Bug Out Bags

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Bug Out Bags Checklist

Sources: Episode from It Could Happen Here and This Episode from Live Like the World is Dying


  • Check it monthly.
  • Plan for a weekend away.
  • Keep it nondescript.

Emergency Bag

  • This is a smaller bag that goes everywhere with you.
    • Hygiene kit
    • Daily meds
    • Medication like ibuprofen in blister packs (less likely to get in trouble, since you won’t have a bunch of unlabeled random pills in your possession)
    • MRI caffeine gum is handy. Lots of people are addicted to caffeine.
    • Small first aid kit (For boo-boos, think sticky bandages, neosporin)
    • Extra N95 masks or similar


  • Ideally, have physical copies in a waterproof bag, AND/OR digital backups on an encrypted stick drive.
    • Rabies documents for pets
    • Vehicle title
    • Rent/mortgage paperwork
    • Insurance IDs
    • Contact info


  • Not your favorite snacks (lower temptation)
  • Protein bars
  • Humanitarian Daily Ration
  • Ration Bars
  • Shelf stable
  • Kid friendly


  • Change of underwear and socks
  • 2 t-shirts, 2 long-sleeves
  • Base layer
  • Packable rain jacket or poncho
  • Puffy jacket (Synthetic is better than down) – These are for when you’re sedentary or not moving around.


  • Single wall steel bottles can be boiled
    • (Also, they make a good “DONG!!!” noise when you whack them on things)
  • SMART water bottles can be frozen. I’ve been collecting them because they’re cheap and sturdy, and my family tends to lose their bottles so if one of these goes missing, no big deal.

Survival Gear

  • Cell phone charger
  • Octopus cable
  • Battery bank
  • Titanium spork/meal kit
  • P38 or P51
  • FRS Radio (Walkie talkie)
  • LoRa Radio (Meshtastic, HelTec)
  • Sleeping bag* (Leave near kit, by door, under bed)
  • Tarp* (Leave near kit, by door, under bed)
  • Heavy duty trash bag (Contractor bags)
  • Mylar emergency blanket
  • Emergency whistle (hurricane whistle)
  • Zip ties
  • Duck Tape (Good firestarter)
  • Lighters
  • Glowsticks
  • Rechargeable headlamp/flashlight
  • Cash ($100 or so)
  • Multitool with pliers
  • Screwdriver with bits
  • Folding knife
  • #36 bankline
  • Dental floss, needles, safety pins (Leather needles if possible)
  • Flares for car


  • Toys for kids (Archie McPhee has tons of great, small little tchotchkes that can be very entertaining)
  • Handheld gaming system (Consider those video game emulators with 100+ games on them)
  • Kindle app or books on tablet
  • KiWix lets you download wikis onto your device
  • Internet in a box
  • External drive with media
  • Paperback book (One you’ve read and you know you like)
  • Cards, dice
  • Notebook, pens
  • Harmonica