The Best Bug Out Bag List (2018) – What You Need and Why You Need It!

Best Bug Out Bag List

Best Bug Out Bag List for 2018

It seems like putting together the best bug out bag list is one of those things that every preparedness website has to do. The thing that other sites often ignore is the fact that everyone has different needs and lives in different environments. This article will help you design the best bug out bag for you and your family!

This article is going to cover everything that we at Ready Lifestyle believe should be on every bug out bag list. Then were going to give you a range of options to fill those needs. By examining each section, you’ll be able to tailor a kit to meet your needs, no matter what they are, so you have the best list for you and your family.

Follow this link to download our free bug out bag list.

Who Needs a Bug Out Bag?

I always recommend bugging out only as a last resort, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be prepared to bug out. With our current political situation, both at home and worldwide, there are any number of possible scenarios that could cause us to have to leave our homes at a moments notice.

If you live in an urban environment the need for you to have a well thought-out and prepared bug out bag is even more important. Everyone living in a city or a suburban environment is at an increased risk to experience political and civil unrest, riots and will likely feel the effects of a man-made disaster before those in less populated areas.

This doesn’t mean that those in a rural environment would never have to bug out. Many natural disasters, such as wildfires and hurricanes, could cause those in rural areas to have to bug out. Some people believe that after a disaster, those within the cities will migrate out to the rural areas. If this migration does take place, it’s one more reason for those in rural areas to be able to vacate quickly.

If you aren’t properly prepared and haven’t taken the time to put together a bug out bag, you could possibly find yourself having to evacuate your home with minimal notice, no food, no water, and no equipment. By having a go bag ready you ensure that you and your family will always have the minimum gear needed to survive.

We provide you with a sampling of items that we feel would make a good addition to your bug out bag. As with all preparedness topics, you are the only one who knows your situation. You will have to modify the items in each category to best meet the needs of you and your family.

If you’re interested in buying a premade bug out bag, then you should read our review of the best survival kits on the market.

Guidelines for Selecting Bug Out Bag Items

When deciding on what to put on your list, it’s best to choose those items that have multiple uses. This cuts down on weight and the number of items that you have to buy and carry.

Don’t blindly select the least expensive gear out there. If you see two items that look very similar but have a large price difference, it’s probably because the less expensive item is made with lower quality materials. Of course, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes there are just items that present a very good value to the consumer.

The items on your bug out bag list should be able to get you through the first 72 hours of an emergency. Some people even go so far as to call this a 72-hour bag. Try to include items that will allow you to survive past the 72-hour mark. Sustainability and reusability are important when choosing items.

As an example, putting 72 hours of water in your bag may seem like a good idea, but adding just two or three liters of water and adding a portable water filter will last you much longer.

This bug out bag list info-graphic is a great place to start building an emergency kit.
Full-size image: Full Size

Additional Considerations

The climate, season, number of people in your family, etc. will all have an impact on what type of items we need in our bug out bags. Make sure you take these into consideration when building your list.

Military surplus stores make a great place to get a lot of these items. I’d suggest swinging by one in your area and checking it out. They sometimes have great deals on gear that’s hardly been used.


The base of any good bug out bag is the bag itself. When choosing a backpack there are several things to take into consideration.

If you live in an urban environment, choosing a backpack that does not appear tactical can be an advantage. Being able to look like any other person on the street will make you less of a target if you are trying to evacuate a city (or other populated area) on foot. This grey man approach is often the preferred theory for people in cities and those that may be caught in a populated area.

For those of you that live in a rural environment, a tactical backpack may serve you better. These backpacks or often designed to effectively carry large amounts of equipment in a compact package. Camouflage patterns will also allow you to blend into your surroundings better.

Regardless of the style of pack you choose, a subdued color is probably the way to go.

The Osprey Aether AG 60 forms a great base for a bug out bag.
Osprey Aether AG 60

Osprey makes great packs in all colors, shapes, and sizes. This Aether AG 60 is designed for a week on the trail and comes with a removable top lid that can be used as a daypack. The adjustments available with the pack make it suitable as a bug out bag for almost all adults.

Kelty Redwing 44 could be considered a bug out bag essential.
Kelty Redwing 44

Kelty is another well-known manufacturer of backpacks. The Kelty Redwing 44 is a little on the small side, but it would certainly work. It’s size also makes it less conspicuous compared to other hiking packs that are much larger. A bag like this could be a great bug out bag for an older child or a small woman.

