Skip to main content

How To Select The Best Bug Out Bag For You

Choosing a backpack is difficult. Choosing a bug out backpack is even more difficult. If you choose the wrong bag, you may find yourself holding the bag or worse. Let's go over how to choose a bug out bag that will prepare you for almost any scenario.

A bug out bag is designed to hold everything you need to survive if bugging out, or leaving your home for an undetermined period of time, is your only option.

While we all have a tendency to stockpile survival items that fill up our BOB, this isn't the point. A heavy bug out bag is a liability and may impede your ability to survive. It could injure you (consider all that weight on your back) and slow you down. Not good if you're trying to get to higher ground in the event of a flood.

A bug out bag is frequently used interchangeably with a get home bag or a 72-hour bag. There are, however, a few significant differences to be noted. A 72-hour bag can keep you alive for up to three days away from home. These three types of bags serve different purposes, and while some essential items will be the same.

Selecting a bug out bag

A tactical backpack and a hiking backpack are the two main types of bug out bags. A tactical backpack is more practical, but a hiking backpack is less noticeable when bugging out. If you live in a densely populated area during an emergency and appear to be well-prepared, you may be targeted by others who are not. Carrying a tactical backpack may provide a visual cue that you would prefer to avoid.

When shopping for a bug out bag, there are a few things to keep in mind. Before purchasing the bag, you must first decide what you will pack. Of course, this is dependent on the role it will play. Thinking about the contents ahead of time will help you determine the size and number of compartments you require. When bugging out, organization is essential. See our post on how to organize your bug out bag for more information.

An important factor to consider, especially for bug out bags, is bag fit. You will be uncomfortable and may injure yourself if your bag is too big (or too small) for your body. To find the correct size pack, measure your body from your neck to your hipbone.

The Bug Out Bag you select should be strong and long-lasting. You don't want it to tear if you have to bug out in an emergency. In a true emergency, the last thing you want to worry about is your equipment failing you. Zippers must remain functional, and seams must be secure. To ensure quality, look for at least double-bar stitching. It should also be intelligently designed so that you can quickly and easily access your gear.

There are a few other features to look for as well, such as:

  • Use compression straps to keep your load from shifting.
  • Water bladder and hydration tube
  • Rain protection is provided by the top lid.
  • Modular Light-Weight Load-carrying Equipment system for attaching smaller pouches
  • Pocket for a water bottle
  • Dedicated sleeping bag storage

Consider the padding on the shoulder straps when shopping for your bug out bag. This is where the majority of the bag's weight will be distributed. You'll also want the back of your bag to be padded. Although foam padding can wear out, many of the new gel padding products are excellent. Look for a hip strap to keep the pack from shifting while walking or hiking and a chest or sternum strap for added stability.

Bug out bag should be well-made, but you're unlikely to take them into the wilderness when bugging out. Optimize for organization and access speed. A good bug out bag will have enough compartments to keep its contents organized.

If at all possible, avoid drawing attention to yourself when bugging out. Consider camouflage, khaki, olive, or brown if you live in the country. If you live in a city, you want your pack to look like everyone else's, ideally like a regular backpack.

Color isn't usually an issue with go bags, if you want to disguise your tactical-looking bug out bag, you can add a plain, neutral-colored rain cover to conceal what's inside.

Final words

A well-thought-out bug out bag is unbeatable if you need a bag that will hold enough supplies to keep you alive for days in an emergency. Make sure to put it through its paces on a regular basis. Yes, practice bugging out whenever possible. A crisis is not the time to discover that your bug out bag, which could save your life, is too small.


Copyright © Emergency Preparedness Pod 2023. is dedicated to educating individuals on the best ways to plan for,
prepare for, and respond to disasters and emergencies. The goal of this website is to give people the necessary tools and information to create their own personal emergency pod,
a safe haven during difficult times. This blog contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission.