A 72 hour bag, or bug out bag, also known as a Go Bag, or BOB is an essential part of your survival kit, and becomes ever important during emergencies such as power outages, hurricanes, even car break downs.
A bug out bag is a pre-made survival kit, that is designed to get your through a disaster, or to aid you on your journey to you bug out location in the event of an emergency. The typical bug out bag is a kit which is designed to get you through a period of roughly 72 hours, and has all the vital equipment that will aid your survival.
You never know when disaster will strike, so having a bug out bag with supplies that will tide your over for a few days at the ready is an important step for all preppers and survivalists alike.
Building a Bug Out Bag
When you begin with building your bug out bag, the first step you should take is to write a bug out bag checklist of all the items you intend to pack into your BOB, then buy these items.
This step should be taken before you even think about buying the actual bag that you will load your gear into, as it is vital to know how big the items you intend to pack actually are.
There is nothing worse than having your brand spanking new back pack, to realise that it is far too small to get all your bug out gear into!
Check Out: Bugging In – When Bugging Out is Not an Option
Building your bug out bag doesn’t have to be hard work, in fact, it should actually be quite fun! After all, having a good bug out plan, and knowing that you are planning well in advance for any SHTF scenario should help put your mind at ease.
It doesn’t matter if you are new to bugging out, or have been a prepper for a long time, and know the ins and outs of bug out bags, and bugging out, you should learn something new from this article.
Choosing a Bug Out Bag
Like I said above, you should base your bag around you kit, not your kit around your bag! With that in mind, lets take a look at some key points to look out for when picking a quality bug out bag.
- Choose the bag that suits and fits you best
- Choose the bag after you have your gear
- Made with thick, tough fabrics
- MOLLE compatible system
- Has padded chest and hip support
- Water resistant, or includes a rain cover
- High quality zippers, YKK are best
- Pockets and compartments for organising smaller items
- Make sure all your gear will fit in it
- Comfortable to carry when loaded
You want to choose a backpack that blends in, the more you stand out, the higher chance you have of getting attacked, or robbed, so ditch that cool looking tactical backpack, and instead go for something a bit more bland looking, maybe not as exciting, but it could aid in survival!
If you don’t know what MOLLE is, check out the video below.
Better Chance of Survival
If you live in an area which is prone to hurricanes, blizzards, wild fires, even just big storms, then a bug out bag will be an advantage to you, and your family as it can aid in the evacuation process. Most importantly, it is the bag which you should be able to grab at a moments notice, and GOOD (Get out of dodge).
History of the Bug Out Bag
Bug out is British military slang for leaving quickly under fire. It is basically a survival kit for when you need to leave in a hurry. Aviators back in World War II had bug out bags, or bail bags, which they used when bailing out over enemy ground. Today, many preppers and survivalists have bug out bags which they use as an emergency bag for many different situations.
Bug Out Bag Checklist
There are 11 supply categories that need to be taken into consideration when building a bug out bag, lets take a look at what they are, and what items you should have on your bug out bag checklist.
1. Water and Hydration
You will need at the very minimum, 1 litre of drinking water per day for proper hydration, but around 3 litres is better, as you will need water for cooking, washing up and so on. Since this is a 72 hour bug out bag, you will need at a minimum, 3 litres of clean drinking water.
The downside of carrying all this water, is that it is heavy, and takes up a lot of space in your BOB. You should consider investing in a way to filter and purify water so you don’t have to carry as much in your go bag. There are plenty of options on the market to do this, such as the LifeStraw, which can filter water of 99.9% of germs and bacteria, and make it safe for drinking right from the source, no matter how dirty.
Below is a list of items that we recommend you carry in your bug out bag to aid with hydration and water treatment.
All of the above items will give you the ability to filter and purify water to make it safe for drinking, and therefore, you will not have to carry as much water in your bug out bag, as you will be able to get it on the go, provided there is a water source nearby. Remember, you should carry at least 1 litre of water incase you can’t find a source of water.
2. Food and Food Prep
Next up in our bug out bag checklist is the food and food prep items. In the prepper world, we see lots of people recommending various MRE’s from various companies, and while these are great for a go bag, I prefer to have something that doesn’t remind me that I am in a survival situation.
Having foods from home, such as baked beans, pasta, rice and what have you is a nice comfort to have when trying to survive SHTF.
Remember, is there is some form of disaster, the food, water and gas is usually the first things to sell out, so you really need to get this stuff now, before it is too late!
The important thing when planning your bug out bag food list is to have enough to last you for three days.
