Making a basic bug-out bag: Part 2

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Making a basic bug-out bag - The Hot Mess Press

The bug-out bag is your go-to if you need to evacuate your home with little notice. These bags should include what you need for up to 72 hours. The basic bug-out bag is not complicated to make and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You need a sturdy backpack for each family member. The items you put in your bag can vary and there are many resources to help you decide what makes the most sense based on your circumstances. The following information can help you build your bug-out bag with the essentials. Keep in mind that you can customize your bag based on your needs. You can always add or take away items that don’t apply to your situation.

Food and personal care

Obviously, having enough food is a top priority. You want to look for long-lasting foods that require little to no cooking and are lightweight. Canned goods are not ideal here. Think about tuna or chicken pouches, oatmeal packets, jerky, nutrition bars, and dry goods like crackers. Water is also very important, but your water needs will vary based on where you’re evacuating to.  It’s important to check your bug-out bags every 6 months or so to rotate foods that are near expiration and add fresh foods. When it comes to personal care, focus on the most basic items. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, pre-moistened wipes, and a first aid kit. Luxury items, while nice, add weight and bulk to your pack.


A multi-tool can be used for many things. They can open cans and packages and some even have fold-out eating utensils. Duct tape, a small sewing kit, and super glue can be very useful for basic repairs on many items. A flashlight with batteries or a headlamp is also very useful. Don’t forget extra chargers for your phones since they will come in useful if you’re evacuated to a hotel or somewhere else with power. If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of making your own bug-out bag, there are pre-made options available. They are pricey and they may include items you don’t necessarily need.

Documents and safety precautions

In some weather situations, you have to consider the fact that your house and personal possessions may not be accessible for a long period of time. In disasters like hurricanes or wildfires, you will need insurance documents, deeds, birth certificates, and other important papers. Make copies of all of these documents for your bug-out bag. While it’s unthinkable that your child could be separated from you, it does happen in some emergency situations. Be sure to label their backpacks with names, addresses, and phone numbers. You may also want to label your children’s clothing if they are too young to remember their personal information.

No one wants to think about a scenario that requires them to flee their home in a hurry. But it does happen. It’s helpful to prepare ahead with a basic bug-out bag that can help you make it through those first 72 hours. Keep your bags in an easily accessible area and rotate the food as needed to ensure they’re always ready to go.

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