In case of an emergency, are YOU prepared?
For roughly 60% of America, the answer is no. For the other 40%, there are bug out bags.
In this post, I’ve collected a few high-quality complete bug out bags that are for sale. If you’re impatient, head over to Amazon to check out Sustain Supply Co.’s Premium Emergency Survival Bag.
What are bug out bags?
In essence, bug out bags are bags that are packed with the gear you would need if you were forced to survive without the support of civilization. They’re also known as “go bags” or “survival bags,” among other names.
Think about if you were backpacking in the wild or surviving the zombie apocalypse. All you would have are your wits and the gear on your back. So, that gear better be enough to survive with.
What should I have in my bug out bag?
Generally speaking, your survival will always boil down to these four factors:
- Shelter: It doesn’t matter if the weather is hot or cold, shelter is an absolute essential. This can be something as simple as a tarp or as complicated as a backpacking tent.
- Water: We need at least a gallon of water a day, so this is the absolute minimum you should have in your bug out bag. If you know that there will be water wherever you’re going, you can reduce the amount of water you bring and bring a water purifying system instead. I like this one from Nature’s Hangout.
- Fire: Useful both for cooking and for keeping warm, fire is one of the most important and easiest factors to account for. As long as you have a firemaking tool, such as flint, you’re good to go.
- Food: Food is surprisingly the least important factor on this list, but it is still vital. Avoid canned meals, as their weight will slow you down. Stick with meals that are easy to prepare, such as instant oatmeal.
Other important items include:
- First aid kit
- Camp axe
- Toiletry kit
- Compass/Maps (since your iPhone will eventually lose its charge and access to Google Maps!)
- Rain gear
- Insect repellant
- Thermal blankets
- Extra socks, because they’re going to get wet
- Cooking gear
Remember, you’re carrying everything on your back, so the goal is to pack light. Try to make sure you have as many multi-functional items as possible. For instance, if you bring a portable camp stove, you won’t have to worry about bringing a water filtration system or cooking gear.
Where can I get everything I need for my bug out bag?
You think you’re ready? Not quite.
Now you know what you need in your bug out bag, but getting it is another story. To gather everything you need to survive in the wilderness, you’re going to need to do a lot of shopping. The cost of buying everything individually can quickly add up (both in money and in the time spent getting it all).
Luckily, there are a few companies that have circumvented this problem.
They do this by offering fully-stocked bug out bags at a discounted price. Complete bug out bags can carry everything from the bare essentials you need to get by, to enough gear to keep you going for weeks. They usually come in 2 or 4-person models, as well, depending on the size of your family.
I’ve decided to review our top 3 favorites to help you figure out which one is right for you.
Quality, Price, and Survival Score
I graded our choices on a scale of 1 to 5, based on 3 important factors:
- Quality: When you’re neck deep in quicksand and pulling yourself out Indiana Jones style, you don’t want your rope to break on you. Quality is one of the most important factors when considering your bug out bag, because a poor piece of equipment that breaks at the wrong time could cost you your life.
- Price: You want the best quality equipment, but at a price you can afford.
- Survivability: What good is a bug out bag if it doesn’t have the things you need? We base this grade on whether or not a go bag has all the equipment you’ll need to survive and thrive in the wilderness.
|Premium Emergency Survival Bag||*****||$$$$||****|
|Complete Earthquake Bag||****||$$$||****|
My top 3 picks
The Premium Emergency Survival Bag – My “Premium” Choice
The Premium Emergency Survival Bag performed noticeably better in the quality department than the other 2 bags I’ll review below (the Emergency Zone or the Complete Earthquake). Its contents include name-brand products, such as Mountain House.
Unfortunately, this high quality is reflected in its higher price tag. However, I believe that for something like this, it’s worth spending a little extra cash for peace of mind.
- The bag comes with high quality, name brand products.
- Contains 12 food servings and 24 water packets, so you don’t have to worry about buying more food to fill it up.
- It comes with a Ferrocerium rod, which will provide a constant source of fire even when wet.
- It is the only pack to come with a complete cooking system, including a camp stove and utensils.
- Unlike the other two packs, the Premium Emergency Survival bag does not come with a shelter system.
- The higher price tag makes it less accessible than the other two bags.
The Emergency Zone 840-2
The Emergency Zone 840-2 scored well in all 3 categories. While it’s not the cheapest bug out bag out there, it is on the lower end of the price range.
- It’s a fairly comprehensive bag, including essentials such as reflective sleeping bags and a tent, a water filtration system, and food and water.
- If needed, the contents in the bag can be stretched to provide for two people.
- With 10 compartments, finding the piece of gear you need is quick and painless.
- The pack includes 12 4.2 oz packets of purified water.
- Users compain that the straps feel a little flimsy, which is a little worrying considering the nature and planned usage of the bag.
- Although the bag does include a 5-in-1 emergency whistle that has a watertight container for matches, the bag does not include an actual means to create fire.
- The bag only includes 2 3,600 calorie food bars, which means you’ll need to pack more food.
The Complete Earthquake Bag
The Complete Earthquake bag had the best score all around. It’s comparable to the Emergency Zone, but performs better in the quality department.
- This one comes with all of the essentials, including sleeping bags and a tent, waterproof matches, food, water, and a filtration system.
- The bag is made out of a sturdy material that feels like it could survive the wilderness.
- It includes 24 pre-packaged water pouches.
- The red material is very noticeable, which could be a bad thing if you’re trying to use stealth in your survival situation. Then again, it could help rescuers find you, so this could be a positive or a negative, depending on the circumstances.
- It only includes 2 3,600 cal food bars, which means you’ll need to pack more food.
Is this the one for you? Pick it up on Amazon by clicking here.
Which bug out bag is right for you?
All 3 bags are solid picks for a survival situation, but you will have to buy a few extra items to complete your bug out bag regardless of which bag you pick.
If price is a barrier, the Complete Earthquake or Emergency Zone are good entry-level bags while you save up to buy the rest of what you need. However, if you have the money, the Premium Emergency is hands down the best pick for high quality gear and you won’t need to buy as much to finish off your complete bug out bag.
Want to make sure you’ve got everything you need in your bug out bag? Check out this video below for the top 10 things people leave out of their bags!