There’s much to say about creating your very own bug out bag. But many premade options also exist, many of them filled with things you may not have even considered. So, which do you choose? Which makes more sense for you and your family?
The thing to remember is what your priorities are. Every family has their own unique needs when it comes to assembling the perfect bug out bag. There’s a lot of things that need ticking off and some premade bug out bags may not cater to everything you will need.
This article hopes to help you make the right decision when choosing the best bug out bag to buy. I’ll show you one of the better premade bug out bags on the list, and some of the more sensible bug out bags money can buy.
What is a Bug Out Bag?
Put simply, a bug out bag is anything that you have packed emergency supplies into, for the sole purpose of using in the event of an emergency. It could be anything from a plastic shopping bag to a full-sized suitcase. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that, particularly what you put into the bag.
The true purpose of a bug out bag is to provide you with everything you’ll need for the first 72 hours immediately after a disaster strikes you. Why 72 hours, I hear you ask? Because of the survival-3s. A human will survive 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter in a storm, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.
The specific one that’s important in that list is the water. Without it, you will last less than 72 hours. That’s not a lot of time and when things go pear-shaped, your survival will depend on what you packed for yourself in the lead up. The more you plan for such a situation now, the better your chances will be of surviving later.
How Important Are Bug Out Bags?
To understand the importance of bug out bags, try and picture the moments just before or just after a significant event happens. Let’s say a nuclear weapon exploded in a nearby city and they predict the fallout to reach your location in an hour.
If you have another location to go to, one out of the way of the approaching radiation, then you would grab as many things as you needed to make a quick getaway.
But what if the time to grab everything took you 30 minutes? That would leave just 30 minutes to escape the approaching hazard. Now, imagine if you already had everything you would need, packed into a ready-to-go bag.
You’d grab that bag on your way out the door and now had a full hour to escape the approaching cloud of doom.
That’s what a bug out bag is. It’s a bag that gives you time. Let’s face it. No-one can think straight in an emergency. Whilst you may not panic, trying to remember everything you will need is impossible.
Especially whilst you’re under extreme stress. But with a ready-packed bug out bag, you’ve made all the decisions already. All that’s left to do is grab your family, grab your bag and leave.
What Are Premade Bug Out Bags?
Premade bug out bags are available for purchase online and come ready to go. They pre-pack them with a multitude of items you’ll need during an emergency. Many of the bags will have different contents and it will be up to you to select one suitable for your own needs.
Many of the premade bug out bags will fall under unique names, like a military bug out bag, tactical bug out bag, earthquake bag or civilian bug out bag. Whatever the name, it’s the bag’s contents that you’ll need to concentrate on.
They are what determines your survival during an emergency. The fancy name will mean nothing if the bag doesn’t contain enough water rations for your entire family.
A good bug out bag is one that has everything you could ever need after leaving home. The best bug out bags will have even more. But what makes it hard to choose the right one is knowing what you will need specifically.
While premade bug out bags are great as a general bug out item, they aren’t good for meeting the specific needs of individuals. That’s why it’s so important for you to consider your own needs and those of your family before deciding on which suits you.
What Should My Premade Bug Out Bag Contain?
Despite being one of the harder questions to answer, it may not be that difficult to work out. There are numerous items that need to go into a well-thought-out bug out bag, the most important being emergency water. Like I mentioned, the longest a person can survive without water is just 72 hours.
The amount of water you’ll want to keep in your bag will depend on how many people are in your party. It may be necessary to consider more than one bag. There’s usually enough water for one person for 4 days in the kits, although some will have more than others.
Emergency food rations also sit on the list of high priority items and feature in most reputable bug out bags. Food includes protein bars, food sachets to complete meals. There should be a good amount of medical supplies and general survival equipment as well.
For those who have a separate bug out location already organized, the bug out bag may only need to get you from point a to point b. If you don’t, then you’ll need your bag for longer than 3 days, in which case you may want to plan for additional options.
If you are considering building your own bug out bag from scratch, check out our article for things you’ll need in your bag here. It’s a complete list of items that you need to consider to ensure the survival of you and your family. There’s also a great article for bug out bags for dogs here.
Premade Bug Out Bag Features to Consider
So, what makes for a good bug out bag? It’s a combination of a number of features, each with its own purpose. There are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration when choosing one.
