Go Bag. Bug out bag. 72 hour bag. GOOD(Get Out of Dodge)ie bag. Maybe also know as your trunk. Everyone has their own unique recipe. Some are out of this world over engineered and over thought. You're not out to save the world. You're not Flash Freaking Gordon. You need to survive 72 hours. That's it. You need the minimal amount to survive that long. If you can survive that long, you can resupply if necessary. You don't want to be lugging around 40 lbs of equipment when you're trying to be fast and light. Minimal. MINIMAL amount.

So what makes a good go bag?

Well obviously…

  1. The Bag: It's part of the name. It must be important. This bag has to be light, durable, and comfortable. You are not going to get that from cheap bag you had back in college. You want something with shoulder straps and a good carrying capacity. There are a number of manufacturers than can supply you with a quality 25 L Daypack such as: Kelty, Mountainsmith, Osprey, Northface, Gregory,etc.
  2. Clothing: You don't want to be running around out there naked as a jay bird. You need clothes but don't take your whole closet. Two t-shirts, underwear, a wind breaker, two pairs of lightweight pants that you can convert into shorts, a nice floppy collapsible hat, and 6 pairs of socks. Note: If you live in a more extreme climate adjust your clothing needs accordingly.
  3. Medical/Hygiene: Enough of your prescription medication to last several days, aspirin/anti inflammatory medication, sunscreen, toothbrush, soap, toothpaste, mole skin, and anti chafing cream. Most of these come in the readymade first aid kits you can find at most outdoor stores.
  4. Food: Food for 3 days. Protein bars, MREs are great, at least 2L of water, water purification tablets.
  5. Cash and Credit: At least $200 in small bills. $10 in quarters. Prepaid ATM card with 50 dollars on it. Prepaid Phone Card
  6. Tools: Fixed blade knife, multitool, LED flashlight/headlamp, battery operated radio, batteries.
  7. Personal Information: Copies of all prescriptions, laminated copies of DL, Passport, Birth Certificate, laminated copy of important phone numbers.
  8. Misc: Rain Poncho, Length of Para Chord, Notepad, Pencils, Maps (Street and Topo), Tarpaulin, Space Blanket(Mylar), two disposable lighters, firesteel, fire starting tender (old lint from the dryer works great for this.), deck of cards, hard candy, emergency flares, book on survival tips, etc.

Get all this together, and keep in a place that's easy to get to. Don't throw it in the basement and expect to be able to get to it in an emergency. Keep it close to the door. Keep it ready. When the revolution comes, if the federalis knock on the door, if you have to take an unexpected overnight trip, you will be ready. This list is not perfect for everyone. If you feel you need other things and you have room, throw them in there but keep it light.

Don't just make a bag and forget about it. Check it and inventory it quarterly. Make sure that all perishables are still within their expiration dates.