How to Build a Bug out Bag for Perfect Balance

In this step-by-step guide, I will go through how to build a bugout bag.

For anyone new wanting to be a survivalist, creating a bug out of a bag might seem like a major challenge. Everyone you’ve read about has been tweaking theirs for months or even years, and they’ve built up a pile of gear.

The 72-hour bags are typically designed to get you out of an emergency situation and allow you to live on your own for up to 3 days. Many people prepare their Bug Out Bag to keep them going for a lot longer than just that, but there’s always a limit to what you can bring on your back, and a 3-day goal is a reasonable place to start.

So, in this article, we will cover exactly how to build a bugout bag. Let’s dive right in.

You need a high-quality bug out bag before you start filling your bug out bag with all your survival gear and supplies.

Starting your bug out bag with a lousy backpack is a bad idea, so ensure you get all of the following qualities:

  • Made of dense, tough fabrics
  • Includes MOLLE(covered below)
  • Has a chest strap and/or a padded hip brace
  • Waterproof or contains a cover
  • Great quality zippers and clips
  • It contains many pockets and compartments.

The MOLLE system (Modular Lightweight Loading System) helps you to connect items to your bag via a weaving system. If you don’t know how to mount equipment to your MOLLE bags, here’s a nice video:

How to Build a Bugout Bag

Here are all the things you need to build your perfect bug-out bag with the best gear linked right by it. Other blogs have had similar lists, but this is the proper list from my experience.

Here is exactly what you should have as a bare essential. With our recommended gear, this should not take up that much space in your bag if packed properly and should weigh about 22.5 pounds. However, if your gear does not fit the recommended gear linked below, it may be slightly higher or lower. 

  • The bag – here
  • Basic first aid kit – here or learn how to build a survival first aid kit.
  • Gasmask – here
  • Water
  • Collapsible Canteen – here
  • Water filter – here
  • 20 Water purification tablets – here
  • Freeze-dried food – here
  • X2 survival lighter – here/here
  • Headlamp – here
  • Field Knife – here
  • Multitool – here
  • Parachute Cords – here
  • Compact tarp – here
  • Paper map (Print online map)
  • Cash Currency($400)
  • Condensed soap – here
  • Compact toilet paper – here
  • Jacket
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Shirt
  • Bandana
  • Two-way radio – here
  • Waterproof storage bags – here
  • Tactical Pen – here
  • Paper
  • Cellphone
  • Legal Documents (Passport, Personal ID, Insurance Policy, Medical Card)

Here is what you need to add to the bare essentials. This should take up more space and should weigh about 32.5 pounds with the recommended gear linked to below.

  • +Larger first aid kit for multiple people – here
  • +Gloves – here
  • +Spork – here
  • +Flashlight – here
  • +Ultralight sleeping pad – here
  • +Ultralight sleeping bag – here
  • +Sleeping masks/ earplugs – here
  • +Wet wipes – here
  • +Toothbrush/paste/ floss – here
  • +Chapstick – here
  • +Towel – here
  • +Tactical sunglasses – here
  • +Insect repellent – here
  • +Tactical belt – here
  • +Firearm, holster, and a full mag
  • +Nail clippers – here
  • +Compass – here
  • +Small game
  • +Power bank – here

This is going to be more costly, obviously, and heavier. However, this will help you out in a variety of extra SHTF scenarios.

  • +Reusable match – here
  • +Rechargeable batteries/ battery charger – here
  • +Extra magazine
  • +Hand sanitizer – here
  • +Ultralight/compact portable stove – here
  • +Stove Fuel – here
  • +Vaseline – here
  • +Small mirror – here
  • +Whistle(came with compass)
  • +Ultralight tent – here
  • +Saw – here
  • +Sillcock key – here
  • +Blade sharpener – here
  • +Second pair of socks
  • +Second pair of underwear
  • +Flat travel roll of duct tape – here
  • +Field guide book – here
  • +Gold/silver button coins – here/here
  • +Glowsticks – here

Common Bugout Bag Mistakes

Here are some bug-out bag mistakes that are commonly made. 

1. A Low-quality bag

If you chose your bug out bag hastily, you will most likely end up with a bag that is unsuitable for your specific needs. Your bag can be too large, have little space for essentials, or have an unsuitable overall appearance. Using an insufficient bug out bag would reduce the odds of success in a bug out the case.

I recommend reading this article to determine which is the right bug out bag for your needs. After reading a thorough analysis of each bag, you’ll have a clearer understanding of which bag would best fit your needs by weighing the size, construction material, and price.

Determine if the bug out bag is intended to hold a 24-hour supply, a 48-hour supply, or a 72-hour supply. A 72-hour bug out bag can have a volume of 40 liters or 2,500 cubic inches for an adult. 

Remember to be adaptable as well. If you are bugging out with your mates, you will split the load and bear fewer things by sharing the load with other family members (or more if you are well-built). Purchase your bag right after thorough testing. 

It is a smart idea to put weights in the bag and walk around with it for a while testing the bag. You can request any bean bags from the store clerk in order to replicate a bug-out scenario.

2. A Bag that Stands Out

When bugging out, the target should be to not seem to be well-prepared or well-supplied.
It is preferable to blend in with the crowd, holding items that people would usually bring (at least on the surface). If you have a bag of bright colors, you can draw a lot of attention to yourself. Of course, the style of your backpack is influenced by your personal preferences.
You might want your bag to appear tactical or camouflaged. If you want to keep your belongings sorted, you should consider purchasing a backpack with several pouches.
Any of your tastes can be accommodated, but it is more critical that your bag fit in with your surroundings.
If you want to learn more about blending in, check out our article on How to Become the Gray Man (The Ultimate Guide).

3. Lack of Equipment Training

Training is key. You cannot argue that successfully bugging out will necessitate a high level of ability, such as building a survival fire, constructing a proper survival shelter, and even learning how to filter water resources. 

It would be an useless pursuit if your bag had equipment that you did not know how to use. The things you pack in your bug out bag must be Essential to your life. The only way the gear can be meaningful is if you know what to do with it.

4. Too Little Food/Water

Bringing very little food or water is a deadly error, particularly if your environments have little food and water resources. 

Water It is customary for a prepper to pack at least one gallon of water a day for an adult. Although you are certain that there will be a water source along the road to your bug out place, a gallon of water per day is needed.
A minimum calorie intake of 2000-2500 is suggested for a medium-sized adult who engages in moderate exercise. The foods you eat should provide you with enough energy to keep your body running. It would be best if you could purchase energy bars or backpack meals because they have more calories.

Bugout Bag Weight

People overestimate how much they can carry. I recommend testing your bugout bag and not packing anything above 50 pounds for an adult.

For those wondering how to optimize weight in your bag to the fullest, here is how:

Final Word

My final word is that all of these will be necessary and will be worth it. Having extra equipment is never bad, as long as it isn’t too heavy. 

Thanks for reading this simple, short guide on how to build a bugout bag. I hope you build a great bugout bag to survive almost any emergency that may present itself.

Here are some more resources you may want.

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