You don’t have to be scratching out a manifesto on the walls of some underground bunker to understand the value of maintaining at least some rudimentary supplies for disaster scenarios. From floods and fire to civil unrest and rolling power blackouts, we live in a time where emergency preparedness should be a legitimate concern for everyone. But what should a survival kit contain? Whether you are piecing together your own kit or buying one off the shelf, any “bug-out bag” should account for the three pillars of survival: food, shelter, and water. Beyond that, items such as a first-aid kit, lighting, sanitation, fire-making supplies, and a signaling device will increase your chances of surviving in relative comfort and safety. Here’s how to break down the basics.

Three Days of Necessities

This option includes 24 servings of food, two cartons of water, a survival straw and more. Amazon

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There really is no sense is provisioning a portable survival kit with any kind of food other than freeze-dried MREs, or meals ready to eat. MRE’s are lightweight, require only heat and water to prepare, and contain all the nutrients and good taste necessary to restore health and vigor in an otherwise uncomfortable situation.

Portable Stove Included

In addition to minor first aid equipment, this pack comes with flashlights and fire starters to maintain visibility and warmth. Amazon

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A complete bug-out bag should have two sources of water. The first is packaged H20 in small portions that can be rationed out as the situation dictates. The second is some sort of ultralight water filter that can produce additional potable water after the packaged water runs out.

Lots of Compartments

If you’re unsure of what to do in a situation when you need this backpack, it contains a preparedness guidebook you can consult. Amazon

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Short of building your own shelter from available materials, a complete survival kit should have at least a couple lightweight Mylar blankets. Not only will they keep you warm by reflecting body heat back toward your core, but Mylar can also be used to signal for help or for protection from wind, rain, and sun.