This article is Skilled Survival’s Ultimate 104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist.
A free bug out bag checklist that not only tells you what to add to your pack but why.
Because you have to justify everything you add to your bug out bag.
Every ounce matters.
Decisions must be made because you cannot take everything.
This checklist helps to make those hard decisions so you end up with the pefect bug out bag for you.
A bug out bag you can be proud of.
Before we jump in, make sure to bookmark this page right now so you can come back to this free bug out bag checklist to build out your bag over time.
Go ahead, before you forget.
Want a Downloadable and Printable Version Of This Bug Out Bag Checklist? Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.
A Quality Bug Out Bag
Before you begin filling your bug out bag with all your survival gear and supplies, you need a high-quality bug out bag.
Starting your bug out bag build with a crappy pack is a terrible idea so make certain you get one with the following qualities:
- Made with thick, tough fabrics
- Includes a MOLLE system
- Has a chest strap and/or padded hip support straps
- Water resistant or includes a shell
- High-quality zippers and clips
- Includes a lot of pockets and compartments
And if you’re not familiar with MOLLE; watch this short video.
1 – Bug Out Bag
The EVATAC™ Combat Bag is a badass bug out bag and an ideal pack for anyone serious about putting together a legit bug out bag.
It’s the bug out bag that I personally use by the way.
It’s constructed of 600D Polyester which makes it tough as nails.
The Combat Bag’s zipper and clips are heavy duty and long lasting.
The padded shoulder straps make carrying this bug out bag very comfortable and there is a chest strap that can sinch this bag down tight to keep it in place if/when you need to run.
There are a total of 10 compartments that can help keep you and your survival gear organized. By the way, these compartments are waterproofed to keep your gear dry.
There’s even a padded compartment that can fit a laptop or other sensitive gear.
The best news is that, at the time of writing, this bug out bag sells for a fraction of the price of similar bags.
Interested? Check out my detailed review of The Combat Bag by EVATAC:
Once you’ve got your bug out bag, it’s time start building your bag with survival gear.
Please Note: This bug out bag checklist is intended to provide you all the possible items you may want to add to your bag.
However, if you added everything suggested from this bug out bag checklist into your bag it’s going to get way too heavy. You should pick and choose the gear and supplies that make the most sense to meet your needs.
Water and Hydration Tools
For SHTF, you’re going to want at least three separate ways to your water sources. Drinking contaminated water can make you severely sick and can even kill you.
Why not just carry all the water you’ll need? Not an option, water is extremely heavy so you’ll have to find it along the way. That’s why you’ll need key purification tools to filter and treat the water you find.
2 – Stainless Steel Water Bottle
It’s important to get a water bottle made out of stainless steel and not plastic.
You can’t boil water in a plastic bottle or an insulated one, and boiling is the simplest way purify the water you find to ensure it’s safe to consume.
So fill your stainless steel bottle today with safe, clean water and stash it in your bug out bag.
That way you can start your bug out with a full bottle of clean water and then refill and boil/filter/purify as needed on your route.
3 – Water Purification Tablets
An alternative method to purify water from rivers and streams when boiling is too time-consuming is to carry some water purification tablets.
These tablets treat water faster than boiling, and they allow you to purify on the go and keep moving. Plus they are extremely lightweight so that you won’t pay much of a weight penalty.
4 – Portable Water Filter
A good water filter will remove all the particulates from your water such as dirt or soot, but a great one will also remove most harmful bacterias as well.
So you should pack a small portable water filter to clean your water and purify it too.
Sawyer Mini Water Filter
I highly recommend you get a couple sawyer mini water filters. Not only is it small to pack and lightweight, it can also filter 100,000 gallons of water!
This little water filter is ideal for both travel and a worst case get home survival scenario.
What makes the Sawyer Mini so powerful is it’s inline design capabilities.
Use it as a straw or an inline filter to remove 99.999% of harmful bacteria.
Here’s my full video review of the incredible Sawyer Mini.
5 – Expedition Jerrycan Filtration System
This is not a small filter and it won’t fit inside your bug out bag. However, with your MOLLE system, you can hang it on the outside of your bag.
