Bug Out Vehicle: How To Get Out Of Dodge In One Piece

When you need to get from point A to point B, there are few situations that you wouldn’t be better off in a vehicle. That choice of a bug out vehicle can be important. If things start going south in a big way, there’s no telling what’s going to be between you and where you’re going.

I’m also not going to assume that you’ve got the money to have a separate car only for bugging out. If you did you could trick out any vehicle you want to be a dedicated survival machine. Most people don’t have that luxury. Your bug out vehicle needs to be something you can drive every day. And it is also something that will carry you through an emergency. For starters, let’s talk about the kinds of vehicles that’ll be good in an emergency.

Bug out vehicle SUV in the mountains.

Bug Out Vehicle SUV’s

These are probably the most versatile class of “bug out vehicles”. They’re one of the most common types of cars on the market and not for their emergency capabilities. They’re just good sturdy cars that can haul things and can do a little off road without losing their axles. If you’re concerned about having a bug out vehicle if the SHTF, an SUV is a good choice for you. Because, it’s a good choice for a car in general.

Pickup Trucks

These are another excellent choice when you want something you can depend on in an emergency. And it’ll also be a good car for your everyday use. Pickup trucks don’t have the greatest gas mileage but they’re comparable to SUV’s. If you’ve got a family you’ll want to look for one with decent space up front. But the storage space in the back will be unbeatable.

Bug Out Vehicle Campers

Campers are luxury vehicles. You can’t commute with them, the gas mileage isn’t good. They also can’t go off road very well. That said, they’re a home on wheels. If you’ve got the money to upkeep a camper then you’ve got a bug out location on wheels. Just make sure that you get a quality, durable camper that will stand up to emergency conditions. A great way to get these benefits with more mobility is by making a bug out van!


Motorcycles have maneuverability and gas mileage on their side, but not much else. You can fit enough gear for one person on one without too much trouble but these are not the vehicles for families. Not the mention that motorcycles are already dangerous to begin with. And any injury is going to be more serious in a survival situation.


These are worth mentioning in their own section separate from motorcycles. They’re cheap, effective, and they can get places that a car can’t. If you’re on your own you can easily get all your gear with you on a bike and it’s less dangerous than a motorcycle.

Bug Out Vehicle Boats

If you live on or near a body of water, a boat is a good thing to consider. If you’ve got a pontoon or larger boat it will have a lot of the benefits of a camper. Otherwise even a small motorboat can get you away from wherever you are quickly. If you do go for a bug out boat, you’ll definitely want to make sure you’ve got paddles and a raft. The last thing you want is to strand yourself in the middle of a lake without a paddle.

One of the most important things to plan for when choosing your bug out vehicle is the amount of space. This translates directly to your supplies. You will, of course, have space for your bug out bags. But you can store a lot of extra emergency gear in a Pickup or an SUV. Things you’ll want to consider are shelter building supplies, extra emergency food, spare car supplies and tools. You can also think of anything else that you can fit in there without compromising the car.

For the average person just trying to prepare for the worst, I recommend picking an SUV or a pickup for your bug out vehicle. These cars will keep you rolling and let you pack up a lot in advance so when the going gets rough you can just hop in and go!

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Get Home Bag Shopping List: Point-By-Point Guide

This bag is like a slimmed down version of a bug out bag designed to keep you mobile and support you for 24 hours as you make your way back to your loved ones and supplies at your home location. The name of the game here is speed and agility. You can add more but any extra weight will slow you down, and the point of the GHB is speed. For this reason, I’ve only listed items I believe are necessities.

A get home bag on a mountain.

The Get Home Bag Shopping List

  1. Food and Water
    • 3-6 Protein Bars
    • 1 Liter of Water (In a Nalgene or Collapsible Bladder))
  2. Clothing (Change Into This Before You Depart)
    • Lightweight Camping Shirt
    • Lightweight Camping Pants
    • Hiking Shoes
    • Work Gloves
    • A Shady Hat
  3. Shelter
    • Rain Poncho with Grommets
    • Tarp
    • Emergency Blanket
    • 100 ft of Paracord (Many Uses)
  4. Fire and Light
    • Firestarter (Bic Lighters Are Cheap and Effective)
    • Prepped Fire Kindling (Petroleum Jelly Soaked Cotton Balls)
    • Headlamp
    • Good Multi-Tool
  5. First Aid Kit
    • Can Be Slimmed Down For Weight But Follow First Aid Kit Guidelines
    • Air Filtration Mask
  6. Emergency Communication
    • Hand Crank Weather Radio
    • Whistle
    • Compass
  7. Interpersonal
    • Cash (Spread Throughout Bag)
    • Bear Mace
    • Gun (Only If Trained and Able)

This covers everything you should need to close the gap between you and your loved ones. The only thing on this list I wouldn’t consider a necessity is the gun. If you keep your Get Home bag at work then this likely can’t be included. If you’re not already a gun owner don’t consider getting one unless you’re prepared to learn how to safely handle and maintain one.

