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When it’s time to go, how are you going to leave? You can’t pack, and you can’t just leave with nothing.
You have to bug out, and you have to do it fast.
Whether the news comes down from the television and you don’t have much time, or riots break out in the streets unexpectedly, you’ve got to be ready.
That’s why we designed a list with the five best tactical bug out bag units on the market. Keep it packed, pick it up, and get right out the door on your way to safety.
After taking things into account like total storage, material toughness and total carry weight, these are the absolute best bug out bags you can find.
Best Bug Out Bag Reviews & Recommendations For 2019
Best Bug Out Bag: Emergency Zone Urban Survival Bug Out Bag
FEMA-compliant and built for two people to last 72 hours, Emergency Zone has done it all.
For a fully kitted bug out bag backpack, they give you a bit of everything. This kit includes personal hygiene products, a water filtration straw, and food ration bars to get quick and powerful nutrition when you need it most.
Unlike other brands, they don’t want to display “Hey, this is a bug out bag” to other survivors in an emergency. That wouldn’t be smart.
So they give you this clean, unbranded backpack to store everything in. You get a dozen sizeable pockets to give you quick access to different categories of items on-the-go.
The backpack itself is also crafted from reinforced materials, and fitted with a mesh backing to prevent excessive sweating while you walk.
As a word of caution, there’s no room in this bag apart from what the kit comes with. You’re not left with extra space for your own belongings, so you’ll need an additional bag for that.
Your backpack isn’t waterproof, but it has slight resistance so that rain won’t waterlog it. Some items, like the flashlight, could use a bit of improvement. However, the value is clear and the items all work as intended.
You’ll get a 118-piece first-aid kit to handle all wounds that you could possibly incur in a 72-hour period.
Your food and water pouches come with a five-year shelf life, so you’ll only need to slightly alter your bug-out bag once every five years to keep everything good, Both of which are US Coast Guard approved sources, by the way.
Runner Up: Rescue Guard First Aid Hurricane Kit
One of the most frightful situations in any survival plan is if someone gets injured, and you don’t know how to help them.
It could be because you’re underprepared, but Rescue Guard could change that.
This ultralight backpack serves as the best survival bag for those who ant to be prepared for everything. You can use these supplies and this backpack to replace the medical supplies in other one-stop bags.
However, this isn’t all that they focus on. You still get 72-hour rations for you and another party member, as well as a dozen water pouches. Don’t worry; the ration bars aren’t dehydrated, so you don’t have to waste water by adding it to the food bag.
With that ultralight bag we mentioned comes a few problems. The bag is prone to tears and rip;ping; it’s thin, so it’s not built to sustain more than what the pack includes.
With that being said, you can repair it quickly if it does get torn, and since it won’t be your primary backpack it’s less likely to endure stress.
Rain blankets, survival ponchos, and light sticks to see in the dark without lighting a fire—this kit tries to think of everything. It’s an inexpensive way to add to your bug out gear, so you can pick it up in between other major bug out or bug-in purchases.
Honorable Mention: Gold Armour Camping Cookware Mess Kit
You’ve got to eat, you know.
Let’s say that the power isn’t coming back on for a while, or that your home town/city isn’t safe at the moment. You can’t just eat ration bars. You need a real meal.
This is the best bag for bug out preppers with a bit of culinary skill. The pans have fold-out handles that hug the sidewalls, so you can pack this up to a super compact size.
Everything fits right inside the included carrying case. That means the fold-out silverware, the stubby wooden spoon, and even the D-ring and fire starter.
Speaking of which, that fire starter is very important.
That’s one of those things that a portable pan set doesn’t have to include, which is what stuck out about Gold Armour. They designed these for preppers, not just your run-of-the-mill camper.
For that, you also get a miniature stove and ignition source, as well as FDA-approved aluminum for the pan. You don’t have an option to hit a McDonald’s down the street—this kit has to be able to get you through the tough times, however long they might be.
Be careful not to scrape the non-stick coating on the pan. It’s not fragile, but if you’ve ever owned a non-stick pan, then you know how easy it is for stainless steel to do some major damage.
This inexpensive kit gets you prepared for the long-haul, and can also be used indoors if you plan on bugging in and don’t have access to your own stove.
Best for Money : Everlit 250 Piece Survival Bug Out Kit
Bug out bag reviews often talk about the lackluster content of medical supplies. Well, Everlit is basically your one-stop medical supply shop.
It’s not a full bug-out bag, but it is designed to fit inside of yours. With only 1.8 lbs of weight and a compact 8.5” x 6” x 4”5 size, it’s not going to take up much room at all.
You know how some medical kit sections in bug out bags come with minimal amounts of the important things, like cotton balls and actual bandages? This supplies you with tons.
The case itself is durable as can be, and with all of that, it’s still ridiculously inexpensive to get. Not only that, but this completely meets and exceeds all OSHA guidelines for safety.
Whether you’re preparing to bug out or bug in, this is a necessity. These supplies don’t expire. You can get one for home, one for your bag, and one for under the driver’s seat in the car (without breaking the bank).
Runner Up: Puhibuox Survival Gear Kit
It’s the top bug out bag augmentation that’s going to elevate your survival chances.
This kit comes with a pocket knife (which we’re always talking about how important those are), as well as some basic survival gear.
Toss this in your pre existing bug out bag, or keep an additional one under the seat in your car—never know when it’ll come in handy.
