Short Term Bug Out Bag for “Just in Case” Emergencies


I find it so funny that when my friends watch Doomsday Preppers they think of me.  I suppose I can take that as a partial compliment.  Trust me, I enjoy the show, but sometimes I feel people go a little over board.  However, if the shtf, these people are going to be the ones cozy and secure.  My idea of preparation is not letting it consume my life, but doing enough where I feel comfortable… little by little.  I’d rather spend $50-$200 on supplies and ammo per month versus buying other things.  These items never go to waste.  When the expiration date approaches for my canned goods or dehydrated food, I simply take it with me backpacking or camping.  As far as ammo… you can never get enough of that!  I just want to make sure that in case of an emergency, my family and friends will have supplies.  I won’t lie… I have searched for the costs on an underground shelter/container, but that’s purely curiosity (I think).

I strongly encourage everyone (especially ladies) to make an emergency bag.  The costs are minimal and it’s a lot of fun.  I keep this bag in my car.  I figure that 80-90% of the time I am not home, I’m usually outside somewhere with my car nearby.  I can almost guarantee that 100% of the time unless I’m backpacking or hunting, I won’t have adequate shoes on.  I have an 8-5 office job and my typical fashion are high heels, converse, or flip flops.  All not “emergency” wear.  So I decided to share what I have prepared with you in hopes you build your own.


  • Sturdy backpack
  • Old comfortable tennis shoes
  • Para-cord bracelet
  • Mechanic gloves
  • Hand and toe warmers
  • Storm proof matches
  • Magnesium fire starter
  • Spoon
  • GPS
  • Batteries
  • Bug spray
  • Headlamp
  • Knife
  • Steri-pen (UV water purifier)
  • Wet naps
  • Justin’s Hazelnut Chocolate Packets (YUM!)
  • Mini fire tinder
  • Plastic gloves
  • Disposable face masks
  • First aide kit with Advil
  • Mylar sleeping bags
  • Small pair of binoculars
  • Pair of pants
  • Shirt
  • Smart wool socks
  • Long sleeve thermal shirt
  • Mountain House food – a mixture of pouches that require hot water and the other cold water in case I can’t use fire.  4-6 pouches in total.
  • Bottles of H20/Bladder
  • Solar power and hand crank radio and USB charger
  • Jet Boil
  • Multi-tool
  • Poncho

Anyways, you get the point.  It’s pretty fun when you make your own.  Will I ever need all this stuff?  I hope not, but if I have to find out at least I’m prepared.


It doesn’t hurt to have a plan in place.  What if you are at work?  What if your kids are at school?  How will you reconnect with your family?  What if your home is destroyed, where will you meet?  Assuming there is a great possibility I will be at the office, I created a map/route for me.  If for some reason my home was not safe, I have a designated meeting location.


People have asked me which canned foods have the longest shelf life…

  • Spam (about 3 years, I think my newest cans say 2015)
  • Canned chicken/tuna

There are a lot of other foods, just check the labels.  Of course I don’t put these in my pack because of the weight, but I do store at home.

Additionally, I have medical supplies, 100 hour candles, water containers, glow sticks, etc…  I’ve also talked to my neighbors about prepping because let’s say there was a big earthquake in California, our community would have to help one another.  Making your neighbors aware is a very important step in helping your survival.

If you have any questions on any of the items, please feel free to write me.  🙂


I’d like to have a Bug Out Revolver for my pack.  I’d like to ask you for any suggestions.  Ideally, I’d like the cost to be less than $600, since there is a possibility it may get stolen.  What revolvers do you suggest and why? 


  1. Great bag you have there, Cat! Funny you should mention a Bug Out Bag revolver. I just picked up a Ruger LCR in .357 magnum for this purpose. It’s very light weight at about 17 ounces. The .38 special version is even lighter at 13 ounces.

    My fiance is very recoil sensitive so I carry both .38 specials for her and .357’s for me. The .38’s are very comfortable. Full powered .357 Hornady Critical Defense rounds have a stout recoil but it’s definitely manageable. The revolver comes with Hogue Tamer grips that have a gel insert to soak up recoil. I carry three speed loaders in my pack as well.

    The downsides are that it is very rounds limited at 5 shots in the cylinder and the short barrel means you’re not going to get as much velocity compared to a 4 or 5 inch barrel.

