A survival bag is a type of survival kit that contains essential supplies and important survival gear that may be immensely useful in a nature disaster or emergency. Survival bags and disaster kits are an integrate part of survivalist and prepping culture.
Survival bags first emerged as survival kits for military organizations along with civilian transportation vehicles, such as airplane, boats, and emergency evacuation craft. They would contain small kits for essentials for survival, providing shelter, warmed, sustenance, and tools for signaling for rescue or implementing first aid.
Prevalence in Prepping Culture
The survival bag is the stable of the present-day prepping community and historical survivalist culture. Those unfamiliar with survival planning and disaster prepping have certainly heard of a bug-out bag or go kit. Even the most uninvolved individual understands what a survival bag is; they need only to look at the stereotypical extreme of a decked-out underground survival bunker.
While too much focus may be placed in survival bags, prepping is far more than that.
When it comes to survival bags, they are recommended to newbies interested in prepping and also utilized by those of us who’ve been interested in survival for a while. For the new guys, survival bags like the bug-out bag act as an easy, fun way to get them involved in the survival community.
Beyond that, survival bags like the bug-out bag are a stepping stone towards developing a real emergency evacuation plan, family meet-up plan, bug-out location, and other important activities like learning self-sufficiency skills and creating a pantry.
Items Included in a Survival Bag
When it comes to identifying which survival supplies, which tools, and which powerful survival gear is essential, is usually included, should be included in a survival bag, there is no direct easy answer.
Every survival bag worth it’s value contains tools for shelter, warmth, first aid, communication, water, food, fire, improvisation, and protection.
We can certainly say that most survival bags and emergency kits typically contain the following basic survival items:
- a tent, tarp/rope, or tent alternative (for basic shelter)
- sleeping bag, clothing, and/or poncho (for protection against the elements)
- first aid kit
- canteen with water
- water purification tables
- canned food
- at least one signaling tool
- a multi-tool
- a flashlight/light-source
- fire-starting tools
It gets tricky which determine the actual items and survival tools. Not only does everyone have a different preference, and not only are there many different types of common survival bags, but there are also many extensive, specialized survival kits meant for specific uses, specific scenarios, and specific disasters.
These survival bags range from outdoors, to military, to lifeboat and spacecraft, to vehicle kits, and even down to survival bags for specific natural disaster, such as earthquakes and hurricanes. This means that every survival bag is different, and designing one depends entirely on it’s use case and the users likely needs.
Wikipedia‘s survival kit page shows just how extensive survival bags can be, and contains a detailed list of general contents, specific unusual tools, and survival kit variations.
Types of Popular Survival Bags
When it comes to survival bags, they can offer a degree of versatility. They can be customized based on your need, and in some instances, the bags can crossover for multiple uses. The bag could be used for remote outdoor recreation, but could double as both a bug-out bag and a emergency hurricane kit.
Survival bags typically are either for government/industrial use, or for individual use. When it comes to individuals planning for survival, there are a number of different types of survival bags.
For individuals, there are a number of different types of survival bags common in the prepping community. We’ve written a complete guide to survival bags, which covers the different types of survival bags, what makes them different, what they are for, when to make them, and includes an overview table giving a birds eye view of them all.
These survival bags sometimes have different synonymous names, other times the names indicate a slight different in contents or approach.
Popular survival bags include the 72-Hour Bag (aka the popular Bug Out Bag), the Everyday Carry Bag, the Get Out of Dodge Bag, the I’m Never Coming Home Bag, the Get Home Bag, and of course Vehicle Survival Kits and survival kits or bags for bugging-in.
The Bug Out Bag – The Most Prevalence Emergency Evacuation Kit
We won’t discuss the bug out bag extensively here, we have an entire, comprehensive guide on bug out bags for that. We’d just like to point out that the bug-out bag is, by far, the most well-know, most prevalent survival bag.
Bug out bags sometimes are known by additional names, such as a go kit, go bag, 72-hour bag, or even as a personal emergency relocation kit. Which term best represents the bag’s function doesn’t really matter.
What is clear is that bug out bags have seeped into popular culture; oftentimes seen as part of an extreme lifestyle, but increasingly seen as a reasonable step one should consider taking.
If you’d like to explore the concept of the 72-hour kit (“the bug-out bag”) check out our comprehensive bug-out bag guide.
If you’re looking to purchase or build your own bug out bag, we recommend reading factors to consider, the importance of bag weight, our bug out bag contents list, and then find the best survival backpack or compare pre-packed complete bug-out bags.
Survival Bags Today (Further Reading)
In time, our survival bag page will expand to include additional survival bag resources.
For now, however, a good amount of the information on our bug-out bag guide applies to any survival bag. The following articles were are about the bug out bag, but are written in a way that can apply to allow survival bags.
- Things to Consider Before Building a Survival Bag
- The Importance of Knowing and Managing Bag Weight
- Choosing a Backpack for your Survival Bag
- The Ultimate Survival Bag Comparison Tool
Survival Bag Buying Guide
When it comes to buying a survival bag, be sure you’ve reviewed this bag and the considerations/further reading above.
Most importantly, you should understand the following:
- Intended use case and survival bag type
- What factors you’re looking at when buying
- Where you will store the bag or how far you may need to transport it
- What the estimated bag’s weight is
If it’s an emergency evacuation bag, you should have a emergency evacuation plan created and a bug-out location selected.
You will need to choose the actual bag, identify what survival supplies you need, then order the best items and compile your bag.
Compare Survival Backpacks