How to make a Bug Out Bag or a 72 hour bag

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Before I dive into how to make a bug out bag or 72 hour bag, it's very important for us to understand the Church's teaching on physical preparedness, hope and action.

Over the past 30 years and speaking to literally thousands, one of the most common questions I get asked all of the time is "What does Church teach on preparedness?" or "We are called to trust in Jesus and not worry, so what are you talking about?"

So, let me explain.

First off, one of the first things I like to establish is this whole idea of "preparedness" that seems EXTREME nowadays used to be how every family on this earth functioned (and many still do). One of the fallouts of modernism and materialism has turned to this idea that we can have anything we want at anytime. This includes our food, water, shelter, and safety.

Without realizing it, we often feel entitled to these luxuries of our modern day and don't think twice they could ever be taken away. Having a means to defend yourself, extra food in the pantry, a garden, and independence and self-sufficiency was not radical, it was the norm.

Second, our Lord through the Bible, His Church, and the lives of the Saints give us direct commands to be prepared spiritually and physically AT ALL TIMES.

Some examples of these include:

Noah - The Lord called Noah and his family to physical preparedness for weeks as they prepared for and survived the flood. He called the man who found favor with God for he was still faithful in times of great sin. He was asked to not only build the ark but to store enough food and supplies for Noah, all of his family and all of the animals in order for them to stay ALIVE. (Genesis 6-7)

The Exodus - The Lord called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and they had to take with whatever they owned that they could carry a long distance. God called them to physically prepare and change locations in order to be free. Only then did God intervene by turning the Red Sea against Pharaoh and his chariots. (Exodus 13)

St Joseph of the Old Testament - God called Joseph to make plans, store food and resources enough for 7 years for an entire nation! The faithful messenger of the Lord was given insight and direction to physically prepare and care for his people. Because of his action, an entire nation survived well during a 7 YEAR famine. He was called "discerning and wise!" His office required that he handle communication, negotiation, transportation, safe and efficient methods of food storage for a long period of time, building for the future, economics, record-keeping, payroll, the handling of transactions and more! (Genesis 41:46-57; 47:13-26)

Jesus, Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt - An angel of the Lord appeared to the foster father of Jesus and physically told them to gather their things and take Mary and baby Jesus to Egypt. God the Father even instructed the Holy Family to change locations in order to stay safe.(Matt. 2:13-18)

The Parable of the 10 Virgins - In this parable, Jesus himself uses the example of 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins. The 5 wise virgins forsee possibly needing more oil for their lamps and pack extra, however the foolish PRESUME on God's mercy instead of taking actionable steps to be prepared. The 5 foolish then run out of oil and ask the wise virgins if they can borrow some but the wise virgins turn them away and say there will not be enough for them if they give some away and to go seek oil for themselves. But, we find out it's too late. (Matthew 25)

St Paul to Timothy - St Paul makes it very clear for us. In his letter to Timothy he writes, "Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." We must always fight to survive because our lives are valuable but ESPECIALLY if we have others entrusted to our care. This includes spouse, children, grandchildren, possibly siblings or other innocent people we can help along the way. (1 Timothy 5:8)

St Joan of Arc - Called by God to lead a physical army to overturn a tyrannical government.

Catechism of the Catholic Church - Paragraphs 2263-2265 says not only is self-defense legitimate, it can be a grave duty!

This is just to name a few!

Lastly, we are ABSOLUTELY called to trust in our Lord and not worry. Preparedness is NOT worry. Preparedness is NOT lack of trust. This is why there is the sin of presumption. We cannot presume on the Lord just taking care of us. This comes from the sin of presumption which can be closely tied to pride. That somehow we deserve our Lord to intervene for us outside natural means.

TRUST, have HOPE, and take ACTION.

This is what our Lord calls us to and what the Church teaches.

How to Make a Bug Out Bag or 72 Hour Bag

Why? And for what?

