Best Bug Out Bag Backpack: Features to Look for and Considerations

Bug out backpack

The best bug out bag backpack is something every survivalist should have on hand in the event of an emergency. A bug out bag is a container of sorts, one that will carry everything you could need in an emergency situation and that can get you through a period of at least 72 hours. Of course, bug out bags are not only for survivalists. The best premade bug out bags can prove ideal for just about anyone who is wise and who is looking to prepare for an emergency situation, whether that situation is due to a natural disaster like a hurricane, tornado, or other store.

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The best bags are great items to have in the event of an evacuation. You don’t have to be an extreme emergency prepper or survivalist to get a bug out bag for just about any emergency situation.

A bit about bug out bags

Bug out bags are preparedness measures where you have a bag containing everything you’ll need to survive in an emergency situation. Pre made bug out bags have a variety of materials in them, and the quantity of the materials is highly dependent on how many people the bag is intended for as well as how many days worth of materials the bag will contain.

Some bags are good for 72 to 96 hours while others can get a person through for a two week period. The primary difference between a bug out bag and a survival kit is that the bug out bag is for use during a shorter duration than the survival kit.

DIY bug out bag infographic

The bag contains a variety of materials, including foods with an extended shelf life, hygiene items, and tools you can use in an emergency situation. Bug Out Bags are something you can put together by yourself or you can simply buy a pre made bug out bag with all the materials you need in it.

The name “bug out bag” is quite similar to the name for the emergency kits aviators in the military often carry called “bail out bags.” Bug out bags are referred to by a number of different nicknames including:

  • 72 hour kit
  • Battle box
  • BOB
  • Get out of dodge bag
  • Go bag
  • Good bag
  • Grab bag
  • I’m never coming home bag
  • InchBig
  • Personal emergency relocation kit

Bug out bags benefits

In the event of an emergency, there is often so little time to think or prepare. A bug out bag is already packed and waiting for you to grab: this makes the item perfect if you are in a hurry and you need to get out of a location quickly. The supplies you need will all be in one location and you won’t have to race around looking for the things you need to take with you during an emergency or evacuation.

List of essentials infographic

Pre made bug out bags give you product variety, and pretty much everything you need in order to survive. However, the bags have no customizations, so you may want to buy a bag with additional free space and pockets to add some of the things you might want to bring with you in an emergency situation that the premade bag does not contain.

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The premade bug out bags on the market today all vary in terms of size, what they contain, how long they will last, and how many people the bag will serve. Of course, price varies too, so you’ll need to assess your needs before you can invest in a bag for your emergency survival needs. Here are some things to consider when looking for a pre made bug out bag:

  • How much food does the bag contain?
  • What is the shelf life of the food?
  • How many people will the bag provide for and for how long?
  • Is the bag affordable?

Bug out bag selection

When you are choosing a pre made bug out bag, you’ll want to give consideration to the weight of the bag when it is full to its capacity. After all, you are going to be carrying the bag around, and most likely carrying it on your back. Imagine having to carry the bag for an hour or more while hiking through the woods. That’s why it’s imperative to bring all of the essentials with you in your bug out bag, but the essentials only! If you find the bag is too heavy for you, then it’s time to go through the items in the bag and see what you can do without.

Premade bug out bags come in a variety of styles, but you’ll want one with plenty of pockets and hideaway spaces. The more pockets and spaces you have, the more you can bring with you.  It also means you can pack the bag with a greater degree of organization. Plenty of pockets and space allows you to know exactly where you put everything and makes all of your gear readily accessible in an emergency situation.

The appearance of your bug out bag is important. In an emergency situation, you don’t want everyone in the world to know that you are carrying around limited supplies. Thus, the bag you have shouldn’t look like it’s an emergency bag, but an ordinary backpack. Choose a pre made bug out bag made of simple materials, muted colors, and a design that’s not attention-grabbing.

Bug out bag items

Whether you are buying a pre made bug out bag or you want to pack a bag from scratch, there are some contents that every bug out bag should definitely have within it.

Bug out items

Here’s a list of some of the most common contents in today’s pre made bug out bags:

  • Food: The food you choose needs to be enough for however many people you want to plan for, and it should be at least enough to feed you for 72 hours or more. Foods in pre made bug out bags are specialty foods often in Mylar bags to ensure long lasting freshness. The shelf life of the food can be between five and ten years. The foods are often dried goods or mixes that you can add water too in order to consume. See our article on how to choose the best emergency food for survival, it’s a must-read.
  • Water – some pre made bug out bags have containers of water or water inside pouches. If you are making your own bag, you may want to add water purification tablets. A straw water filter or filtering system of some kind is also recommended. Consider enough water as being about two to three liters of water per day per person you are packing the bag for at the time.
  • Blankets
  • Compass
  • Dining set and cooking utensils
  • Emergency first aid kit
  • Hygiene items including toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, clothes, floss
  • Knife and multi-all in one tool
  • Radio/Flashlight/Charger
  • Sleeping bags
  • Survival guide
  • Tube tents
  • Waterproof matches, tinder, lighters, flints.

