It seems like everyone out there has an opinion on what “must-haves” you need to put in your bug out bag.
Don’t get me wrong – I believe in the importance of being prepared, and having a well-supplied bug out bag definitely helps.
But, curiously, I’ve also noticed that very few people will tell you what NOT to put in your bug out bag.
And isn’t that equally important? I mean, I know I’d want to know if I was putting the wrong things in – things that would just weigh me down and not prove very useful at all in the field.
Well, I’m always looking out for my fellow preppers, so I’ve decided to compile this list of:
What NOT to Put in Your Bug Out Bag
1 – Canned Food
Ironically, I talk about this a lot in my blogs; however, I’ve realized I’ve forgotten to point out our scrumptious canned meats are really a much better item for staying in rather than bugging out (mostly because of their weight).
Stop being weighed down and go with lighter options, like freeze-dried foods. These Mountain House ones are SO TASTY, are resealable, and cook right in the bag – just add hot water!
2 – Tools That Will Weigh You Down
It can be super tempting for preppers to add their hammers, shovels and other large tools to their bug out bag. After all, it’s best to be prepared for anything, right? However, the problem with this is these tools can severely weigh you down in the field – especially if you’re trekking 15-20 miles/day with them.
Keeping that in mind, consider multitaskers like the EDC Survival Multi Tool. This one tool has the capabilities of 12, including: long-nose pliers, ruler, phillips screwdriver, can opener, wire stripper, bottle opener, wire cutter, fish scaler, hook dislodger, file, and knives (both larger and smaller).
Plus, this little guy can attach to your belt or slide into your pocket, leaving you plenty of storage space in your bug out bag. Check it out here:
3 – Cast Iron Anything
Whoever thought it was a good idea to bring their cast iron cookware in their bug out bag was probably either a body builder or just not considering how much weight they’d be adding.
I don’t care how good a cook you are, you are most likely not going to be practicing your gourmet chef skills in the wild.
That being said, you still need to eat, so I recommend a couple options here. For those that can’t live without their pots and pans, I recommend a much lighter version here.
For those that just want quick and simple cooking, I absolutely love the HydroHeat Flameless Cooking Bowl. It boils water and cooks your food in minutes, all without flame (meaning you save precious time from having to build/start a fire!). Check out this incredible cooking bowl here:
4 – Excess Toiletries
Toiletries like soaps, shampoos/conditioners, toothpaste, etc. are great things, don’t get me wrong. However, many preppers go to their local wholesale warehouse and stock up on giant bottles and 20 tubes of toothpaste, which vastly limits the space in their bag.
Let’s face it – most likely, you probably aren’t going to look/smell your best when you’re in a survival situation. After all, the goal for bugging out is typically not to live in the wilderness permanently – it’s usually a temporary means to get to another, safer location.
That being said, I will tell you there are some things that can help….like our 72 hr. group sanitation kit. The hard truth is you won’t need your hair to be clean and shiny near as much as you’ll need a sanitary waste disposal system that helps you prevent infection.
This kit’s great because it’s got 72 hrs. worth of sanitary contents like heavy duty toilet bags and toilet paper, cleansing towelettes, an emergency toilet, and toilet deodorizer. It’s even got a waterproof privacy tarp.
Plus, this kit is meant for 15 people – so if your group is smaller that that, you know it’ll last you a lot longer. Check it out here.
5 – Plasticware
Much like when going to a picnic, many preppers hear “bug out” and immediately start packing all the plastic cutlery they can find. After all, they need to eat, right?
I’ve got a MUCH better option – rather than packing away the 80 pc. plastic utensil set you just got, why don’t you save that for your next picnic and put this super handy spork in your bug out bag instead.
Not only does this spork act like both a fork AND a spoon (I know…revolutionary), it also comes with a carabiner so you can attach it to your belt loop and eat at the ready without having to dig through your bag.
Plus, it also can act as a bottle opener, screwdriver, AND three hex wrenches (therefore kicking the crap out of all those other ordinary sporks in the grocery store). See this awesome eating utensil here.
6 – Heavy Sleeping Bags
Camping sleeping bags are warm and awesome – you just don’t want to bring them with you to bug out. Why? Because they can get super heavy, especially when you’re trecking around for miles and miles each day.
