How To Build A $20 Budget Friendly Bug Out Bag
Building a budget Bug Out Bag: 72-Hour Emergency Kit (aka "Go Bag") shouldn't cost an arm and a leg.
It's easy to get carried away by all the information out there, but if you are just getting started and want to keep the costs involved reasonable then you've come to the right place, we can show you how to do it quickly, cheaply, and easily.
Chances are you have most of this stuff laying around already, so you shouldn't need to spend more than $20, and for most probably little to nothing at all.
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Step 1: Bug Out Bag List .pdf
Print out this check list, if it helps you to have a paper copy of the items below rather than trying to do this on the screen.
Step 2: The Bug Out Bag Itself
This should be easy. Take stock of the Backpacks you have lying around.
You want to find one that's pretty big if you have one.
If you don't then I recommend you looking into getting the High Sierra Loop Backpack on Amazon.
It's very easy to organize, and is essentially a small camping backpack. Perfect for our needs although it will blow your $20 budget.
If you can't wear a backpack for some reason, then a small carry on sized rolling suitcase can also work.
Whatever you choose just plan for the possibility that you might have to walk considerable distances with it.
STEP 3: The Easy Stuff
Go to the closet and get a change of clothes. Something comfortable you can sleep in but also wear during the day. Shirt, Pants, Socks & Underwear. If its cold/warm weather adjust as needed.
Bottles of Water are ok. Refillable Kleen Kanteen bottles are better. They are more durable and if filled with clean water and unopened can stay fresh for months. They can also be used to boil and purify water if need be.
Grab some easy to eat Snacks: candy bars, hard candy, box of cookies. Anything that has a fairly long shelf-life that doesn't need to be prepared and can be eaten on the go is best.
Find an old Bath Towel, some Soap, a Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Deodorant.Grab a few Band-Aids and Alcohol Wipes or some other way to disinfect cuts. Put these all into a Ziplock Bag (You'll need 3 total.)
Collect any Medications you may be on, and put them in an other Ziplock.
Grab a Dust Mask and a Bandanna too. If you wear Prescription Glasses get that old pair you don't use much anymore and put them in.
Put some Cash in the bag, as much as you think makes sense: keep in mind you might need to buy food, clothes, a hotel room, transportation....so make it more that $10 if you can.
If you don't know your families phone numbers (who remembers phone numbers anymore) then have a sheet of paper with Emergency Phone Numbers. Make Copies of your Drivers License, Insurance (health and home), Passport, and any other documents you think are important.
Get an extra Charging Cable and USB Wall Plug for your phone.
Grab some Matches and a Lighter. Now put all this stuff into the third and final ZiplockBag.
If you have a spare Flashlight get some new Batteries and stick em in there and into the backpack. A Headlamp is very useful and frees up your hands while working at night.
Step 4: Very Good to Have
Pen and Notepad can be invaluable as an informational tool.
Emergency Blanket might come in handy if you get stuck someplace for the night.
Pocket Knife has multitude of uses. Chap-Stick because chapped lips are the worst.
Deck of Cards and/or a Book because you might wind up killing time at a shelter or somewhere with no power.
Poncho or Umbrella because rain makes you wet...
Street Map of Local Area can help you get around if you don't have a GPS and aren't that familiar with where you live, or if you have to evacuate to another town.
Sturdy Plastic Cup and a Fork and Spoon can help if you wind up at a shelter or in a situation where you are offered food or drink.
Take it to the next level
Believe it or not, that should cover you for quite a few contingencies. But if you want to go even further...well then, you've come to the right place :)
If you want to see our definitive list read this article: 80 Bug Out Bag List Essentials.
Explore the rest of this site. You'll see hundreds of ideas on how to Build the perfect Bug Out Bags for you ad your family!