Let’s jump into my recommendations. I put together my list based on what I would pick. I value quality, but I also value keeping costs low. My picks are a blend of that. I’ve also scooted the “not required” items to the bottom of the list here.

If you’d like to skip the list here and jump right to the shopping, I’ve put together a full wish list on amazon with everything from the list included!

——–> Click Here For The Full List! <——-

Food and Water

Emergency Food Rations – S.O.S. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food bar – 3 Day/ 72 Hour

Water Bottles – TOMNK 9pcs Collapsible Water Bottles

Clothing (Change Into This Before You Depart)

Bug Out Shirt – Naviskin Men’s Long-Sleeve Shirt

Bug Out Pants – Postropaky Men’s Hiking Pants

Sturdy Bug Out Shoes – Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoes

Sturdy Gloves – Ironclad General Utility Work Gloves

Shady Hat – Cooltto Wide Brim Sun Hat

Shelter That Fits in a Get Home Bag

Reusable Poncho – AGPTEK Reusable Rain Poncho with Hood

Sturdy Tarp – Terra Hiker Camping Tarp

Emergency Blankets – ANMEILU Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets

Cordage – GeGeDa Paracord

Fire and Light

Fire-starter – bayite 4 Inch Survival Ferrocerium Drilled Flint Fire Starter

Emergency Fire Fuel – Phone Skope PYRO Putty (Emergency Fire Starter)

Hands-Free Light – Soft Digits Headlamp Flashlight

Mutli-Tool – Gerber Suspension-NXT Multi-Tool

Get Home Bag First Aid Kit

This can be slimmed down to the necessities for weight, but generally follow my other bug out first aid kit guide.

Air Filtration Mask – SuppyAID RRS-KN95-5PK KN95 Protective Mask

Emergency Communication

Weather/Emergency Radio – RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Solar Weather Radio

Utility Whistle – Woodcovo 10 Pack Aluminum Whistle

Magnetic Compass – AOFAR AF-5C Orienteering Compass for Hiking

Get Home Bag Interpersonal Gear

Self-Defense – Mace Brand Self-Defense Triple Action 3-in-1 Formula

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Bug Out Gun: Do You Need One?

Do you need a bug out gun? Before asking this question there’s one thing to understand if you don’t already own a gun. Owning a gun is a big responsibility. They are of course just a tool, but they’re a very dangerous tool, and one that needs to be treated with respect. If you don’t intend on learning how to properly and safely use and maintain your firearm, you should not get one. Plain and simple. Below we’ll talk about the reasons that you might want a gun for bugging out, and whether a gun is the best choice.

Bug out gun and knife.

Bug Out Gun for Self Defense

Nothing is as effective as a firearm in the hands of a trained owner at self defense, this is true. That said, there may not be anything as dangerous as a firearm in the hands of someone that doesn’t know how to use one. If you’re not already a gun owner, you should decide whether you want to be one, with all that entails. If you’re only interested in a gun for an apocalypse, consider less dangerous options, like tasers or mace. These can provide you an effective way to buy yourself time and get away from whatever the threat is. That said, if you’re prepared to learn how to handle and safely own a gun, it can be an effective self-defense-tool to add to your bag.


Escalation is something that should be mentioned in the context of self defense. It’s a very important concept in firearm safety. Do not point a gun at anything you’re not prepared to destroy, ever. With that in mind, pulling a gun immediately escalates the conflict to life-or-death. If you’re faced with anything less lethal than a firearm, this could cut off the situation and back down your potential attacker. On the other hand, it puts the other person in a life-or-death situation. That could prompt them to take immediate action or do something unexpected. Pulling a gun on someone is issuing a lethal threat. Do not take it lightly because the person being issued the threat never will.

Knives and Other Cutlery

Knives aren’t as deadly as firearms but they are still dangerous. That said, they’re like firearms. If you’re untrained they could be more dangerous to you than to the other person. Don’t look at machetes or other knives that so often fall into the “mall ninja” category, they’re best left as tools. If you go around swinging machetes or swords because it looked cool in a movie you’re going to tire yourself out. You might even hurt yourself too. When choosing knives or other cutting tools, choose them for their utility in a survival situation. Don’t bother bringing them unless you need them.

