A bug-out bag in its simplest form is a 72-hour (or 3-day) kit that includes everything you may need if you have to leave your home in a hurry.
FOODS IN A BUG-OUT BAG
Foods in your bug-out bag would ideally be light weight, highly nourishing, quick to prepare, and not take up a lot of room. MRE’s, foil pouched foods, and protein bars are ideal for a bug-out bag.
You can purchase a 72-hour kit that’s already put together, or you can put together your own custom kit with food items you like. Meat pouches such as tuna or salmon are good choices as well as nut butter pouches (found in health food stores). If you’re on the go, you want to have access to as much protein as possible to keep your energy levels up. Water is crucial, so having light-weight water pouches as well as a portable water purifier in your bag is a must. Keep in mind when planning that MRE’s that need water added will take away from your water supply. Best to keep it as simple as possible.
15 Essentials For Your Bug-Out Bag
The following are some more important items for your bug-out bag, but your needs for your family may vary. Just remember to have a high-quality back pack to hold it all, and focus on lightweight items.
It’s a good idea to have practice sessions with your pack in order to realize how heavy it would be in an emergency situation.
1 – Fire source. Waterproof matches are a good idea, are light weight, and don’t take up too much room. You could also consider a fire starter in case you run out of matches.
2 – Water and water filter. Having some water pouches along with a portable water filter is essential. You can’t hold all the water you would need, but a high-quality filter can filter any water you find along your journey.
3 – Food. This could include protein bars, jerky, nuts, dried fruit, granola bars, and MRE’s. The more nutritious and light weight the better.
4 – First aid kit and vital medications. A simple first aid kit along with any medications that you take on a regular basis. Pain relievers would be a good idea to have on hand as well.
5 – Knife and/or multipurpose tool.
6 – Clothing/shelter. Extra clothes, hiking boots, light-weight thermal blanket, tent, etc.
7 – Rope and/or paracord.
8 – SAS Survival Guide book
9 – Flashlight with extra batteries
11 – Wire saw. Light weight and works well on small branches and other materials.
12 – Radio with extra batteries. You want to make sure you keep abreast of any pertinent information concerning where you’re going or what you might encounter on the way.
13 – Bandanna. Can be used to tie up long hair, pull hair back, wipe sweat, as a wash cloth, face mask to shield from smoke or foul odors, etc.
14 – Duct tape. Duct tape is strong and can bind many different materials together. You can use it to hang things up (a clothes line, for example), hold a tourniquet in place if someone is injured, repair or cover holes or breaks in your backpack, tent, garbage bag, boots, etc.
15 – Garbage bags. These can be useful in many different ways. Rain poncho, water collection, keeping things dry, etc.
Besides a bug-out bag, may I also suggest that you have a bug-in bag or kit as well.
FOODS FOR A BUG-IN BAG/BOX
A bug-in bag (or box, which we use) is useful to help ease stress during an emergency you don’t need to leave home for. Ideally, the foods would be quick to prepare and need no heating or cooking. If you have canned chili, for example, you wouldn’t really need to heat it unless you want to, as it’s already cooked and safe to eat right from the can. Other canned meats are also just as handy to have in your box.
A bug-in box doesn’t need to be portable or light weight and can take up more room. You can use canned and boxed foods. Here’s how I did my bug-in boxes for our family of four. I used 3 medium-sized boxes and labeled them on the outside with the date and Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3. This may seem unnecessary now, but if you have an emergency, the more you can over-think things the less stress you will have at the time.
I used identical foods in my three boxes and labeled them Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3. My boxes contained enough for my family of 4. I thought about 3 meals per day per person, trying to incorporate protein and foods with a high nutritional value. No need to be concerned with weight since it’s a kit for staying put. I concentrated mostly on foods that are filling, easy to fix, and that my family likes. I realize some nutrients are missing (such as veggies), but for 3 days I believe this kit will be nice to have in an emergency.
Here’s what I have in each of my 3 boxes:
– Tuna in pouches (2-3 pouches per person)
– Salmon in pouches (2-3 pouches per person)
– Mayonnaise (small – one is probably enough for the entire 3 days)
– Crackers (large box)
– Peanut butter (small to medium jar)
– Canned pineapple (1-2 cans per person)
– Canned chili (1-2 15-ounce cans per person)
I have crackers in lieu of bread. So the plan is to eat the salmon and tuna mixed with mayo with crackers – as a sort of sandwich. Peanut butter can also be used on the crackers or with the canned chili. My goal is to have foods that I don’t have to heat or do a lot of prep with in order to have quick meals and snacks if an emergency has occurred. This box ensures that we have 3 days worth of protein-rich foods on hand in case of emergency or power outage.
Note that you can easily add more to your boxes, and, of course, you should customize them based on your family’s preferences. And make sure you date them in order to rotate every 6 months, as the crackers and peanut butter will have fairly short expiration dates.
Note also that you will need plenty of water in an emergency, but I’m assuming here that you already have that covered.
Alternately, you could just purchase 3 days’ worth of freeze dried foods for your family. These you wouldn’t have to rotate. Buy Emergency Foods has some excellent choices. (Note that if you purchase through one of my links, I will get a small commission; however, you will still pay the same price. Thank you in advance for your support!)