Close this search box.
Bug out bag

Bug Out Bag Checklist

The bug out bag should have a large capacity but not be bulky and heavy.
He must not envy people without anything. An old worn backpack, a bit large, is ideal.

The organization of modules in small transparent plastic bags simplifies life and protects the various elements.
If you can, do not put the bottles and different liquids in the bag but in pockets on the outside; it will save you from unpleasant surprises.

A checklist suitable for your situation is the first thing that is desirable to find when opening your bag. Below this article, you can download and view a great checklist.

We are all different, with different constraints and different equipment. Someone else’s list may not be right for you. 

For example, a baby or a blind person does not need a hunting weapon.
The checklist below was initially intended for a teenager, I have expanded it a bit, but you still have to adapt it to your specific case.

It is not necessarily necessary to have a duplicate of everything for each family member or group. Some may carry elements that will be usable by everyone.
For example, there is only one first aid kit per group, one radio, one compass, and only one solar charger for all the phones…

This page is a starting point for your reflection.
If you print it, add your changes. That way, you’ll have a valuable reminder to check your bug out bag when your mind is confused by the situation.

Even getting a lot of old stuff back, a good bug out bag costs at least $400 in gear. It’s life insurance for your whole group. But that’s an unaffordable price for most people, especially since you may never use it to evacuate. 

So I really recommend that you have the list on paper that jumps out as soon as you open the bag.
This way, you can use your only headlamp, your only radio, and different objects daily without risking forgetting them if things go wrong.

Spare clothes

A double of each item of clothing adapted to the season (t-shirt, underpants, socks, light jacket, etc.);
Light rain jacket and windbreaker like a K-way, and/or a waterproof poncho (you can also sleep under it or sit on it on wet ground, a poncho even covers your backpack in the rain, but is very unpleasant to wear on windy days);
All-season hat (cap, bucket hat, etc.);
Anti-cold gloves;
A sturdy pair of walking shoes that don’t blister (when you buy a new pair of shoes, don’t throw the old ones away, put them in the disposal bag with your socks stowed in them);
Always have at least one pair of dry socks in stock;
A small spool of thread and a needle for minor emergency repairs, a thimble allows you to go through things that are a little hard, like a bag strap or leather;


Miniature toilet kit (soap, small towel, glove, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, razor, feminine protection, contraception, boxes and products for contact lenses, etc.);
Toilet paper ;
A small microfiber wipe just for having clean hands anywhere, anytime;
Two good products for women, a menstrual cup and a silicone cone to pee standing anywhere;
The soap is used for almost everything, but if you are many, it is better to add a tube of detergent by hand.

First-aid kit (only one is needed per group)

(Organize the inside of the kit in small transparent bags so as not to spill anything and to find everything easily)
Bandages of all sizes;
A band ;
An adhesive roller;
Disinfectant in pods;
Eye rinsing liquid in pods;
A bag of adhesive sutures;
A pair of tweezers;
A tiny strong magnet for metal splinters;
A pair of first aid scissors to cut clothes without aggravating injuries;
A tiny venom pump;
A tourniquet;
An all-surface marker neither too thin nor too thick;
A tiny lamp, preferably a headlamp, to use both hands;
A micro-fiber wipe to be able to wash your hands even with only three drops of dirty water;
A tiny bottle of hand sanitizer;
Two pairs of vinyl gloves;
Some sugars or candies;
Disposable surgical masks, first prizes, at least three per person (it seems that already more than 11,000 additional people have died from the particles breathed in after the destruction of the World Trade Center towers);
(The few small accessories for fighters to urgently reduce major bleeding and blowing wounds to the rib cage should not be at the bottom of the bag but on your person, in a small pocket that is immediately accessible. This trauma kit should not be confused with the sore kit. It may contain, for example, only a hemostatic syringe, a tourniquet, an Israeli bandage, and a pair of chest dressings with valves for the two holes of a bullet wound).

Medication kit

To be filled with your usual medications (putting a paper list in the kit allows you not to forget anything in an emergency);
A painkiller (aspirin);
An anti-poison (powdered activated charcoal);
A broad-spectrum antibiotic (the best is colloidal silver);
Your essential medical devices and their consumables (batteries, products, etc.);
If you have to evacuate, possibly take all your pairs of glasses. Soft pouches do not protect them. You must provide one rigid shell per pair of glasses;


If it is necessary to evacuate, it is necessary to take all the liquid money from the house, the means of payment, and the jewels. Hide everything.
Almost highlight a purse with just a little money in small denominations AND in coins (for automatic devices, distributors, etc.);

Identity papers and backups

Originals or copies of identity papers and other important papers.
A USB key with encryption software can save a lot of documents and passwords… in a tiny place.
Do not leave lock keys lying around in your home (home, job, vehicle, bicycle lock, etc.); you risk having everything stolen.
A recent photo of each family or group member makes it easier to find and identify if you are separated or worse.