Well, it could be anything from a fire, to a hurricane, to a riot in your neighborhood.

Here’s a question for you.

Have you ever wondered if you were prepared? weren’t really sure what for? You didn’t know what you should get, buy, or make...and you didn't know if you were being crazy, or paranoid?

Well, you’re not alone, and no it’s not being paranoid or living in fear. Being prepared for a possible crisis is actually the biggest way to avoid being fearful, because if you know you can handle a crisis, you have no reason to be scared of it.

It just makes sense.


All of this is also covered in the BR Prepare Course, which is a Video course complete with workbooks, which will help you be better prepared and trained for a possible crisis.




Now, we can dive into a good way of preparing for a possible crisis. People call it different names, from Go Bag, to Bug Out Bag, to 72 hour Bag. But they all mean the same thing.

It is a bag: which has certain items inside that you can take with you, in case of a crisis, which will help you get through the crisis, and survive it.

The bag will have items inside which will cover 5 different categories.

  • Food

  • Water

  • Defense

  • Shelter

  • Medical

All of these things are EXTREMELY important in a crisis.

And each of these categories can be broken down, which we’ll do in a second.

A Bug out bag, or 72 hour bag, can be used in a variety of situations, regardless if the “crisis” is small or big. From a flat tire on the side of the road, to a hurricane, these bags can be very helpful, or just down right life saving.

How to make a Bug Out Bag or 72 Hour Bag

Most people are lost on the subject which is why you are here. In order to know how we first have to figure out...

  • What to get?

  • What brand do I get?

  • How much do we get?

  • Where do I keep it, or how do I store it?

And so on and so on. You get the picture. People ask a lot of questions when faced with something new, or when trying to understand something. That’s why BATTLE READY takes a simple approach on how to tackle this issue.

So... How to make a Bug Out Bag or a 72 hour bag?

First step, get a bag. Now the key thing to remember here, regardless of how fancy, or rugged the back is or looks, you need something that is well made, and that will last.

And don’t worry, there are well made bags that are very affordable and won’t break the bank.

Here's one of the bags I recommend.

After you have your bag picked out, you can start going over the 5 things you will need in your bag. Remember the 5 categories which need to be in your Bug out bag, or 72 hour bag, are:

  • Shelter

  • Water

  • Food

  • Defense

  • Medical

SHELTER for your 72 Hour Bag

Okay, but let’s address shelter first. What would you need to protect yourself from weather, or other elements?

There’s a saying which states “ when outdoors long enough, it’s not a matter of IF you’re going to get wet, but WHEN you do.” So in that case you will need water proof attire, or things that will keep you dry.

It’s a good idea to pick at least two of these three things, because a backup is always a good idea.

The jacket and poncho are pretty self explanatory, but you may be wondering what a tarp could do. Well, it can be used to create a shelter to protect you from the weather. With a knife and some paracord you can create lots of different things with a tarp, which is why it’s on our list.

Hand protection is very important, because a small cut on your finger can get infected, and if you are in a crisis, you may not be able to get the medical attention it would need. Again, it’s a good idea to have at least two pairs in your 72 hour bag.

Not only for protection, but a good heavy duty knife and hatchet can first be used as a tool to build things, or cut firewood, or cut small trees for shelter.

Four very handy things which can be used in a variety of situations.

The pry bar and duct tape may be more self explanatory, but the bandana could be used to cover your face from either dust, or the sun, or even to wrap a cut or some other injury.

The zip ties could be used to fasten up a tarp and sticks for a shelter, or to attach something to your bag or belt.

Remember, a crisis could be anything, from a natural disaster, to civil unrest, to a house fire, or even a flat tire.... so the goal is to be prepared, and the items listed above, although some may sound odd to you, they are things which will help in a variety of circumstances.

But there's more, so let’s keep going.

Emergency Blanket

It’s basically a thin foil blanket which is designed to trap heat, and keep it around you when you wrap yourself up in it. They work best when used in addition with a prepared fire, if possible, but they can also work well on their own.