The LifeSaver Expedition Jerrycan is ideal for a family bug out since the system can supply enough clean water for a family of 4 for nearly a year.
Clip it to the outside of your bug out bag empty and use it once your family arrives at your final bug-out location.
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Food Supply Items
You need to pack some calories.
A few essential food sources stashed in your bug out bag to keep you healthy and maintain your stamina. For can get heavy so you’ll want to focus on light, easy to prepare foods.
But you should also try to take advantage of what the land can provide.
So make sure to pack a few survival tools to help hunt or gather additional foods along your bug out route.
6 – Calorie Dense Food Bars
Honestly, any calorie dense energy bars will do the trick. Just read the label and look for ones that provide the most calories per bar.
These ER Emergency Food Ration Bars pack 2400 calories per bar, which is exactly what you need.
These food bars will provide your primary energy needs on your journey since they are easy to consume on the go, and you can pack quite a lot of them without adding much weight.
Plus, they have a decently long shelf life (5+ years).
7 – Freeze Dried Meals
Freeze dried foods are a hot meal in a pouch making them another a light food source you can add to your bug out bag.
They take a few minutes to prepare so wait until you find a safe spot to rest.
Just add the pouch contents to boiling water, stir, and eat up.
One of my personal favorites is Mountain House Beef Stroganoff.
8 – Military Meals (MRE – Meal, Ready to Eat)
If MRE meals are good enough for soldiers, then they are good enough for me.
I prefer to pack my bug out bag with freeze-dried food over MRE’s but if all I had was MRE’s, I’d be totally fine with that.
But some people think they are horrible and theirs a long-standing and ongoing debate about MRE’s for survival.
Here’s an excellent discussion on this hotly debated topic if you want to dig deeper.
9 – Eating Utensils
Get this awesome titanium spork; it’s both a spoon and a fork.
A 2 for 1 is always a good deal in survival.
Plus, it’s made from light but strong titanium, so it weighs only 20 grams.
Now as a side note, you won’t need a small knife because you can use your survival knife instead (a separate list item later).
10 – Small Collapsible Cup/Bowl
So instead get one of these collapsible cups, that can double as a bowl, and they work great.
We recommend this one because it’s stainless steel which means you can boil water in it when you need to.
11 – Braided Fishing Line
Fishing while bugging out is not always possible, however, you definitely won’t catch any without some fishing line.
Get braided fishing line since its highly durable and can take more abuse than the regular fishing line.
You won’t need much so you can get the small spool, but you’ll have to decide what lbs test line will work best for your needs.
The bottom line is that having some fishing line is a great survival tool to have in your bag.
It’s light, durable and can help you catch fish or help with other survival needs.
12 – Fishing Pole (small, collapsing, or pocket)
Any of these options will work great, and they break down and easily fit into your bug out bag.
Make certain to take them with you on your next fishing trip so you can get experience using it.
13 – Yo-Yo Fishing Reels
I recently stumbled on these ingenious little devices.
You can set several of these out, leave them, and then come back to check on them later. So you won’t have to waste precious time actively fishing.
You’ll have better things to do mid bug out than casting and reeling for hours with no guarantee of success.
Better to set your fishing yo-yo’s up and come back later.
If you catch a fish or 2, you’re ahead of the game, but if you don’t, you didn’t waste a ton of time.
14 – Hook, Swivel, Sinker Set
We’ve already covered fishing line and poles but without hooks, swivels, and sinkers you’re going to have a hard time catching anything.
Keep it light, since you only need a small number of each. This little case includes 75 pieces which you should remove about 2/3 of them before packing, to save weight.
This piece of survival gear is a personal choice of whether to include it in your bug out bag or not. You CAN definitely survive without it and save the weight. Your call.
With that said, you can use it to boil water faster than having to build a fire. It also makes your freeze dried pouch food preparation both easier and faster.
Another consideration is stealth. A fire can give away your position to others, especially at night. However, with this small stove, you’ll be able to cook your food without nearly as much exposure.
16 – Stove Fuel
If you decide to pack a stove, then you’ll need to purchase a couple of fuel containers to go with it.
