3 Key Features You Need in a Bug-Out Bag

Having a well-provisioned survival bag within easy reach is a great idea, provided the bag is strong enough to face the challenge

Outdoor supplies and gear
A bug-out bag is great when you’re making a fast exit and can include any combination of supplies or tools you think you might need for a short jaunt.5.11

The outcome of any survival situation usually comes down to preparedness. The more thought a person puts into those "what-if" scenarios ahead of time, the more likely he or she will be able to cope with the unexpected. No piece of gear is more important to that thought process than the so-called “bug-out” bag. You don’t have to be military personnel or some wild-eyed prepper to appreciate a well-provisioned tactical pack. It forces you to think through the elements that are critical to whatever scenarios you are most likely to face and stands ready to roll when you need it. Here are a few features to consider.

Compact

Reebow military backpack
A bug-out bag should include anything you think you might need, but still be somewhat small and manageable.Reebow Gear

The point of maintaining a bug-out bag is that it's pre-stocked with survival essentials and ready to bounce when you are. That means large, extended-range packs are not really suitable to this application. A day ruck of 25- to 40-liters capacity should be large enough to hold everything you need when it comes time to get out of Dodge.

Modular

Sog Ninja backpack
Molle webbing allows you to attach additional straps and accessories.SOG

The military acronym MOLLE stands for modular lightweight load-carrying equipment. That's a fancy way of referring to standardized webbing straps and accessories that allow you to outfit a pack with additional storage compartments, tool and knife sheaths, flashlight pouches, and any other add-on necessary to customize a pack to your specifications. The exterior of a bug-out bag should be crawling with MOLLE webbing.

Durable

Army green military backpack
Be sure to select a bag that’s built well enough to handle the worst situations.5.11

Because bug-out bags are relatively small to begin with, ultralight weight is not as important as durability. After all, if your bag can't even survive, will you? Look for a ruck constructed of high-strength nylon or polyester with reinforced stress points, double and triple stitching, and heavy-duty zippers (such as YKK) with oversized pulls that you can find in a hurry. It should also feature a reinforced top-mounted grab handle, which will be the first thing you reach for at go time.