Bug Out Bag Checklist

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Here’s an excellent bag that includes all of these qualities. Once, you have your bag figured out…it’s time to decide what to put in it. Click on Bug Out Bag for a look at some top used and purchased bags.

Before you start filling your bug out bag with all the tools and supplies you need, you first must purchase a Bug Out Bag. Make certain you buy one with the minimum qualities:

  • Camouflage or Earth Tones. Consider color and look carefully.
  • Durable Materials MOLLE Strap System. Consider the stitching and versatility of the bag.
  • Hip and Lower Back Support. Try it on for comfort, size and body fit.
  • Water Resistant Materials. Consider inside lining to protect items.
  • High Quality Velcro and Zippers. Strength and durability as well as noise discipline.
  • Ample Supply of Tactical Pockets. Effective for maximum load proficiency.


Clothes can be bulky and can take up a lot of valuable space. You should have one high quality set of durable clothes that you can wear every day and then just change out the undergarments to keep up your hygiene.

– Socks

Wool is the best choice. Keep dry and alternate socks if you can. Staying dry and healthy is key to surviving the elements.

– Quick Dry Undergarments

Get the quick drying kind so that you can wash them and they will dry fast. You will need less of each since they can be washed/dried so quickly.

– Sewing Kit (mending/repairs)

Good to have if your pants rip or your shirt tears. You shouldn’t be carrying much clothes so you’ll need to mend what you do have should they rip or tear.

– Gloves (All purpose and durable)

Find gloves that will keep your hands dry and safe from cuts and bruises.

– Hat/Beanie (skullcaps)

Get a camouflage one if you are planning on not being seen. Get an orange one if you want to be found.

– Body Warmers (extremities)

Keep a few of these in your bag for those really cold nights. The elements can sneak up on you and make life very miserable.

– Rain Poncho with Hood

Keeps you dry and protects against the elements. Can also be used for shelter.

Water and Hydration System

Carrying lots of water gets really heavy, really fast. You need some water to get started but must be able to find and purify drinking water. Here are some water and hydration system options.

– Stainless Steel Canteen or Bottle

It’s important to get a stainless steel container and not plastic, so that you can boil water in it. Boiling water kills all bacteria for safe drinking. Pre-fill the bottle with safe drinking water in storage so you can start off with water and then “refill-boil-filter-purify” on the go.

– Water Purification Tablets

The tablets may change the taste of the water but it will be good to drink and it’s faster than boiling.

– Small Portable Water Filter

Using a filtration device can save a lot of pack weight and space. Get a couple of them for longer term situations.

– Family Size Water Filter System

Suitable for traveling with family. It’s practical for long term situations. Hook it to the outside of your pack and use it when you get to your base camp location.

Fire Essentials

It’s recommended that you have at least 3 different ways to start a fire. Fire can make the difference in a survival situation. You need it to purify water (if boiling), cook, night safety and it’s a huge morale booster. Once you get fire making tools, make sure you practice and learn how to use them effectively.

– Waterproof Survival Matches

Waterproof is the key here. If regular matches get wet then you’re not going to have a fire.

– Fire Starters

Get one and practice, practice, practice.

– Lighters

Basic and to the point.

– Tinder (cotton ball w/vaseline, dry lint)

Having good dry tinder will simplify starting a fire.

– Vaseline

Add some Vaseline to any tinder and it will help it ignite and prolong the flames.

– Magnifying Glass

This works very well if the sun is out. Just another tool used to start a fire.

– Waterproof Container

It’s important to keep your tinder and fire starting equipment dry and protected.

Food and Food Prep Supplies

Having a couple different sources of food is a must. You need some easy to access and easy to prep foods, but you also need skills/tools in order to hunt and gather additional foods. Here are some food options.

– Meal Replacement/Food Bars

Easy to eat especially when on the go. Don’t leave trash behind. It could give away your position.

– Freeze Dried Meals

These are lightweight and can be prepared once you find a safe spot to settle at. Just add boiling water and enjoy.

– Meals (MRE – Meals, Ready to Eat)

Military personnel have used them for years. They can be bulky so you will have to “field dress” them before packing them.

– Multivitamins

Your daily intake will be limited.

– Basic Eating Utensils

It’s good to have eating utensils around. You can make due without them but it’s nice to have.

– Collapsible Bowl/Cup

You will need to place your meals on something. Not really needed but good to have.

– Cooking Stove w/ Fuel

Can be very useful for cooking and boiling water. Not really needed since you can build a fire but it can be another option.


Having a shelter will protect you from wild animals and the elements. There are many types of shelters you can build, depending on the time you have and equipment you carry. Choose the best option that fits what you need.

– Two Man/Pop Up Tent

There are many types and styles of tents. Get one that fits your needs. Find a tent that is lightweight and durable to keep you safe from the elements.

– Military Grade Tarp

Choose the color, size and durability for what you need. Consider the terrain and elements when choosing.

– Hammock

Easy to put up (as long as there are trees around) and keeps you off the ground.

