Best Bug Out Bag, Checklist and Products

A Bug Out Bag is the ultimate version of a go-bag. Its purpose is to provide all of the necessary, high priority, critical survival gear needed to live away from home long term. The kit is the ultimate personal survival kit. 

A bug out bag (AKA BOB) is used in evacuation scenarios. Whether you're in a vehicle with other supplies or on foot surviving on the move the survival gear you need is on hand.

This survival kit is Stage 2 of the recommended survival kit system. Be sure to build the Emergency Essentials Kit from Stage 1 to include in your Bug Out Bag. Both kits contain required essentials for long term evacuation.

Bug Out Bag (Personal Kit)

Bug out bags are much like a 72 hour kit but are designed for long term use. They tend to have a more serious intent - evacuation. Usually, they are equipped with survival gear, personal items, and protective gear like weapons, etc. They are a more extreme, yet justifiable form of emergency gear. In countries of unrest more extreme gear is needed. Many people who invest in a bug-out bag believe that it's just a matter of time before social unrest or some catastrophic event drives us from our homes. A bug out bag has gear for long term survival and protection.

Military and tactical personnel are trained for extreme emergency situations. They invest heavily in the necessary gear.

Often a bug out bag consists of a durable, portable container (tactical backpack with molle-ready attachment points, etc) filled with elite gear that will withstand extreme situations. Gear might include, hydration bladders and filters, MRE food, multitools, rechargeable light sources, hatchets or saws, portable shelters, weapons, communication devices, etc. Budgets for bug out equipment usually exceed other emergency kits because there is an emphasis on quality and specified gear you must rely on for a long time.

Recommendation: This is how we use our bug out bags

We are a very active family. We hike, bike, off-road, fish, camp, etc. Usually we grab our day packs and add our emergency essentials pouches plus whatever special gear, clothing and food we might need during that day's outing. On overnighter campouts we do the same. 

However, on occasion, on longer campouts or road trips we'll include a bug out bag in our luggage, just in case. We've used gear in the bag on numerous occasions.

When it's not in use, we leave the bug out bag and 72-hour kits in the mud room for grab-and-go access.

Check out the contents (most of them) of the actual bug-out-bag. Notice the 3 required essentials kits at the top near the pack.

Bug Out Bag (BOB)

About This Article

Content:
Scope:
Difficulty:

Survival System - Stage: 2


Table of Contents

  1. Bug Out Bag
  2. Bug out Bag Priorities
  3. Bug out Bag Checklist
  4. Bug out Bag Gear

Survival Priorities

The human body has certain requirements to survive. For example, we need clean air, water, food, etc. We also want our blood on the inside of the body. These human needs can be prioritized based on urgency (i.e. drinking water doesn't matter if we can't breathe, etc.)

We recommend gear based on our list of survival priorities. The gear we recommend at each stage will have these priorities in mind. We should purchase critical gear and supplies first and organize it so it's portable and accessible.

We also take into account the likelyhood of needing a particular item in most survival situations. While it's possible, the odds aren't high that we might need a facemask over a flashlight or multitool, etc. We do recommend some tools early in the checklist because they facilitate other higher priority items. For example, a good multi-tool can help out in so many ways. We push it toward the top of the list.

Our bug out bag checklist takes into consideration years of experience in the outdoors as well as the checklists provided by the Boy Scouts, research on the web, military personnele we know and recommendations from first responders. 

We do urge you to customize your kits to tailor to your needs. Consider your common activities, health requirements, people in your household, etc.

Keep in mind, bug out bags are Stage 2 gear. Other stages compliment and add to these kits. Make sure you have Stage 1 Emergency Essentials before getting serious about these items.

Survival Priority List

Priortize your gear and supplies based on this list.

  1. Air
  2. First Aid/Mental Health
  3. Communication
  4. Tools
  5. Shelter
  6. Warmth
  7. Water
  8. Food
  9. Hygiene
  10. Self Protection
  11. Extra Clothing
  12. Container 

 

Survival Priorities Explained

Complete Bug Out Bag Checklist

This checklist has everything you need for a complete bug out bag survival kit. We recommend you download and print out the checklist. Then below, shop for recommended products you need. 

Bug Out Bag (BOB)

Pack highly effective gear for the critical functions of life. Gear should be stowed in a sturdy, comfortable backpack for mobility. Here's a sample of some of the recommended survival items:

Survival Gear

  1. 2-way Radio
  2. AM/FM Radio/Charger
  3. Headlamp
  4. Multi Tool
  5. Field Knife
  6. Camping Tarp
  7. Bivvy or Sleeping Bag
  8. Hand Saw/Hatchet
  9. Water Container
  10. More...