No, the way I see it is you want to keep your pack as lightweight as possible to give you the most energy and best chance at survival.
A great survival tool that can replace that sleeping bag of yours is this Emergency Bivvy. Yes, it’s a sleeping bag, but it’s way more powerful in a bug out situation.
It’s incredibly lightweight (just 3.8 ounces) and packs into an extremely convenient stuff sack for easy storage.
Plus, this super durable emergency bivvy is both waterproof AND windproof, and also reflects your body heat back to you so you stay extra warm during the night.
This emergency bivvy is one of Damian’s TOP PICKS, so you know it’s got to be good. See it here.
7 – Tent
Contrary to what you might think, tents are actually kind of a nightmare to deal with in a bug out situation. They’re a pain to carry, they come with a ton of parts and assembly, and they just plain weigh you down.
This tarp is exceptionally lightweight (1.26 pounds), super durable (tear-resistant and windproof/waterproof!) and has an incredible coverage ratio (surface area = 7’4″ x 9’6″). Click to see the tarp and the paracord for an insanely durable shelter.
8 – Most Camping Lanterns
I say the word “most” because I hate dragging around heavy camping lanterns that require tons of batteries that you have to replace…because once you’re out of batteries, well, you’re SOL (which is the case with most camping lanterns).
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to waste precious bug out bag space on batteries if I don’t need to.
However, I will say there’s one exception that I absolutely love – the Solar Air Lantern. This is the coolest light source ever – not only is it incredibly lightweight (4.4 oz), but it also deflates down to only an inch high so you can fit it in your bug out bag with ease.
My favorite part? The fact that it’s solar charged. That annoying battery problem goes away when your lantern is charged by the sun. In fact, it fully charges in just a few hours and then stays charged for three whole years. Can’t beat that!
If that weren’t enough, these lanterns also come with a FREE paracord grenade that’s chock-full of 14 additional pieces of survival gear to keep you prepared for anything. Take a look at this outstanding survival combination here.
9 – Flare Guns
We’ve probably all seen movies where people are trapped on a deserted island and they use a flare gun to try to signal for help.
Well, fact is in most of these films the flare ends up in a tree (burning it and every other tree in the forest down) or goes completely in the wrong direction. Plus, what do you do when you run out of flares?
The fact is, unless you plan to be stuck on an island, there are better ways to signal for help. One of which is with a super bright signal mirror. This one’s ridiculously lightweight, crazy compact AND is virtually unbreakable, meaning you won’t ever have to go without it. See it here.
An emergency whistle is another great way to signal for help (and it won’t burn trees down, either). It’s not only insanely small and lightweight , but this one emits a piercingly loud sound that will help you be found instantly.
It also comes with 6 additional survival tools (like a compass and water container) to keep you prepared. See this incredible 7-in-1 survival whistle here.
10 – Bottles Of Water
Whether they’re filtered or not, water bottles are a huge pain to carry. Not only do they take up lots of space, but they also only allow you to drink a set amount of water per bottle. And what happens when you run out? Are you going to go without water?!
Let me help you make better life choices with our top-selling LifeStraw Personal Water Filter. This filter was named “Invention of the Year” by Time Magazine…probably because it allows you to drink clean, filtered water out of absolutely any water source whenever you want.
The LifeStraw gives one person almost a year of pure drinking water, weighs just 2 ounces and is only 8.8 inches long – making it one of the lightest, smallest, and most efficient water filters ever invented.
Seriously, if you plan on drinking pure water without harmful bacteria in it (without boiling it) than you need this water filter. See it here.
Now I should point out that the above list is totally our opinion of what you shouldn’t include…so, naturally, other people have their opinions as well. Take a look at what “Dynamic Prepper” has to say about what he considers to be the top 10 bug out bag mistakes:
Now that you know which survival tools to keep and which to throw out, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got a good quality bag to keep them all in.
This heavy duty tool bag is pretty awesome – not only does it have a huge zippered compartment (with slash pocket to help separate and organize items), but it’s also got two side pockets for extra storage.
With its super strong webbed handles, you can hold this bag or carry it on your back with ease.
Plus, if you’ve already got a bug out bag at home, you can always use this one to hold all your hammers, screwdrivers and other tools in your garage to help keep you organized and ready for projects.
Get this awesome and durable bag right now by clicking here or on the image below.