Bug Out Bagz Emergency Go Pack

Over the last few weeks I have been blogging about emergency go kits.  In this blog I am going to discuss how I built my own emergency go pack that I carry in my Toyota FJ Cruiser. I have been intending to build a pack for a number of years but I have never been able to get starting on the project. To get a jump start I decided to start with a prebuilt pack. Bug Out Bagz specializes in emergency preparedness gear and sells a number of pre built go packs.

I chose to purchase the Bill Burke edition of the Bug Out Bag. While comprehensive, the kit is really intended as a starting point to build personalized go pack.

The kit consists of a pack and assorted emergency gear. Listed here are the items that are in the kit that I purchased (* notes Items that I have changed):

  • Deluxe Back Pack
    The pack is well made with plenty of compartments to keep stuff organized. It also has an internal sleeve for a hydration bladder.
  • Personal First Aid Kit
    The first aid kit supplied is a good starting point as discussed in this post: http://www.myfjcruiser.org/1754
  • Personal Amenity Kit
    The ameity kit includes the basics needed for personal hygiene but will need to be supplemented with additional items you might require.
  • Plastic Bag Kit
    A supply of plastic bags is good to have along. Bug Out Bags includes a good assortment.
  • Pelican Mitylite 2AA Flashlight*
    The Pelican flashlight is a traditional incandescent flash light with limited runtime. I prefer a LED headlamp with extended run time so I can have my hands free while using the lamp.  I went with the Petzl E-Lite as discussed in this post: http://www.myfjcruiser.org/1725.
  • Heatsheets Small Survival Blanket*
    The included survival blanket is a good start. This is discussed further in this post: http://www.myfjcruiser.org/1781
  • Leather Palmed work Gloves*
    As a personal preference I cannot stand the loose fitting work gloves so I exchanged these fore a pair of heavy fitted work gloves.
  • 2 – N95 Particle Respirator*
    What is included in the kit is a surgical / respirator mask. This type of mask is intended to provide a 2 way filter providing protection for others from you as well as to protect you from others. The problem with this type of mask is that it gets wet from the moisture in your breath when you exhale. When the mask gets wet its effectiveness goes down. I replaced the include masks with true N95 particle respirator masks. These masks have a valve that opens to allow your exhaled air to vent and not have to go through the filter. The mask that I use is the 3M 9211.
  • Sqwinsher Lite Qwik Stik Electrolyte Mix*
    Based on personal preference I have included Hammer Nutrition Heed in my kit. This Drink is a good electrolyte replacement and also includes added nutrition.
  • Diamond 32-ct Strike anywhere Penny Matches*Storm-Proof-Matches
    These matches are next to useless when outdoors. A little wind and they will not work and if they get wet forget them all together. I have replaced these with REI Storm Proof Matches. These matches will burn wet and in a high wind.
  • Rapid Cold (5-1/2” x 10”)
    Provides a rapid cold pack that can be used to reduce swelling or other first aid issues.
  • Rapid Heat (5-1/2” x 10”)
    Provides a rapid heat pack that can be used for many first aid issues.
  • MicroNet Microfiber Towel (10”x20”)
    A good towel for personal use
  • 2 – Ear Plugs
    Ever tried to sleep in a shelter? Ear plugs are a necessity.
  • Cactus Juice Sun & Skin Protector
    Good sun block and bug protection. I will replace these with both a bug protector and sun block.
  • Ztek Indoor/Outdoor Mirror Safety Glasses*
    The included glasses will work fine. I chose to include a spare pair of sun glasses.
  • Pocket Survival Pak
    This includes some items that will with fire starting and rescue.. The kit is from Adventure Medical Kits.
  • Netline Flexible Clothesline & Utility Cord*
    While this stretchable line is cool I see its function as being limited. I instead include 30’ of 6 mil static rope.  This rope can be used for many functions such as a hand line or to help build a shelter.
  • Swiss Army Rescue Tool*
    This is a very cool tool. It is designed for vehicle rescue functions so I find that in realy does not function well as a part of the pack. I instead include a multi tool. I talked with Bill Burke about why he wanted this knife included and he indicated that most people already have a knife on them and this knife is a good supplement as a rescue tool. I have moved the rescue tool to a location that is easy to get to from the driver’s seat.
  • Laerdal CPR Pocket Mask
    Good to have along to assist with giving CPR. I keep this on the outside of my pack so it is accessible at any time.
  • Dental Medic
    This is a small kit from Adventure Medical Kits that includes items to help treat minor dental emergencies.
  • Buck Tilton’s Backcounty First Aid and Extended Care Book
    A good little book to help give direction in first aid.
  • Backpackers Trowel
    Needed to dig cat holes for bathroom breaks. Also can be used to dig for water in creek beds as well as other uses.
  • MSR Cloudliner 3-Liter Hydration Bag
    Fits nicely in the supplied pack. I keep 3 gallons of water with my go pack in the car. I will fill the bag when needed from these bottles.
  • 10 – Bamboo Compress Towelettes
    Compact towels that expand when wet. Can be used for personal hygiene.

So as I stated this pack is just a starting point and should not be considered a complete system. I supplemented the pack with the following items:

  • Stove
    I use the Esbit tablet fueled stove.
  • Sierra Cup
    Made out of stainless steel the cup can also be used to cook in.
  • Food
    I added 3 freeze dried meals as well as a number of food bars.
  • Clothes
    I have included 3 Pairs Wool socks and a wool hat as well a 3 changes of undergarments. I also include a few tiems of synthetic clothing for added layers. Clothing will need to be seasonally adjusted.
  • Wag Bags
    Use for human waste disposal.
  • Water Treatment Tablets
    These can be critical to making the water found in streams and ponds actually drinkable.
  • Signal Flares
    I carry 3 arial signal flares to help notify people of my location.
  • Signal Smoke
    The single signal smoke can be used during the day to show rescuers of you specific location.
  • Emergency Radio
    This is more for domestic emergencies and allows FM, AM and All Hazards stations to be listened to. The radio uses a crank charger.
  • Emergency Papers
    This includes copies of medical information as well as full contact information.
  • Money
    I carry several hundred dollars in small denominations as well as a roll of quarters.

In summary, the kit supplied by Bug Out Bagz provides a good starting point for your emergency go pack. However, you will need to customize the contents of the pack as well as supplements with items specific to your own personal requirements.  If you are having a hard time getting started on building your own personal go kit I would recommend Bug Out Bagz as a good starting point. They can be found at http://www.bugoutbagz.com



Tomas has lived in Colorado since age 5. Having grown up on the Western Slope of Colorado lots of time was spent in the Desert Southwest. Tomas' father introduced him to the love of 4 wheeling at an early age in the high mountains around Aspen, Colorado. While an avid Mountain Biker, Tomas and his Family enjoy adventures in the mountains and desert in the remote locations that can only be reached by 4wd. Day hikes are always a must when on the family trips. While enjoying outdoor activities he wants to share his love as a certified 4wd trainer and ski instructor. Tomas also enjoys caving and cave exploration. Tomas currently resides in Colorado Springs. 


  3 comments for “Bug Out Bagz Emergency Go Pack

  1. warren
    June 25, 2009 at 4:36 PM

    thanks for the advice, i will add some more, but the foundation is sweet
    thanks for the heads up

  2. Bacadien
    August 29, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Just to know, do you have a life hammer as well ? Maybe it’s somewhere else in your car :)

    • August 30, 2011 at 6:36 PM

      I do not have a Life Hammer but I do have a VICTORINOX RESCUE TOOL mounted on the driver oh sh*t handle.

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