First Aid

  1. Trauma Shears
  2. Chest Seals
  3. Rolled Gauze
  4. Aluminum Splint
  5. First Aid Reference Guide
  6. Abdominal Pad
  7. Bleed Stop
  8. Pressure Bandage
  9. Tourniquet
  10. More...

Survival Toiletries

  1. Toilet Paper
  2. Toothpaste
  3. Camp Soap
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Cotton Swabs
  6. Body Wipes
  7. Trash Bags
  8. Hand Sanitizer
  9. Feminine Hygiene
  10. More...

Download

Bug Out Bag Checklist

Bug Out Bag Checklist

Download Checklist

For personal use.

Recommended Bug Out Bag Survival Gear Products

Explore recommended survival products for the bug out bag survival gear. Below we go through each checklist item and suggest highly-rated, quality products.

2-way Radio

A 2-way radio is incredibly handy if the grid goes down. You can communicate with others and in many cases listen to public notifications and instructions. Be sure to get trained and learn about the existing regulations.

Required Attributes:

  • 2-way
  • AM/FM/NOAA
  • Rechargeable

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

We like the BaoFeng radio. It comes with the right channels and is very configurable. We are part of a group who checks in every week to test their radios and protocols. Admittedly we don't check in that frequently but there is peace of mind that comes from knowing you can communicate with others. 

20 10 26 12 26 37 original 600x600 2 way radio

2-Way Radio - Budget

High power, dual-band, 2-way radio and walkie talkie

Buy on Amazon
20 12 17 12 10 10 original 600x600 2 way radio durable

2-Way Radio - Durable

High powered, durable, dual-band, 2-way radio and walkie talkie

Buy On Amazon

AM/FM Radio/Charger (USB)

Having a recharging resource is critical to power phones, GPS, etc. Having a rechargeable flashlight has a lot ulility as well.

Required Attributes:

  • crank recharger
  • AM/FM/NOAA channels
  • USB port
  • flashlight

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

We like the recharging capabilities of this radio. A few cranks generate a lot of power. We can charge phones, radios, and more with the USB cable. 

We also like this radio as a backup to the BaoFeng 2-way radio for public communications. We can listen to the public announcements while using the 2-way to communicate.

The rechargeable flashlight means we can have light any any time. The recharging capabilities of a device like this would get used a lot.

20 10 26 10 35 12 original 600x600 hand crank solar rechargeable am fm sw radio  led flashlight  power bank

Hand Crank/Solar Rechargeable AM/FM/SW Radio, LED Flashlight, Power Bank - Rugged

Emergency hand crank/solar powered energy source, radio, LED flashlight

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 10 32 55 original 600x600 hand crank solar rechargeable am fm radio  led flashlight  power bank

Hand Crank/Solar Rechargeable AM/FM Radio, LED Flashlight, Power Bank - Budget

Emergency hand crank/solar powered energy source, radio, LED flashlight

Buy on Amazon

Cell Phone

A cell phone can be a great communication device if the grid is still up. It can also connect you with the internet and provide entertainment in dull periods.

Required Attributes:

  • phone
  • GPS
  • data connectivity

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

If the grid is still up your cell phone can be used to call for help, find your location (GPS), look up first aid and edible plants, keep from boredom, etc.

We strongly recommend including a method of generating power (solar, crank or both) so you can keep the phone going. We live where there are a lot of clouds so a crank option is best.

Use your own device. Most devices today have phone, text, Internet, and GPS capabilities.

Headlamp

Hands free working during an emergency is crucial. A rechargeable headlamp is perfect for activities in the dark.

Required Attributes:

  • rechargeable
  • multiple brightness modes (to save batteries or brighten an area intensely)

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

We have multiple options here. They are all quality products. The ultra bright lamp lights up a whole section of the forest and lasts for hours at a time. The others are more modest in brightness but last much longer.

20 10 26 11 10 55 original 600x600 rechargeable led headlamp 450 lumens

Rechargeable LED Headlamp 450 Lumens

Durable, rechargeable 450 lumen LED head lamp for hands free survival

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 11 14 38 original 600x600 rechargeable led headlamp 300 lumens

Rechargeable LED Headlamp 300 Lumens

Durable, rechargeable 300 lumen LED head lamp for hands free survival

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 11 08 34 original 600x600 rechargeable led headlamp 130 lumens

Rechargeable LED Headlamp 130 Lumens

Durable, rechargeable 130 lumen LED head lamp for hands free survival

Buy on Amazon
20 10 22 09 00 35 original 600x600 cobiz headlamp

Ultra Bright Headlamp

Ultra bright, rechargeable 6000 lumen LED head lamp for hands free survival

Buy on Amazon

Multi Tool

A multi-tool might be one of the most used, most handy items on the list. You'll use it to build shelter, process firewood, process and cut food, fix gadgets, etc. You should have a multi-tool in Stage 1. We recommend having a second, more robust multi-tool in Stage 2 as well - it's worth the extra weight.

Required Attributes:

  • 2 blades
  • pliers
  • saw
  • file
  • screw drivers
  • can opener

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

The Leatherman Wave is the most popular multi-tool for sale - and for good reason. It is super reliable and has all of the required functions plus other hand items. We use our Wave all the time - seriously, every outing.

There are other great options but if you can, spring for the Wave or Signal.

20 10 20 14 25 06 original 600x600 leatherman wave

Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool

The most popular, reliable survival multi-tool on the market

Buy on Amazon
20 11 08 10 42 34 original 600x600 skeletool

Leatherman Skeletool

Our pick: Leatherman Skeletool - EDC Survival Multi-Tool

Buy on Amazon
20 10 20 15 14 20 original 600x600 knife swiss army

Swiss Army Pocket Knife

Top Pick: The Swiss Army Knife is a classic EDC multi-tool that covers everything.

Buy on Amazon

Field Knife

Some sites claim that a field knife is the primary survival tool. We've seen claims that they would choose a field knife over any other tool in an emergency. We don't agree but we do see the value. You can process wood, build shelter, hunt, build weapons, build tools, etc. We still like a multi-tool because it has more functions but we do recommend a field knife at this level. 

The one function we like most is the ability to split wood in the absence of an axe or hatchet.

Required Attributes:

  • full tang
  • sturdy
  • drop point, clip point, tanto
  • no serration
  • no-slip grip
  • standard/medium size (3.5" to 5.5")
  • stainless steel (420C or HC, 154CM, etc)
  • sheath

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

You want a durable, non-corrosive blade that keeps an edge or can be sharpened easily if it becomes dull. You also don't want to break the bank. Buy as much blade as you can to get going.

20 10 26 10 18 50 original 600x600 ka bar fixed blade knife

Ka-Bar Fixed Blade Knife

Sturdy, mid-priced, full-tang field knife for multi-purpose survival

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 10 24 02 original 600x600 schrade fixed blade knife

Schrade Fixed Blade Knife

Affordable, sturdy, full-tang field knife for multi-purpose survival activities

Buy on Amazon

Lighter (x2)

A Bic lighter is the best tool for starting fire. Fire is required for warmth, cooking, light, sterilization, etc.

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • adjustable flame
  • reliable
  • low effort

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Bic lighters have a reputation for reliability. The one-flick open flame is a welcome site when it's night or cold. They require so much less effort than a ferro rod, bow, etc. Of course they'll eventually run out of fuel, but while they last they're ideal.

20 10 26 10 48 54 original 600x600 lighter

Lighter

Ideal primary option for rapid fire starting

Buy on Amazon
20 11 06 07 25 15 original 600x600 arc plasma waterproof lighter

Arc Plasma Waterproof Lighter

Ideal enhanced option for rapid fire starting

Buy on Amazon

Tinder

Having dry, flamable tinder on hand can help you get a fire started quickly. Don't plan to include a lot but enough for the first few fires.

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • long burning

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

The squares light up quickly and burn for awhile. They're light weight and easy to use.

The SurvivorCord has a strand of wax covered jute that lights right up and burns for a long time.

Duct tape burns for quite some time and lights quickly.

Alcohol lights very quickly, burns slowly but blows out easily.

20 10 26 10 53 03 original 600x600 fire cubes

Fire Cubes

Treated tinder for rapid fire starting

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 14 58 50 original 600x600 550 paracord with integrated fishing line  wire  tinder

550 Paracord with Integrated Fishing Line, Wire, Tinder

Enhanced milspec type 3 550 SurvivorCord for survival

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 11 41 13 original 600x600 compact duct tape

Emergency Duct Tape - Compact Roll

Emergency sized duct tape for survival situations

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 12 20 48 original 600x600 hand sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer

Clean your hands and body with effective hand sanitizer

Buy on Amazon

Paracord (50 ft) (Extra)

Paracord can be used to build shelter, hunting traps, attach gear, make a perimeter, etc. You should have 50 ft in Stage 1 and we recommend another 50 ft in Stage 2.

Required Attributes:

  • Type III 550
  • certified paracord
  • 7-strand

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

For the weight 550 paracord is widely regarded as the standard. The military has chosen type 3 550 paracord for its parachutes and other functions. We're going to side with them on our recommendation - especially for the cost.

20 10 26 14 54 10 original 600x600 %285%29

550 Paracord Type 3

Milspec type 3 550 paracord for survival

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 14 58 50 original 600x600 550 paracord with integrated fishing line  wire  tinder

550 Paracord with Integrated Fishing Line, Wire, Tinder

Enhanced milspec type 3 550 SurvivorCord for survival

Buy on Amazon

Camping Tarp

A camping tarp is a light weight, waterproof shelter. It'll keep you out of the elements and can be set up in so many layouts. 

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • waterproof
  • windproof
  • UV protected
  • large
  • durable

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

This tarp is a great value. The function for the price is very attractive. It's lighter than a tent and can be used in so many ways.

20 10 26 10 58 31 original 600x600 waterproof bushcraft tarp

Waterproof Bushcraft Tarp

High end emergency tarp shelter for outdoor survival

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 11 00 53 original 600x600 camping tarp system

Camping Tarp System

Budget emergency tarp shelter for outdoor survival

Buy on Amazon

Bivvy or Sleeping Bag

A good night sleep is crucial to attitude and decision making - especially in stressful circumstances. We prefer a full cold-weather sleeping bag here but can settle for a bivvy in warm weather climates.

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • warmest you can afford
  • water resistent if possible

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Cold weather sleeping bag - getting through a night in an emergency is hard enough. Getting through the night in the cold is debilitating and dangerous. Having a cold-weather option is the best. 

Budget sleeping bag - Having a sleeping bag with insulated clothing and shelter can help you get through a night, especially in a warmer climate.

Bivvy - a bivvy is light weight but lacks insulation. It can radiate heat back to the body but anything your body touches gets cold. It can work well if you have the right clothing layers or another source of heat.

20 10 27 07 17 58 original 600x600 sleeping bag   cold weather

Sleeping Bag - Cold Weather

High end 4-season survival sleeping bag for emergencies

Buy on Amazon
20 10 27 07 11 48 original 600x600 sleeping bag   budget

Sleeping Bag - Budget

Budget 3-season survival sleeping bag for emergencies

Buy on Amazon
20 10 22 15 04 04 original emergency sleeping bag thermal bivvy

Emergency Sleeping Bag Thermal Bivvy

Radiant survival sleeping bag and bivy with whistle and 550 paracord.

Buy on Amazon

Sleeping Pad

At Stage 2 we recommend a sleeping pad for comfort. Get the best night sleep possible.

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • foam (inflatables eventually give out. I have used the same inflatible for 50+ camp nights but it's less reliable than a foam option.)
  • reflective

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

We like a reflective surfaced, closed-cell foam pad. They are reliable, durable and can be used for more than just sleeping (i.e. sitting on a cold surface). They are easy to hang on a pack.

20 10 26 10 25 50 original 600x600 reflective foam pad

Reflective Foam Pad

Comfortable, radiant, heat-trapping sleeping pad

Buy on Amazon

Tent (2-man)

Shelter protects you from the elements. Saying warm is key to survival and saying dry and out of the wind help keep you warm.

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • backpacking tent
  • rain fly or sealed tent
  • vestibule for gear storage
  • 2-man

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

We like a tent in this level but it may not be required. We prefer a tarp because it is very light and versatile. We keep our camping tents near our bug out bag so we can grab it if we think we'll need it. However, we don't reserve space in our bag for one. It can be added to the outside easily. 

Having said that, having a tent in an emergency could make the world of difference. We recommend a quality tent so you can rely on the waterproof seams, poles and zippers.

In Stage 3 we require a tent for the household.

20 10 26 11 03 35 original 600x600 marmot 2 person tent

Marmot 2-Person Tent

High end emergency shelter for outdoor survival

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 11 05 58 original 600x600 2 person tent

2-Person Tent

Budget emergency shelter for outdoor survival

Buy on Amazon

Water Bottle (Hard/Filled)

In evacuation you may not have a chance to stop for water. Having a hard bottle filled with water can provide you with necessary hydration. 

Required Attributes:

  • sturdy bottle
  • durable top

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

We do recommend a soft water bladder below. However, a hard bottle has less chance of leaking or breaking. Keep it filled just in case.

20 10 26 09 48 27 original nalgene water bottle

Nalgene Water Bottle

Personal survival water bottle

Buy on Amazon

Water Container (Bladder)

Hydration bladders are typically larger and more flexible. You want to carry as much water as your weight limits will require. We strongly recommend including one. 

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • name brand (a cheap bladder can fail quickly)

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Carry as much water as you can. This water bladder is name brand and reliable. Your back pack may come with a bladder so buy this after the pack.

