Checklist: 10 Most Essential Items for an Emergency Kit or “Bug Out Bag”

The Problem:

Emergencies can happen at a moments notice, without warning and leaving you with litte resources.

But there are steps you can take to significantly increase your ability to survive in less than optimal conditions. It may just be the difference between life and death!

Each year there are hundreds of: Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Tsunamis, Tornados, Power Outages & more. With just a bit of preparation you can make an Emergency Kit that will help keep you and your family alive.

Here is our list of top 10 MUST HAVE items for any emergency go bag.

1) Water 

There is a reason it’s the first thing to sell out in the grocery store. It’s the MOST important thing you need in order to survive.

But you don’t need to go out and stock up on cases of bottled water. In fact, we recommend that you don’t! Believe it or Not, bottled water has an expiration date and the plastic they use for the bottles leaches chemicals into the water. It’s also expensive, heavy and cumbersome to carry making it less than ideal for an emergency.

Instead, get a reusable bottle with a filter rated for use with Lakes, Rivers, Streams & Wells. That way you can store it away empty, and fill it up wherever a freshwater source may be. Also good to keep a Straw Water Filter in your car in case you’re on the road when something happens!

Stainless Steel Water Bottle

2) Snack Items

Pack some peanuts, trail mix and items like Cliff Bars that are high in protein and have long shelf lives. These are lightweight and good sources of sustenance.

3) A Good Serrated-Edge Knife

Knives are EXTREMELY useful and a good quality knife with a serrated edge will undoubtedly come in handy.

4) Flashlight + Batteries (or Lantern)

One Item most people commonly overlook is a flashlight or lantern for their emergency kit. Oh and Extra Batteries too!

5) Toilet Paper

You’d be surprised how many people forget to put this in their kit…

6) First Aid Kit

This is a must, be sure to include items like band-aids, gauze pads and neosporin or hydrogen peroxide. Also a good idea to have alcohol pads or a bottle of Rubbing alcohol as a disinfectant.

7) Medications

A 2 week supply of medications is a VERY good thing to have in case you can’t get your prescription refilled or there is a run on meds. Also a good idea to have Advill or Tylenol included. 

8 ) Radio

Essential to stay up to date on the state of affairs. Public service announcements can offer input on what’s going on outside of your immediate vicinity.

9) Work Gloves

10) Cash – Small Bills

Cash is King. Remember, even if you can reach an ATM it might not be working or may be out of cash. And it’s good to have small bills so you aren’t always spending $20!

This is a list of the top 10 items we recommend for your Emergency Kit, but in no way is it complete! You may not be able to prepare for every disaster or situation, and your needs may vary but we highly recommend that you keep a stash of items both at home and in your vehicle or at work in the event that you aren’t able to get to your home.


  • Steve Purdy

    RE: Serrated knife. If the handle has holes in it, and you have one of those survival bracelets or some type of cord, you can make a spear out of the knife.

    January 19, 2013 •

  • Kevin

    disposible lighter or waterproof matches. quart size zip loc bags to keep things dry. poncho

    January 20, 2013 •

  • http://www.stefanv.com/

    Dynamo radios work form a hand crank generator creating low direct current,
    low voltage. Welcome Life or Welcome Death – When one attempts to visit and benefit from the wilderness, one should also
    be well provisioned in his wilderness survival kit. I like that the writer stresses that you have to have to opt for the suitable parts for YOUR desires and how to package deal them for YOUR functions, not his.

    April 21, 2013 •

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