WHAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR BUGOUT BAG CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOU & BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE & DEATH IN A DISASTER
WHAT DO I NEED IN MY BUGOUT BAG?
​I know, I know….The last thing the Internet needs is another Bug Out Bag List (well, that and pictures of adorable pets, people chasing Pokemon, cute babies) but…this is a site dedicated to prepping and well, it just doesn’t seem legit without one.
So we decided to post our list for the whole world to see…and judge. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just browse the survival forums everyone has an opinion)

A BUG OUT BAG LIST IS NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL

Quite simply, we at Red Dirt Preppers believe an excellent bug out bag starts with a great bug out bag list.
It doesn’t necessarily mean everything you put on the list will end up going into your bag, but at least you’ve got a starting point.
The last thing we want is for someone to not start because you don’t now how. We know. We’ve been there. Especially if you’re just starting out, there is a ton of information out there, isn’t there?
 
Some of it’s really good. Some of it’s…how shall we say it…not so good.

BUILDING A BUG OUT BAG DOES NOT HAVE TO BE HARD
Building your bug out bag doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, we believe it should be a fun and enjoyable experience. After all, having a solid bug out plan, and knowing that you’re planning well in advance should help put your mind at ease about “SHTF” scenarios.
 
So whether you’re new to the idea of bugging out, or you’ve been in our neck of the woods for a while now, I hope there is something you can take away from this article.

CHOOSING A BUG OUT BAG
The first item on your bug out bag list is the bag itself. There are several schools of thought on this topic, of which the two main ones are:
1)  You should choose the best bag for you
2)  You should only choose the bag after you have the items
3) ​ I personally recommend a bag that will blend in & not draw attention

Feel free to checkout my article on selecting a Bugout Bag for more information.

BUGOUT BAG ESSENTIALS 

WATER AND HYDRATION
Arguably the most important bug out bag essentials are related to water and hydration. The human body can go without water for only 72 hours, whereas it can go without food for about 3 weeks. Water is an absolute must have in your bug out bag. One liter minimum, per day, per person is highly recommended.

Below, you can see the items we recommend.
Drinking Water (3 Liters)
Collapsible Water Bottle
Hard Water Bottle
Metal Water Bottle / Canteen
Water Filters / Purification Systems
Water Purification Tablets (Qty 3)

FOOD AND FOOD PREPARATION
Next up are food stuffs. In the preparedness community we see a lot of people eager to recommend various products, mostly off-the-shelf, dehydrated, store-bought items. Personally, I recommend a variety of non-perishable food items, some that might require water and some that don’t. In a real bug out situation, you don’t know how scarce your water source might be. To be safe, plan for more scarce than you think.

Most of these items are self-explanatory, but we will definitely expand upon our reasoning for selecting these items in future posts. The important thing to know now is, you’ll want enough food to last three days at least. Another recommendation we see is, people using plastic cookware. For heat-resistance and durability, we recommend metal cooking utensils and cookware.

Below, you can see the items we recommend
Protein / Energy Bars (Qty 6)
MREs / Dehydrated Meals (Qty 3)
Spork
P-38 Can Opener
Metal Cooking Pot
Metal Cup
Pot Scrubber
Portable Stove
Stove Fuel (Qty 8 Tablets)

CLOTHING
Choosing clothing for your bug out bag is a very personalized selection as we all have different body types, tolerances and levels of fitness. The items listed below are to be strategically layered to maintain a healthy body temperature at all times.
 Your clothes selection will obviously depend on your location, climate and the other factors listed above. You should evaluate your bug out bag every six months. At these times you’ll want to have a seasonal selection of clothes that you can swap out when necessary.
At least two changes of clothes ensure you can always have a dry set to wear. The last thing you want while bugging out, and in the elements, is wet clothes. Not only are they uncomfortable, but hypothermia is a real concern not to be taken lightly.
 
Below, you can see the items we recommend
Lightweight Long Sleeve Shirt
Durable Pants
Underwear
Wool Hiking Socks (Qty 3 pair)
Medium Weight Fleece
Hat w/ Flex Brim
Working Gloves
Rain Poncho


SHELTER AND BEDDING
At first glance, to the experienced survivalist, some of the items chosen for this category might seem excessive or even impractical. But if you check the individual products recommended, you’ll see they’re all made compact and lightweight with the backpacker in mind.
 
Yes, you can make a shelter out of a tarp or use a trash bag filled with leaves as a makeshift ground pad, but these are all items we think are a wise choice to include for numerous reasons. Being well-rested, both mentally and physically, is extremely important when the SHTF.
 
Below, you can see the items we recommend
Tarp
Tent
Sleeping Bag
Ground Pad
Wool Blanket

HEAT SOURCE
Having several means for starting a fire is also essential when bugging out. I recommend the following basics to be included in every bug out bag. The reason being, a former Green Beret & friend of mind once stated:

Where there are two, there’s one. Where there’s one, there’s none.” 

Essentially that means, if you don’t have a back up, and your primary fails you…you screwed
For that reason I recommend having at least 3 different means of starting a fire on your bug out bag list of items to pack.

