If you’re serious about zombie survival, or even disaster preparedness in general, you should already know that a bug-out bag (BOB) is a light and portable kit containing essential items needed to survive for three days on the move.  When death comes knocking at your front door, a ready bug-out bag ensures you don’t have to flee empty handed.

Some typically suggested contents include:

Water – 3 Gallons
Non-Perishable Food (see: Osmond)
Water Purification (see: Bleach)
First Aid Kit
Fire Starter (see: Firesteel)
Camping Gear
Extra Clothing
Utility Knife

Though many survival experts suggest keeping your BOB in a safe, accessible location inside your home, the Zombie Research Society guidelines recommend that your bag be warn at all times at the first indication of a zombie outbreak.  This means you should have it on when sleeping, eating, patrolling, and relaxing, because you never know when and where the undead (or living) threat will come from.

Therefore, a balance needs to be struck between the bag’s form and function.  Too much gear packed inside, and it becomes impossible to wear for long periods while accomplishing basic daily tasks.  Too little, and your BOB is rendered useless in many situations.

So, how do the contents of your BOB allow you do move fast and freely enough to stay alive, while providing a good baseline of needed supplies?  What’s in your perfect bug-out bag?


  1. In my BOB would be:
    -Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal
    -My pump water filter (filters and kills microbes)
    -3-4 Gallons of Water
    -2-3 Knives
    -Children’s vitamin supplements (in case I don’t have a lot of nutrient-rich food)
    -Grandfather’s police baton (One of the old ones…great melee weapon)
    -Plastic BB Gun (Spring-powered, would be great as a non-lethal suppressant against humans, and there will be a lot of plastic BBs left.
    -Rock Hammer
    -3 Flashlights (Headlamp, handheld, and crank radio/flashlight)
    -Solar charger
    -First Aid Kit
    -Tictacs (the placebo affect can be great)
    -Seeds of tomatoes, squash, carrots, beets, pumpkins, and peppers
    -Lock and chain

  2. The best advice I can give for a “bug out bag” is that you have multiple ones ~! While it is best to just keep one on you at all times, what if you can’t because you work somewhere with security like metal detectors, etc. So why not have one in your vehicle, a nice set up in your home in case you get stuck (or the best option is to law low and stay home) and also some smaller ones that you can grab and go depending on your location (i.e. in your briefcase/purse, in the garage, in certain rooms of the house, in the back of the mailbox, by the computer, etc) Making all of those kits also gives you practice figuring out what you really need (making the smallest kit you can), and how much you can actually carry (backpack or larger size), and how to fortify your home!

  3. in my BOB

    KNIFE (I actually carry 2 one folding blade Kershaw Leek and an SOG fixed blade)
    CLOTHES (in ziploc bags and weather appropriate. I live in PNW so I have a lot of wool)
    TRENCH SHOVEL (good for impromptu weapon but also for digging out my stash I have hidden in woods)
    1GALLON OF WATER (because 1 gallon should last you a couple of days, they say one gallon a day but
    that’s bullshit if you aren’t cooking and cleaning then you’ll be fine with that)
    FLASHLIGHT (again I use 2 one headlamp, one flashlight)
    FIRST AID KIT (I bought a backpacking one and filled it with shit that I need and took out the useless stuff)

    that’s all…..

    Remember this is a BUG OUT BAG you should have a stash set up in advance in a secure location. If you don’t then you shouldn’t have a bug out bag, you should have a fully set up survival bag. I have set up a survival area in a forest that is about a 2 day hike (worst case scenario hiking though woods avoiding roads). If you are planning on doing this then make sure you know the area well, make sure it is easily identifiable WITHOUT GPS, because remember GPS is military issue just licensed for civilian use and can be shut off or encoded with military only encryption. also remember your survival area should be remote, if you are like me it is set up for 3-4 people but could accommodate double that with less rations. It is only intended as a rest stop for a couple days max to get organize and move out. This is not only for zombie but also for worst case scenario disaster where total infrastructure melt down and wide spread panic. 🙂 good luck everyone

  4. I recently came across an article in a magazine, which listed and rated new and affordable camping equipment. One of the items in the list seemed like just the perfect thing to keep in a BOB! It’s a water sterilizer, which used a hand-crank to activate a UV ‘bulb’, in turn killing any and all harmful bacteria and viruses in the water.

    It seems too good to be true. I imagine this is because it only kills living dangers in the water, but most likely as no effect on any chemical dangers. It still seems like a great thing to pack along for your post-apocalyptic sojourn.

