The G.O.A.T Bug Out Bag Guide

Table of Contents


Bug Out Bags 101
Definition
Duration
Purpose
Contents
Situations
Wildfires
Flooding
Storms/Hurricanes
Tornados
Earthquakes
The List
Bags
Tactical Water-Resistant Backpack by Frog & CO
SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack
EchoSigma Get Home Pack
5.11 RUSH12
VERTX Gamut 2.0
CAMELBAK Urban Assault Hydration
Vanquest Gear Trident 32
5.11 RUSH 72 VTAC
Vanquest Gear Markhor 45
Mystery Ranch Terraframe
Shelter
Frog & CO Ready Shelter Tube Tent
Go Time Gear Life Tent
Frog & CO Tact Bivvy 2.0
Teton Sports LEEF
Frog & CO LifeShield Warmth & Outdoor Shelter Kit
Air
N95 Cone Molded Respirator
Water
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Sawyer MINI
Datrex Emergency Water Packet
Micropur Water Purification Tablets
Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter
Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth
Food
Mountain House
Datrex Emergency Ration
Redcon1 MRE Bar
Pots/Cutlery
Widesea Camping Cookware
Iziusy 7 in 1 Multifunction Spork
Heat
Steve Kaeser Fatwood
Wetfire Tinder
Weatherproof Matches
Tesla Lighter
First Aid
Adventure First Aid
Sportsman 400 First Aid Kit
Family First Aid
Knives/Tools
Kershaw Barricade
Leatherman MUT Multitool
Pathway North Shovel & Axe
Communications
Motorola T280 Emergency Preparedness Edition
Baofeng Tech BF-F8HP
Lighting/Power
QuadraPro Solar Power Bank
LE Camping Lantern
Karrong LED Flashlight
Hygiene
Personal Defense
Ruger 57
Colt Commando
LifeShield Self Defense Kit
Miscellaneous
SPOT Gen3
HELP Flag
Fire/Water Resistant Money/Document Bag
Conclusion

Bug Out Bags 101

 

Definition

A bug out bag is a container, usually a backpack, that is filled ahead of time with items required to survive for a minimum predetermined amount of time. Other names include get home bag, survival bag, and evacuation bag. Regardless of the name, understand that the main purpose of these bags is to keep you alive and on the move. Many bags are made to aid the user in surviving for 72-hours, but there are bags for 24-hours of survival and bags for weeks of survival. There are bags for a variety of situations, and there are no limitations on the items that can be included in a bug out bag.

Duration

Bug out bags are largely classified by the duration of survival provided by the contents of the bag. There are many common items between the bags, but the main difference is the size of the bag, and its quantity of items. Generally, bug out bags come in sizes suitable for a single adult to survive for 24, 48, and 72 hours. I want to stress that these are just estimations, and everyone has their own specific caloric requirements that make it difficult to make blanket statements on how much food and water a kit should include. The purpose of this list is to expose you to a multitude of products that will give you the best understanding of what you need so that you can assemble a bug out bag that best suits you.

Purpose

Bug out bags are purpose built, the main purpose being able to quickly seek safety whilst having the necessary tools to survive the journey. Smaller, shorter duration bags are not solely for the purpose of surviving, however, but to quickly get from wherever you are, to wherever you need to be. The size of the bag dictates its purpose, it would be counter intuitive to build a bugout bag for 24 hours and fill it with items designed for survival situations of much longer duration. Knowing the purpose of the bag allows you to better plan items you will need, thus reducing waste and maximizing efficient mobility.

Contents

Making your own bug out bag can be quite the task if you decide to just dive in without any prep. Having an up-to-date list of items will make this process extremely easy. Without a list, everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. A list of items will save you money by ensuring you don’t purchase duplicates. It will also ensure you don’t forget items that you will need. I recommend keeping an eye out for sales and consulting your list before making any purchase. Once you begin to accumulate items, keep them in their own spot, don’t mix it with similar items as this will cause you to lose track of what you have.

Situations

There are many situations where having a bug out bag can be a life saver. Many of the items found in a bug out bag will be similar regardless of situation. Making a bag for a specific situation can be tough because in some places any number of natural disasters can occur and making a bag for specific emergency won’t help if that specific situation doesn’t occur. The best way to prep is to tackle the most common emergency scenario and carry less, but still important items in case of other emergencies. I believe the best prepping regiment to follow is a priority-based supply allocation. Your carry on should be the items immediate to your survival. Keep bulkier, but less important items ready to go if you have the capacity to bring them with you in any given emergency. For example, your bug out bag is priority one, but if you have the time to load a vehicle, have those items ready to go. These would be items you can live without should you not have enough time to take them with you. Having multiple bug out bags can be financially impractical for some people, so if this affects you, your best bet is to have your bug out bag accessible wherever you are. For most people this would be in their car since it’s always around whether they’re at home or at work as this is where most spend most of their time.

 

2019 billion dollar disaster map 

Figure 1: 2019 U.S Weather and Climate Disasters [1]

Wildfires

People in areas prone to wildfire will have to evacuate, there’s no two ways about it. Fortunately for those people living near wildfire prone areas, they can prep ahead of the dry season. Once a fire starts, it can spread very rapidly, and trying to prep for evacuation during this time can be near impossible as people clog roadways and retail stores. While buildings can be rebuilt, and contents replaced, valuables cannot. Prep based on priority, plan multiple exit routes since fires can come from multiple directions and be sure you have masks and respirators. Evacuating before you’re told eases the stress and pressure that comes with evacuating with the masses, it also helps you get to where you need to be much quicker as roadways and traffic won’t be as bad.

Flooding

Flooding can be another evacuation type scenario depending on the severity. It’s tough to gauge how bad the flooding will get, and many people struggle with the decision to evacuate or save their homes. Like wildfires, there is some time to evacuate. Know your escape routes, have your go bag ready, and if time permits, take lower priority items. For those in flood prone areas, safeguard items that can be damaged by water, like passports and other important documents.

Storms/Hurricanes

An alert for storms and hurricanes is usually given days in advance and depending on the severity and recommendations from the government. As always, have an escape route planned. With hurricanes and storms, prepping both a bug out bag as well as a stockpile of supplies for hunkering down at home is probably your best bet. Being safe in these situations is the most important thing for you and your family, and pepping for both scenarios is the smartest thing to do.

Tornados

Tornados are a special situation in that there is usually no warning given. Those that live in tornado zones must always be ready to bug out, and to hunker down at home. Like hurricanes, severity changes and evacuations are not always necessary. Prep both a bug out bag and a cache of supplies in case it’s safe to ride out the Tornado in your basement or other tornado-safe space.

Earthquakes

Earthquakes strike without warning. A bug out bag is necessary in this situation as the structural integrity of a building can become compromised in the initial quake, and aftershocks are all too common. A 24hr bag is recommended at the very minimum as earthquakes don’t usually last more than a couple minutes. Planning your route can become tricky as roadways can easily be damaged in the event of an earthquake. Have back up routes planned well in advance. If you’re in an area where tsunamis can occur, plan your routes based on getting to higher ground as fast as possible.

The List

This list will include multiple solutions for each category of bug out bag essentials. They are not to be assembled in a bug out bag in its entirety, you won’t have the space to fit everything into one bag. Use this list as a guideline when creating your own list as it can be quite the task to look for and research every product; I’ve got you covered in that department.

Bags

First and foremost is the bag portion of a bug out bag. Knowing the purpose of your bag will help you decide on the size. 24hr bags run in the range of 15L-25L for most people and applications. Depending on the purpose of the bag, some 24hr bags can go as high as 40L. For the purposes of this list, sticking within the 15L-25L range for a 24hr bag leaves you with wriggle room to optimize bag space based on the importance of the items.

