One of the most essential items that any prepper can make for themselves is their own BOB—otherwise known as a bug out bag. A BOB contains everything that a person might need when they have to evacuate to a secondary location and every member of a household should have one of these bags.

Unfortunately, far too many people either fail to make a bug out bag for themselves and every member of their family, or they make one that’s incomplete or contains unnecessary pieces of equipment. That’s why we’ve decided to write a guide on the subject. Hopefully, it gives all of our readers the information they need to make the best bug out bag for their needs.

How To Stock A Bug Out Bag

The first thing that any prepper or potential prepper should realize is that there’s no perfect bug out bag—regardless of what some survival websites will have you believe. The truth of the matter is that while all bug out bags should contain some of the basics, people will get more benefit out of their bags if they pack it with their own needs in mind. A personalized bag is going to be more helpful than a generic one that’s bought online.

For example, some people might need a bug out bag that contains items that allow them to escape from an urban environment, while other people might need a bug out bag for bugging out into the woods. Therefore, the urban bug out bag might contain items such as Pry Bars, Lock Pick Sets, Gas Masks, while the forest bug out bag might contain items such as Tomahawks, Kukris, and Folding Saws.

That’s why we can only recommend some of the things that should go into your bug out bag. We by now means are suggesting that every single BOB contains every single piece of equipment that we’ve suggested has to be used. We actually advise against it. We think that you should only pick the items necessary for your personal survival needs while leaving out all of the items that are unnecessary. A good BOB should be the perfect balance between weight and useability.

The Backpack

The backpack is what all of your survival equipment is going to be housed in, so it’s one of the most important pieces of equipment to consider. A good backpack should be large enough to contain everything that you need to carry and have enough compartments that the gear can be organized so that it’s easy to find when needed.

When considering a backpack for your BOB, it’s important to also think about the straps. They should be durable enough to hold up to heavy use, they should be well padded for comfort, and they should be spaced out enough that it spreads the weight of the bag among your hips and shoulders.

Airflow channels are another important consideration for any potential backpack buyer. These channels allow air to circulate along the wearer’s back, which can prevent sweating and sweat buildup against the wearer’s skin. This makes the backpack more comfortable to wear for long periods.

A lot of quality military backpacks use a MOLLE System that uses webbing that can be used to compartmentalize their supplies. These can use the netting for items that they need to get to quickly such as ammo pouches or canteens.

Speaking of canteens, the last thing that you’re going to want to consider is whether you need your backpack to have a hydration bladder. A hydration bladder holds water that the wearer might need without having to carry a separate water bottle. Some models even have drinking tubes that allow the wearer to drink the water without having to take the backpack off.

Water & Water Purification

Okay, now we’re going to move into the next important consideration for a bug out bag, and that’s water. In our estimation, a BOB should have some drinking water that’s packed in either the backpack’s hydration bladder, a water bottle, or a canteen. Most experts agree that each bag should contain 1-liter of water for each day it’s anticipated to be used. Since most bugs out bags are intended to provide the wearer with approximately 3-days worth of supplies, then that should be approximately 3-liters of water placed into the bag.

There shouldn’t just be 3-liters of water-packed into the backpack, however. There should also be ways for the wearer to purify their water if the need arises. This includes packing water purification tablets, and/or a reliable water filter. In our opinion, Life Straws are some of the best water filters available, and they can not only purify a ton of water, but they don’t take up much space.

Meals & Meal Preparation

Another important consideration for any bug out bag is food. Although a person can last longer without food than they can without water, it’s still an important commodity that helps people maintain their energy levels and maintain good spirits. Since we’re building a 72-hour bug out bag, the wearer should make sure to stock 3-days worth of food in their pack, as well as the items needed to make that food. This can include any combination of the following items:

Food Stuff:

  • Energy Bars Or Trail Mix
  • Dehydrated Food
  • Soup Mixes
  • MREs (Meals-Ready-To-Eat)
  • Beef Jerky

Food Preparation & Cleanup:

  • P-38 Or P-51 Can Openers
  • Sporks
  • Metal Cooking Pot Or Metal Cooking Cup
  • Portable Stove
  • Stove Fuel Tablets
  • A Pot Scrubber

Other Items To Consider

Okay, now that we’ve covered the basics of food and water with the bug out bag, it’s time to turn our attention to some of the important tools that a person might need to take with them. As we stated earlier, not everyone will need to pack all of the following items, but there on the list so that our readers can decide for themselves what might be useful for their survival needs.

Clothing:

  • Extra Clothing
  • Work Gloves
  • A Hat
  • Wool Socks
  • A Rain Poncho
  • Sunglasses

Shelter:

Ways To Make Fire:

Hygiene:

  • Camp Soap
  • Portable Hand Sanitizer
  • Mirror
  • Travel Toilet Paper
  • Travel Toothbrush& Toothpaste
  • Small Towel

Tools:

  • Penlight Or Flashlight
  • Light Glowsticks
  • Hand-Crank Emergency Radio
  • Survival Knife Or Kukris
  • Tomahawk
  • Multi-Tool
  • Machete
  • Crank Cell Phone Charger
  • Local Map
  • Compass
  • Emergency Whistle
  • Duct Tape
  • Sewing Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • N95 Face Mask
  • Fishing Kit
  • Face Paint
  • Compact Binoculars
  • Snare Wire
  • Garbage Bag
  • Extra Cash