20 12 15 15 14 01 original 600x600 hydration bladder

Hydration Bladder

2 Liter leak proof hydration bladder for emergency kit packs

Buy On Amazon

Hand Saw

Process firewood, remove obstacles, and make tools and weapons with a sturdy handsaw. We reserve a hatchet for Stage 3 because of the weight factors.

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • sturdy
  • highly rated

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Cutting is a more efficient activity than chopping. A saw is also lighter than a hatchet. Besides, you can use the field knife for splitting small rounds. 

A 0.5 lbs this hand saw is very highly rated because it is durable and reliable.

20 10 26 11 25 10 original 600x600 hand saw

Hand Saw

Portable, foldable hand saw with case 

Buy on Amazon

Duct Tape (Flattened Roll)

Fix gear, patch tents and clothes, start a fire, etc. with duct tape. 

Required Attributes:

  • trusted brand
  • 2 - 3" wide

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Duct tape is a very versatile fastener. It's also a great fire tinder. In Stage 2 we recommend a full roll flattened out.

20 10 26 11 41 13 original 600x600 compact duct tape

Emergency Duct Tape - Compact Roll

Emergency sized duct tape for survival situations

Buy on Amazon

Maps

In an evacuation you may end up in a location you don't know. Keep maps of areas you may relocate to.

Required Attributes:

  • trail map - should have roads, trails, and land features. Topo maps are handy too.
  • current - have a recent edition
  • water resistent

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

We like area maps with enough details to see creeks, small trails, and other features. We have 4 maps for our area and surrounding areas. We don't keep them in the go bag since we use them frequently but they are stored near by. 

Blade Sharpener

Keeping a sharp blade is crucial in a survival situation. Any number of activities depend on a sharp edge.

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • easy to use

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Pull-through sharpeners are easy to use and pretty light weight. They do remove more material than a stone but they tend to be lighter and easier to guarantee a sharp edge.

20 10 26 10 06 13 original 600x600 pull through knife sharpener

Pull-Through Knife Sharpener

Multi-function pull-through knife sharpener

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 10 56 40 original 600x600 survival multi tool

Pull Through Sharpener and Survival Tool

Multi-function pull-through knife sharpener

Buy on Amazon

Fasteners (Safety Pins, Carabiners, Zip Ties, etc)

Having handy safety pins and other fasteners can help keep gear together, clothing in place, and get you out of a bind.

Required Attributes:

  • light weight

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Several safety pins work on clothes and cloth gear.

Use 2-4 carabiners to stow gear.

Include 10 zip ties at least 12 inches long to lash items and stow gear. 

20 10 26 15 13 46 original 600x600 carabiner %28non climbing%29

Carabiner (non-climbing)

Standard D-shaped carabiner for securing gear to packs

Buy on Amazon
20 10 27 02 20 51 original 600x600 carabiner heavy duty locking %28non climbing%29

Carabiner Heavy Duty Locking (non-climbing)

Heavy duty D-shaped carabiner for securing gear to packs

Buy on Amazon
20 10 27 02 13 37 original 600x600 carabiner

Carabiner - Climbing Rated

D-shaped carabiner for climbing or securing gear to packs

Buy on Amazon
20 10 27 02 24 00 original 600x600 zip ties

Zip Ties

Handy nylon zip ties for emergencies

Buy on Amazon

Backpack (Tactical or Hiking)

Make all your gear mobile with a well fitting, comfortable backpack. Consider tactical packs because you can attach molle pouches to them or a waterproof option if you live near a lot of water.

Required Attributes:

  • Backpacking or military style
  • Internal frame
  • Right size for your body size
  • Has a number of compartments and pockets

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

We highlight a number of packs to fit your size, climate, and preference. We've used a number of these packs and they've held up well.

  • We like our compression packs because you can get a lot of gear inside a compact format.
  • We like our military pack because its versatile and we can add pouches
  • We like the waterproof option for people on the water
20 10 22 09 45 49 original 600x600 backpack medium

Hiking Backpack - Medium

Quality backpack for bug out bags, 72-hour kits or other emergency organization

Buy on Amazon
20 10 22 14 33 10 original new project

Internal Frame Backpack 65L

Large high quality military-style backpack for bug out bags, 72-hour kits or other emergency organization

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 11 43 00 original 600x600 42l tactical backpack

42L Tactical Backpack

Quality military-style backpack for bug out bags, 72-hour kits or other emergency organization

Buy on Amazon
20 10 22 14 52 47 original waterproofsurvivalbackpackdrybag40l

Waterproof Survival Backpack Dry Bag 40L

Waterproof dry bag backpack for bug out bags, 72-hour kits or other emergency organization

Buy on Amazon

Pack Straps

Most packs come with the right straps and compartments. However, when attaching a pad, tent or extra gear you may want webbed straps.