More bug out bag necessities

Additional items you may want to consider adding to the bug out bag, if you have the spare room, include:

  • Batteries
  • Binoculars
  • Bug repellant
  • Cell phone
  • Cord
  • Crank power charger
  • Duct tape
  • Emergency candles
  • Fishing kit
  • Glowsticks
  • Handcrank radio
  • LED headlamp
  • LED keychain
  • napkins
  • Respiratory masks
  • Self defense items like a handgun or pepper spray
  • Sewing kit
  • Signal mirror
  • Small amount of cash
  • Toilet paper
  • Whistle

You’ll definitely want to make room for any medications you may need, a change or clothes, garbage bags, and sunglasses as well as sunscreen. In lieu of a tent, you can bring a tarp with you in the bag, but make sure you also bring at least one blanket for warmth. It is probably best for you to sit down and make a complete list of everything you want in the bag before you start to pack it. See also our article on the best survival blankets to help you in any situation.

The Urban survival bug out bag

The Urban Survival Bug Out Bag is among the best pre made bug out bags on the market. Crafted by Emergency Zone, the Urban Survival Bug Out Bag, the bag contains enough contents for two to four people, depending on the kit you buy.

Emergency Zone, the Urban Survival Bug Out Bag

The price $120.00 to $150.00, depending on the size of the bag you order. In the two person emergency kit, you get all of the following materials:

  • AM/FM Radio with cell phone charger/flashlight
  • Document container – waterproof
  • First aid kit
  • Hand warmers
  • Hygiene products
  • Instructions for water purification
  • Light sticks
  • Miscellaneous supplies: duct tape, whistle, rope, can opener, emergency readiness guide, gloves, and knife.
  • N95 Respiratory Masks
  • Ponchos for rain cover
  • Sleeping bags with reflective materials
  • SOS brand water and food made in the US: 12 4.2 oz water pouches and 2 3600 calorie bars, both of which are US Coast Guard approved
  • The backpack: The bag is plain in color to avoid attracting attention. Fitted with extra pockets so you can add personal belongings. The bag measures 8” x 14” x 10”, and weighs just over 12 pounds for the two person kit.
  • Tube tents
  • Two light sticks
  • Water container for water purification
  • Water purification powder

The food in the pack has a five-year shelf life. The kit for four people is comprised of double the contents in a two-person bag. All contents are inside zip lock bags.

If you like this product you can find and buy it on Amazon.

Premium 2 week bug out bag

The Premium 2 Week Bug Out Bag is one of the upper level bags for sale and definitely ranks among the best pre made bug out bags you can buy. Priced at around $300.00, the bag can hold you over for a period of two weeks.

Premium 2 week bug out bag

The Premium Bug Out Bag is a product by Food Insurance – Emergency Preparedness Food and Products. The bug out bag has all of the following features and materials:

  • Backpack measures about 24” high x 13” wide x 8” deep. The bag is made of heavy duty material, is about 2500 cubic inches in terms of interior space, and is made or water resistant materials.
  • Bag weighs just over 22 pounds
  • Cooking tin
  • Two weeks of food consisting of enough food for three meals every day (for a single adult)
  • Foods are stored inside Mylar pouches to ensure freshness.
  • Foods require added water or are ready to eat fresh out of the bag
  • Foods have shelf life ranging from seven to ten years
  • 100 gallons water battle and filter
  • Emergency first aid kit
  • Heat source (reusable)
  • All in one tool
  • Radio/Flashlight
  • Matches (Waterproof)
  • Two masks for preventing exposure to pollutants and dust

The Premium Bug Out Bag differs from the Urban Bag as it features a red cross on the front of the bag so it’s a bit more obvious from the bag’s exterior that it is meant for emergency situations.

If you like this product you can find and purchase it on Amazon.

The Eberlestock bug out bag

The Eberlestock Bug Out Bag will have you prepared for the next 96 hours in an emergency situation. This bag ranks among the best pre made bug out bags for sale.

