The Complete Guide to Building Your Bug-Out Bag aka Emergency Go Bag

No one wishes for a time of disaster and chaos; however, taking a few steps to prepare may mean the difference between being terrified and unable to survive and confident and surviving if a situation like that ever unfolds. One way to feel confident as you prepare for anything is to have a bug-out bag, also known as an emergency go bag. Follow along as we delve into our complete guide to building your bug-out bag, why it is important, and what supplies you need.

What Is a Bug-Out Bag?

It’s kind of a funny name, but it makes perfect sense. A bug-out bag  is for those sudden moments when you need to “bug out.” It’s a bag that carries everything you might need in an emergency where you can no longer stay in your home and must leave everything but the bag behind. In essence, a bug-out bag is a survival kit.

Why Is a Bug-Out Bag Important?

Life would be easier if we could plan disasters and emergency situations. Unfortunately, what makes them emergencies is the fact that we aren’t expecting them. Disasters suddenly happen with little to no notice. It’s easy to put that thought to the back of our minds; after all, who wants to think about scary emergencies?

However, the reality of life is that it is seldom perfect. With a prepared bug-out bag, at least you have peace of mind that it’s there should you need it. Think about filling a bug-out bag with about three days’ worth of emergency supplies to get you through. And, of course, you may need to provide a separate bug-out bag for each individual if you have a family.

The Bag

Before filling it with supplies, you need to choose the right bag for your survival kit. A high-quality backpack should do the trick. This step isn’t one to skimp on. You need a backpack that can hold a lot and fit comfortably on your back in case you must walk a few miles. Manufacturers designed some backpacks specifically for hiking, so they hold much more than the average pack; look for one of those.

Supplies for Your Bug-Out Bag

Once you’ve chosen the right bag, it’s time to fill it with the necessary supplies. You can divide the supplies into categories to keep track of your needs, including food, water, cooking supplies, clothing, sleeping materials, and medical and hygiene items. Let’s look closer at each category.

Food, Water, and Cooking Supplies

You’ll need to eat and drink to survive, even as you live out of your bug-out bag. Since you’ll be packing the bag and storing it away until you need it, it’s best to choose foods that are easy to eat and that have a long shelf life. Consider dehydrated and freeze-dried meals.

Although you can pack some water, water bottles are heavy, and you don’t want to drink water that has been sitting for years in a plastic bottle. In an emergency, you need an emergency water filtration kit so you can safely drink water from sources you aren’t sure are clean enough for consumption.

Check out your local camping supply store for small, fold-away skillets for heating meals and pack a heat source, such as a fire starter kit, matches, and kindling.


Who knows where you may end up sleeping in an emergency, but when you prepare, you can sleep anywhere. Here’s what you need in your emergency bag so you can get some rest:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Travel pillow
  • Small tent
  • Thermal blanket
  • Hand warmers

Add a sleeping pad if you can fit it. It’s not essential but helpful when resting on rough terrain.


Changing your clothes daily isn’t of extreme importance during survival mode. However, it feels good to get clean clothes on, and it can lift your spirits. Plus, you’ll be happy you thought to include some extra clothes if you get wet or muddy. Following are some clothing essentials for your bag:

  • Rain jacket
  • Sweater and sweatshirt
  • Two pairs of clean socks
  • Extra pair of shoes
  • Two pairs of clean underwear
  • Hat and gloves
  • Two T-shirts
  • Extra Pants

The point is to have clothing you can layer and remove easily as temperatures fluctuate, and items you can use when others are wet.


It will get dark at some point, so you’ll need light. The two things to pack in your bug-out bag are a battery-operated lantern and a flashlight. Make sure to remove the batteries when you’re not using them.

Proper Hygiene

Proper hygiene doesn’t end in an emergency. You can add a few things to your survival kit to continue your routine:

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush (travel size works great)
  • Bar soap
  • Body wipes
  • Deodorant
  • Hairbrush

Medical Aids

Your prescription meds are the one thing you must not forget. You should also have pain and allergy relief and fever-reducing medication.

First Aid kits are also essential in your bug-out bag and should include the following:

  • Assorted bandages
  • Cloth tape
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Gauze pads
  • Thermometer

You can buy a prepared First Aid kit or gather what you need and store your first aid supplies in a waterproof container.

Tools and Other Useful Items

Having a small supply of useful tools is helpful when preparing your bug-out bag. You never know what may happen, and keeping some simple supplies for cutting, building, and other needs may be helpful. Add the following tools to your kit:

  • Duct tape
  • Small hand saw or wire-cutting saw
  • Pocket knife
  • Binoculars
  • Rope
  • Compass

The idea of a bug-out bag may sound scary; however, the thought of not having one should scare you a bit more. Stay prepared, and you’ll be ready for anything.

At NuManna, we believe that preparedness is wise and that protecting yourself and your family is the number one priority. We also believe that emergency food doesn’t have to be full of chemical preservatives to last. We offer the highest quality, chemical-free, dehydrated, and freeze-dried foods on the market. Contact us with all your bug-out bag food supply needs, and let’s get you the peace of mind you deserve.

Emergency Go Bag