June 30, 2022


Self reliance and independence

3 Expert Tips on How to Organize a Bug out Bag!

5 min read

3 Expert Tips on How to Organize a Bug out Bag

3 Expert Tips on How to Organize a Bug out BagYou have just bought your favorite Bug out Bag (BOB). We have even decided what to have in the BOB. The next thing is organizing it. Your main aim in organizing the bag is to improve accessibility, mobility, and weight. These three simple fundamentals can prove extremely difficult to achieve. The number one reason for such failure is the seemingly limitless types of gear to be included in the pack.

A well-organized Bug out Bag will give you easy access to items in low light situations. This is because you will have an idea of where each item is located within the pack. Below are some guiding principles on how to organize a bug out bag:

  • To weight of the bag when packed should not be more than a third of your total body weight. If you have a petite body then your BOB must weight a quarter of your total weight.
  • Ensure you can carry the bag comfortably for long periods in any terrain. You will know this by practicing carrying the bag. In any case, you find it difficult to carry for up to 20 minutes then downsize as appropriate.
  • It a good idea to use containers to store different items. The manner in which you organize the containers in the BOB also matters. Ensure the containers are as tight as possible to keep items inside.
  • Pack stuff in a specific order. This will make it easier and quicker for you to access whatever you need. This is because you will know exactly where each item is located.
  • Strive to ensure the bag is well balanced. This way, there will be reduced strain and stress on your back especially if you have to carry it for a long time. Achieve good balance by ensuring the center of gravity of the BOB is closer to your body right below your shoulder.

Now you know the principles that should guide you on how to organize your bug out bag. The next thing is exactly how each item or group of items should fit into the bag.

Creating a Triage of Essential Items

Before proceeding to place stuff inside the BOB, it is important to categorize the items into triage (or 3 categories). The categories include non-urgent items, urgent items, and critical/emergency items.

  1. The Bottom Compartment

The non-urgent items go into the bottom compartment of the bag. These are the items you will not need with a sense of emergency. Examples include bedding, shelter, hygiene, blankets, hammocks and cushions and miscellaneous gears.

A good alternative is to attach some of the things you do not need to retrieve urgently to the exterior of your bug out bag. It is usual to see experienced preppers tie some of their bedding outside to the bottom of their bags. This is a good way to create space for more stuff inside the bag. Go this direction if yours is a small bug out bag.

  1. The Middle or Core Compartment

The middle compartment of your go bag should organize urgent items only. It is the part between the top and the bottom compartments. Packing this compartment follows that of the bottom where heavier items have gone. This is where food, extra clothes, and cooking stove should be packed. It is also where you store tools such as a hatchet or handsaw.

These items are lighter than the ones in the bottom compartment. Besides, you may need to access them with some sense of urgency. Organizing them here makes the items easier to access. You do not have to take everything out every time you want to prep a meal.

  1. The Top Compartment

This is the last compartment to pack. Here go the lightest items. You should pack the things you need to retrieve during an emergency and frequently. Examples of things that go into the top compartment are fire making materials and First Aid Kit. Others include snacks, ropes, and maps.

Since the items in the top compartment are light, you will not have any trouble removing them. Thus gaining access to the middle compartment becomes easy.

What about the Side Compartment?

Various brands of backpacks that are ideal for bugging out feature side compartments. This organization compartments are great for storing smaller gear. These items you will need to retrieve with urgency. Such BOB allows you to store items you need to access while on the move.

Examples of items to store in the side include water, cell phone, matches and pen, and paper. Some BOB has dedicated compartments. For instance, you may find one with a small compartment for holding water and another for holding a cell phone and so on. Such bags with side compartments have higher price tags.

The Use of Containers

So far, the discussion has been on what goes where in the BOB. We have not talked about organization proper. This is where containers come into play. Small containers offer survivalists the best way to keep things, especially small items organized.

Containers can range from plastic containers with lids to smaller packs. Examples of smaller packs include nylon organizers, stuff bags and Ziploc bags among others. You can use them to store similar items together for easy retrieval. You should have dedicated containers for First Aid Kits, fire starting material, and personal hygiene items. Articles of clothes and food should have their own dedicated containers.

Another important benefit of containers is that they provide an extra layer of cushion to the items they contain. This protects the items from moisture and water. Imagine what would happen if your food reserve or clothing gets wet. It is even more catastrophic if your fire starting materials get wet. The best way to protect them is to use containers.

It will benefit you to label the containers. However, that may not be necessary if you have a recollection of where you placed each item. A good way to go about it is to use containers for a different group of similar items.


You can make the most out of your any survival situation by how well you organize your bug out bag. The resource has just provided you with expert tips on how to organize your bag out bag. If you follow it, you will achieve the goals of a lean, balanced, accessible and well-equipped BOB. Make use of these tips and you will be well on your way to becoming one of the most successful survivalists.

Author Bio

Dan Stevenson is an experienced survivalist and chief editor of The Survival Corps. In addition to his primary job functions, Dan Stevenson has been recognized by the survival community for his extraordinary commitment. For more information please Visit Here.

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