Best Bug Out Bag, Essential List Of Items And Why You Need One

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Are you prepared for that unexpected disaster, which may strike and force you out of your home in a moments notice? Recently, hurricane Matthew struck the Southeast coast of the United States, and many of my friends had to leave their homes on very short notice. Some of them found themselves in dangerous situations, because they waited till the last minute to get their stuff together and leave. The need to evacuate your home could occur when other disasters strike such as tornadoes, blizzards, flooding, house fires, wildfires and many others. Therefore, it is wise to prepare the supplies you might need in a single place that you can simply grab and go in a moments notice. That’s where a bug out bag comes in!

In case you already have an idea of what you’re looking for, here are four bug out bags we’ll be taking a look at in this review.

1. Voodoo Tactical 15-9684 Mini Mojo Load Out Bag With MOLLE Webbing – if you’re looking for a larger bag to carry essentials for a whole family, this is the one for you! It is also versatile with 11 outer pockets and extremely durable and well made. Click here to go to Amazon and find the latest price and discounts.

2. Exos Bravo Tactical Assault Backpack Rucksack – this is a very well constructed bag that is ideal for hiking! It has 5 zippered compartments, which make it very handy for packing and organizing your gear. Click here to go to Amazon and find the latest price and discounts.


3. Food Insurance Premium 2-Week Go Bag – this item takes the worry out of planning. It comes supplied with 2 weeks worth of food and drink for one adult, 3 meals per day! Click here to go to Amazon and find the latest price and discounts.

4. Emergency Zone 840-2 Two Person Urban Survival Bag And Emergency Disaster Kit – this is another bug out bag that will take the worry out of planning. It looks like an ordinary backpack but comes with a 3-day supply of essentials for two people! Click here to go to Amazon and find the latest price and discounts.

To learn more about the benefits of having a bug out bag and what you need to know about preparing them, please keep reading. You will also find more details on the products mentioned above!

What Is A Bug Out Bag?

A bug out bag is a portable kit containing everything needed to survive for a period of time up to 72 hours. The key to this is portability. Bug out bags are meant to be a survival kit that you can grab and go when a disaster hits. That’s why they are also referred to as “go bags” and “grab bags”. If a hurricane or tornado are imminent, and you need to evacuate, you don’t want to waste your time getting your stuff together. Your bug out bag will be ready to go with all the essential supplies you will need for your family to make it through the next few days.

A bug out bag is a short-term survival plan during a difficult situation, where you would not have access to your basic needs. Ideally, you would have a safe place to retreat to during an evacuation. Perhaps, you have a cabin or the house of a friend or family member to escape to. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and every emergency situation doesn’t offer this opportunity. Consider a camping or hiking trip where you get lost in the woods or injured. Keeping a bug out bag with you could also be beneficial on a trip like this. Again, you never know when disaster may strike and your basic needs are out of reach!

What Do You Need To Take Into Account When Preparing Your Bug Out Bag?

When assembling a bug out bag, you would want to know how many people to prepare it for. If you’re preparing for a family, you may consider preparing multiple bug out bags or one giant bag. You will find several options below to consider. The important thing is to prepare enough supplies to meet the needs of all the members you are responsible for.

You would also want to take into account environmental considerations for your location. If you live in a hot climate, for example, your focus may be on staying cool and avoiding dehydration. How will your climate direct your focus, as you go about preparing your bug out bag?

Consider your health needs! Don’t forget to prepare medications. Also consider your skills and the time of year. Having certain skills can result in less equipment you’ll need to carry. They can also help you survive, after you have exhausted the contents of your bag if needed.

You should change the contents of your bug out bag depending on the season and likely emergency situations. In general, you would also want to switch out or at least check the contents of your bag every so often as you would with the contents of your pantry at home. The last thing you need is to find that food has spoiled or that equipment is not working.

Each person’s bag may be different, because each person’s personal needs, location and circumstances are different. You can get a lot of good ideas from exploring what other people have done!

What Needs To Go In Your Bug Out Bag?

The contents of your bug out bag need to be tailored to your needs and circumstances. There are some essential items and other items to consider.


This is probably the most important item for your bug out bag! You cannot survive for more than a few days without it. Consider adding water bottles or pouches. Iodine tablets are also a good idea, in case you need to purify water during your “bugging-out” period. You can find much information here about ways to filter and purify water, when clean water is not available to you. Here’s an excellent water filter sports bottle to also consider. It will remove sediment, chlorine and even harmful bacteria!