Tactical Water-Resistant Backpack by  Frog & CO

Survival Frog Tactical water resistant backpack

Figure 2: Tactical Water-Resistant Backpack by Frog & CO

The Tactical Water-Resistant backpack by Frog & CO  is well suited as a 24hr go bag. It is water resistant, MOLLE compatible, and has a padded shoulder and back. It is quite versatile, made with 600D Nylon and is a great bag for the price at just $39.97. What I like about this bag is there are plenty of straps to help secure and evenly distribute the weight of the items within the larger pocket compartments.

SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack

 SOG ninja tactical day pack

Figure 3: SOG Ninja

Another great option for a 24hr bag is the SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack. While slightly smaller at 24L, there’s much more room for MOLLE compatible attachments. It has an adjustable sternum strap, but not as many compression straps as the Survival Frog  bag. The pricing is quite competitive at $31.88.

EchoSigma Get Home Pack

Echo Sigma Get Home Pack

Figure 4 EchoSigma Get Home Pack

The EchoSigma is a littler smaller than the other bags at 22L, but it has a good mix of features and good build quality that make it a competitor to the other bags. I like that it has both side and top compression straps, a decent amount of MOLLE attachment points, a hydration bladder compartment, and roped zipper handles to make glove use possible. The pricing is competitive at $49.99.

5.11 RUSH12

5.11 Tactical Military Backpack RUSH12 Molle Bag Rucksack Pack 24 Liter

Figure 5: 5.11 RUSH12

Rounding out the 24hr bags is the 5.11 RUSH12 backpack. Like the other 2 packs, this 24L bag features similar MOLLE webbing throughout the sides and front of the bag. It has side compression straps, a hydration bladder compartment, and extra padding on the shoulder straps. It’s the most expensive of the three bags at $109.99, but unlike the other two bags, it’s made with a tougher 1050D nylon.
The next class of bags are the 48hr bags. They’re in that weird zone where the bag sizes can go both ways in that they’d make an excellent 24hr bag if you don’t mind the extra weight, and they’re also useable as 72hr bags if you’re good with maximizing the space.

VERTX Gamut 2.0

Vertx Gamut backpack

Figure 6: VERTX Gamut 2.0

While the VERTX Gamut 2.0 doesn’t look like the other packs in this list, it is a very well made purpose driven pack. Marketed as an everything pack with uses for everything from an EDC to a bugout bag, this bag has many features centered around organization and personal defense. At a modest capacity of 29L, the main selling point for this pack is its concealed carry compartment that is quickly accessible using a pull tab. While it is moderately priced at $124, its lifetime guarantee and good build quality is nothing to scoff at.

CAMELBAK Urban Assault Hydration

CamelBak Urban Assault Hydration Pack

Figure 7: Camelbak Urban Assault Hydration pack

I included the Camelbak Urban Assault Hydration pack because its marketed towards office professionals looking for an everyday backpack to carry their laptop and work but have the capacity to double as a go bag. It makes sense to have a work/bug out bag combo as it’s very likely that you may need to bug out or get home while you’re at work. It’s got everything you expect from a 32L bag plus the padded interior is perfect for electronic devices. Another unique feature to this bag is the Hi-Viz green interior which makes finding items easy amongst its many internal compartments. Price is $109.99.

Vanquest Gear Trident 32

Vanquest Gear Trident 32 Gen 3 Backpack

Figure 8: Vanquest Gear Trident 32

Very few bags in this size range have an internal frame, the Vanquest Gear Trident 32 is one of those bags. It is also one of the most feature packed bags on this list and faces little competition among the other 48hr packs in this list. What impresses me about this bag is that it combines structural features found in much larger packs, such as a frame, padded waist straps, and multi material construction. It has 45 total organizational compartments, MOLLE, hydration, large zippers, Hi-Viz fabric, side and top access, and dedicated quilted laptop sleeve. Don’t let the $221 price tag intimidate you, it really is a Frankenstein bag that manages to combine the best of all packs into a seriously well-made bag.
The last class of bags are the ones with the capacity to hold gear for an adult to survive for 72 hours. Not only will bag space become a premium, but so will comfort. In this range of bags, being able to comfortably walk and carry all this gear is crucial. Lastly, these bags must be built to be near indestructible.

