DIY Bug Out Bag

What is a Bug Out Bag, anyway?

A Bug Out Bag is your lifeline in a crisis. It should contain enough essential survival gear to sustain one person for 72 hours. But what exactly will you need?

You should plan for the worst, and include items that you deem necessary for three days on your own. Whether the cause of the emergency is bad weather or social unrest doesn’t matter for the basics, you’ll need to have food, water, a first aid kit, and a few other essentials at least. The rest of your Bug Out bag is up to you.

What does a Bug Out Bag look like?

A Bug Out Bag is any collection of survival gear that you prepare ahead of time to help you get through a disaster scenario. Your bag can be as simple as an old duffel bag you already have around the house, or as sophisticated as a special framed hiking pack, or other container designed specifically for transport on the move. The actual bag look like whatever you want, but make sure it’s comfortable to carry, and not too bright in color. A Bug Out situation may require you to keep a low profile, so we recommend black or another dark color. Remember- you can always pack something bright for signaling if you’d like to be seen, but if you don’t want to be seen, that bright yellow backpack leftover from your son or daughter’s last year of school probably isn’t the best choice.

What goes inside of a Bug Out Bag?

The specifics are up to you, and could be partially determined by where you live, and what you’re prepping for. We’ve seen lots of DIY-instructions for Bug Out Bags online, and you will too. Most people will just show you what they’ve decided is right for their Bug Out Bag, but we’re here to help you assemble your own. The list below is a good place to start:


  • Flashlight
  • Hygiene Kit
  • Shelter (ie: tent)
  • Poncho(s)
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Water Purification System or Tablets
  • Duct Tape
  • First Aid Kit
  • Emergency Rations (ie: high calorie energy bar, MREs)
  • Insect repellant & Bite Ointment
  • Dental Hygiene Kit
  • Eye Wash with Cup
  • Combination Utility Knife/tool
  • Toilet Paper
  • Sunscreen
  • Candles and emergency flares
  • Waterproof matches, lighter
  • Garden Trowel
  • Disposable bags
  • Notepad and pencils
  • Dust Mask
  • Latex/Nitrile Gloves
  • Drinking tumblers
  • Water
  • Rope
  • Communications Device
  • Emergency Radio
  • Towel
  • Deck of Cards