Required Attributes:

  • webbed

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

You may not need these. However, you'll want to check your pack and gear to make sure you can stow the gear you need.

Power Bank (USB)

We recommend a number of battery powered devices (phone, GPS, radios, etc.) Power banks can double or triple the life of your devices. If you have a place to charge or can leave a solar cell connected while you travel you can store extra charge without using the crank charger.

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • compact
  • 10,000mAH
  • USB C (make sure it fits your device cords)

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Most of the portable power banks are similar in spec. We highlight a rugged water proof version, super compact version, etc.

20 10 26 11 16 36 original 600x600 portable  waterproof power bank

Portable, Waterproof Power Bank - Rugged

Rugged 10000mAh portable, waterproof power bank and USB charger

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 11 18 38 original 600x600 portable  compact power bank

Portable, Compact Power Bank - Compact

Ultra compact 10000mAh portable power bank and USB charger

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 11 22 04 original 600x600 portable solar charger  power bank  led light

Portable Solar Charger, Power Bank, LED Light

High capacity solar powered 25000mAh portable power bank and USB charger

Buy on Amazon

Solar Charger (USB)

Portable solar chargers can be very helpful in the right climate. We live in a place with a lot of cloud cover so they're not super effective. However, in many locations they are a great option for off-the-grid power. If you get one, be sure to use it before an emergency so you know if it's effective.

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • high rating

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Most solar chargers are similar. The size of the cells usually directly correspond to the effectiveness of the device. Direct access to the sun is the bigger factor. 

These options are very highly rated meaning a lot of users have tested them for you.

20 10 26 11 20 11 original 600x600 portable solar charger

Portable Solar Charger

Large, foldable solar charger for emergency recharging

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 11 22 04 original 600x600 portable solar charger  power bank  led light

Portable Solar Charger, Power Bank, LED Light

High capacity solar powered 25000mAh portable power bank and USB charger

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 10 35 12 original 600x600 hand crank solar rechargeable am fm sw radio  led flashlight  power bank

Hand Crank/Solar Rechargeable AM/FM/SW Radio, LED Flashlight, Power Bank - Rugged

Emergency hand crank/solar powered energy source, radio, LED flashlight

Buy on Amazon

Battery Charger (USB)

Charge the batteries of your mobile devices. 

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • single battery charging
  • under charge/over charge protection

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Connect to a solar device, PC, or any device with a USB port. Charge the batteries quickly.

20 10 26 14 57 08 original 600x600 battery charger %28usb%29

Battery Charger (USB)

Top rated, USB recharger AAA/AA batteries - NiMH/NiCd

Buy on Amazon

Extra Rechargeable Batteries AA/AAA

Pack extra batteries for longer device usage and to charge while you're using the current set.

Required Attributes:

  • 2,000mAh AA or 800mAh
  • Many recharges
  • Long term storage capacity
  • Ni-MH

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Swap out batteries with long lasting rechargeables. Keep your devices going. The eneloops have held up very well in tests. They can be recharged over 2000 times, hold a charge for 10 years, and recharge using solar power.

20 10 26 10 12 46 original 600x600 rechargeable batteries aa

Rechargeable Batteries AA

Top rated, rechargeable AA batteries - NiMH

Buy on Amazon
20 10 26 10 14 18 original 600x600 rechargeable batteries aaa

Rechargeable Batteries AAA

Top rated, rechargeable AAA batteries - NiMH

Buy on Amazon

Headphones

Use simple headphones for private listening to radio notices. Imagine an evacuation to a stadium during a hurricane. The noise can be very annoying. Minimize your noise production by plugging in.

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • very compact

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

This set is affordable, compact and uses a standard jack.

20 10 26 15 08 33 original 600x600 earbuds

Earbuds

Standard earbuds ideal for quiet listening of radios.

Buy on Amazon

Sleeping Mask and Earplugs

Sleep with the lights on and around other people.

Required Attributes:

  • light blocking
  • one size fits all

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

In a populated evacuation center they tend to leave lights on and there is constant noise. Get a good night's sleep with a sleeping mask and earplugs.

20 10 26 12 32 43 original 600x600 sleeping mask and earplugs

Sleeping Mask and Earplugs

Dark eye mask and ear plugs for sleeping in an emergency.

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Waterproof Deck of Cards

Avoid boredom with a fun game of cards

Required Attributes:

  • waterproof

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Some evacuations require a lot of patience and waiting. Having something for everyone to do can be very productive.

