There are a lot of things that you need in your bug out bag that go without saying. Food, water, and shelter are no-brainers when you’re getting survival gear together.
These items are the items that are most often overlooked when putting together a bug out bag:
- Sewing Kit
- Fishing Kit
- Snare Wire and Traps
- Waterproof Bag
- Emergency Radio
- Entrenching Tool
- Pry Bar
- Lock Picks
- Signal Mirror
- Survival Whistle
- Duct Tape
What about those things that you don’t normally think about? This list should help get you thinking about the commonly overlooked bug out bag items you probably should have with you in an emergency.
Items You Should Include in Your Bug Out Bag
I’ve been prepping for a long time, and over that time I’ve started to see a trend in the items that people seem to overlook or dismiss as not being necessary. That’s the primary thing that drove me to come up with this list.
It isn’t all-inclusive and some of these items aren’t going to be required depending on what your personal scenario is, but these tools are useful in nearly any situation and should at least be considered when you’re putting together a bug out bag.
This is really a must-have for any type of survival kit. A good old-fashioned Leatherman could be worth its weight in gold in a survival situation. Multi-tools will give you access to a knife, pliers, screwdrivers, etc.
I recommend either a Gerber or Leatherman multitool.
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The Leatherman Wingman is a great option. I like the route that they’ve taken in their newer designs.
The more rounded edges and the addition of scissors make the Wingman one of my favorite Leatherman varieties, but you’ll be good with just about any model out there.
- 14 Tools Cater To A Variety Of Tasks - At Home, At Work, Or Downrange
- One-Hand Opening Design Is Accessible plus Simple To Use
- Solid Stainless Steel Construction Offers Durable Use Over Time
- Included Ballistic Nylon Sheath Keeps The Tool Ready At A Moment'S Notice
- Fully functional toolbox that fits in the palm of your hand
The Gerber MP600 is a good option if you prefer Gerber multitools. I’m not a fan of the looser design of their tools but many people love the external locks.
What tools should you look for on a multi-tool? At least one knife blade and a pair of pliers usually come standard on multi-tools. You should try to get these tools on your multi-tool as well:
- Can Opener
- Various Screwdrivers
- File – Often overlooked but it’s great for sharpening knives and axes that get dull.
- Serrated Blade
- TRUSTED FOR 30 YEARS: The Raine Army Sewing Kit has been used by the US military for 30 years.
- DURABLE SEWING CASE: Our survival sewing kit features a three pocketed zippered, compact nylon case...
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A small sewing kit is good for repairing rips and tears in clothing or equipment. Having the means to repair clothing is a great way to stretch the minimal amount of clothing you may have access to after bugging out.
If you absolutely have to, you can also use a this sewing kit to close a wound. I prefer to use steri-strips for wound closure and I don’t recommend just going to town sewing a wound closed unless you know what you’re doing.
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Adding a small fishing kit and a collapsible fishing pole to your bag is a great idea if you’re near natural bodies of water. Fishing like this has the added benefit of not using a lot of energy which makes it a very efficient way to hunt for calories while expending very few calories in return.
You can also just add some fishing line, hooks, and weights to make a small fishing kit that weighs almost nothing.
Snare Wire and Traps
Having snares, traps or wire that you can use to build them can give you another way to collect food. Something as simple as a few rat traps may be able to get you a meal when you really need it.
Traps are a lot like a fishing kit. They allow you to set up many traps at once increasing your chances of catching something and it takes almost no energy once you have them set.
- Durable and Compact: Made from ripstop tarpaulin with sturdy welded seam which is designed for years...
- Waterproof Guarantee: Solid roll-top closure system provides secure watertight seal. Keeps your gear...
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- Multiple Sizes: 5 Liter to 40 Liter to meet your demands on different occasions. 5L, 10L include one...
- Versatility: The dry sack can float on water after being rolled and buckled, so you can track your...
Waterproof bags are great. Some are so good that you can completely submerge them in water and still keep everything dry inside. You can also use them as a floatation device if you need to cross a river or lake.
Remember, anything that keeps water out can also keep water in. An empty dry bag makes an awesome way to collect water and should be a strong contender for a spot on your bug out bag list.
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Staying up to date on whatever event forced you out of your home is extremely important. Most emergency radios allow you to listen to NOAA and AM/FM channels. Make sure you plan to have a means to recharge your radio or carry extra batteries.
Many of the emergency radios out there have included solar panels and cranks on them to help charge them in emergencies. You can also get models that have USB ports so you can charge your phone or other electronic devices off of it.
- Steel Blade with Aluminum Handle
- Genuine US Military Issue
- Black Powder-Coat Finish
- Tri-Fold Design Collapses for Easy Carry/Storage
- Sharpened Axe Edge, Serrated Saw Edge, comes with ODG Vinyl Cover
Entrenching tools are pretty heavy, but they’re also a lifesaver if you need to do some digging. Nothing else that you can put in your bug out bag can really replace an e-tool. They’re also a very effective last-minute melee weapon.
E-tools are so effective important they’ve been part of the standard loadout for soldiers for a VERY long time.
This could be a lifesaver for anyone bugging out from the city. Being able to gain access to a secured area could mean the difference between finding food and going hungry. If you carry a full tang axe or tomahawk it will be almost as good as a pry bar.
If you’re interested in a great full tang tomahawk you should check out our review of the Smith & Wesson Extraction and Evasion Tomahawk.
Along the same lines as the pry bar. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there demonstrating how to pick locks. Bosnianbill is my favorite YouTuber for lock picking lessons.
If they’re legal in your area, they weigh very little and make a great addition to any bug out bag. Be sure to practice ahead of time.
Lockpicking techniques are easy enough but you’ll only ever get the feel for it if you practice on a wide range of locks. Focus on the types of locks that are most common in your area first.
They’re often sold under the name of lock maintenance kits if you’re trying to find them online.
- DIMENSIONS: 2.25” H x 1.3” W x 0.5” D and weighs 0.4 oz
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Adding a signal mirror to your bug out bag list makes a lot of sense. They’re really light and are one of the best ways to signal to another person or vehicle during the daytime.
Signal mirrors are also effective as a way to inspect facial injuries and could even be used to peek around a corner if you didn’t want to expose your head.
- Emitting a piercing 100-decibel signal, this slim single-frequency whistle is audible from over a...
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- Each pack contains two whistles to share or distribute among gear like a rain jacket or go bag.
The survival whistle is another great tool to have around. Sound is a great way to signal your position in order to help people find you at night or in dense vegetation.
You can keep a whistle hanging on one of the straps of your pack so it’s always available.
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- Rugged, weather-resistant shell; withstands moisture, UV rays and temperature extremes
Who doesn’t love this multi-use wonder? You can carefully unroll the duct tape and then re-roll it back onto itself to get it down to a manageable size.
If you’re going to pack something like Gorilla Tape, you have to understand that having something that strong sometimes has drawbacks. If you’re going to want to remove the tape afterward, a super-strong adhesive isn’t always the best bet.
This list was focused on overlooked bug out bag items but everything on this list could easily find its way into any survival kit. Make sure you think about the scenarios that you’re most likely to encounter before you consider your survival kit or bug out bag complete.