very cool, snap on a 9volt batt, lithiums can last 10 yrs stored and these babies are bright and nearly indestructible..check ’em out!. I also put in some broad-spectrum anti-biotics, available without prescript on vet website thru Amazon, they are used for fish, but fine for human use, I have tried ’em and they work.keflex(cephalexin) is what I have, Fish-Mox is another(Amoxicillin 500 mg).My 357,and spare ammo and the ruger six 22/22mag, Ammo is small and 22mag is a great round, lets me carry alot of it.Emerg blankets(3),steel wool(for the 9volt batts),Para cord(5)30′ lengths,Becker BK2 Camp knife,several other folders, a GOOD Multi-tool(2 actually),Aspirin+Ibuprofen,Alcohol,my own First aid kit+ please include’Silvadene’ great for burns or open wounds,A REAL fishing kit, GUITAR Strings!!! they make awesome snares(ball end type),small bottle with nails/screws,I pack a small vial of gunpowder(why not,it’s light),under armor long johns and wool pants/shirt,light gore-tex rainsuit,Bivy Bag,stainless H20 bottles(boilsafe),Rice+beans,I know it sounds odd, but I know this will all work for me, and keep me+mine safe,healthy+warm!!!

  2. I like the concept of the ark kit, but has anyone tested it in a Minnesota or North Dakota winter? It seems to me that frozen water expands and when it regularly gets to -40 degrees that could lead to a wet box and ruined supplies.

  3. Bug-Out-Bags are good but if you are interested in “Emergency Prep” learn from my mistake and DO NOT DO ANYTHING, MAKE NO PURCHASES AT ALL. Not until you have bought, read and understood the contents of AT LEAST a dozen books on the subject. I promise you that if you don’t do your research in advance you will be WASTING a lot of money.

    LEARN, then act.

    Now, START STUDING BEFORE IT IS TO LATE, the clock is ticking people and no one knows when the alarm is set for.

  4. Everybody should look at what is recommended to be in their BOB, then put what they need in the BOB. I prefer the idea of keeping several around, one at work, one at home and one in the car. Make sure that you take advanced First Aid, plus if you take meds, have a 3 month supply ready and rotate you inventory of meds regularly.

  5. I wouldn’t trust a $20 pre-packed survival kit. Is the multi-tool a quality one. A survival situation would be a BAD time to learn was junk. Build your own, people! Make a list of the most likely disasters and then prepare for #1. After that, start preparing for the next LIKELY disaster.. Pistol or rifle magazines shouldn’t be anywhere you can’t get to them. My pistol shoulder rig has room for 4 EXTRA magazines for my 1911. I designed my kit for a get home bag as I drive all over the country. I started out with a fanny pack with a knife, and a basic homemade first aid kit. I have slowly built it up with extra socks, underwear, baby powder, baby wipes, extra eyeglasses, 4 days rations, water purification tablets, 3 ways to make fire, two canteens and two containers to boil water… I ALWAYS have my pistol and 5 magazines loaded, and an extra box of ammo.. and it is still growing. I have USED my pack camping and thrown away some cheap tools/equipment and replaced them with better quality as my budget allowed.

  6. That’s a very good point. Some people might agree that keeping a bug out bag in the trunk of their car is a good idea. I don’t particularly agree with that. For exactly the reason you mentioned above. I believe the best place to have them are at work and at home. Because no matter which way you look at it you’re at one or the other. If you decide to go on vacation take one with you. Just make sure you have more than one. Simple as that.

  7. My only concern with my B.O.B. is how the contents fare in the heat. It can regularly break 140F in a trunk in the summer. Does anyone test these things to give an expected shelf life for them? Even adhesive bandages don’t last long here. A year in the trunk of a car and they are about as good as old masking tape.

    1. Desert Rat has a fair point. Not everyone has a comfortable way to bring their bag to work, and car interiors are hot/cold places for wipes and bandages.

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