This can range from good cold weather clothing, or good hot weather clothing. From socks, stocking caps, good footwear, and coats or pants.

Quick breather here...if this seems like a lot already, that’s okay. Remember to take things slow, and you don’t need to freak out about it. For best results (in anything really) small manageable steps in the right direction are best. Okay, now moving on...

FIRE for your 72 Hour Bag

Fire fits into the shelter category, and it is crucial! Especially in cold weather. It is your primary source of heat, and in some cases, your light. And redundancy is key. Two is one, one is none. So have at least two, maybe three or even four.

Also, when it comes to fire, tinder is important as well. Or, just something which will light easily, such as leaves, twigs, or even cotton balls soaked in Vaseline.

And since we’re on the subject of fire, we can throw LIGHT in there as well. We need light to function. So make sure you have:

Being mobile is so important in the event of a crisis, and having light is necessary to be mobile. Just think, how hard is it to get around your house in the middle of the night when your child is crying, or even when you just want a glass of water?

Think of the stubbed toes and the banged shins......don’t forget your light!

And remember, if your lights require batteries (which unless you have solar lights, they will) you MUST make sure you have extras. A dead flashlight or lamp is what you’re trying to avoid here.

WATER for your 72 Hour Bag

Water, water, water.......water! Okay, that should get the point across. Without water you will die. In three days to be precise.

Okay, now not to be too dramatic, but it is important.

The general rule when it comes to water is a gallon of water a day per person. Half a gallon for cleaning and hygiene, and half a gallon for drinking.

But......the bare minimum when it comes to water is pretty risky...especially if you’re sweating, or working hard, then you’ll need more water then normal.

CLEAN water. Clean, clean! Bad water is just as dangerous as no water. It can make you sick and kill you just as fast.

So, water filters are then needed, right?


Here's the brand I recommend.

Water filters which are small enough to fit into your Bug out Bag, or 72 hour bag, are best.

In addition to a water filter, you could also boil your water. But here you must be careful that the water is still safe enough to drink even after boiling it. In this case you could maybe even boil it, and then still use your water filter, just to be safe.

Water is heavy...... now obviously a bottle of water is fine to carry, but, if you’re going to be walking or driving for a while, a water filter is a necessity.

This is why a water filter is an absolute necessity.

FOOD for your 72 Hour Bag

What will you do for food? Your body can go longer without food, but it is still very important.

Remember the last time you got hungry? It was You got pretty think of being in a crisis and not having anything to eat. Not a pretty thought, right?

So there’s a variety of things you can do. Such as:

  • Beef Jerky

  • Freeze Dried Food (with this you will need water and a pot to cook this in. It is the best tasting of all the options of food, but it also takes the most time to prepare)

So, you have things for shelter, food, water, and you might be thinking you’re doing pretty good. And yeah, you have some good things going for you.

But what if someone comes along who wants to take it all.....And I mean ALL of your things. Imagine that, and imagine your family having nothing now.

That is why we have this lovely thing called...

DEFENSE for your 72 Hour Bag

And it’s not just to look pretty either.

Yep, you do have some knives and maybe a hatchet, like we talked about earlier, and although those are great tools, you could use them to defend yourself, although they insinuate some pretty aggressive, possibly lethal action.


If you want to go with something that's NON-lethal, you can get some:

Pepper spray is a great non-lethal weapon, and it’s very versatile. You can get a small handheld one, and it can even come with a loop that can go around your hand or onto your belt.

SIDE-NOTE: When it comes to things you have with you which you are planning on using in a self defense situation (hopefully you don’t have to) you must make sure they are in easy to reach places. So, don’t have them at the bottom of your bag, or hidden away somewhere it will take at least 2 minutes to find.

Bad guys don’t wait for you to get your self defense tools before they do something bad. So keep this in mind as you figure out how to make a bug out bag, or 72 hour bag.