5.11 RUSH 72 VTAC

5.11 Tactical Rush 72 VTAC backpack

Figure 9: 5.11 RUSH72 VTAC

The 5.11 RUSH 72 VTAC is a veteran designed, purpose driven pack constructed to carry a ton of gear over a ton of miles. This astounding 47L pack features 5.11 style design, and SlickStick MOLLE throughout the whole pack. Made with water resistant 1050D nylon and YKK zippers, this pack is both durable yet comfortably designed. It has padded yolk style shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and a padded waist strap. This pack has all the regular features such as hydration compartment, internal dividers, fleece lined eyewear pocket, compression straps, and flag patch.Price of $169.99.

Vanquest Gear Markhor 45

Vanquest Gear Markhor 45 Backpacking pack

Figure 10: Vanquest Gear Markhor 45

Although I was disappointed to find out that Vanquest Gear does not make a Trident larger than 32L, I was pleased to find the Markhor 45. Like their Trident series of packs, the Markhor manages to pack all the features into their packs. The full list can be found on OpticsPlanet, but the most notable features include map pocket, hydration compartment, MOLLE, durable arms management, removeable internal frame, padded waist belt, Mil-grade ITW and UTX- Duraflex hardware, and Spartan zipper pulls. Price is $277.99.

Mystery Ranch Terraframe

Mystery Ranch Terraframe Backpack

Figure 11: Mystery Ranch Terraframe

The Mystery Ranch Terraframe makes the list due to its premium build quality, unique zippered compartment, and it’s quite possibly the comfiest bag in this category. I’d like to bring your attention to the main compartment, where we have a 3-way zipper which is prevalent throughout many Mystery Ranch products. This allows for greater flexibility and quicker access to the gear that can be held within its 50L main compartment. Gone are the days where you must unpack everything for a single item. The Terraframe is made with the durable, water repellant 330D Cordura fabric. The support system is world class with thick, fully padded should and waist straps, as well as a fully padded back. $350.00

Shelter

You won’t last long without shelter, and in time of emergency, shelter might be hard to come by. Depending on the situation, you may be able to find shelter in the form of motels, but nobody with prepping in mind should rely solely on businesses being open during disaster. Shelter items such as tents and sleeping bags should be included in every bug out bag.

Frog & CO Ready Shelter Tube Tent

Survival Frog Tube tent

Figure 12: Survival Frog Tube Tent

Tube tents are the most popular shelter for bug out bags. They’re made by many companies, are relatively cheap, and can be packaged small enough to fit any sized bug out bag. The Frog & CO Shelter Tube Tent measures 5”x8.8”x12” when packed, and weighs 1.1lbs. It is only slightly larger than most emergency tents, but it is made for two people. Made from polyethylene, this tent is waterproof and certainly good enough to keep you dry and out of the wind. $18.97

Go Time Gear Life Tent

Go Time Gear Life Tent

Figure 13: Go Time Gear Life Tent

The Go Time Gear Life Tent is another two-person tent albeit better suited for colder climates. The tent package measures 5.25”x3.25” and weighs 8.7 oz. It comes with 20ft of 550 paracord and 120db whistle. With a heat reflective inner liner, the Go Time Gear Life Tent makes survival in cooler climates possible, especially when paired with the right sleeping bag and heat source. $19.95

Frog & CO Tact Bivvy 2.0

Frog CO tact Bivvy 2.0

Figure 14: Frog & CO Tact Bivvy 2.0

The Tact Bivvy 2.0 by Frog & CO is a compact emergency sleeping bag fit for any bug out bag or emergency survival kit. The drawstring on the sack doubles as tinder should you need it, and the sleeping bag is lined with heat reflecting technology. Unpacked, the sleeping bag measures 7ft x 3ft. $24.97

