There are a few choices to choose for a bug out bag, an external frame back pack
, internal frame back pack
, back pack, or duffel bag. External frame bags hold a lot of stuff, have many pockets, compartments and can easily be found for less than $10 at a thrift store. Internal frames are more modern, lighter, and look more like a back pack. Back packs are smaller. Duffel bags are usually carried over one shoulder. A normal backpack or duffel bag will blend in with everyone else.
Picking a pack can be tricky, I chose to save my money and get an old external frame pack. When carrying stuff in a safe environment it will do fine but if there are looters it will look like a big orange sign saying “food and supplies right here” (maybe fixed by covering pack with a trash bag). An internal frame pack could blend in better.
Packs come in different sizes and mine is a junior. Internal frames are sized in liters and I don’t know how to convert. You can buy a pack first and supplies till it's full, or the supplies first and a pack that fits them. I chose the cheap pack first with the plan of upgrading when I know what I really want.
Instead of going out and buying everything at once it’s a lot cheaper to get things used and upgrade as you find better equipment. Backpacking equipment is one of the things that most people only use a little then store for years. Old stuff has worked well for me.
Solar charger - Slow, inefficient and likely unnecessary.
Water filter- Smaller and slower but cheapest model. I plan to use with close by lake.
First aid - Super glue, antibiotic ointment, and tape see HERE
for better one.
Snacks- Granola and cereal bars, they go bad faster than anything else.
Local Maps- Can Print from HERE
or get from forest service.
Fuel - In a special fuel canister, don’t want it to spill.
Pots and Pans- Stackable
Camp stove- See step 3
Swiss Army Knife- only thing you really need
Dried food- See step 5
Canned food- Not usually recommend for backpacking but you can eat it without cooking (cold canned green beans are yummy not dried pasta).
Flashlights- Have 2 lights that take AAA 1 good, 1 cheap (LEDs don’t have replacement bulbs so I have replacement lights)
Contacts- Extra pack is smaller and cheaper than glasses
change of cloths