You will need enough food to last you and those who are with you for up to 72 hours. Food should be light weight, provide needed nutrition and have a long storage life. I include MREs (meal ready to eat) in my bag and have written a review on some popular products here. MREs take up little space in your bag and only need water to prepare. High energy nutrition bars are also excellent items to add. Take a look at these high calorie nutrition bars that can be substituted for a whole meal when in a bind.


Depending on your climate and circumstances, consider including the following items

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is a must for a bug out bag.

Other Items To Consider

  • For a makeshift shelter, you can get by with a tarp and some rope to tie it.
  • Sleeping bag
  • Small solar radio
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Fire starters and lighters
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Lightweight work gloves
  • Sewing kit
  • Compass
  • Firearms

Where Should You Store Your Bug Out Bag?

Some rule-of-thumb guidelines for storing your bug out bag

  • Keep your bag in an easily accessible spot, where you can grab it and go when you need to, for example in a closet next to the front door.
  • Keep it in a dry and cool place to keep your supplies in best working condition. Moisture and heat can be destructive for tools and will lead to quicker decay of food contents.

What Should You Look For In A Bug Out Bag?

Your bug out bag should be large enough to fit all your survival gear. It should be enough for you and your family, unless you will prepare more than one bag. We’ll take a look at several bug out bags below that may fit your needs. Since this bag will be used during emergency situations, you definitely want something high quality. It must be rugged enough to last through difficult weather conditions and abuse in the wild. Some bug out bags come already stocked with basic survival gear. We will also review some of those options below.

What Are Some Great Bug Out Bags?

1. Food Insurance Premium 2-Week Go Bag

This bag is already stocked with a 2 week food supply for one adult (3 meals per day). Like the MREs mentioned earlier, the meals only require water to prepare. They have a shelf-life of 7-10 years. This 2500+ cubic inch bug out bag is rugged, water resistant and also contains the following:

Click here to check the Food Insurance Premium 2-Week Go Bag at Amazon

2. Emergency Zone 840-2 Two Person Urban Survival Bag And Emergency Disaster Kit

Here’s another bug out bag with enough supplies for 2 people for 72 hours or for 1 person for 144 hours. Emergency Zone advertises this as a bug out bag which will not draw attention to the fact that you’re carrying emergency supplies. It looks like an ordinary backpack without even a label to attract attention, but the kit inside is filled with the following supplies:

  • Radio, flashlight, charger
  • Emergency guide
  • Weather protection with 2 reflective sleeping bags, 2 emergency ponchos, a tube tent and 2 hand warmers
  • Food bars and water pouches
  • Water purification supplies (folding 1L water container and water purification powder)
  • First aid kit including 2 N95 masks
  • Hygiene and sanitation supplies including toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap and toilet paper
  • A small sewing kit
  • Other items include 2 glow sticks, duct tape, rope a multitool knife and a can opener

This bug out bag is another great choice, if you want something ready to go. It comes with all the essential supplies and is great to store at home or keep with you on the go in your car or work place. It is also assembled in the USA.

Click here to check the Two Person Urban Survival Bag And Emergency Disaster Kit at Amazon.

3. Exos Bravo Tactical Assault Backpack Rucksack

This bag is great as a bug out bag or for hiking, camping or as a regular backpack. It is MOLLE equipped, which means you can attach more MOLLE-compatible pouches and accessories. MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment and describes a system initially developed by the military for load-bearing equipment and backpacks. If something is MOLLE-compatible, it will attach to the nylon-strapped webbing you see on the surface of this bag. The webbing is stitched horizontally with 1-inch gaps. This creates mounting straps for other devices to be attached.

This bag has 5 zippered compartments providing much organizing space for tools and gears and with a total capacity of over 2000 cubic inches. The rear compartment has an output for a drink tube, so it’s ideal for a water bladder, but it can also be used to carry a laptop or something else.

It is very well constructed and made of high quality materials. The outer material is durable 600D polyester with extra reinforcement at the seams. It is therefore very durable and should last a long time! In a nutshell, this is a versatile and durable backpack that can be extended with additional MOLLE-compatible pouches. It would make a great bug out bag!

Click here to check the Exos Bravo Tactical Assault Backpack Rucksack at Amazon.

4. Voodoo Tactical 15-9684 Mini Mojo Load Out Bag With MOLLE Webbing

The Voodoo Tactical Mini Mojo may be the perefect bug out bag for a family. It is huge (31″ x 15.5″ x 14″) with 11 outer pockets. Each pocket is at least 5 inches deep making a lot of room for organizing and packing your gear. You can also add additional MOLLE pouches (check here and here) due to the webbing. With this bag, you would be able to pack everything you might need, including food, clothing, water, firearms, cookware and more! It is heavy duty and water resistant and can support heavy loads with little wear over time.

