Below is a list of things you might consider for your Bug-out Bag. Depending on how long you expect to be away, short term, medium term, or long term. Pick the items for the appropriate term. The list is in no particular order and you may, by no means, need everything on the list. Most of the items can be purchased at Amazon.com, Walmart, or Sam's Club. I found that you can get almost everything at Amazon.com. For your convenience everything in the list is linked to one of these stores. All you have to do is click on an item. I'm prepping for the long haul so I purchased about $25 dollars worth of items at a time. In hardly no time I had accumulated most of the things on the list. Common sense should tell you what you need for how long you need. If you plan to be away for an extended time you will want to add a duffel bag and additional items from the list below. The list is composed of the things you will definitely need and things you'll wish you had. Have your Bug-out bag(s) close at hand. One for each member of the family. Some people keep the bags by the front door or in the garage. I choose to keep my gear in the trunk of my car and my wife does the same, for two reasons, one, we're usually always in close proximity of our cars, and two, both of us have additional, convenient items loaded in the trunks that would be great to have if we were fortunate enough to make it all the way to our hide-a-way in our vehicles without any problems. Keep your bug- out bag light and simple. It's a good idea to build redundancy into your plan. At the first sign of disaster have a primary meeting place and an alternate if for some reason the primary is inaccessible. We have two commercial radio band walkie-talkies, one in each trunk of our cars, enclosed in a metal container (so they won't be affected by an EMP), to be used if the cell towers are down or overloaded. We have two alternate routes to our remote, hide-a-way location, which is, actually, less than 100 miles away from where we live. We chose our location and route for the least traffic in the event of an evacuation. We have a buried cache of food and water near the junction of our alternate routes, which also happens to be our alternate meeting place. We've worked to build the site camp at our hide-a-way as a family adventure over the last two years and it's been a lot of fun and is quite well set up. more. . .
THE BUG-OUT KIT CHECK LIST
Things like pillows, blankets, towels, cloths, jackets, sweaters, and sleeping bangs can be reduced in size by 80% by using a vacuum storage bag system.
emergency TOOL KIT
You will also need a small toolkit with the following. . . Two screw drivers (1 Philips & 1 Flathead), pliers (standard & needle-nose), a set of Allen-wrenches, utility knife, wire cutters, small hammer, zip-lock bags with assorted screws & nails. These can be stored in a small shaving kit bag. Collect an assortment of small metal tins (like the kind Altoid mints come in) for storing various small items like a sewing kit, fishing tackle, first aid items, snake bite kit, etc. Make sure you label everything so whatever you need is easy to find. Keep them in your bug-out bag.
If your building and storing your food and water supply at your home, keep it in a locked room or behind a false wall. TELL NO ONE! That's the cardinal rule. If the grid goes down, even your best of friends will prey on you when they haven't eaten in several days. And, you know how it goes, one friend tells another and so on. It may seem heartless, but you can't feed everyone. And, realize that your friends have friends and their friends have friends. The next thing you know, you run out of food and water and you've painted yourself into a corner. So, TELL NO ONE! If you have children make sure you impress the rule to them. We don't recommend storing your food supply at your home, simply because once the grocery shelves have been picked clean and people start getting desperate, lawlessness will prevail. Forget about the house. Forget about the cars. Just get out, as soon as possible.
A WORD ABOUT WEAPONS
Whether you like them or not, they will be a necessity to protect yourself, your family, and your food supply from gangs, lawless marauders, and opportunists. Everyone in your family that is old enough should become familiar and proficient with a firearm. The sad truth is that there are bad guys out there. If you fail to do this, you may not live to regret it. For the Prepper the preferred method of purchasing weapons is at a Gun Show. If you purchase a gun at a gun shop you have to register it. This leaves a paper trail and one day you may get a knock on your door from a representative of the government to confiscate your weapons. In most cases, if you purchase from a gun show, all that's required is a background check which, actually, has nothing to do with the weapon, but in order to sell you a gun it is required to make sure you're not a felon or a psycho. The background check is run on the spot while you wait. My favorite home defense weapons are a Ruger P95 pistol, a Ruger GP100 revolver for short range, a Winchester 1300 Defender shotgun or a Remington 870 for medium range, and a Ruger Mini 30 for long range and hunting. If guns just aren't your thing there are other options, like a cross bow, a take-down bow, or even a Samurai sword. You might also consider enrolling in a self defense class at your local DoJo. If you're not totally committed to the defense of yourself, your family, your food, and your property, then you might as well give up and give in to those that would do you harm.