Teton Sports LEEF

TETON sports LEEF Sleeping Bag

Figure 15: Teton Sports LEEF

If you have the space for a 15”x9”x9” case, and you live in a climate where extra warmth is needed in a sleeping bag, then it’s worth getting something a little more substantial than an emergency bag. The Teton Sports LEEF is a compact sleeping bag designed for backcountry camping and similar type activities place a premium on bag space and total weight. With multiple variations ranging from 20F to -10F, there’s a bag ready for most climates. $87.60

Frog & CO LifeShield Warmth & Outdoor Shelter Kit

Frog & CO Lifesheild Warmth and Shelter Kit

Figure 16: LifeShield Warmth & Outdoor Shelter Kit

The LifeShield Warmth & Outdoor Shelter Kit is an assembly of some of the above shelter products packaged with a few extra items. In addition to the Survival Frog Tube Tent and Tact Bivvy is a poncho and two 20-hour body warmers. If you’re going the route of Tube Tent + Bivvy, then this kit is what you should get as it has got more bang for your buck. $29.97

Air

We all know how important air is to survival, and certain natural disasters can cause the quality of the air to become compromised. In some instances, such as an earthquake, an N95 mask will suffice to filter out dust particulates.

N95 Cone Molded Respirator

N95 cone molded respirators

Figure 17: N95 Mask

Recommended mask for filtering dust particulates and reducing the spread of flu like viruses. 

Water

Every bug out bag should have water, even if it’s a 24hr bag. For longer durations, water filtration and purification are necessary. Plastic water bottles are bulky and can break. Having one or two canteens/reusable bottles is ideal, as well as having filtration and some purification tablets.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Lifestraw Water filter

Figure 18: LifeStraw

LifeStraw is a must for any survival situation or outdoor excursion. It is regarded as one of the best water filters available. Filters up to 4000L, removing 99.9999% of bacteria. $24.97


Sawyer MINI

Sawyer MINI

Sawyer MINI water filtration system

Figure 19: Sawyer MINI

Like the LifeStraw, the Sawyer MINI filters out bacteria through a small handheld straw-like device. The Sawyer MINI can be threaded onto a regular water bottle. $24.95

Datrex Emergency Water Packet

datrex emergency drinking Water

Figure 20: Emergency Drinking Water

In addition to water filtration and purification, you should carry the minimum amount of drinking water required for your bug out bag. Datrex Emergency Drinking Water packets are small and easy to pack in your bag. 24 packets provide water for 72 hours. $24.80

Micropur Water Purification Tablets

Micropur Water purification Tablets

Figure 21: Water Purification Tablets

Purification tablets are also a great way to treat water, they’re small and cheap, and will fit in the smallest pocket of the smallest bag. Everyone should have a packet of these wherever they go. Contains 20 tablets, treats 1L of water per tablet. $19.97

Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter

Katadyn Hiker pro water filter

Figure 22: Katadyn Pro

The Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter is a great mug sized water filtration device. It treats 757L of water by filtering out bacteria and other microbials. Simply hook up the threaded hose to a bottle or hydration bladder, place the intake hose in the water, and use the hand pump to get filtered water into your preferred vessel. $109.95

Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth

Nalgene tritan water bottle

Figure 23: Nalgene Tritan

Having one or two water storage vessels are common for all bug out bags. Something like the Nalgene Tritan is good as an everyday bottle that you can take with you at a moment notice as well as having an extra packed and ready to go. There are hundreds of sizes and colors to choose from, all good for use in a bug out bag. $13.44

Food

The best foods for use in a bug out bag are the ones that are light, relatively compact, shelf stable, and requires little to no prep or special cookware to consume. Thankfully there are countless products to list, and as such, there’s food to suit everyone’s taste. Once you figure out how many calories you need per day, it becomes easy to pick and scale your choices to accommodate your needs.

