Bug Out Bag: Getting Started

First Step: The Bug Out BagBug Out Bag

My Bug Out Bag (BOB) is my go to survival resource. Surviving disasters such as an earthquake in California may depend on a well stocked Bug Out Bag. When a quake strikes, you don’t have a lot of time to react.  Earthquakes can sever utility lines or topple buildings. You may find yourself without water or power for weeks. Your home could burn to the ground. Where would you go? What would you do? Some residents of Napa, California faced this very scenario just last week!

Take the Bull by the Horns

Surviving the initial trauma of a disaster is often out of your control. However, the way you respond BEFORE the disaster strikes and during the AFTERMATH, reduces your reliance on fate alone. Your ability to survive is directly proportional to your level of preparedness. I remember when I first started prepping. It was hard to know where to start. I felt like I would be up the proverbial creek if the SHTF tomorrow. That’s when I decided that a Bug Out Bag (72-Hour Emergency Kit) was at the top of my prepping priority list.

Prioritizing Survival Needs

You might be asking, “What’s most important?” The relative importance of your BOB’s contents should follow the Survival Essentials (shelter, water, fire, and food). These items are crucial for survival in the days following a catastrophe.

Bug Out Bag Contents

  • Temporary Shelter – Have the tools and know how to construct
  • Water – Including collection & purification
  • Fire starting materials
  • Food
  • Medical Kit
  • Communications Gear – Cell Phone, Weather Radio, etc.
  • Self-Defense Considerations
  • Other Tools & Equipment – Flashlights, Rope, Multi-Tool, etc.
  • Basic hygiene items


Bottom line up front. I keep my BOB in a grab-and-go location in my home. It’s impractical for most families to keep fully stocked Bug Out Bags in their vehicles. It is impractical to have them ready at a moment’s notice. It’s certainly not practical for mine. The best I can do is keep my personal survival kit in my pocket. With my survival kit and a little wit and skill I hope to make it back to my first rendezvous point where my Bug Out Bag will be waiting with my wife and kids.

Bugging Out is a Last Resort

A BOB is intended as a temporary survival measure. It is not a long-term survival strategy. It’s a last resort. Keep in mind, if you are forced to leave your home or retreat, you have essentially made yourself a refugee! This should be the last thing you want during a SHTF situation or worse, TEOTWAWKI. Be ready for hard times and have a solid bug-out plan in case “Murphy” comes knocking!

What Comes Next?

A BOB will keep you alive for a few days or a couple of weeks at best (if you have some skills and training)…then what? You better have a plan to obtain your basic survival needs once the supplies in your Bug Out Bag are exhausted. This is where skills really come into play. If you haven’t invested some time and energy to learn some Survival Tactics, NOW is the time! I have said it before and I’ll say it again…Survival skills and knowledge always trump gear!

For a personal consultation on building your own Bug Out Bag, contact us here.

About the Author

Greg B. is the president of Survival Tactics NOW! providing professional consultation in survival planning and emergency preparedness. He is an ardent outdoorsman and wilderness survival enthusiast.