The TETON Sports Scout 3400 should be at the top of your bug out bag list of supplies.
TETON Sports Scout 3400

This Teton pack is 55 liters and is the most affordable pack we’re looking at in this article at right around $60. The Teton Scout 3400 represents a sweet spot for cost, durability, and size. It’s fully adjustable and pretty close in size to the Osprey. Something like this is what I’d recommend to anyone looking to build a new bug out bag.

5.11 Tactical RUSH72 would be a great base for a military bug out bag.
5.11 Tactical RUSH72

About the same size as the Kelty, the 5.11 Tactical RUSH72 has a ton of MOLLE webbing on the outside which allows for expansion if you really need it. Being on the tactical side of backpacks, it’s made of stronger, heavier material than the other packs and comes in several different subdued colors and camo patterns.

If you’re looking to build a more tactical bug out bag, this could be just what you’re looking for.

A lot of people swear by 5.11 products, but I tend to prefer a pack designed for comfort when I intend to wear a pack for days on end. There’s nothing wrong with a pack like this, in fact, this pack has rave reviews on every site I can find. It’s just been my experience that, after a couple days with a pack like this, I’m much more tired than I am with other backpacks.

How to Pack Your Bug Out Bag

Packing your tactical bug out bag so the weight is properly distributed will make it much more comfortable to carry for long periods of time.

To keep your pack as stable as possible, load the heaviest gear next to your back and centered in the middle of the pack like the drawing above shows. Pack your lightest equipment in the bottom of your backpack with the medium weight loaded at the top and outer parts of the bag.

To maximize the amount of gear that you can pack in your bag, fill up items that have empty spaces with other items. As an example, you could put some items in your mess kit and pack your sleeping bag into any open areas around other light gear in the bottom of your pack.

Fill in all empty space and use any internal tie downs to secure your items in place. (Were you wondering what all those straps inside your pack were for?) This prevents the load from shifting in your pack and it will allow you to fit more items into it.

Women and shorter men often find that carrying heavier weight slightly lower in the pack is more comfortable. Heavy items should still be high in the pack, but feel free to adjust your load for your comfort. This is just a general guide, not a hard and fast requirement.


Shelter can come in many forms. A lightweight backpacking tent may be the best option for some, for others, a tarp makes more sense as it can be a shelter and has other uses. It doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as you have a shelter in your bug out bag that makes sense for you.

A Chill Gorilla 10' Rain Fly can be used as a makeshift tent if you include it on bug out bag item list.
Chill Gorilla 10′ Rain Fly

A purpose made tarp, like this Chill Gorilla 10′ Rain Fly, makes a great shelter. You can also use it to waterproof your pack, collect rainwater, etc. They’re extremely versatile on top of being light and not taking up much space.

A lot of people would argue that a sleeping bag or blankets don’t constitute a shelter. I totally disagree. This list is completely modular. Just because a sleeping bag or blanket roll wouldn’t work for one situation, doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be great for someone else.

Blankets are also easy to come by and make a really cheap alternative that someone can start with an upgrade from later on.

An old military poncho makes a great makeshift tent and can be used to keep you dry in the event of inclement weather. If you add a poncho liner you have both a blanket and an extra layer that can keep you warm when it gets cold.

For those that are likely to spend any length of time in an urban or suburban area, I recommend picking up Tom Brown’s Field Guide to City and Suburban Survival. The section on shelter building makes it a worthwhile purchase all by itself.


Having a steady supply of water will be one of the things that you battle with first. The problem with water is that it’s heavy and takes up a lot of room.

With that in mind, we always recommend having some form of portable water filtration system as well as several collapsible water containers on your bug out bag list. Keep these containers full of water so you have something to drink when you first bug out. Then, as you empty the water containers you can refill them with water that you gather along the way.

Make sure you read our article How to Choose the Best Survival Water Filtration System for more information about how to select the best water filter for your bug out bag list.

A micro filter, like this Katadyn Hiker, should be included on your urban bug out bag checklist.
Katadyn Hiker Microfilter

The Katadyn Hiker Microfilter is one of the best handheld water filters available. It’s a little on the expensive side, but you get what you pay for. Something along these lines is important for any survival situation.

Nalgene Collapsible Wide Mouth Cantene is great on any bug out bag item list.
Nalgene Collapsible Wide Mouth Cantene

Collapsible canteens are nice because you can roll them up when they’re empty to save space in your bug out bag. I like these Nalgene canteens because you can stand them up when they have water in them. Not all of the collapsible canteens I’ve used will do that.

