Survival Items for your "Bug Out Bag"
Our list of the "must have" survival items and survival gear has been culled from years of outdoor experience and the many survival articles and lists on the subject. These basic outdoor survival items, gear and supplies, are frequently carried by hunters and other outdoorsmen, and are perfect for your Bug Out or Go bag (backpack) in a disaster survival situation. In a worse case scenario, many of the survival items can of course also be used at home if you are unable to leave.
Rain Gear (not the cheap stuff)
Socks (1 extra pair per person)
Gloves or Mittens (wool/neoprene)
Knife (fixed blade sheath knife - probably the single most important survival item)
Small metal mirror
Roll of florescent tape
First Aid kit (with neosporin and medicines)
Small sewing kit (from hotels) - primarily for suturing if necessary
Duct Tape (small roll) for closing wounds and other purposes
Several Lighters plus waterproof matches
Fire starter kindle (it’s amazing how hard it is to start a fire in the rain)
Fishing line (50ft of 15lb test), hooks (assorted sizes) and split shot sinkers
Wire to make snares
Small LED Flashlight & Batteries
Small battery operated or crank radio
Cash, in small denominations
GPS / Spot
Boy Scout compass
Parachute cord – 15 ft
Rope - 50 ft.
Tarp (min. 10x12) or lightweight backpackers tent
Mess Kit (All Aluminum)
Water in aluminum canister
Water purifier kit & tablets
Candy bars & multi-vitamins
Space blanket /
Bivy Sack / Sleeping bag
Hand saw and/or axe (Gerber has some imported lightweight axes that are excellent)
Gun(s) and ammo - handgun or rifle (Preferably both - with either the handgun or the rifle being of .22 caliber for shooting small game and because of the ease of carrying a large amount of relatively light ammo. )
Gun(s) and ammo (did I already say that?… let me say it again)
Optional Items (if space and weight permit or if you're traveling by motorized vehicle):
More Water and Food etc, including:
- Freeze dried food from such places as Mountain House or military MREs.
- Coffee / Tea or Instant Hot Chocolate
- Trailmix and Jerky
- Bag of rice
One change of clothes per person
Backpackers stove + sterno or the like
Folding lockback knife (Buck type)
Folding shovel (Army style)
Many of these surival items, gear and equipment can be purchased online through such fine websites as the one operated by BackCountry. In particular, I like their extensive selection of camping and backpacking stoves (of all major brands) which can be used for both cooking and heat.
Remember, it’s always better to travel in a group, whether it’s a family group or a group of neighbors. It’s safer and bulkier optional items can be distributed among your fellow travelers.
If initially you are traveling by car, then the optional items above should certainly be taken in addition to your Go bag and along with jumper cables, a tow rope, cans of sterno, and a basic tool kit for car repairs. These optional and additional items could of course be stored in an action packer or cooler and kept in your garage next to your car.
Finally, it's important to remember that the items in your survival Go bag have multiple uses which I will explain in detail later as some of the outdoor and medical uses are not readily apparent.