Survival Bug Out Bag List

The world is not getting any safer and the chances for a natural disaster are increasing.

Hurricanes, earthquakes, civil unrest, you name it.. you may need to bug out in the near future.

Improve your chances of surviving by putting together a simple Survival Bug Out list.

This could be considered a Top 20 Survival Bug Out bag list recommended by a Navy SEAL.

I have my bag packed and next to my bed in case of emergency.

#20 COMPASS
You will need a Compass, whistle and flare.

Relying on you smart phone is not the way to go as you may have battery issues or reception problems.

Being able to know where your headed is important if you have to go off course.

Letting others know if your in trouble with a whistle and flare can be the difference between life and death.

These take up little room but can go a long way to save your *ss if things go south.

#19 WEAPONS

9MM pistol and ammo.

For the long haul you may want to carry a long rifle like an AR-15 or deer rifle for warding off intruders or keeping the peace.

A bolt action .22 rifle will also do the job for hunting squirrels and small game if your in a total survival situation.

You could defend yourself with a .22 but how much fun is that.

You want to have something with a little more punch and bang.

#18 WOOL CAP
If your head gets cold then you get cold.

If your head or face get sunburned you are going to be in a world of hurt.

You will always need head gear to keep away the sun or preserve heat.

In your bag you should always have a floppy hat, wool cap, duck tape, wire.

A t-shirt over your scalp will work in a pinch.

A hat is a must have in the field so try a few on and see what works best for you. You can always use duck tape to help fix your gear.


A hat I like to wear is a floppy hat. These are lightweight and simple and can take a beating.

They will keep the sun off your head and neck and look pretty cool too.

I have used my Propper boonie hat in a pinch to collect rain fall water during a storm.

#17 SEWING KIT
Sewing kit – I always have a needle, thread and buttons as it takes very little room but when you need it will come in handy.

The one time that you bust a button on a shirt or tear your jacket you are going to need this kit to help you repair and keep going in the field.

Question: What book do you recommend for learning survival skills?

I keep the pocket version of this book SAS Survival Handbook, Revised Edition: For Any Climate, in Any Situation in the bottom of my survival bug out bag.

I wrap it in a small ziploc bag along with a few other survival items.

It is indispensable and a great learning guide.

Video – Whats in your survival bug out bag?

Check out the SAS Survival Handbook: For Any Climate, in Any Situation

#16 BINOS
It is always good to have a set of Small binoculars or scope – Be able to see what is out there before it catches a view of you.


A question we received from our group was “What is the best rated lightweight binoculars for a bug out bag?”.

You get what you pay for in binoculars but you can get good value out of a sub $100 pair of Bushnell waterproof compact binoculars.

#15 PLASTIC

Plastic bags – Two or three large lawn bags and several zip-lock sandwich bags, can be used for a number of tasks and to keep things dry. These are also good for storing water if needed.

#14 SNARE WIRE
Snare wire – extra thin wire and parachute cord. Read up on using snares before you try to learn on the fly out in the wild.

#13 FISHING GEAR
Fishing – if you have the space and inclination add a few hooks and line and small weights.

You can buy a small Emergency Survival Fishing Kit or you can build your own.

You will want to have the basics like fishing line, a cork, several hooks and a few weights.

Only takes up a little bit of room but can really be handy when you need it.

#12 LIGHTWEIGHT CLOTHING

Clothing – two pairs of lightweight hiking socks.
and a t-shirt. The T shirt can be used as a sunblock on your neck or to wash off and keep you clean.

#11 TOOLS
Tools – K-bar knife, Swiss army knife. A folding saw would be great as a back up.

I like to carry a large military survival knife that I can use to make shelter (cutting and sawing saplings) if needed.

Several brands of knife have a built in saw blade on the backside which is needed to saw through branches for a shelter.

A good knife will pay dividends in the field. A crappy knife will cost you.

#10 FLASHLIGHT
Lighting – carry a small flashlight (a bright one) and have a few back up emergency candles.

You get what you pay for with a good flashlight so expect to pay at least $30 to $40 or more for a decent light.

Dont skimp and go for the $8 cheapie as you will be cussing about your decision later.

A good light will last for years.

#9 FIRST AID
I have a small pouch that I fill with gauze, band aids, Neo-sporin, iodine and hydrogen peroxide for cleaning out wounds.

You can also use the iodine for killing bacteria while filtering water.

#8 COOKING
A small military issue mess kit and tin cup will be good as you can create a small flame under cup and cook broth or make tea.