You can also add water purification tablets, or chemical disinfection kits since they take up very little room.

Aquamira Water Purification Tablets is featured in the best bug out bags.
Aquamira Water Purification Tablets


Aquamira makes several types of water purification chemicals. These water purification tablets would be a good addition to any go bag as a backup to other water collection tools.

Be sure to include the Aquamira Water Treatment Kit in the ultimate bug out bag.
Aquamira Water Treatment Kit

This Aquamira Water Treatment kit can treat up to 60 gallons of water. That’s far more water than you could ever carry!

You’re going to want to filter the water through a cloth (or a similar item) to remove any large particulates before you treat it.

If you’ve included a mess kit or metal container of some kind, you can use that to boil water for an additional means of getting clean drinking water.


The type of food that you bring will depend upon your environment.

Freeze dried food weighs very little but takes a lot of water to rehydrate and cook. It probably makes sense for you to include freeze dried food if you live in an area that has a lot of natural bodies of water.

Mountain House PRO-PAK should have a place on your bug out bag inventory.
Mountain House PRO-PAK

The Mountain House Pro Pak is designed with backpackers in mind. Each pack is one meal and comes vacuum packed to be as light and compact as possible. They come in a wide variety of flavors, so anyone should be able to find something they would enjoy.

If you live in a very arid environment or an area that doesn’t have a lot of natural water, such as a city, then putting food that doesn’t need to be rehydrated on your bug out bag list makes sense. You just need to be aware that it’s going to weigh more and plan accordingly. MREs and canned food could be options as well as food ration bars and things like tuna and chicken packets.

If you choose to carry canned food (which I don’t recommend) make sure you have a lightweight can opener like a P-51 or a multi-tool.

Military MREs are a great addition to your bug out supplies and weapons.
Military MREs

MREs are a great choice for an all in one meal that can be prepared with no outside equipment. If you decide to go with MREs you can strip them down and take out anything that you will not need. Take the food out of the boxes, remove the heaters (you could reuse them as a makeshift warmer if you live in a cold environment), get rid of the extra spoons, etc.

When you’re done, reseal the plastic bag with a piece of duct tape. You’ll basically cut their bulk in half! Once an MRE is broken down like that, it makes more sense to include them anywhere that long shelf life, quickly prepared food is needed.

I always include a couple in every survival kit that I build because it gives me the freedom to go for a couple days without having to stop for food. The less time you spend searching for food and water, the more distance you can put between you and the area you’re trying to leave from before you have to stop.

Every bug out bag checklist should have Datrex Emergency Food Bars.
Datrex Emergency Food Bars

Putting Datrex Emergency Food Bars on your bug out bag list is another option. They aren’t great, but they’re calories, take up very little space in a bag, last for a long time and don’t need to be prepared. Emergency rations of this kind can cause some people to get sick to their stomach. With any of these rations, it’s a good idea to try them before an emergency so you know what you’ll be getting yourself into.

The best bug out bag checklists contain the Etekcity Ultralight Backpacking Stove.
Etekcity Ultralight Backpacking Stove

A lightweight stove like this Etekcity Ultralight Backpacking Stove takes up almost no space. They’re actually smaller and lighter than the fuel.

You may also want to put a mess kit and some eating utensils on your bug out bag list.


The amount of clothing that you need to put on your list is minimal. When you’re determining what to pack, try to keep it light and non-bulky. In the end, you just need something to protect you from the environment that you’re likely to encounter.

Packing light rain gear is always a good idea. Heavy-duty trash bags can be used as makeshift rain gear and have many other uses. If you used a poncho as your shelter, you’re already good to go with rain gear.

You should have several changes of socks and underwear. This will let you change out the articles of clothing that come in direct contact with your body preventing chafing and blistering which can lead to discomfort and eventual infection when walking long distances. Keeping your feet dry on a long trek is one of the things that you should prioritize if you have to bug out.

If you live in a cold environment or an environment that has multiple seasons you will need to pack clothing accordingly. If your area has multiple seasons, I would suggest changing your loadout based on the season.

If you don’t want to be bothered with changing the clothing in your pack every few months then you should pack warm clothing that is both light and non-bulky. Modern synthetic materials make this very possible. Carrying too much is better than freezing to death when you have to bug out with your summer clothing in the middle of winter.