Here is the list of food we recommend you have in your BOB:
– Energy/Granola Bars (6 of these)
– Porridge (3 meals worth, just put it in a food bag)
– MRE as a backup (1 of these)
– Pasta (3 meals worth, either lunch of dinner)
– Rice (3 meals worth, either lunch of dinner)
– Baked beans (3 meals worth, either lunch of dinner added to your rice of pasta)
– Some Sauce for your rice, or pasta
– Metal Cup/Canteen Cook Set
– Pot Scrubber
– Portable Stove – Alcohol stoves are great! Remember to bring fuel. Meths is best
Hopefully what is above will keep you going during a survival situation. Remember, if the time of year is right, you can grab food on the go from plants such as raspberries, blackberries…
Choosing the right clothing for your bug out bag (BOB) is an important part of the task, and quite a personal section of the bug out bag list. Everyone has different preferences in what types of clothes they like to wear, but we are going to try and outline the main aspects as to what you should be looking for when buying clothing for your 72 hour bug out bag.
Your clothing selection will depend on where you live, and your climate along with the other factors I mentioned above.
You should ensure you have at least two changes of clothes in your bug out bag so as you will always have a dry set to wear. The last thing you want, whilst bugging out is wet clothes. Not only will it be uncomfortable, but you will be risking hypothermia.
Here is the list of clothing that you should have in your bug out bag:
– Light weight micro fleece
– Long sleeve shirt
– Merino Wool Hiking Socks
– Medium Weight fleece
– Hat (Wooly/baseball cap, depending on climate)
– Rain Jacket
– Waterproof trousers
– Working Gloves
4. Shelter and Sleeping
A seasoned prepper or survivalist may think some of the items here are a little bulky for a bug out bag, but let me assure you, we have done quite some research into finding the right products for your kit, ensuring they are as small and light weight as possible. They are all made with the backpacker in mind.
It is possible to make a Debris hut survival shelter, but would you not rather your shelter be totally waterproof to keep you dry? Being well rested, both mentally and physically is very important when in a survival situation, especially when you are bugging out, away from the comforts of your home, which is why we think you need to take shelter seriously.
Here are the items we recommend you carry in your go bag to provide shelter and sleeping comforts.
You may be wondering why you would carry a tarp and a tent… Well, you can setup you tarp at the entrance to the tent, and this can act as a store area for your BOB, and other gear like shoes. You could even hang clothed to dry under it provided there is a breeze, or fire lit.
No bug out bag checklist would be complete without talking about fire. You should ensure that you have several means to start a fire when bugging out, even when bugging in, as a box of matches won’t last too long if you are using them everyday.
“When there are two, there’s one, and when there is one, there is none”
Basically, that means, have more than one way to start a fire. For that reason, we recommend that you have at least 3 ways to start a fire in your bug out bag.
6. First Aid
When building a bug out bag, first aid is one of those areas where you can just buy a “kit” and be done with it. Just buying a first aid kit, and hoping for the best isn’t the greatest of ideas. The better idea is to buy a basic first aid kit, and add specific items to it to meet your requirements.
You may need to add prescription medication, pain killers, mylar blankets, a thermometer and anything else you deem necessary.
7. Personal Hygiene
Many other bug out bag checklists leave out hygiene, but no BOB is complete without personal hygiene items. The implications of neglecting personal hygiene for any length of time might lead to bacterial infections, and rapid deterioration of health. When bugging out, you need to take this seriously to increase your odds of survival!
Here are the items on our bug out bag list for hygiene.
8. Field Survival Gear
Next on the bug out bag list is field survival gear. Every prepper loves this category, and it’s easy to see why, tools, knives, and gadgets of any type are just down right cool! One thing you have to bear in mind though, is that every ounce of weight counts, and every tool you add makes it that bit harder to carry your bag for a long distance, so bear that in mind when buying tools.
Some of the tools that you will carry will double up as self defence items, such as your survival knife, or machete.
You bug out bag checklist should include the following tools:
Having a way to see when it gets dark is vital. We recommend having multiple sources of light, and some backup batteries, or a way to charge your batteries if they run done. It is advisable to have a head lamp, to allow hands free lighting, but also having a handheld torch is essential, as they are generally more powerful, and shine a greater distance.
Here is a list of lighting essentials your bug out bag should contain:
10. Communication and Navigation
Staying in contact with your group, and knowing what is going on in the outside world is critical in a survival situation. Having the supplies to navigate, and communicate should not be overlooked when building your bug out bag.
Here are the items you will need to stay in touch with your group, and also navigate your area safely.
11. Other Items
There are a number of other items that you should keep in your bug out bag to help you in a survival situation, which are as follows:
Hopefully this bug out bag list has helped you build a bug out bag, and made it enjoyable. Everything you would need for a survival situation has been included on the list, so feel free to remove any items you see unnecessary, though we recommend keeping them all, as each has a purpose in a survival situation.