  5. Anyone tried one of the solar battery chargers? Work on AAA/AA bat. Small and cheap from China on ebay.

  6. *Medium/Large sized medical kit (I’m my team’s designated medic)
    *Marking equipment (Sharpies, paint pens, paper)
    *Photo ID (actual, in triplicate & fake)
    * Para cord
    *Fire starting equipment
    *Change of clothing
    *Medication (3 weeks worth)
    *M-69 Canadian Respirator (40mm NATO adaption ring)
    *Marked maps of roads, stay houses, waterways, etc.

  7. My Whole survival kit is only like 3 or 4 pounds and contains food, water pur tabs, mess kit, small pocket rocket camp stove, meds, and a few tools i think would come in handy(multi tool, pry bar, flash light fire starter, screw driver kit, duct tape, lock pick, and 550 para cord) and its carried on me at all times with extra room for my work cloths witch i could easly dump to carry water. Its just pritty much the things I would need to get home safly so me and my famly can get ower bug out kit.

  8. Ultimately, your survival will depend a whole lot more on both your training, and the training of those with whom you are traveling/living. Your supplies are only as useful as you are. That said, I’m quite surprised at some of the things not mentioned on here that could prove either vital, or at least make life a whole lot easier.

    First off, leave the medical masks at home–they are meant to trap most of the saliva and mucus from a person coughing or sneezing, not to protect you from someone else. Second, unless you are already proficient, and have one on the ready, there is no point in bringing a bow and arrows–if you’ve ever tried, you know how difficult it actually is, and even then, you’re better off using a firearm. Third, and most importantly, definitely bring enough water–don’t rely on being able to find it. Even water supplies like lakes and such usually have motor oil, gasoline, and all sorts of other nastiness that are best avoided–let alone urban water supplies.

    Keep in mind most people will be thinking exactly like you. There is a real danger in assuming, “Oh, I’ll just head down to my local gun shop and/or Walmart the moment I hear of danger.” So will a lot of others, and they will be scared. Large groups of people in fear for their lives will act irrationally and ultimately violently, and in the case of a zombie outbreak, the more people closer together, the easier and faster the virus can spread, causing more chaos and fear, and the cycle repeats itself.

    Three things I can’t believe haven’t been mentioned: a digital multimeter (and batteries, of course) so you can scavenge more batteries and, if you have the know-how, repair electronics, as this will keep you from lugging pockets full of batteries that could be dead (instead of ammo); eye protection/goggles–not just for fighting zombies, but particularly for building and fixing things at home base–without your eyes, your chances of surviving are close to, if not absolutely, nil. And unless you know how to make it (and have done so), soap is probably the most vital of all of these. If you get so much as a paper cut, and it gets infected…unless you have antibiotics on deck, you’re out. And really, how embarrassing would it be to die of an infected paper cut in the middle of a zombie outbreak? That aside though, in all likelihood (or at least in a worst-case scenario), we won’t know for sure how exactly the virus is transmitted–at least in the beginning. If it is a variant of hemorrhagic fever, it will likely be airborn, in which case cleanliness is an absolute top priority. Even if it is blood-born or transmitted some other way…simply because there is a zombie outbreak doesn’t mean all the other viruses we already live with today won’t still be around–hell, if anything, they will be easier to catch, since we will be living in closer quarters, and our bodies are already under tons of stress from exhaustion and adrenaline. And while getting sick is mostly a nuisance and uncomfortable today, in the middle of a zombie outbreak a simple bout of the cold can prove fatal, as it can keep you from taking in oxygen while running and fighting, and dulls your senses.

    I could go on for days and days (literally), but when it comes down to it, even though it sounds corny and stupid as hell, your brain (both your way of thinking and skill set) is the most crucial part of your equipment list.

    • the med masks aren’t just for keeping the infection to yourself, otherwise doctors and surgeons wouldn’t bother to use them. They ARE disposable, so once you use it, it’s basically useless. I don’t know if there are reusable ones, but it’s not like they’re heavy or anything.

    • ohzombiegodknowbest

      I hope you get eaten first lol

  9. Umm….Would it be a better idea to have a backpack-like BOB, like the ones for school, or a duffle bag, like for camping or military?

    • When I imagine a well set up BOB I think of one of those large camping bags were not only can things be carried inside, but also outside very effectively.

  10. One thing that I’ve noticed goes unaccounted for, is a physician’s mask. The kind that you wear to prevent yourself from inhaling/swallowing diseases. I got the idea from watching The Colony. I think they would be invaluable in a BOB.