Bug Out Gun for Hunting

Hunting is a very valid reason to want a gun. If the SHTF you may well have to provide food for yourself and your family in the long term. Guns are certainly effective tools for hunting but they come with an inherent problem. That’s ammunition. If you don’t have the know-how and the tools to refill your own ammo, you will eventually run out. For this reason there are other very attractive options for hunting. If you use a bow or crossbow, you can often recover your arrows or bolts. If you get proficient with a slingshot, you’re in even better shape as your ammunition is infinite. A gun is effective for hunting, but make sure you take the issue of long-term ammunition into account.

To sum it all up. If you’re considering a firearm for self defense I heavily recommend taking a safety course. Practice and maintain it regularly. Don’t give them to people that don’t know how to use them. Mace and tasers can be stopping methods that are less risky for the untrained user. As far as hunting is concerned, guns are effective but can be rendered useless. Make sure you’ve got a plan for if you run out of ammunition.

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Bug Out First Aid Kit: What Do You Need?

To determine what you want in your bug out first aid kit, you have to think about what could happen. By anticipating what kinds of injuries you could be facing, you can make sure that you’ve got the supplies you need. Once you’ve got what you need, you can avoid bringing unnecessary weight or tools you don’t know how to use. I’ll break down the reasons for the supplies I recommend here.

Well worn bug out first aid kit.

Small Cuts and Wounds – Bug Out First Aid Kit Bread and Butter

This is going to be the most common injury, it likely is in your everyday life. Because of this, you may take them for granted and not think that they’re that big a deal. They usually aren’t, but if a cut gets infected, things can get serious quickly. In the case of a small cut or wound it’s good to have some tweezers for cleaning and some medical tape. Band-aids aren’t strictly necessary and can be considered more of a luxury item. Medical tape will do the same job, just without the extra padding. In fact, if you’re using bandaids it may make it easier for dirt and debris to get into your cut.


You will likely be working with fire and hot things when you’re cooking so there’s assured to be at least a little risk. Depending on the reason you’re bugging out, though, there could be other compounding risks. In times of social unrest, people light fires. The reason isn’t always clear but this is a fact that we know from history and modern times. If you live out west or down under you’re likely well aware of the risk of forest fires as well. A tube of burn cream will be a good addition to your first aid kit.

Traumatic Injury – Specialty Bug Out First Aid Kit Items

A traumatic injury is any injury severe enough to be life threatening. To prepare your bug out first aid kit, the most serious thing you need to worry about is massive bleeding. If there’s unrest in the streets, there’s going to be broken glass. It only takes one misstep to do some serious damage to your foot. That’s not even to mention the possibility of bullets flying. They sell gauze pads with coagulant formula on them. These are about the best you can do for a major injury yourself. If someone loses an extremity, a tourniquet can also be useful, but be absolutely certain you know how to use it. Tourniquets can do more damage than good if not used properly. You’ll likely want normal gauze and plenty of medical tape, too.

Infection and Disease

You should have iodine tablets and/or other methods of purifying your water. Even with them, you may still face some sort of water-based illness. Diarrhea killed a shocking number of people before we really understood it. Having antidiarrhetics may very well be the difference between life and death. 

There’s an item you may want in your first aid kit for emergencies, that you probably wouldn’t think to look for. That’s fish antibiotics. Antibiotics for people are illegal over-the-counter. Fish antibiotics however, are perfectly legal, for fish only of course. Many sellers put out fish antibiotics that come in pill and tablet form. While this may be difficult for your fish to swallow, it can come in handy if your fish really needs them in a survival situation. Be sure you don’t buy fish antibiotics that come in powder form as they may not be absorbed well by your… fish. You swimming through what I’m putting down?

Mobility-Impairing Injuries

Last but certainly not least you need to plan for injuries that could affect your ability to move. This is crucial in a survival situation. Give me a bad burn on my arm over a sprained ankle when the SHTF any day! Make sure you’ve got a plan to be able to splint or otherwise handle an injury like this. Another mobility issue that can be a sleeper problem is blisters.

Any hiker can tell you that blisters aren’t fun. But, if you need to keep moving they’re going to be a major pain, and if you push them they can get worse. Moleskin can help with that. Moleskin is a thick adhesive piece of material that you can use to protect your blister. You can cut it into the shape of a donut and the thickness of the material will distribute pressure and keep it off the blister itself.

Other Bug Out First Aid Kit Considerations

If you have a medication that you rely on, you should talk to your doctor about getting a “just incase” stash. This obviously isn’t going to be an option if you have to take anything that has a street value. For other medications you might be able to get enough to keep you going for a while. You can at least wean yourself off easier if you can’t get any more after you bug out. You’ll want some basic gear for all medical situations too, rubber gloves, tweezers, gauze, a multitool. Consider a snake bite kit if you know you’ll be at risk of venomous snakes. You’ll want some major butterfly bandages and a suture kit (you’ll want to read up on how to use these too). Keeping these items in a waterproof bag will also be useful for keeping them safe. It’ll also give you a waterproof container for other purposes too.

