At this point in the year, many preppers and survivalists have started their spring cleaning: checking the expiration dates on their supplies, rotating stock, and replacing items that have been used or gone bad. While working on this vital task, every prepper should remember to include their bug out bag.

What is a bug out bag?

A bug out bag is a grab-and-go survival kit that you prepare ahead of time in case you have to quickly abandon your home during a disaster. It should hold all of the items you will need to survive on your own, in the elements, for three whole days.

Most bug out bags will contain the same basic items, such as non-perishable food, water, a flashlight and a first aid kit. However, because every person has different needs, each bag will be unique.

Needs to consider when building your bug out bag

  • Is anyone in your family diabetic or have other health conditions? You’ll want to have at least three days worth of their medication and testing supplies in the bag. Medications can expire quickly, so rotate your supply regularly.
  • Do you live in a cold or rainy climate? Then you’ll want to have warm clothes, ponchos and sleeping bags ready to go. In a hot or arid climate, you may need extra water, sunscreen, and protective gear.
  • If you had to abandon your car as well, how much weight could you and your family carry over several miles? While you need to be fully prepared to survive a crisis, lighter is better. Opt for small tools, ready-to-eat food, collapsible canteens, and a lightweight tent.
  • Do you have a baby or a pet? You’ll need to include their supplies, too: formula, diapers, pet food, carrier, etc.

Other items to pack

As prepared as you want to be

You can make your bug out bag as big or as small as you want. It all depends on where you live, what you and your family need to stay alive and healthy, and how comfortable you want to be. Once your bug out bag is assembled, you’ll want to store it in a safe and easily accessible place. Check the items for freshness twice a year.

Hopefully, you’ll never have to abandon your home during a crisis. But if you do, you’ll be prepared.