The concept behind a bug out bag is that you fill it with all of the gear you might need just in case a crisis should arise. The idea is that in an emergency situation, you might not have enough time to gather all of the items you’ll want to take with you, but instead, you can simply grab the bag and go on a moment’s notice. Most people stock their bug out bags with equipment that they hope they’ll never have to use, but will be happy to have on hand should a disaster strike. Those pieces of gear are typically durable, versatile, and extremely useful when things take a turn for the worse, providing functionality that could potentially be lifesaving.
1. Tactical Rush72 Backpack 55L.
You can’t have a bug out bag if you don’t have the right bag, and 5.11 Tactical makes some of the best for use in military, wilderness, and survival situations. The Rush72 is a 55-liter backpack that offers plenty of storage space, numerous organizational pockets, well-padded shoulder straps, and a wrap-around MOLLE system for adding accessories. The pack is made of durable, water-resistant 1000D nylon, which makes it well-equipped to survive in difficult conditions.
2. Leatherman Wave+ Multitool.
Lightweight, easy to carry, and packing plenty of functionality, the perfect multi-tool could be your new best friend out on the trail or in a post-post-disaster environment. Leatherman makes some of the best multi-tools on the planet, with the Wave+ ranking amongst its perennial best sellers. This incredibly durable and dependable product features 18 individual tools, all neatly integrated into an ergonomically designed package.
3. Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit.
One of the essentials of any survival situation is a good a first aid kit to help mend wounds and treat serious injuries at a time when professional medical care might be hard to come by. There are a lot of first aid kits on the market to choose from, but not all of them provide the necessary supplies you might need in the event of a disaster.
4. UCO Stormproof Match Kit.
Being able to start a fire can be an instrumental part of surviving in the outdoors for an extended period of time. The problem is, if you find yourself in a wet environment, it can take a while to get a blaze going even with the proper tools. Thankfully, UCO Stormproof Matches exist to help make that process much simpler. These matches are wind and rain-proof to the point that they’ll light up even in a heavy downpour.
5. SOL Escape Pro Bivvy.
When you need a little extra warmth and a place to escape the elements, but don’t have a full-sized tent or other camp shelter at your disposal, the SOL ( which stands for “Survive Outdoors Longer”) Escape Pro Bivvy is a worthy alternative. This bivvy sack can be used on its own when temperatures aren’t particularly low, or in conjunction with a traditional sleeping bag to provide additional warmth in cold weather conditions.
6. MSR Trail Base Water Filter Kit.
Finding clean drinking water can be a serious challenge while traveling in the back country or immediately following a major disaster. That’s why every bug out bag needs a good filtration system and MSR’s Trail Base Water Filter Kit is one of the most versatile around. Not only does the kit come with the company’s lightweight and effective TrailShot microfilter, but it also includes a larger gravity filter for use at the campsite too. This allows you to create plenty of potable water both on the go and while stopped for the night.
7. Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radios.
Staying in communication with friends and family during an emergency situation can be a real challenge, especially if you’re traveling in remote places with little or no cell coverage. The feature-packed Midland GXT1000VP4 two-way radios can eliminate those concerns, however, making it easy to stay connected no matter where you go. These devices offer 50 unique channels to choose from, as well as 142 privacy codes to ensure no one is listening in on the conversation.
8. Petzl Actik Core Headlamp.
Handsfree lighting can come in hand in a wide variety of situations, particularly when reading a map, searching through your backpack, making repairs under the hood of a vehicle, or just huddling inside a tent. Petzl’s Actik Core is a lightweight, comfortable, and versatile headlamp that offers as much as 350 lumens of light on its brightest setting. It comes with a rechargeable battery pack that provides a run time of as much as 160 hours, although the lamp is also compatible with AAA batteries should the need arise.