Feature #1: Size
Size will come down to two things; how much you need to fit into it and how easy it is to carry. If a premade bug out bag doesn’t contain everything you need to carry, check to see if there’s extra room for more items.
Feature #2: Portability
How comfortable will the bag be? It’s something you need to carry on your back for an extended period of time. Although your journey may begin with a vehicle, what happens when the vehicle breaks down or the roads become impassable? If you will need to carry the bag cross-country, how long can you manage?
Feature #3: Wear and Tear
Is the premade bag made of military-grade material or cheap plastic? Checking the bag’s material might save you grief when you’re in the middle of a bug out.
While some materials might seem perfect at the time of purchase, just how tough are they really when out in the field? Some might also deteriorate over time or when exposed to the elements like moisture and heat.
Researching a little extra today might save a lot of headaches tomorrow.
Feature #4: Content
Although the bug out bag is important, it isn’t as important as the actual contents. Don’t assume that because the bug out bag is pre-packed with survival gear and rations; it has the best of everything.
Many bags might sound like the perfect package, but you’ll soon get to the truth of the matter when you put in a little time and consider each item individually. Ask yourself some hard questions about each and really think about whether they add value to your pack, or are nothing more than a cheap gimmick.
Feature #5: Reviews
One of the best ways to compare the quality of a bag’s make up is to check online reviews. If there’s an issue with a pre-made bug out bag, you can bet your bottom dollar that plenty of people will air their grievances.
Don’t just focus on the bad reviews, though. Also consider the good reviews and see why people like it. Maybe it’s because of the bag itself or because of certain pieces of equipment it has inside.
Reviews are great at answering those unknown questions and you should take them into consideration.
The Best Premade Bug Out Bags for You to Consider
There are so many premade bug out bags for sale on the internet, that it’s often difficult to find the best ones. Trying to decipher the best from the worst isn’t as easy as just reading reviews or researching their contents. It’s a bit of everything, combined together to give you a complete picture.
That’s why we’ve taken the hard work out of the process, to present the following options for your consideration. While some might have less equipment than others, it’s often the quality of the items they contain that makes them so popular with us.
Have your own checklist ready to see which of the following is the perfect premade bug out bag for you.
Bag #1: Complete Earthquake Bag
A great all-round premade bug out bag that contains a lot of the essentials you’re going to want in your kit.
What I love is that you can choose either a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6-person bag, which is suitable for 72-hours of emergency supplies for the number of people, or longer if buying for a smaller number than listed.
Purchasing a 6-person bag for 2 will make sure you won’t run out of food or water for a little longer.
Most of the equipment is pretty standard for emergency supplies, including the sleeping bags, gloves, safety goggles, whistle and wind-up powered torch. The torch has a built-in radio and an adapter-cable so you have a way of charging your cell if needed.
Overall, there is a good mix of items that come in handy in whatever situation you’ll find yourself. The only thing I would check when receiving yours is the expiry date of the food and water rations.
Bag #2: Emergency Zone The Essentials Complete Deluxe Survival 72-Hour Kit
A well, put together survival kit that comes in either 2-person or 4-person options. The equipment housed in this kit is well thought out and even includes a Frontier Straw Filter to use directly from a water source, should you need it. This extends the survival time the rations provide.
This kit contains food and water rations approved by the US Coast Guard, and a survival guide that will come in handy when you’re stuck in a precarious situation.
The bag is good quality, the equipment substantial enough to see you survive most scenarios and offers guidance including CPR and how to survive varying types of disasters.
Bag #3: 4-Person Survival Kit Deluxe
This 4-person kit is designed to keep 4 people hydrated and fed for up to 72 hours after an incident. It’s filled with a good number of products that include safety items like masks, wipes and gloves, plus a myriad of items to help with certain scenarios, like a gas shut-off wrench, can opener, rope, pocket knife and more.
When it comes to the sorts of items you may need from time to time, this kit won’t let you down. There’s a first aid kit, face masks, bio-hazard waste bags, body warmers and more. But while most of the items are great, for me, there’s one piece of kit I’m personally not too fond of. That’s the bag itself.
It’s a carry bag, and unlike a backpack, it isn’t as comfortable to carry around with you. It’s a minor detail compared to what else it provides, but it’s one I’d prefer changed.
