Bug Out Bag : the evacuation bag

In this 10th day of containment, have I ever become completely paranoid ?

This is what my wife tells me, she may be right !

I can’t write at the moment for several reasons. On the one hand, I don’t want to write despite my spare time and on the other hand, all the parents can understand how difficult it is to telecommuting with two children at home . Mine are 3 years and 5 months old and require a lot of attention, which is normal, and I want this lockdown to go as well as possible for them.

Nevertheless I wanted to write this post on the Bug Out Bag (BOB) which I am preparing as I can with the equipment which I have at home and what I was able to buy in supermarket before containment begins.

The Bug Out Bag is a already prepared bag for early departure in the event of a crisis. It’s a survival bag, an evacuation bag, ready to take with you quickly in case you have to leave your home in an emergency. The principle of the Bug Out Bag or BOB is to have a bag ready in the event of a hasty departure to reach a safer area. The bag must contain essential items allowing you to return to the planned location over a period of 12h to 72h. It’s not a move and you don’t need to take food for 4 weeks [1].

The purpose of BOB is to prepare for a hasty departure. So what are the reasons that could push us to leave our home in an emergency ?

The reasons are multiple : a fire, a flood, another natural disaster, a social disorder, a riot, an evacuation by the authorities  … etc.

I personally experienced the evacuation by the firefighters during a big fire that ravaged the heights  of Vitrolles, a city in the south of France, in July 2004. Obviously, I didn’t have a BOB with me that night, however I was not at home and I slept with friends. We were evacuated in the middle of the night, around 1 am when the fire threatened to burn the block. In precipitation and stress, we did our best to recover the most important documents by following the recommendations of the firefighters. Luckily, the house didn’t burn and my hosts were able to return to their home at the end of the day.

What is the use of a Bug Out Bag during containment time ? None indeed. For my part, I am not a survivalist and my home doesn’t look like a bunker with dozens of packages of pasta, rice, cans and toilet paper. On the contrary, I am rather optimistic and I’m planning to return to the normal life in a few weeks. So I certainly prepare this Bug Out Bag for nothing, however, it’s fun, it makes you think and pass the time !

Here is an example of a Bug Out Bag for a family of 4 with 2 young children, contextualized according to the curent problem : a pandemic. I will mainly quote the book Protegor (see Sources for references and other links on the Bug Out Bag), which classifies 9 categories of products that your bag should contain. This bag is personal, you have to adapt it to your needs, I give you an example of mine, likely to be modified with the objects that I will buy after my few trips to the local supermarket. For the moment, I made it up with what I could find at home.

For the bag, you should use a hiking type backpack with multiple storage pockets, to better distribute your products by category and have your hands free. You should avoid overloading your bag unnecessarily, mine weighs no more than 20 lbs, because in the event that you have to walk a long distance, you have to keep your endurance to the maximum. Take a bag that does not exceed 40 L, the lightest objects must be positioned at the bottom of the bag and the heaviest at the top, so the load is most judiciously distributed and the lower back feel better !

Below is the list of my equipment according to the 9 categories (+ 1 bonus) that constitute my Bug Out Bag :

Nb : some products are mentioned several times because they belong to multiple categories.


1. Protection against cold

Protection against cold

Warm and breathable underwear with thermal regulation (winter sport type), underwear and sock for adults.

Bodysuit, vest, tights, washable nappy for children.

Emergency blanket, blanket, towel, heaters, lighters, matches.


2. Hydration


Filled water bottle (remember to change the water every 2 to 3 days), coffee filter (filtration to make water drinkable).


3. Health and Hygiene

Health and Hygiene

First aid kit (emergency blanket, saline solution, dressing, compresses, scissors, gloves …), arnica gel, piece of tissue, paper handkerchief, strap, knife.

Precisely for the current context (covid19 epidemic) : FFP2 mask, artisanal protective mask (post hospitalia.fr and tutorial to download here), construction gloves, hydroalcoholic gel.

About handmade masks: it’s a good way to pass the time, especially when you don’t have a sewing machine ! The mask in the photo, as well as those being manufactured, are made with old clothes. In the photo, a pajamas with the butterfly motif of my daughter recycled as a protective mask.


4. Administrative


Passport, wallet, family booklet, external hard drive (with personal data), cash in the money belt, notebook and pens.

Note: in this category, it is possible to make photocopies of your personal documents (driver’s license, identity card, family record book, etc.).


5. Communication


Smartphone and charger, notebook and pen, Morse code memo (yes, this is a bit extreme, but suddenly with the containment I learned the Morse code).


6. Orientation and 7. Signage

Orientation and Signage

Dynamo lamp, battery lamp, new batteries, smartphone with useful downloaded applications (radio, compass).


8. Food


Dried fruits, cans (sardines and corn), cereal bars, baby bottle.


Bonus category : “it can be used without cluttering”

“it can be use without cluttering”

Before going to the last category, I add this personal category which I titled “it can be used without cluttering up”.

I put in products that can be useful in certain circumstances : garbage bag, airtight plastic bag, straps, ropes, candles, rolling papers, tobacco, cutter, screwdriver, fishing line with hook.

Here I realize that a good Swiss knife or a multi-purpose pliers would be appropriate.


9. Defense


Knives and metsubushi.

The mutsubushi are made from eggshell with a mixture of flour and powdered ginger inside. Small homemade “tear gas can”. Provide a small box for transport because it breaks easily.

I will add a spray deodorant which can act as a “tear gas can” if necessary … and much easier to use than a mutsubushi, I recognize it.

Nb : for the machete and the saber, I will advise if I take them or not according to the situation. If the virus mutates and I see a horde of zombie landing in the middle of Marseille it would be very useful ! In this case, I would also have to read again the excellent The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks.


Until then, stay at home and pack your bags !


[1] Protegor – Guide pratique de sécurité personnelle, self-défense et survie urbaine, p265, p266 et p365, MOREL Guillaume et BOUAMMACHE Frédéric, AMPHORA, 2017





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *