104 Item Bug Out Bag List: WHAT You Should Take & WHY

By "Just In Case" Jack | Updated: 07/14/2023

Bug Out Bag Checklist - military man wearing a backpack full of survival gearToday, I have something really incredible to share…

A bug out bag checklist that tells you not only WHAT to add to your pack but WHY.

Because you have to justify everything you add to your bag.

Every ounce matters!

And tough decisions must be made because you can’t take everything.

This checklist helps to make those hard decisions, so you end up with the perfect bug out bag for you.

A go bag you can be extremely proud of:

Table Of Contents

↓(click to skip ahead)↓

» Number 1 – Quality Bag

» Water & Hydration Tools

» Food Supplies & Tools

» Clothes & Warmth Supplies

» Shelter & Bedding Options

» Fire Starting Tools & Gear

» First Aid & Medical

» Personal Hygiene Items

» Core Survival Tools

» Illumination Tools

» Communication Devices

» Self Defense Tools

» Misc. Tools & Supplies

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Now, before we jump in, make sure to bookmark this page right now.

That way, you can come back to this list to build out your bag over time.

UPDATE: I recently published a new video going over my own bug-out bag build.

I highly recommend checking it out and then reading the rest of this article for more bug-out gear ideas – “Just In Case” Jack

↓My EXACT Bug Out Bag Build

First, You Need A Quality Bag

Before you begin filling your bag with all your survival gear and supplies, you need a high-quality bag.

Starting your 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 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:

↓ Everything You Need To Know About MOLLE

1. Bug Out Bag

The EVATAC™ Combat Bagevatac combat bag is a badass combat bag and an ideal pack for anyone serious about putting together a legit bag.

It’s the 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 very comfortable.

And there is a chest strap that can sinch it 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 bag sells for a fraction of the price of similar bags.

Interested? Check out my detailed review of The Combat Bag by EVATAC:

↓ Bug Out Bag Review – The Combat Bag By EVATAC

Once you’ve got your bug-out bag, it’s time to add some survival gear.

Please Note: This list is intended to provide all the possible items you may want to add to your bag.

However, if you add everything suggested from this checklist, it will get way too heavy.

You should pick and choose the gear and supplies that make the most sense to meet your needs.

Want a Downloadable and Printable Version Of This Bug Out Bag Checklist? Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Water And Hydration Tools

For SHTF, you will want at least three 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

40 Oz Single Walled Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Your choice of water bottle matters.

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 to purify the water to ensure it’s safe to consume.

Double-wall (or even triple-walled) water bottles make it darn near impossible to boil water over a fire.

But you’ll want boiling water as a “backup” purification plan when bugging out.

Purifying your water from a lake or stream is way more important than keeping the water cool!

That means you ONLY want single-walled stainless steel for your bug out water bottle.

Fill your single-wall stainless steel bottle today with safe, clean water, and stash it in your go pack.

But with a full bottle of clean water and then refill, 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, allowing you to purify on the go and keep moving.

Plus, they are extremely lightweight, so 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 the most harmful bacteria 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 of Sawyer mini water filters.

Not only is it small to pack and lightweight, but 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 its inline design capabilities.

Use it like a straw or an inline filter to remove 99.999% of harmful bacteria.

Here’s my full video review of the incredible Sawyer Mini.

↓ Sawyer Mini Water Filter Review – Can This Filter 100,000 Gallons?

5. Expedition Jerrycan Filtration System

This is not a small filter and 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 pack empty and use it once your family arrives at your final bug-out location.

Want a Downloadable and Printable Version Of This Bug Out Bag Checklist? Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Bug Out Food Supplies and Tools

You need to pack some calories.

A few bug-out bag essentials to keep you healthy and maintain your stamina.

Otherwise, you’re bag will get too heavy!

So 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 hunt or gather additional food on the go.

6. Calorie Dense Food Bars

Honestly, any calorie-dense energy bars will do the trick.