Bag #4: Ready America 70180 Emergency Kit for 1
While some premade bug out bags try and fit everything but the kitchen sink into their kits, this one does the exact opposite. Ready America have designed a bug out bag with the sole purpose of keeping you alive for 72 hours.
Other than the necessary food and water supplies, some first-aid pieces and a poncho, there’s not much else to speak of.
While this might not appeal to many, to me, this is the perfect piece of kit for my car. I like to think of it as my bug out-bug out bag.
It’s there as a backup, the just-in-case scenario that might pop up and prevent me from reaching my real bug out bag. It’s lightweight, affordable and compact enough to keep anywhere. Perfect as far as I’m concerned.
Bag #5: Ready America 70385 Deluxe Emergency Kit 4 Person Backpack
The second of the Ready America premade bug out bags, and one you would proudly keep at the ready wherever you keep your bug out bags. There is a bonanza of products in this pack, all of which will serve a very important purpose when the time comes.
This specific bug out bag incorporates everything found in the base option and improves on it ten-fold.
It even comes with a hand-wound torch/radio that doubles as a power bank, perfect for charging your cell, duct tape and a multi-tool. There isn’t a lot you’ll miss out on and that’s why this is one of my preferred options.
#6 Ready America 3000 The Survival Box
If you thought the basic Ready America premade bug out bag had limited supplies, then this kit will surprise you. There are 3 days’ worth of water, food and a single survival blanket. While this might seem much too basic for most, consider this your basic of basics.
So, why would you bother? Because this is one of those items you could keep anywhere. It’s affordable enough to purchase several of and compact enough to store anywhere. Keep one in your car, one at the office and one at home.
Bag #7: Storm Packs Emergency Survival Kit Basic
A perfect kit for anyone wanting quality and quantity. This kit is divided up into separate categories, then packed accordingly into well-thought-out cases that are strong enough to weather a beating.
The manufacturer of this bug out bag has taken great care to make sure that when it comes time to use this kit, you won’t add to your urgency, by clearly labeling everything for you.
There’s enough equipment included to keep even the most skeptical lads happy. The whole kit just looks the part, adding to its already well-stocked interior.
Bag #8: Getready 72-Hour Grab & Go Emergency Kit
Another fantastic and well-thought-out premade bug out bag. There are a ton of items that are useful in many disaster-type situations and each serves its purpose accordingly.
I sometimes see kits that throw in items with very little purpose. They take up valuable room, add to the cost and in the end, never end up getting used.
This kit is different. Every item that’s included is there for a specific purpose, one that will more than likely occur. This means you will probably use everything included.
The only part of this kit that I think would improve the overall appeal and use, is the bag it comes in. Whilst being a clear waterproof container, it’s obvious that there’s very little room for anything else to be added, such as fresh clothes.
The other part that doesn’t thrill me is the fact it’s not a dedicated backpack. Bug out bags should be extremely portable. If you are forced to hike cross country and are carrying something other than a backpack, the bag will become cumbersome.
The other thing I also don’t like is the fact anyone else walking past me will see what I have, turning me into a target for theft, or worse.
There’s a reason you need a bug out bag. Disasters have a way of sneaking up on you, surprising even the most aware of us. When they strike, they leave many people displaced, panic often quick to follow.
Once the initial shock of the event has settled, those with a pre-thought-out plan are more likely to survive because they know what they need to do next.
A bug out bag is a single item to grab, which means you are mobile much faster than someone needing to hunt for all the things they might need, half of which they won’t even think of.
Look at the current situation with the coronavirus and watch people panic buying. The media publicized the toilet paper shortage so much, the flow-on effect circled the globe in a matter of days, many countries selling out of their supplies.
Does toilet paper save lives? Is it edible? Will it help you when you’re isolated and alone? And yet everyone managed to panic-buy the complete supply, leaving others without access to it.
Toilet paper, although helpful, won’t save your life in an emergency. While it might be great for bartering, there are many other much more important items people will need.
Consider your own needs and see why a premade bug out bag is so important. There’s a reason why they call them emergency supply kits. They save lives. Keeping one ready to go is not going to hinder you in any way.
It provides you the security of knowing you have a 3-day supply of food and water. But it also gives you something just as valuable when it matters most. Time.
When everything else falls apart, rest easy knowing that you are well prepared to look after yourself and your family. It doesn’t take much in the way of planning, but premade bug out bags give you something more valuable than the money they cost. Peace of mind.