Free Bug Out Bag Checklist for Beginners [Printable]

Supplies for a bug out bag laid out on a table

A bug out bag is a portable bag or backpack of items that would be able to keep you alive for 72-hours in the event of an emergency. This kit should be equipped with all of the necessities you’d need to survive if you were to have to leave your house within the next five minutes. Check out some of our top items or print off this free bug out bag checklist below!

First Aid Supplies


This is an essential medical device if you find yourself in an emergency situation where you need to control severe bleeding quickly. It can save a life.

Pressure dressing

This is another essential in making sure you can stop bleeding adequate for wounds to begin healing.

Fever Reducer

This is a household staple (Advil or Tylnol) that you will definitely find yourself needing.

Band Aids

Band Aids to patch up the small and medium cuts.


These can be used for anything as small as a splinter to perform more intense medical procedures.


These can be used for both safety and practical purposes. You’ll likely find yourself in need of cutting twine or medical supplies, as well as other miscellaneous tasks that these will come in handy for.

A Needle

This is another dual purpose item, as it will be used for sewing as well as medical purposes.

Irrigation Syringe

This will come in handy when you have a wound that you need to clean; this is essential to preventing infections, especially since medical care might not be readily available.


Moleskin has a variety of medical uses, but is particularly useful for blisters and small boils on the body. The material is flexible and pretty sturdy in place of a bandaid.

Safety Pins

Safety pins will be helpful in securing gauze and pads on a wound to hold them together.


Especially when dealing with hazardous materials or blood, gloves are essential to protecting yourself and your family. 

Non-Medical Essentials

Water Filter

Humans last just three days without water, so you want to make sure that you are able to filter your own water. This will also be much more lightweight than trying to carry several sealed water bottles at all times.

Stormproof Match Kit

There are matches that are specifically made to withstand rain and wind. These are essential for light or fire starting.

Solar Charger

Solar chargers are a great survival tool to have on you. These will be able to help you charge up important items you may need like GPS locators, headlamps, walkie talkies or any other gear you want to take in your bug out bag that needs to be charged.

Collapsible Canteen

Having a collapsible canteen will save you valuable space in your kit.

Food (Frozen, MRE’s, Ration)

While they may not be gourmet, MRE’s and bars are meal substitutes that will do the job if you find yourself without a source of food.

Field Knife

A knife has many purposes; fire starting, protection, hunting, and crafting other tools.

Disinfectant Wipes

These are important for sanitation purposes as well as to make sure that you aren’t spreading any bacteria if you’re dealing with a wound.

Multi Purpose Shovel

A multi purpose shovel will be helpful in cases where you need to cut, dig or use for self defense. The best part is that this shovel is extremely compact and easy to travel with.

Toilet Paper

Take an amount and compress it as much as you can in a waterproof zip-lock bag. This will help keep the size down and the water out.

Respirator/Gas Mask

Having something that will filter out any potential chemicals in the air is great to have. This could be something like the N95 mask or an actual full face covering mask to protect your eyes as well.

Water Purification Tablets

If you are unable to fit a water filter in your bag, water purification tablets are better than nothing, especially if your only source of water is going to be rainwater.


A bandana can be used to stop a wound, a sling or even as a DIY face mask in case there is a health crisis.

Mylar Thermal Blanket

Mylar thermal blankets trap heat well, so this is a great option for warming up quickly. It is also extremely light weight and travels well.

Heat Insulating Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag is .


This can protect you from the elements as well as cover your car or to keep your SHTF tent dry when you set up camp.

Rain Gear

This is a rainproof jacket or poncho. The poncho is lightweight, but the jacket would provide additional warmth.

Water Purification Tablets

Water purification tablets are a good safety resource if you find yourself in a situation where you have to source drinking water. These tablets can sit in water for 30 minutes and make water safe for drinking if you do not have water bottles or a pot and fire to boil the water yourself.

Crank Power Charger

This is a great survival tool for your bug out bag. They can help power some items and some versions can double as a radio or flashlight.

Emergency Whistle

An emergency whistle is compact and cheap, but they pack a powerful punch. These are great to have to scare off attackers or animals, and signal to search teams where you are if you are ever in need of rescue.


A handgun is a means of protecting yourself or hunting if you feel comfortable doing so.

Fire Starter

When your matches run out, you still need to light a fire. Choosing a fire starter kit will help you get your fire started every time.

Multi Tool

Make sure your multi tool has as many variations as possible. You never know what scenario will call for what tool, but you’ll be glad you had it.

Fishing Kit

Lightweight and compact, these fishing kits hold fishing line, hooks, bobbers and more to make sure you can catch your dinner.


These bad boys will help you get noticed if you are in need of emergency help. They will last between 8-12 hours and keeping at least one or two on your bug out bag could be critical in case of a rescue.


This item is a no-brainer. You can easily get mixed up in the woods, desert or even on unfamiliar terrain. A compass will point you in the right direction so you don’t accidentally circle back.

Survival Knife

This is another important means of self protection and gutting some of your food if needed.

Sanitary Pads

These can serve as both sanitary pads and as medical supplies, as they are highly absorbent.

Waterproof Paper and Pen

These can be found in outdoor stores and will be important if you ever need to write and leave a message behind you, or signal distress or remember important information in an emergency situation.


Protecting your eyes in certain environments can be crucial to you dodging any long term effects or vision damage if something happens. The last thing you want is to lose your eyesight when trying to survive.

All of these items are extremely important in this free bug out bag checklist. Trying to get all of these survival items into your bag efficiently and with as little weight as possible is key to maximizing your preparedness for any natural disaster or emergency you face.



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Our Mission

We’ve all been in an unforeseen emergency event and it’s only then that we realize how unprepared we truly are for these situations.This is exactly why Prep Plans was started. To be a resource for anyone that needs some help getting their bug out bag in order or creating a family emergency disaster plan.It’s not fun dealing with any type of emergency, but next time when SHTF you’ll be prepared.