    Overall, I’m very pleased with the Ruger LCR. I got mine for about $500 but I think you can find them for even cheaper. I was also looking at Taurus and Charter Arms revolvers that sell for $300 and up but decided on the Ruger for its lightness and quality of manufacture compared to the other two companies.

    • Thanks Tony! I started building it a couple years ago, researched products, tested items out in the field, and now I’m pretty content with my pack. I’m thinking about having a “build your own bug out bag” girls night. With all the earthquake tremors we’ve been having in California, my girlfriends are realizing perhaps they should do something to prepare. It really is fun once you start and it gives you peace of mind. That is great you and your fiance have bug out bags and self defense guns. Your Ruger LCR is definitely lightweight and at a good cost. The good thing about a bug out bag, most likely you will be in a close quarters type situation. In case I was unable to drive home, I just want to make sure I’m protected while I trek to my house. From there I’ll have other firearms for defense. How does your fiance like it?

      • After spending more time with it, she’s decided she’s not a fan of the long double action only trigger. Looks like we”re going shopping for a .380 or 9mm semiauto. LOL!

  2. Excellent start on your preperations. I have an article on my blog with a complete list of what I keep in my Alice/Malice bug out bag. For a handgun I use the Smith & Wesson M&P 45 which transitions from my every day carry to my bug out bag modified waist belt if needed.

    • Hey rmactsc, great blog and thanks so much for sharing. How does an adhesive radiation detector work? For me I’d just like to leave a revolver with my pack hidden somewhere. Honestly, I know myself and I’ll be too lazy to bring my usual handguns back and forth from my house to car. LOL.

      • Thanks kittycatkimchi 🙂 The adhesive radiation detector is a little larger than a postage stamp and attaches like a self adhesive stamp to anything such as the back of a drivers license, a business card, etc. When exposed to radiation; it changes color and there’s a small chart to match the color to; which shows how much radiation you’ve been exposed to. They are about five dollars at Amazon.

  3. I started my bug out bag a couple years ago. Living in Oklahoma the biggest concern is tornadoes but recently we’ve had some strong earthquakes. My bag contains water (both water bladder and canteen w/cup), gps, both a large fixed blade knife and a small folding knife, wool socks, small Med kit (being a former EMT it’s a must), compass, warm (and fire proof) firefighter gloves, a thinner pair of utility gloves, poncho, emergency Mylar blankets, multiple fire starting objects, alcohol gel and wipes, small binoculars, both rifle and handgun ammo (my Beretta 92A1 w/20 round mags and my Colt LE6920 AR will be my emergency guns) and several things I can’t even remember. All of this in a modular tactical backpack with good back support.

    • Hi Brandi! Thanks so much for sharing and that is a great bug out bag. Any advice based on your EMT background that I should look into purchasing to expand my medical supplies? I was looking at the quick clotting and dental kits. I hate tooth pain and just in case something falls on my head or something happens to my mouth, I want to be prepared.

  4. A few items I always add to my bag and outdoor clothing pockets are.
    1. signal panel ( VS panel) for aircraft to spot and to signal with.
    2. signal mirror
    3.Flare. either parachute or hand held.

    A lot of people just think in terms of sneaking away, but its just as important to remember its more likely you may get lost and need to stay visible. to help self rescue.

    • I, too, keep one of those bright orange IFF panels in my kit. Back in 2006 my brother’s friend, James Kim, and his family were lost on Bear Camp Road in Oregon in the winter. Sadly James passed away but his family was rescued after being stranded for a week. I started carrying the signal panel after hearing the details of their ordeal.

  5. I would say for basic medical supplies…multiple 4×4 bandages, tourniquets, high quality medical tape (the cheap stuff is worthless), electrical tape (for when the other tape won’t hold), EMT scissors, a suture kit (best to learn how to suture but even without training you can figure out the basics in an emergency), an ACE style bandage wrap, alcohol, alcohol wipes, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, butterfly bandages, ibuprofen, gauze rolls, a pair of high quality tweezers, a magnifying glass, a variety pack of different size bandages. I’m sure there’s stuff I’ve forgotten but it’s a start. Although it’s more to carry (although most of this stuff is pretty small) many of these items have multiple uses and multitaskers are always better than unitaskers.


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