Just read the label and look for the 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 light food source you can add to your checklist.

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 freeze-dried food favorites for bugging out is Mountain House’s Beef Stroganoff.

The reason I prefer Mountain House freeze-dried food for my pack is that you can cook the meal directly in the pouch (as shown in the video below).

↓ Mountain House Food Review – Is This the Best Go Food? ↓

Although I do prefer Mountain House for bugging out because you can cook the food directly in the pouch, you can’t beat this deal from Valley Food Storage.

Click here to get a FREE 3-pack of Valley Food Storage Survival Food (+S&H)…

8. Military Meals (MRE – Meal, Ready to Eat)

3 Month MRE Meal Supply

Cases Of MRE Meals

If MRE meals are good enough for soldiers, then they are good enough for me.

I prefer to pack freeze-dried food over MREs, but if all I had were MREs, I’d be totally fine with that.

But some people think they are horrible, and there is a long-standing debate about MREs for survival.

Here’s an excellent discussion on this hotly debated topic if you want to dig deeper.

9. Eating Utensils – Spork

Unless you prefer eating with dirty hands, you’ll want something small and light to move your food from pouch to mouth.

Get this awesome 1.5 oz multi-tool spork; it’s both a spoon and a fork – plus:

  • 10 mm hex wrench
  • 8 mm hex wrench
  • 6 mm hex wrench
  • Bottle opener
  • Flat-head screwdriver

Multi-tools are always best for survival.

Now, as a side note, you won’t need a small knife because you can use your survival knife instead (a separate checklist item later).

10. Small Collapsible Cup/Bowl

You’ll want an easy way to keep your prepared food contained for serving and eating.

In our homes, we use plates, but they are heavy and take up a lot of space.

So instead, get one of these stainless steel cups that can double as a bowl, and they work great.

We recommend this one because it’s stainless steel, so you can boil water when you need to.

11. Braided Fishing Line

Fish is an excellent source of protein if you can snag them.

Fishing while bugging out is not always possible.

However, you definitely won’t catch any without some fishing line.

Get some braided fishing line since it’s highly durable and can take more abuse than regular fishing line.

You won’t need much, so 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)

Compact Emmrod Pole

Compact Emmrod Pole

Recently some ingenious ultra-small fishing poles have been invented, like this small fishing rod from Emmrod.

This rod works fairly well (especially for how small it is) and easily fits into any size bag.

Make certain to take one 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.

↓ Yo-Yo Fishing Reel In Action

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-yos 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 lines 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.

15. Portable Light Weight Stove

solo wood burning stove

Solo Stove Lite

This piece of survival gear is a personal choice of whether to include it in your 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 over an open 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.

Note: The Solo Stove Lite is only 9 oz and doesn’t require additional stove fuel!

It works with just a few sticks and twigs – this helps to save pack weight!

Watch this video to see exactly how this stove works:

↓ Never Buy Fuel Again! Solo Stove Review

16. Additional Stove Fuel (if necessary)

Depending on your type of stove, you may 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 bag.

Be forewarned, though; they won’t be of much use unless you know what you’re doing.

However, they can be incredibly useful when bugging out if you learn the art of snaring.

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.

↓ Hunting With A Slingshot

19. Daily Multivitamin Supplement

Stash some daily vitamins to help maintain your overall health.

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.

Bug Out Clothes And Warmth Supplies

Rule #1. Only carry as much clothing as you need for survival.

Rule #2. Don’t forget rule number 1.

Spare clothes will take up too much precious pack space and weigh more than you think.

So try to limit additional clothes to just a couple of the main undergarments.

Plan on wearing the same set of durable clothes (like a pair of tactical pants) every day, and then change out your undergarments to maintain reasonable hygiene.


If you’re bugging out, it’s because a survival event forced you to leave, so multiple changes of clothes are not a luxury you can afford.

20. Fresh Socks

While I suggested you compromise on your main clothes (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 an undershirt in your pack.

