How to Assemble Your Essential Bug Out Bag

Why You Need a Bug Out Bag

Emergencies and natural disasters are unpredictable. There’s usually no warning when an emergency situation can turn your world upside down, leaving you scrambling for basic necessities. That’s why having a Bug Out Bag (BOB) is so essential.

A Bug Out Bag is a prepared survival kit designed to sustain you through the journey to your destination once you decide to “bug out” in the face of disaster. From food, water, shelter, to sanitation needs and personal documents, a good BOB furnishes the bare essentials required to survive for at least 72 hours.

Basic Components of a Bug Out Bag

Here are the basic items you must consider while putting together your first Bug Out Bag:

  • Water: One liter per person per day is a good starting point. You can opt for water purification tablets or portable water filters to save space.
  • Food: Aim for 2000-2500 calories per person per day. Good options include energy bars, MREs or freeze-dried meals.
  • Shelter: This could be a tent or an emergency blanket – key is to keep your body (aka your core) protected from the elements.
  • First Aid Kit: Include bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, medical tape, painkillers, and any necessary prescription medications.
  • Personal Documents: Copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate should go in here. So should details about your emergency medical information and an in-state and out-of-state contact.

Other Items to Include

Beyond the absolute essentials, your Bug Out Bag should include some additional items based on your personal needs and survival skills. Consider the following:

  • Knife or multi-tool
  • Flashlight (preferably hand-cranked)
  • Extra clothing and sturdy footwear
  • Fire starter
  • Map and compass

Words of Caution

Remember, a Bug Out Bag is not a magical unlimited storage space. Every item that goes inside should be carefully considered for its utility versus its weight and volume. More often than not, less is more. It’s also crucial to learn how to use every item in your bag proficiently. There’s no point carrying fancy survival gear if you don’t know how to use it correctly.


Remember, the purpose of a Bug Out Bag is not to act as a long-term survival solution but as a bridge between sudden disaster and reaching your safe haven. So, think carefully, plan meticulously, and pack your Bug Out Bag wisely. The very life you save may be your own.

Putting Together Your First Bug Out Bag

Written by Keith Jacobs

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