2018 Survival Bug Out Bag Guide

The year is 2018. Do you know where your bug out bag is? If you don’t have one it’s time to take the first step. The bug out bag is the entry point that gets most people started on the path to prepping. Getting together a solid bug out bag is a super actionable step you can take to ensure your safety in the event of meltdown. A bug out bag secures you with the necessary resources to withstand and survive power outages, automobile breakdowns, civil unrest, and disruptions within the municipal systems which keep society civilized.

Your bug out bag is your main companion and great thought must be put into making something useful.

Let’s start with some basics.



The backpack is perhaps the most crucial aspect to the bug out bag. Obviously, it holds all of your gear. There are certain elements which make a bug out bag great.

A good bug out bag is:

  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Big enough to stow all your gear (30L+)
  • Comfortable
  • Proper weight distribution

There are military grade backpacks and civilian varieties. The differences between these 2 are not as diverse as you’d think. Even civilian made packs can withstand the rigors of daily use. There are also best of both worlds backpacks which combine the most functional elements of both camps. The Rush 72 is the most praised pack in the survival community and for good reasons. 

I am also a big fan of the Direct Action Ghost (full review here.)

If you don’t want to waste hours on end hunting for the proper pack definitely spring for the Rush 72.

The main idea when purchasing a pack is going for durability, comfort, and adequate storage space. Good shoulder straps and a cushy back are most CRUCIAL.


Next up is proper gear. I recommend reading my SHTF gear guide. For practical purposes, the list below is more than adequate to get you started:

  • Fire making gear (matches, extra lighters)
  • Plastic baggies (waterproof your gear)
  • Black trash bags (store water, create shelter, poncho)
  • Powerful flashlight (tac lights double as self defense weapons)
  • 72 hours worth of food and water
  • Cooking kit
  • Water filter
  • Change of clothes (socks if nothing else)
  • First aid kit (Learn about the IFAK)
  • Batteries and chargers for your smart phone/electronics
  • Paracord (always useful)
  • Knife (read this)

The bulleted list above is the bare essentials. It has everything you need to secure water, make fire and shelter, and defend yourself. There’s also a few core essential items like chargers and battery packs. If there is still reception your smartphone could be your number one life saver.

The food and water are super crucial. Make sure to stow at least 72 hours worth of food and water. Having food and water when there is nothing is psychologically important to your survival, not just physically. Think about food that won’t spoil – clif bars, tuna packets, dried fruit, nuts, and peanut butter are all very good choices. Mountain House has some tasty options. Add hot water and you have yourself a tasty feast.

Also consider an emergency radio system like a Kaito radio. These devices tap directly into the NOAA emergency stations so you can stay up to date with what’s going on. They can be solar, AC, Battery, and hand crank powered. There’s also a powerful flashlight built in and you can charge your phone via USB. Ultra versatile for those times when the power is out.

Final thoughts

Putting together a bug out bag is not rocket science. Knowing how to use the gear is much more difficult. Your first step is making sure you are prepared with the proper gear. The second step is securing the knowledge required to act on your feet and use the gear properly. That only comes with practice my friend.

Thanks for reading.

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