20 10 26 11 36 44 original 600x600 waterproof playing cards

Waterproof Playing Cards

Survival waterproof playing cards to keep your mind busy 

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Field Guide Book

Learn what to eat, how to survive, and what first aid to use during an emergency.

Required Attributes:

  • includes
    • first aid
    • shelter building
    • food production
    • tool usage
    • etc.

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Even survival experts carry a book like this in their bug out bag. There's no way to know it all and having a reference can be lifesaving. Besides, having something useful to read can be a very positive activity.

This survival guide book is highly rated by experts and has sold a lot of copies. We've read it cover to cover and most of its recommended survival skills and products are still current. 

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Survival Handbook

Layman's survival field guide for emergencies

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Waterproof Paper and Pen

Communication and activity logs are important. Leave notes, track first aid activities (patient progress), and track other activities.

Required Attributes:

  • waterproof

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Normal paper and pens fail and wear out quickly. Use waterproof paper and pens for durability.

20 10 26 11 38 43 original 600x600 waterproof paper and pen

Waterproof Paper and Pen

Make notes with waterproof paper and pen

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Respirator

Filter thick smoke, chemicals, biologicals, etc with a respirator. 

Required Attributes:

  • changeable filters
  • comfortable
  • name brand
  • highly rated

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Clean air is a top survival priority. Evacuations for fire, terrorist activities, industrial accidents can contaminate necessary air. A respirator can get you out of a bind. 

This respirator is a highly rated, name brand option.

20 10 26 11 28 21 original 600x600 respirator

Respirator

Reusable, half face respirator for gases, vapors, and dust

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Goggles

Filter thick smoke, chemicals, biologicals, etc with eye protection. 

Required Attributes:

  • scratch resistent
  • comfortable
  • highly rated

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Your vision can be compromised by smoke, dust, chemicals, flying particulates, etc.

These goggles are a highly rated, name brand option.

20 10 26 15 08 40 original 600x600 safety goggles

Safety Goggles

Anit-fog protective safety goggles

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Bear Spray

Bear spray is our preferred self defense method. While we love to shoot guns, we even prefer bear spray to guns.

Required Attributes:

  • name brand

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Every go bag should have some form of self defense against animals or people. Bear spray is a great option.

20 11 06 15 24 54 original 600x600 bear spray

Bear Spray

Primary self defense method

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Survivor Cord (15 ft)*

Survivor Cord is a great secondary backup for a number of items. 

Required Attributes:

  • 25 ft

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

It contains paracord to backup your 550 cordage. It contains waterproof tinder for firestarting. It contains fishing line and copper wire.

20 10 26 14 58 50 original 600x600 550 paracord with integrated fishing line  wire  tinder

550 Paracord with Integrated Fishing Line, Wire, Tinder

Enhanced milspec type 3 550 SurvivorCord for survival

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Sunglasses

Optional eye protection. When you're outdoors having sunglasses can keep your eyes healthy.

Required Attributes:

  • 100% UV protection
  • 40-60% shade

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

While I see the point, we don't require sunglasses. They are a great option if you can justify the weight. Their value goes up in sunny climates.

Recommended Bug Out Bag First Aid Kit (IFAK)

Explore our recommended survival products for the bug out bag First Aid Kit (IFAK). Below we go through each checklist item and suggest highly-rated, quality products.

Personal First Aid Kit (IFAK)

Treat injuries or illnesses with your robust field individual first aid kit IFAK. We haven't found the perfect bug out bag first aid kit. The best way to build this kit is to purchase a couple of first aid kits and merge them to get the best collection of first aid supplies. The extra supplies go in your House Kit (Stage 3).

See the checklist for the complete list.

Required Attributes:

  • modest weight
  • compact, pocket-sized
  • contains bandages, meds, and other items for very common cuts, scrapes, etc.

Reasons for Our Pick:

The First Aid Kit EDC kit is a field/tactical first aid kit with uncommon, advanced supplies like a tourniquet and pressure dressing. The larger first aid kit has the remaining supplies. 

Use the smaller case for your Stage 1 first aid kit and use a molle pouch for the other supplies to remain with your bug out bag.

20 10 27 03 11 41 original 600x600 first aid kit   compact

First Aid Kit - Compact

Standard, Portable IFAK First Aid Kit

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20 10 27 03 10 25 original 600x600 first aid kit   edc

First Aid Kit - EDC

Personal Everyday Carry IFAK First Aid Kit

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First Aid Kit - Tactical

Tactical, Portable IFAK First Aid Kit

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Recommended Bug Out Bag Toiletries Kit Products

Explore our recommended survival products for the Toiletries Pouch. Below we go through each checklist item and suggest highly-rated, quality products.