The bag is very versatile due to its size, use of excellent materials and its many compartments. It has shoulder straps and a sturdy base providing more versatility to use it as a backpack or a travel bag that won’t sag when loaded. Keep one as a bug out bag and get another one for travel or as a gym bag or to use for camping and hunting gear. This is an awesome bag!

Click here to check the Voodoo Tactical 15-9684 Mini Mojo Load Out Bag With MOLLE Webbing at Amazon.

My Pick

The Voodoo Tactical Mini Mojo is the most impressive bug out bag I have looked at and has great reviews on Amazon. It is the perfect size for my family – one bag for a whole family packed with the essentials ready to go. Furthermore, it is so versatile that I would get a second bag to use for travel and family outings. It is high quality made with excellent materials, rugged and large enough to carry larger items like cookware and hunting equipment.

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12 thoughts on “Best Bug Out Bag, Essential List Of Items And Why You Need One

  1. Lawnaholic

    Well, that Voodoo tactical bag is pretty sweet! I’m big on organization and I think it would definitely be helpful to make sure everything is separated.

    With it being water resistant, is there any length of time that it can be submerged?

    1. Admin Post author

      From what I have seen, I don’t think so. It is fairly water resistant, being tight woven and made with durable cordura fabric; but even so, due to the many zippers and pouches, it may not provide enough protection for the contents even in a heavy rainfall. I would take extra precautions to protect your possessions from water damage, perhaps placing certain items in plastic bags.

  2. Bob

    I live in California and I have a bag in my car. You never know when the earthquake is going to hit. Your article gave me a some good ideas of things that I’m missing. Like clothing!

    You brought up an interesting point in there. I never really thought of disguising my bag so people would know what was. Think that might be a real big issue?

    What kind of tools would you recommend carrying or have on hand?

    1. Admin Post author

      Hi Bob,
      I don’t think it is generally a big issue, but during an emergency there may be a greater risk for theft. It makes sense to avoid attracting attention, as your bag may contain valuable possessions, including jewelry and cash.

      As far as tools to keep on hand, I think this is mostly dependent on your needs and skills. Even so, there are some that are must haves. One of these, in my opinion, is a tactical flashlight. I will be posting an article about tactical flashlights soon and will link to it here. They not only provide a great, efficient source of light, but the brightness, design and features of a tactical flashlight also make it a great self-defense tool!

  3. Linda

    Very interesting post. Something to think about. You gave a good list of things that would be needed in
    case of that emergency. Most of us do not give this the time or thought that we need to.
    Thank you for giving us an idea on what we should do to prepare for that emergency.

    1. Admin Post author

      I agree. I hope the information on this website will encourage readers to give more thought to preparedness and take action both for themselves and their families. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  4. Elizabeth Hanson

    I really appreciate this post. I live in CA. Three years ago we found our house in the middle of a very big fire. At 7 am I could smell the smoke. I called 911 and they assured me that the fire was not hear my house. By 8:30 the smoke was getting worse and worse so I decided to leave with my kids even though we were not being evacuated. By 8:50 there were 6 foot high flames coming down the hill which was only about 2 football fields away. Honestly it took a lot for me to get three kids out and 1 cat and 1 dog without panacking. The stupid thing is that I had bug out bags in the closet right next to the front door. I got everyone out and I forgot the bags. I felt so dumb. The only good thing is that it was just a fire in our area so we could get what we needed easily from Target. This taught me that you must have your bug out bags in an easy place you will remember them.

    I love your suggestions. We are a family of 5, however. Is there a family bug out bag that you recommend? Or a kid sized bug out bag that people under 10 can easily carry on their own?

    1. Admin Post author

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Thanks for sharing your experience! I’m glad you were able to get your family out safely and couldn’t agree more about having an easy place to remember for you bug out bags. Discussing the emergency plan with your family on a regular basis will also help (depending on the ages of your children), when the time comes for action. The Voodoo Tactical Mini Mojo is a pretty large bag and may be sufficient for your whole family. There are larger bags also, like this Voodoo Tactical Mojo Load-Out Bag On Wheels . You could also pack a regular kid’s backpack, something small enough for your children to carry. I think this is a very good idea, along with involving them in the preparedness planning. Having their own dedicated bag that they’re responsible for will give them a sense of power and being part of the team. Thanks again for your comment!

  5. Myles

    Very thorough list of items to have “just in case”. Because we all know that when the SHTF, it will be too late. Love the solar radio idea, and all the bells and whistles that come with them. Now i just need to make a box to protect electronics from an EMF or solar burst. I’m glad I came across your site!


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