What is a Bug out Bag and why do I need one?

Today we discuss the need for a bug out bag.

What is a Bug out Bag(BOB) ( sometimes known as a 72 hour kit)?

It is a ‘bag’ containing the things you will need to get from spot A to spot B in relative safety.

What Bug out Bag is NOT?  It is not a bag to take you in the wilderness so you can start living there.  We do not head up into the forest or mountains with our bug out bag.

Now we have established what a BOB is and is not.  What do we put in it?

  • Food
  • Water
  • Shelter
  • Security
  • Sanitation

Do these look familiar?  They are the 5 basic survival items everyone needs.  In our BOB we pair this down so we only have the basics.  Remember when you are packing your BOB, you only need it for 3-5 days not for two weeks.  You are not planning on going on a vacation.  And no we are not running from the zombie hoards.


I like to put storable items in  my pack.  Things like granola bars, energy bars, trail mix, nuts, MRE’s, crackers.  Most anything which stores for an extended period. I like to carry a leatherman for use in opening cans of food or other items.


You will need to put in some water.  I try to carry about one gallon of water.  Along with the water you will need some method of purification.  If you are traveling light you can use iodine tablets.  The taste is not as good, but they are very light and packable.  You can also use a mini backpacking filter.  These are more expensive, but they can filter more water than iodine tablets.


You will need good shelter.  I use a Gore-tex type jacket and pants.  I have some old ones which I have put in my pack.  Make sure you put in a hat and gloves.  Shelter in the winter becomes trickier.  You may need a lightweight sleeping bag or tent, if you can afford one.  For the minimalist I recommend a shell and using the backpack to cover your feet for sleeping.  I am sure there are various ways for shelter, it will depend on your local conditions.  This part of your bag can become the most expensive part.  Be creative.  Sometimes you have to use what you have.


I recommend carrying a gun if your state allows it.  Otherwise you may have to think of some other ways of self defense.  Realize you may use your BOB during times when the police are not as protective of our second amendment rights.  Keep this in mind when you are planning for security.  You will want a backup form of protection.  Pepper spray, taser, kubaton, knifes are all good alternatives.  Please get proper training on all form of self-defense you plan on using.


Having a means of sanitation is of paramount importance.  Carry a shovel and toilet paper along with hand wipes.

Other Items

  • Flashlight
  • Map, GPS, compass
  • Small tool kit- you never know

Remember you will need one for your car and one for your house.  I travel in my local city daily and need one in my car.  Don’t forget to reevaluate you BOB every six months as the weather is changing.  A BOB is another simple thing every family and individual can do to prepare for life’s uncertainties.


Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother




3 responses to “What is a Bug out Bag and why do I need one?

  1. Pingback: Who is BOB? | prepperpenny

  2. Pingback: Build The Perfect 72 Hour Bug Out Bag | Prepicenter

  3. Pingback: Who is BOB? | Prepper Penny

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