Your 14 > 28 Day Survival Bugout Checklist
A rucksack is a backpack. Here are the features you should look for:
( ) Rucksack, is what I use
- Military green or drab color... nothing bright, not necessarily military
- A mid sized bag, not an expedition or a long-range bag. They are way too big.
- Should have an internal or external frame
- Should be the lightest you can find with features and quality you need
- Lots of strap down connectors
- External pouches
- Fanny pack holding straps or connectors for sleeping bag
- Detachable webbag for special items, such as weapons, survival gear, maps/charts
- Most importantly, it should fit you well and be comfortable
Always break it in before setting it aside for future use.
Hand Held Bag
If for whatever reason you will not be using a rucksack [backpack], then I highly recommend you do not plan on going it on foot for more than a few miles. You won't make it. If you have a short distance to travel on foot, then a durable sports equipment bag [drab color] or military duffle bag can be an alternative to a rucksack. If you are traveling with one or more companions, which can help carry one end of the load, you're in a better situation. In this case, you could attach the bag to a horizontal wood pole [wood closet poles work well]. One person on each end could get you a good distance.
A strong word of caution, let's get real. Anyone not willing or able to use a rucksack really should not consider traveling by foot while carrying 14 plus days of survival gear. Your chances of making it to your destination is severely limited. It is unfortunate, but very few adults are able to travel miles with a rucksack full of survival gear. To enter a world of fantasy, by ignoring the physical challenges, merely ensures failure. To end up stranded off road on some desolate wooded path without assistance would be tragic. Plan an alternative strategy to make it through the crisis.
Customize Your Bag
The ideas and recommendations within this checklist may not be adequate for your needs. You may need to add to or delete from this checklist in order for you to satisfy your individual situation and needs. The recommendations are merely that, recommendations. You are on your own when it comes to personal responsibility for preparing and maintaining your kit/bag.
( ) Hand Held Bag
Preparing to Prepare
- Items with (*) refer to motorized tranport only, not on foot. If included, pack in a separate bag, in case you need to abandon your vehicle, [leave behind].
- This list is not all inclusive, add and subtract to your needs.
- By all means, look and compare with other lists, to arrive at a list appropriate for your needs.
- We're talking about survival and so, rummaging through the garage for old stuff to use is a bad idea. When it come to survival, quality products in the best of condition is an absolute must. Use junk and you may not come back.
- Design your kit to be a light as possible, then make it lighter. Especially if there is any chance of needing to go by foot.
- Pack your emergency items in one location. A safe and easy place to get to.
- Use sturdy waterproof containers, for items which need protection.
- Be sure your items are stored so that they can be gotten to in the event your house is destroyed.
- Label all perishable items with a date of purchase and expiration date.
- Mark your calendar to check your emergency kit once a year.
- Everyone in your family should know the location and contents of your family's bugout kit.
- Everyone in the family should carry a copy of your families Emergency Plan at all times.
- When you Bugout, leave one or more copies of your Bugout destination, in highly visible places, for others to see when they come looking for you. Unless of course you prefer not to be found.
This check list is broken into sections: [Water Related], [Food & Nutrition], [Communications], [Personal Safety - Comfort - Health], [Outdoor Gear], [Misc Gear], [Tools], [Navigation], [Documents & Papers].
A water purification system (filter with built- in iodine resin treatment) or water filter plus iodine or chlorine treatment will serve the water needs providing non-potable water is available to treat. Experts recommend that you also treat and store a supply of potable water in air-tight containers for your family. Most experts recommend one to three gallons per person per day of water for all usages. Three people for three days equals nine to twenty seven gallons [all uses]. That's a lot of water. Having water left over, is much better than running out. Replace the water supply every 12 months. Obviously, if your kit is furnished with a quality water filtration unit and chemical treatment, and you are positive water is available at your destination, less water could be considered. A major consideration is temperature and whether or not you need to be on the go by foot. In very hot conditions, where availability of water is questionable, you need to think very clearly about the risk of running out of water, while hoofing-it to your destination. Remember, you can survive much longer without food than you can without water. The most important use of water of course is for human intake [potable water], and the amount of daily intake varies directly with loss of water [dehydration]. So let's distill the issue of water down to staying alive. That is, water we need to stay alive either in our home - shelter - or in the field [bugged out]. Having sufficient water is absolutely essential.
( ) Water: You will need no less than one gallon a day if you are on foot, especially if it is warm or worse yet, hot. If you have no idea of where to find water in the direction you are heading, it is best to bring along as much as you can carry.