A compass;
A paper map of the department or region (or any you need to cross);


Dynamo lamp;
220v charger to USB;
Charging cable with the correct plug for your phone;
USB charger to AA and AAA batteries and the right amount of rechargeable batteries for your devices;
USB charger to less common batteries;
Miniature solar battery;
A lighter ;
In winter or cold areas, a pocket heater and a bottle of lighter fluid will bring you enormous comfort;


A sturdy canteen;
Decontamination tablets;
and/or a filter device;
A small, new, full plastic water bottle;
Possibly a collapsible water bag for 3 to 5 liters, not to be filled too early, the water being heavy and tiring to carry;


At least two very light cold meals, in very long-life food (salad in a metal tin, for example, compote in a sachet, etc.),
Some sweets (do not eat them all, it is to socialize);
A fork, a spoon, a knife;
A can opener ;
The person in charge of cooking for the family or group should have an extra big bag with another checklist for food, utensils, cutlery, fuel, washing up liquid…


An unlocked mobile phone for all operators (preferably a first price without a touch screen, which lasts for weeks on standby without recharging, some even accept two sim cards);
A duplicate of the directory on paper;
A whistle ;
A miniature radio rechargeable by dynamo or solar or USB or stick batteries to inform you (and entertain you); some cell phones incorporate a radio, and the headset wire serves as an antenna;
A walkie-talkie if your whole group is equipped (works even when the phones no longer work or are saturated, prefer a model that accepts ordinary stick batteries);


A Swiss army knife (with scissors and tweezers highly recommended);
Multifunction pliers;
A pair of work gloves for scratches, blisters, and splinters (low-end leather gloves are more than enough);
A small pad of paper;
A mechanical pencil (writes even in the wet);
A ballpoint pen ;
Additional plastic bags;


A weapon that allows you to quickly neutralize several opponents while staying out of contact, not at the bottom of the bag but hidden immediately at hand (not necessarily a gun, for example, for a teenager, a spray of chili gel with a wide jet is enough );
Possibly a small weapon which can also be used to hunt small prey without making noise if the supplies are permanently cut (slingshot equipped for fishing, for example, or a pistol crossbow);
Depending on the seriousness of the situation, you should not necessarily try to hide your weapons but, on the contrary, look dissuasive (for example, by showing looters a rifle ready to fire);
Being able to count on a small, powerful, and concealed weapon remains, in any case, a good precaution.
A pistol is the best defense weapon. Black powder revolvers are on sale, from 200 euros, with 200 euros more for all consumables (powder, bullets, wad, grease, cleaning equipment).
A powerful tactical lamp with a strobe and focussable effect allows you to dazzle an opponent for a moment to neutralize him without hurting him, to hit heavier and stronger with your fist, or outright to kill by hitting like with a hammer on the top of the skull with the glass breaker side;


Optional, except in the cold season or cold geographical areas. Do not put your bedding (sleeping bag, foam mattress, etc.) inside the evacuation bag; it would take up all the space. Hang it outside;
Hang a strong lace on the bag. It will serve as a lock to tie your evacuation bag around your waist before you fall asleep; If you have a poncho that you plan to use as a sleeping shelter, you need to add rope;
Earplugs make it easier to fall asleep anywhere by greatly reducing noise;


Also, take something to distract yourself. For example, a novel or an e-reader full of digital books (do not waste your smartphone battery on trivial things);

Around my house, several anti-mosquito systems are necessary because the nuisance is so strong. Adapt the contents of your bag to your local needs;

Some objects will be part of your bug out bag for various reasons (passion, minimum essential professional equipment, emotional attachment, etc.). For example, a guitar, or a laptop computer, or a funeral urn full of ashes… Anything you need to take must be protected;

It may be necessary to turn off the gas or do various things before evacuating… so to add to the list;

The animals that depend on you also need their evacuation equipment ready (cage, leash, food, bowl, medicine, etc.), so staple their checklist to yours.

bug out bag checklist infographic full


Related Articles