Building your bug out bag is one of the most important preparedness steps you can take to protect yourself and your family in the event of a catastrophe.
Your bug out bag is designed to help you evacuate at a moment’s notice and is packed with the essential survival gear to get you to safety. It should contain everything you need to sustain you for a minimum of 72 hours.
Our free interactive bug out bag list will help you build your fully customized bug out bag, tailored to your specific needs, abilities, and environment.
IMPORTANT: If you’d rather not build your kit from scratch, consider the following options…
- For a “ready-to-go” kit, see our premade bug out bag buying guide or check out the highly recommended Zippmo Urban Survival Kit for Two.
- For a personalized survival kit service, learn about our recommended personalized survival kit service.
The bug out bag list below is broken down into various essential survival categories. Go through each category, one by one, and select the items that you would like to pack in your bug out bag.
Keep in mind, a well-designed bug out bag should weigh no more than 25% of your body weight, assuming you are in average shape and are not overweight. Any heavier than that can make carrying the bag highly strenuous and limit your ability to remain mobile and travel long distances on foot during an evacuation. Limit your packing list to the essentials that will help you survive.
Our bug out bag list will automatically estimate your bug out bag’s weight based on your selections, with the option of entering your body weight to see if your kit is below the recommended 25% weight threshold.
Once you are finished selecting your items, your personalized bug out bag checklist will be sent to you by email, to help you pack.
The Best Bug Out Bag Gear (with links!)
After you’ve decided on what to pack in your bug out bag, the next step is to assemble your kit.
In case you’re missing any of the items, we’ve put together the following list of our favorite survival gear.
We love the 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 for a 3-day bug out bag. It is designed by professional survivalists and is built to last.
For more backpack information, read our article on how to choose a bug out bag backpack.
Shelter and Environmental Protection
- Firestarting Kit: UCO Stormproof Matches in Waterproof Container
- Firestarting Kit (2): UCO Stormproof Torch Windproof Lighter
- Emergency Blanket: SOL Emergency Blanket
- Poncho: Rothco Ripstop
- Sleeping Bag: Coleman North Rim Sleeping Bag
- Tarp: OUTAD Waterproof Tarp
- Tent: Survival Shack Emergency Shelter Tent
Food and Water
- Water: Datrex Emergency Water Packets 72 Hour Supply
- Rations: S.O.S. Rations Emergency Food Bars 72 Hour Package
- Water Filtering Item: LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
- Water Purification Tablets: Potable Aqua PA+Plus Water Purification Tablets
- Canteen: Klean Kanteen Water Bottle
- Hydration Bladder: Camelbak 2.0 Liter Antidote
- Can Opener: P-51 Military Can Opener
- Eating Utensils: Hikenture 4-1 Eating Utensils
Communication and Navigation
- Emergency Radio: Eton FRX2
- Flashlight: J5 Hyper-V Tactical LED
- Headlamp: Petzl TIKKA Headlamp
- Survival Whistle: Storm Safety Whistle
- Compass: Suunto Field Compass
- Laminated State Map: Easyfinder Laminated Maps
- Chemical Light Sticks: Cyalume SnapLight Light Sticks
- Signal Mirror: Coghlan’s Signal Mirror
- Cell Phone Cable and Adapter: AmazonBasics Lightning Cable
First Aid and Staying Healthy
- First Aid Kit: 205-Piece First Aid Kit from First Aid Only
- Tourniquet: Recon Medical Tourniquet
- Israeli Bandage: Ever Ready Israeli Bandage
- Sam Splint: SAM Rolled Splint 36″
- QuickClot: QuickClot Advanced Clotting Sponge
- Bug Repellent: Repel 100 Pump Spray
- Hygiene Kit: Premium 10-Piece Travel Kit
- Wet Naps: Wet Ones Antibacterial Wipes
- Potassium Iodide Tablets: ThyroSafe Potassium Iodine Tablets
- Ammonia Inhalants: Dynarex Ammonia Inhalants
- Multitool: Leatherman Wingman
- Folding Knife: Kershaw Clash Serrated Folding Knife
- Fixed Blade Knife: Smith & Wesson H.R.T.
- Paracord: Rothco Type III Paracord – 50 feet
- Duct Tape: SOL Duct Tape – 50 feet
- Batteries: AmazonBasics High-Capacity Rechargeable Batteries
- Solar Charger: Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit
- Zip Ties: Cable Matters Nylon Zip Ties
- Bandana: Triple9 Bandana
- Dry Bag: Earth Pak Dry Bag
- Pocket Survival Guide: SAS Survival Guide
Urban / Suburban Survival Gear
- Work Gloves: Mechanix M-Pact Gloves
- Dust Mask: 3M N95 Particulate Respirator Masks
- Eye Protection: UVEX Stealth OTG Safety Goggles
- Urban Axe: Ontario SP-16 SPAX Tool
- Pry Bar: Stanley 7-1/2 inch Wonder Bar
- Breaching Tool: Stanley FatMax Xtreme Fubar
- Sillcock Water Valve Key: Cobra 4-Way Sillcock Key
Wilderness Survival Gear
- Camping Hammock: Trek Light Gear Double Hammock
- Pocket Chainsaw: Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw
- Fishing Kit: Best Glide Survival Fishing Kit
- Hatchet: Estwing 14-inch Hatchet
- Tomahawk: CRKT T-Hawk
- Camp Shovel: Gerber Gorge Folding Shovel
- Fillet Knife: Rapala Fish’n Fillet Knife
- Skinning Knife: Mossberg Fixed Skinning Knife
- Pepper Spray: SABRE Police Strength Pepper Spray
- Handgun & Ammo: Glock 19 Gen 4
- Rifle & Ammo: Ruger 10/22 Takedown Rifle
- Slingshot & Ammo: The Scout Hunting Slingshot
Get More Advice
Want to be even more prepared? You’ve come to the right place.
Check out these popular guides:
- Make Your Bug Out Plan
- Customizing Your Bug Out Bag for Urban Survival
- Customizing Your Bug Out Bag for Wilderness Survival
- The Ultimate Guide to Bugging In
We hope that our bug out bag list and gear recommendations help you get prepared.
If packing your own bug out bag sounds too time-consuming or difficult, see our premade bug out bag buying guide for ready-to-go alternatives, such as the Zippmo Urban Survival Kit for Two, or learn about our recommended personalized survival kit service.
Remember, don’t procrastinate, and get your bug out bag ready ASAP.
The last thing you want is to be unprepared for an emergency.