Grab a couple and try to use them as sparingly as possible. Eventually, they will run out, but if they get you to your bug out location before they do, then you win.
17 – Snare Wires
Setting up snares overnight might bag you a couple of squirrels or rabbits on the go. Snare wires are a lighter option than traps, so they are the right choice for your bug out bag.
Be forewarned, though, they won’t be of much use unless you know what you’re doing. However, if you do learn the art of snaring, then they can be incredibly useful when bugging out.
18 – Survival Slingshot
You can learn how to use a slingshot quickly with some dedicated practice. Like most survival skills, it will take some practice, but this lightweight hunting slingshot is a decent option for sourcing some protein.
19 – Daily Multivitamin Supplement
Stash some daily vitamins to help maintain your overall heath. Your diet will become severely limited in the wilderness, so taking a daily vitamin supplement will help keep your mind and body strong.
Want a Downloadable and Printable Version Of This Bug Out Bag Checklist? Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.
Clothing and Warmth Items
Rule #1 – Only carry as much clothing as you need for survival.
Rule #2 – Don’t forget rule number 1.
Spare clothes will take too much precious pack space and weigh more than you think. So try to limited additional clothes to just a couple of the main undergarments.
Plan on wearing the same set of durable clothes every day and then just change out your undergarments to maintain reasonable hygiene.
Remember, if you’re bugging out, it’s because of a survival event forced you to leave, so multiple changes of clothes is not a luxury you can afford.
20 – Fresh Socks
While I just suggested you compromise on your main cloth items (shirts and pants), I don’t recommend the same for your socks. Your feet are just too important during a bug out. You can’t afford to get trench foot or severe blisters. So rotate a fresh pair of socks daily.
The socks I’ve trusted with my feet on the trail for years are smart wools. They are thick, warm and comfortable when you’re walking long distances.
Pack one pair and wear one pair. Wash, dry and rotate daily.
21 – Quick Drying Undergarments
Pack the quick-dry variety of undergarments so you can wash and then tie them to the outside of your pack to dry. They are designed to dry quickly, so you only need one spare set of underwear and undershirt in your pack. Rotate daily.
22 – Sewing Kit
Since you’re only taking one main set of clothes (the set you’ll wear every day), you’ll need a small light traveling sewing kit. A sewing kit allows you to mend your clothes should they rip or tear on the trail.
23 – Safety Pins
Safety pins are designed specifically to pin clothes together. So in a pinch, having a few stashed to hold a rip together until you can stitch a more permanent patch makes sense.
These safety pins are heavy duty so they will work better in tough environments than regular ones.
When it gets cold out, you’ll need a set of warm gloves. I pack a set of Mechanix gloves because they’re designed for people who work with their hands.
With these gloves on your hands, you’ll have enough dexterity to use your survival knife or a firearm without taking them off.
25 – Stocking Cap
In cold weather, plan to retain as much body heat as possible. And while it’s a myth that we lose the majority of our body heat through our heads, it’s still wise to keep your dome covered in the cold.
26 – Body Warmers
Keep a few body warming packets stashed in your bug out bag just in case. Then save them for serious emergencies only, like just before the threat of frostbite.
You can’t afford to lose your fingers or toes to frostbite in survival. That situation would be game over.
27 – Rain Poncho with Hood
Nothing will drain heat from your body (and from your soul) than hiking in drenched clothes. It’s a miserable experience, and it’s very dangerous in the cold.
This Princeton study shows that “Generally conductive heat loss accounts for only about 2% total loss. However, with wet clothes the loss is increased 5x.”
So pack a poncho. Ponchos are thin, light and take up limited space. Get one with a hood to keep the rain off your head.
Also, get one that’s durable and won’t tear easily in the rugged wilderness. It may cost a few dollars more, but it’s worth it. Because if you’re cold and wet for long, hypothermia is coming.
Shelter and Bedding Items
Your choice of bug out survival shelter comes down to a personal preference. Personally, I don’t pack a full-fledged tent. The tent poles and anchors are too heavy.
Instead, I use my survival skills and knowledge to make a basic survival shelter.
28 – Tarp Shelter
With a durable survival tarp and key survival skills, you can create a space that is as good as a traditional tent.
It will 1) keep the rain off you, 2) break the wind and 3) give you a “safe” space to sleep at night. So why carry all the extra weight of tent poles?
29 – Survival Hammock
A hammock is another survival solution for a single sleeper.
Combine a good sleeping bag with a hammock and you’ll be warm, off the ground, and dry. All you need is a couple of trees and some paracord to tie off.
30 – TACT Bivvy
We all know what sleeping bags are, but the term “bivvy” may be new to you.
This TACT Bivvy is an emergency survival blanket that fits in your hand.
It’s about as small and lightweight as you can get but will keep you warm and dry even in the worst weather conditions.
I wish everyone would at least put on of these in your vehicles glove boxes, these TACT Bivvy’s save lives.
Get one and add it to your pack.
31 – Sleeping Pad
While a sleeping pad provides some comfort, it’s primary survival function is to insulation you from the cold hard ground. You need something between you and the ground because laying directly on the ground sucks the warmth and energy out of your body.
You can forgo a pad and get insulation by building a layer with wilderness debris (i.e. leaves, pine straw, etc.) but only if you know what you’re doing.
Avoid air-filled pads (like a mini air mattress) since they are useless if punctured. Instead, get this light, durable option made out of a rubber-like material.
The best way to add a sleeping pad to your bug out pack is to roll it up and attach it to the outside because there won’t be enough room on the inside of your bug out bag.
32 – Zip Ties
If you stop to think about it, zip ties are an amazing invention. They are tough as hell, light, and allow you to create tight connections. Many police departments us a thick set of zip ties instead of handcuffs.
They have a large variety of additional survival uses too.
As far as shelters go, use them to tie branches together to create simple survival shelters.
33 – Paracord Survival Kit
Paracord has so many survival uses I could have added “paracord” to nearly every bug out checklist category.
In the case of shelters, it can be used to tied branches together or to attach your tarp to trees. It can also anchor your hammock to trees.
That’s why you should have some paracord with you at all times. One of the easiest ways to do this is to attach one of these Paracord Grenades to your bug out bag.
Plus, for a limited time you can pick on up for Free (just pay s&h). Click here now to see if this deal is still available.
Firestarting Tools and Gear
You need 3 independent ways to start a fire.
Fire is your life blood in a survival emergency. You need it to purify water, cook food, for nighttime warmth, safety, and it’s a huge morale booster.
Once you have your 3 critical fire starting tools, practice so you know how to use them.
And if you really want up your survival game, learn how to start a fire with sticks. It takes serious survival skills to start a fire with sticks in high wind or wet conditions.
These waterproof matches are the real deal. Regular matches are not good enough. If regular matches get wet, forget about having a fire. These matches are StormProof and can light even after being dunked in water. Don’t believe me? click here to see for yourself.
35 – FireSteel Fire Starter
FireStrikers work great if you know what you’re doing. It helps to have a very fine, dry tinder bundle to get the sparks to ignite.
This fire striker is fantastic and is designed with 12,000 strikes, but practice with it before relying on it.
A lighter is a lighter right? Not really.
Can your cheap BIC lighter work after dropping it in a river? Nope. Will a cheap BIC lighter’s flame stay lite in 80 MPH winds? Nope.
So I recommend spending a couple extra dollars on a new badass fire starting technology: Tesla’s Rechargeable Coil Lighter.
This lighter doesn’t use fuel, so you’ll never run out. It uses electricity to create an electric arc which is both windproof and waterproof.
37 – Tinder
As an experienced survivalist, you can normally find natural tinder in the wilderness. However, it’s always smart to prepare for the worst, so pre-pack some tinder tabs as well.
Cotton balls work well, or you can buy these Quick Fire Tabs that are specially made for easy ignition. They hold a flame longer giving you time to catch the tinder flame to your small kindling.
38 – Vaseline
Add a dab of vaseline to tinder and it will help it ignite quickly and easily.
With the sun you can use magnification to focus light energy. This focused energy can be harnessed to make a fire.
