THE BUG-OUT BAG - Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life - Neil Strauss

Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life - Neil Strauss (2009)


One of my favorite bug-out bags I saw while writing this book belonged Jason Hadley, from the Survivalist Boards. Below are the contents of his bag, divided according to the items in each of the bag’s zipper pockets, detachable pockets, straps, and belts. In addition to his supplies, which contain a mix of necessities and relative luxuries, I added and modified a few items. Make sure you keep a record of expiration dates for food, medicine, and other supplies so you can rotate in replacements when needed.


I use a customizable army A.L.I.C.E. Pack, as does Hadley. However, one Emergency reader suggests, "If you really want to go incognito, get a hiking BOB in a non-military color; sew on a Greenpeace, PETA, or Canadian flag patch or two; and you are now transformed from a wolf to a sheep."

Food Bag

Mess Kit

3 self-packed bricks of food, each with two MREs, and assorted jerky and candy bars

Foil-packed tuna and spam

Protein and energy bars

Ziploc bag with various drink mixes and flavoring: juice, punch, Vitamin C, and coffee—plus onion soup mixes to spice up gamey wild-caught animals

Leftover space is filed with assortment of cold brew ice tea bags, sugar packets, Splenda, fast food condiments (ketchup, mustard, honey, taco sauce, salt, pepper, hot sauce), bouillon cubes (chicken and vegetable), and about five feet of aluminum foil folded into a square

Hygiene bag

Feminine bag with lipstick, nail care kit, lotion, pumice stone (survival essentials for Jason’s girlfriend)

60 multi-vitamins

100 tablets of Vitamin C

Insect repellant



Gold Bond Body Powder

Anti-bacterial wipes



Bar of soap

Hand sanitizer



Disposable razors

Compressed beach towel

Compressed hand towel

Camping utensil set

3 pairs of socks

3 pairs of underwear

1 pair of wool socks

1 set of thermal long underwear

Tool bag

Folding saw

Multi-head screwdriver


Electrical tape


Needle-nosed pliers

Crescent wrench


US Army Manual FM 21-75: Combat Skills of the Soldier

Combination field shovel and pick

Combination hammer, hatchet, and pry bar

Utility pouch

Sewing kit

Vegetable seeds

Emergency whistle

Waterproof matches

Fire paste

50-foot paracord

Cable ties

AA and AAA batteries

Magnesium block firestarter

Snare wire (also for use as trip wire)

Leftover space filled with jute twine

Top storage pocket

Two-man tent strapped to top

Emergency bivvy bag

U.S. Army Manual FM-21-76: Survival

Books: A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants, A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants, Ditch Medicine, and pages from The Encyclopedia of Country Living

Signal mirror

Signal flares


Whet stone


Barter pocket (for purchasing and trading items)


80 Tampons (OB for increased carry)


Rolling tobacco

Toilet paper

2 bottles water purification tablets

Anti-diarrhea tablets

Gold and silver coins

$200 in small bills

Miscellaneous pocket I

Trash bags


Deck of cards

Ziploc bags

Space blanket



Flashlight and radio (solar- and crank-powered)

Small LED flashlight

Miscellaneous pocket II

2 rain ponchos

Toilet paper

250 ml Clorox bleach (purifies 40-60 gallons)

Coffee filters (for water filtration)

6 Power Bars



Intruder detection kit

Copies of passport, drivers license, and other personal documents

Shoulder Strap Pouches

Gun cleaning kit

Survival knife


12 gauge shotgun shell holder and extra rounds

Ham radio

Emergency first-response belt

Dust masks

Eye goggles

Marking chalk

Gas shut-off tool

Head lamp

2 canteens, each with water purification tablet bottle

First aid kit (Band-Aids, gauze pads, antiseptic, field surgical kit, latex gloves, tweezers, waterproof tape, sting and bite kit, dental tools, analgesics, antihistamines, peroxide, syringes, antibiotics, trauma pads, medical scissors, tourniquet, Quikclot, etc.)

Army Field Manual FM 4-52: First Aid

Work gloves

Leftover space filled with protein bars


One day, while I was writing this book, Kevin Reeve of onPoint Tactical came over to inspect my survival supplies. After a trip to Costco, we had filled my garage with a stockpile that could last a year.

That was when he showed me something incredible, which put the mini-grocery-store-and-pharmacy we’d created to shame: A nearly lifetime supply of basic survival tools crammed economically into a pouch the size of a fanny pack. In case you can’t get back to your home, travel with this.

This is my version of his bag:


And here’s an interior view:


The contents are:

1. Silva compass

2. Aviation Survival Spark-Lite firestarter

3. Light My Fire Swedish firesteel

4. Waterproof matches

5. Cotton balls rubbed in Vaseline, kept in a film canister (to use as tinder)

6. Pure Easy Camper’s Micro-Ceramic Water Filter

7. Polar Pure water disinfectant

8. Rehydration salts

9. Condom (for carrying water, really)

10. Best Glide Basic Survival Fishing Kit

11. Vargo Titanium Triad miniature stove

12. Cable snare

13. Dental floss

14. Small suturing scissors

15. Sewing needles

16. Compact emergency space blanket

17. Sunblock

18. Insect repellant

19. Iodine, alcohol wipes, antibiotic ointment, and Band-Aids

20. NoDoz and Immodium caplets

21. Leatherman Flashlight, Serac S2

22. Leatherman Multi-Tool, Juice Xe6

23. Smith’s “Pocket Pal” Knife Sharpener

24. 6” file

25. Tweezers

26. Lock pick set

27. Safety pins

28. StarFlash Ultra signal mirror

29. Emergency whistle

30. Paracord

31. Rubber tubing with a brass spout (to use as a siphon)

32. Zippo lighter

33. Cable Saw

34. ESEE-3 knife (clipped on belt)