Bug Out Bag Checklist: What are the Most Important Items?

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Written by The Tenth Man, A B.O.B. List

What do they know that we don’t?  For those unaware , it was reported in December of 2014, in both mainstream and alternative news outlets that the US Treasury Department put out for bids to purchase $200,000 in Bug Out Bags for over 3800 federal bank examiners.

Emergency Preparedness ExpertThe story doesn’t stop here.  Recently, the Federal Reserve put out a job request for Emergency Specialists with experience in emergency preparedness, Homeland Security directives and Hazmat training. A further investigation on the Indeed job website turned up current  listings (January 2015) for Emergency Preparedness Specialists for such institutions as the Smithsonian and the Federal Aviation Administration. One begins to wonder if these anticipated purchases and hirings are                                               not just mere coincidences but preparation of a foreboding                                                       event yet to come!

                                                      Bug Out Bag Rationale
Different Bug Out Bag Types

With this in mind, don’t you think it is even more urgent now more then ever, to have a bug out bag ready for when that zero hour is at hand? Because we cannot know exactly when a calamity will occur, one needs to be vigilant and ready to run, evade or escape wherever you are when this tragedy occurs.

Typically, those that have a fully stocked emergency bag keep it at home safely stowed away . But what good is it, if you are not at home to retrieve it? Let’s face it most of us spend 1/3rd of our day away from home. The threat of a disaster happening unexpectedly during the normal part of a school ,work or play day is very real.

Therefore, I advocate the purchasing and assembling of an assortment of “Bug Out Bags” to be used in specific circumstances and predicaments stored in strategic locations nearby where you most frequent during the day or night. The bags I suggest are;

  1. Everyday Carry Kit/Bag (EDC)
  2. Get Home Bag (GHB)
  3. 72 Hour Bug Out Bag (BOB)

Unique Checklists and Bug Out Bag Types Explained

For each of the bag types below, I provide a categorized list of emergency items and supplies. The survival items on these lists were selected and chosen not by me but from emergency preparedness and  professional survival experts. I collected the data, tabulated it and presented as a list. This list was extensively researched and painstaking constructed.  Therefore, the lists presented below are quite unique and more objective then any other bug out bag list found in print and internet .

                                                    Everyday Carry Kit/Bag/Gear
Everyday Carry Gear

Everyday carry kits/gear/bags provides you with the necessary emergency items needed during the time you are without your more comprehensive Get Home, 72 hour bug out bags or supplies you would need during a crisis.  It thus complements and completes your preparation repertoire.  Ideally, this limited but effective gear will provide you with the necessary aid until you able to access your more complete emergency stash or get                                               to safer surroundings.

The items selected to be part of an EDC kit are survival tools (e.g. neck chain knife, tactical pen, etc…) and items (e.g. key chain photon LED light, pocket survival kit, etc…) found throughout your person. This gear is secured and stored in and among your every day clothing, pockets, purses, simple backpacks, jacket, key chain, wallets, belt and neck chain or lanyard.  Being prepared means keeping your EDC items simple and at hand.


                                                               Get Home Bag (GHB)
Get Home Bag

It is easy to get confused between a Get Home Bag and 72 hour Bug Out Bag.  In fact, they are often used synonymously. Conceptually a get home bag is meant to be used if an emergency or disaster event takes place during the day or night when you are away from your home or bug out location.

Typically the bag or container is kept at work, school or car stored in a safe location (ex. locker, workstation drawer, filing cabinet, car trunk etc…) near you to be grabbed at a moment’s notice.  All of the items contained in the bag should appropriately address all your needs until you arrive to your safe destination (in other words your supplies and gear should last long enough to get you from your evacuation site to your safe designated location).

Keeping it lightweight, compact and inconspicuous is key since your walk home in dress shoes or flats could be long and arduous.

                                                 72 Hour Bug Out Bag (72 BOB)
72 hour bags

For many, the most popular and best known of the bug out bags is the 72 hour or 3 day bag.  This the bag you would grab at a moments notice if requested or force to evacuate your current residence.

According to some top emergency preparedness experts, a 72 hour BOB is designed to support you and the people who are with you for seventy two hours to get you from point A to point B safely and comfortably as possible. Therefore, a 72 hour bug out bag would not be a tactical bag which is mostly used in a battle scenario or for a defensive military response.

This bag by far carries the greatest amount of emergency preparedness supplies. It must provide you and possibly others with more than enough provisions to get by. A 72 hour BOB is kept at home securely with routine monitoring of expiration dates of perishable supplies in your bag.


Although the complete lists above gives you the necessary and useful information to purchase the most essential items you would need for your bags, I am a proponent of buying ready made/fully equipped EDC, GHB and a 72 hr. BOB.  I give you why in my article, “5 Reasons Why to Buy That Ready Made BOB Now!

I also provide a complete downloadable PDF all in one Super List. This downloadable checklist can be found on my main page (click here).

About the Author:

John aka The Tenth Man received his Master Degree in The Teaching of History and Education from the University of Illinois. A professional educator, with 12 years of teaching experience, John has taught at the secondary and post secondary levels in History, Education, English Language Learning and Teaching. He is a family man with a strong passion for his boys and wife of 26 years.  He incorporates an independent lifestyle of self sufficiency.

His interest in research and activism in the areas of Survivalism, Prepping and Risk Anaysis was fueled by the events and aftermath of September 11. 2001.  He seeks to bring an objective viewpoint on current events and future trends striving to offer effective emergency preparedness strategies and viewpoints. The Tenth Man’s mission is to share his findings in the obscure and less traveled roads with a desire to help those seeking honest answers to the many poignant questions during this most critical phase in human history… one day at a time.

Please visit his website, A B.O.B List


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