40 – Small Waterproof Storage Container
You should stash all of your fire starting tools into an O-ring sealed waterproof container. This container will keep your fire starting tools dry in a downpour or if you fall in a river with your pack.
First Aid and Medical Supplies
When in the wilderness, exposed to the elements, there’s an increased chance of illness or injury.
41 – Personal Medications
If you have prescribed medications, then stock up and add them to your bug out bag.
42 – Wound Gauze Roll
Gauze is the ideal dressing for bad cuts or severe burns. It’s light and takes up very little pack space.
43 – Surgical Tape
This stuff is made to keep gauze, pads, and bandages in place even when you’re on the move.
44 – Band-Aids / Mole Skin Pads
Band-aids are the best solution for small cuts and lacerations. They help keep open wounds clean and protected, which helps prevent an infection from developing.
You should also add a few moleskin pads for blisters. Band-aids won’t stay in place on your feet while walking, but moleskin will.
45 – Neosporin
46 – Pain Killers
For minor aches and pains, these can help keep you going. For serious injuries, pain killers will take the edge off until you can get more help.
47 – Blood Clotting Sponge
Nasty, deep wounds won’t clot on their own. You have to apply intense pressure to the wound site for a long time to get the blood stop, congeal, and begin the healing process.
These Quick Clot Sponges will help with this life or death effort.
48 – Super Glue
49 – Vaseline
I’m aware this is the second time Vaseline made this bug out bag checklist, but it works as both a fire starter and as an ointment. Apply this stuff to your chapped skin or lips to prevent painful cracking.
50 – Survival Antibiotics
When SHTF, access to lifesaving antibiotics to cure infections will become severely limited (if available at all). So stock up on a few bird or fish antibiotics and throw them in your bug out bag, just in case.
51 – Sterile Alchohol Prep Pads
Clean all wounds early and often with these alcohol wipes. The alcohol will clean the wound, killing infection-causing bacteria.
52 – Hydrogen Peroxide
Same idea as the alcohol pads, use it to keep wounds clean and bacteria free.
53 – Q-tips Cotton Swabs
Use Q-tips to clean your ears. Allowing excess wax to build up in your ears can lead to infection. And, wax buildup muffles your hearing. And clear hearing is a major advantage in survival.
They are also ideal for applying small amounts of medical salves and liquids.
Lastly, you can tear off the cotton ends and use them as tinder to start a fire.
They are extremely light and useful, so feel free to pack a couple hundred of them. You can get 500 of them for around $6.
54 – Tweezers and Nail Clippers
55 – Insect Repellent
Mosquitos are a nuisance and can transmit diseases so if they are abundant in your region you’ll want to pack a repellent spray with high amounts of DEET.
56 – Sun Screen
You should only pack a small bottle of this, so you’ll need to ration it. Save it for the worst days and instead, keep your skin covered up. Get one with an SPF30, like this one, to protect you for longer periods of time. Higher SPF’s are just a marketing ploy.
A hat, long sleeves and pants go a long way to preventing sunburn but keep sunscreen handy for the worst days.
Personal Hygiene Items
This is survival we are talking about, so if you enjoy daily hot showers get ready for an abrupt change. When on the run, you’ll need basic sanitation, but that’s NOT going to include daily hot showers.
57 – Moist Towelettes
Pack a bunch of these shower wipes. They are a good light-weight hygiene solution on the go. It’s no shower but, hey, it’s better than nothing.
58 – Mini-Toothbrushes
Pack several of these small, light toothbrushes because they won’t take up much space. Oral hygiene is important to prevent all sorts of tooth problems.
Dental work will be rare after TEOTWAWKI so taking the extra effort to prevent tooth problems will pay off in the long run.
59 – Mini-Toothpaste Tubes
The mini toothbrushes come with a dab of paste built in. But you’re going to use them more than once. You need a small tube of toothpaste to add to your mini brushes when the built in stuff runs out.
Ration it to the extreme. You don’t know how long it will be before you can restock, but try to use a little each day.
60 – Dental Floss
61 – Sportsman Soap
While moist towelettes can replace your daily shower, you’ll want some sportsman soap for the occasional river bath.
