A bug-out bag is a bag that contains food, tools, and other things for use in a disaster or other type of emergency.  Often times when a disaster occurs, the infrastructure that we normally take for granted becomes bogged down or completely unavailable.  Electricity may be out for days or even weeks, the supermarkets we buy our food and water from may be low or out of stock, hospitals may be extremely over capacity, and even the roads we use everyday may be closed. – from ultimatebugoutbaglist

I’m not at all convinced that there will be an infrastructure-destroying calamity anytime soon, but I do like the idea of a grab-bag (or three) for a weekend away – whether at a hotel, Airbnb or campsite. Seems like a good idea, to support spontaneous “bug out” and keep us sane during the week. I also like the idea of a few “role-specific” pre-packed bags, ready to go, ensuring I have essentials e.g. on the bike, daily commute, in the car. These lists are my evolving thoughts around what such “bags” should contain. (Oh, and in case it wasn’t obvious by now, I also love lists.)


While browsing some of the many, many “prepper” websites, I came across Grey Wolf - a lot of very sound advice, with decent helpings of practicality and humor - who suggests categorising your “carry” as a way of thinking about it. Here I’ve taken his general categories and tweaked them for my own brain, just a little. I’ll try to make sure each “bag” is organised in this way..


  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Fire
  • Comms


  • Medkit
  • Navigation/orienteering
  • Cooking
  • Tools/Equipment
  • Light


  • Electronics
  • Hygiene
  • Clothing
  • Money

The Bags