For The Worst: A Bug Out Bag Checklist

In the case of an emergency, sometimes the best course of action is to leave your home and seek shelter elsewhere. When seconds count, a sense of urgency is critical. Instead of waiting until the last minute to pack the necessary supplies, you can be proactive by assembling a basic survival kit known as a “bug out bag.” Here are some suggestions for what to pack when developing your bug out bag checklist.

Bug Out Bag Checklist

1. Use Backpacks

Be sure to have a bag prepared for each member of your family. A backpack is the best solution for a bug out bag, since you may be forced to travel by foot. Store the bags in an easily accessible location in your house so that they are ready at a moment’s notice.

2. Water Purification

Natural disasters can contaminate water sources. In addition to at least 3 liters of drinking water, your bug out bag should contain some form of water purification. There are many options to choose from, such as hand-held pump filters, drops, and tablets.

Bug Out Bag Checklist

3. High-Nutrition Food

You should have enough food for at least 3 days, which means that sustainable food should be a priority. A wise choice are dehydrated meals such as MREs, which contain over 1,200 calories. Other good options are protein bars, trail-mix, dried fruit, and canned food.

4. Food Preparation Tools

Basic food preparation equipment is a must for your kit, which can include sporks, a can-opener, a cooking pot, knives, cleaning supplies (pot scrubber, soap), and some seasonings (small bags of salt and pepper).

5. All-Weather ClothingBug Out Bag Checklist, TJ Woods Insurance, Worcester, MA

Staying warm and dry is critical, so be sure to pack layers. A few rain ponchos are a must. Zip-off pants (which become shorts at the knees) are also a wise move. Avoid cotton and invest in quality wool socks, since they are not as absorbent. If your feet are cold and wet you are going to have a bad time.

6. Shelter and Sleep Gear

At times you may need to make your own temporary shelter. This means that packing a tarp or tent is a must. Be sure to include a quality sleeping bag in your kit. To stay off the direct ground, a sleeping pad or mat is also a good investment.

7. Heat-Source

If you find yourself out in the cold, you may need to make a fire to stay warm and prepare food. Having multiple ways of starting a fire is critical. All material should be waterproofed. Tinder is also a wise move, in case small, flammable material is difficult to find.

Ankle Tensor Bandage8. First Aid

In case someone becomes injured, the application of first aid is critical to fight off infection, especially since medical services may be delayed or unavailable. Instead of throwing a pre-packaged med kit in your bag, be sure to inventory what you have and where it is located. The mind is also a key component of medical preparedness, so a certification in CPR and additional training is always a wise choice.

9. Hygiene

No, hygiene is not just smelling nice. Staying clean is imperative to prevent bacterial infections, diseases, and promote general health. Pack wet-napkins, soap, toilet paper, hand-sanitizer, and a small towel at a minimum.

11. Tools and Lighting

Creativity is the mother of innovation. You will need tools to create the necessary items from the resources at your disposal. Here is a list of tools to think about – a multi-tool, survival knife, machete, duct-tape, resealable bags, string or fishing wire, sewing kit, and small camp shovel. Multiple sources of light is also a must. Remember, LED technology uses next to nothing for power, but extra batteries are a necessity. Have multiple flashlights, such as a few small hand-held units and a head lamp. An emergency whistle, signal mirror, small pad of paper, and a few writing utensils are also critical.

12. Travel and Communications

Finding your way from A to B requires several tools, including a map of your area and a compass. Communication is key, so be sure to bring a hand-cranked radio in addition to your cell phone. Assuming you are properly trained and licensed, a two-way radio is wise. Storing multiple hundred dollars cash is also a good move.

Bug Out Bag Checklist

13. Miscellaneous, but Prioritize.

A few odds and ends that will make your life easier or more comfortable should be considered, such as sunglasses, but remember you may need to carry all of these items for an extended period of time.

At the end of the day, your mind is your most valued asset. Form an emergency plan with your family and determine appropriate courses of action.

As always, we wish you many happy, safe years. However, we know life can be dangerous. TJ Wood’s Insurance has a variety of ways protect your assets in times of uncertainty through flood, homeowners, and life insurance. Reach out to one of our agents for a free quote.

Take care and be safe.

Do you have a bug out bag prepared?