A Bugout Bag or “72-Hour Bag” is a Grab-and-Go survival kit that should have enough supplies for 3-days. Use a sturdy backpack or tactical pack (Tac Pack) with room for additional supplies or clothes. Consider your requirements and include appropriate medical, child, elder, and pet supplies as appropriate. The bugout bag is not for long-term survival. Design your Bugout Bag to get you through an immediate situation and rely on your stored supplies for long-term survival.
There are many opinions on the contents and function of a Bugout Bag. Most Bugout Bags are designed to get through an immediate evacuation situation and contain basic survival items including some food and a first aid kit. Other bags are designed for full survival and contain tent, sleeping bag, food, stove, first aid, survival items, and a full-sized backpack.
I take a middle ground approach and use a larger tactical backpack with lots of extra room. My bugout bag can provide for three days of survival including food and shelter but those three days will not be pleasant. Living outdoors in relative comfort would also require sleeping bag, tent, stove, etc. If I can only grab one thing then I take the Bugout Bag. If I have an extra 10 minutes then I grab my full-sized backpack, camping gear, extra clothes, and the Bugout Bag. I can then consolidate these supplies into the full backpack and be able to live outside in relative comfort.
Many Bugout Bag and survival videos and articles stress the need for ultra small/lightweight kits. I take the opposite approach. I tried to include all the things that I might need in an emergency situation. I included heavier items such as a small folding shovel, solar panel and charger, rain gear, etc. I do not know what type of situation might develop and I would rather be over prepared than under prepared. It is easy to remove items from the kit but you cannot easily add items that you do not have. Some hard-core survivalists will view my kit as too much and too heavy but, again, items are easy to remove. I normally keep the Bugout Bag in my vehicle since I am normally in the vicinity of my vehicle.
When building your kit be sure to consider these basic guidelines (details). Your pack should have plenty of extra space for clothes and additional supplies. I tried to make my kit as modular as possible. If you are on a budget you can move kit modules from one pack to another. I duplicate modules so that I always have them in each kit.
A Bugout Bag is NOT something exclusively for doomsday preppers. A Bugout Bag is an insurance policy that can help protect you should something unexpected happen such as an emergency, car trouble on a road trip, accident, etc. There is NO downside to being prepared. Nearly everyone wants to be prepared but very few people are. Make the commitment to start being prepared today. Buy items as you can afford them. Make those items easy to transport and access. You can start small and grow your kit over time but start TODAY!
My personal Bugout Bag is large and heavy. In an emergency situation I would remove the unneeded items to tailor the pack to the specific needs at hand. I would rather have too many supplies that I could remove rather than not having something that I need.
This is a summary list of Bugout Bag related articles. I change the content as I find new products and better ways of organizing my bag. Be sure to adapt your kit to meet any special requirements that you might have.