Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Emergency Preparations

Post Pictures of Your Bug Out Bags

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The Professor:
Okay, so I combined an earlier post in another thread with the photos for this one.

Before I go into an extremely lengthy discourse, I do want to make a few caveats and explanations.

I never have liked the term "Bug-Out Bag."  It presupposes that such an assortment of equipment and supplies will only be used during an evacuation.

A long time ago, I coined the term "Personal Emergency Resource Kit (or PERK)."  Why?  Because I wholeheartedly believe that this small kit is the FIRST and MOST IMPORTANT assembly of stuff anyone interested in preparedness should put together.

The motivation behind a PERK is not as a collection of stuff to run away, but to survive under any situation.   It is arranged in such a matter as to be able to move it from where you are to where you want to go, if that move results in a greater chance of survival.  You do not have to be a subscriber to the "run away" mindset to take advantage of a PERK.  It is the most basic assembly of survival items you should ever have.  Each and every member of a family should have one of these kits.  From the youngest to the oldest, a PERK should be assembled and ready to go. . .or stay.  All of the items contained in a PERK can be used if you stay at home, are forced to leave by car, or can be carried on foot.

Now, a PERK has certain requirements:

A PERK must provide you with total support of all your needs for 24 hours, while giving you the tools and equipment to provide for yourself almost indefinitely (this is not a WELFARE kit, you are expected to contribute time and effort to your own support).

Personally, my own requirements are as such :

First, a PERK must provide you with 24 hours' supply of water, while providing you with AT LEAST 2 weeks' worth of the ability to procure and filter potable water.

Second,  a PERK must provide you with a MINIMUM of 1 week's worth of food and provide you with the ability to obtain and prepare food indefinitely.

Third, a PERK must provide you with minimal shelter, suitable for your average foreseeable weather conditions and provide you with the tools to make more durable, or even semi-permanent/permanent shelter.

Finally, the entire package must be man- (or woman-) portable under the worst conditions.  If I can take my truck, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will. But, if I am forced to leave my home, then my PERK will be taken with me.

Now, on to the contents:

Basic Spring through Fall Personal Emergency Resource Kit

Water :

1-gallon water in containers seperate from PERK for easy rotation
2 or 3 durable water containers (canteens, water bladders) for use in rough conditions
6 bottles Polar Pur Iodine tablets
1 Mechanical water filter w/ spare filter


6 MRE's, removed from their packaging and put into Slide-Lock bags. This should cover me for 3 days.
1- 1qt Nalgene container with Minute Rice
1 - 1qt Nalgene container with Acine di Pepe Pasta
1 - 1qt Nalgene container with Idaho REAL Mashed Potatoes (this exact brand name)
1 - bag or bottle with various flavorings (Beef, vegetable, pork or chicken bouillion.  various dried soups, etc.).

Cooking Utensils :
1 - Stainless steel cup or military canteen cup (camper's pot will suffice)
1 - Stainless spoon
1 - Stainless fork
1 - Small cleaning kit (Brillo pad, small sponge, tiny bottle of dishsoap)
1 - Esbit Stove or "Tommy Cooker" with spare solid fuel tabs/blocks

Shelter :
1 - Heavy Duty Space Blanket (not the flimsy one)
1 - Ecotat Survival Shelter
4 - Tent pegs appropriate for your environment (spikes if good, or rocky soil, stakes or "flats" if sandy)
4 - 18-24" Bungee cords
1 - Hammock
1 - Bivy Sack w/ Thinsulate Poncho Liner

Clothing :
(Note : 1 set should be inside PERK, 2nd should be in small bag outside PERK)
2 - Complete sets of DURABLE clothing appropriate for climate.
    * Each set consists of :
      1- Pair Pants
      1- Long Sleeve Shirt
      1- T-shirt
      1- Pr. Sliding shorts
      4- Pr. Socks
      1- Pr. Quality Leather Gloves
      1- Hat
      1- Pr. Inexpensive, UV-tinted Safety Glasses