Rotate daily.

22. Sewing Kit

Small Traveling 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 work better in tough environments than regular ones.

24. Survival Gloves

You’ll need a set of warm gloves when it gets cold out.

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.

Pack a camouflage stocking cap to avoid detection in the wild or a gray one if you must travel through a city.

26. Body Warmers

Keep a few body-warming packets stashed in your survival pack, just in case.

Then save them for serious emergencies, 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) more than hiking in drenched clothes.

It’s a miserable experience and 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 and light and take up limited space.

Get one with a hood to keep the rain off your head.

Also, get a durable one that 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.

Want a Downloadable and Printable Version Of This Bug Out Bag Checklist? Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Debris Survival Shelter In A Bug Out Situation

Shelter And Bedding Options

Your choice of bug-out survival shelter comes down to 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

Aqua Quest Defender Tarp - Best Survival Tarp Period

Aqua Quest Defender Tarp – Best Survival Tarp Period

With a durable waterproof 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,
  3. Give you a “safe” space to sleep at night

So why carry all the extra weight of tent poles?

Invest in an Aqua Quest tarp; they’re made for the rugged outdoors and have tons of extra tie-down grommets.

Jason will show you how to build a tarp shelter in under 5 minutes below:

↓ How To Build A Tarp Shelter & Conquer The Elements

29. Survival Hammock

A quality hammock is another survival solution for sleeping.

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.

Get one with a built-in mosquito net, or check out the latest hammock tent designs for survivalists.

30. TACT Bivvy

TACT Bivvy In HandWe 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 one of these in your vehicle’s glove box; these TACT Bivvy’s save lives.

Get one and add it to your pack.

↓ Best Emergency Shelter – TACT Bivvy Review

31. Sleeping Pad

Lightweight Sleeping Pad

While a sleeping pad provides some comfort, its primary survival function is to insulate 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.

Get this light, durable option.

32. Zip Ties

If you stop to think about it, zip ties are an amazing invention.

They are as tough as hell, and light, and allow you to create tight connections.

Many police departments use 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 that I could have added “paracord” to nearly every bug-out bag checklist category.

In the case of shelters, it can tie branches together or 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.

Want a Downloadable and Printable Version Of This Bug Out Bag Checklist? Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Man Starting A Fire In The Woods

Fire Starting Tools And Gear

You need 3 independent ways to start a fire.

Fire is your lifeblood in a survival emergency.

You need it to purify water, cook food, for nighttime warmth and 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 some serious survival skills to start a fire with sticks in high wind or wet conditions.

↓ How To Start A Fire In A Survival Situation

34. Waterproof Survival Matches

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 relight after being dunked in water.

35. Ferro Rod Fire Starter

A Ferro Rod works great if you know what you’re doing.

It helps to start with a very fine, very dry tinder bundle to get the sparks to ignite.

This robust UCO Ferro Rod is capable of 3,000 strikes is fantastic and produces 5,400°F (3,000°C) sparks. So it works even when wet.

Because of its insane utility and tiny size, this is one survival tool that should be in EVERYONE’S go bag.

Note: Using a Ferro Rod takes practice and a very fine/dry tinder bundle. 

↓ Ferro Rod Techniques From A Green Beret ↓

36. Windproof – Waterproof Electrical Lighter

Tough Tesla Electric LighterA 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 lit in 80 MPH winds? Not a chance.

So I recommend spending a couple of 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 that is both windproof and waterproof.

It charges via a USB port, so you’ll need a solar charger or a hand crank radio to recharge (both items discussed later in this bug out bag list).

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 fire-starting tabs or powder as well.

Cotton balls dipped in petroleum jelly will work.

38. Vaseline

Add a dab of Vaseline to some cotton balls, which will help it ignite quickly and easily.

39. Fresnel Lens

With the sun, you can use magnification to focus light energy.

This focused energy can be harnessed to make a fire.