    • An ID card. That way if authorities do cross your way, you can prove you’re not a psychotic criminal that escaped. If you are one, then there’s not need to bring an ID card then 😉

  11. Has anyone here considered, out of curiosity, how they would actually carry everything? i know that most packs would only be able to hold the water, and maybe a few other things, but then what? i was thinking about the double pack thing i see some people do, where they where one on the front and back. it would be a way to have more room to carry voluminous objects, such as toilet paper.

    • I think it would be easiest to store these items in a large backpack, preferably with a rigging system so that you could tie or clip on additional items or bags. I would personally use a hiking backpack, with a full frame, due to storage capabilities and versatility

  12. I’m so glad to see so many other military people chim in on here. My husband doesn’t know it, but all his training is his contribution to our survival plan. I’ll handle packing the gear. Thanks for all the great ideas of what we need!

  13. One thing nobodys mentioned is storm gear. I think that the weather is going to be your third biggest enemy, following humans and zombies.

  14. My bug out bag will contain 3 things water as much ammo as I can cram in there and ramen noodles everything else I need I carry on me every day anyway

  15. I aint leaving my house there is a river running through the back yard and I got enough Ramen noodles to survive the rest of my live.

    • sorry bro but you cant survive on just ramen noodles. Ramen has alsmot NO food value what so ever. Try checking out sum sort of long term food storage like freeze dried foods that have a 25 year shelf life. Mountain house has a good selection

  16. Just remember………Prepare for the enviornment you are going to be in. I live in a rural area and a full tank of gas could get me 400 miles in one direction. The only thing I would carry is extra gas, because, your resources will be depelted with the initial outbreak, and………………GUNS,GUNS,GUNS!!!!

  17. I’ll tell you what, all you guys can carry all that stuff and wear and way yourself down ( that just means you’ll only die tired ), I’m going to a Walmart Super Store. 4 entrances, food, weapons, and deisel generators to run the power, and enough deisel fuel to sustain for up to 1 month.

    • This but we’re looking at a tad smaller hole up for the first wave, still same idea though. Don’t forget there’s also pharmacy to help treat ailments (and we’re so snagging any and all antibiotics, aspirin, et al before we do the great escape to the country). Glad to see someone else has the similar ideas!

    • Yea i cant believe how many countless times ive heard people say im going to walmart or my gun store. Do you really think your the first person to think of that? Im not trying to be an asshole, im just trying to help people and get them to realize that you MUST prepare BEFORE and not AFTER the shit hits the fan!!!

    • Jason A. Martin

      Hope you like crowds, because you can be pretty certain there are going to be hundreds of other people with the exact same idea.

  18. Yasmin Bateman

    Everyone Is Talking About Taking Water Purifying Tablets. All You Need To Do IS Boil The Water And It’s Safe. You Save Space From Not Taking The Tablets Because You Would Already Have A Pot And A Means To Light A Fire To Cook And For Warmth, So It’s No More Room But Just As Affective

    • you could only drink the water vapor that way. this would mean you would need piping and another c0ntainer for the clean water it would be easier to use bleach there is a section on using bleach on this web site under Zombie Survival: Water–Bleach: It does a body good

      • Honestly, I’m seeing some brilliant ideas here, but a lack of one important thing; Smoke bombs.
        You know those nasty smelling, brilliantly colored balls that you’d played with on the Fourth as a kid? Light several at a time for a wonderfully cheap getaway, clogging the vital senses of a would-be attacker with smoke in their eyes and lungs. Pack some strands of firecrackers too, and you have a audio-blocker, allowing you to get away without anyone hearing you climb that fence or run through those leaves. (This does risk attracting unwanted attention though, so it is only to be used in extreme emergencies.)

        Of course, these necessitate also having a fire-starter, waterproof bags, goggles and probably some sort of medical-grade nose and mouth mask, but these should all already be in your bag.

        Another invaluable item I see lacking here would be a helmet; ie, football, bicycle, construction worker, or army. Your brain is your best weapon, and should be kept in tip-top shape. Tripping while getting away might just be your undoing when a zombie happens upon your unconscious self. And concussions can be deadly, and very difficult to treat with only a first-aid kit. That extra inch of foam between a rock and your cranium may be just the thing to keep you alive.

        • Jason A. Martin

          As someone who has suffered a permanent brain injury (mild, but still a frustrating weakness) from a laughably short fall, I couldn’t agree with you more!

      • LOL, thats funny cuz i actually made sum smoke grenades for that very reason. its easy to make them and they work ALOT better then cheap smoke bombs. look it up on youtube, you can even make colored ones too, its crazy and cheap!!!

    • Not true at all – there are literally hundreds of types of bacteria that can survive the boiling process. Some types of bacteria are so hardy that they have been found to resist denaturing by the side of lava flows.