Hygiene :
1 - Hand-sized towel
1 - Washcloth
2 - Bars, Unscented soap (Do NOT use scented)
1 - Bar, shaving soap
1 - Razor with additional heads
1 - "Unbreakable" mirror
1 - Toothbrush
1 - Tube, Toothpaste
1 - Microfiber towel (buy a Sham-Wow and make Finch happy)
1 - Roll, Floss
1 - Pr. Tweezers

Tools :

1 - Cold Steel "Spetsnaz" shovel
1 - Busse Steelheart sheath knife with Sheath & Sharpening Stone
1 - Leatherman Wave Tool
1 - Gransfors Bruks Small forest axe (19" hickory handle, 3 1/4" face and 1 1/2 lb head)

First Aid Kit
2 - Triangular Bandages
1 - Box Assorted Bandaids (Preferably waterproof and flexible)
8 - 4" x 4" Gauze Pads
1 - Magnifying Glass (A plastic Fresnel Lens is perfect)
10 - Safety Pins
1 - Roll of Moleskin
1 - Bottle Tylenol (50 count)
1 - Bottle Multi-Vitamins (50 Count)
1 - Thermometer
2 - 2" x 6' Ace Bandages
2 - Rolls, Surgical Tape
8 -  Sutures, General Purpose
1 - Tube, Triple Antibiotic cream
1 - Bottle, Pepto-Bismol Tablets
1 - SAM Splint
1 - Lip Balm
3 - Pr, Latex Gloves
1 - Pr. EMT Shears
10 - Butterfly Closures
5 - Ammonia Inhalants
10 - Sudafed (or equivalent)
10 - Cough Suppressant
10 - Tablets, Anti-Diarrheal
10 - Tablets, Laxative

1 - MiniMag Flashlight (If you can find a red lens cover, get it)
100' - 550 cord
1 - Gerber StrikeForce fire starter
100 - Waterproof matches
1 - 8-hour candle
1 - Set of maps of your area (Go to camping store and buy MapSaf to waterproof them (or use Thompsons Water Seal))
1 - Luminous dial Military Compass
1 - Sewing Kit, (spare buttons, heavy duty needles and thread, patching material)
1 - Fishing Kit in 35mm film cannister (monofilament line, hooks, small sinkers, flies, spoons/spinners)
1 - Tube Sunblock
2 - Bottles Bug repellent (use only manual pump-type, not pressurized)
1 - Wallet with extra Identification
5 - Large Trash bags, Industrial-grade (the heaviest-duty you can find).
2 - Rolls, Quarters
$100 in cash, small bills preferred.

All of this goes into an appropriately-sized backpack.  Preferably, this is an internal-framed pack, especially in Winter.  The internal frame pack allows you to rest the kit comfortably on your back, keeping both hands free.  It pulls the equipment close to your back and reduces the possibility of the load shifting while you are moving around . . .perhaps while attempting to negotiate dangerous rubble.  Currently, I'm experimenting with a frameless pack for the Spring through Fall kit.

Finally, you should sit down and make up a small notebook with all the names, addresses and telephone numbers (home, work, cellphone, fax, etc.) of everyone you know both in, and out of, your area.  You should include EVERYONE, including your bank manager, insurance agent, the toll-free number for your water, electricity, phone, and all other services.  One thing you can do is enter this into your favorite Word Processing program and print it out on that Waterproof outdoor paper, punch holes in it and put it in a small binder. Remember to get them notarized, especially important papers and identity documentation and put in a rugged, waterproof pouch.

I do have two arrangements for a PERK.  Each is dedicated to a particular season.  I only use all this gear when I refit for Cold Weather and I put this into an original Lowe-Alpine CFP-90 pack.  During the warmer months, I remove the C/W gear and put it into one of the larger "3-day"  packs, like you see above.

Additionally, I have one full set of clothing (underwear, T-shirt, socks, pants, shirt, hat, gloves and boots) in a small duffel bag which sits next to the PERK at home. I also have one of these for myself, my wife and kid in each vehicle with our smaller Get-home kits.