Packing your clothes in one or more Ziploc bags will help keep them dry and give you another bag that you could use later on.

Make sure you have a pair of broken-in hiking boots or sneakers available. This will allow you to just grab your bag and change out your shoes. If something happens on your way home from work, you don’t want to be stuck walking around in dress shoes.

All of our top bug out bags have Merrell Men's Moab Ventilator Mid Hiking Boot attached to the outside.
Merrell Men’s Moab Ventilator Mid Hiking Boot

The original Merrell Moab Mids are still among my favorite hiking boot.

Making sure your footwear is broken in is key. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people put brand new boots on prior to heading out on a patrol and return back to the FOB with bloody, blistered feet. In a bug out scenario, blisters will slow you down considerably and possibly even leave you unable to walk. This will be even more apparent when you have the weight of your pack on your shoulders.

Issues with your feet can stop you faster than almost any other type of injury. Go hiking with the shoes that you plan to wear when you’re carrying your bag. If you have problems with no weight on, you’re definitely going to have problems in a bug out situation.

Top bug out bags can make great use of Gear Aid Tenacious Tape.
Gear Aid Tenacious Tape

Gear Aid Tenacious Tape would be a great addition to any bug out bag list. It’s an interesting product that could come in handy in a pinch. It’s specifically designed to seal leaks, rips, and tears in rubber, nylon, canvas and synthetic materials. Some of the lighter packs out there can tear pretty easily under hard use. If you’re using one of these, this repair tape would make a lot of sense.


A flashlight or headlamp is a necessity. A headlamp allows you to use your light source with both hands-free.

The ultimate bug out bag list should have a Petzl Tactikka Headlamp.
Petzl Tactikka Headlamp

The Petzl Tactikka Headlamp has white light, strobe, and red light options. The strobe isn’t important but if you need to be tactical the red light will be. Having your hands free is a huge advantage when you’re traveling with a pack on your back and trying to carry a rifle or work with other items.

Be sure to read our review of what we believe is the best headlamp for the price.

You also may want to consider something like a small LED Lantern or glow sticks to act as an area light at night. There are also several small lanterns that Goal Zero makes which are great for lighting small areas at night.

See our review of the Goal Zero Lighthouse Mini Lantern here.

Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight with Integrated Solar Panel added to the best bug out bag list.
Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight with Integrated Solar Panel

I’m a big Goal Zero fan. The Torch 250 is a great area light that has a solar charger on one side and lantern on the other side. It also has a USB port that you can use to charge electronics and it can be charged from a USB port or a hand crank on the side. It’s a little bulky but I’d be happy including one on my bug out bag list.

Check out our full review of the Goal Zero Torch 250 here.


Make sure you don’t overlook personal hygiene items. You need to be able to keep yourself clean especially if you end up living out of your bag for more than a couple days.

Normally a toothbrush, toothpaste, baby wipes, and a bar of soap will be enough to keep you clean. If you won’t have access to an outdoor water supply then you should consider packing more baby wipes and leaving the bar of soap at home.

A roll of toilet paper doesn’t weigh much, but it can take up a lot of space. If you run into this situation you can remove a portion of the toilet paper from the roll and put it in a Ziplock bag to save space or just smash the whole roll flat and put it in a Ziplock bag. Toilet paper isn’t a necessity, but it certainly makes things a lot nicer if you have some!

Make sure you include feminine hygiene products on your list if you or a family member need them. Tampons and pads can also absorb a lot of blood if you’re wounded. They’re also reasonably sterile.


Being able to defend yourself is extremely important in a bug out situation. What you decide to bring with you to defend yourself is going to depend upon where you live.

If you live in a rural environment then some form of light semi-automatic rifle is going to suit you best. I personally prefer an AR-15 but an AK-74 or 47 would be a good option as well. Having a rifle will also allow you to take game if it presents itself while you’re moving from point A to point B.

In my mind, a rifle should be the first weapon you reach for in any bug out situation. Even if you’re in the city, a short barreled AR-15 pistol is a much better choice than a pistol in all ways other than concealability.

A pistol can be your best bet if you’re bugging out from a city or suburban environment. This allows you to conceal your firearm, drawing less attention to yourself. If you’re not concerned with drawing attention to yourself then a rifle on your bug out bag list is a better all-around choice.

