Welcome to the Most Comprehensive Bug Out Bag Guide Online
This bug out bag guide is intended to be the most comprehensive and concise guide to bug out bags on the internet. Being prepared to bug out is about more than merely having a bug-out bag ready-to-go; it’s about being prepared for the unexpected and developing an understanding of the purpose, risks, and your personal needs when it comes to prepping to bug out.
Preparing a bug out bag is an important first step in disaster prepping. In fact, it’s one of the big three activities we recommend: 1) write a plan, 2) build a bag, and 3) know your route.
On Survival Beacon, we’ve compiled a lot of content about survival kits, disaster prep, and bug out bags. We have introductory articles for people knew to prepping and more advanced guides to those who are already involved in thinking about survival. This bug out bag guide is meant to act as a a table of contents for everything on Survival Beacon related to bug out bags and bugging out. You may use this guide to gather a basic understanding of each topic by reading the summaries or may navigate to the more extensive articles on the subject.
Table of Contents
- Table of Contents
- Bugging Out 101
- Before You Build Your Bug Out Bag
- Building Your Bug Out Bag
- Customizing, Managing, and Maintaining Your BOB
Bugging Out 101
What is a Bug Out Bag
As you may know by now, a bug out bag is a 72-hour survival kit meant for evacuation aid during a major disaster or emergency, containing basic food, water, and survival supplies for at least 72 hours.
Bug out backpacks are an important step in basic disaster preparedness, prepping culture, and are a type of survival kit recommended by numerous government agencies.
You can learn more about the purpose of a bug out bag or our bug out bag basics for beginners, or check out our bug out bag definition and bug out bag synonyms page.
Why You Need a Bug Out Bag
There are many scenarios where a bug out bag may come in need, and many reasons and potential situations one may choose to prepare for an emergency. This page provides an introduction into why you should have a bug out bag. It covers the basic reasons and most likely situations for bugging out, plus applied use-cases of such survival bags.
When it comes to disaster prepping, bug out bags are above all else, one thing – proactive. In people proactive, you are positioning yourself for not only peace of mind, but also increasing your odds of survival. At Survival Beacon, we believe everyone should have a basic bug out bag and/or comprehensive survival kit. They kit should be stored, maintained, and be ready to go in an emergency. Take your choice of a typically natural disaster scenario. Would you be prepared? How would you survival?
In considering such a scenario, most people realize how unprepared they actually are for any sort of unexpected survival situation – everything from being stranded on the side of the road, to a major natural disaster.
Prepping & Risk Assessment
The nature of disaster planning and survival preparedness is critical. Most people do not understand this. By its very nature, disasters are unplanned, making them an immensely difficult thing to even consider planning. Who they heck plans for a natural disaster, anyway?
The reality is that disaster preparedness is important and can be critical. Importantly, disaster planning is actually easy (though it may not seem so).
Every household should take steps to prep and should have an emergency preparedness plan and one or more bug out bags to support yourself and your family. These two things can be some of the easiest and most beneficial actions you can do to aid yourself in the unlikely event of a future disaster.
The sad reality is that serious disasters do happen in our world. Unfortunately, most people never think about a disaster until it strikes – and by then it’s too late. How many people you know have an emergency plan? Most people don’t have a plan whatsoever, and as such, certainly have the supplies they might need to aid them in the event of a man-made or natural disaster.
In addition to teaching survival skills and other aspects of survival and sufficiency, this website is a disaster preparedness resource with the goal of helping families and individuals compile and build their own comprehensive bug-out bags and disaster preparedness kits, create emergency and evacuation plans, and provide basic education on disaster preparedness.
Location-Based Disaster Propensity and Preparation
When bug out prepping, you need to consider your region. Where you live can impact which bug out bag contents and survival supplies you should include in your 72-hour kit. You should consider your region’s climate, your location’s propensity for certain types of disasters, your location’s geographical factors, and the population density of your city.
Consider the following questions:
- What is your region’s climate?