You’ll also get a belt clip compass, a fire starter, tactical pen and more to keep you safe, and keep the fires roaring while you map out your next course of action.
Everything in this kit is inexpensive, and for a reason. It’s good quality, or it wouldn’t make the list, but you could disregard the whistle.
It’s not exactly the most powerful. But for a bug out bag where you might not want to draw attention to yourself, we don’t really need that part of the kit.
They even managed to stuff in an emergency blanket in this nifty little kit as well. The entire plastic casing on this kit is fully waterproof, so do your worst, and it’ll still stay strong.
Bug Out Bag FAQ
What Should Be in a Bug Out Bag?
Bugout gear backpacks should have a lot of stuff in them.
You have to use what’s in that bag to get by until either someone comes to rescue you, or you are able to return home. It’s not always simple to know which will happen first, or what situation you’re going to find yourself in.
Inside of your bug out bag, you need most of the following (substitute accordingly based on judgment and knowledge):
- Water bottles
- Purification tablets
- Water purification systems
- Calorie bars or ration bars
- Freeze dried food
- Fishing lines
- Survival knife
- Butane canisters for camp stove
- Fresh clothes
- Waterproof containers
- Medical supplies: bandages, hydrogen peroxide, cotton, gauze, medical gloves
- Tent or tarp
- Sleeping bag
- Zip ties
- Paracord survival bracelet
- Waterproof matches
- Flammable kindling
- Moist towelettes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Hygiene products
- Portable solar panel
- Glow sticks
- Some form of phone or radio
- Self-defense: firearm, knife, taser
You need to plan ahead for every potential situation that could arise out there.
However, what we just listed might not be enough. We can’t tell you every single situation that’s going to happen based on your geographical location, and we can’t pretend to know how you will react to it.
How big is your party size? That will dictate how much food you need and how much capacity your water filtration system will require.
How much ground do you have to cover? You need extra rations and water if you’ve got a long trek through the wilderness.
Some people will hunker down in hidden areas in cityscapes. Others take to the woods. Adjust your bug out bag requirements based on your game plan, and don’t stray from it.
How Much Should a Bug Out Bag Weigh?
As little as possible. You’re carrying a lot of stuff, and every ounce counts. Think about it like this: every ounce that you have to carry is another strike against your fatigue.
If the bag is too big or too heavy, you’re going to be exhausted. That’s not going to bode well for the rest of your survival.
Your bug out bag should weigh about 20-25% of what you weigh, more or less.
If you are in very good physical health, you can push that up to 30%. Just because you can carry more doesn’t mean it’s going to be a good idea.
This is where you hear the idea of minimalism in prepping come into play. Keeping things lightweight and portable no matter what, and taking only what you need.
This is why you see companies make cookware that is super lightweight and made of aluminum, or backpacks that come from 600D nylon for durability, but only weight 3.2 lbs when empty.
Every bit of weight counts, because it’s quite literally on you for the whole trip. Even when you use up containers and eat the food, you don’t want to leave a trail behind. Not a trace.
The weight of your bag matters. Look at your physical fitness, your game plan for distance and the terrain you’ll be crossing through, and factor all of that in.
If you’re not certain what you can manage, do a mockup. Take your survival backpack and walk through the trail that you’d be leaving on if a crisis were to occur.
Doing it recreationally is different than doing it for survival, but it will teach you one thing: everything is heavier than you imagine it to be in your head. It might help you reevaluate what you’re bringing, and see if you can custom tailor a bug out bag with more lightweight pieces.
What Does Bug Out Mean to Peppers?
Bugging out is when you pack up, and leave home during a major crisis or catastrophe.
We have more natural disasters than ever before, and so you have this whole new bug out generation (post-Katrina) that really don’t want to be caught in these horrific events. With 24/7 news, we’re seeing it all the time.
Twenty years ago, they would call us crazy. Nowadays, it only makes sense to be prepared for the worst.
Bugging out is what it sounds like: getting the hell out of the spot you’re in to avoid massive danger.
But you can’t just go without anything. Getting up without any belongings and leaving would be stupid; grabbing too many on your way out the door would be stupid as well.
It’s not just an exit strategy, though. Bugging out doesn’t mean you leave everything behind forever. It’s a temporary solution to a temporary problem.
Crises could be natural disasters, like we mentioned, or something a bit more nefarious. It could be a power grid hijacking, it could be foreign enemies on our soil, or anything that immediately changes the status quo. Anything that puts you and your family in danger.
You’re more likely to survive if you get out of the spot you’re in, and keep moving. You can’t keep a low profile in the suburbs; you have to move.
There are some people who will actually bug in, and that’s okay depending on the situation, like a snowstorm or something that isn’t going to ruin the foundation of your home.
Bugging out means having a backpack at-the-ready, sitting by the door so you can pop your boots on and leave in under sixty seconds if need be. It means being the first one out of a situation, and being prepared to endure it for as long as needed.
Be Ready for Anything That Happens
Now that you’ve got the best bug out bag, you’re one step closer to being prepared for anything.
Once you have everything set, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve planned for every potentially bad thing that can happen to you and your family.
Your bug out bag is one of the most important elements of your survival. It requires planning, foresight and flawless execution to get it all right and know how to use everything you’ll be bringing along.
You’ve taken one more step to becoming a full prepper. What’s next for you?
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