A bug out bag is a group of items in a back pack for ease of transport with items needed during immediate response to a dire situation, or, a pack of gear and equipment that will get you home. This bag usually contains enough food for a three day walking trip. There should be self defense items, shelter or weather protection and any gear that could help you survive if that is all you have, for example a fishing line and hooks, or a small crossbow for hunting small game. In the absolute worst case scenario, this could be all you have.
In your list of supplies and gear you already have on hand you may have most if not all of the contents of a bug out bag (abbreviated BOB), move items from the list to the bag. You can purchase a heavy duty military grade Alice pack or ruck sack, or perhaps you bought a child the $75 lifetime warranted backpack for school that he only used one year. For now, as a starter kit, use what you have.
A bug out bag is usually stored where you will need it in an emergency. If you work away from home and you will need to get home, or if you have a retreat to get to, you may want your bug out bag in your car with the emergency roadside kit. If you ride in to work on a train or subway, or if you have to park your car in a garage well away from your desk, you may want to store a bag in your desk. Locks and keys are essential. You lock your car and trunk against theft. Lock your desk. Consideration for company rules and policies may keep you from storing a firearm in your desk. Small bags in your desk that can get you through the dark time to your car, are hardly noticeable, but lock it up so it is there when you need it. You might have an emergency kit and flashlight in a desk to get you to your car. There are good kits that include a wire saw and compass as well as first aid available at www.cheaperthandirt.com.
My BOB has a multi-function tool and a Swiss army knife. The multi-function knife does have a jack knife blade but I have it in my kit because of the strong pliers which are handy when skinning a catfish and an awl that can be used to make holes in leather. It also has the screwdrivers and wire cutter that most of these tools have. One tool with many uses is the ultimate bag item. The Swiss army knife has may tools but I pack it for the knife. Space is a premium.
Provide yourself with some temporary shelter. Maybe you can carry the weight of a 4’ by 6’ tarp and some paracord. The tarp can catch water, make shade, or bundle loose or found items to carry along.
Military MREs (meals ready to eat) are available online. One source is Emergency Essentials located at www.beprepared.com . This company offers both a single meal pack and full daily required calorie packs. They also have charts and other info posted on site and in their mailer catalog that describes storing conditions and length time an item can be stored. MREs contain dehydrated or freeze-dried foods that are light weight and easy to pack due to the lack of water. Pack extra clothes and change out your clothing seasonally. No one wants to be stuck on a long walk home with a bag full of shorts and flip flops in the middle of winter!
Pack what you will need first, on top. If you have to dress for success and now are faced with a walk in the hood or woods, pack your walking shoes or hiking boots, socks and clothes on top. If concerned about the weight on your back there are two tips here, 1: don’t count the weight of the clothes and shoes on top as you will be wearing them after discarding the ‘cute’ shoes and suit you wear to work, 2: weigh the bag packed with all your bug out needs, then rearrange them for comfort, 3: Don’t forget to ADD WATER! Weigh the water and know that the bag gets lighter as you use the disposables.