- What are the temperature extremes? What is the hottest and coldest temperature and season?
- What are the weather extremes? What types of storms or precipitation are likely or possible?
- What natural disasters are more likely to occur in your geographical region?
- Which natural disasters have happened there before?
- What natural resources and transportation infrastructure exists in my general location?
- Is my area rural, urban, or sub-urban? Should I prepare for wilderness or urban survival?
These questions, and more, are important to consider. Depending on the results, you may need to customize your BOB or get-out-of-dodge kit for weather extremes, natural disaster aids, and the natural of your possible survival situation.
If you live in a climate that is particularly hot or particularly cold, or a region that is know for a specific type of natural disaster, you need to carefully consider your disaster preparation. When it comes to bug out bags, this includes customizing the contents based on your region. If you live in a city that is prone to blizzards or snowstorms, you should include extended food rations, warm clothing, and options for shelter in extremely cold weather.
If you live in an urban area, you may not need an axe or fishing pole, but you may want to consider a gun or other personal defense item, along with customized components like gas masks, pry bars, credentials, and other tools.
Learn more about customizing your bug out bag by regional factors.
Developing an Emergency Evacuation Plan
Creating an emergency plan is just as important as building a 72-hour survival kit Specifically, you should develop a bug out plan or emergency evacuation plan that includes your bug-out location, your evacuation route, and the conditions on which you would evacuate.
If you have a family or other individuals who will accompany you during the evacuation, it’s important to have a family emergency meet-up plan and location. It’s equally important you educate your family on the meet-up plan, the meet-up location, and basic survival prepping.
Bugging In vrs. Bugging Out
Also important is knowing the types of situations you should bug out. You need to know if you should bug out or bunker down. In some scenarios bugging out just doesn’t make sense. For example, if there’s a tornado, would you grab your bug out bag and flee your city?
I didn’t think so. You’re going to stay inside, find shelter, and whether the storm.
Know exactly when to bug out and you’ll be ahead of most people.
Choosing a Bug Out Location
Part of evacuation and disaster planning is having a bug out location pre-selected. It doesn’t have to be complex, take steps planning a bug out location based on your needs and prepping requirements. Learn about what criteria is most important and how to choose a bug out location.
Before You Build Your Bug Out Bag
Before you build your PERK, there are some things you should consider. This page covers the important factors to consider before buying a bug out bag. Specifically, you need to have an emergency evacuation plan and a family meet-up plan in place. You should have an evacuation location or bug out destination pre-selected and mapped, and should estimate the total weight of your bag.
You should also understand your reasons for building a bug out bag, along with your personal prepping needs. In examining your individual needs, geographical-based disaster propensity is an important factor. If your region is more prone to specific disasters or a specific climate, you will need to customize your bag based on those factors.
You need to consider how many people you are preparing for and their individual needs.
When it comes to the the bag selection and compiling the bug out bag, the projected total bag weight and other bag specifications are important factors.
Total Bag Weight
Bag weight is the most important factor when preparing to assemble your bug out bag. You need to be able to carry it. Before you buy your bag be sure to read our guide on your bug out bag’s weight.
Estimate the Total Weight of Your Survival Bag
You can use our bug out bag weight calculator to estimate the total final weight of your bug out bag with all survival supplies and tools added. This calculator isn’t precise, but rather gives a ballpark estimate on how much your backpack will weigh once complete. This is an important factor. Know your bag’s final weight will let you know if it’s likely to be too heavy and will allow you to make changes based upon your survival skills, prepping needs, and physical ability.
Building Your Bug Out Bag
What to Consider When Choosing the Actual Bag
There are a number of factors worth considering when selecting a bag or backpack for your survival kit. Read our extensive page outlining the factors on what to consider when choosing the bag for your bug-out bag.
When you’re looking for a bag, backpack, tactical backpack, or hiking pack to act as your bug out bag, you need to decide what bag traits are most important to you. This depends on your needs, experience, and preferences.