( ) Water treatment chemicals are a must. There are a variety available, so add a quantity to your bag. Chemicals are needed because no filter takes out 100% of the bad stuff. The author recommends 5 drops per quart of a 2% tincture of FRESH iodine. Purchase small viles [1oz.] of iodine and never run out. Filter the water, add an appropriate amount of iodine, wait 30 - 60 min. and then use.
( ) Water filtration devices are really useful. Since you can buy a small good quality filter system. [capable of filtering to less than 1 micron]
( ) Canteen, one 2 quart jungle canteen or equivalent
( ) (*) 3 or 5-gallon jugs w/caps will allow you to carry water and then to obtain additional non-potable water for treatment. Also a large cup type vessel for filling the jug.
Food & Nutrition
( ) Freeze Dried Food is the best in every way. If you go online and learn about the product, you will be able to make decisions about what to buy and carry. If you wait until there is a crisis, it's too late, they will be sold out.
- No cooking of food with this list
- Never bring perishables
- Always store any food 10ft up in a tree at night
( ) Dehydrated Food is a good alternative to freeze dried. Not as high tech, but good. The dehydrated foods you get at the supermarket are generally junk food and should be avoided.
( ) Food concentrates are available online. I recommend you use the chewable tablet variety. They are not the best tasting, yet are not bad. They are extremely light and compact and will help carry you through when, for what ever reason you have little or no packaged food. Highly recommended.
( ) Energy bars can be very useful, if you use them sparingly. Don't eat them all in the first few days or else you may go hungry. On a hard hike, they can be very helpful. Think about the melting issue in hot weather, as well as making sure you rotate them over time. Try not to buy thirst generating bars, very bad for a survival application with limited water.
( ) (*) Canned foods are a last choice. They are heavy for what you get, which will limit greatly the number of days supply you can carry.
( ) (*) Hand operated can opener (an electrical can opener won't be much good).
( ) (*) Reusable picnic plates, glasses and utensils
A radio will be your best source of information. The first three should be available in one unit. The scanner may need to be acquired separately. Under the worst case situation, a shortwave receiver may be your best source of vital information. Consequently having a list of shortwave radio frequencies in your kit is important for the serious amongst us. An easy way to acquire a list is to contact a local ham radio club for help. You may only have room for one, so your choice will be dependent on the severity of the event. If radio and TV are out, you will want the short wave receiver. Otherwise leave the shortwave behind, if it is a separate unit. If everything is out, a scanner may be a very valuable item to have along. Because of size and weight it's a tough call.
( ) Portable radio AM/FM minimum
( ) Portable radio weather
( ) Portable radio shortwave Transceiver or receiver
( ) Portable radio police scanner
( ) Ear piece, you may want or need to be stealth and not want people hearing your radio,
so make sure you have your ear piece.
( ) Cell Phone
( ) Writing material
Personal Safety - Comfort - Health
( ) Seasonal clothing next to skin summer=cotton, winter=moisture wicking fabric. Do the research.
( ) Self Defense, handgun and ammo "if permitted", pepper spray, hunting knife
( ) Cloths, 1 shirt, 2 pair heavy socks, 1 pair paints, gloves [match for season], hat/cap
( ) Spare eye glasses [prescription and non-prescription]
( ) First aid kit: basic supplies - medications. [restock in 12 months]
( ) Hydrogen Peroxide, a small 2 oz container, for treating wounds.
( ) Prescription medications, 30 days worth, restock every 12 months for freshness or as directed.
( ) Vitamins, high quality, multi, 30 days
( ) Pain medication, over counter, such as aspirin, very small container, 8 - 12 units
( ) Zip lock bags, 6 qt size, heavy duty
As a reminder, these recommendations assume a high probability of hoofing-it sometime during coming days. If this is a risk, design and pack your kit for such travel. Traveling by foot requires exceptional planning. Your bugout bag should be as compact, light and as complete as possible, considering your physical ability to carry it a long distance.
( ) Tents - One person tents are popular [4-5 lbs], yet for size and weight a bivy sack with a tarp is preferred, by really experienced back woods hikers.
( ) Bivy Sacks [1-2 lbs] without a need for ground cover, is designed to insert a sleeping bag into and it's purpose it to keep the sleeping bag dry, while sheltering you from foul weather. It is very light and compact and is the choice for traveling by foot.
( ) Sleeping bags are very important. Keeping warm is essential. A very light and compact high quality bag is highly desirable.