The Eberlestock bug out bag

The bag costs around $900.00, and is a product by Bug Out Bags for Life. The bag has an earthy color and contains all of the following:

  • 100 feet of Paracord
  • 24oo calorie food bars
  • AC adapter
  • AM/FM Solar Powered Radio & Flashlight & Charger
  • Aquamira purifier tablets for water
  • Blanket
  • Camp saw
  • Candle (36 hour life)
  • Coyote brown rain cover
  • Double palm gloves
  • Field dressing
  • Fishing kit
  • Folding stove & camp heat
  • GSI Outdoors 1 Liter Dukjug
  • Hand warmers
  • water purification Life straw
  • Medical kit
  • Mosquito heat Net
  • Mosquito Patches
  • Mossy oak deluxe big game bags
  • N95 Respiratory masks
  • Nine piece cooking and dining set
  • Notebook/pencil (waterproof)
  • Poncho
  • Sleeping bag
  • SOS food lab emergency drinking water packets
  • Storm proof matches
  • Survival tool
  • Tarp and tent
  • Tube ten
  • Two litter water bladders
  • Two servings of pantry entrée meals
  • Wetfire fire starting tinders

The bag measures 27” x 12” x 10” in its unexpanded state. Hygiene products include things like particulate masks, dental floss, tissue, toilet paper, chapstick, sanitary pads, and shower in a bag, wet naps, and toothbrush. You must be 18 to buy the bag.

The 4 Person Perfect survival kit deluxe

SurvivalKitsOnline manufactures one of the best pre made bug out bags on the market to date: The 4 Person Perfect Suvival Kit Deluxe. Part of what makes this bag so remarkable is that it is amazingly affordable at cost of just under $200.00. The bag is perfect for evacuation situations, earthquake preparation, and preparedness for disasters. The kit contains enough materials to keep you going for 72 hours and has enough products for four people.

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The bag itself weighs about 32 pounds. The bug out bag contains all of the following:

  • 1-16 multi-function knife
  • 1-50 foot rope
  • 2 person tube tent
  • 2 Rechargeable flashlights
  • 5 gallon water bag
  • 200 calorie food bards (48 count/five year shelf life)
  • 4 -12 light sticks
  • A portable stove
  • AM/FM band radio with hand crank feature
  • Can opener
  • Compass
  • Datrex Water (48 pouches/ Five-year shelf life)
  • Deck of cards
  • Fire starter
  • First aid kit
  • Flint starter
  • Four body warmers
  • Fuel tablets
  • Function knife
  • Hygiene kit with wipes, toothpaste, toothbrush, and soap
  • Lanyard
  • Leather palm gloves
  • Mylar sleeping bags
  • N95 Respiratory Masks
  • On Duty Gas Shut Off Wrench (for turning off water or gas)
  • Poncho with hood
  • Signal mirror
  • Survival candles
  • Tissue
  • Two person tube tent with rope
  • Waste bags
  • Water purification tablets (40 count)
  • Waterproof container
  • Waterproof matches (50)
  • Whistle

Perfect survival kit deluxe

If you like this product you can find and check its price here.

In conclusion

A bug out bag is an excellent preparedness item that you can store away in the home so that you have the bag at the ready in an emergency situation.

Bug out store

The bag will ensure you have plenty of food, water, and all of the major necessities you need to survive for a few days to a few weeks. You can pack a bag yourself and personalize all the items you put into the bag or you can invest in an affordable pre made bug out bag with the essentials you’ll need for short term survival already inside the bag. Whatever the case may be, a bug out bag is really something that no person should be without. Having a bug out bag on hand should make you feel more secure about your ability to make it through any emergency situation. Find out how to assemble the best bug out gear to prepare you for any emergencies – check out our article.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If the information in this post has been helpful, please consider purchasing through one of the links in this article. Thank you.

About the author

Ellie Thomas

Survival-Mastery reflects my love of the outdoors and having the skills to take care of myself in the wilderness and in worst-case scenarios. I grew up in the southeast backpacking, camping, and fishing, and I have hiked and backpacked over 30,000 miles in the US. My background and career for the past 30 years has been in operations and construction and I enjoy learning and DIY projects.


  • I currently have the Premium 2 Week bug out bag stashed in an accessible place for any emergency, like an earthquake or a tornado. It arrived shortly after ordering it and I printed a list of the content lest I forget! I believe it is worth the money, and that it’ll be helpful in an emergency.

  • Hi Wayne,

    Bug-out bags are definitely worth the investment and they are helpful, especially now that anything can happen at anytime. Remember to check the perishable items for their expiration dates and replace what you can when you can.


  • Preparing a bug out bag should be put on practice even if you are just going to a picnic. It will be useful especially for emergencies that you bring your basic needs. What I am really thankful that I’ve kept inside my bag are blankets, warm clothes, and energy bars. My friends and I were lost on our way back from hiking, we waited for 11 hours before the rescue team found us. It’s so cold that night but thanks to the bug out bag, we didn’t starve. :)

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