If I had 3 items to take on a survival trip this would be one of them as you can boil water to make it drinkable.

You can also put several of your smaller survival items inside of the tin cup.

After being cold and miserable – all you need to do is get a flame going and cook up something warm to drink and you will feel a ton better.

#7 SHELTER
A neutral colored tarp or ligtweight compact tent.

Keeping yourself out of the elements where it is rain or harsh sun will be key to surviving long term.

Many people end up in bad shape or perish just from exposure alone.

I also like the Ultimate Survival Technologies Base All Weather Tent Tarp as it is compact and comes in a small bag.

Carry extra parachute cord in case you need it to string up a longer line for your tarp or just to hang out your clothes to dry.

Question: What are some other books you would recommend about Survival Bug Out situations?

Answer: We like the book Realistic Bug Out Bag as it has some really good info to help keep you ahead of the game and surviving.

As with any issue – you want to read and learn as much as you can so that you can be ready for anything at anytime.

Check out discounted deals on ammo and parts for weapons at Brownells.com

Now we are getting down to the nitty gritty of things you must have.

#6 SLEEPING BAG

Depending on your climate you will need a good sleeping bag

I personally use the Marmot Nano Wave 45 degree sleeping bag for hiking and a quick bivvy.

Often times you can get a smaller thinner sleeping bag although you may be colder at night.

Back this up with a mylar space emergency blanket in case it gets colder.

Or if you don’t have room for a sleeping bag just bring the emergency blanket with a wool cap, dry socks, and dry tshirt and shorts.

#5 STOVE
A small lightweight stove is necessary for cooking and boiling water. You have to decide if it is too heavy and weighs too much as you may want to travel light with a tin cup and matches as your stove.


A stove that many survivalist like is the Solo Survival Stove as it is lightweight and does not take up much room.

You can break out this stove and be ready to cook within minutes or just keep your self warm while you wait out a storm.

You can also make a small stove to heat water with a soda can if you are in a pinch.

#4 LIGHTWEIGHT MEALS
Load up enough food to last 48 hours or so.

Pack lightweight foods that have a long shelf life. No canned food as this too heavy.

I carry an MRE and a few protein packs to mix with water.

#3 FIRE
You will definitely want to have waterproof matches at a minimum.

After that I would add a small lighter and tissue paper (put them in small plastic bag).

Between these 2 fire starters you will have a good start on making a fire to keep warm, cook food or use to signal others.

As a backup I love to have a magnesium fire starter.

The Genuine Issue Magnesium Survival Firestarter is small and very much worth its weight as it can quickly help you start a good fire.

You can get one for $6 to $10 and I would highly recommend it.

I also like to put a few cotton balls in a plastic bag as these are great fire starters when you add magnesium shavings.

I try to always have more than one source to make fire.

#2 WATER FILTER

A simple army canteen is bare minimum or a tin cup to be able to scoop up water or boil water.

Add a metal cup (you can boil water in cup) and a water filter if you have the money.

There are cheap water filters and more expensive ones depending on your needs.

Without clean water you are shut down so having a good portable filter is money.

# 1 BACKPACK

Without a backpack you can’t carry your gear and keep it organized.

A simple “Alice” pack will do – but a regular back pack is a bare minimum.

Avoid flashy colors like neon green or pink. Neutral colors are better.

A good backpack we like is the Karrimor SF Sabre Delta 35 Backpack.

It is a good price and value.

What is in your bug out bag? Post up in comments below.

Questions from our readers.

Question: Do you have a Special Forces bug out bag? Yes; i have a bag under my bed for emergencies.

Question: What are good lightweight bugout bag weapons? A mid sized knife is good. If you really need it then carry a small hand gun.

Question: What is #1 in a Navy SEAL bugout bag? A 9mm weapon and knife always. If you can’t defend yourself or your family then all the water filters and food in the world will not save you.

Question: What is the the best bug out bag for a family? This is a good starter kit from SurvivalKitsOnline.com

Question: Do you carry money or gold and silver in your bug out bag? Yes; we carry several $20 bills and small denominations of gold coins and silver coins for trading.

Question: What kinds of gold and silver coins do you recommend for a bug out bag? We like small denominations like the 1999 American Eagle Gold 1/10 Ounce Coin and the 2014 1 oz American Silver Eagles Coin Brilliant Uncirculated Bullion .999 Fine Silver Dollar.

Question: Should I include a survival tent or just a tarp? Check out this list of the top 10 bug out tents and see if you can get one that is lightweight.

Question: What is an INCH bag? INCH stands for I’m Never Coming Back.

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