How to Create Your Personal 72-Hour Survival Kit

BOB, Get Out of Dodge Bag, GOOD, or 72 Hour Bag

I started writing this article and creating this blog at the request of several people asking, “what should I do to prepare for _______ (some kind of emergency)?”.  You simply can’t run around your residence in an emergency, effectively organizing everything you will need, and have a high probability of survival.  Whether you are fearful of earthquakes, adverse weather, flu epidemics, etc., you need to prepare ahead of time with your own personalized Bug Out Bag (also known as BOB, Get Out of Dodge Bag, GOOD, or 72 Hour Bag).  Why not just buy one that’s pre-made for emergency situations?  Well, for one, they are packed with generic, mediocre items that you may not use and will just add weight to your bug out.  Secondly, most of these pre-made 72-hour bags come in bright colors, which is great for easily spotting your bag when you need to “get out of Dodge”, but also make you an obvious target for others who are trying to survive.

If you fancy the highest probability in an emergency situation, you will find yourself constantly upgrading what you have, always looking for better, lighter and more durable items.  Following the prepper rule “two is one and one is none”, it’s good to plan some redundancy in the items you stock in your bug out bag (i.e., matches & lighters).  There are eight types of gear you will need for an effective Bug Out Bag: (1) durable bag (2.) water, (3.) food, (4.) clothing, (5.) shelter, (6.) first-aid, (7.) weapons, (8.) alternative power, (9.) sanitation/toiletries and (10.) miscellaneous items.

Durable Bag

It bares repeating that color matters with a BOB!  While you don’t want something bright-red, screaming “I have a survival bag, packed with all sorts of good stuff”, you don’t want to go the route of camouflage either, for the same reason.  I find that either a plain-colored bag, or coyote tan are about as safe as you can get as far as colors go.


6 Quarts (½ Gallon per day minimum)


If you get dehydrated food, you will need a heat source to boil water.  While Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) are convenient, as everything needed for a hot meal is included in one MRE, they usually weight 6 to 8 times of a bag of dehydrated food.  I personally recommend a couple of MREs in your BOB, coupled with 2-3 times as much dehydrated food.

With the exception of MREs, you will need some source of heating water for freeze dried food:



Your shelter needs will vary depending upon where you live.  You should have these items regardless of what climate you live in or plan to bug out to:

For Hot Climates, you should also have:

For Cold Climate, you should also have:


*If you cannot get an antibiotic prescribed for your Bug Out Bag, fish antibiotics are the same as what we get at the pharmacy, sometimes the pills themselves are the exact same!


Alternative Power


Miscellaneous Items

Try to find items that suit many purposes.  For example, I wanted to include some playing cards in my Bug Out Bag, and found some with knot-tying instructions on them.

Garmin GPS at REI

  • Faraday Bags for your electronics – example
  • Playing cards – example
  • Compact Bible – example
  • Sewing Kit – example
  • Local Area Maps
  • Machete – example
  • Combat Ax – example
  • Collapsible Shovel – example
  • Compact Knife Sharpener – example
  • Camouflage Duct-tape – example
  • Extra pair of glasses, if you wear glasses ( is a great site to order several pairs of glasses for cheap)
  • A few $20 bills (I recommend stashing a few bills in different parts of the bag)
  • Silver coins to use for trade if currency is useless due to hyperinflation (Canadian silver has the highest purity) – example
  • Small bottles of alcohol for barter, take the edge off or just a good time amidst a crisis

If you’ve hung on until the end of this article, then you’re probably thinking, “wow, will I be able to carry a bag with all of this stuff?”.  My answer to you is to then look to consolidate multiple items into one or purchase the lighter (and more expensive) versions of your equipment.  It almost becomes an obsession, because you keep thinking of more and more things that could help you in a variety of situations.  However, all of it will become useless if your pack weighs you down too much to do anything.  Overall, your pack shouldn’t weigh more than 25% of your body weight.  Mine is 50% of my body weight.  However, I specifically purchased the Eagle Industries USMC FILBE Pack System, so that I could have everything I need and unbuckle my top-pack (medium-sized backpack) if I needed to lighten my Bug Out and only carry essentials.


  1. imbuggingoutadmin says:

    I submitted the picture above to the Grant PUD Content for the best 72-hour kit, but I guess they didn’t want to feature someone who wanted to remain anonymous, lol:

    It probably didn’t make sense to the blog-writer, but any prepper will tell you that anonymity is one more step to good preparedness. If people know you are prepared, then they know where to go when SHTF!

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