My preferred pistol is a compact 9mm like the Glock 19 or M&P 9C. For me, they’re the best compromise between capacity, caliber, and concealability.

When you’re determining your loadout, two extra magazines are probably enough, but that is up to you to decide for yourself. Carrying more ammo will allow you to protect yourself for a longer period of time, but the weight of ammo adds up fast so keep it to the minimum you think will get you by.

Fire Making

Being able to make a fire is important for a number of reasons. It allows you to cook, sterilize water and can keep you warm at night. A good fire can also provide a great motivation boost when you’re cold and wet.

One of the best fire making devices available to anyone is a simple Bic disposable lighter. They’re inexpensive, light and readily available almost everywhere. Any bug out bag list should have a few. Extra lighters would also make a good barter item.

Other than several disposable lighters you should consider packing a windproof lighter, ferrocerium rod, or waterproof matches in your bag.

First Aid Kit

A good first aid kit is an absolute necessity. Make sure you don’t skimp in this area. You can stop by our article on how to stop bleeding if you need a refresher on how to use these items.

The list below is what I consider a minimum for a bug out bag first aid kit:

How to make a bug out bag with the Adventure Medical .7 First Aid Kit.
Adventure Medical .7 First Aid Kit

For normal cuts and scrapes, the Adventure Medical .7 First Aid Kit is great for this purpose because of its small size and the quality of the materials they pack in it. This kit will provide the base for your first aid kit.

Adventure Medical Kits Professional Trauma Pak with QuikClot should be included on a survival bag checklist.
Adventure Medical Kits Professional Trauma Pak with QuikClot

The Adventure Medical Trauma Pak comes packed in a single compact bag and covers most of what you need to stop a heavily bleeding wound. It’s only missing a tourniquet and a pressure dressing.

Ever Ready Battle Dressing can be found at the survival supply.
Ever Ready Battle Dressing

Adding an Ever Ready Battle Dressing (AKA Israeli Bandage) to your Adventure Medical Kit fills in some of the weaknesses of that kit. Israeli Bandages are a great dressing, just make sure you understand how it works. If your first time seeing it when you need to use it, then it can be a little confusing. Watching this quick YouTube video on the subject and you’ll be up to speed without having to open yours.

Every 72 hour bug out bag checklist should have a North American Combat Application Tourniquet.
North American Combat Application Tourniquet


The Combat Application Tourniquet is a standard when it comes to tourniquets. Tourniquets are a bad word in a lot of communities. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO USE ONE! I say that all the time and I’m going to keep saying it until everyone understands that putting a tourniquet on someone doesn’t mean they’re going to lose a limb.

For severe bleeding that you cannot stop, or you can tell from the outset that you will not be able to stop, this is a lifesaver. I don’t consider a first aid kit complete unless it has at least one tourniquet in it, preferably more. I suggest putting more in your bug out bag if you believe you could sustain injuries on multiple limbs at once.


Some form of cordage should be included in your go bag. Normally the go-to item for this is paracord. It’s light, doesn’t take up a lot of room and the inner threads can be removed from the outer sheath making, even more, cordage if needed.

25-50 feet should be good enough. Make sure you spool it around something so it doesn’t get tangled when it’s bouncing around in your bag. I wouldn’t buy any special spools for this. Just wrap it around a water bottle or some other item that is already in your kit.

Fire Cord is a newer invention that I’ve started carrying in my B.O.B. It has all the strength of regular 550 cord, but it also has a flammable fire starter core that makes getting a fire going really easy.

Survival Knife / Axe

A quality fixed blade survival knife should also be part of your bug out bag. Fixed blade knives are normally stronger and have better handles than folding knives. They tend to be better suited all around for survival situations.

If you’re going to put a folding blade on your list then make sure it has a solid lock up when it’s opened.

bug out kit checklist Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife
Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife

The Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife is a normal Mora knife with a ferrocerium rod in the handle. This is my go-to when I’m putting together any survival kit.

One thing that many people often overlook is the advantage that a small lightweight survival axe provides. A hatchet is great for all kinds of things from making and pounding in tent stakes to processing firewood. In many situations, having a quality hatchet with you can mean that you don’t need a heavy survival knife. There is little that a hatchet can’t do that a knife can and there are tons of things that a knife can’t do at all that is easy for an axe.

tactical go bag checklist Gransfor Bruk Wildlife Hatchet
Gransfor Bruk Wildlife Hatchet

A lot of people think the idea of a survival axe is crazy, or inefficient. This is the Gransfor Bruk Wildlife Hatchet. It’s just over a foot long at 13″ and has a 1 lb. 3″ blade. The entire hatchet is under 1.5 lbs! It can easily slide in your backpack or hang from the side.

