The Ultimate Bug Out Bag List

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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

DON’T MISS: Below the tool, you’ll find a list of links to the best bug out bag gear to help you find any items don’t already own!

The Best Bug Out Bag Gear (with links!)

Bug Out Bag List (essentials + more!)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.

REMEMBER: Don’t just pack everything on this list. Instead, limit your bag’s contents based on your specific needs, environment, and potential threats.

Also, make sure your bag, once packed, weighs less than 25% of your body weight, assuming you are in average shape and not overweight.

Finally, don’t forget to include your personal items such as cash, copies of your identification, and medications.

The Backpack

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.

If you prefer a budget-friendly option, take a look at the 3V Gear Paratus 3-Day Backpack or the Reebow Tactical 3-Day Backpack.

For more backpack information, read our article on how to choose a bug out bag backpack.

Shelter and Environmental Protection

Food and Water

Communication and Navigation

First Aid and Staying Healthy


Urban / Suburban Survival Gear

Wilderness Survival Gear


Get More Advice

Want to be even more prepared? You’ve come to the right place.

Check out these popular guides:

Wrapping Up

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.