Skip to content

Let me introduce you to: My Bug-out-Bag

My Bug out bag

If you look online you’ll find probably over a hundred articles of what should and shouldn’t be in a bug out bag. Like everything prepping related, I do believe that there is never a 100% right or wrong. It is always dependent on your situation and preferences. Keep in mind you are prepping for yourself (and family) and no one else. Therefore, I won’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t have in your bug out bag. Instead, I’ll show you mine and explain why I did, what I did.  Most things in there are our old hunting and camping equipment, stuff we don’t use anymore but still does the job.


Where do I store my bug out bag?

Unlike many preppers I do store my bug out bag in the boot of my car. Everywhere I go, my bug out bag goes as well. The reason I’m doing this is, that I believe when disaster strikes there is a good chance, I won’t be home. Therefore my bug out bag is also my getting-home-bag. Furthermore, as you’ll see, my bug out bag contains many things which might come in handy when something happens while on the road. The second reason I keep my bug out bag in the car is, that in case of an earthquake (which is not an unlikely event in New Zealand) or a house fire, I’d rather have my bug out bag in my car than buried underneath my house.


For how long will it last?

My bug out bag is intended to last 24h-48h for two people (One might be able to stretch it to 72 hours). I think the main question you’d have to ask yourself is, how long will it take to get where you want to go. Or how long will it take to get home. Personally, I try to keep my bug out bag as “lean” as possible, to keep the weight in a reasonable spectrum.


What is my bug out bag?

The bag

the bug out bag

The bag is an old fairy down bag I found for 30 bucks at an op-shop. I quite like it since you can use it as a normal carry bag, but it also has a harness to carry it on your back.

Sleeping Bags

As I already mentioned most of the equipment is old camping equipment we don’t use anymore. Same goes for the two down sleeping bags. They are no name down sleeping bags from China, which we tested to keep us warm till -5 degrees. Since we do live on the south island where it can get quite cold in winter, being able to stay warm is a necessity.


Personally, I’m a fan of the nature hike tents, since they are lightweight, robust and reasonable priced. For my bug out bag I’ve got the Nature Hike Cloud 2 tent. It is super lightweight and doesn’t take up a lot of space.  I would always go with a tent, even if its slightly heavier and bulkier than a tarp. But it is the best transportable and robust form of shelter, protects you from the elements and any bugs


For water I’ve got a regular bottle of water, which I swap out regularly. Additionally, I do have a LifeStraw like filter which fits on normal PET bottles.  I’ve also got some Aquatabs and a stainless-steel cup to boil water. While the amount of water doesn’t sound like much, all our possible bug out routes have plenty of streams and rivers, and we have the means to clarify it. Thus, reducing the amount of water we have in our bag helps us keep the weight down. In case you live in a drier area, you might want to consider carrying more water.


For food I use freeze dried meals, freeze-dried meat for extra protein (from no rush) and emergency food rations, I’ve got form army and outdoors shop. In regards to freeze dried, in case you haven’t had freeze dried meals before I’d recommend trying them before, because some brands might give you tummy issues. We use the same brand we use when on hunting trips.

Emergency shelter, sleeping bags and emergency blanket

The reason I carry emergency shelter and emergency sleeping bags in addition to a normal tent and sleeping bags are:

  • In some situations, pitching a tent might be too risky or not possible
  • The tent might be damaged
  • Since I do have my bug out bag in my car, where other passengers might be as well, the additional mylar products might come in handy
  • It might be colder than -5 degrees.
  • Mylar blankets/shelters and emergency sleeping bags are incredible light weight and hardly add any bulk to the bag


Stainless steel cup

The stainless-steel cup is to boil water, either for drinking or preparing food. Since it is stainless steel, it can be used directly over an open camp fire.

Radio with torch

I do believe a radio is important to stay up to date in case of an emergency. The one I have is from Goodtohave. I quite like it since it comes with a torch as well and comes with a hand crank and a little solar panel to recharge it.

Spare socks

Where we live, it can get quite cold in winter and having wet feet on a cold day is very uncomfortable. Therefore, a pair of spare socks is essential. I’d recommend wool socks.

Insect repellent

In case you live in an area where sandflies are common, having some sort of insect repellent is essential, otherwise you are going to be eaten alive, when out camping.

Emergency whistle

Probably not necessarily essential, but still a nice little gadget. It comes from goodtohave as well. The main reason I have it in my bug out bag, is that the whistle is a simple but effective way of to draw the attention of a potential search and rescue team.

Folding shovel

I think a folding shovel is something quite important to have in your bug out bag. You can use it to dig a loo (keep in mind hygiene is important), use it to free your car or any other type of crude work. The one I have is from the warehouse.

Fire-starting kit

My fire-starting kit is simply a candle (for light and the wax as Firestarter), some natural Firestarter pieces, a ferrocerium rod and matches as a backup. All packed into a Ziplock back to keep it dry. I suppose there is not really a right and wrong what you’ll need in your fire-starting kit, just use something you are familiar to use, and always have more than one fire-starting means.



For my bug out bag I’ve got a spare Leatherman-like multitool (also goodtohave). I use exactly the same ones on our hunting trips and absolutely love it, that is why I bought a second one for the bug out bag. So apart from a very sharp knife this means I have got pliers, scissors, a file, can opener, wood saw and a bunch of screwdrivers at hand.

First aid kit

When bugging out accidents can easily happen, therefore a first aid kit is essential. I’ve put mine together myself. It contains an Israeli bandage, plaster, bandages, wound pads, bandage scissors, tweezer, ibuprophen, some female hygiene products and a piece of soap.


For tissues and as a toilet paper substitute I carry folded kitchen towel sheets and pressed toilet paper tablets in a zip lock bag. The reasons I don’t use normal toilet paper rolls are

  • Doesn’t need as much space
  • Kitchen towel is more robust than toilet paper

Solar panel

Having a phone on hand is definitely handy and to keep it charged I’ve also got a solar panel, I did get this one ages ago from AliExpress.

Small folding backpack

Also, probably not a necessity, but I have a small folding backpack in my bug out bag as well because

  • I already had it
  • It weights next to nothing
  • It might come in handy so have some more options to carry stuff, or the weight of the bug out bag could be split between 2 people


Why do I only have one bug out bag

I’ve already mentioned that the pack is for two persons. So, the most natural questions would be, why don’t you have two bug out bags. I thought about that a long time. But I do believe having only one bug out bag is the better way, because

  • Personally, I tend to fill every backpack with unnecessary stuff. Focusing on one bag forced us to be a bit more stringent with deciding what we would include and what not.
  • Two backpacks would take up more space in the (already too small) Boot of our car.
  • Bugging out is not my primary plan, but I would like to be prepared for the case when I have to and might not have the time to pack. This bug out bag is also intended to be our emergency equipment if we get stranded somewhere in our car


1 thought on “Let me introduce you to: My Bug-out-Bag”

  1. Don’t forget food and carrier bag for cat/dogs! 🙂 There is no way in hell I’m leaving my 2 cats behind. Will be a blimmin pain, but still have too

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *