Food and water supplies are paramount. The minimum caloric intake for an adult relying on their bug out bag content is 3600 a day. A water filter and some water purification tablets are a must, as are at least 9 pouches of water per person. For food, concentrates, MREs, and vacuum-sealed foods are the lightest and most nutrient-rich options. Canned goods can prove to be far too heavy.
Light sources and a means of starting a fire are also top priorities. Include a flashlight and batteries, light sticks (sometimes called glow sticks), waterproof matches, a few cigarette lighters, a lantern and fuel, candles, or a few road flares. A good fire-starter to pack is a ball of dryer lint sealed in a sandwich bag. It is virtually weightless and invaluable if there is no dry kindling available to start a fire.
Communication items include a cell phone, a whistle with a lanyard, and an AM/FM radio. Pack extra batteries for the radio or invest in a hand-cranked model. Bug out bag content only lasts so long. You’ll want to know where to go to avoid hazards, get aid, or find loved ones separated by the emergency.
Tools such as a pocket knife, a fold-able shovel, 50 feet of nylon rope, a hatchet or axe, and a sewing kit will also come in handy. Each person in the party should also carry one or two rolls of silver duct tape. A spool of carpet thread or fishing line is also invaluable in an emergency where standard thread fails.
Hygiene and sanitation is also a huge concern in any emergency. Include a personal hygiene kit for each person in the party that houses a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, comb, and a razor. Females will want to pack sanitary supplies. A packet of anti-bacterial hand wipes or baby wipes are also perfect for keeping clean. If anyone in the party has an infant, add diapers and baby supplies. Do not forget toilet paper. A flattened roll will fit into a sandwich bag to keep it dry and clean. You may also consider a portable toilet and supplies to go with it.
In case of injuries or illness, a well-stocked first-aid kit is a must. Make sure it has a first-aid guide or manual, a snake bite kit (if you live in an area with poisonous snakes), burn gel and dressing, sun block, insect repellent, and any special medications taken by you or a member of your household. Consider latex gloves and a mouth-guard, in case you need to provide first aid to a stranger.
Money should also be included in your contents of bug out bag. Keep a minimum of 20 dollars in a tin or sealed sandwich bag. Have small bills and plenty of change, especially quarters, in case you need to make a phone call.
Important papers should also be copied and kept in your bug out bag. This would include marriage certificates, birth certificates, credit card information, wills, insurance policies, and a list of important phone numbers. Also, include a copy of your emergency plan.
Stress can be combated by packing items such as books, games, snacks, sweets, and paper and pen. For children, small toys and a comfort item such as a favored stuffed animal or ‘blankie’ should be included as well.
Finally, extra clothing is worth its weight in gold during an emergency. Stuff extra pairs of socks, underwear, a hat, some warm gloves, and a sturdy, dry pair of shoes in with your supplies. Also carry a few empty plastic bags for wet or soiled clothing, so they will not dirty the contents of your bug out bag.
A bug out bag is as individual as its owner. Consider these items as Prepper essentials and the basis of any good emergency plan. Buy quality items that will be useful to you in an emergency. Above all, make sure the bug out bag itself is comfortable and evenly-balanced. With your supplies ready, you can be prepared for any emergency.