How to Build a 72 Hour Survival Bag You Can Be Proud Of
You’re going to need a survival bag.
The term ‘bugging out’ refers to the decision to abandon your home due to an unexpected emergency situation. This could be caused by a natural disaster or a man made one.
So, as it goes, a bug-out-bag is a self contained kit that will allow you to sustain yourself for at least 72 hours (3 days).
Some people call it a Get Out Of Dodge Bag (GOOD Bag), an EVAC Bag, or a Battle Box.
I like to call my bag BOB. Good ol’ BOB.
BOB is dependable and has the answers. BOB is determined to keep you safe, because you’ve prepared BOB to do exactly that.
Evacuations can happen due to weather, but also disease and outbreaks.
Natural disasters are not uncommon in any part of the country. Man made disasters are becoming way more common than any of us would like.
Final Girl Survival is about being prepared for exactly that.
Being prepared is half the battle, and a 72 hour survival bag is your frontline soldier in this case.
Preparing a 72 hour survival bag does not have to be complicated at all. In fact, you want it to be as simple and straightforward as possible.
I’m a firm believer in the KISS method for most things in life: Keep It Simple Silly.
So let’s break it down so you can have the BOB of your survival dreams.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at NO additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use the type of products I list, so just know I wouldn’t put them here if I didn’t believe they would be useful to you. Contact me if you have any questions!
THE BAG ITSELF
The first thing to take into consideration is WHAT exactly you’re going to put your supplies in. When thinking about evacuating, and possibly needing to carry around such a bag, you want to make sure it’s comfortable and durable.
A backpack is your best bet. A backpack will leave your hands free to hold other things as needed. Backpacks also tend to have a good number of pockets in order to organize your supplies in.
BUT make sure your backpack doesn’t look TOO efficient.
Meaning? You don’t want to be a target when sh*t hits the fan.
Remember, you may be a good human being, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is.
Stick with a solid color. It doesn’t stand out too much.
You don’t want to look like someone’s “get prepped quick” ticket.
I’ve seen other blogs mention this, and then recommend bags that seem to completely go against that rule.
Your bag does NOT need to be super expensive. It just needs to be durable and able to withstand the elements. Water resistant is your friend.
Two bags that are both under $50 that carry a good amount, support good weight distribution, AND have nice size zippers (because I HATE when zippers are hard to use) are:
And the 24Battle Pack Tactical Backpack:
Both look like regular backpacks but can hold a good amount of stuff for your 72 hour survival bag.
Now that you know what kind of bag you’re looking for, it’s time to get what goes INTO it.
Ah, the key to life. Try to go 72 hours without water and you’re going to be in a world of hurt.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that women need at least 2.7 liters of water a day.
But that’s at your convenience. When prepping a 72 hour survival bag the thought is that convenience isn’t an option.
1 Liter of water per day, per person, seems to be the agreed upon amount by many.
The average person can go 3 days without water.
But you’re not average, so make sure you have water.
You want a durable container. To save costs you may have some empty plastic bottles on hand BUT plastic bottles aren’t exactly durable. One sharp poke and that plastic water bottle could be useless.
Also, if you need to boil your water (perhaps for purifying it) then plastic won’t be of any use.
A stainless steel water bottle is your best bet. Durable and no hole poke danger.
Breaking the bank for a water bottle just feels wrong to me.
A nice option under 20 dollars is Triple Tree’s Uninsulated Single Walled Stainless Steel Sports Water Bottle.
Also look into water bottles that are collapsible. That way, as the water supply goes down, the bottle doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Semetor’s Collapsible Water Bottle has a really cool design and is just the right price under 15 dollars.
Water purification tablets are essential.
Boiling water may not be an option for you (which is another method used to purify water), and it actually doesn’t need to be with these tablets.
Potable Aqua Germicidal Water Purification Tablets are a good option for under 10 dollars. These tablets purify water in under 40 minutes.
Water is a high priority and no survival bag is complete without it.
Science tells us that the average human can go for a week without food.
Don’t go a week without food.
Make sure you have ready to eat food in your BOB. This means pre-made food that does not require additional ingredients or heat.
