A bug out bag can be a lifesaver in helping you deal with the unexpected, as long as it's filled with the right gear.
Even if you've got a good emergency bag to haul around, picking out what to put in it can be a daunting task.
What's in your bug out bag should reflect your own needs and situations. For example, keep in mind what events you're preparing for, your plan of escape, who's going with you, and so on.
While all of this can be highly personal, most bug out bags do share a few fundamental core essentials.
If you need help starting your own bug out bag kit, we've put together this checklist to give you an idea of what bases you should have covered.
This list should give you a good foundation for starting your BOB, but feel free to sub in your preferred products for each category and add anything else you'll need.
Bug Out Bag Checklist
✓ First Aid Kit
In an emergency situation, planning ahead for a possible injury is extremely important. Having a good first aid kit as part of your bug out bag is essential. This one comes with the traditional bandages and shears. It also comes with a survival blanket, compass, and poncho.
✓ Emergency Radio
An emergency radio is essential for finding out rescue and safety information. The Kaito KA500 is a good radio for this, and more. It integrates a solar panel and dynamo for charging if the power grid fails. It also has a built-in USB rechargeable battery pack for your personal devices.
✓ Fire Source
Being able to start a fire to keep warm at night is important. The easiest way to get this done is with a lighter. Zippo lighters are popular for this for a reason. They provide a reliable light when others fail, even when it's a bit windy.
Space and weight is a premium and there isn't room to carry around individual tools in your bug out bag. It's better to carry a good multi-tool instead. The SOG PowerAssist offers easy, assisted one-handed operation. SOG's compound leverage system also makes the pliers on this tool easier to use than others.
When disaster strikes, you're going to want more than the light on your keychain or the flash on your cell phone. A dedicated light is the best tool for the job and it deserves a spot in your bug out bag. The Anker LC90 offers 900 lumens in a small water resistant package. It's also rechargeable via USB.
✓ Dry Food
Food is energy, and without food it will be hard to power through and get out of an emergency situation. With these S.O.S. 3600 calorie food bars, you'll have safe food on hand no matter what happens. They have a five year shelf life if you keep them sealed.
✓ Water Bottle and Purifier
Water is an absolute essential in any survival situation. You can last a bit without food, but go for long without water and you'll be in deep trouble fast. The LifeStraw Go is unique from other water bottles in that it integrates a water purifier. Once you run out of the safe water you put in it to start, you can deal with questionable water sources with it if needed.
First time prepping a bug out bag? Leave a comment and let us know what you're planning to include. For more experienced EDCers, what are the top 3 must-have items for a BOB?