This is because I may not be in an "acceptable" set of clothes when disaster strikes, and may not have the time to immediately change clothes.  For all I know, I might be in the shower when the train carrying toxic chemicals goes off the tracks and I may have to evacuate my soapy self while trying to outrun the deadly chemical cloud wafting down my street.  I can attach the small duffel bag to the pack and throw the ruck on my back and run down the street (or get in my truck) stark nekkid.

However, this gives me a kit that I can use anywhere, under practically any circumstance and covers the basics of what it takes to survive.  With this kit, I can survive 24 hours without any support,

Just some thoughts, hope they help.



This is the bag I keep behind the seat of the truck. I'm not in the same place from day to day, so I need to be flexible in a SHTF scenario. Some items change with the seasons, but the core pretty much remains the same.
Map & Compass
First Aid Kit
Water Bottle
Iodine 2%
Esbit Stove w/ fuel tabs
Emergency Blanket
50' para cord
Waterproof Matches
Magnesium Firestarter
Shortwave Radio (Wind-up)
Flashlight w/ extra batts & bulb
Leather Gloves w/ wool liners
Bug Wipes
Hand Sanitizer
Ka-bar Knife
Tin Foil
Duct Tape
Wool Hat
Stainless Steel Cup
Extra Clothes esp Socks
Non Perishible Food

Here's the closest picture to my current set up.  My BOB is constantly evolving (improving I hope).  A couple disclaimers:

1. I don't carry my sword or shotgun with my BOB, they mostly stay secured, but I included them as something that should be near-enough if needed.  Sidearms are on my body at all times (w/ CWP).
2. At the time of the picture, I didn't have my water or food (a few MREs) laid out, even though they are now inside the bag itself.
3. Also not pictured is: 100ft 550 cord, 5 piece mess kit, canteen w/ canteen cup, change of clothing and probably a few other things I can't recall right now.
4. I've since removed the following as they were deemed unnecessary: rubber mallet, SWD goggles, and probably a few other things.
5. This means I don't currently have it but will soon (within the week)

Here's my checklist: (in no particular order)

Updated requirements as of 7/4/09

Food and water
 Iodine tablets
 Collapsible (empty) water bags or containers
 Ready-to-eat meals (MRE), or high-energy foods such as chocolate or emergency food bars.
 Water filter
 Metal container to boil water
 Mess kit
 Fishing line, fish hooks, lures, and split shot leads
 Snare wire

 Hot weather clothing (1ea. shorts, shirt, socks, underwear)
 Cold weather clothing (1ea. pants, long-sleeve shirt, socks, underwear)
 Wet weather gear (other than emergency poncho)
 4 extra pairs socks, underwear
 Wide brimmed hat
 Gloves (heavy duty)
 G-Shock solar powered watch

Shelter / Warmth
 Sleeping bag
 Reflective aluminum Space blanket to retain body heat
 Lightweight emergency poncho for protection against rain
 Mosquito net
 Magnifying glass, magnesium, or tinder for fire-starting
 Magnesium Flint and Saw Striker
 Waterproof matches or lighter
 Dark-colored shoe polish (black)
 Cable saw for cutting wood (either for constructing a shelter or for a fire)
Health and First Aid
 Hand sanitizer
 Basic hygiene gear (soap, toilet paper, travel toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shaving kit, etc...)
 First aid kit with bandages, sterile pads and gauze, first aid tape, tweezers, surgical razor, disinfectant pads, oxytetracycline tablets (for diarrhea or infection) and aspirin
 Insect repellent
 Lip balm

Communications / Signaling
 Flares (Three fires in a triangle is the international distress signal)
 Cell phone w/ backup (different carrier)
 Crank-style emergency weather radio (w/ LED lights)

Multipurpose / Miscellaneous
  Hatchet with sheath
  Recon wrap
 Assorted bungee cords
 Leatherman style multi tool
 Sharpening stone
 Folding saw or cable saw
 Heavy-duty thread and needle
 Plastic bags / trash bags
 Heavy-duty aluminum foil
 100ft "550" parachute cord
 Reflective belt
 "D" clip
 Pace counter
 Duct tape (or 50mph tape) off roll on items such as flashlight

