What Not to Pack in Your Bug Out Bag: 7 Essential Exclusions

What Not to Pack in Your Bug Out Bag: 7 Essential Exclusions

What I DON’T Pack in My Bug Out Bag


When it comes to preparing for emergency situations, having a well-equipped bug out bag is crucial. This carefully curated bag contains all the necessary items to help you survive when bugging out becomes necessary. However, as important as it is to know what to pack in your bug out bag, it is equally important to know what not to pack. In this article, we will discuss the items that I do not include in my bug out bag, and the reasons behind these exclusions.

The Unnecessary Weight

When you’re bugging out, every ounce of weight matters. You don’t want to be burdened by unnecessary items that will slow you down or make your bag too heavy to carry comfortably. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider each item you include in your bug out bag and determine if it truly serves a purpose.

1. Heavy Books

While we all love a good read, carrying heavy books in your bug out bag is not a practical decision. Books add unnecessary weight and take up valuable space. Instead, consider investing in a compact e-reader or downloading survival guides and relevant information onto your smartphone. This way, you can have access to important resources without the added weight.

2. Excessive Clothing

It may be tempting to pack multiple changes of clothes in your bug out bag, but this can quickly lead to an overweight bag. Instead, focus on practical clothing items that are versatile, lightweight, and suitable for different weather conditions. Layering your clothing is a smart way to stay warm without carrying bulky items. Opt for moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabrics that will keep you comfortable during your journey.

3. Bulky Cooking Equipment

While having the ability to prepare hot meals on the go is desirable, bulky cooking equipment is not worth the added weight. Instead, pack lightweight camping cookware or consider alternative methods of cooking, such as using a portable stove or making use of existing resources in your surroundings like fire pits or natural heat sources.

4. Unnecessary Gadgets

It’s tempting to pack all sorts of gadgets and electronics, but in reality, most of them will be unnecessary and add unnecessary weight. For example, a portable solar charger is a great option to keep your electronic devices charged without relying on an electrical grid. Additionally, a small portable radio can be useful for staying informed about the situation. However, items like gaming consoles or Bluetooth speakers are simply unnecessary luxuries.

The Common Sense Exclusions

Apart from the unnecessary weight, there are certain items that are best left out of your bug out bag due to common sense and practicality.

1. Cash and Valuables

While it’s important to have some cash on hand in case of emergencies, carrying excessive amounts of cash or valuable items in your bug out bag is risky. In a high-stress situation, theft and loss become more prevalent. It is advisable to keep your cash and valuable items secure at your primary and secondary locations. You can also consider diversifying your emergency funds by investing in alternative forms of currency like gold or silver coins.

2. Heavy Tools

While having tools for survival is important, it’s crucial to keep your bug out bag light and agile. Avoid carrying heavy tools like axes and sledgehammers unless the situation specifically calls for them. Instead, opt for lightweight multi-tools that can perform multiple functions. These compact tools often include pliers, knives, screwdrivers, and other essential tools that can assist you in various survival scenarios.

3. Excessive Food and Water

While having food and water supplies is crucial, carrying excessive amounts in your bug out bag is not practical. The weight of these supplies can quickly become overwhelming. Instead, focus on lightweight, high-calorie food options that are easy to carry and require minimal preparation. Filtered water bottles or portable water filters are great alternatives to carrying excessive amounts of water. Remember to pack water purification tablets as a backup.

4. Fragile and Bulky Items

Fragile, bulky items have no place in your bug out bag. Items like glass containers, bulky electronic devices, and delicate valuables are better off left behind. Instead, opt for durable and compact alternatives. For example, replace glass containers with lightweight, BPA-free plastic containers or pouches. Consider investing in a sturdy, waterproof bag that can protect your gear from the elements.

My 2 Cents

When it comes to packing your bug out bag, it’s important to prioritize functionality, weight, and practicality. You want to ensure that you have all the necessary items to survive, without being weighed down by unnecessary or impractical items. Remember to regularly review and update your bug out bag contents to ensure that they align with your current needs and circumstances. Additionally, take the time to educate yourself on essential survival skills and techniques. Practice using your gear and familiarize yourself with different scenarios to enhance your ability to respond effectively in emergencies. Stay safe, stay prepared!