Important factors include:
- Bag Weight, Size, and Storage Space
- Bag Type and Design
- Compartments and Capacity
- Gear Accessibility
- Bag Features
- Expandability, Add-Ons, and the Ability to Customize
- Material Quality and Durability
- Color, Style, and Appearance: Blending In
- Comfort & Fit
There are other factors. Read our guide on choosing a bug out backpack for more in-depth consideration. It should help you decide which factors are most important to you.
The Ultimate Bag Comparison Tool
To help you in your bag selection process, we’ve compiled a highly-detailed, filterable bag and backpack comparison table. This chart is meant to save you time by helping you narrow your bag’s features based on your needs and preferences. Check out the ultimate bug out bag comparison tool.
Buying a Pre-Made Bug Out Bag
For those of you seeking a simpler solution, a pre-made bug out bag might be an option worth considering. If you choose to get a pre-made 72-hour kit, you will save a lot of time. The major downside is that you are unable to significantly customize it and they are sometimes priced higher than if you built your own survival kit. Additionally, you should do your due diligence to ensure the pre-made bug out bag contains all the survival supplies and tools you need.
Pre-Made Bug Out Bag Comparison Table
Since pre-made bug-out bags and pre-made survival kits often lack specific survival supplies, we’ve built a pre-made bug out bag comparison table listing the best pre-made bug out bags. This product comparison table lists many satisfactory pre-made bug out bags that have meet our fundamental criteria.
This tool is unique in that you can filter out pre-made bags based on their contents. If you check out this tool, you’ll see that each column represents the contents of a survival kit. Each pre-made 72-hour bag listed will have a “yes” or a “no” that can be filtered. This would allow you to filter these pre-assembled kit’s based on whether they had specific items, such as cooking supplies or a first aid kit.
List of Bug Out Bag Supplies
We’ve taken the time to curate a few lists of critical bug out bag supplies, essential bug out bag contents, and comprehensive bug out bag gear. Our bug out bag lists focus on providing comprehensive bug out bag survival tools which will truly aid you and your family in case of a disaster.
In curating these bug out bag lists, we focus on selecting essential products of the highest value – in terms of price, quality, and durability – so that you don’t have to. We pledge to be thorough in our research and honest in our recommendations. When viewing our bug out bag guide or bug out bag lists, simply click on each product to learn more about it and to add it to your shopping cart. Once you’ve compiled all the items you need, order, then build your bug out bag once you’ve received your survival tools.
Basic Bug Out Bag Contents
As you should know by now, there is no right 72-hour kit compilation. Everyone’s bug out bag will contain different items and will be configured slightly differently. Aside from critical survival items, there are a handful of basic bug out bag contents we recommend. These are for the average person just introduced to prepping and assumes a general non-eventful region. Those with more advanced survival skills or who have increased risk of disaster may have additional content or could remove certain survival supplies entirely.
Customizing, Managing, and Maintaining Your BOB
When compiling your survival kit, it’s important to customize it based on your needs. Survival kit customizations important to you are personalized to your needs – they won’t be the same for other people.
Customizing Your Bag Based on Region and Disaster-Propensity
Specifically, where you live is a major factor. You should understand your regions propensity for specific disasters, as well as it’s climate extremes, and customize the contents of your 72-hour kit based on location. This many include customizations such as including extra clothing or a sleeping bag with a low temperature rating for areas prone to extreme cold.
Customizing Your Bag for Urban Survival
Additionally, you may wish to customize your existing bag for urban survival. Some people select a bag based upon it’s ability to blend in within an urban environment. In a major disaster, large cities can be one of the worst places to be. By tweaking your bug out bag for urban survival, you can blend in and have the tools you need.
Downsizing Your Bug Out Bag
If your survival bag is too heavy, you may need to downsize your bug out bag by removing heavy or bulky items and by finding substitute or dual-use survival supplies.
Bug Out Bag Checklist
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