Self-defense / Protection / Hunting
  Handgun w/ 100 rounds additional ammunition and field cleaning kit
  Rifle or shotgun w/ 100 rounds additional ammunition and field cleaning kit
  Knife or other blade (K-Bar) w/ sharpening stone
  Less-than-lethal weapon (i.e. pepper spray, stun gun, etc…)

 I'm not posting these details

Important Documents / Emergency Plan
 Photo copies of important documents (passport, ID, etc.)
 Written emergency plan (SOP, bug out locations, maps, rally points, SPINS)
 Dog tags

Signaling, navigation and reference
 Candles, Torch (flashlight), or glow sticks
 Surveyor's orange tape (for marking location for rescuers)
 Pen and paper (for leaving notes to rescuers about direction of travel)
 Whistle, Signal Mirror, and/or smoke or illumination flares for signaling
 Compass, GPS navigation equipment
 Maps of the region
 Survival manual

I don't plan on Bugging Out, but Bugging In.  However, the liklihood of being away from home and needing to get back is a scenario I look at.  I believe in Car Kits or Get Home Kits.  Here is what I built:

Vtac 24 Hour Rush pack. By far the best pack I have ever had my hands on. Wish I could get rid of the others and put the $$$ into a few more of thes. The attached pouches are a TAG Pouch (left) and a Vtac water bottle pouch. Each holds at least two water bottles, I can jam a third in one. One also has a couple of water pouches. Two red glow sticks in the MOLLE.

Side pic. I have two carabiners attached, one to each side. These are to hold more gear from the trunk if I have to ditch the car, including a large medical bag.

There are more interior pockets/storage areas then I know what to do with. A set of some superdurable plastic utensils I got at Sportsman's Warehouse. I've seen them in every camping store I've been to. A Gerber boot knife I bought in the 80's. Some gum, two more glowsticks, several candles and some matches.

Another view of the outer pocket. A roll of electrical tape, a small "leatherman", another folder knife, some straps and paracord. Again, more room then I know what to do with. It's great!

Two external pockets near the top on the outside. Currently empty but wanted to show them. They are lined with a soft material that you could put iPods, digital cameras etc. in without scratching the screens.

Main compartment.

Main compartment open. Zippered pockets on the right. We will come back to those later. Main compartment is huge. Two Mountain House pouches, one MRE entree (Beef and Mushrooms). Lots of room for more stuff.

Top mesh/zippered pocket has medical supplies, gauze, bandages, one dose Zicam, hand sanitizer, neosporin tube, sinus caplets.
Bottom has eye mositurizing drops, small bottle Excederin Migraine, water purification tablets, dental floss, baby wipes, rain poncho.

Under the MH pouches and MRE are two Mainstay Calorie bars.

Under all the food is another zipper pouch and a compression pocket. There is another lined pocket for iPod's, Blackberry, etc. The pocket hangs down and is the small pocket at the left of the mesh. In the mesh I have 2 MRE dairyshakes (choc.), 2 beverage base (grape) and an MRE sports bar.

The compression pocket has a pair of BDU pants, two pair socks, and a t-shirt.

In the back is a hydration system and pouch. I have not bothered checking the ounces it will hold.

I have a bunch of work gear from the trunk that would be coming with me as well.


--- Quote from: Freshman Preppy on August 14, 2009, 05:41:44 PM ---Suggestion:
I like having duct tape BUT I don't want to carry a whole role.   Solution:  I took a promotional/blank credit card that comes in junk mail (a hotel key card would do) and I wrapped about 15 feet of duct tape around it.  It makes a pack about the size of a deck of cards. 

--- End quote ---

I was always taught in the military to put duct tape around items you would already carry.  I used to put it around the canteen I carried without the canteen cup, but another idea is anything in a plastic bag/container as it will: waterproof it, reinforce the container and reduce the space needed for the tape.  :-)


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