Bug Out Bag Essentials - Checklist

A Bug Out Bag is a bag containing all the essential items you might need in the event of an emergency - packed and ready to go for almost immediate departure in a crisis.

The clear limitation will be what can you fit in the bag, bearing in mind you won't want to overburden yourself with heavyweight items, unless they are absolutely essential.

The elements that you'll need to prepare for will be shelter, heating & lighting, food & water, clothing & comfort, safety, first aid & hygiene, navigation, tools & practical items, documentation and financial.


  • Tent

Heating & Lighting

  • Fire lighters
  • Matches
  • Torch
  • Gas stove
  • Fuel

Food & Water

  • Energy dense foods
  • Freeze dried meals
  • Energy bars
  • Water purifier / tablets

Clothing & Comfort

  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Hat
  • Thermal Gloves
  • Additional clothing
  • Towel
  • Emergency blanket
  • Sleeping bag

First Aid & Hygiene

  • Personal toiletries
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Medicines
  • Plasters & Bandages
  • Air-filtration mask
  • Thermometer


  • Local maps
  • Compass

Tools & Practical Items

  • Manual can opener
  • Fishing equipment
  • Rope / Cord
  • Duct tape
  • Tactical knife
  • Whistle
  • Axe
  • Batteries

Financial & Documentation

  • Passport/driving licence
  • Waterproof box/bag
  • Bank cards
  • Cash

Note that all items will need to be packed well into a convenient, robust and waterproof backpack for easy travel.

We also have a full list of survival equipment here that you might want to consider, however it the premise of a Bug Out Bag is that you need to leave all other possessions and depart/evacuate and hence there are specific limitations and restrictions on what you can carry.