For some reasons the subject of firearms seems to be taboo in most circles...but they are just tools like anything else, and have to know what you are doing with them.

If you have a firearm, and you want to have it with you in a crisis situation, make sure you have extra ammunition with you. Keep a few extra magazines in your bug out bag, or 72 hour bag.

IMPORTANT! If you have a firearm, or are planning on getting one, you MUST make sure you are properly trained, and are continuing getting better trained. The better you know what you’re doing, the safer you and your loved ones will be if, heaven forbid, you ever have to use it in a self defense situation.

Regular practice is essential. Knowing your firearm is essential. Using a firearm while hunting is completely different then when using it in a crisis situation.

These are important things to realize when delving into the realm of firearms.

MEDICAL for your 72 Hour Bag

Remember the last time you cut yourself? Yeah it wasn’t pleasant. But, you probably, if you are a normal person, washed it out, maybe put some disinfectant on, and then wrapped it in a Band-Aid.

But.......what if you were in a crisis situation? What if you didn’t have Band-Aids, or disinfectant?

Suddenly that small cut on your pinky finger could get infected. Suddenly, your whole hand could swell up...and suddenly you could get really sick from that tiny cut on your pinky finger you got while picking up sticks for firewood.

This is why being medically prepared is so very important!

So, when it comes to medical there are two things we need to focus on.

  1. Scratches, cuts, and abrasions.

  2. Trauma kit, for lacerations, and more serious wounds.

Things to have in your medical kit:

But you can also have some things in your medical kit which might not be life saving in themselves, but will prioritize hygiene.

Things like:

These things can just help make you feel human, and clean, and it can really help your morale if you’re in a crisis situation.

Just think how much better you feel in the day to day when you brush your teeth and put on deodorant. Smelling clean really does affect your mood, which is why we have these things in here as well.

Now, in addition to your standard medical kit, you should also have what’s called a Trauma kit.

It has the most essential things inside for more serious wounds, so you don’t have to be digging around in your larger medical kit.

It has:

Remember redundancy, redundancy, redundancy. Two is one, one is none. This is very important to put into practice when putting together your medical kit, or just when learning how to make your bug out bag, or 72 hour bag, in general.

Infection is your enemy here, and your hygiene and medical kit are your best defenses against it.

SIDE-NOTE: If you have any medications you must take daily or even weekly, make sure you have those in your bug out bag, or 72 hour bag as well.


You may never need this bag....but, just like you put smoke detectors in your house, or just how you put on your seat belt before you drive, this bag is here just in case. And if there is a crisis, regardless of how big or small, it could save your life, or the life of someone else.

Say you keep your bug out bag, or 72 hour bag in your car and you come across an accident? You’re the first one at the scene. You stop and pull out your medical kit. There’s someone who is seriously injured and you’re able to put on a tourniquet and save their life.

Could it happen? Yeah.

Will it? Maybe, maybe not.

The point is you’re prepared either way.

Okay, so we’ve hit the BIG 5:

  • Shelter

  • Water

  • Food

  • Defense

  • Medical

But, there are still a few miscellaneous items we need to talk about.

These things aren’t ESSENTIAL...but they will make your life easier in a crisis, so just keep that in mind.

Alright, well that about wraps this up.


All of this is also covered in the BR Prepare Course, which is a Video course complete with workbooks, which will help you be better prepared and trained for a possible crisis.



FREE 5 Day Bug-Out-Bag Challenge! Come and join us in becoming better prepared! JOIN HERE:


Always remember this: You may never need this bag. But if you do, it could save your life or someone you love and will be well worth the time, energy and money.

You may also never need your health insurance, or your dental insurance, or your car insurance.....etc, etc, etc....the point is you get in just in case, so you can be PREPARED in case of a CRISIS. That same goes for learning how to make a bug out bag, or 72 hour bag.

No need for panic, no need for fear. Remember, HOPE is found in a plan of ACTION.

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