Gransfor Bruk is my go-to company for all axes now. They’re beautiful, handmade tools that have a 20-year warranty. When I have this hatchet with me I almost never reach for a knife! I’ll stop geeking out over a hatchet now, but before I go on I just want to say they’re worth every penny and make a great addition to any survival kit.

Be sure check out our article on the importance of taking a survival axe with you.


Laminated maps of your local area, as well as a compass and a GPS, will allow you to find your way. Make sure you practice with the compass and understand how to use it! When you’re trying to navigate during a bug out situation it’s not the time that you should be first pulling out your compass.

get home bag checklist printable A2S Paracord Bracelet K2-Peak
A2S Paracord Bracelet K2-Peak

A normal lensatic compass is going to be the best for true navigation. These survival bracelets would be a good backup for that compass and they have a fire starter and 550 cord.

Most of the time I look at survival bracelets as more of a novelty item. They’re really one of those things that you don’t appreciate until you need them. Like the mini-survival kits below, I would use these bracelets only as a back up to other items that are already on my bug out bag list.

bug out bag essentials survival Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator
Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator

The Garmin eTrex 10 is pretty bare bones when it comes to a modern GPS, but it has all the features you would need in a bug out situation.

You can see our review of the Garmin Foretrex 401 here.

Regardless of the GPS you select, you should definitely have one on your list.


A pair of light durable leather or mechanics gloves make a great addition to any tactical loadout. Protecting your hands from cuts, scrapes, and other injuries is going to help you keep infections at bay. They’re especially useful if you’re not used to working outdoors with your hands on a regular basis.

survival bug out bag list Mechanix Mpact Gloves
Mechanix Mpact Gloves

I always add a pair of Mechanix Mpact Gloves to any bug out bag list. They’re light enough to give you a lot of dexterity and sturdy enough to stand up to pretty rigorous activity. The rubber coating on the knuckles and fingers really does help. I highly recommend them.


In a bug out situation, its a good bet that society probably has not completely collapsed. This means that your money will still have value and you can potentially use it to buy items that you need along the way.

Bills in small denominations make the most sense so you don’t have to overpay for an otherwise inexpensive item.

You can also use some of the items in your bag as bartering items. Just be sure that you don’t trade something that you’ll need down the road.

I also don’t recommend specifically bringing items for use in bartering. It’s extra weight that is better used somewhere else.


Having identification along with you will most likely make any encounters with the police or government go more smoothly. It’s lightweight so don’t forget to include it on your B.O.B. list.

Some form of identification could also be required if you decided to utilize emergency resources provided by a government agency like FEMA.

If you’re wondering why I suggest using government assistance as a last resort, just look around on Google to read about the horror stories coming out out the Superdome during hurricane Katrina.


We have quite a few things that need batteries on our bug out bag list and so far we don’t really have anything to recharge them with. That’s about to change.

build your own bug out bag Goal Zero Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Solar Panel
Goal Zero Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Solar Panel

The Goal Zero Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Solar Panel is a solar panel and battery pack. The battery pack gives you the ability to store the power that you gather during the day in order to charge electronics at night. You can also hang it off your backpack to charge the battery pack as you walk during the day.

top rated bug out bags Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Recharger
Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Recharger

To charge AA and AAA batteries the Goal Zero Guide 10 is great. Just make sure that you have non-lithium rechargeable batteries. It won’t charge lithium batteries, even if they’re supposedly rechargeable.

A cell phone goes without saying. As long as the grid is up, your cell phone will continue to be an incredible asset to have. Don’t forget to add one to your bug out bag list.

Wrapping Up Your Bug Out Bag List

Ultimately it’s up to each of us to come up with what the best tools are for us and our families. By reading through this article, and tailoring your list to your needs, you’ll be ready if you ever need to bug out.

Keep this in mind when putting together your bug out bag list, everything that goes into it should help us get from point A to point B, gain food, water and shelter. If something doesn’t do one of those things then it doesn’t deserve a place with you when you bug-out.

Once you’ve completed a bug out bag list that makes sense for you, start by buying the most essential items…food, water, and shelter. Then branch out from there. You can probably fill most of the missing items with things that you have lying around the house! Once you’ve put together the bare essentials, you can then start adding more gear as time and money permits.

