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The Best Gear for Your Bug-Out Bag

Whether it’s a wildfire, a hurricane, a flood, or any number of other emergencies, a fully stocked bag of emergency gear (commonly referred to as a “ready bag,” “go bag,” or “bug-out bag”) allows you and your family to quickly evacuate to a shelter or other secure location without forgetting any basic survival supplies and tools.

For this guide we focused on gear that could be more easily carried in a backpack, emphasizing lightness and portability wherever possible. For sheltering in place, we have a separate guide to the best emergency preparedness supplies to help you manage at home for a period of time following a disaster that knocks out utility services or cuts off outside resources to your area. We hope both of our guides will help you be prepared with reliable and versatile tools that can help you manage whatever emergency you may face.

If you are interested in learning more, continue to read the complete article on other tips and tricks for your bug out bag, written by Doug Mahoney.

LAST UPDATED

May 7, 2022

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Wirecutter

Media Mentions from Wirecutter

Wirecutter’s mission is to recommend what really matters. Each year, we independently test and review thousands of products to help you find just what you need. Our goal is to save you time and eliminate the stress of shopping, whether you’re looking for everyday gear or gifts for loved ones.

We strive to be the most trusted product recommendation service around, and we work with total editorial independence. We won’t post a recommendation unless our writers and editors have deemed something the best through rigorous reporting and testing.

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In the end, I go to the woods to discover myself, to find out more about who I am and who I want to be.

Jennifer Pharr Davis
Hiker, Speaker, Author

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Sawyer Picaridin Continuous Spray is our pick for the best all-around bug spray. This long-lasting product repels mosquitoes and ticks for up to 12 hours while warding off biting flies, stable flies, black flies, gnats, chiggers, and sand flies for up to eight hours.

Brandon Fralic
Active

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Gear is a necessity for a thru-hike (historically, my ancestors traveled the trails with less, but nowadays equipment is vital).

The Trek
Media Mentions from the Trek