The Ultimate 81 Item Go-Bag Gear Checklist for 2021

Image source: BURST


Many people believe that they should be able to survive just from the stuff in their bug-out bags, but we feel different. The purpose of your emergency preparedness bag is to get you and your group from point A to a much safer point B. That's it. 


We're willing to bet that there won't be time to host a picnic or show off your non-stick, anodized mess kit. Leave that for your camping trip. Pack quick food that you can eat while moving and enough water to get you to where you're going. Speaking of where you're going... where will you be going? That is the most important part of bugging out. If you don't know where your safe house is, then no amount of tools or gear can get you there safely.


Plan ahead, be prepared and do some practice runs disguised as camping trips. Below are 81 items to consider when thinking about what to pack in your emergency backpack. Enjoy!



Backpack (40-50L, inconspicuous) 

Waterproof dry bag or three 

Extra house/car keys 

First aid kit (see First Aid Supplies list)



1. Bottled water 

2. Hydration bladder 

3. Water filter/straw 

4. Water purification tablets 

5. Solar kettle 

6. Coffee filters used as large particulate strainers 

7. Cup or canteen



8. MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) enough for at least 72h 

9. Protein bars or snacks of your liking 

10. Tea bags, coffee or powdered drink mixes



11. ID, passport, birth certificate, proof of address, deed/lease to home

12. Cash, travelers checks, spare change in a waterproof case

13. Medication list (if not already in your first aid kit) 



14. USB chargers 

15. Batteries 

16. Solar cell charger 

17. Power Bank


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18. Compressed Wet wipes and hotel size soap 

19. Toothpaste & toothbrush 

20. Toilet paper 

21. Trash bag or two 

22. Deodorant 



23. AM/FM/NOAA hand crank radio 

24. Mirror or reflective object 

25. Glow sticks 

26. Survival whistle 

27. HAM radios (when traveling in a group)



28. Paper map of local area in waterproof case

29. Planned escape route 

30. Monocular 

31. Lantern 

32. Headlight with red filter 

33. Compass 

34. Location maps of nearest shelters/bunkers



35. Multitool or two 

36. Knife of your choice 

37. Can opener (unnecessary if packing MREs) 

38. Carabiners 

39. Duct Tape



40. Magnesium ferro rod 

41. Lighters 

42. Waterproof matches



43. Sleeping bag 

44. Survival blanket 

45. Wool blanket 

46. Tarp / Emergency shelter 

47. 550 Paracord



48. Poncho 

49. Prescription glasses or contact lenses 

50. Spare clothing and underwear 

51. Sunglasses 

52. Work gloves 

53. Bandana or neck gaiter 

54. Comfortable hiking boots 

55. Watch 

56. Hat for heat stroke protection



57. Survival playing cards 

58. Survival guidebook of choice



59. Machete 

60. Pepper spray 

61. Handgun + ammo (can backfire) 

62. Rifle + ammo (attracts attention) 

63. Sling Shot



64. Mosquito head net 

65. Bug spray / repellent 

66. Hatchet / axe 

67. Hunting / skinning knife 

68. SPF sunscreen 

69. Saw 

70. Folding shovel 

71. Fishing kit 

72. Cooking Gear and Spork (unnecessary if packing MREs) 

73. Goggles (think sand storms) 

74. Tinder box / tinder shredder



75. Kevlar reinforced cut and slash-proof clothing 

76. Gas mask 

77. Dust Mask 

78. Hydrant Wrench 

79. Pry bar 

80. Bolt Cutters 

81. Puncture proof shoes / boots



Phew! Now THAT'S a list! Obviously you can't and should not pack everything on this list in your go-bag. That being said you should keep redundancies in mind and we recommend having at least two items that serve the same function and are interchangeable.


While you can't possibly foresee every possible emergency scenario out there - you should at least cover the basic supplies of food and water. We firmly believe that in today's interconnected world humans come to each other's aid no matter the circumstances and soon things will go back to normal. Perhaps a slightly new normal, but not a dystopian, apocalyptic, zombies running around a nuclear wasteland normal nonetheless.


Sources: FEMA (, The Red Cross (, and The National Safety Council ( and others. NOTE: Sorted by categories in no particular order of importance.  


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