A Bug Out Bag, or BOB for short, is an emergency kit containing all of the items you may require for at least seventy-two hours of survival when evacuating a disaster area or attempting to survive a Zombie outbreak or attack.
When choosing a pack for your BOB, look for a lightweight, comfortable, durable, weather resistant, and replaceable bag that fits your price range, but don’t skip and get the cheapest thing that you can find. A good pack will have multiple pockets and areas for gear organization, easily adjustable straps to keep it fitting well, compression straps for the main body, and plenty of space for your gear.
Packs that have between 25-40 liters of space work well for stashing and carrying 72-hours worth of food and water, extra clothes, medical kit, various tools, and other miscellaneous items.
For a quick cheat-sheet of necessary BOB supplies, you’ll find the Official Zombease Bug-Out-Bag checklist at the end of this article, or you can click here to see it now.
Food: The type of food and amount you pack and carry is dependent on what you like to eat, how much you eat in any given day, and what is available for you to pack.Check and rotate food supplies once a month, and swap/replace when necessary.
Canned – Although canned goods are typically heavier than most dried goods, they often contain liquids that can be essential for life. Soup, chili, beans, fruits, and vegetables are basics to keep on hand, but don’t bog yourself down with to many of these heavy staples; there are lots of other foods that you can carry. When choosing these foods for your BOB be sure to examine expiration dates and rotate as needed.
Nuts – Many nuts contain potassium, calcium, salts, and protein; they are a lightweight food that is healthy for you and still tastes good. Peanuts, while tasty, are not the healthiest choice; try pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts instead.
Dried Fruits – Fruit retains the majority its nutritional value even after being dried. Dried fruits are a valuable resource that increase diet quality and help reduce the risk of chronic disease. Not only are they lightweight, they are less bulky than their fresh counterparts. The dense fibers of dried fruit can sometimes be hard on digestion and hasten dehydration; only use them as snacks or a supplement to meals.
Dried/Cured meats – Like dried fruit, shelf stable meats like: salami and beef jerky can be tough on your digestion system and hasten dehydration, but they are good for temporary settling of hunger or adding a little flavor to your meals. Eat dried meats as a snack, not a dietary staple.
Bouillon - Lightweight, compact, easy to prepare, high in healthy fats, proteins, and flavor, bouillon makes a great addition to any BOB. Bouillon is available as cubes, flakes, or powder in a variety of flavors (both meat and vegetable based) from most grocery stores. Although it is most easily prepared with hot water, it can be prepared with cool or cold water as well.
Packaged meals – There are many variations of packaged meals/MREs (Meals Ready To Eat) available on the market. Try a few out to figure out what suits you best, but keep in mind weight, pack size, cook-time, and flavor. Not all brands and meals taste good or are easy to prepare. Be aware of package contents when purchasing MREs, they often contain a bulky accessory pack with (salt, pepper, hot sauce, toilet paper, gum, napkin, and spoon). We prefer Harmony House for our BOB, you can click here to see why: Harmony House food review.
Other foods – Lightweight foods like instant oatmeal (which you can make at home by putting regular oatmeal in a coffee grinder or blender for a few moments), granola bars, small amounts of chocolate, and dried miso soup, are also great additions
Water: Two days of water should be sufficient to get you started on your journey or escape. Medical professionals suggest that Human males require about 3 liters (roughly 13 cups) of liquids a day, and women average about 2.2 liters or (roughly 9 cups) without extraneous exercise. A water filter, like the Katadyn Hiker Pro, and purification tablets are an absolute must for every BOB. For more information on water purification click here.
Medical kit: There are many medical kits commercially available from places like the Red Cross, but you can build one yourself using a zippered bag and the following supplies: gauze roll bandage, gauze pads, medical tape, scissors, tweezers, aspirin, alcohol wipes, exam gloves, bandages, hand sanitizer, face-mask, bandana, small medical book, needle, dental floss, and any prescription medications you may need as well as sunscreen. Supplement your first-aid supplies with a small first-aid handbook and training in basic first-aid and CPR. You can find local Red Cross classes here. See also: Homemade First-Aid
Light: Disaster areas are dangerous enough in the day and even more so at night. Carry at least two forms of light with you. A small, but bright flashlight with extra bulbs, batteries or recharger is a must, and an LED headlamp with adjustable headband and brightness settings is perfect for hands free use. Candles, glow sticks, and flares are not as reliable as the aforementioned light sources, but they are good back-ups during electronic failure.
Fire: When used properly, fire can warm you, light your surroundings, protect you, and cook your food. At least two ways to make fire are recommended for every BOB. We also recommend carrying a handful of fire starters; cotton balls made of 100% cotton are incredible fire-starters, they are cheap, lightweight, easy to find, and easy to light.
- Fire striker – These are the best option for campfires or torches, they work in wet/windy conditions, are incredibly lightweight, durable, and cost-effective. Fire strikers are good for thousands of uses, and work well with a little practice.
- Lighter - Refillable storm-proof butane lighters are easy to find, not overly expensive, and extremely useful in many survival situations.
- Waterproof matches – While not greatly reliable, they are great for lighting fires, stoves, candles, etc in wet conditions. Often, waterproof matches are not strike anywhere, and require a special strip to ignite.
Maps: Carry local and surrounding area maps with you at all times. Keep a high-quality compass close at hand and learn how to use it. Many roads will become impassible during a major disaster or Zombie outbreak, so take the time to examine alternate escape routes and familiarize yourself with the details of your city.
Clothing: Long and short sleeve weather resistant/quick-dry tops, like those offered at many outdoor stores, are essential gear for any BOB, along with extra socks, underwear, gloves, handkerchief, and comfortable shoes for walking/running long distances. Remember that these may be the only clothes available to you for some time, so spend a little extra time and money to get quality clothing that can take daily wear and tear.
Utilities: We recommend a folding or boot knife with at least a three-inch blade. While you may not use your knife for actual combat, it will prove to be an invaluable resource in many situations. A medium-length crowbar or multi-tool like the Trucker’s Friend can be useful as both a tool and a simple melee weapon. We do not recommend carrying guns; see our “Anti-Zombie weapons and defense” article detailing why. A reliable multi-tool can be a life-saver, and many incorporate pliers, wire-cutters, a knife blade, saw, can opener, screwdrivers, and more. Heavy-duty tape, wire, 100 ft of paracord, 2-way radio/walkie-talkies, signal mirror, a wind-up radio, and even trash bags, are useful additions for a BOB.
Just remember, if you pack it, you have to carry it too.
In conclusion: While the BOB described above is intended primarily for surviving/evacuating a disaster area, elements of it are suitable to assist in surviving a Zombie outbreak. Because every emergency situation is unique, it is impossible to be prepared for everything and impractical to try and do so. Take only what you know you need. A well-packed BOB provides comfort and support in times of need/crisis, in other words, if taken care of, it can be your best friend.
Just because you have gear, doesn’t mean you know how to use it. Practice with your gear to make sure it’s right for you, and that you know how to use it even if you can’t see it. Every step you take, is one day closer to independence and survival. Check out our other articles, tips, and guides for more information.
*While the items and BOB described in this article could undoubtedly be helpful in the event of a Zombie outbreak or emergency situation, Zombease and the Zombease crew do not guarantee survival based upon these supplies.