Bug Out Bag List

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Last Updated on December 14, 2020

Editors Note: I was very honored to be approached by Jacob at mybugoutlist.com for this article he was putting together. In his article, he asked the question below of ten people he considered “experts” on the subject of prepping on what is the one thing you had to have on your bug out bag list. I don’t consider myself an expert, but I was extremely grateful for the compliment and humbled to be included in a list with a lot of other successful bloggers in the field of prepping below. The list includes some great ideas and considerations for your own bug out bag as well as 9 other sites to investigate if you haven’t already.

Welcome all. My name is Jake and I am a self-admitted prepper newbie. In fact 2 weeks ago I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what a BOB was or what in the hell TEOTWAWKI stood for. But through the tremendous amount of resources available online, and the awesome people who regularly blog about this niche I’m slowing learning.

Now As I’m sure both you and I have come to realize by now, a properly prepared bug out bag can be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. A quick search in Google however will bring back numerous results, all with varying articles and suggestions. So what’s a beginner to do?

Simple. I went to the experts.

What is the one thing every good bug out bag list can’t be without?

What are the most important items on your bug out bag list?

I asked them all this very basic question. What you’ll find below are the answers from experts behind some of the biggest and best survival and prepper sites online.

Now while a true bug out bag list might never be complete, I was simply looking for a place to start – a foundation to build upon. I believe this list provides a great jumping off point. I think we can both agree that if it is important enough to be listed as “the one thing” every bug out bag can’t be without, it should be in yours. Check it out:

Water. You need to have some and have the ability to treat water for drinking, cleaning wounds, cooking, and maintaining proper hygiene.  You have two days of survival time without water, less if it’s hot out. Waterborne illness are insidious and if infected, your survival time goes down to less than a day without clean water to maintain hydration.” – Mike from The Redneck Survivalist

“The Leatherman Charge TTi available here or just about any other quality multi-tool.” – MD Creekmore from The Survivalist Blog

“For its size, weight, and usefulness a must-have is Duct Tape. I prefer the Gorilla Tape brand because it is so much stronger and can be used for repairs, makeshift bandages, or millions of other creative uses. Duct tape is a must-have for any respectable Bug Out Bag.” – Pat from The Prepper Journal

“The one item that I think has to always be included in a bug out bag is a solid knife. Preferably a fixed blade, at least six inches in length. This can be used for security, to help build shelter, start a fire, and to gather food to name a few uses for a good knife. If the size or legal considerations are a problem, a suitable secondary option is a locking folder.” – Tom from The Prepared Ninja

“I think the obvious answer is that every bug-out bag should include a means of protection, such as a gun. If a given bug-out situation is just a short-term emergency such as fleeing a natural disaster, then the gun is useless, though comforting to have. In a long-term bug-out situation, without a gun, you are at the mercy of unprepared, and desperate folks who NEED your stuff. All your prepping is for naught, if anyone can come along and take it from you.” – Spencer from All About Preppers

“The best “can’t be without” item is the proper survival mindset.  Recognize that bugging out is not going to be a lark nor is it going to be a cool way to test all of your gear.  Grab onto a positive attitude to get you through the rough spots and you will do just fine.” – Gaye from Backdoor Survival

“My number one bug out bag list item is a protein source. Carbohydrates and fat are easy to find and store but protein spoils and deficiency for any of the amino acids is nasty. My personal favourite right now is SurvivAMINO by Vitality Sciences (vitalitysci.com/products/survivamino).” – JP from Bug Out Nutrition

“My answer would have to be knowledge. This item weighs nothing and makes all the other stuff in your kit and environment useful. The more you know, the less you need.” -Todd from The Survival Sherpa

“The one thing that every bug out bag should have is a good quality water filter.  The importance of clean drinking water is self-evident, but having a good filter has definite advantages over other purification methods.  There is no need to stop and make a fire or use a camp stove to boil, and there is no waiting time as is the case with chemical purification systems.  With a personal water filter, one can simply fill a bottle with a stream or pond water and consume as needed, keeping you on the move to  your destination and without the need for fuel or lost time.” – Denob from The Canadian Preppers Network

“In my opinion, the number one thing in any bugout bag is the person carrying it. If that person has the knowledge and has taken the time to prepare and practice his skills, that person is worth 1,000 time what any piece of gear is worth. Gear is great, and it sure can make things easier, but remember when everything else fails the one piece of gear that you can count on is yourself.” – Robert from Off Grid Survival

Now that you’ve heard from the experts make sure your bag is stocked with those items. If you’ve stuffed your bag full and come back for more, some other items to consider including are:

Image Credits: Apocalypsepack.com

0 0 votes
Article Rating

About Author

Freedom-loving American doing what I can to help prepare and inform others. Editor and creator of The Prepper Journal 2013-2017, 2020 -

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Don’t be modest, you’re an expert!


Good list. I would also add a survival knife, duct tape, wire, hand crank radio and flashlight, and a small survival handbook.

Great site! Keep it up. 😉

Bug Out Bag Academy

Good additions. I’d also add to the list at the bottom, water filtration/purification elements and a stainless steel water container among other items.

Amy Weatherford

A little more ammo to start with!


Good point Amy, Actually, the list doesn’t really go into ammo at all, but that is something you probably want to consider carrying on your person, not in a BOB. If you for some reason have to be separated from your pack, you don’t want to lose all your ammo too, which brings up a big dilemma. How do you carry a full battle load out as well as your BOB? I think the simple answer is that you can’t (in most situations) carry all of everything you could possibly need so you have to cut somewhere. I talked about… Read more »


What about bolt cutters and a pry bar? You may need to grab a bike or get into a locked door to get food/ supplies. Thoughts?

Pat Henry

I think both a pry bar and bolt cutters are great ideas for general prepping supplies. I don’t know that i would personally want that weight in my Bug Out Bag. I look at this as something to give me shelter and a little food, not the whole work bench of tools I could conceivably use. There are a ton of other things like this that have excellent use, but I am aiming for light in my bug out bags.



Found both the list and everyone else’s comments very helpful. I did want to say that I added a few bottles of super glue to my BOB. I find it almost as useful as duct tape


Survival mindset and knowledge as #1 things to have in your bag?
If someone can have stupid answers like that I want lobster tails and champagne and a hot tub and a big-titted blonde in my bag…then her licking my bag…

Trek Warrior

Pat, this is a great article for a bug out bag list. Thanks for putting it together. I really like the 3 fire starting source approach to give you good coverage across many situations.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x