Mountain House

Mountain House Meals

Figure 24: Mountain House Meals

Freeze Dried or any dehydrated food is a good way to get full nutritional meals into a package suitable for outdoor or emergency situations. Mountain House makes many different meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner; simply add hot water and enjoy. $15.97 for 3 servings.

Datrex Emergency Ration

datrex emergency ration food

Figure 25: Datrex Emergency Ration

If you seek a compact, simple solution for food, then look into getting something like this Emergency Ration by Datrex. No prep required, just open and eat. 12 bars equate to about 2400 calories for $18.99.

Redcon1 MRE Bar

redcon mre bar

Figure 26: Redcon1 MRE Bar

The Redcon1 MRE bar is like the Datrex Emergency Ration in that it’s a ready to eat bar, but that’s where the similarities end. The Redcon1 is made with real whole food in a wide variety of flavors and each bar contains 20g of protein. 12 bars equate to 3120 calories for $29.99

Pots/Cutlery

Not totally necessary for short term bug out bags, but for 72hrs+ it’s good to have at least one vessel to boil water, and a knife/spork/opener type tool. These items can be found in any department store in the camping aisle.

Widesea Camping Cookware

Widesea camping cookware outdoor pot pan cooking equipment

Figure 27: Widesea Outdoor Cookware

This single pot/lid combo is good to have in case you need to boil water or heat food. The heat exchanger improves efficiency and saves on fuel. Measuring just 4.37”x6.3” it’s compact and light enough to fit in any bug out bag. $29.99

Iziusy 7 in 1 Multifunction Spork

7 in 1 multifunctional camping spork

Figure 28: Camping Spork

Another small food accessory that’s one of those “nice to have” items. It’s a simple spork/blade/can opener whistle combo. $8.99

Heat

When it comes to heat, you’ve got to be able to make a fire anywhere and in any weather. I’d like to have multiple ways to make fire and have some sort of hand/body warmer. Clothing also falls into this category. Have at least an extra insulating base layer, and some form of rain gear to stay dry.

Steve Kaeser Fatwood

Steve Kaeser fire kit

Figure 29: Steve Kaeser Fire Kit

This little fire kit by Steve Kaeser fits in your shirt pocket and comes with everything you need to get a fire started. Includes some wood, woodchips, jute soaked in wax, ferro rod and striker. $11.79

Wetfire Tinder

Wetfire tinder pack

Figure 30: Wetfire Tinder Pack

The Wetfire Tinder pack comes with 5 individually wrapped bricks of tinder that will light even when wet. Works with any fire starter. $9.97

Weatherproof Matches

Weatherproof matches

Figure 31: Weatherproof Matches

In addition to flint/striker, you should have weatherproof matches, they’re small, cheap, and it doesn’t hurt to have backup. $6.97

Tesla Lighter

Tesla plasma USB rechargable lighter

Figure 32: Tesla Plasma Lighter

This cool USB rechargeable plasma lighter is a great EDC lighter that can make the cut for any bug out bag. $29.97

First Aid

Every bug out bag should include a first aid kit. The kit should scale with the bag in that small kits for 24hr bags, bigger kits for 72hrs, and larger comprehensive kits for longer extended periods of time. Smaller kits should include antiseptic wipes and bandages at the very least. Larger kits can include gauze, trauma packs and medicine.

Adventure First Aid

Adventure first aid kit

Figure 33: Adventure First Aid KIt

This small 0.5oz tin has a good coverage of first aid items for short term bug out bags. $16.97 on Survival Frog

Sportsman 400 First Aid Kit

Sportsman 400 first aid kit

Figure 34: Sportsman 400 First Aid Kit

The Sportsman 400 by Adventure Medical Kits is packed with a ton of items neatly organized in labelled compartments. Great for 72hr bug out bags. 