A Fresnel Lens will work if you run out of butane or matches.

Super lightweight solar fire starter? Sign me up!

↓ How To Start A Fire With A Fresnel Lens

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 into a river with your pack.

Want a Downloadable and Printable Version Of This Bug Out Bag Checklist? Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

first aid symbol

First Aid And Medical Supplies

When exposed to the elements in the wilderness, there’s an increased chance of illness or injury.

So add the essential first aid supplies to be able to treat these issues.


A minor cut can kill via infection if not properly treated.

Now before we go through the following individual medical supplies:

I highly recommend you consider picking up a MyMedic Advanced Solo Kit instead.

It’s the best compact medical kit I’ve ever come across.

It’s perfectly designed for a bug out.

It includes exactly what you need – no more, no less.

But this kit IS NOT just a bunch of cheap medical supplies stuffed in a pouch.

The pouch is high quality and is MOLLE compatible. The supplies are all excellent

So you can easily finish your medical supplies with one simple purchasemuch faster and easier than buying each item individually and then trying to make it all fit in a separate pouch!

Note: Make sure you choose a pouch color that blends in well with your bag and environment.

For bugging out you probably want to avoid the bright red pouch option.

P.s.The MyFAK (First Aid Kit) option also includes, even more, lifesaving medical gear and supplies, but it also weighs a few more pounds (1 lb vs. 2.8 lbs).

41. Personal Medications

If you have prescribed medications, then stock up and add them.

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

Add this cream to any cut or laceration to help prevent infections.

46. Pain Killers

For minor aches and pains, these can help keep you going.

Painkillers will take the edge off of serious injuries until you can get more help.

47. Blood Clotting Sponge

Nasty, deep wounds won’t clot on their own.

You must apply intense pressure to the wound site for a long time to get the blood to stop, congeal, and begin the healing process.

These Quick Clot Sponges will help with this life-or-death effort.

48. Super Glue

Super glue can be used to seal up small cuts. Plus, it comes in handy for numerous survival uses.

49. Vaseline

I’m aware this is the second time Vaseline made this go 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 go bag, just in case.

51. Sterile Alcohol 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

This is the same idea as the alcohol pads; use them 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.

54. Tweezers and Nail Clippers

Pack a sharp set of tweezers to get slivers out and a good set of nail clippers to trim your nails.

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 SPFs are just a marketing ploy.

↓ The TRUTH Behind High SPF Sunscreens

A hat, long sleeves, and pants go a long way to preventing sunburn but keep sunscreen handy for the worst days.

Want a Downloadable and Printable Version Of This Bug Out Bag Checklist? Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Personal Hygiene Items

We are talking about survival, so if you enjoy daily hot showers, get ready for an abrupt change.

You’ll need basic sanitation when on the run.

But that’s NOT going to include daily hot showers.

57. TP | Moist Towelettes

Add a small roll of toilet paper for doing your buisness.

And add a bunch of these shower wipes.

They are a good lightweight hygiene solution on the go.

It’s no shower, but 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 preventing 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

Light, small, and highly useful.

Dental floss will keep your gums healthy. Maybe even more important than brushing.

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

Everyone should add a few of these to their packs since there is at least 13 excellent survival uses for 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 the wilderness all day.

64. Bandana / Face Shield

Black Face Shield

The bandana is another multi-category item due to its extreme usefulness. For personal hygiene, use it to wipe and clean.

You can also use it as a makeshift dust mask.

OR even better, you can wear a cloth face shield like this one by American Gunner.

This cloth face shield provides the following:

  • Ultimate UV Protection
  • Protection From Wind & Snow
  • Lightweight & Breathable
  • Perfect For Hunting, Fishing, Biking &  Bugging Out
  • Protection From Insects
  • One Size Fits All
  • Moisture Wicking Material
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Small Quality Compass Perfect For A Bug Out Bag

Core Survival Tools

These are traditional survival tools that didn’t fit into our other checklist categories.

