This is a list of some of the basics of a bug out bag. It’s definitely not exclusive, but I’m not going to try to tell you what kind of gun or holster to get, for example. But you better have one or two, and some loaded mags. Any way, you’ll probably want most of these and more gear on top of it. I’d carry a couple of MREs and water bladders in addition to the stuff here – most of the weight you carry will likely be water. Don’t forget a change of clothes and extra socks!
Rubbermaid 20-Ounce Filtration Personal Bottle, Black – 7.99
Clean water is critical. To extend filter life, fill through a sock or other fabric if it’s dirty. I picked this over others because it can be turned upside down to drip-filter.
Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30: 1 OZ – 5.00 (get it at your local store)
Sunburn bites. You don’t need much of this, but it’s pretty critical.
4 Panel Large Bill Flap Hat W15S48B (One Size Fits Most/Khaki) – 19.50
Head cover is probably the most important thing after water.
MOLLE 3 Day Military Assault Pack Backpack – Black – 85.99
AAA 53 Piece Tune Up First Aid Kit – 10.10
Keep a FAK in the bag. Your injuries will be amplified and you might not be able to keep them clean otherwise.
Gerber 22-41576 Gator Machete with Sheath – 22.84
A machete is an incredible tool. You can use it for a lever, to clear a path, cutting large pieces of meat, and for protection. Make sure you keep it sharp!
Rothco Type III Commercial Paracord (Black, 550-Pound/50-Feet) – 5.91
Paracord is absurdly useful. It’s hard to have too much.
5 in 1 Survival Whistle, Emergency Zone® Brand – 4.99
It’s in the crappy add-on program, but it’s a useful device. Keep matches, a strike strip, and tinder in it.
Cree 7W 300LM Mini LED Flashlight – 8.88
Little flashlights are great. Note that you only get the full light output if you use one of the 3.7 V special batteries. You might consider starting with one in it and moving to rechargeable AA if you need.
Energizer Headlight, Yellow/Blue, 1AA – 25.48
Light is pretty important. This model is light, uses a single AA battery, and has white and red LEDs with separate buttons.
Mainstay Emergency Food Rations – Case of 10 Packs – 66.81
Basic food to keep you going. Won’t win any awards, but it will keep you up and running. One case is enough for two or three people for BOBs.
Cold Steel Recon Tanto Kraton Handle with Black Blade (Secure-Ex Sheath) – 78.71
A quality blade is very important. I’d get a machete and multitool before a dedicated medium blade though.
55GAL 2M DRUM LINER – 13.57
Heavy large bags are really versatile. You can section your pack with them, use them for simple waterproofing, make them into a rain jacket or shelter, nice!
Rayovac Rechargeable NiMH Batteries, AA-size, 4-count Carded Pack – 11.95
The base of the power system used in this kit. All electronics use AA batteries.
Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool – 60.00
You need a high quality multitool. Check a lot out and find what meets your needs. This is just an example.
Off! Deep Woods for Sportsmen Insect Repellent I, Pump Spray – 95% DEET – 1 fl oz – 5.60
Keeps the bugs off.
Quake Kare Emergency Thermal Blankets (4 Pack) – 6.00
These are light and can be used for shelter, warmth, cooking, and signaling. There’s little reason to not carry two in a BOB.
Emergency Zone Folding Shovel with Pick and Compass, Multifunction Survival Tool – 12.99
I would have liked to add one of the tool kits that has a shovel, pick, saw, and axe. But I couldn’t find any that were of good quality.
SanDisk Cruzer Switch CZ52 16 GB USB Flash Drive (SDCZ52-016G-B35) – 15.82
Several things to do with these. Keep medical and financial data on it, encrypt it (use bitlocker to go, most computers can read it), or install windows to go on it and bitlocker it.
Goal Zero 19010 Guide 10 Plus Small Adventure Kit – 119.95
Just upgraded to the Guide 10 Plus, which has a full amp of output.
Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair) (Black/Silver) – 58.56
A good solid GRMS radio that uses internal NiMH charge packs but can take AA batteries instead. They also function as chargers if you have a 12 v power source.
Suisse Sport Adult Adventurer Mummy Ultra-Compactable Sleeping Bag (Right Zipper) Blue – 40.52
Depending on the area, you may not want this in your bag in the summer. But you’re really going to miss it if you need it and don’t have it.
407 BLACK TACTICAL MARCHING COMPASS – 5.89
Tinder-Quik 10 pack (1 packet) – 3.95
Tinder is good, but it’s easier to get dryer lint and mix some lard or petroleum jelly in. Keep it in an altoids tin.
Spiderwire Stealth Braid 300-Yard Spool (Moss Green, Pound/Diameter 6/1) – 24.24
Goes with the fishing line.
Energizer-Eveready 01793 – AA 1.5 Volt Ultimate Lithium Battery (4 pack) (L91BP-4) – 1.97
I prefer to stick with rechargeable batteries generally, but these are very light and hold much more power per size and weight. I would seriously consider them for a kit that I expect to not have after 72 hours.
Gerber 01471 Suspension Butterfly Opening Multi-Plier with Sheath – 29.89
This is an alternate multitool.
12 Hour Green Lightsticks (4 Pack) – 7.70
Chemlights have plenty of great uses. If you’re not hiding, you can stick them on a shoulder to mark members if your group.
Tool Logic T1BCC Series Business Card, Ultra-Slim Tool Card with Twelve Features, Translucent Black – 21.42
Never know what little things you’ll need to fix. This packs well, even if it is a little expensive.
Light My Fire MealKit Harness – Grey – 7.37
Goes with the meal kit, very optional.
Light My Fire Outdoor MealKit – Black – 19.61
Won’t really be needed if you stick with the meal bars and MREs. I’d really like to carry stainless instead.
South Bend Catfish Hook Assortment (Assorted) – 4.49
Fish hooks and line can be great. Keep some around if you can. There are catfish in almost all water in America.
Gerber 22-41420 Gator Combo Axe II – 36.99
An axe and saw can be fairly useful, but your machete will probably serve you better, especially in the south. These might not be worth the weight.
3M Peltor MT15H69FB-09 Com-Tac II Headset – 324.49
This is an example of an amp headset that uses AA batteries. I wouldn’t spend anywhere near its list price of $300 though.