Again, ration this stuff to the extreme unless you pack a lot of it. But it will get heavy and take up space if you do.
62 – Tampons
63 – Hand Sanitizer
Use a small bottle of hand sanitizer to clean your hands before eating. Try to avoid ingesting bacteria from your hands after tromping through wilderness all day.
64 – Bandana
Core Survival Tools
These are traditional survival tools that didn’t fit into our other but out bag checklist categories. However, they are essential to your bug out’s success.
If you’re into survival, then you should own a high-quality compass and learn how to use it.
Navigation is too critical. Getting lost is too dangerous.
Know where you are and the best way to get to your final destination. Learn how to use a compass (and keep it with you) and you’ll never get lost again.
GPS devices run on batteries, so you can’t rely on them in a bug out situation.
66 – Tough Compact Folding Shovel
It also allows you to improve your shelter area by clearing and leveling the ground.
67 – Survival Knife
Spend some quality time researching good survival knives. Find one that meets your needs best because a good survival knife has so many critical survival uses.
Then once you’ve settled on “the one”, make sure you learn how to use it in the wild with lots of practice.
Don’t forget to add a small survival knife sharpener to keep your knife sharp. NO survivalist would ever allow their high-quality survival knife to become dull and useless.
A multi-tool is another key survival tool to pack. The biggest difference between what a multi-tool can do, but a survival knife cannot, is the plyers.
These survival plyers allow you to perform many functions that would be impossible with a knife alone.
69 – Portable Solar Charger
This portable solar charger easily attaches to the outside of your bug out bag so you can capture electricity while on the move.
It’s one of my new favorite bug out devices since it allows me to carry some basic electronics with me.
70 – Survival Hatchet
Survival hatchets are awesome. They are helpful to accomplish tasks quickly that using your survival knife alone would take hours.
A good survival hatchet makes batoning branches for firewood a breeze. It makes chopping down trees a whole lot faster too. Plus, these survival tasks are hard on your survival knife, but a hatchet handles with ease.
If you add a survival hatchet to your bug-out bag, get one of the lightest ones you can find. Here’s the one I use camping, and I stash it in my bug out bag when not in use.
71 – Small Wire Saw
If you forgo adding a survival hatchet to your bug out bag, you should at least add a wire chainsaw. This wire saw will cut down small trees efficiently to help build shelters.
Illumination is necessary for survival. You’ll need good light to work under the darkness of night. And if forced to move in the middle of the night you’ll need it to see where you’re going.
I can’t imagine bugging out without illumination devices. Attempting to do so would put you at an extreme disadvantage.
Two words: Hands-Free.
I recommend getting one with both a high beam and low beam settings; as well as rechargeable batteries.
And with the rechargeable batteries, you’ll need a way to recharge them.
That’s where a portable solar charger comes in handy (item #69 in this bug out bag checklist) to keep your LED headlamp batteries charged up.
73 – Super Bright LED Tactical Flashlight
While a headlamp is important, you should also carry a LED Tactical Flashlight.
You have more control with a handheld LED flashlight and can shine it in multiple directions without having to turn your head. I prefer using a Tactical flashlight instead of a headlamp if I’m not using my hands to accomplish a task.
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74 – Glow Sticks
Glow sticks work great to light up an entire area and not just a particular spot, which can be helpful in a campsite.
However, they can give away your position to potential threats so only use these if you know you’re in a secluded area.
A solar lantern that you can turn on and off is a great illumination option when you’re not in a secure area.
Here are 10 more survival uses for glow sticks.
You need information tools. Gathering information and sharing information during a bug out situation is critical for success.
Whether it’s a severe weather forecast or knowing the location of potential threats. The more you know, the more you can plan and adapt on the go.
If you’re in a small bug out group, you’ll want to communicate with each other over short distances. Useful if you get separated or are planning an ambush.
You’ll want regular updates on how the “situation” is progressing. This helps to decide your next move. Providing confidence you’re heading away from danger and not into it.