However, they are essential to success.

65. High-Quality Compass

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 dangerous.

Knowing where you are is the best way to reach 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

KONNEX Survival ShovelIf you’ve buried some survival caches along your bug out route, then you’ll want a compact shovel to dig them up.

It also improves your shelter area by clearing and leveling the ground.

A tactical shovel allows you to complete even more survival tasks such as digging, chopping, sawing, pickaxe, trenching, opening, etc.

This one does all that and more.

67. Survival Knife

Evatac Rescue Knife

I can’t stress how important investing in a high-quality survival knife is – do not be foolish and use a credit card knife for a bug out!

Spend some quality time researching good survival knives.

Find one that best meets your needs because a good survival knife has 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.

If you looking for a freaking GREAT deal on a quality survival knife – check out this Evatac Rescue Knife!

When this post was published, you could get this excellent folding survival knife for FREE (+s/h).

Click here now to see if this deal is still available.

Don’t forget to add a small survival knife sharpener to keep your knife sharp.

NO serious survivalist would ever allow their high-quality survival knife to become dull and useless.

68. Survival Series Multi-Tool Pliers

A survival multi-tool is another key survival tool to pack.

The pliers are the biggest difference between what a multi-tool can do and what a survival knife cannot.

These survival pliers allow you to perform many functions that would be impossible with a knife alone.

69. Light-Weight Rugged Solar Charger

From flashlights to GPS units to cell phones, there will be a decent amount of technology in your car emergency kit.

All worthless devices without electricity!

So be sure to add a solar charger and battery pack if you depend on any of those items.

Make sure to include the cords for each device!

Skilled Survival highly recommends the Anytime Charge Solar Power Bank.

Why? Because it’s one of the most durable, compact, and cost-effective portable solar chargers on the market today.

But don’t let its compact size fool you; it’s also got a massive 10,000 mAh battery capacity!

The massive battery storage is enough to charge any of your devices multiple times.

Plus, with dual charging outputs, you can power multiple devices simultaneously!

Simply plug in your devices via the supplied USB cable (you can use any USB cable) and press the power button.

Your device will begin to take power from the Anytime Charge right away.

Recharging the Anytime Solar Bank couldn’t be easier – leave it in the sun, and it will automatically fill the large battery bank back up ANYWHERE.

Plus, it’s splash resistant and comes with an emergency flashlight with a strobe function.

NOTE: When this article was published, you could snag some bonus Tactical Flashlights For FREE when you buy multiple Anytime Solar Chargers.

Click here now to see if this deal is still available!

70. Survival Hatchet

Survival hatchets are awesome.

They are helpful in accomplishing 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.

↓ Fiskars X7 Long Term Review ↓

71. Small Wire Saw

If you forgo adding a survival hatchet, you should at least add a wire chainsaw.

This wire saw will cut down small trees to help build shelters IF you know how to use it properly!

Watch the video below to see how to turn a clunky wire saw into an efficient cutting machine – a.k.a Wire Saw Bow.

↓ I HATED Survival Wire Saws – Until NOW! ↓

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Illumination Tools

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.

72. Super Bright LED Headlamp

Two words: Hands-Free.

I recommend getting one with lots of modes, 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 checklist) to keep your LED headlamp batteries charged up.

73. Super Bright LED Tactical Flashlight

Tactical FlashlightWhile a headlamp is important, you should also carry an 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.

Check out the FireHawk Tactical Flashlight that you can get for free by simply covering the reasonable S&H.

↓ Get A FREE FireHawk Tactical Flashlight (+S&H) ↓

74. Glow Sticks

Glow sticks work great to light up an entire area, 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.

Or a solar lantern 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.

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Walkie Talkie Radios For A Bug Out Bag

Communication Devices

You need information.

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 coalition, you’ll want to communicate with each other over short distances.

Useful if you get separated or are planning an ambush.

75. Hand Crank Radio

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.

Plus, 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.