Ignition Source (Qty 3)
Tinder (Qty 3)
Waterproof Storage


FIRST AID
First aid is one of those areas where there are a lot of “done for you” type products out there that just aren’t well-suited for a survival kit such as a bug out bag. The topic of First Aid could easily warrant several posts, but to keep it simple for now, I have one that I highly recommend, but of course you can always build your own and I have a article on doing that.
 
Below, you can see the items we recommend
First Aid Kit
Any prescription medications you take
Insect Repellant
Mylar Survival Blanket

HYGIENE
I've found that various aspects of personal hygiene are often overlooked when compiling a bug out bag list of essentials. But the implications of forgoing any of these for an extended period of time might lead to bacterial infections and a rapid deterioration in health. When bugging out, you need to be at the top of your game, so be sure to pack these items.
 
Below, you can see the items we recommend
Wet Napkins
Hand Sanitizer
All-Purpose Camp Soap
Hygiene/Signal Mirror
Small Pack Towel
Travel Toilet Paper (Qty 2)
Travel Size Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Other Personal Hygiene Necessities

TOOLS
Next to weapons, this is the one category that everyone loves to go crazy over. And it’s easy to see why. Gadgets are cool, and some of these are especially sweet. But as I've  said before, “every ounce counts.” Determine the must-haves and forget the rest. Trying to practice what we preach, I recommend the following  tools for your bug out bag.
 
Survival Knife
Multi-Tool
Machete
Folding Saw 
Small pry bar

LIGHTING
Illumination, like fire sources, is something we recommend having multiple instances of as well. If one fails or you lose it somehow, you have another to take its place. Each item listed below has multiple uses, but they all serve the same purpose – helping you see what you’re doing or find where you’re going. Don’t forget the extra batteries!

Below, you can see the items we recommend
LED Headlamp
Mini LED Keychain
Light Glowstick
Mini LED Light
Candles
Batteries

COMMUNICATIONS
Communications is another highly contested category in the preparedness community. I like to keep it simple though. If the bug out scenario allows for their use, you’ll be glad to have these items with you.
 
Cell Phone
Crank Power Charger
Emergency Radio with Hand Crank
 
TRAVEL AIDS
Depending on the situation you find yourself in, these items might prove quite useful. Don’t leave home without carefully thinking these through first.
 
Below, you can see the items we recommend
$500 Minimum in Small Bills
Quarters (Qty 8)
Gold / Silver Bullion Coins
Local Area Map
Compass
Small Note Pad / Pencil
Emergency Whistle
 
SELF DEFENSE ITEMS
Without a doubt, this is a controversial topic, and (WARNING: Blanket Statement Ahead!) it’s been our experience that the Americans among us tend to embrace this category the most. And being from the US ourselves, we definitely see why. J
Self defense is something we should all give serious consideration. Bugging out, in its severest of circumstances, is a survive or die proposition. Whether you choose a handgun, a rifle, both, or just a can of pepper spray, it’s completely up to you. But you can be sure in a bug out scenario, we’ll be well equipped to defend ourselves and hunt wild game if need be.
If you choose not to carry a weapon, or are not allowed to do so, then we highly recommend some degree of self defense training – especially If you have a family – as they’ll be depending on you for their safety.
 
We’ll definitely be doing more posts on this topic as time goes on, so please let us know what you would like to read more about in the comments below.
 
Pepper Spray
Handgun
Takedown rifle
Ammunition (Qty 25 rnds minimum)

MISCELLANEOUS
We’re almost done! These are items that didn’t necessarily fit into any of the other categories, but they’re just as important for inclusion in your bug out bag. Chances are some of the items will have you scratching your head, but we assure you, you want these items in your bug out bag.

Below, you can see the items we recommend
550 Parachute Cord (50 ft)
Cotton Bandana
Duct Tape (25’)
55 Gal. Contractor Garbage Bag (Qty 2)
Resealable Bags (Qty 5, Various Sizes)
Sunglasses
N95 Face Mask
Sewing Kit
Fishing Kit
Condoms (Non-lubricated)
Binoculars (Optional)
Face Paint
Bailing wire
Assorted Zip ties

Well that's it folks, this is my personal recommendations. Thank you for your time and make it your own & build your bag

Oh, and before I forget… I make it a practice to state this disclaimer whenever we can to avoid any confusion. 
 
I'm a not certified expert, but we make it our aim here at Red Dirt Preppers to provide you with the best educational information possible in which we’ve consulted numerous experts. Even then, we don’t know everything, and we still make mistakes just like the next person. The bug out bag list above isn’t intended as Gospel truth. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to do your own due diligence and come to your own conclusions. Your bug out bag will not automagically keep you alive. It is, however, intended to help you survive a bug out scenario. If you don’t learn how to use these items effectively and practice using them on a regular basis, all the bug out bags in the world probably won’t be able to help you.
 
Emergency preparedness is not a fad, nor a hobby. It’s a way of life. If you believe that, you’ll be all that much better off as a result.