This article summarizes the complete topic of bug out bags for intermediate-to-advanced preppers. Bug out bags are also covered extensively in our bug out bag guide. This article is intended to act as an overview and executive summary of our more comprehensive bug out bag guide.
A bug out bag (BOB) is a popular type of survival bag and emergency preparedness kit containing the most essential survival gear. Bug out bags are meant for situations where you need to evacuate, leaving your location quickly in an emergency, conflict, or natural disaster.
These kits are created before an emergency strikes. They are meant to sustain you for the initial 72 hours until emergency aid or disaster relief arrives. Thus the nickname, the 72-hour kit.
These “go bags” contain survival essentials, such as food, water, an emergency first aid kit, basic survival tools, and some form of shelter. This list of critical bug out bag contents outlines the survival items standard in most survival kits. Bug out bags are sometimes called get out of dodge bags (GOOD Bags) or personal emergency relocation kits (PERKS).
Bugging the Hell Out of Dodge
Today, most people are not prepared for a major emergency, natural disaster, or man-made catastrophe, despite the popularity of shows like Doomsday Prepper’s and recommendations by numerous government agencies.
Creating a Personal Emergency Relocation Kit or bug out bag requires planning, research, purchasing a few survival supplies, and some time. Building a bug-out bag and being prepared to get out of dodge is not the end-all be-all of survival planning, but it’s a recommended first steps of prepping. Understanding why you should be proactive with survival planning and understanding the different threats and risks is important. A lot can go into creating a bug-out backpack and evacuation planning, even for experienced preppers.
See Also: Being prepared to bug out is an important first step of prepping, alongside emergency planning and learning basic survival skills.
Bug Out Bags: Important Considerations
There are a number of things to consider before you build your bug out bag. Specifically, it is important to understand the importance of total bag weight and to estimate the weight of your BOB once you fill it with survival gear. You can use our bug out bag weight calculator to estimate your bug out bag weight based on your survival supplies.
Preparing to get out of dodge when the SHTF is more than simply compiling an emergency preparedness kit. You need an evacuation point and a plan. It’s important to select a good bug out location and to understand when you should bug out and when you should bunker down. It’s also important to understand regional factors such as population density, climate, and location-based disaster propensity. You should customize your BOB and plan accordingly.
Once you’ve accumulated an understanding of emergency planning and bug-out basics, the time will come to actual build and compile your PERK. The first step will be decided if you want to build your own bug out bag or if a complete bug out bag is a better solution for you.
Building a Personal Emergency Relocation Kit
When putting your bug out kit together, the first step is to choose the actual bag or backpack you’ll use for your survival supplies. You should consider the factors important to you in choosing the best bug out backpack. Make sure you consider what backpack qualities and restrictions are important to you. The ultimate bug out bag comparison table can help you find the best bag or backpack based on your needs.
Once you’ve found the best bug out bag or a good tactical backpack, you will need to identify which survival supplies fit your personal needs.
It’s best to create a bug out bag checklist, identifying the best bug out food, water, survival supplies, and basic survival gear best for you. Remember to customize your bug out bag based on your region and needs!
Which factors are most important to your survival needs? There are many specifications and variables depending on your intended use case, location, needs, experience, and budget. Learn more about how to choose the right bug out bag.
You should look for a quality 72-hour backpack that is the right size, a good fit, and the best bag type for you. You may want to compare bug out bags and backpacks. With this bag comparison tool, you can browse, compare, and narrow the backpack choices by selecting what factors are most important to you. You may also want to consider a pre-made bug out bag if you aren’t ready to make a small time commitment or if you want a basic, starter model.
Note: there are different types of backpacks that offer varying degrees of customizability and capacity, such as bug out backpacks with MOLLE support or dedicated compartments for a laptop or concealed carry.
A pre-made bug out bag is a ready-to-go survival kit, usually with the bare bones supplies or fundamental gear. These pre-made bug out bags are assembled and shipped to you, complete and ready to go. Our guide on pre-made bug out bags covers the pros and cons of pre-made 72 hour kits. The pre-made bug out bag comparison table and our recommended lost of the best pre-made bug out bags are good places to start.
Resources for Prepping and Bugging Out
Once you’ve chosen your backpack, you’re ready to pick your gear and build your bug out bag. Don’t forget to include critical survival supplies and essential bug out bag contents, then take a look at our recommendation of the best bug out bag contents. With your bug out bag essentials in hand, don’t forget to customize your contents and include important-but-not-critical survival supplies and tools.
We’ve developed unique resources to help you determine what to include in your bug out bag, such as our bug out bag list and your personalized bug out bag checklist generator.
As you learn more about prepping, be sure to update your survival bag, make sure your family is prepared, and take time to properly store and organize your bug out bag.
Once you’ve compiled your survival kit, you should take steps test it out and to organize your bag.
If you have family, you’ll want to learn about bugging out as a family and may want to consider a family bug-out bag. There are also prepping resources for bugging out with limited mobility, with children, bugging out with pets, and more.
Don’t forget to customize your bug out bag based on your location. You can make your kit focused by region, making a urban bug out bag or a wilderness survival kit.
Most importantly, don’t forget to pick a bug out location and to have a bug out plan.
That’s it when it comes to bug out bag planning. Everything here is elaborated in-depth if you follow the links within this article, or you can visit our guide to bug out bags, the bug out bag FAQ, and bug out bags for beginners.