Here’s a video review of a similar hand crank radio from Jason (Skilled Survival’s gear expert):

↓ Hand Crank Radio Review – Eton Microlink ↓

76. Two-Way Walkie Talkie Radios

Baofeng Ham Walkie Talkie RadioPacking a set of walkie-talkies is a smart idea for a small bug out team.

If your team gets separated or split up for strategic reasons, you’ll still be able to keep in touch at short distances.

Recharge your walkie-talkies with your solar charger or hand-crank radio.

77. Protected Smart Phone

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.

If you want to take your smartphone with all its apps and information, get a hard protective case for it.

I have an otter box case that protects it from abuse.

Again, recharge your phone using a solar charger or your hand-crank radio.

78. Small Signaling Mirror

Typically, if you’re 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 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 a 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 bag for them.

80. Multi-Functional Survival Whistle

A loud whistle is another way to communicate with your team over long distances.

Again, it’s light and takes up very little space.

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Self Defense Tools

In the worst survival conditions, you will 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 to a handgun if you take 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.

82. Firearm Ammunition

Ideally, you want to carry enough ammo to avoid having to ration.

But you have to watch your weight and ammo is heavy.

That’s why I suggest sticking with .22LR.

For example, 200 rounds of 44 magnums weigh about 9.14 lbs.

That may not sound like much but don’t forget about all the other gear you’re putting into your pack already.

10 lbs. is a lot.

On the flip side, 200 rounds of 22LR only weigh 1.5 lbs.

That’s why I’m packing 22LR and adding a good takedown rifle.

You could also cache ammo on 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. Taser

You could stash a Taser as an alternative to using a firearm for self-defense.

Remember, there’s no such thing as a fair fight when SHTF.

You might not start a fight, but you should be prepared to end one.

84. Takedown Survival Bow Or Cross Bow

Here are just a few of the more significant advantages of a takedown survival bow or crossbow 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.
  • Takedown bows fold down and can easily fit in backpacks
  • Recurve bows don’t have complicated parts, so they are easy to shoot and repair
  • Strong enough to take down small and large game

Here’s a good review video on one of the best survival bows (the Samick Sage Takedown Bow) and how they work in general.

↓ Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow Shooting ↓

85. Pepper Spray

Earlier this year, I read an interesting news article.

It was about a man hospitalized after eating one Carolina Reaper.

It is said to be the hottest chili pepper known to man – at around 2,000,000 Scoville Heat Units!

This pepper causes intense dry heaves, blinding headaches, and some near-stroke symptoms.

But what if the “pepper” in a pepper spray was that powerful?

FOX Labs is measured at 5,300,000 SHUan astounding 265% hotter than the Carolina Reaper!

It can spray this blinding defense up to 17 to 20 feet. FOX Labs Pepper Spray is used by Police, Law Enforcement, Security, and Military agencies worldwide.

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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.

86. Carabineers

To effectively utilize your bag’s MOLLE system, you need a good set of carabineers.

Clip them to your bag’s MOLLE system and any gear you hang from your pack.

This system helps to add a lot of “extra” gear to the outside of your pack and saves space inside your bag for supplies that cannot be hung.

If you only want to hang gear, you can get cheap carabiners.

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.

87. Rechargeable Batteries

Add a couple of sets of these rechargeable batteries.

When you pair these up with your portable solar charger (#69 on this bug out bag checklist), you’ll be able to keep your batteries charged from anywhere, which is perfect for a bug out scenario.

88. Cash or Precious Metal Coins

It’s anyone’s guess what currency will be in circulation after SHTF.

But it’s always good to have some precious metal (silver and gold) 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.

90. Tactical Sunglasses

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 Milspec Tactical Eyewear™ are “field-tested and ready to go out of the box.”

These tactical glasses come with 4 interchangeable lenses, a tough storage case, and much more.

↓ MILSPEC Ballistic Magnum

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 go bag with no significant downside (some crypto on a hardware wallet might not be a bad idea either).

