Bug Out Supplies

When an emergency requires the immediate exodus from your home, bug out supplies that are quickly accessible, can mean the difference between life and death. A bugout bag contains supplies that make the hours and days following a disaster more comfortable, as well as affording you the time to find a safe haven, if one is available.

The bag is also commonly referred to as "Get Out of Dodge Bag" abbreviated GOOD bag or Bug Out Bag also called BOB. "Bail-out bags” the emergency kits early aviators carried may be the origin of the term "bug out bag." Those operating military planes always packed such a bag when engaged in potentially dangerous missions.

Today, a GOOD bag has bugout supplies that assist in surviving any emergency, from a tornado to a nuclear or biological weapons attack. A go bag can be a large backpack with many pockets, a duffel bag or other portable container that is preferably waterproof and able to withstand harsh conditions.

Comprehensive List of Bug Out Supplies

Food and Cooking Devices

Food included in a BOB should be non-perishable, ready to eat such as:

  • Meal bars rich in protein and vitamins
  • Dried or dehydrated foods including fruits, vegetables and meats
  • Peanut butter
  • Instant coffee, tea and soup
  • Powdered drinks to prevent dehydration
  • Crackers
  • Salt and pepper
  • Meals that are "ready to eat" or MRE, such as the kind given to military personnel in war situations
  • Water filteration device, water purification tablets and bleach
  • Sterno stove
  • Waterproof lighters and matches
  • Candles

Survival tools are a necessary component of bug out supplies:

  • Small screwdrivers, both flat-head and Philips-head
  • Hand operated can opener
  • Pocket knife
  • Multi-purpose knife
  • Small hammer and hatchet
  • Flashlight
  • Glow sticks
  • Collapsible shovel
  • Duct tape
  • Extra batteries
  • Small trash bags

Clothing Checklist for a Bug Out Bag

Having a change of warm, dry clothing prevents hypothermia from occurring during cold conditions following an emergency situation.

  • Enough clothing to satisfy at least two changes including pants, shirts, undergarments
  • Extra cotton or wool socks
  • Hooded sweatshirt
  • Water-resistant jacket or poncho
  • Extra pair of shoes or boots
  • Both work and winter gloves depending on climate

Bug Out Supplies for Survival Living

A disaster that displaces people possibly means living without the shelter of a regular home. A good bug out bag should contain these items necessary to construct decent living quarters that can withstand most environmental conditions:

  • Light-weight tent
  • Polyester or sturdy plastic tarp
  • Rope
  • Sleeping bag
  • Wool blanket or insulated space blanket
  • Waterproof ground cloth or small flexible carpet

First Aid Bug Out Supplies

Next to food, first aid supplies are vital to enhancing the chance of survival following a disaster:

  • Band-aids, medical tape, gauze and cotton balls
  • Antibacterial ointment such as Neosporin
  • Ibuprofen or Tylenol tablets
  • Anti-diarrhea liquids
  • Anti-nausea medication such as Dramamine
  • Insect repellant and sunscreen
  • Hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol
  • Small pair of scissors and tweezers
  • Ace bandages
  • Shoelaces to use as tourniquets and safety pins to fasten bandages
  • One month supply of prescription medications

Individuals suffering from medication or food allergies, diabetes or other health conditions, which physicians or nurses need to know should also wear alert bracelets containing this information.

Bug Out Vehicle

A bug out vehicle is a vehicle or other transportation device meant to take someone away as quickly as possible from a disaster situation. Bug out vehicles can be anything from thirty-year-old vehicles to bicycles to hand trailers carrying bug out supplies that are manually pulled either by an animal or a human. Your supplies are only useful if you can take them with you, so a good bug out vehicle is needed. Qualities of a good vehicle include:

  • Capable of performing off-road maneuvering without constantly needing maintenance.

  • Contain enough cargo space to pack necessary bugout supplies as well as people.

  • Pre-1981 vehicles do not have a reliable VIN or vehicle identification number and you have greater anonymity with these vehicles. In addition, engine repairs tend to be mechanical and easier to fix than electronic components of newer vehicles, making them almost EMP-proof.

  • Preferably, a low-key colored transport is easier to hide or camouflage until the crisis has abated. Colors such as black, gray, green, dark blue or brown work well when anonymity is needed during an emergency.

  • If possible, a newer bug out vehicle should run on diesel fuel. This type of fuel is more efficient than gasoline and vehicles using diesel usually require less maintenance.

In the event a solar electromagnetic pulse (EMP) occurs or nuclear device is detonated, the resulting consequence will be complete power failure and bicycles, carts or hand trailers might be alternative options to transport supplies.

Depending on the size of the group bugging out, backpacks or even small wagons can transport the bug out supplies. Always have a go bag and bug out vehicle ready to grab and go to accommodate any disaster situation.

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