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Building a Bug Out Bag - Books That Can Save Your Life

Updated on February 9, 2013

Why you need a Bug Out Bag

With the horrible devastation of Superstorm Sandy still fresh in everyone's minds and many people's lives still in ruin, the last thing the New England area needed was Winter Storm Nemo piling up nearly three feet in places, blocking people's doors in others. The news reporting over 600,000 thousand people are without electricity, drivers were warned to stay off the roads. But for those who had jobs or circumstances that required them to travel out in it, a bug out bag tossed in the trunk of the car (in the case of running out of gas, breaks down or being snowed in) could help keep you warm, hydrated and taken care of until you're rescued or make your hike to safety.

Ever since I was looking for non-fiction books a while back, Bug Out Bag books opened my eyes to the need to be prepared. Preparing a Bug Out Bag in advance could help save you, your family's (and pet's!) lives when seconds count and you must evacuate your home or car and get to safety.

Why else would you need a bug out bag?

Another example: In March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan and forced tens of thousands of people from their homes suddenly with little warning. Thirty-two thousand people were quickly evacuated to escape the raging wild fires in California and Colorado this summer (2012). That's a lot of suddenly displaced, desperate people.

Disaster strikes. You and your family have only minutes to evacuate your house, escape to a safer location away from civil unrest and riots. The question is, "Will you have what you need to survive the next 72 hours?"

We don't have to be a hard-core survivalists, but it does make a lot of sense to put some thought into being prepared and have a grab-and-go bag ready.

Photo Attribute

What IS a Bug Out Bag?

B.O.B May Save Your Life

First of all, what is "bugging out"? Some people will try and tough out an emergency situation on their own property. But in other man-made or natural disasters, you may have to "bug out" and abandon ship and head for a safe place. A B.O.B. (Bug Out Bag) will be your survival link to get there. This is a backpack or bag to grab containing essential supplies to help you and your family get by for 72 hours (three days) in case of an emergency where you have to abandon your home or place of work and get out fast.

I'd never heard of a Bug Out Bag (BOB) before, but when the title (Build the Perfect Bug-Out Bag: Your 72 Hour Disaster Survival Kit) caught my eye and I read this book I was intrigued. It seems like it would be a must in areas with a history of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, forest fires or earthquakes. It makes sense to at least have a plan and be prepared.

Another example: what happens if you or a family member is trapped in a blizzard like the one that just hit the east coast (Winter Storm Nemo), or your car runs out of gas or off the road in that snowstorm with no cell phone connection? People can can die in 3 hours (or less) in extreme cold or hot conditions so keep a mylar thermal blanket in a prepared bag in the trunk along with snacks and even water.

I'd like to introduce the following book and e-books listed below as informational, easy to read, very helpful and may help save lives should the worst happen:

Build the Perfect Bug-Out Bag: Your 72 Hour Disaster Survival Kit

by Creek Stewart (He owns and is Lead Instructor at Willow Haven Outdoor a leading survival and preparedness training facility in central Indiana).

I think the best asset of this book is it's wealth of information. This book gives you a lot to think about. Even if you don't want to put a lot of money into a Bug Out Bag, these tips will get you thinking of being prepared and hopefully having some things in a pack, ready to go. You don't have to be loaded for bear or a hard-core survivalist, but even just having water bottles, a rain poncho, snacks, toilet paper, your prescriptions, important insurance policies, deeds and titles, official documents and ID in a grab-and-go-pack should get you by until you get to safety or are rescued.

The important thing is to read through the book, and adapt the items best suited for you and your family's (and pet's!) needs.

This easy-to-read 202 page book is filled with pictures, and explanations of all the suggestions and equipment, starting with in-depth information on choosing the type of pack itself and filling it with everything you need to gather for 72 hours of independent survival.

Here are some of the Chapters:

  • Water & Hydration - how much water to take, plus purification or filtering items.
  • Food & Food Preparation - You don't know how long it will be before you eat again. They don't have to be expensive, but be sure to stash away plenty of high energy snacks for you and your group.
  • Shelter & Bedding - using tarps, water proof ponchos and thermal blankets.
  • Fire - Can warm you up, light the way, be a signal, boil suspicious water, cook your food - You should definitely have guaranteed fire making items.
  • First Aid - don't forget necessary prescriptions, glasses or contacts.
  • The Bug Out Plan - having a destination safe place in mind to head towards (friend/family in a safe area), with fold out maps (GPS may be disabled) and different routes for getting there. Different roads and highway access may be out, you may have to walk.

Quick Kindle Downloads - Very Inexpensive - This Important Information Could Be In Your Hands In Minutes! Or send it to someone as a gift!

Start preparing today!

Four books, available in Kindle. To upload onto your Kindle, smart phone or computer.

Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit
Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit

Only $2.99, the most detailed and comprehensive 208 pages.

If you only want to get ONE, this is it!

This is also the only one of the four books available in paperback.

Includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet.

Bug Out Bag: Disaster Survival Guide For Beginning Preppers
Bug Out Bag: Disaster Survival Guide For Beginning Preppers

Just $1.49 to quickly download to your Kindle.

This e-book is only 23 pages, but don't let that fool you. It's a good introduction book and lots of information for the beginner and people who may either not be interested in long, detailed books or the attention span, but yet want some good usable information. You can make sure your friends and family recieve the information they may need at such an affordable cost.

Includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet.

Prime members can borrow it for Free from your Kindle.

Build the Ideal Bug Out Bag: The Ultimate Guide to Preparing a 72 Hour Survival Kit  for Surviving Comfortably
Build the Ideal Bug Out Bag: The Ultimate Guide to Preparing a 72 Hour Survival Kit for Surviving Comfortably

$2.99 to download. 48 pages.

Includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet

Prime members can borrow it for Free from your Kindle.


How long will they wait? A Bug Out Bag (B.O.B.) provides the essentials while waiting for help.

How long will they wait? A Bug Out Bag (B.O.B.) provides the essentials while waiting for help.
How long will they wait? A Bug Out Bag (B.O.B.) provides the essentials while waiting for help.

You can not safely say to yourself anymore, "This will never happen to me".

Joplin, Missouri - 2011

I grew up in the Kansas City area, both in the Missiouri and Kansas sides. I remember tornado drills in grade school and "camping" in our basement with tornados nearby. In 2006 a tornado destroyed homes not even two blocks from my parent's home. It could have just as easily destroyed the house, memorabilia and changed our lives as well.

When sudden disaster strikes, there may not be any water, shelter, food, or medical care. Outside help may not even be able to reach the area immediately. When people run out of food, things get ugly quick. Store supplies are often destroyed or looted. Outside may be unsafe due to rioting and looting. If you are trying to leave a congested city to safety, do you have more than one exit strategy? The landscape may be different without familiar markers, you may end up trekking through woods, making your own fire, or sleeping outside until you can get to a safer place. And don't forget the toilet paper!

Planning for a disaster you pray never happens may seem negative and dark, but I see it as a loving, intelligent act for all those you love and care about.

Learning to build a Bug Out Bag from these easy-to-read books may help get you through an emergency until you get to a safe area and help.

It might even save your life.

Has this information made you consider preparing an emergency Bug Out Bag for you and your family?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      By all means. Everyone really should have one of these BOBs, no matter where you live. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I've seen a lot of recommendations for this. It's a good idea for winter storm preparedness.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 

      5 years ago from New York City

      It hasn't, but that's just me. The information is enormously helpful to people in situations different than mine. It's well-presented, and I hope it gets a lot of views from people who can use the information.

    • choosehappy profile image


      5 years ago from US

      I haven't but I need too for sure. Thanks! Blessed!

    • BestRatedStuff profile image


      5 years ago

      Yes, thanks for the reminder.

    • SherriDW profile image


      5 years ago

      Great lens. I might actually download an e-book. Great info!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Yes. I have gone to a four year camp for the full four years and they were all really good at being really well prepared. I somehow forgot about all that while trying to raise a family on a budget, but its still valid info. Thank you for reminding me. :D Good luck today.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Cool lens. It pays to be prepared, no doubt about it. Blessed.

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      5 years ago

      Yes, it's always good to have such a reminder.

    • RationalHedonist profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @BarbaraCasey: Thank you very much for your vote and the blessing!

    • PlethoraReader profile image


      5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      Already have one, but glad you are raising awareness to a large community! Blessed.

    • SandraWilson LM profile image

      SandraWilson LM 

      5 years ago

      Having faced fires three times and having to bug out at least once, you would think I would have a bug out bag. But with all the livestock and pets here, not sure how I would handle things other than loading up as much as possible in the pickup. Good idea for a lens.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Excellent lens. You get my vote for the non-fiction book review. And a blessing, too.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 

      5 years ago from Texas

      I've been considering it for quite some time. We are always in danger of grass fires here in the country, and it would be good to be prepared. Thanks for the tips on how to go about doing so!

    • RationalHedonist profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @Faye Rutledge: Sounds like you might also need things to Bug "In" and ride out a storm in your house if the weather is too rough to leave. After all the bad storms this summer and fall, I hope this winter will be relatively quiet.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 

      5 years ago from Concord VA

      Yes, I think I need to prepare a Bug Out Bag. Even though we live in a fairly safe state (VA), you never know when disaster will happen. Such as the wind storm that blew through and left almost everyone here without power.


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