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Best Bug Out Headlamp – All Rechargeable!

If you do any kind of home repair or DIY, you’ve probably held a flashlight in your mouth. They don’t always taste great. This isn’t a look you want to be rocking in a serious survival situation. You need a bug out headlamp! The hands-free utility of being able to strap your flashlight to your forehead is amazing. Not to mention, it’ll always be shining on what you’re looking at. 

Another thing I think is important is finding rechargeable ones. When the SHTF, there’s no telling where you’ll be able to find batteries. Being able to charge your headlamp off of a hand-crank power bank means you won’t have to drop it. Even if the worst comes to pass.

Below, I’ve put together the best headlamps I could find. I tried to prioritize a few different features to make sure that you can find the right one for you! They’re a must-have for your bug out bag!

Best Budget Bug Out Headlamp – Foxelli

This might be my budget pick, but it doesn’t leave anything out. Coming in at $13, it’s a steal. This headlamp from Foxelli is the perfect low-cost solution for hands free illumination.

The nice thing about items this cheap is that you can buy a few! Throw one in your bug out bag, throw one in your car. These lamps make perfect stocking stuffers for the people you want to be prepared!

It boasts 40 hours of run time off a single charge. If you’re using one of the hand-crank power banks from my other list, this will keep you running even if the grid isn’t! 

It’s only 180 lumens, but for this price, that’s fine! It even comes with the ability to switch between white and red!

Best Versatile Value Bug Out Headlamp – Soft Digits

I called this headlamp the best versatile value in part because it’s very inexpensive. The other part is for the amount of features that they packed into what’s still a very simple light.

It’s got unique light modes preset. It’s not uncommon to have a white, a red, and a flash, but this light takes it much further. It does have a flashing SOS feature but most of the other are brightness and spread settings. That said, there’s one very interesting one I want to talk about.

This headlamp has a motion sensor. I can’t think of another basic camping light I’ve seen that includes this. It takes this light to another level. 

I just love this feature because it adds utility to this simple light. You could use it as a makeshift security system. Simply point it in any direction and you’ve got an instant security floodlight!

Most Durable Headlamp – SLONIK

One look at this headlamp and you’ll understand why it’s the durable option. This thing is built like a tank, and it looks like it. It’s made from aero-grade aluminum and is both waterproof and dust-proof. The charging port is hidden by a crew off cap to keep it sealed. There isn’t a job out there that this light isn’t suited for.

It’s 1000 lumen light is nothing to shrug off. This lamp will flood your environment with light. It’ll turn harsh and hazardous conditions visible with ease.

With all this power it still remains lightweight and easy to strap to your head, any hat, or any hard helmet.

The price is a little steeper than the budget options. But $36 is a small price to pay for this absolute unit of a headlamp. 

Brightest Bug Out Headlamp – Outerdo

When I read how bright this headlamp was I thought it was a typo. Thirteen THOUSAND lumens is absolutely ridiculous. That’s not to say that it goes too far. This brightness is far from overkill, it just shows that this light means business!

The recharge-ability of this light definitely comes in handy. The low level lasts 9 continuous hours but the high only gets about 4. This is to be expected, as this thing is basically a floodlight.

The brightness is the draw here, but there’s no shortage of quality on other fronts. Reviewers love how comfortable this headlamp is. You might think that with all the power comes weight, but it still manages to keep a light weight.

Best Name-Brand Headlamp – Energizer

Coming in with the name recognition is this excellent headlamp from Energizer. A lot of these lights come from small companies overseas. I’ve had a lot of success with these products but I don’t blame anyone for being skeptical. 

Energizer is a household name. They’re not going to put that name on anything they won’t back up. With a 4.5 star average on Amazon, it’s clear that they have.

This lamp is a respectable 400 lumens. This is a good, solid headlamp that comes from a solid company. 

Another useful feature of this light is the adjust-ability. Reviewers love this feature that helps get the beam exactly right for the job!

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Bug Out Cooking Kit: What To Bring, What Not To Bring

A Bug Out Cooking Kit isn’t always straightforward to build. And pre-built ones can carry a lot of dead weight. What do you need in it? When I set out to answer this question I was hoping for a definitive list of the things you must have in your kit. Unfortunately, what I found is that it’s a pretty subjective decision. What’s right for one person may not be right for another.

So to answer this question I’ve got a few recommendations on styles and materials you should be looking for. And what you can do to ensure that the cooking tools you settle on are right for you.

Bug Out cooking kit in action.

