The Definitive Bug out Bag List
The 13 items you need in order to survive both urban and wilderness Chaos
There are many posts available on what you should and should not have in your bug out bag. Honestly, most of these lists contain enough supplies to sustain you in a crisis.
However, one of the key issues that I have with many of these bug out bag list is the focus is not intended for both the urban and the wilderness survival.
You have to pick one or the other. As a prepper, I believe that it is essential to create a bug out bag that will work in any situation.
Here is my definitive prepper list of 13 items you should have in your bug out bag if you want to survive.
1) Water Pouches and Water Straws
It will be stated over and over again on any prepper blog, video, or book that water is going to be your number one concern. You must have a way to secure a water supply. Simply having bottled water will not suffice.
Yes, the water pouches will help to sustain you for a few days, but after that you will need to find a fresh water source and be able to filter the water.
Water straws and water filtration is a must. Additionally, knowing where to find water that does not have to be filtered (such as rainwater and snow) is paramount to your survival.
2) Dehydrated Foods/ survival food packs
Whether you choose to have MREs, dehydrated meats, or professional survival packs in your bag, the point is that you have food which will not expire quickly.
Your food needs to have low sodium and sugar to keep you from dehydrating or becoming malnourished. If you need to have sugar, you should use natural resources such as dehydrated fruit. Do not pack gummy worms, chips, and junk food.
If you must pack a sweet ensure that you do so in an air tight bag to keep out bugs, ants, and other pests which are attracted to sugar.
3) A tactical First aid kit
A tactical first aid kit goes beyond the off the shelf cheap consumer products. These kits will give you everything you need in order to survive an urban or a wilderness situation.
From blood transfusion pouches to defibrillator, the tactical first aid kit will generally have more items then you will ever need to use.
Yet, I find that it is better to be over prepared then laying on the sidewalk wishing you had something to treat that gash in your leg.
4) A toothbrush
The toothbrush is an essential, yet most commonly overlooked tool in your bug out bag. Your teeth are the cornerstone of your health.
It has been shown that a cavity can cause problems with the heart as well as the nervous system. Having a toothbrush can also double as a close range weapon if needed.
5) Rope and String
More than likely you will have many functions which require you to use rope and string. The reason that you will need both is that you cannot (unlike a great many prepper sites advocate) use rope for everything.
There will be instances where you will need to have string. Ensure that you buy a spool so that you have plenty. Your rope should be industry strength and capable of being used to belay off of cliffs and other obstacles without danger.
Yes, you will need other clothing. However, anyone who has been in the military will tell you that your feet need to stay clean and well treated.
If your feet become wet and infected your mobility ability will cease.
Therefore, you should have at least 7 pairs of socks in your bag. As socks do not take up a great deal of space, I would say pack more. You can always use the socks later as water collection tools, tear them up for rope when they become unwearable, or double them up to create extra warmth.
7) Flint and Steel
If you are relying on matches to keep your heat supply going then you are at great odds for not surviving for long.
You will need to have a firecraft. It is strongly advised that you have several pieces of flint and steel in your pack.
As it may be hard to find heat, especially in an urban situation, having flint and steel in your pack will increase your chances of survival dramatically. You may also want to consider having a few pieces of newspaper and some tinder in your bag to help get the fire going.
8) A Flashlight and Spare Batteries
A flashlight is just a common sense item. If a disaster occurs at night you will need to have a means of navigating through both urban and wilderness terrain.
If you do not have a flashlight then doing so will be a great deal more difficult. Also, in some cases you can use your flashlight to create fire.
If you have chosen a durable metal flashlight over those dinky little novelty flashlights, you can use it as a defensive weapon if needed.
9) A Knife
Your knife will be your primary weapon as well as your primary tool.
I know that this goes against those prepper sites which want to sell you a ton of ammunition and guns, but the truth is that more people get killed with their own gun then with some other gun.
Secondly, when your ammunition runs out then you have a giant paperweight.
Your knife will be used as a tool as well as a weapon, so keep it sharp. Nothing is more aggravating then trying to cut a rope and having to saw back and forth forever to get the job done.
10) A hand axe/Hatchet
Similar to your knife, your axe will serve as a primary tool as well as a weapon.
Where it may be ideal to have just a knife for easy carrying purposes, you will quickly find that an axe is a great tool to have for cutting down large obstacles (such as fallen trees) or as an access tool (such as breaking off locks). It can also serve as a defensive weapon.
11) A shovel
By shovel, I mean a military shovel which is multi-purpose. Ensure that you chose a shovel which has metal fittings and at least one sharp edge.
12) A survivalist handbook
One of the keys to being a successful prepper is to acknowledge that you do not have all the answers and that you will need help.
In your bug out bag you will need to have a guide to help you for the times where you just do not know what to do.
It is recommended that you try to find a survival guide that addresses both urban as well as wilderness survival. Key points to consider are firecraft, bushcrafts, tactical procedures, plant identification, and food and water sustainability.
13) A typographical map
Finally, any bug out bag worth its salt will have a typographical map of the area. Why a typographical map over the standard map?
A typographical map will give you the cliffs and the valleys of the area.
This will help you with your route planning. In the course of a catastrophic event, the general public will flood the roads, and then they will seek the least taxing terrain.
By knowing this information you can strategically plan a route that avoids most of the public as well as presents you with the advantage of knowing where to look for certain resources and food.