Packing a Bug Out Bag may save your life some day. A bug out bag is a bag that you always keep close to you. This bag is packed full of everything you need to survive almost any situation.
The secret to packing a Bug Out Bag or BOB is to use the weight wisely. You can't include everything or you won't be able to transport the bag. The bag is intended to keep you mobile and alive. You can't live forever on a BOB but the goal is 72 hours of survivability.
The first step is picking a bag. This is a very personal choice. My bag is an army surplus. These are generally a good choice as they were made for people to actually use them.
The second step is packing the items in. I look at items this way. I have to provide two sources of the following things. Food, water, shelter, defense, navigation, fire, other tools and first aid.
You can satisfy your needs in many different ways but I like to use things that are not only redundant but multi-purpose.
Food-Items 14-17. I've got freeze dried meals, e-rations, energy bars and utensils. In addition, item 11 (fishing line) can be used to set snares. Item 10 is a fishing kit.
Water-Items 13 (emergency packets of water) as well as a few plastic bottles of water (not shown). Item 12 is purification tablets. Fire also gets you the ability to disinfect water.
Shelter-This includes clothing (not shown). Items 18-20 are all shelter items. 18 is a tent, 19 is a poncho and 20 is paracord for making additional shelter.
Defense-Because you don't know what type of disaster you face, be prepared to defend yourself. I've got a gun (item 24) and various knives.
Navigation-Item 1 is an assortment of maps of states that I could find myself in. Not shown is a compass.
Fire-Items 8 are a magnesium flint striker and a fire-stick. Not shown is a simple lighter.
Other Tools-Thread and needles, keys, flashlight, money for payphones/purchasing, tubing, scissors, multi-tools.
In my opinion, the best source bags and materials for starting a BOB is a company called Survival Gear Bags (5% discount to readers of this article).
These are just suggestions. No one can build your BOB for you. Everyone is personal for your situation, needs and skills. But build a BOB for yourself and have your family members do the same. You may be glad you did.