The first thing you’ll want to be looking out for is weight. This is always important for anything that you are planning on moving or taking with you. Function is important. But, weight is the ever-present consideration that really defines what you can or can’t take with you. When you’re planning out your cooking kit, there are two ways to minimize weight.

Bug Out Cooking Kit Materials

The first is the materials your gear is made out of. Cast iron is (of course) right out. Stainless steel is too heavy for a full set of gear to be made out of. But, you can probably work in certain pieces for durability.

Titanium is an excellent lightweight metal, but it’s expensive. There are tons of titanium sporks out there for reasonable prices. You can get away with titanium silverware but going for a full titanium cook set will get costly. Aluminum is also an excellent choice for these metal cook pieces.

it’s cheap, very light, and pretty durable compared to plastic. Aluminum is a good metal to look for in your cookware as much as possible. It may not be the best for cooking directly over a fire, but aluminum cups and bowls will always be effective.

Bug Out Cooking Kit Pieces

The second big thing you can do to reduce your load is to reduce the number of pieces you have. You’re only going to want as many sets of things like bowls and cups as you have people that will be using them at the same time. Re-using and finding multiple uses for items is also important. In a survival situation, you really don’t need a plate and a bowl.

Anything that you want to put on a plate can go into a bowl. Likely, most of the meals you’re preparing in a survival situation are going to be one-pot. Separating your foods is a luxury, and not one worth carrying extra weight for. 

Bug Out Cooking Kit: How To Hold Fire

One crucial part of your cook set is going to be the stove. It can take many forms. But, you’re going to want something that can contain fire for long enough for you to cook your food. There are some light-weight camping stoves that use gas.

In a survival scenario, this is probably not a good idea as you have no idea if or when you’ll be able to get more gas. For this purpose I certainly recommend finding a lightweight camping stove designed for taking wood. If it takes wood, you’ll never run out of fuel!

So in a nutshell, here’s what I think is the bare-minimum for your cooking kit:

> A Lightweight Wood-Burning Stove

> A Cup For Each Person

> A Bowl For Each Person

> A Set Of Silverware For Each Person (This could be a fork and a spoon, or a spork.)

> A Can Opener

> A Wooden Cooking Spoon (Can be cut short to save space.)

My cooking kit shopping list can be found here!

Practice Makes Perfect!

This brings us to the last point I want to make in this article: Use your equipment beforehand! The last thing you want to do is pull out your stove for the first time and realize you don’t even know how to get it lit. The best (and the only) way to truly know what you need for your cooking kit is to use it.

You don’t even have to go out to the woods to do this (although I recommend you do anyway). Try to make dinner for you and anyone else you’d be feeding, using only your bug out bag cooking kit. You may find that you’re missing something, you may find you’ve included something you didn’t really need. You just have to try it for yourself! I hope this article has given you a good grasp on what you need to be on the lookout for, but unfortunately, this one comes with some homework!

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Bug Out Clothes: What To Wear When You Hit The Road

Bug out clothes play an important role in bugging out. Many people that are preparing for the worst will put a lot of time and energy into bug out bags, plans, and locations. Those same people may not stop to think about the clothes on their backs. Unless you’re bringing your home with you, you’ll need to bring clothes.

Survival supplies are the most important thing. But, you might have trouble getting far into your survival plan with stilettos or a suit and tie. Let’s break down what you should be looking for. Both in the clothes you wear out the door when you’re bugging out and the extra clothes you’ll want to pack in your bag.

Man in bug out clothes in the woods.

Bug Out Clothes: The Base Layer

First, the base layer. No clothing has more contact with sensitive parts of your body than your socks and underwear. These are usually under other layers of clothing. Because of this, they have a tendency to overheat or get uncomfortable first out of anything. When they do get uncomfortable, It’s going to slow you down or even take you out of commission for your exit plan.

For socks, you’re going to want to look for merino wool. They’re more expensive than the cheap cotton socks at your local dollar store but they will pay off. Merino wool is tough and most importantly it’s comfortable. This reduces your chances of getting blisters, even when wet. For underwear it’s not a specific material but a set of criteria you should be looking for. You want underwear that won’t bunch up, dries quickly, and is breathable. If you find a pair that satisfies these requirements, stick with it!

Bug Out Clothes: Shirts and Pants

If you haven’t picked it up yet, the overall theme of this article is that you want your bug out clothes to be functional. Shirts and pants that are breathable and dry fast will always be a good idea. They let you recover from getting wet faster and stay more comfortable.

Getting wet in a survival situation can be life-threatening if it’s cold out. For this reason it’s also a good idea to dress in layers. It gives you more flexibility with your temperature level. And it could give you additional options if only some layers are wet and others are still dry.

