Bugout Bag List, Prepare for Potential Emergencies

A good sized Bugout bag. You should be able to fit everything on your list. A Bugout Bag List, If Disaster Strikes will you be Prepared?

Making a bag filled with essential items is a good idea. Even though its unlikely that you will experience any type of disaster, it only takes a little time to be prepared in case something actually does happen. Here I will highlight some items that are a good idea to have all set to go just in case..

What is a Bugout Bag?

A Bugout bag, also called a 72 hour bag, is a small backpack pre-loaded with essential gear to keep you comfortable for a short time away from your home. Do you think the victims of hurricane Katrina could have used a bugout bag? Sure the aftermath of that hurricane lasted a lot longer than 72 hours, but carrying in the trunk of your car a bag with flashlights, some food, and other bare essentials would have made the lives of many of the victims much less desperate during all the chaos. Basically a bugout bag is a backpack that could save your life. If the crap hits the fan and you have to leave your home for some reason, the contents will be enough to keep you going for a while.

The List

Its a good idea to evaluate the area you live, decide where you are most likely to evacuate to during an emergency, and pack according to your areas weather and environment. There is obviously no reason to to pack a winter coat if you you live in Florida now is there?

Making Fire

No matter where you would “bugout” to during an emergency scenario, there is a really good chance that you would need to make a fire for cooking food and warmth. Therefor you will need some things to make fire with. Here are some options to consider.

  • A Bic lighter: These are the most durable and long lasting disposable lighters that I know of. Back when I used to smoke I would use a bic everyday and have had them last almost a year. For a little over $1.00 cost these are a no brainer. 
  • Magnesium Fire starting tool: The Benefits of using a Magnesium tool include its ability to light fires even when its wet. Magnesium burns at extremely hot temperatures and can light wet wood and other material easily. Magnesium fire starters can be purchased on ebay for just a couple dollars, or at any outdoors store for under $10.  See the video of how to use these here
  • Fire Starting Fuel: You can easily light fires if you have dry easy burning material on hand. Dryer lint or commercially made fuel sticks will work well. You can collect a small bag of lint and stuff it in a plastic bag. This will weigh very little and can make the sometimes difficult task of starting a fire in wet conditions much easier. As for the fuel sticks they are made from a sawdust type material and dipped in wax. They are well worth the couple dollars payed if the time comes to light a fire in tough conditions.
Put a headlamp on your bugout bag list.

You can buy headlamps for next to nothing. They are a little more convenient than a standard flashlight.

Lighting Options

  • A Nice Flashlight
  • Headlamp: Sometimes you need your hands free. A headlamp is a great tool, and there are a lot of low cost options.
  • Extra bulbs(if your light is not LED)
  • Wind up flashlight (as a backup to your backup) These are kind of a pain because they don’t ever hold a charge for very long, but if you have no batteries they are way better than no source of light.
  • A small candle

Its a good idea to have both a flashlight and a headlamp that take the same size batteries. You don’t want to have to carry 2 sizes of batteries. Double A batteries are my personal preference. Nearly everything that takes batteries can usually be purchased in a AA style.


  • A GPS
  • Compass
  • Local Map


  • Tent
  • Tarp
  • Small Hammock

Hammock is optional, but camping in areas with poisonous spiders and scorpions without a tent you will want to be off the ground if possible. A hammock also weighs less than a tent, but it provides less shelter from nasty weather.  Pick your poison

A Firearm

  • A small rifle for food procurement/protection: My choice is a high capacity 22 long rifle, such as the 10/22 takedown. They are very accurate and will easily put food on the table if it comes down to it. They also will deter most would be thugs from stealing your supplies. They are not an ideal choice for protection, but how many guns can you carry?
  • Ammunition: I would put 100-200 rounds in your pack. You never know how bad things could get  during a natural disaster. With well placed shots on wild game, 100 shots could potentially provide you with meat for over a year. With the light weight of 22 ammo you can carry a lot of it.

Keeping Warm

  • A sleeping bag
  • Down coat: Down is naturally very lightweight and packs up extremely small
  • Extra Clothing: I would pack an extra pair of pants, a warm shirt and a nice pair of wool socks in your bugout bag.
A solar charger is a good thing to put in a bugout bag.

Solar chargers such as this one will keep your batteries and devices usable. This one only weighs a couple ounces.

Extras and everything else

  • Extra Batteries
  • A water purification system/iodine pills
  • Small first aid kit
  • Saw
  • Knife
  • Solar battery charger
  • Plastic bags
  • Small salt and pepper shakers
  • 550 parachute cord
  • Small fishing kit
  • 3-4 days worth of dehydrated foods or MRE’s
  • A mess kit: Pot, pan, spoon. fork, etc.

Perhaps the most important thing on this bugout bag list is the Backpack itself. You can buy a good backpack for under 100$, that will be comfortable to wear and pack around heavy weight when you need to. Using a cheap backpack with no support and uncomfortable straps will only slow you down.  Everyone has certain things that they prefer on their own bugout bag list. It all depends on what you are preparing for and where you are located geographically. People on the coast should be concerned with potential hurricanes and flooding, while people inland might want to be more prepared for earthquakes etc. One very important thing you can do is plan ahead. Know where you will meet family and friends if a disaster does strike. This will allow you to fine tune your bugout bag list to exactly what you need.