( ) Ground mat for under sleeping bag. Try to get a self inflating mat.
( ) Light weight waterproof tarps [7' X 9'] are used to rig a tent type shelter. Often used by folks traveling by foot. Larger version can accommodate multiple people. Used when tent or bivy bag is not available. Good for added shelter from heat/sun or cold.
( ) (*) Sleeping gear - blanket, pad, pillow, ground pad [waterproof]
( ) (*) Tents - For a family - a small light weight quality tent w/ground cover.
( ) Bug repellent with deet.
( ) Jackets/coats [geared to season]
( ) Poncho military only
( ) Hiking boots make sure you break them in, beforehand
( ) Toiletries, one small bar soap, cut down tooth brush w/paste
( ) Toilet paper, save from home, three 2/3 used roles. Place each partial role in a separate heavy duty zip lock bag.
( ) Feminine hygiene supplies
( ) (*) Mosquito netting as necessary
( ) (*) Infant supplies
( ) (*) Work gloves, leather
( ) (*) Paper towels, rolls
( ) (*) Space blankets for emergency "heat reflective"
( ) Magnifying glass, small
( ) Whistle for each person
( ) Small mirror for signaling
( ) Flashlights water proof for each person and with fresh and spare batteries and bulbs. If alone, bring (2). A red lens for night use would be nice for minimizing attention. Attracting attention during a real ugly event could be unwise.
( ) Waterproof matches, 5 per day
( ) Propane lighter pack 2
( ) Pocket knife [sharp]
( ) Hunting knife [light weight, very sharp, ya never know]
( ) (*) Marine flares
( ) (*) Fire extinguisher, ABC type
( ) (*) Lantern [oil, propane, not a battery unit "won't last]
( ) (*) Lantern fuel for 10 days [you don't want to be without light]
( ) (*) Chlorinated lime [powdered] - to treat waste and garbage
( ) (*) Newspaper to wrap garbage and waste or use in starting fires.
( ) Money, Most ATM machines will be down.
( ) Wristwatch, high quality, fresh battery, water proof
( ) (*) Garden hose for siphoning, 10' [new]
( ) (*) Household bleach [smallest container]
( ) (*) Plastic trash bags
( ) (*) Pets; food, medication, leash, protection
( ) Nail clippers, small pair
( ) Tree saw, fold-up woodsman style, light weight
( ) Multi-use tool, Leatherman style
( ) Cord, 50' of 550 parachute style cord
( ) Duct tape, role your own over other gear, 10ft.
( ) (*) Plastic sheeting
( ) (*) Steel wire, tie wire coil
( ) (*) Ax
( ) (*) Hatchet
( ) (*) Shovel - dirt
( ) (*) Small broom
( ) (*) Screwdriver [flathead and phillips combo]
( ) (*) Wrench, adjustable
( ) (*) Pliers
( ) (*) Hammer, small
( ) (*) Nails, assorted
Navigation Aids and Gear
( ) Roadmap areas you will traverse - prefer water proof
( ) Topographical chart of the areas you will traverse. It can be acquired from any general aviation fixed based operation.
( ) GPS, hand held - preferably 2
( ) GPS, Owners manual
( ) Flash light, w/red lense for night - small and lite weight
( ) Magnifying glass, for reading map in poor light
( ) Compass, hand held, good quality - also, learn where the north star is in a night sky.
Documents & Papers
If an event is serious enough to force you from for home indefinitely, then it is also important for you to have certified copies of certain documents in your bugout bag.
( ) Short-term plan, A copy of any specific written plan, others might have regarding the sudden need to bugout. Execute the plan if time permits. See
( ) Forms of identity, At least two , preferably with your picture.
( ) Vehicle papers, registration and insurance cards etc..
( ) House Deed, copy of
( ) Home Insurance, copy of
( ) Medical Insurance personal ID card
( ) Medical Insurance, copy of [important pages]
( ) Birth Certificate, Copy of
( ) Medical History, a summary especially allergic reactions to medications
Seconds save lives. Don't make emergency personnel waste time trying to figure out what not to do to you, as a treatment. You may die, while they are helpless.
- ( ) List of medications you are on
- ( ) List current illnesses
- ( ) Name, location and telephone number of your physician/s
( ) Lawyer, Name, location and telephone number of
( ) Important telephone numbers, list of
( ) Who to contact, names of next of kin or "in-case-of-contacts", along with addresses and telephone numbers
( ) Short Wave frequencies for receiver mentioned earlier
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Last edited on ... March 15, 2007
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