Bug Out Clothes: Colors and Styles

When looking for colors you want to blend in. Some preppers and survivalists recommend camouflage, but we don’t. If you and your family are all decked out in camouflage you’re going to look out of place in an urban environment. Worse than that, you’re going to look prepared. If people in desperate situations know that you’re prepared with supplies, things can gut ugly.

When you’re picking the style and colors of your survival clothes, it’s best to keep this in mind. Choose functionality over form, but don’t stand out in a crowd. There’s another interesting fact that can be important if you’re headed into the woods. Mosquitoes like the color blue. This refers to lighter blues and less navies but this is something worth taking into account. Mosquito bites can sometimes be serious, but they’re always annoying.

Bug Out Clothes: Shoes or Boots?

Shoes are also going to be one of the most important choices you make when it comes to your bug out clothing. If your plan involves walking you’re going to need something sturdy to walk on. We recommend a good pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots. The shoes will be lighter and less bulky. This may give you an edge on your total supply weight and on the wear on your feet.

The boots would also be a good option. They provide a little extra protection and support to your ankles. This is important to make rolling them less likely. If you don’t have these, go for something like sneakers or tennis shoes over dressier, fancier shoes. Once again, function over form.

Bonus Items!

Some bonus articles of clothing you may want to consider are ponchos or personal mosquito nets. The ponchos are really a good idea. Sturdy ones are still light, but disposable ones weigh almost nothing and can still be reused. In a survival scenario, a couple square yards of plastic can serve a lot of purposes. Most emergency kits should contain at least a disposable poncho.

They also make mosquito nets that you can hang from your hat. These are also a light accessory but they may be overkill depending on where you’re bugging out to or from. However, if you’re in a heavily mosquito dense area, or the mosquitoes are known for their disease, these nets may well be worth packing.

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Bug Out Bag Shopping List: Point-By-Point Guide

This Bug Out Bag Shopping List includes necessities and some additional things that will help bring you comfort if you have the extra weight for them. As a rule of thumb, your pack should be around 10-15% of your body weight, no more than 20%. This means that if you’re 200 lbs, your bug out bag should be 20-30 lbs and certainly no more than 40 lbs. This ranges with athleticism so if you’re not in the best shape, stick to 10%, if you’re in great physical condition, you can push up higher. 

Note: Unnecessary items will be marked with a *** at the front, necessities will be listed without.

The Bug Out Bag Shopping List

  1. Rule of Threes Supplies (Air, Water, and Food)
    • Air Mask
    • Tarp
    • Emergency Blanket
    • ***Lightweight Tent
    • ***Lightweight Sleeping Bag
    • Water Filter
    • Iodine Tablets
    • Water Bladder or Bottle
    • 72 Hours of Emergency Rations
    • ***Fishing Kit
  2. Clothing
    • Sturdy Warm Pair of Gloves
    • Poncho
    • ***Waterproof Jacket
    • ***Warm and/or Shady Headwear
  3. Warmth and Light
    • Matches
    • Flint and Steel
    • ***Chemical Hand Warmers
    • Crank Flashlight
    • Chem Lights/Glowsticks
    • ***Headlamp
  4. First Aid Kit
    • Follow The Dedicated First Aid Kit List for A Good Loadout
  5. ***Navigation Tools
    • ***Local and Nearby State Maps
    • ***Compass
    • ***GPS
  6. Other Tools
    • Multi-Tool with Following Attachments:
      • Small Knife
      • Pliers
      • Snippers
      • File
      • Can/Bottle Opener
      • Screwdriver
    • Camping Shovel
    • Hatchet or Small Axe (Can and Should Be Combined With Shovel)
    • Paracord (100 ft.)
    • ***Duct Tape
    • ***Small Crowbar
    • ***Folding Saw
  7. ***Self Defense (Other Items Can Be Used For Self Defense)
    • Bear Mace
    • ***Firearm (If You’re Trained)
  8. Miscellaneous
    • Whistle
    • Goggles
    • Power If Using Electronics (Hand Crank Power Bank)
    • ***Paper Container With:
      • Copies of Insurance Policies
      • Copies of Deeds/Titles
      • Passports, Other Identity Documents
    • ***Cash (Stored in Various Places In Bag)
    • ***Sewing Kit
    • ***Mirror

This list is not exhaustive but will give you a good baseline to add or remove things from as you test out your gear and see what does and doesn’t work for you. What good is an internet bug out shopping list without links? I put together my list based on what I would pick. I value quality, but I also value keeping costs low. My picks are a bend of that. I’ve also scooted the “not required” items to the bottom of the list here.

If you’d like to skip the list here and jump right to the shopping, I’ve put together a full wish list on amazon with everything from the list included!