The big advantage of a hand cranked radio is that you won’t need to worry about batteries and recharging. Plus, this hand crank radio has ports so you can use the hand crank function to charge other small electronic devices you’ve brought with you.
Bugging out and then having no way to get intel is like flying blind.
76 – Two-Way Walkie Talkie Radios
Packing a set of walkie-talkies is a smart idea for small bug out groups. If your team gets separated, or you split up for strategic reasons, you’ll still be able to keep in touch at short distances.
You should never solely rely on a cellphone or a smartphone for your survival, but if you happen to have one, and it works, it can be a great survival tool.
78 – Small Signaling Mirror
Typically, if your bugging out, you’re not interested in being rescued. Odds are you’d rather not draw any attention your way.
However, use a small signaling mirror to communicate with your fellow bug out companions at longer distances instead of using walkie-talkies.
If you learn Morse Code, you can use long and short bursts of light to communicate.
79 – Notepad and Pencil
Go old school with pencil and paper. You can leave notes or send mail (if there’s still mail service).
Both are light and small, so you should be able to find room in your bug out bag for them.
80 – Multi-Functional Survival Whistle
A loud whistle is another way to communicate with your bug out team over long distances. Again, it’s light and takes up very little space.
Self Defense Tools
In the worst survival conditions, you’re going to be the hunter or be hunted. You need to be prepared to defend yourself and your group from threats.
Threats from wild game and threats from other humans.
81 – Survival Firearm
So which firearm is best for bugging out? To be honest, you could write an entire survival book on the subject. It’s a very personal choice with lots of nuances to consider.
For bugging out, you need a firearm that is designed to break down to fit in a pack and can take a ton of abuse. I also prefer a rifle as opposed to a handgun if you plan on taking just a single firearm.
And as far as ammo weight goes, it makes the most sense to go with .22LR.
So with that said, you should consider one of these three .22 takedown rifle options: Three Great Takedown Survival Guns.
Lastly, it’s worth investing in a good gun suppressor for whichever gun you ultimately choose. Nothing good will come of letting everyone in shouting distance know you just fired your gun.
82 – Firearm Ammunition
Ideally, you want to carry enough ammo to avoid having to ration. But you have to watch your bug out bag weight and ammo is heavy. That’s why I suggest sticking with .22LR.
For example; 200 rounds of 44 magnums weights about 9.14 lbs. That may not sound like much but don’t forget about all the other gear you’re putting into your bug out bag already. 10 lbs is a lot.
On the flip side, 200 rounds of 22LR only weighs 1.5 lbs.
That’s why I’m packing 22LR and adding a good takedown rifle to my bug out bag.
You could also cache ammo along your bug out route, and you should, but I can’t imagine trying to lug around 200 rounds of 44 Mags.
Here’s a list of different calibers and their respective weights to help you research this important issue further.
83 – Knuckle Blaster Stun Gun
As an alternative to using a firearm for self-defense, you could also stash a set of stun gun knuckles.
Remember there’s no such thing as a fair fight when SHTF. You might not start a fight, but should be prepared to end one.
84 – Takedown Survival Bow
Here are 16 reasons why you might want to take a bow and arrows on your bug out as opposed to a firearm.
A couple of more significant advantages of a takedown survival bow are:
- Arrows are reusable so you won’t need to pack as many as you would ammunition.
- Bows are silent to shoot, especially in comparison to a firearm.
Here’s a 3-minute video detailing one survival takedown bow option and how they work in general.
High-quality pepper spray is another solid self-defense tool you should pack. It’s effective against both wild beasts and humans.
It’s small and lightweight, so you’ll easily to find a space in your bug out bag for it.
Misc Survival Tools and Supplies
Finally, these are the random survival tools and supplies that will make your bug out just a little bit easier.
To effectively utilize your bug out bag’s MOLLE system you need a good set of carabineers.
Clip them to your bag’s MOLLE system and to any gear you choose to hang from your pack. This system helps to add a lot of “extra” gear to the outside of your bug out bag and saves space inside your bag for supplies that cannot be hung.
If you only want to hang gear from your bug out bag, you can get cheap carabineers. However, if you want to be able to use these for climbing or lifting objects, you’ll need to invest a few more dollars and get ones made for that.
