Thursday, December 6, 2012

Survival Bag

A survival bag is a backpack that contains the necessary items to survive 2-3 days after a disaster until help comes or you receive more supplies. Other names include bug-out bag and get-home bag. This post will show you what I include in my bag and give you a baseline of what should be in yours.

First of all, this is not my bug-out bag. This is more of a get-home bag because I designed this bag as a survival item when I am away from my primary shelter where a majority of my supplies are stored. Because I do not know when an incident may occur, I feel better prepared knowing I have some supplies ready to grab in the trunk of my car. I expect that my car will be useless in a panic situation so having a get-home bag in my trunk allows me to flee on foot. I assume that in my current physical state, I should be able to travel at least 10-15 miles per day. There are many unknowns which force me to lower my potential travel time. This means I need at least 2 days of supplies to reach my home if I am about 25 miles away. These supplies are the bare minimum needed to improve my chance of survival until I reach my home. I built my bag around the necessities for survival and I will order my list in this way.

Some of the items in my survival bag.


I suggest 2-4 bottles of water in your bag. This amount can be altered depending on how far you plan on being from your home. I don't carry purification tablets or filters because I believe that I will either make it home within my time frame or be dead from an attack. Either way I won't need them.


Shelter has different levels. First, your clothes are your primary protection. Most of us don't wear work clothes that could also double as hiking gear so you should have a back-up set. Have at least one extra pair of pants and shirt and 2 pairs of socks with either waterproof boots or comfortable walking shoes. I would suggest that your clothes are not camo because if everyone is in panic mode, a person in camo with a backpack will look like someone with supplies and become a target. You need to blend in as much as possible. A heavy duty rain poncho is also necessary. Plan according to the current temperatures. If you live where winters become cold, then update your bag with warmer clothes. When the seasons change, you can change what clothes are in your bag. Another tip is to pack each article of clothing into a gallon Ziploc bag and squeeze the air out before sealing the bag. Not only will this protect your clothes from getting wet, it also compacts the size.

Your next shelter is where you will be sleeping if your trip will be longer than one day. I suggest a tarp and some paracord (not shown above) because a tent and sleeping bag is way too bulky and will slow you down. There are many guides online on how to build a shelter out of a tarp. A space blanket can also help maintain your heat if the nights are cold.

Fire is the final component of shelter. Maintaining a fire throughout the night might be necessary to your survival if something happens during the cold months. Have at least 3 methods of starting a fire available. I have fire sticks, lighters, waterproof matches, and a magnesium emergency fire starter. I also carry a hand axe so that I can quickly cut up some wood for burning.


I carry canned food because it lasts longer and the packages can take a lot of punishment. Two cans of tuna, a can of baked beans, and a can of soup is enough for me to eat on the run for two days. This is a small amount of food, I know. But when looking at the bigger picture, I can live around 3 weeks without food and would rather save room in my bag for other needs. If you choose the canned food route like me, don't forget a can opener!

Everything Else

Make sure you have a good strong knife that you trust as protection from others without breaking. Being on the run for only 2-3 days, there shouldn't be any other uses for the knife other than protection. Depending on your local laws and personal feelings, a handgun stored in your bag would be a more intimidating form of protection.

A simple travel first-aid kit may also come in handy. It's better to have bandages and antiseptic than not, so add this to your bag.

Finally, a powerful LED flashlight will come in handy if traveling at night. The brighter the better because you can blind attackers and even use the shaft as a club if it is large enough.


My bag is not a one size fits all example. Your situation is different from mine so your bag may have more or less supplies. If you are a slower hiker or out of shape, you will need more supplies than me. If you are typically within 5 miles of your home, you will need less supplies. You know which adjustments to make.

Lastly, please don't forget your family! If you have children, make sure you have enough supplies for their survival as well.

So what's in your bag?


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  2. I love to hike and camp every once a month with my friends. When hiking, I always see to it that I have all the things needed in my bag. I make sure that I have the right amount of food (canned goods, stuffed bread, and candies) and bottled water. I also bring with me light sticks or flare gun for emergency use. Lastly, I make sure that I have sets of equipment for protection such as Swiss knife.

    Kisha Kitchens