——–> Click Here For The Full List! <——-

Rule of Threes Supplies (Air, Water, and Food)

Air Mask – SuppyAID RRS-KN95-5PK KN95 Protective Mask

Tarp – Terra Hiker Camping Tarp

Emergency Blanket – ANMEILU Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets

Reusable Water Filter – Sawyer Products Squeeze Water Filtration System

Iodine Tablets – Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets

Water Bottle – TOMNK 9pcs Collapsible Water Bottles

72 Hour Rations – S.O.S. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food bar – 3 Day/ 72 Hour

Clothing – Bug Out Bag Shopping List

Warm Work Gloves – Ironclad General Utility Work Gloves

Rain Poncho – AGPTEK Reusable Rain Poncho with Hood

Warmth and Light

Matches (Fire Starter #1) – Swedish Match, Three Stars Safety Matches, 10 pack

Flint & Steel (Fire Starter #2) – bayite 4 Inch Survival Ferrocerium Drilled Flint Fire Starter

Flashlight – Rechargeable Flashlight with Solar Power & Hand Crank

Chem Lights- Swiss Safe Premium 6″ Glow Sticks

First Aid Kit – Bug Out Bag Shopping List

I won’t repeat myself here in an article that’s already a beast. Check out my dedicated Bug Out First Aid Kit Shopping List!

Navigation Tools

Compass – AOFAR AF-5C Orienteering Compass for Hiking

Other Tools

Multi-Tool – Gerber Suspension-NXT Multi-Tool

Folding Shovel – REDCAMP Military Folding Camping Shovel

Hatchet – MTech USA Camping Axe

Paracord – GeGeDa Paracord

Duct Tape – 3M 2979 Multi-Use Duct Tape

Self Defense

Pepper Spray – Mace Brand Self-Defense Triple Action 3-in-1 Formula


Emergency Whistle – Woodcovo 10 Pack Aluminum Whistle

Goggles – Aegend Swim Goggles

Emergency Radio – RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Solar Weather Radio

This concludes the items that I think are essential for your bug out bag. Below I’ve included other items that I think are helpful to add if you’ve got the money or space. The link just under this will take you to a full amazon wishlist that contains all the items on this list!

——–> Click Here For The Full List! <——-

Nice Things To Add To Your Bug Out Bag Shopping List (If You’ve Got Space)

Tent – Bessport Camping Tent

Sleeping Bag – ECOOPRO Warm Weather Sleeping Bag

Fishing Kit – Best Glide ASE Survival Fishing Kit

Waterproof Jacket – Amazon Essentials Men’s Waterproof Rain Jacket

Shady Hat – Cooltto Wide Brim Sun Hat

Chemical Hand Warmers – HotHands Hand Warmers, 10 Count

Rechargeable Headlamp – Soft Digits Headlamp Flashlight

Crowbar – Crescent Flat Pry Bar

Folding Saw – Fiskars 7 Inch Folding Saw

Document Pouch – YUMQUA Clear Waterproof Bags

Sewing Kit – SINGER 01511 Survival Sew Kit

Signal Mirror – UST StarFlash Micro Signal Mirror

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The Bug Out Van: Take Your Home With You

Bug out vans are an exciting new twist on the growing van life movement. Van living and other forms of mobile living have been around a long time, but they’ve recently gotten a boost. You may have seen YouTube videos or articles about people building out stealth living vans. Some even convert old school buses! What does this trend have to do with bugging out or prepping?

Bug out van under a full moon.

Quite a bit actually. The biggest reason we build bug out bags is to buy us time to get away from possible dangers. Whether the dangers are forming where we are right now or they’re already on us. The bag is great but if you can’t make it away then it may not really cut it. Then what happens when you get to your bug out location? Do you have a structure there already or are you planning on doing some bushcraft? Investing in a bug out van could answer these questions. If you don’t want to limit your bug out to a bag, why not take a whole home?

The Growing Van Life

Let’s start off by talking about van living. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s worth diving into. It’s a fascinating movement of people that are avoiding the rent or house status quo. They’re doing this by building fully functional living spaces in vans or trucks. Some of these vans even have toilets and showers! For most van-lifers, this isn’t an attempt at prepping for bugging out. This is an inexpensive and free way to live your life. However, if the SHTF, these van-lifers wouldn’t have to bug out of their homes, they can bug out in their homes! 

If you’re the owner of a van that’s built out for living in, you’re set.  When the going gets rough, you can drive your home straight out of the area. If you’ve got a bug out property or a location you’ve scoped out, you can park your house right there and boom! Instant structure. If you’re living in traditional housing, a bug out van might be an investment into being prepared. If you’re considering this, let’s talk about some of the pro’s and con’s of living in a van. And whether they’d apply in a catastrophic situation.