Add a couple sets of these incredible USB rechargeable batteries.
When you pair these up with your portable solar charger (#69 on this checklist) you’ll be able to keep your batteries charged from anywhere which is perfect for a bug out scenario.
88 – Cash or Rare Metal Coins
It’s anyone’s guess what currency will be in circulation after SHTF, but it’s always good to have metal for trading, purchasing or bartering.
89 – Playing Cards
A set of survival playing cards can help keep spirits high.
And you might as well get ones with useful survival information on them.
Prepare for extreme sun and snow glare with a pair of tactical sunglasses. If you’ve ever experienced a case of snow blindness, you know how important a pair of shades can be.
It’s critical to have a durable pair of glare-resistant sunglasses that won’t shatter or scratch when you’re bugging out and these Apache 400 sunglasses are “10 times more durable and glare-resistant than your average pair of sunglasses.”
We recommend getting a strap that goes around the back of your head so they don’t fall off your face when you need them the most as well as the polar blue lens as replacements. Extra lenses take up essentially no space and weigh very little.
91 – Personal Credit Cards
These thin pieces of plastic will most likely end up being worthless, but then again, they might be useful at some point when society recovers.
Credit cards are another small, light object you can add to your bug out bag with no significant downside. As a side note, we recommend you carry your credit cards in a RFID blocking sleeve in good times and bad.
92 – Drivers License / Passport
Similar to credit cards, these items may or may not be useful, but might be good to pack, just in case. Unless you’re trying to completely disappear.
93 – Small Roll Of Duct Tape
94 – Local Area Topographical Map
To avoid trouble you have to know exactly where you are and where you are heading in the wilderness. So invest in a high-quality waterproof map of your local region.
95 – Gas Mask
If the reason you’re bugging out is to vacate a region affected by contagious diseases or nuclear fallout, then you’ll want to pack a gas mask.
Without one, you’d be forced to breathe contaminated air and put yourself at greater risk.
Stay hidden in the wild with these face paint sticks. The natural color of pale skin sticks out like a sore thumb in the wild.
However, if you’re traveling through civilization, face paint will attract unwanted attention. So only use in environments where it makes sense.
97 – Family Photos
Family photos are useful to help track down separated loved ones. Having an image to show strangers can help get better information on their whereabouts.
They also can help you remember loved ones who you may have lost.
Broadheads can create basic spears for hunting or self-defense. They are lightweight, small and an ideal for gigging or spearing.
99 – Spare Pair Of Corrective Lenses
If you wear corrective lenses; add a second pair to your bug out bag. Store them in a protective hard case to keep from breaking in your pack.
Trying to survive with impaired vision is a significant disadvantage.
100 – Mosquito Head Net
If you are bugging out in dense mosquito-infested regions, a mosquito head net can provide relief.
As we know mosquitos are both a major annoyance and transmit nasty diseases.
Get one that recharges itself using solar power.
Note of caution, many with a built-in compass are an unreliable gimmick and not worth the money.
102 – Electrical Tape
The stuff stretches and sticks; there’s really nothing quite like it.
103 – Trekking Poles
If your bug out plan includes a lot of elevation changes, then it might make sense to snag a good pair of anti-shock trekking poles. They help relieve stress off your legs and knees.
To learn more, check out Outdoor Gear Lab’s 10 Reasons For Trekking Poles.
Ultimate “Done For You” Pack
Putting together a well-built bug out bag can be a tough challenge even with our free bug out bag checklist.
May you’d prefer to make one purchase and be done. If this sounds like you, then take a look at this Fully Loaded Bug Out Bag.
It’s a solid bug out bag that includes all the critical gear included in one purchase.
A knowledgeable survival team has made all the gear selections for you, helping to ensure your bag is fully optimized.
Final Words of Advice
My final word of advice is to take action today using this free bug out bag checklist. If you don’t already have a bug out bag, invest in one today.
Fellow survivalists know that disasters happen when we least expect them. If you wait; it might be too late.
Remember: Prepare, Adapt, and Overcome,
“Just In Case” Jack
P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?
There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.