Trailmix is your friend here. Things that don’t expire quickly outside of the refrigerator too. Food that does not require refrigeration is what you need to aim for.
It doesn’t sound delicious, but if you’re using this bag you’re probably not on vacation.
You want food that has a long shelf life.
You can invest in a small cooking kit if you feel like you MUST have something slightly beyond ready to eat food.
This small kit would have one small metal pot/bowl, a fork or spoon (or a spork if you like), and a small cup. The small metal bowl is if you need to apply heat to your food.
Speaking of heat…
Yes, you’ll need some fire.
And I don’t mean that hot mixtape you dropped last week (…ha).
Keeping it simple is needed in this department too. There are fancy usb lighters and all that, but the cavemen didn’t need that, and neither do you.
Simple matches and lighters need to be in your bag.
I have long neck lighters I swear by from Bic that last a long time for me.
Having a change of clothes is needed in your survival bag.
The kind of clothing is key here. Even if you’re in hot weather you want pants and long sleeve tops.
It’s easier to convert long sleeves and pants to short sleeves and shorts, rather than to create fabric out of thin air.
Good quality socks are important too.
Make sure the shoes you wear are durable, protect your toes, and are easy to walk in for long periods of time.
It’s bound to get dark, so you need light.
A headlamp is cool because you can use it in a variety of ways. Such as putting it on your head so it leaves your hands free.
Handheld flashlights are tried and true in my opinion.
They also work as weapons in case of emergency (blunt force woohoo!).
You want light that is battery powered, and doesn’t depend on you needing to plug it into a wall outlet to work.
I love love LOOOOVE (did I say love?) the Everready LED flashlight multi-pack. You get two large flashlights and two small ones, batteries INCLUDED, for 10 dollars!
Yeah, we like it a lot.
When things really go to sh*t you may want to also invest in a nice size candle.
In this day and age most people have cell phones, so you’ve got that.
BUT (because there is always a BUT) if, as they say, the grid goes down, meaning the cell towers aren’t working and there is no signal, you will need another way to get information.
A simple battery operated radio will be your best bet to get any emergency broadcasting information you’ll need to know what’s going on around the world.
You’ll want to invest in a whistle in order to signal for help if needed.
A good old fashioned paper map is your friend in this case if the GPS in your phone is no longer an option.
Lastly, make sure to have any important documents on you. Such as ID, medical information, and important phone numbers and addresses.
If using money is still an option, you’ll want to have emergency cash on hand too.
Notepad and pen will also be helpful in case you need to write information down.
If the power goes down, you’ll need another way of powering up some of your essentials (such as your lights and cell phone).
Batteries come in real handy.
Most items take AA batteries, so having a good amount of those on hand will do you good.
I also have an external charger for my phone that I can plug my phone into when I can’t plug it into a wall outlet.
Other options for charging your phone without electricity include solar charging units and hand crank chargers.
Swiss army knives are multi-purpose and awesome.
You can also invest in a slightly bigger knife.
These are good for cutting and possibly defending yourself if need be.
Duct tape can come in handy to repair something broken or ripped.
FIRST AID KIT
This will include any of your regular medicine that you take. You may want to invest in one of those daily pill dosage containers that has a week of medicine intake already sorted out.
Pain medication like Ibuprofen / Advil will be helpful.
Some other essentials to include in your 72 hour survival bag:
Tweezers| Band-aids| Gauze pads| Safety Pins| Gloves| Face Mask| Pepto-Bismol pills| Alcohol pads| ACE bandages | Bottle of peroxide
Much of this you can build on your own, you can also get a very solid base starter pack with Adventure Medical Kits Adventure First Aid Kit 1.0. It’s only 10 dollars!
You’ll have to add to it but it has a good amount of the basic essentials in there already for 1-2 people.
THE VERDICT: 72 Hour Survival Bag
Being prepared is half the battle. Preparing a 72 hour survival bag can be done for less than 200 dollars, but is well worth the small investment.
It’s also good to have some of these supplies in your home in general.
You never know when disaster might strike, but you’ll at least know that you prepared for it.
Be safe, Final Girl. Get you a BOB.