      However, this might be worthwhile looking into: http://www.steripen.com/-emergency-product – uses 4x AA lithium batteries and purifies 100 litres of water on that before they need changing.

  19. Elizabeth Grande

    1) i wouldnt carry water (its heavy and takes up space )i would use that space to take water cleaning tablets
    2) a wind up radio
    3) lots of batteries
    4) flashlights
    5)bow and arrows (can make extra arrows easly)
    7)swiss army knife
    8) gasoline (in case i need a car)
    9)matches and fire starting kits
    10) gps and composs
    11)notebook and pen
    13) small pot
    14) skateboard or scooter for fast tavel on roads and less effert
    15)extra clothes

    or instead of all this just my iphone im pretty sure they have an app for all that stuff 🙂

    • I’ve never heard of water cleaning tablets, but to be honest, I would take that gas can and replace it with a can of water. Chances are you could be stuck in a secluded/surrounded area where water is not accessible/readily available, and thus your tablets would be rendered useless, not to mention you still don’t have water.

      While I agree that there could be a situation where a car would be needed, they just draw too much attention to yourself, and what’s the point of ‘bugging out’ if your just letting enemies become aware of your presence when you arrive?

      Also, I’d like to see how you’d fit that skateboard/scooter into/onto your bag without it being a ridiculous cumbersome item, ;).
      And forget the bow and arrow. They take up space. While being less noisy, sometimes silent, a gun is more accurate, and I would place a gun in between me and a zombie over a bow any day, regardless of how good I could shoot either one..

      • And not to mention power. A gun is always going to do more damage unless your arrow is explosive or the size of a ballista bolt.

      • i would put a silencer on it, so it IS silent. Maybe .22 rimfire for ammunition, and im gold 🙂

      • @AlexKidd – Wouldn’t hollowpoint be better to maximise damage inflicted, increase effectiveness and therefore conserve ammo?

      • Silencers don’t really make guns silent, though.
        They bring the noise down, but it’s still damn loud. There is maybe a ten decibel reduction in noise.
        Still, I’d choose the gun. 214, smaller rounds than a .22, but they go much, much faster. At 4200 fps, they can pop a head like a cherry tomato, Hornaday red tip bullets are high quality and not terribly expensive. It’s a varminter, so there’s practically nor recoil and they’re deliciously accurate. Small, powerful gun with small, powerful rounds. (Note: The shells are bigger than a .22, but the actual bullet is smaller.)

      • Well when it comes to hollow point, i think that a bullet in the head would kill a zombie or a human regardless of the kind. It would be good for areas where you cant afford the bullet to go all the way through, but it would be bad in cases where you would need one bullet to kill two zombies/humans. I would probably use either .22 or .347 so that ammunition i relatively abundant, if given the choice.

      • A .22 has no stopping power and that’s what you need with your target being unable to feel pain. Hollow point 9mm is the lowest power I would go. I also couldn’t care less about sound reduction because zombies may not even respond to sounds. It’s a matter of dispatching as many as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible. Also, a head shot from a .22 or smaller may not kill the zombie, seeing as they don’t use the entire brain you could easily miss the brain stem and you just wasted a shot.

      • you guys are forgetting that hollow points might not penetrate the skull (depending on the caliber) and also PLEASE do not use ANYTHING .22!!!! a .22 can NOT penetrate a human skull. I know people who have been shot almost point blank with one and only have a massive scar to show for it and are still alive. There was this chick on TV who had been shot in the head with a .22 and the fucking bullet got tangled in her fucking weave and didnt even break skin!!!!!! so ive told many ppl this, and i know the .22 seems like the best ammo cuz its so fucking cheap and so are the guns but price aint shit when it cant kill a zombie!!!

  20. 3 large water bottles, gatorade powder packs (for added electrolytes), lock & chain, walkie talkies (x3), MRE (x5), supersoaker(filled with gasoline and zippo duct taped to the end) OH YEAH!!, lighter (x2), source of nicotine(cause I’m addicted & there’s no point indying while stresses out), and a bowie knife.

