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5 Important Things People Miss In Their Bug Out Bags

Do you have the following often-missed items ready in your bug out bag, your “grab and run kit?” Best selling author Matt Stein emphasizes the importance of certain items that are highly useful but often forgotten.

The Emergency Grab-and-Run-Kit
(Also known as Bug Out Bag, 72-Hour Bag, Grab and Go Kit, Emergency Preparedness Kit, BOB, By Author Matt Stein (3 Videos)

'When Disaster Strikes' By Matthew Stein

‘When Disaster Strikes’ By Matthew Stein

There are many Grab and Run Kits. Below is a list of emergency items that many people forget to include in their “Grab and Go Kit” as recommended by Matthew Stein, MIT educated Mechanical Engineer, expert in hurricane-resistant, eco-friendly, green architecture and author of the comprehensive and highly respected survival books, “When Technology Fails” and “When Disaster Strikes.”

A Ready Made Grab and Go Kit for 4

A Ready Made Grab and Go Kit for 4

These short-term (72 hour) emergency kits should be readily accessible case of any emergency where you would need to flee your location due to natural or man-made disasters.

He recommends also having at least several weeks of food and necessities stored away in or around your home in case you don’t have to leave immediately but can remain in place until help arrives or the situation improves. You can purchase a readymade kit or you can make your own with products you prefer or that are not included.

Matt stresses the importance of several items that many people don’t think of including as listed below.


1. Cloth Adhesive First Aid Tape

Cloth First Aid Tape

This tape is invaluable for sore feet, a major bane for those not used to long hiking with a pack. It’s important to scrub extra soil and oil from the feet before putting fresh tape on a boil or sore point.

We found that Nexcare to be a great product, the least expensive but still top quality. We were able to find a two-pack on Amazon. Also very handy to have is cloth coach or sports tape to protect injuries and support strains.

2. A HandCrank Radio

Handcrank Solar Radio - Small, Excellent Reception

Handcrank Solar Radio – Small, Excellent Reception

Non-rechargeable batteries are heavy and can be hard to come by. A handcrank/solar powered radio can be crucial, and self-powering via a handcrank is unbeatable. We like the Ambient for its versatility, good compact size and great reception. There’s the standard version and the newer version with siren and brighter LEDs.

3. Pump-type Water Purifier

MSR Water Purifier - Field Cleanable

MSR Water Purifier – Field Cleanable

Using a pump-type kit with a field-serviceable cartridge such as MSR and/or Steripen can be a lifesaver. When there’s no refillable cartridges available, the field-serviceable style can be cleaned and reused. There’s the classic Steripen and the crank-version Steripen. Also have purification tablets, iodine drops or bleach. We have the MSR and the Steripen classic.

4. LED Light With Headband

LED Headlamps - High Quality Petzl and Black Diamond

LED Headlamps – High Quality Petzl and Black Diamond

We have this one. It’s a great price, super simple operation. Bright enough, easy to find blue color but does comes in different shades. This is a great, basic model. We also have the Black Diamond which is our ultra favorite because it’s so versatile with extra light features. But it’s also twice the price. Just having a flashlight is not as convenient as having a power-saving yet powerful LED light on a headband.

5. Colloidal Silver Generator Kit

Colloidal Silver Generator

Colloidal Silver Generators

This is an unusual item, but nonetheless extremely useful. It’s under 100.00. It creates colloidal silver solution from silver wire and is powered by a 9 volt battery or something similar.

Colloidal silver is gentle, safe and natural for anti-bacterial and purification purposes. A more compact version is the Atlasnova Colloidal Silver Generator at about half the price as the larger model.

Our Take: Should everyone include a Silver Generator Kit in their Bug Out Bag? In our opinion, not necessarily. For sheer weight and convenience, a small vial or container of liquid colloidal silver may be quite sufficient for emergency purposes. However, for longer-term suvival storage or bug out scenarios, a full generator kit can be very useful as a medical peripheral.

Full kits can be purchased, but making your own can save considerable money and give you personal choices that may more adequately meet your specific needs and application. (See the full list below)

It’s also a good idea to keep some items stored in your car including air-tight packaged food that doesn’t spoil when subjected to air, heat or cold (canned, survival foods), necessary car and personal tools, lights, first-aid kit, blankets, etc.

You can store your items in a plastic bin or better yet, a good quality mountaineering or military-style backpack for easy carry.


First Aid Kit
Cloth Adhesive First Aid Tape
Bandages (different sizes)
Antibiotic Ointment
Colloidal Silver
Surgical Cotton Tape

Water Bottle
Plastic Water Bottle (see-through for filtering)

Water Purification Kit
Pump Type Filter (field serviceable cartridge)
Katadyn or MSR (carbon core)
Iodine crystals or bleach (Polar Pure)
Filter System

Fire Starter
Butane Lighter
Magnesium Fire Rod
Waterproof Matches

Blanket and/or Sleeping Bag
Wool (heavy) or Synthetic
Compact reflective space blanket
No cotton or down

Portable Light
LED Headlamp with stretchband, AAA is best
Solar Mini-lights
Candle (for wax and fire-lighting)
Matches (waterproof is handy)

Toilet Paper (compact, non-fluff, in plastic bag)
Toothbrush, Toothpaste or Bicarbonate Soda
Soap (simple, plain, castile, nothing fancy)
Dental Floss (both for teeth and strong string)
Sun Screen
Eyeglasses (extras)

Nuts, Seeds, Trail Mix (airless packaging)
Preserved, Compacted Meals
Food for 3 Days Minimum (2 weeks to a month is better)

Portable Hand Crank Radio
Multitool Swiss Army Knife (stainless multi-tool, scissors, can-opener, blades, screwdriver)
Compass, Whistle (on a string)

Survival Handbook
Sewing Kit (heavy duty & regular thread, strong and regular needles)
Safety Pins
Small Roll Duct Tape
Towel, Dishcloth, Bandana
Food Kit (spork, messkit, etc.)
Tent and/or durable plastic sheeting
Plastic Bags
Extra Clothing (long underwear, hat, jacket, waterproof gloves, leather gloves, raincoat or poncho, socks, underwear, sturdy boots)
Spare Cash, Coins
Spare Medicine
Special Needs (kid items, women’s needs)
Important Documents, Account Numbers, etc.

Optional For Longer Storage

Playing cards, Mini Entertainment Items
50 Foot Rope (paracord, etc.)
Multi-fuel Mini-Stove
Camp Kit
Spare Fuel Bottle
Back Country Camping Gear
Good Quality Backpack (mountaineering or military type)
Foam Sleeping Pad
Expedition Type Tent
Large Capacity Water Filter (MSR or Berkefeld, etc.)
Face Filtration (surgical mask, respirators, military type mask)
Large, Strong 45/55 Gallon Plastic Bags
Lime (for human waste)

TIP: Matt recommends practicing outdoor skills and do a little car camping along with some backpacking. This will help you immensely and give you perspective that will help you feel more secure and comfortable in case an emergency does occur. You can also attend one of the many backcountry survival schools such as NOLS and Outward Bound.


Will Disaster Strike? What Is the Likelihood? What Could Happen?
Chris Martenson Interviews Best Selling Survival Author, Matt Stein

“Grab-and-Run Kit” for Survival and Emergency – Part 1 of 2

“Grab-and-Run Kit” for Survival and Emergency – Part 2 of 2

Preparing For a Hurricane…

CapnBart Has a Few Interesting Items and a Nice Maxpedition Case

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