How to build family bug out bags – 2021

May 17, 2021

If an event forced you and your family out of your home in a matter of minutes, would you have prepared enough in advance to have the right items to ensure you, your family, and your pets would be okay if you were restricted to the disaster zone and help was days away?  

If I told you that you and your family had to leave your home in five minutes from right now and survive with no help for seventy-two hours, could you do it?  In this article, I’ll walk you through the critical items you’d want to have ready to ensure your and your family’s safety.

It is a bit challenging doing articles on these bags as everyone has different needs and you’ll face different challenges based on where you live.  Also, these bags are part of a bigger evacuation system I’ve built I’ll detail in a future video, but the primary goal of these bags is simply to keep you alive for 72 hours if you had to evacuate your home quickly.   

Below are the items based on the category you need to consider.  Also, here’s a quick link to each section:

Adults


Backpack

When it comes to backpacks, the options are seemingly endless.  I have personally swapped out my backpack for the Vanquest IBEX 35 and for my wife, I set her up with the smaller Vanquest IBEX 26.  The goal is to keep the weight under 15% of your body weight and no more than 20%.

Shelter

Water

Light

Fire

Navigation

Security

Food (3 days worth)

These options for food are really up to you and your budget. There are a lot of options on the market and the ones I list below are different options based upon what works for you.

Clothes

Medical

Toiletries / Hygiene

Comms

Power

Information

Tools

Documents

  • Legal docs (copies) and keep a USB thumb drive with important documents (be sure to password protect it). Have a copy of your driver’s license, SSN card, and medical insurance.
  • Pet vaccinations
  • Current photos of all family members in each bag.
  • List of contacts in each bag, emergency phone number that everyone calls, in zip lock plus has one outside of region contact person.
  • Have a meet-up plan formula discussed and maybe written down in each pack, especially if the designated spot is not next door.

Money

Cash in both bags ($100 in each bag). Put a card with your name and phone number in it in case it gets lost. Need smaller denominations.

Eyewear

Extra pair of glasses if you wear them or have contact lenses.

Children


Backpack

When it comes to children’s backpacks, you’ll need to decide what works best based on age and budget.  Be sure to keep the weight down as many smaller children may struggle to carry large amounts of weight.

Mobility

Shelter

Water

Light

Clothes

  • Have their clothes and underwear ready

Toiletries / Hygiene

Comms

Food

Do 3 days worth of food

Medical

Small medical kits for the kids

Entertainment

Documents
Current photos of all family members in each bag. One of the group…as a single of each person and printed laminated cards for every pack.  A list of contacts in each bag, emergency phone number that everyone calls, laminated or in zip lock plus has one outside of region contact person.  I would also have a meet-up plan formula discussed and may be written down, copied, and laminated in each pack, especially if the designated spot is not next door.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this document gives you enough information to serve as a foundation in deciding what makes the most sense to add to your family’s bug-out bags.  I tried to put together categories for you to consider and what you add for each category is up to you.

As always, stay safe out there.

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Maria Canalas
Maria Canalas
2 months ago

I watched your video. Thank you! I added some items based on your bag.

I was wondering—where did you get the patch of your color coding system? I’d like to have a few for my bags.

WhereEaglesDare
WhereEaglesDare
6 months ago

Good information. I was able to check against my list, which allowed me to make some modifications. Thanks!

Laura Morton
Laura Morton
6 months ago

Very useful list! Thank you!

Bob
Bob
6 months ago

Where did you get your color coded pouches from? Thanks!

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