As a side note, we recommend you carry your credit cards in an RFID-blocking wallet in good times and bad.

Check out our Tactical Wallet Article for more information.

92. Drivers License / Passport

Similar to credit cards, these items may or may not be useful, but they might be good to pack, just in case.

Also, like your credit cards, it’s best to carry your passport in an RFID-blocking case.

Unless you’re trying to disappear completely.

93. Small Roll Of Duct Tape

There is a lot of survival uses for duct tape.

For a list of 25 of these applications, check out The Daily Sheeple’s 25 Survival Uses For Duct Tape.

It’s a smart addition to your go-bag list.

↓ 10 Genius Uses For Duct Tape In a Survival Situation

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.

And learn how to read topo maps while you’re at it!

95. Gas Mask



If you’re bugging out to vacate a region affected by contagious diseases or nuclear fallout, you’ll want to pack a gas mask.

Without one, you’d be forced to breathe contaminated air and put yourself at greater risk.

Without a doubt – check out MIRA Safety OR Parcel Distribution, as these two vendors have the Best Gas Masks on the market today.

I bought the CM-6M mask and several filters for myself.

I prefer its wide viewing angles and durable construction compared to other gas masks I reviewed.

NOTE: If you wear glasses, you’ll definitely want to add the MIRAVISION Spectacle Kit so you can ensure a proper seal on your gas mask AND be able to see clearly.

↓ MIRA Safety CM-6M Gas Mask Review

96. Camo Face Paint Sticks

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, face paint will attract unwanted attention if you’re traveling through civilization.

So only use it in environments where it makes sense.

97. Family Photos

Family photos can be 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 which you may have lost.

Plus, you may want to add these bug out bag documents as well.

98. Set Of Broadheads

Broadheads can create basic spears for hunting or self-defense.

They are lightweight, small, and ideal for gigging or spearing.

99. Spare Pair Of Corrective Lenses

If you wear corrective lenses, add a second pair.

Store them in a hard protective case to keep them from breaking while in your pack.

Trying to survive with impaired vision is a significant disadvantage.

100. Mosquito Head Net

A mosquito head net can provide relief if you are bugging out in dense mosquito-infested regions.

As we know, mosquitos are both a major annoyance and transmit nasty diseases.

101. Survival Watch

Get a survival watch that recharges itself using solar power.

While there are some tactical watches worth every penny.

Here’s the survival watch I own.

102. Electrical Tape

Electrical tape has a lot of worthwhile survival uses; you should be able to find pack space for a small roll.

The stuff stretches and sticks; there’s really nothing quite like it.

103. Trekking Poles

If your bug-out plan includes many elevation changes, it might make sense to snag a good pair of anti-shock trekking poles.

They help relieve stress from your legs and knees.

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Ultimate “Done For You” Solution

Putting together a well-built bug-out bag can be a tough challenge, even with our free checklist.

May you’d prefer to make one purchase and be done? If this sounds like you, then take a look at these Fully Loaded Bug Out Bags.

104. Done-For-You Build

These bags come with all the critical gear 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 go bag, invest in one today.

Those of us serious about prepping know disaster strikes when we least expect them.

Whether it’s a natural disaster or a man-made one.

If you wait, it might be too late.

Prepare, Adapt & Overcome,

  • Cofounder Of Skilledsurvival.com & TheResilientLife.com
  • Born & Raised On A Rural Farm In The Midwest
  • Mechanical Engineering Grad From A Major University
  • Engineer With A Major Food Manufacturing Company
  • 10+ Years Researching, Writing, & Teaching Preparedness
  • Mission: Help Folks Stop Living A Life Fragile To The Future
  • P.s. Do You Live In A 'Danger Zone' County?

    Find out now using my Danger Zone County List & Special Report it’s absolutely FREE. In minutes you’ll know EXACTLY where you stand and if you should be worried or not..

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