Must Have Bug Out Bag Essentials

must have bug out bag essentials


This post Must Have Bug Out Bag Essentials originally started out as a checklist for our website. But as it grew I knew I would end up turning it into a post so here it is hope you enjoy.

Must Have Bug Out Bag Essentials

We will list the Must Have Bug Out Bag Essentials first on our list and then what we feel are important items to add.

First of all, you will want a way to carry your must have bug out bag essentials in either a bag or pack. You want your pack to be sturdy, durable and preferably with an internal frame. Choose a pack that is of neutral color Black, brown, do not choose a bright color pack or bag.  Look at the packs listed here one of our favorites is the  Monkey Paks Tactical Backpack with Hydration Water Bladder.

Also, check these packs and bags.

small-tachtacle, Bug Out Bag Essentials, Must Have Bug Out Bag Essentials

Bug Out Bag Essentials, Must Have Bug Out Bag Essentials

Bug Out Bag Essentials, Must Have Bug Out Bag Essentials

Must Have Bug Out Bag Essentials


Staying hydrated is an essential part of survival. You will need at minimum one liter a day for each person in your group. Water can be carried with water bottles or canteens. Collapsible water bottles will save space in your pack. If you choose a pack with a hydration system your one step ahead. You will also need water filters or another way to purify your water. Find water bottles, filters, and purification supplies in addition to other hydration needs.

Water Bottles, Filters and Purification 


While water is first on our list shelter is one of the most important must have bug out bag essentials.  For shelter, you will want something to protect you from the weather rain, snow, the wind and the sun. While shelter can be anything from a garbage bag or a cabin in the woods. A shelter is also clothing, sleeping bags and or blankets. Tarps make great temporary shelters drape it over a rope or tree limb and you have a quick shelter.

Look at this article in Boy’s Life Magazine on building shelters.   You want to consider lightweight backpacking tents also emergency shelters like tube tents.   Finally look at lightweight backpacking sleeping bags as part of your shelter needs.

Heat and Fire Starting

A heat source will be necessary for not only keeping you warm but for cooking and purifying water. You will need at least 3 ways to start a fire. Rubbing two sticks together is a great skill to have but not always practical. Bic lighters, magnesium fire starters, and waterproof strike anywhere matches are all great choices. Add a few of these fire starters to your Bug Out Bag Essentials.

You will also want to consider body warmer pads these pads will give sustainable heat for up to 24 hours. You can use these pads with a lightweight sleeping bag or wool blanket and sleep warm all night. Body Warmer Pads


This would be obvious right? Guess how many people don’t think of it? Because the bug out bag is normally designed for 72 hours some people don’t think of food as a necessity. We’re here to tell you food is necessary for a survival situation. You’re burning calories and energy so you will need to replace those. Many members of our team only carry some beef jerky and food bars.  This is fine for one or two people but traveling with children you will want something more substantial. Try these freeze-dried foods for great taste and nutrition. You will also find a wide selection at your local outdoors store or Wal-mart.

First Aid 

This is where we are not medical professionals and that you should take a basic first aid course. Contact the American Red Cross or your local Red Cross chapter for more information. Also, make sure you have all the prescribed medications you or your family may need in your bag.

After you have taken the basic first aid course make sure you have a good First Aid Kit. You will also want a good first aid manual to refer to.  Recommended First Aid Manual.  Also Recommended First Aid Kits. Also, see this post-Basic Medical Kit For Your Bug Out Bag

Protection, Security and the Proper Mindset

This is a very personal thing and you need to consider it carefully. No matter what weapon you choose, get to know it well Your life could depend on it. If you choose a firearm, get training on how it works, how to clean it, and how to use it properly.

Keep in mind that any weapon is there to protect you and members of your group so choose well. And most noteworthy of all is the proper mindset. If you don’t feel you can take another life to protect yourself or family you won’t last long post SHTF.

Survival Tools

Survival tools include Knives, machete, ax or hatchet, and of course the ever popular multi-tool. Check out Northwest Survival Supply for all your survival gear needs


A good LED flashlight comes in real handy and might just save your life or someone close to you. Always have extra light sources and batteries ready for when one fails. Everyone on our team carries a headlamp for hands-free operation and at least two other light sources.

Suggestions would be Miniature flashlights, Keychain lights, and as already mentioned headlamps.


