Be Prepared…To Go Bags


Bug out bags, to-go bags, 72 hour bags – No matter what you call them they are always nice to have “just in case”.

During this post I will be referring to these as BOB’s – short for bug out bags. There are a ton of names for them, to go bags, 72 hour bag, go bag, scram bag, and on and on – but really no matter what you call them they are pretty much all the same thing.


Essentially – it’s a bag with stuff in it to help you survive.


First – start with a well-made bag, preferably with lots of pockets. You want it to be nice and strong, because there’s gonna be a lot of stuff in it.

Here is a basic list of what’s in the bag: (Remember, your bag will be personalized to you.)

  • Extra pair of clothes (something comfortable, i.e. jeans and t-shirt, sweatshirt)
  • Socks – couple pairs
  • Food (MRE’s, granola bars, protein bars, etc)
  • Water, empty water container, water purifications tablets, life straw, etc.
  • Matches – stored in plastic zip lock bag
  • Flashlights with batteries stored separately in a plastic zip lock bag (reason for this – batteries go bad, this will save your flashlight)
  • Alcohol based hand sanitizer (use for cleaning or fire starter)
  • Bible, notepad, pen
  • First aid kit
  • Toilet paper
  • Chap stick, small bottle of lotion, sunscreen, bugspray, whistle
  • Hair ties/hat
  • Money (up to $50, small bills and coins)
  • Map/compass
  • Plastic Bags -grocery store plastic bags, produce bags, zip lock bags (1-2 each)
  • Pocket knife
  • Multi tool
  • Pocket SAS survival book, by John Wiseman
  • Handkerchief
  • Poncho
  • Emergency blanket
  • Fold away shovel
  • Small cooking stove
  • Mess kit with utensils
  • Paracord
  • Pepper spray/knife (optional for personal safety)

Other things to consider for your BOB:

  • Feminine Care items: pads and tampons – these are not just for their intended purpose, they are great at stopping all kinds of bleeding
  • If you wear contacts, you may want to put another set in or a pair of glasses
  • Shoes – if you wear a lot of dress/dressy shoes you may want to put a good pair of tennis shoes or hikers in/with your bag.
  • Winter Weather changeout: Change of season means a check of the bag, check everything ok and in good order and add winter gear. Coat, hat, gloves, balaclava mask, gaiters, instant heat packs, etc.
  • I have also seen people advise: antibacterial wipes, phone charges, medications, copies of important paperwork and medical records, etc. I personally wouldn’t put these in a BOB, they would be more appropriate for your home preparedness supplies.

Making a Kids BOB:

Back in August of 2021 I had a post about my daughters to go bag. The premise is somewhat the same, but where-as I was mainly looking at keeping a child entertained and quiet while going to church or a restaurant, here I am looking at things to help them during a time of need. Really the only difference between the two bags would be cutting back on toys, adding a couple zip lock bags of clothes, some extra food and water. If they are still in diapers, their diaper bag should work for them, and have everything they would need.

Kids don’t need everything that you have in your bag because you will be there to help them. And as they get older their bag can gain more supplies as you see fit.


Final thoughts:

Just remember you are making your BOB specifically for you. What you feel you need, should determine what goes into it, but you don’t have a lot of room – everything must have a use – and its main purpose is to assist you in a time of need.

The place you are keeping it/ the way you live may also change what you have in it. I keep my BOB in our car. That way when I run into town, I know I have it. But that makes some things on the list not needed to be kept in it all the time, because if something happens I can get those out of the car.

Those items would be:

  • Bottled water
  • Extra food (I keep a little in my bag, but we have a food bucket in the car that I would clean out)
  • Shoes (I live in my hikers and tennis shoes)
  • Winter gear (we live in Montana and the weather can change quickly even in the summer I keep a jacket with me when I am out and about, and in the winter, I am the queen of winter gear – I don’t leave home without my coat, scarf, hat and gloves – but I will note that in the cold months, I still have gaiters and an extra pair of gloves in my BOB.)

What do you have in your BOB?


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