I’ve written about how to assemble a basic survival kit, but if you’re beyond that and looking for a bug out bag list, here’s one to get you started! This is my complete bug out bag packing list, whittled down and adjusted after hiking and camping a couple of times this past fall.
Note: This is the bug out bag list that works for me. You may need to pack different items. A good test is to go camping for yourself, and see what you need.
Bug Out Bag List: General
Camelbak Hydration Reservoir (fits in backpack)
Bug Out Bag List: Shelter
Sleeping pad (strapped outside – for extra warmth)
Lightweight Pup Tent (strapped outside)
Silk sleeping bag liner (for extra warmth)
Bug Out Bag List: Kitchenware
Food (enough for 1 week)
2 packs of red beans & rice (only use if water is in abundance..it makes me thirsty)
1 lb trail mix
1 pack of beef jerky
2 single servings of peanut butter
2 packs of 5 minute rice (minimal seasonings = minimal sodium)
1 can of tuna fish
Instant Vanilla Coffee (curse my caffeine addiction!)
Bug Out Bag List: Tools
Folding Pocket Shovel (Walmart sells a cheap one for $5)
Flashlight and Headlamp
Bug Out Bag List: Clothing
1 thermal long sleeve undershirt
1 thin turtleneck
2 pairs underwear
3 pairs of socks (including 1 wool)
Bug Out Bag List: Hygiene
1 toothbrush, toothpaste
1 pack pocket-sized tissues
Homemade facewash (witch hazel + pure lavender)
Cotton pads (for using facewash – can also double as tinder)
New Items to my Bug Out Bag List
After going camping, started packing a foldable shovel, packable chainsaw, and sleeping pad. The shovel comes in handy for digging a little spot in the ground where your hips and shoulders will go as you sleep. The pocket chainsaw was good on trees with a diameter of 5″ or less – but a little awkward to use, since you have to keep the log from rotating by putting it between your legs.
The sleeping pad seems like an excessive, “creature comfort” type item, until you spend the whole night freezing because the ground is so cold, even if you’re wearing multiple layers!
Still to Add
This is a pretty good self-sufficient list, in my experience camping. The only thing I’d like to add is a larger pot/kettle to boil a larger quantity of water.
I just read an article about adding an old school pencil sharpener to your bug out kit – for when you’re out of tinder or firestarters, just sharpen some sticks and use the shavings. Genius.
And….I’m still undecided on the Sterno. It’s convenient and fantastic – but you do have to haul around fuel for it, which adds considerable weight pretty quickly. Throwing a grill on the fire is just as easy.
Room for Improvement
I’m still seeking foods that aren’t so sodium-heavy, since I might not always be near a rushing stream. However, salt is a great natural preservative, allowing food to keep longer.
What do you think of my bug out bag packing list? What survival gear would you add?