Bug-out Bag—a practical example

This emerging bug-out bag/72-hour kit is kept in the trunk of a car. The owner commutes 50 miles to work each morning. In case of EMP or other disaster rendering the car inoperable, it would be necessary to return home from work on foot, a journey that would require several days (probably exceeding 72-hours).

SOG Barrage Internal Frame Pack, bug-out bag in trunk of commuter vehicle. Internal frame, ALICE-style pack. Has space between back and bag for hydration bladder. Purchased from Walmart in 2014 for under $50!

In front pocket: paracord line, tactical and utility knifes, Gerber tool, flashlight, etc.
In either side pouch: 1-liter bottles of distilled water.
In hydration reservoir pocket: 1-3 liter bladder ready to fill (see below).

In center: 9 MRE courses, 9 MRE sides, 9 MRE heaters, more water, personal hygiene kit, first aid kit, toilet paper, 5-day candle, matches, useless tent, useless blanket, other supplies.
In car: extra jacket, sports jacket, heavy blanket, 1 terry bath towel, 2 terry hand towels.

What should be added to this kit?


2 liters (2 quarts) are needed per day, more if physically active, in hot weather, etc.

As is sits, the bug-out bag above is equipped with 2 1-liter bottles plus some 4-ounce packets and some more water in packets that came for use with the MREs. This totals at most 3 liters.

Because this pack is hydration reservoir-capable, such a system should be added, especially since 50 miles probably cannot be covered in only 72-hours by most moderns. This bladder here is available on-line from Walmart for $14. It holds 3 liters.

Likely, it will be necessary to find water along the way, so a small water filter system should be added by which the two bottles and the hydration reservoir can be refilled.

Warning: water, especially in large quantities, is not enough. Especially in summer, it must contain electrolytes or you must get these from another source. The potential condition, hyponatremia, is your body's level of sodium falling below a threshold concentration. Simply put, guzzling large quantities of water is not enough and it may kill you. It is a very serious condition and a very easy thing to fall into when you're perspiring profusely and replacing the lost water with, for example, mere distilled water. Drinks such as Gatorade® are designed to keep this from happening, but you won't have them in your 72-hour kit. Consuming food is how bodies normally prevent this. Carrying sodium (salt) tablets is a good, artificial measure, but you should understand how they work and that, if you aren't in the company of someone else, you might not recognize you need them before you pass out. Research and understand!


In an urban setting, a small firearm should be considered too, but this should be carried on the person as leaving a firearm in a parked vehicle is very risky.