In times of emergency a Bug Out Bag or a Go Bag, as it is also called, is invaluable. 

But before we go any farther, for the uninitiated, what exactly is a “Go Bag?”

A Go Bag is an emergency survival bag (normally a backpack) that is filled with the essential survival gear that you would need during a short-term natural disaster or crisis. It’s meant to be grabbed quickly so that one can dash out the door, hence the term “Go Bag.” 

And while some pooh-pooh the idea of a Go Bag, think back to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Thousands of people had to evacuate their homes, and many of them were not in the best of situations. Think of all the wildfires that are destroying communities out west. And as we’ve seen all over the world, no one really knows when the next terrorist incident could strike. 

So, while we can never control when, where, or how disaster strikes, we can control how prepared we are to deal with one. When every second counts, having a plan and the gear to get you through the all-important first 72 hours is crucial to survival. And your Go Bag may very well be your key to survival when shit hits the fan.

I’ve seen many websites that tout “the perfect go-bag” etc. and to be honest, that is all B.S. “Why?” you might ask. The answer’s that there is no perfect, standardized Go Bag list of things to pack, because it all is greatly dependent on your situation, your location, and if you are alone or have others with you. So, what’s the first thing you need to do? Plan.

Always Begin With Proper Planning: 

So, when you begin your planning, as we were taught in our old survival, SERE School classes, a great place to start is the “S” of SURIVAL: “Size up the Situation.”  Here is the full acronym for whoever is interested: 

S – Size up the Situation (surroundings, equipment, physical condition)
U – Undue Haste Makes Waste and Use Your Senses
R – Remember Where You Are
V – Vanquish Panic and Fear
I – Improvise
V – Value Life
A – Act like the Natives
L – Live by Your Wits or Learn Basic Skills