Family First Aid

family first aid kit

Figure 35: Family First Aid Kit

This smaller first aid kit also by Adventure Medical Kits is good for larger sized 24hr bags, and 48hr bags. It has a larger range of items compared to the first aid tin, but not as many items as the Sportsman 400. $34.97

Knives/Tools

Knives and tools are an integral part of every bug out bag. They can be used with everything in this list to some capacity. A good knife and multitool is essential, and specialty tools can be included at your discretion. Thankfully, some of the items that require specialty tools will have them included with the product, like the Sportsman 400, which includes a pair of scissors.

Kershaw Barricade

Kershaw Barricade Pocket Knife

Figure 36: Kershaw Barricade

The Kershaw Barricade is a great multifunction knife suitable for any bug out bag. It’s blaze orange handle makes it easy to find if dropped, it has a glass breaker tip, and belt cutter. $26.94

Leatherman MUT Multitool

Leatherman MUT multi tool

Figure 37: Leatherman MUT

The Leatherman MUT is a world-class multitool featuring 18 tools, MOLLE compatible sheath, and removeable belt clip. The screwdriver bits are sized for sight adjustment work, which makes this tool great for gun enthusiasts especially those that need a tool for their M16/AR15. $144.95

Pathway North Shovel & Axe

Pathway North camping axe and survival shovel

Figure 38: Pathway North Multitool

If you’ve got the space, having the Pathway North Shovel & Axe Multitool can take your bug out bag to another level. While it may not be necessary for bug out bags limited to urban areas, it can make life easier for those bugging out through forested areas where the ability to build camp is important. $79.99

Communications

In an emergency disaster situation, conventional methods of communication may not exist. Be prepared for these situations by having a reliable form of two-way communication, and a radio device capable of receiving NOAA updates.

Motorola T280 Emergency Preparedness Edition

Motorola rechargeable 2 way radio emergency preparedness edition

Figure 39: Motorola T280

The Motorola T280 has a 25mile range, the ability to receive NOAA updates, USB charging, and has iVOX/VOX handsfree operation. The set includes two walkie talkies which is good for yourself and a family member to use in case of separation during an emergency. $81.99

Baofeng Tech BF-F8HP

Baofeng tech BF F8HP ham radio

Figure 40: Baofeng HAM Radio

The Baofeng is a HAM radio with NOAA update abilities. They are more complicated to use than regular walkie talkies, but they are more powerful and will connect you to more people. If you do decide on purchasing, take some time to learn the basics and you will be well prepared in an emergency. $79.97

Lighting/Power

There are many lighting solutions made for the outdoors and for emergency prepping. Ideally you want to have a pointed light source such as a flashlight, and in addition, a space lighting source like lanterns. Carrying batteries can be quite cumbersome and bulky so look into purchasing devices with rechargeable batteries. It’s ideal to have devices with a common charging port, like USB, and have a solar powered battery to charge all these devices.

QuadraPro Solar Power Bank

Quadrapro solar power bank

Figure 41: Portable Solar Power Bank

The QuadraPro Solar Power Bank is a portable battery and solar panel with 2 USB ports for charging mobile devices. It has a 5.5W panel and 6500mAh battery that can fully charge most phones at least 3 times over. Works with any USB chargeable device, like the Motorola T280 listed above.

LE Camping Lantern

LED rechargeable lantern

Figure 42: LED Rechargeable Lantern

The LE Camping Lantern is a rechargeable 1000 Lumen lantern rated for a 12-hour lifespan. The battery is 4400mAh and is USB chargeable. The lantern has multiple light modes including a white light and warm light mode and is dimmable. $32.99

Karrong LED Flashlight

Karrong rechargeable flashlight

Figure 43: Karrong Rechargeable Flashlight

The Karrong LED Flashlight is a water-resistant USB chargeable tactical light. It has a 2600mAh battery, multiple light modes, adjustable focus, and a 1200 Lumen beam that can reach up to 600ft. $12.99

Hygiene

Personal hygiene products are often overlooked when prepping. Very little is needed to ensure cleanliness, which is very important in emergency situations where access to soap and water is limited, and the prevalence of bacteria is heightened. A travel sized bar of soap, hand sanitizer, toothbrush/toothpaste, and disinfecting wipes will go a long way. Be sure to add these to your checklist so that you don’t forget to pick them up the next time you are out grocery shopping.