The Pro’s and Con’s of a Bug Out Van

One of the biggest drawbacks to living in a van is privacy. It’s hard (and sometimes illegal) to get your windows fully tinted. And needing to park your home to live means that you’re always going to be in public places. However, if this van is your bug out vehicle, this privacy shouldn’t be a big concern. An essential part of a good bug out location is isolation. If people are finding your bug out spot then you’ve got bigger problems. Somebody seeing you getting dressed through a tinted window will be a small concern. 

Most of the drawbacks stem from a lack of a permanent location. Cooking becomes difficult, you can’t really expand your space, you may not have much storage room. If your van is for bugging out then you really shouldn’t be on the road long. It should be a vehicle to get you to a permanent location, and then you can build up any sort of camp you want you’ve got it set. 

Bug Out Van Mechanical Considerations

There are of course mechanical considerations. You’ll need to be sure that your van is waterproof and able to retain heat or air out if it gets hot. For any of these considerations, a van is going to be a more comfortable bet than a straight up bushcraft lean-to. However if you’re looking at the decision to build a small home or park a van on your bug out property, these are great options. Vans can mean that you can drive the home right to the property and use it in the meantime.

When you’re looking at whether or not to invest in a bug out van, there are a lot of things to consider. It can be a viable option if you’re looking for a permanent shelter that you can stock and move if you need to. Plus, when times are good you can go camping or even live in it! 

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Bug Out Bag Size: How Big To Go?

Bug Out Bag size, it’s a common question. How big or small should your bag be? The answer is “It Depends” which is never the one you’re looking for but it let’s us give you a lot more information.

Bug Out Bags come in all shapes and sizes. There’s really no wrong answer for how big it should. This is true as long as you have an answer to another question: Where are you bugging out to?

Bug out bags are planned with a purpose. They’re designed to get you from Point A to Point B. This is because, for most people, you can’t fit everything you need to survive forever in one bag.

Backpacker with a large bug out bag size.

Get Home Bug Out Bag Size

Let’s start with a small form of bug out bag, the Get Home Bag. You can probably guess what it’s designed for. This type of bag should contain everything that you need to get from wherever you are back home. (Bags like this are usually stored in your car or place of business.) This is important so you can get your family and your supplies and either hunker down or bug further out.

These bags aren’t normally designed for extended use. They carry about 24 hours of emergency supplies and quick rations. They’re designed to keep you going as you close a short gap. When you’re considering size for this bag, it can be tempting to go too big. With knowledge of what tools you would need to survive for longer it may feel silly not to throw them in. That’s why the purpose is so important when you’re sizing out the bag.

A Get Home Bag should be lightweight and easy to throw on and move with. Ideally, you can drive home if the worst happens. This is the bag you grab if you have to leave your car behind and move on foot. You’ll want a relatively small and light backpack.

Bug Out Bag Size

Your standard bug out bag normally shoots to triple this timeframe. The ideal goal is that your bug out bag has enough supplies to last you three days, but there’s a balance you have to reach. Studies on hikers have shown that if your bag is more than 20% of your body weight, you become much more likely to hurt yourself. That’s just by carrying it! Others suggest that ideally you should shoot for 10%. This level keeps you healthy but also allows you to run full speed if you need to. Plus you should be able to fit everything you need.

This would mean that if you’re a 200 lb person, you should shoot for 20 lbs of weight. You could carry up to 40 lbs if you’re in peak physical condition. But even then, this weight will wear you out faster. Not only that, but it still carries a higher risk of injury like blisters or even falls. For this purpose the size of your bag is less important than the weight. Prioritize lighter bags over even more durable bags. This bug out bag is only designed to last you three days anyway. 

With this bag you should be getting you and your loved ones to a more permanent location. Whether that’s with friends or family far away; a bug out property that you’ve planned for; or even just an area of nature that you can build shelter and find permanent food and water sources at.


The final size “bag” you may want to weigh out is sometimes called an INCH Bag (or tub). The INCH stands for ‘I’m Never Coming Home” and so any bag with that purpose in mind could be considered an INCH bag. I recommend only having a bag larger than the limits described above if you already have another bug out bag. Anything larger can weigh you down or could be unnecessary. 

You should be prepared to abandon it and run with your bug out bag if you have to. Anything bigger than the above bags should be taken in a car. For this reason, you can go with larger duffles or even plastic tubs. Just keep in mind that extra weight will take more gas in your car and increase the likelihood of a flat if it’s too severe. Make absolutely sure you’ve got your bug out bag set before filling tubs or duffles with luxuries that aren’t necessary to keep you alive.

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