– Bivy Sack or Sleeping Bag System

Another personal preference. Either one is good.

– Foam Sleeping Mat

Provides comfort in harsh terrain and can be used for long prone positions in case of danger.

– Small Folding Shovel

Good idea to have one if you have space. It allows you to improve your shelter areas and bury (or dig up) items. Items being tools, guns or waste. It can also be used as a weapon.

– Zip Ties

Light, easy to use and can help create a nice survival shelter. Helps tie items together to make a shelter. It can also be used to subdue individuals if needed.

– 550 Paracord (Rope)

Paracord is a must for setting up a quality shelter regardless of whether you are going with a hammock or a tarp. It allows you to tie things together.

– Portable Solar Charger

If you plan to have a basic cell phone or walkie talkies, then you need a way to charge those devices.

First Aid

When you are exposed to the elements and the challenges of nature, there’s a high probability you’ll get a cut or a cold. You need some basic first aid tools to make certain you can treat these issues and keep surviving. A simple infected cut can kill you if it is not treated properly.

– Personal Medication

If you take medications and need to continue to take them even in a bug out situation, then put some in your pack.

– Wound Gauze Roll

Gauze is perfect for bad cuts or burns.

– Surgical Tape

Surgical tape will help secure bandages around the wound..

– Band Aids (several kinds/sizes)

Band aids are perfect for small cuts and lacerations, keeps all wounds covered and clean which helps to prevent infection.

– Neosporin

Add to any cut or laceration and you’ll be more confident to prevent infection. It can also be useful to start and prolong fire.

– Painkillers

If in pain from an injury or illness, it can help to keep you going.

– Blood Clotting Sponge

Not a necessity, but nice to have in your first aid kit. Will help a bad wound stop bleeding.

– Vaseline

Good to help prevent dry skin getting chapped and cracked. Can be used to start a fire.

– Safety Pins

Can be used in numerous injury situations.

– Sterile Alcohol Prep Pads

Clean all wounds and keep it clean.

– Hydrogen Peroxide Spray

Clean all wounds and help disinfect.

– Q Tips

For applying small amounts of creams and liquids. Can also be used to clean weapons.

– Survival Tweezers and/or Utility Nail Clippers

Can be used to get splinters out and to keep your nails trimmed.  

– Insect Repellent

Mosquitoes and other bugs can make life even more miserable and they can carry diseases.

– Sun Block

Helps to prevent serious sunburn

Personal Hygiene

This is survival so if you enjoy daily showers then get ready for that to change. When on the run, you’ll need to perform some basic sanitation but it’s not going to include hot daily showers.

– Prescription Glasses

If you wear corrective lenses then get a second pair and keep the in hard protective case. Not having good vision is a major disability in a survival situation.

– Moist Towelettes

Pack as many of these as you can fit. They are lightweight and will keep you somewhat clean. It’s no shower but it’s better than nothing.

– Compact Toothbrush

Keep your teeth healthy because it might be awhile before you can see a dentist.

– Compact Toothpaste

Ration a single tube as long as possible.

– Dental Floss

Light and small for dental hygiene. Can also be used for tying small items or sewing.

– Q-Tips

Used in first aid and you can keep your ears clean too.

– Survival Tweezers and/or Utility Nail Clippers

Good for nail trimming and general sanitation.

– Sportsman’s Soap

Ration this as long as you can. Use for the occasional river bath (probably cold!).

– Tampons

Something ladies will want to add this to their packs. Tampons can also be used as gauze, tinder, or filters.

– Hand Sanitizer (Moist Towelettes Can Replace)

Good for quick sanitation of hands before eating. Can also help fight off bugs. They don’t like the smell.

– Scissors

Another handy tool, however you can probably get by with a good knife and multi-tool.


You need to stay informed and know what’s going on. Keep in mind that hand signals and morse code would be an excellent addition to learn for situations that require noise discipline.

– Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Digital Radio

Stay informed and it can also provide you with much needed distractions.

– Two-Way Radios (Walkie Talkies)

Excellent way to communicate with others in your party. You can break your teams up, spread out and still keep in communication with each other.

– Rugged Cell Phone

It will last longer in rough terrain and elements.

– Multi-purpose Survival Watch

Knowing the date and time is crucial to any survival situation. Remember to silence alarms for noise discipline.

– Small Signal Mirror

Can be used for rescue signaling or for signaling other members of your party from a distance.

– Multifunctional Survival Whistle

Easy way to communicate at distance with your party members. Plus it’s light and easy to pack.

Hand Signal Aid

It’s good to know basic hand signals, especially if noise discipline comes into play. Print one off and learn it.

Hunting & Self Defense

Whether it’s self-defense from animals in the wilderness or dangerous individuals, you’ll want way to protect both yourself and your family. These are some of the options you may want to consider adding to your pack.

– Handgun

Having a handgun is the best self-defense tools you can have for protection against nearly all dangers (animals / human). Plus it’s easy to pack, however you’ll need to keep it clean and ration your ammo.