Personal Defense

Unfortunately, being in the middle of a disaster emergency event is not enough to stop people from turning on their fellow human beings. Canada has some weird laws when it comes to self-defense (you’re not allowed to carry a knife with the intent of using it in self-defense). The States are more relaxed in this regard and depending on your local laws regarding guns and concealed carry it can be beneficial to carry a weapon. I’m not totally well versed on U.S. gun laws, so I’ll leave it to your discretion.

Ruger 57

Ruger 57 5.7x28 hangun

Figure 44: Ruger model 57

The Ruger model 57 is a semi-automatic handgun chambered in 5.7x28mm. It has a 20 round removeable magazine, adjustable rear sight, fiber optic front sight, Picatinny rail, and the slide is drilled and tapped for additional optics. $683.99

Colt Commando

Colt Commando 5.56x45mm NATO rifle

Figure 45: Colt Commando

The Colt Commando is a short and light semi-automatic rifle chambered in 5.56mm NATO. The barrel is only 11.5” and the gun weighs just 6lbs. This rifle is perfect for carrying around all day, compact enough to attach to a bag or to maneuver through the bush, and the 5.56mm NATO round is readily available and has enough power for both personal defense and hunting applications. The customizations and attachments available are endless. $1192.99

LifeShield Self Defense Kit

Frog CO Lifeshield Self defense Kit pepper spray taser stun gun

Figure 46: LifeShield Self Defense Kit

This self-defense kit by Frog&Co contains a keychain alarm, a small can of pepper spray, and a small taser. Some states prohibit carrying a stun gun without a permit, so look up those laws before purchasing. $49.97

Miscellaneous

These items are generally nice to have or they’re situation specific and didn’t really fit in anywhere on the list. A few of these items you probably should take with you in every emergency, and a few of these items you probably don’t need, it’s all up to you.

SPOT Gen3

Spot Gen3 satellite GPS messenger

Figure 47: SPOT GPS Messenger

It happens every year, someone gets lost in the woods and a search party is sent to find them. With the SPOT Gen3, not only are you able to send text messages to check in with loved ones, but if you do get lost or hurt, you can alert emergency responders to your exact GPS coordinates. The SPOT Gen3 removes the “search” from “search and rescue.” $169.95

HELP Flag

help flag

Figure 48: Help flag

Pretty self-explanatory. If Tom Hanks had this, he wouldn’t have needed Wilson. 24”x36”, $9.97

Fire/Water Resistant Money/Document Bag

document bag

Figure 49: Document Bag

Measuring 15”x11” this fire-resistant bag protects documents from temperatures as high as 1832F(1000C). $14.99

Conclusion
I hope this list has given you a better understanding of what things you should include in your own bug out bag. The great thing about making your own bag is that you can be flexible with most of the items and this allows you to make the best possible bag you can for situations you’re likely to face. I would like to implore you to learn how to use these items once you purchase them. Nothing is worse than having the means to save yourself barely out of reach because you don’t know how to use the items at your disposal.

 

Written by John Sader

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From camping shoreside as a toddler while his father fished well into the night, to portaging through the backwoods of Ontario, John is an outdoorsman in every sense of the word. A natural Jack-of-all- trades, he is always outdoors doing anything and everything. John enjoys spending his weekends fishing, from a boat or through the ice, hunting for Turkeys and mushrooms in the spring, wing shooting in the fall and chasing deer until the last day of the season. He one day hopes to have his own homestead where he can enjoy the outdoors to it’s full potential. Follow along on his journey on Instagram @set_hook.