There’s never been a more important time to be prepared. Luckily, building your first bug out bag has never been easier than it is today. A wide variety of products are available for those of us interested in survival and preparedness for emergencies.
Natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, floods, or earthquakes, are why an emergency kit is a necessity. Like a firearm in the home, a first aid kit, or a fire extinguisher - hopefully you'll never need to use them.
But it's best to prepare for the worst. Consider your emergency kit insurance for yourself and your family. With the ultimate bug out bag checklist below, we'll cover everything you need to be ready for whatever life throws your way.
Making Your Bug Out Bag
A bug out bag is an emergency kit you pack ahead of time if you need to flee your home at a moment’s notice. Typically it is filled with survival gear and essential items to help you weather natural disasters or other dangerous events.
Considering the effects of a survival situation or natural disaster, you’ll want to think about the type of bug out bag that you pack. UWK Cases include custom options and reliable storage for survival kits like the 822 Loadout Case.
It's obvious that a bug out bag should allow you to store and move important items - but many fail to consider that the bag should also PROTECT the items within.
Having a waterproof bug out bag will keep rain out of your stuff. In addition, waterproofing the items inside your bag will keep essential things safe from the elements. Waterproof containers can store matches, important documents, electronics, and certain foods.
To protect your limited amount of clothes, packing a poncho is helpful to keep yourself dry. Proper ponchos are made with lightweight materials that are easy to fold and put in your bag.
Remember that your survival kit will be on the move with you, so consider how you're traveling and the ease of carrying your case and bags. You might want a very secure primary hard case to keep at your camping spot or location of choice, and then a backpack that is always with you.
In a natural disaster, you’ll need to know how much you can carry for a prolonged period while on your feet. Typical bug out bags are between ten to forty pounds. Try spending a day carrying a similar weight around to see how it feels.
Be organized! In an emergency, looking through your bag and not knowing where something is can be catastrophic. Remember to place heavier items on the bottom. Knowing where your items are in the bag will help you stay organized and calm in an emergency.
Bug Out Bag Checklist
This checklist offers survival supplies essential to have in your bug out bag. Even if you never need to use this bag, it’ll give you peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared for anything. Keep these essential items in mind when packing your bug out bag.
Freshwater is an essential component of survival. Dehydration starts with thirst and ends in organ failure. Humans can survive without water for three days while factoring in age, gender, overall health, and activity level.
When you pack water try to think about expected daily consumption per person. You’ll also need water purification tablets or water filters to avoid harmful bacteria. Sturdy metal water bottles are best for protecting against contamination.
You can survive up to three weeks without food, as long as you have a good supply of water. Try to pack nonperishable foods that will last you for at least three days.
Look for military-approved food bars when packing your bug out bag. These food bars are designed to have a long shelf life. Protein bars, nuts, and jerky are the most popular foods packed in a bug out bag.
Metal cooking utensils and cookware are more durable and better for heat resistance. A can opener, metal cook pot, metal cup, portable stove, pot scrubber, and stove fuel are items that can help you turn canned food into a proper hearty meal.
You can only survive up to three minutes without clean air. Air filtration masks are a bug out bag necessity in a dust storm or tornado. You should choose an air filtration mask that regularly filters out particles to help you inhale clean air.
When you are exposed to dangerous weather, immediate shelter is crucial for survival. Stranded in the wilderness or homeless after a natural disaster is not where you want to be. Consider packing your bug out bag with items to create a temporary shelter. Obviously, you'll want to take up as little space as possible with these items.
Waterproof survival tents are made of Mylar; this stretched polyester is water-resistant and can repel heat. Sleeping bags can take up a lot of room in your bug out bag, so finding a lightweight sleeping bag is in your best interest. Restful sleep is going to be just as important as survival gear - when in survival mode you need all the energy possible.
First Aid Kit
Determining the size and weight of your first aid kit is crucial because it needs to fit in your bug out bag. Acknowledging how much room you have and how much weight you’re willing to carry will help you pack your first aid kit.
The first aid essentials include:
- Cotton balls, gauze pads, antiseptic and antibacterial wipes
Your survival gear should include personal hygiene items. It’s one of the most overlooked aspects when packing an emergency kit. Toiletries and other hygienic products will stop bacterial infections while you cannot bathe or use a restroom after a natural disaster.
Toiletry essentials include:
- Spare toothbrush
- Small toothpaste
- Toilet paper
- Wet napkins
- Hand sanitizer
Once the sun goes down, you’ll need help to navigate an area. It’s important to have multiple sources of light to use in the dark to help you see what you’re doing and where you’re going.
A flashlight is the most common and important item in your bug out bag. A flexible and durable flashlight or headlamp will be a lifesaver, so be sure to check out our range of professional lighting solutions. They are designed for some of the most challenging environments and jobs, like search and rescue and oil rig work, so you can rest easy knowing they won't break after the first knock or downpour.
Typically, AA and AAA batteries are most common for LED lights. Do not forget to pack extra batteries to power your supplies! Packing candles can help you start a fire and create light when the sun goes down.
Long sleeves and pants will keep you warm at night and protect you from the sun, bugs, and poisonous plants. Packing three days’ worth of clothes is the magic number for your emergency kit. Hats and bandanas keep sweat off your face.
Depending on the climate you live in, it’s hard to know what kind of natural disaster you’ll face. Packing multiple pairs of clothes ensures that you’ll have a dry set of clothes. Walking around in wet clothes risks hypothermia, particularly without a tangible form of shelter and heat.
Speaking of heat, it is absolutely essential to have several items to help you start a fire because, without it, you're going to struggle to survive for long.
Brand name lighters (they're a bit more expensive but more durable), strike anywhere matches, and a ferro rod to create sparks should keep you covered. If you have multiple bags, spread these items out so that if you lose one bag you don't lose all your fire-making gear.
You should also consider a separate emergency kit just for fire-starting items like dry tinder and cotton balls doused in petroleum jelly. If the area is damp you'll need reliable fuel to get fires started.
Miscellaneous Emergency Kit Items
Items for self-defense, including pepper spray, a firearm, or a hunting knife, can be used to protect yourself. You can also use knives for tools. Packing an ax is a more beneficial tool because it’s safer than packing a machete blade. In addition, the butt can double as a hammer to dig the pegs of your tent into the ground.
If you have a firearm, make sure your bag is completely waterproof as rust can strike in no time at all.
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Once you’ve checked off everything from this list, your emergency kit will be properly stocked for any event. Start preparing today so your kit is ready to go whenever you need it. We also recommend taking your survival kit out for the day; see how it feels and go through some scenarios - there may be items you can skip, or other items you'd want to add.
If you have any queries about hard cases or lights, just drop us a line - we're here to help.