A bug out bag is an emergency kit containing 72 hours worth of rations and basic survival supplies. It is made prior to a disaster and meant to aid you in the event of an emergency. Bug-out bags are specifically intended for use during evacuation, should you need to bug out.
Bug-out bags (BOBs) are sometimes called 72-hour bags or GOOD kits. They are intended to keep you alive for the first three days after a serious disaster, and should include critical survival supplies and enough food and water to last for 72 hours. After 72 hours, the emergency should pass and disaster relief workers should be able to reach you. Check out our extended definition of a bug-out bag or our article answering the question what is a bug out bag
The complete bug out bag guide is the most comprehensive guide on survival bags, bug-out bags, bugging out, and personal emergency relocation kits. It covers everything from finding a bug out location to making a bug out plan. You can find the comprehensive guide here.
The Importance of Prepping for the Future
None of us wants a disaster to happen, and none of us wants experience an emergency situation requiring evacuation. No one wants to flee their city or home. Though the likelihood of serious emergencies is low, emergencies happen every day. Given the volatile state of our world today, bug out bags and emergency kits are receiving renewed interest and gaining widespread adoption.
If you’re new to survival planning, you might think we’re a bunch of nut jobs living in underground bunkers with 10 years of stockpiled food and ammunition, waiting for Armageddon. This could not be further from the truth (for most of us, anyway!). Taking steps to make a bug out plan and making a bug out bag is a basic, rational activity people should take. Even governments recognize the threat of disaster or emergency, with many
What Makes a Good Bug Out Bag
The answer to the question what makes a good bug out bag and what is the best bug out bag depends on your location and your needs. Pre-made bug-out bags are an option that works well for a lot of people. In choosing a good ready-to-go bug out bag, you can secure the fundamental survival necessities without much time or research.
Pre-made emergency bags are often lacking because they cannot be customized based on your needs, your climate, or other factors relevant to you.
For example, if you lived in a cold climate such as Alaska, your 72-hour kit would have vastly different tools and survival gear than if you lived closer to the equator. Likewise, a bug-out bag customized for an urban area can be vastly different from a wilderness survival kit. There are many other factors you may want to consider before making your bug-out bag, along with many customization options.
That said, there are some commonalities we can consider in determining what makes a good 72-hour kit:
- Good Bug Out Backpack. Your bag weight, bag size, and the fit, comfort, and maneuverability of the actual backpack is important. You should be able to carry a heavy pack for long distances on foot, and be able to move without restricted movement or speed.
- Personalized Survival Supplies. You should customize your backpack based on your local disaster risks, climate, and other extremes. This means adding content based on the likelihood of a specific disaster and customizing it to an urban or wilderness environment. Consider your physical abilities, how many people you’ll be bugging out with, and the needs of your family.
- Simple and Based on Your Needs. Your B.O.B. should be simple, and include essential contents and the most useful survival gear. Focus on self-sufficiency and remember a bug out bag is only intended for 72 hours of survival.
Do I Really Need a Bug Out Bag?
Hopefully none of us will ever need to bug out. While emergencies and serious natural disasters are rare, they do happen every day. With a bug out bag you never really need it until you do – and when you do, you’ll wish you had one.
The importance of disaster preparation is something that becomes obvious when you think about it. Not every one should plan for armageddon, but if the apocalypse does come, a emergency preparedness bag might aid you along the way.
How Do I Make a Bug Out Bag?
Once you’re ready to make your bug out bag, take a look at our recommended bug out bag contents and list of essential bug out bag items. Our bug-out bag checklist is also a helpful tool.
Choosing the right bug-out backpack or bag is important. There are many factors you might want to consider when choosing a bug out bag backpack, such as the bag size. This article on how to choose the right bug out bag backpack is a good list of factors worth considering.
For those of you who prefer a ready-to-go option, pr-made and complete bug out bags are an option. You can check out our list of the best complete bug out bags or compare pre-made bug out bags yourself.
Things to Consider Before You Start
We recommend a basic understanding of bugging out before you buy a bug-out bag. There are a number of important steps to prepping highly encouraged; specifically, making a bug out plan and choosing a bug out location. There are also factors to consider when choosing the actual bag, which you can read here.
You may also want to make customizations once you’ve built your basic personal emergency relocation kit.
We recommend customizing your bug out bag based on your region’s climate and disaster risk, plus the need of your family. Bugging out as a family takes extra planning, in which case you may want to consider a family bug out bag and a family meet-up plan.
Bug Out Resources
If you’re interested in learning more about bugging out, check out our guide to prepping. For more detailed information on bug out bags, there is a comprehensive guide to bug out bags worth checking out.