– Ammo

Be conscious of the fact that ammo can get heavy very fast. You’ll need to ration you ammo and only use it when absolutely necessary.

– Survival Bow/Cross Bow/Arrows

They don’t really fit very well into a pack, but if you can carry it on the outside, then you can reuse the arrows which helps with not having to ration as much. Good for hunting game as well.

– Survival Knife

Essential survival tool. The uses are endless and needed for self-defense.

– Survival Series Multi-Tool

Essential survival tool. Without a doubt one of the most important gadgets you could own.

– Survival Hatchet/Axe

It can be used to build and fortify shelter, provide another tool for protection and used to chop down wood for fires.

– Wire Saw

Extremely small and lightweight and can help cut logs for fires. Don’t need it if you have a hatchet, recommended if you don’t. This also helps with noise discipline.

– Pepper Spray

It can be used to protect yourself from wild animals and humans alike. Learn how to use it.


It’s very important to be able to see at night. The options are limitless so choose wisely.

Solar Charger

It’s useful for items that require power. There are many solar power sources available.

– LED Tactical Headlamp

You’ll need some light to get around at night. You also need to use your hands. An LED Tactical Headlamp is a perfect solution.

– LED Tactical Flashlight

An LED tactical flashlight is needed so that you can quickly shine light on what you want. For safety and self defense it’s recommended to have a flashlight with an adaptable red screen as well as a headlamp.

– Chemlights (glow sticks)

These are nice to light up an area and be able to keep it lite up while you walk away which can be helpful around base camp

– Cat’s Eyes

These can be used to help navigate at night without too much illumination. The person behind you can see the reflective dots (glow in the dark) and follow. Great for visibility discipline at night.


Navigation is critical to surviving long distance travels. You need to know where you are and the best way to get there. Learn how to use a compass and you’ll never be lost. GPS devices take energy or batteries and so cannot be relied on in a bug out situation.

– Basic Compass

Essential for getting to where you need to be. Practice and learn.

– Local Area Topographical Map

In order to know where you are and where you’re going you’ll need a good map.

– Notebook and Pencil

To document times and events, leave notes for others, or draw maps of terrain.

Fishing and Small Game Gear

– Braided Fishing Line

A little bit of fishing line and some skills are a great way to keep getting calories. Braided fishing line is very strong and will last much longer (and take more abuse) than other kinds of fishing line.

– Fishing Pole Small/Collapsing /Pocket Size

Recently, some pretty ingenious ultra-small fishing poles have hit the market. Any of these will work and breakdown nicely in a pack.

Snare Wire For Trapping

Snares can be very useful in trapping game. This requires training and know how of equipment and terrain.


It will take some patience and a lot of practice, but a slingshot is lightweight, easy to carry and perfect for hunting small game. It’s also great for noise discipline and self-defense.


This is a list of other items to consider including in you bag depending on the needs.

Survival Guide Books

There are many books out there to learn from. Top 3 to focus on are: medicine/homeopathic, edible foods and plants, ultimate survival book.

– Carabiners

Used as a means to attach items. Very useful and essential.

– Batteries (Depends on your gear)

Get a couple extra sets of batteries for all your electricity dependent devices. The 9V batteries combined with gum wrappers or steel wool will start a fire.

– Cash or Coins (gold/silver)

Hard to know what the currency situation will be but good to have a something for trading, purchasing or bartering.

– Super Glue

Can be used to seal up cuts (also handy to have for other survival uses).

– Sunglasses (Tactical)

Protective sunglasses with sport strap for better movement and stability.

– ID/Passport

May or may not be useful but good to have in case you need it.

– Duct Tape

So many potential uses for duct tape. You can potentially fix anything.  

– Civilian Gas Mask

Not a necessity but good survival tool depending on your location.

– Camouflage Face Paint

Keep you safe and invisible. Plus it can provide a boost of morale in a combative situation.

– Mosquito Head Net

Mosquitoes buzzing your face is a major annoyance. If you live in a mosquito infested region then this is a must have.

– Hiking Poles/Walking Stick

You can walk further with a pack if you have a set of poles or walking stick to help with steep hikes and stabilize to prevent rolled ankles and tweaked knees.

– Family Pictures

Good to have in case a family member gets lost. They will also provide moral support and give you the strength you need to keep surviving.

And finally…

MODERN SURVIVAL: The Complete Ultimate Survival Bug Out Bag

– Completely Stocked Bug Out Bag

A knowledgeable survival team has made all the selections for you, helping to ensure your bag is fully optimized for gear, weight and packing so you don’t have to worry about all that. Keep in mind that you still have to know and learn how to use every single piece of gear and equipment. Education and training will provide the experience needed to survive. Invest in you and your loved ones. Take the time to prepare for the unknown.

Remember, you already prepare for disasters and the “what ifs” in life. You purchase things like car insurance, health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, and homeowners insurance. Why not invest in you and your loved ones by obtaining some “survival insurance”? Good luck and always prepare for the unknown.

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