Just like any other type of prepping, it’s important to not spend money that you may not have to put a bug out bag together.

Common Questions

  • What does bug out bag mean?

Normally the term refers to a bag (usually a backpack) that is loaded with food and equipment that can keep you alive as you leave one location due to an emergency (bugging out) on your way to another location (commonly called a bug out location).

  • Who needs a bug out bag?

We believe everyone needs one. You can read our full answer about who needs a B.O.B. here.

  • Is a bug out bag necessary?

Follow this link to find out why we believe everyone should have one.

  • Why should I make a bug out bag?

Follow this link to find out why we believe you should make one.


  • How much should a go bag weigh?

I would aim for 25 lbs as the ideal weight for your pack. It’s a lot more difficult than it sounds to get everything you need into a bag that only weights that much. With that in mind, staying under 35 lbs is probably okay. Just make sure you can carry that much weight for several days on end. A 35 lb pack starts to feel really heavy a lot fast than you’d think if you’re not used to it.


  • What color should my bag be?

Your bag should be a darker, subdued color. Camouflage normally isn’t the best idea unless you’re sure that you’re going to be bugging out through a wilderness area or you live in an area where camouflage-patterned clothing and packs are normal.

Use this link to jump to the discussion on choosing a grey man or tactical bug out bag.


  • How much water do I need to include on my bug out bag list?

Follow this link to jump to the discussion about how much water is needed in a bug out bag.

  • How much food do I need to include on my bug out bag list?

Follow this link to jump to the discussion about how much food is needed in a bug out bag.

  • What type of clothing should I put on my list?

Follow this link to go to the discussion about what type of clothing you should put on your B.O.B. list.

  • What gun should I put in my bug out bag?

Follow this link to jump to the discussion about what type of firearms you should put in your bug out bag.

  • How much ammo should I include on my list?

You can follow this link to jump to the discussion about how much ammo you should pack in your bug out bag.

  • What backpack should I get to carry a rifle?

We suggest keeping your rifle at the ready or strapped to the outside of your bug out bag.

If you really need to keep it hidden then a pack like the Tactical Assault Rifle Backpack is a good place to start looking. It’s relatively inexpensive and seems to be well constructed. 

You can also consider taking an AR-15 or AK pistol.

  • How should I pack my backpack?

You can learn how to pack your backpack here.

  • Where should I buy a go bag?

We suggest that you build your own bug out bag so that you have exactly what you need to meet your specific needs. If you don’t have the time or desire to build your own, you can find our recommended pre-built bug out bags here.

  • What type of axe should I put on my bug out bag list?

You can find the discussion about which hatchet you should put in your bug out bag here.


What would you add if you were putting together the best bug out bag list? Let us know in the comments.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

Make sure you like us on Facebook if you found this helpful. Head over to our gear page for more informative gear articles.


  1. I normally use a Garmin Foretrex when I’m out and about. It does everything I need it to do and the size makes it easy to stick just about anywhere.

  2. What do you think about putting a 22 in your bug out bag?

    I like the idea of a 22 since it’s so light and doesn’t really take up a lot of space.

    • William,
      I actually wrote an answer to a similar question over on Quora about 2 days ago.
      I like a 22 as a survival rifle. They’re light and you can carry 1000 rounds of ammo with no problem.
      My real issue with putting a 22 in a bug out bag is the fact that you don’t have a decent defensive rifle. I prefer an AR-15 in almost all situations. I’m very familiar with them, the parts and ammo are plentiful in the U.S. and they can do pretty much anything you’d want a rifle to do.

  3. Having built a number of bug out bags in the past I can say that I agree with almost everything in this article. Putting together a BOB it really is all situationally dependent so it’s a very personal thing. I hate when people try to tell you what you should buy when they have no idea where you may have to bug out from, how many people are in your family, or where you could be bugging out to. Writing in an open ended way like this gives people the option to form their own opinions and put together a bug out bag that’s right for them. Thanks.

    • Rob,

      We really tried to keep our bug out bag suggestions both generic and specific at the same time.

      You’re totally correct that it doesn’t make sense to tell people what they need when there’s no way to tell what their needs really are! I would hate for someone to build a bug out bag from using our suggestions and leave something out that they really needed. I urge everyone to take time when they put together a bug out bag since it really could save your life one day.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment!


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