  21. 1.Water Purification Tablets and small bottle of bleach for cleaning/sanitizing
    2.LED Flashlight with batteries
    3.several Leatherman’s(mini hammer multitool, 2 needle nosed leathermen, 1 bike multitool with sockets, I carry 2 generic swiss army knives to trade for food or what ever (i kinda feel like batman when i wear them)
    4.Coleman hatchet with knife in handle
    5.camel pack (with a gallon jug by it so i can fill the camel pack then run)
    6.FirstAid Kit with some surgical tools
    7.pen/waterproof notebook
    8.Compass and maps
    9.walgreen’s mini fishing pole and hooks
    10.fire piston and flint striker
    11. 550 cord
    12. bed roll/blanket/Hammock and shelter half
    13. 2 sets of ripstop BDU’s one black one forest – (these last about 13 years of regular wear)
    14. small cook pot.
    15. nutrition bars and survival calorie tablets
    16. round seasoning container (salt, pepper, lemon pepper, etc..
    17. and a can of spam

    • And what do you intend to pack all this in? That’s a lot to carry around all the time…

      • a standard issue usmc field pack will fit all of this plus a rifle. wanna make a bug out bag real well? use the standard issue of the Armed Forces as a base, then customize for your terrain/ length of travel to designated location.

    • The Rip-Stop clothing is a brilliant idea, just had to say, I hadn’t thought of that.

  22. My Swiss army knife, it’s never let me down.
    1 Packet of 500 rounds of ammunition, suprisingly light.
    First aid, for accidents or injuries inflicted by “Others”.
    3 Litres of water.
    Purification tablets, for long term.
    Canned goods, things like spaghetti that i can eat raw. I’d only cook in my long term shelter.
    I don’t really see the point of fishing gear, as when i am awake while the dead roam i won’t be sitting still any longer the 20 minutes.
    This is just in my pack, i’ll have other items in my hand or holsters (Crowbar And/or baseball bat, .22 rimfire OR 9mm Pistol) And items in my pockets (Swiss army knife, Permenant silver marker)

    • Unless you are using a bb gun, 500 rounds will never be “surprisingly light.” Trust me, anything with enough stopping power to down a zed (read: decapitate) will weigh about a pound per twelve rounds, minimum. : /

  23. 1. Collapsable fishing pole/tackle.
    2. a few bottles of water.
    3. water purification tablets.
    4. weapon (bow – light weight, efficient, easy to break down and re-string.)
    5. fire making kit.
    6. tools to fix or create items.
    7. flashlight and various batteries
    8. hunting knife, or small blade.
    9. radio/walky talky.
    10. first aid kit.


  25. 2 changes of warm waterproof clothing – living in Vancouver Canada.
    headlamp flashlight and spare batteries
    swiss army knife
    hunting knife
    fishing pole and tackle
    fire starting kit x 2
    sturdy twine
    tarp – black x 2 (one small, one medium)
    sleeping bag
    full first aid kit
    water purification tablets
    3 days k rations
    1.5 litre water bottle
    collapsible bowl x 2
    pot and pan
    hand wind radio

    all this lives in the army issue pack in my closet.

    what am I forgetting?

    • Toilet Paper. I mean this very honestly, If you have the extra space pack as much as you can because once there’s no more, there is no more, and it will become hundreds of times more valuable as a bartering tool than money ever will be again.

  26. One of the unknown urban resources for water is in the tank behind the toilet. Its fresh and should keep for a long time and is often overlooked. Another resource is the hot water heater. Water trapped in upper level pipes. There are a hundred resources like this which hold water. Also, if you live or travel on the river, you should have an endless resource. Whatever purifying process you use.

    I would worry more about food. A fishing pole might not be a bad idea.

  27. hmm in my bug out bag, i have a black trash bag, and 2 colapsable bowls. one can fit in the toher then with the trashbag ontop you have a solar still. great for watter purification

  28. Toilet paper, lots of toilet paper.

  29. I am not to sure about packing around 3 gallons of water. I agree that each person will require at least that much over a 72 hour period, but that is a lot of weight to be lugging around along with everything else. Plus you can’t guarantee it will only be 3 days. I personally have about 1.25 gallons on the bug out bag and some way of purifying water. I believe you should have enough water to get you out of immediate danger and to a safe spot and then the first thing on your mind should be getting more water. It is a little easier on my old knees, LOL.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that 1 gallon per day is a minimum and most people are at some level of dehydration all the time. They just don’t drink enough water, so be aware that you may be bugging out at a water deficit to begin with.

  30. It’s also a good idea to make a separate bag for each member of the family. Doesn’t hurt to have one in each vehicle trunk and one for the house.

    One important item that is often overlooked is a plan: Discuss with your family where to go in an emergency and put maps to that place in the BoB, along with a backup plan and route for that as well.

  31. My parents aren’t letting me make one. They say it’s a silly idea because “the threat isn’t near.”

    Preparations have been made, though. :]

  32. Water Purification Tablets
    Various Batteries: AA,AAA,D,9v
    First Aid Kit-Complete
    2 Sets Outdoors Clothes
    Notebook and Pens
    Maps and Compass

    also, my bugout bag is a military issued spare i have…so i have a full deployment supply including chem gear etc…

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