Include in this section hats, wool socks, rain gear or poncho, underwear. Also short and long sleeve shirts, extra pants preferably not jeans. Layers work best so that you can add or subtract as needed.


especially relevant here is you are in a crisis SHTF situation and hygiene practices are important. In this type of situation, diseases can be spread  and  staying healthy is of the up most importance.

Hygiene items to include are hand sanitizer, toilet paper, soap, wet naps, and don’t forget sanitary needs for women in your group. Also, include a toothbrush and toothpaste, and any other items you might think of.


In any survival situation, you can’t always count on your cell phone to be working so you will need someway get news and communicate with your group.

Because you will want to keep in touch and know what is happening we recommend the following communication gear.

KAITO KA500 VOYAGER SOLAR RADIO. Operate on 3 AA batteries, hand crank or solar and weighs in at less than 3 pounds.

KAITO KA350 VOYAGER TREK SOLAR/CRANK AM/FM/SW NOAA WEATHER RADIO FLASHLIGHT.One of the best parts about this radio is it can be charged 3 different ways. You can charge it with the simple dynamo hand-crank. Or set out in the sun and the solar panel will charge the built-in battery. You can even plug it in and charge it via USB. Plus the built-in lithium rechargeable battery will even help you charge other USB powered devices (like cellphones) with ease, meaning you’ll never be without the ability to use your favorite portable electronics.

Another communication tool you will need is communication within your group. So we suggest high-powered handheld radios like the ones here.

Those were all the must have bug out bag essentials we keep in our bug out bags. the heaviest bag in our group weighs in at 38.5 Lbs. and includes a few extra items. Below you will find a few miscellaneous item you will also want to include in your own bag.

Other Must Have Bug Out Bag Essentials


  • Compass
  • Maps of the area
  • Very loud whistle (especially for children)
  • Paracord
  • Duct tape
  • Fishing line and assorted hooks
  • Extra batteries
  • Wire for making snares
  • Sewing kit
  • Sun Glasses
  • Reading Glasses
  • Insect repellant

Consequently, this is not a comprehensive list you will add or subtract items as needed and let us know if you would like to see something added to the list.

Affiliate Compensation Disclosure. From time to time, we promote, endorse, or suggest products or services of others. In most cases, we will receive compensation – either as an affiliate with a commission based on sales or with a free product to review or use. Our recommendations are always based on (i) our personal belief in the high quality and value of the product or service, and (ii) our review of the product or service, or a prior relationship or positive experience with the sponsoring person or organization
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Emergency Planning Made Easy One Month at a Time

Emergency Planning Made Easy

Emergency Planning Made Easy One Month at a Time

By Phil Cox, CEO, Legacy Food Storage

Emergency Planning Made Easy

Disaster can strike at any time, and when it does, you’ll be glad you took time to prepare for potentially challenging events. Survival experts and the Federal Emergency Management Association recommend planning for emergency situations, but knowing how to get started without exhausting your budget can be overwhelming—often so much so that you don’t even begin.

One way to start is to outline a food item or emergency supply each month in 2016, and then divide your emergency budget appropriately. By the end of the year, you’ll have a solid set of supplies to provide for your family in case of a natural disaster or even a job loss. “Which products should I start with?” you might ask. While the final order is up to you, consider following this month-by-month guide to ensure a safe 2016 and beyond…no matter what may happen.

January — Basic Nourishment. While the month is halfway over, you still have plenty of time to start with an essential supply of food and water to get you through any immediate need. Depending on the situation—severe snowstorm, electrical outage, or natural disaster—help may not be available for several days. Storing basic supplies will help make any potential emergency situation more comfortable…and potentially life saving. An easy way to obtain a several day supply of meals is a non-perishable emergency food kit with enough servings for each member of your family. Start with enough for at least three days per person, and with FEMA’s recommendations of storing one gallon of water per person per day to last at least several days.

February — Equipment. With the basics covered, now you can focus on things such as blankets, a first aid kit, flashlights, a radio, and extra batteries. You’ll also be glad you stored games, puzzles and books to keep children entertained…and their parents sane.

March — Young Children and Pets. If you have babies, young children and/or pets, you’ll want to make sure you have food specifically designed for them (such as infant formula or baby foods) and tasty enough that they will actually eat it, as well as diapers, extra clothes, etc. Stock up on extra dog, cat or even hamster food, as needed.

