7 Categories of Gear that are in Every Good Bug out Bag

Guy Buggin Out in the City

The fact that you are reading this means you are new to being a survivalist. And you are confused as to what types of gear you must have in your bug out bag (BOB). You are not alone. As you will learn from all expert survivalists, deciding what to put it there and what to leave out can be daunting.

You must also learn that your survival depends on how well or ill-equipped your go-bag is. You will still stand a better chance to make it than 99 percent of non-preppers by covering the most basic items.

A BOB should pack enough gear to help you survive for at least 3-days in an emergency. However, you can go even longer if you pack wisely. Packing means picking only the essential items you cannot survive even a day without.

 7 types of gear you must pack in your bug out bag

Guy with a bug out bag bugging out with child and dog

Clean Water

Over 70 percent of the human body is made up of water. We lose a good amount of that water daily through breath and perspiration. Saliva, urine, and stool also drain water from our bodies. Without replacement, dehydration creeps in. The situation will turn ugly when your blood volume starts to decrease. This will lead to hypovolemic shock and potential death in less than three days.

In an emergency, the need for water becomes even more pronounced. Experts recommend that each individual drink at least one liter of water per day to stay alive. Thus a BOB should carry at least 3 liters of water per person.

You can carry safe water. But you can also get more from open sources can help during an emergency situation. Thus you can pack water purification systems such as water boiler and iodine tablets. A good filtration system also is necessary. A good piece of advice is to carry water in a collapsible water bottle. Alternatively, you can carry premium quality bottled water (if you can afford). It will eliminate the need for water purification systems.

Food and Snacks

You can survive 3 days without food. But does this mean you should not pack it? By no means! Food is important because it will give you the energy you need to survive an emergency. The most preferred sources of nutrition are energy bars and backpack meals.

Backpack meals are great since you only need to add boiled water and they are ready. The fact that you can prepare them quickly and easily makes them wonderful choices. This is especially true for disastrous situations. Energy bars have high energy content to provide you with a quick burst of energy to deal with an emergency.

This does not mean you cannot prepare better and healthier meals away from home. When situation allows, just prepare usual meals. But you will have to pack energy bars and backpack meals. These will serve as fallback alternatives when you cannot prepare meals. It is also not wrong to carry some healthy snacks if there is space.

Appropriate Clothing

Most emergencies that require survival will, in most cases, find you outside your home. It is impossible to make it 3 days out in the cold without some shelter and appropriate clothing. It is always necessary to pack different types of clothing. You do not know when and where the disaster will strike. For instance, you may have to carry a rain jacket and a winter jacket.

Your choice of clothing should depend on the weather and climatic conditions. Environmental conditions in your area also matter. You must carry warm clothing to cushion you against extreme cold. You should also pack light clothes to wear in hot conditions.

Keep in mind that survival situation is not a fashion show. Therefore, be disciplined in packing your favorite outfits. Pack only the essential clothes that will help increase your chances of survival. I would recommend that you make do with just a few pairs of clothes to minimize the space needed to store them.

Among the clothes to pack include 2 pairs of socks, two shirts, and a jacket. The socks should be made of any material except cotton. Try to carry one short-sleeve shirt and one long-sleeved shirt. This will help with layering. Pack a multipurpose jacket to act both as a raincoat and a body warmer. Be sure to include some long jeans and a nice pair of boots. You may also need a bandana and a hat.

Shelter for Protection

Extreme weather conditions, criminals, and predators are all sources of danger; great reasons why you must have a shelter in your bug out bag. The shelter will protect you from the extreme environmental elements. It will also provide you with a warm and dry place to sleep.

At the basic, pack a tent (or anything of that sort) or a tarp and the means to set it up. You will also need a sleeping pad or a tarp underneath where you will sleep. Not to forget a bedroll. I would recommend a good quality sleeping bag.

Unfortunately, small bug out bags may not have enough space to organize a tent. A reliable alternative would be a one-time use space blanket. You will need to carry three space blankets to cover for the three days. A good shelter must be leak proof. It should also be spacious enough to fit your size.

First Aid Kit

Even the tiniest injury can become infected in an emergency situation. Such infection can cause serious health problems. A First Aid Kit is handy in dressing small injuries to ward off infections. For a BOB, a small First Aid Kit will suffice.

