September 26

How to Build a Bug Out Backpack Without Getting Swamped by Details



Bug Out Bag

Updated to reflect conditions during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) conditions. This is stuff that you need at home.

The term "Bug-Out Bag" is related to, and possibly derived from, the "bail-out bag" emergency kit many military aviators carry.
A Bug-Out Bag or BOB is a portable kit that normally contains the items you would require to survive for seventy-two hours after evacuating your home in a disaster.

Some kits last longer than that but the main purpose of this post is to get you started preparing for an emergency. If you have checked out the news lately then maybe you already know you need to get started making a plan to protect yourself and your family in a crisis. To get your bug out backpack  built as some as possible we'll focus on surviving for 72 hours in this post.

An excellent way to begin building your backpack is to start with with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's 72-hour disaster emergency supplies kit. I made a few minor additions but you can put together a bug out bag with these items quickly. You don't have to be ready for the zombie Apocalypse to make sure that you can survive a few days on your own. 

Plan Ahead Because Disasters Don't have a Plan

Basic Bug Out Bag

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food; rice, beans, pasta, canned goods etc.
  • Toilet paper, 1 roll per person Scott 1000 Sheet rolls is a good choice.
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and prescriptions
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Heavy work gloves
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps

Additional Items to Consider Adding to a Bug out bag

  • Prescription medications and glasses 
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food, extra water and a leash for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container or better yet put them on a USB drive.
  • Cash in small denominations and change 
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from 
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Unscented household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners. 
  • Personal hygiene articles: toilet paper, soap, feminine supplies

Emergency Supply List

  • Fire Extinguisher 
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for
bug out backpack kit

Update your kit every year and rethink your needs.

The first aid kit should include prescription medications, betadine solution (iodine-based antiseptic), gauze, bandages, adhesive tape, sterile pads, safety scissors, non-prescription medication, sunscreen, and insect repellent.

Get more ideas here, How to Prepare an Emergency Backpack Kit.

Everybody needs to have basic necessities on hand in order to pull through for at least three days if an unexpected emergency happens. The list above contains some basic items that every bug out bag / emergency supply kit should include. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile for everyone to review this list and give consideration to where they live and the special needs of their family so they can put together an bug out kit that will meet these needs. Each member of the family should have their own personal bug out backpack that they can grab at a moments notice and evacuate the house. People should also consider having a smaller portable kits in their workplace, vehicle or other places they spend time. These extra kits are sometimes called Get Home Bags or GHB's

Putting together a Bug out backpacks for family members is a important part of your family disaster, earthquake, tornado,and emergency preparedness goals. I hope that you can use these easy-to-follow tips and suggestions and put together your family's emergency kits.

For more in check FEMA's website. Stay safe out there.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Washington, DC 20472



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