Portable Toiletry Kit

Stay clean and comfortable with a personal, portable toiletry kit. A toiletry kit tends to unique to each individual. Select products you enjoy day to day.

Required Attributes:

  • complete
  • compact

Reasons for Our Pick:

We recommend you make a list and buy extra items next time you go grocery shopping. Include the items in a cosmetic or toiletry bag. 

This kit needs to be mobile so weight is still an issue. Include only critical supplies in this Stage.

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Toiletry Kit

Toiletry kit for emergency preparedness

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20 10 26 12 34 36 original 600x600 travel toothbrush toothpaste

Travel Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Travel sized toothbrush and toothpaste for emergency toiletries

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20 10 26 11 34 41 original 600x600 body wet wipes

Body Wet Wipes

Clean your body with large wet wipes

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Recommended Bug Out Bag Extra Clothing Products

Explore our recommended survival products for bug out bag extra clothes. Below we go through each checklist item and suggest highly-rated, quality products.

Complete Change of Clothes Plus Cold Weather Gear

Your change of clothes should be waterproof. Use a drybag and pack a complete set of clothes. Also include the cold-weather gear and jacket. It is so important to maintain a healthy body temperature. Stay dry, stay warm.

Required Attributes:

  • underwear/socks
  • base layer
  • shirt/pants (we love zip offs so you have shorts as well)
  • hat/gloves
  • insulated, waterproof jacket
  • good footwear - we expect you'll have this at the time of evacuation 

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

In a bug out situation you want extra clothes and outerwear to stay clean and warm. At the same time you don't want too much extra weight so only carry what is recommended.

20 10 27 06 55 33 original 600x600 convertible zip off pants shorts

Convertible Zip Off pants/Shorts

Quick dry, comfortable zip-off cargo pants/shorts

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20 10 27 06 57 11 original 600x600 base layer

Base Layer

Durable, stretchable base layer for cold weather

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20 10 27 06 53 38 original 600x600 knit hat   beanie

Knit Hat - Beanie

Durable, stretchable rib-knit insulated beanie hat

Buy on Amazon
20 10 27 11 00 19 original 600x600 insulated gloves

Waterproof Gloves

Durable, waterproof gloves for emergencies

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Recommended Bug Out Bag Food Products

Explore our recommended survival products for bug out bag extra food. Below we go through each checklist item and suggest highly-rated, quality products.

Food Ready to Eat and Food Production

A bug out bag has limited space for food and water. However, it's important to have light weight calories ready to go. We recommend keeping energy bars, trail mix, and dehydrated meals along with a light stove and fuel. 

Also include fishing gear, snares, and paracord to make a bow. Of course you want to modify your emergency kit for the area you live in. 

If you know you'll be in the outdoors indefinitely try to save the ready made food by eating food you can forage or hunt.

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • effective
  • legit

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

We live in an area where fishing, hunting, and foraging are options. We recommend buying a fishing kit and modifying it for the fish in your area. Add bait you know will work. 

Also, we like real snares over cheap wire. They're more effective and ready to go.

20 10 27 10 51 29 original 600x600 food pouch mountain house

Mountain House Emergency Food Pouches - 2 Servings

Emergency dehydrated food storage 2 servings

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20 11 06 15 14 48 original 600x600 jetboil

Jetboil Backpacking Stove

Lightweight, rapid boil camping stove

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20 10 26 10 38 58 original 600x600 backpacking stove

Light Weight Backpacking Stove

Lightweight, rapid boil backpacking stove

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20 11 06 15 19 31 original 600x600 stove fuel

Stove Fuel

All-season camp stove fuel

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20 10 26 12 29 44 original 600x600 camping cookware mess kit

Camping Cookware/Mess Kit

Modern cookware mess kit with accessories

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Recommended Bug Out Bag Documents Products

Explore our recommended survival products for bug out bag documents for evacuation. Below we go through each checklist item and suggest highly-rated, quality products.

Documents, ID, and Cash

Keep critical ID and docs on a small thumb drive as well as paper copies. Keep an amount of cash in a variety of bills.

Required Attributes:

  • light weight
  • waterproof container

Reasons for Our Recommendation(s):

Stow important documentation in a waterproof ziplock bag or container. In an evacuation it's possible you may need to verify who you are and purchase things like food, fuel, ammunition, etc.

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Minimalist Wallet

Durable, minimalist leather wallet 

Buy on Amazon

1This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
2 As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
3 Most reviews are based on personal experience from one of our content editors. Some are based on research and the opinions of other reviewers.

 

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