Fully equipped commercial kits are often costly. Besides, they may also carry many things you will not need. Avoid carrying unnecessary First Aid items or spending too much money. Simply build your DIY kit. This is possible as long as you can collect a few First Aid items. The major items to collect include disposable sterile gloves, sterile gauze dressings, bandages scissors, cleansing wipes, broad-spectrum antibiotics, OTC painkillers, tweezers and a thermometer.

A Weapon for Security and Safety

Criminals usually take advantage of emergency situations to loot and kill. It would be ironical to survive a major disaster only to lose your life or properties to a criminal. You may have to protect yourself from the dangerous wild animals.

In a “No Rule of Law” situation, a weapon such as a firearm may prove necessary for defense. Only in extreme conditions can you use the gun to defend yourself. The type of gun to pack in your BOB is your own prerogative. A small firearm would be better. It is concealable and easy to handle.

Besides a firearm, you could also pack a good survival knife. Most survival knives are multipurpose. Apart from being a weapon, a survival knife can help with clearing paths and camping area. It also helps in cutting ropes for making a shelter. You will need the same knife when preparing food.

A Collection of Essential Gear

We have been talking about the 7 types of gear you must have in your bug out bags. It may seem strange that I have included as one of them “a collection of essential gear”. Well, the collection refers to a number of things you cannot survive without. The list in the collection is bare minimum, but it is what you need to make it in a survival situation.

The essential gears include fire, cooking appliances, light source and survival knife. Having a lighter or matches is just one side of the coin. You must also learn the best ways to make fire. It is also important to learn how to tender the fire.

The cooking appliances to have in your BOB include a large cup or a small port. This will help in boiling water for use with dried foods and for drinking. A good alternative to making fire would be a small backpacking stove along with fuel.

Lady Bugging Out with Bag

There is no need to worry if you are new to being a survivalist. No survivalist got it right the first time with packing a bug out bag. You are in luck because of what you have learned in this resource. You can use the information to organize your BOB. Our list of 7 types of gear you must have in your bug out bag consists only of the most basic things necessary for your survival.


Guest Author
About Dan Stevenson
Dan Stevenson is an experienced survivalist and chief editor of The Survival Corps. In addition to his primary job functions, Dan Stevenson has been recognized by the survival community for his extraordinary commitment.
Shirts of Liberty

OFFGRID Survival book



    • you can go a LOT longer without food than 3 days, as in 3 weeks to 3 months, depending upon the temperature, how fat you are, how active you are. But if you’re pushing hard, in the cold, yes, your performance will start to suffer badly after just 3 days, if you’re a healthy 15% body fat. If you weigh 300 lbs and just lay around in your sleeping bag, you can easily last 3 months on your bodyfat.

      • I occasionally fast for 5 to 7 days and I always feel better at the end of the fast than when i started. The human body doesn’t NEED anywhere near the amount of food that most of us routinely eat.

  1. First aid kit, I also have some sort of flashlight or binoculars in my backpack – you never know what to expect when it gets dark out!

  2. A lot of people forget birth certificates and important paper work like that if they keep them in their homes.

  3. What you are missing is. No gas , no electric , So on. You would have to have food you didnt have to cook and water with or without filtering as you Can do that and would come down to just a water source, not your faucet. Medical and Health need more then just a First Aid kit. Protection, if there is no law it would have to be pretty bad out there like Dog eat Dog to have to shoot first to save the loved ones so on. Shelter and warmth speak for them selves as you would know what winter and summer is. You just cannt go down to the store any more and if people or someone knows you prepared that problem will be there all the time. Theres nothing left to go to town or the store for. SO, dont tell anyone!, what you are doing. If you are older like me, heading for the hills wouldnt be the first option or, you may die trying to survive. Have a plan, try to have some stocks ready, include the family on whats up and , write it down as to family to read in a panic. Im a no body of importance but you have to figure out what feels right to be ready for, If you care. Theres so much more.

  4. I keep first aid kit, survival knives, some snacks, water in my backpack these are my must-haves. Also, I have a BattlBox subscription that sends me cool gears.

  5. Honestly I would strongly suggest learning the 5 basics of survival,
    Shelter, Fire, Water, Food, & Security in that order.
    If you don’t have the material know how to improvise and build shelters that will protect you from the elements, start primitive fires, sterilize water, and hunt for food. Continue to Make improvements to your Shelter and make them more secure. Know your surroundings and what is around you at all times. A 72 hour bug out bag is set for just that and can assist you with bare essentials and help with the those five things. Most importantly are the right tools. Regards!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.