April — Seeds. Adding survival seeds to your food storage is an added layer of protection in your emergency preparations. As the spring planting season approaches, a seed kit will make it easy for you and your family to produce various food items for both long-term storage and use during emergency situations such as natural disasters or job loss. A quality kit includes thousands of seeds for vegetables, fruits and herbs. Be sure to buy an emergency seed kit with seeds specially stored in a way that helps them last for years with a high germination rate. Also look for kits that enable seeds to be planted indoors at any time of the year.

May — Long-term Water Needs. While you likely stored water a few months back as part of your basic nourishment purchases, plan to add even more for long-term emergency storage. While FEMA recommends one gallon per day per person for drinking and sanitation, it really isn’t enough for cooking, brushing teeth, watering seeds/plants, flushing toilets, etc. Two gallons per person per day will make emergency situations much easier. Consider purchasing food-grade water supply boxes, which will enable you to utilize your storage space efficiently, and water purification packets so you can keep your water safe to drink.

May — More Food. It’s time to purchase more food for longer needs, so add enough to feed your family for 10 days or even a month, depending on your budget. And don’t forget family members with special dietary needs. If you are vegetarian or one of your children needs to eat gluten-free because of a celiac disease diagnosis, make sure the food you purchase meets these requirements. Purchasing emergency food for a range of needs will ensure everyone in your home—family, friends and neighbors alike—can eat well during the challenging situation outside.

June — Stove and Fuel. Part of disaster preparation is having the tools necessary to prepare meals. You’ll want the option of enjoying a hot drink or the ability to boil water for freeze-dried emergency foods that need hot water. Consider a multi-fuel stove that is easy to set up and can quickly be folded flat so it can be stored in small places. Don’t forget a lighter or matches. There are also inexpensive heat sources such as diethylene glycol fuel cans that provide instant heat and burn cleanly, smoke-free and without odor for up to four hours.

July — Hurricane, Earthquake or Cold Weather Kits. As hurricane and storm season approaches, depending on your location, consider purchasing an emergency kit that you can take with you depending on your situation. A hurricane “bug-out” kit, for example, may include a basic first aid kit, hygiene kit, 2-man tent, food and water purification tablets in a heavy-duty backpack while a cold weather kit may add fire-starters, a stove, reflective blankets and hand warmers. Just grab them and go.

August — School Essentials. Consider stocking up on school supplies with the school year approaching. While they might not seem like emergency essentials, they will be when school starts later this month, and you can add pencils, crayons and paper to your emergency kits so your children will always have them available, even in an emergency.

September — Practice a Plan. In the U.S., September is National Preparedness Month, so what better time for you and your family to review disaster planning and drills for various challenging situations. Check that you have needed supplies stored and that each family member knows what to do in events such as flooding, tornadoes, extreme winter storms, extreme heat, wildfires or civil unrest. You may wish to discuss as a family which type of disasters are most likely to occur in your area. Also, plan to rotate your water, which is recommended every six months.

October — Vehicle Safety. With winter approaching, make Halloween your deadline for placing emergency supplies in your car in case of upcoming snowstorms or even a breakdown in a rural area. Be sure to keep your car stocked with some long-term emergency food, water and blankets. These supplies will help keep you and your passengers more comfortable should you be stranded in the cold. If you want to be even more prepared, stock your car with a first aid kit, flares and jumper cables. Other auto tips: keep your car as full of gas as possible at all times so you don’t have to fill up during an emergency, when lines might be long, or if stranded in the cold, so you can keep your heater running for longer.

November — Auto Kits. If you feel vulnerable while stranded after engine trouble or a tire blowout, an auto safety kit in your car can provide protective gear against a potential attacker. A kit from an emergency supplier will contain easy-to-use, non-lethal protection solutions.

December — Review. You’ve made a list throughout the year, so now is the time to check it twice. What might you be missing that you would need or simply want during a disaster survival situation? Then plan out how you will add to your supplies throughout the next year.

Getting started with emergency planning can be the hardest part, so following some sort of schedule that helps you stay organized and on budget will go a long way in helping make any emergency situation as comfortable as possible.

Stay safe. Happy planning.

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