31 Essentials Vehicle Bug-Out Bag
31 Essentials For Your Vehicle Bug-Out Bag

The purpose of a vehicle bug out bag (VBOB) is to allow you to survive for a short period of time—roughly three to five days—during a period of temporary turmoil or while you’re making your way to secure shelter away from the turmoil. Having the right items on your bug out bag list is important.

While all good bug-out bags should share common elements to satisfy several basic needs, the exact contents of your kit should be determined by the situations you are most likely to encounter. You should follow a similar logic in planning your vehicle bug out bag list and adjust the contents accordingly.

Vehicle Bug Out Bag List

You should also supplement your vehicle bug out bag with additional items stored in your car, but not necessarily in the bag itself. For example, if you typically wear a suit and dress shoes to work, but need to be prepared to walk 10 miles home, keep extra clothes and appropriate shoes in your car.

Here are some items for consideration when making your vehicle bug out bag list.

1. Hats

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Hats
A baseball cap to fend off the sun and a winter cap for warmth.

2. Gloves

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Gloves
Several pairs of surgical gloves for first-aid use and a pair of tactical gloves for hand protection and warmth.

3. Waterproof Poncho

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Waterproof Poncho
Wearing it over you and your VBOB keeps both dry and conceals your VBOB from envious eyes. Ponchos also make great improvised shelters, ground cloths and additional layers for added warmth.

4. Space Blankets

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Space Blankets
These amazing Mylar blankets are about the size of a pack of cards when folded and weigh only a couple of ounces. They hold heat very effectively and are also great for signaling and catching rainwater.

5. Shemagh, Cravat Or Large Bandana

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Shemagh, Cravat Or Large Bandana
A simple cloth can be used as a do-rag, a neck wrap for warmth, a dust mask, a water filter, a sling for an injured limb, etc.

6. Trash Bags

VBOB, Trash Bags
The large lawn-and-leaf-style bags with drawstring closures make great dry bags for the contents. Cut holes for your head and arms and you’ve got improvised rain gear. Put one over each leg and you’ve got emergency waders to cross a stream. Fill them with crumbled newspaper or dry leaves for insulation and you’ve got a survival blanket.

7. Flashlight & Extra Batteries

VBOB, Flashlight & Extra Batteries
Invest in a good LED flashlight with low and high settings so you can use only as much light as necessary but still have the power to signal from a distance.

8. Chem-Lights

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Chem-Lights
Twelve-hour chem-lights are great for lighting the interior of your car or other shelter. Clipped to you, they allow you to be visible on dark roads. Tied to a short piece of cord and swung in a circle, they make great signaling devices.

9. Hand Sanitizer/Wet Wipes

VBOB, Hand Sanitizer
Keeping your hands clean and germ-free is still a priority.

10. Seychelle Water Bottle

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Seychelle
This amazing bottle features a built-in, two-micron filter that removes 99.9 percent of aesthetic, microbiological, chemical and dissolved solid contaminants. That allows you to draw water from questionable sources, yet drink it with complete safety.

11. Clear Plastic Bottle

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Clear Plastic Bottle
This can be used to pre-treat water before putting it in the Seychelle bottle or to store clean water after filtration. Clear bottles can also be used for solar disinfection, i.e., using the sun to kill microorganisms in the water.

12. Stainless Steel Cup

VBOB, Stainless Steel Cup
Useful for heating/boiling water to make coffee or tea, and to scoop or collect water.

13. Coffee Filters

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Coffee Filters
Paper coffee filters are a simple way of filtering out particulate matter from natural water sources and also getting the water into a bottle.

14. Butane Lighters

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Butane Lighters
Although primitive fire-making skills are cool, a lighter gives you fire on demand.

15. Tinder

VBOB, Tinder
Vaseline-smeared cotton balls, dryer lint, or similar quick-lighting tinder also make the fire-starting process much easier.

16. Compass

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Compass
Knowing which direction you’re going—or need to go—is a useful thing.

17. Topographic Map

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Topographic Map
The shortest, and safest, route between point A and safety might not be your usual driving route. Get an actual topographic map and learn to use it with your compass.

18. 550 Cord

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag 550 Cord
Military parachute cord can be used as is or “gutted” to remove its internal strands.

19. Duct Tape

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Duct Tape
One of the greatest do-everything resources, it’s also great for securing improvised splints on injured limbs.

20. First Aid Kit

VBOB, First Aid Kit
In addition to the usual Band-Aids, alcohol wipes, antibiotic ointment and tape, get some hemostatic pads like QuikClot Sport, some Z-Fold Gauze for wound packing, compression or Israeli bandages, and a good tourniquet. You should also have a pain reliever like aspirin or ibuprofen, an anti-diarrheal like Imodium and some Benadryl to cope with allergic reactions.

21. Food

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Food
Concentrate on lightweight, individually packaged foods that store well in extreme temperatures. Examples include military MREs, chicken or tuna in foil pouches, protein bars, nuts, crackers, etc.

22. Powdered/Liquid Energy Drink

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Powdered/Liquid Energy Drink
Added to water in your clear bottle or cup, these provide a source of B-complex vitamins that will increase your energy. They also improve the taste of your water.

23. Zip-Seal Bags

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Zip-Seal Bags
These are great for keeping the elements of your kit well organized. They can also be used to keep unfinished food fresh and for the solar method of water disinfection.

24. Socks/Underwear

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Socks/Underwear
Clean socks and underwear help you maintain personal hygiene. Take care of your feet, especially when they’re your primary transportation.

25. Swiss Army Knife

VBOB, Swiss Army Knife
One of the most useful and versatile tools on the planet, it’s great for everything from removing a splinter to improvising shelter.

26. Multi-Tool

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Multi-Tool
The other most useful tool on the planet. Make sure to get a quality brand with good needle-nose pliers/wire cutters.

27. Fixed-Blade Knife

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Fixed-Blade Knife
A lightweight but capable fixed blade is an invaluable tool that can double as a defensive weapon.

28. Money

VBOB, Money
Focus on a good supply of small bills. Include some change in case the buses are running or you find a vending machine.

29. Cell Phone Chargers

VBOB, Cell Phone Chargers
Top the battery off with a vehicle charger before you leave and have either a solar charger or an external battery to keep it going. Also bring the AC charger and top off every chance you get.

30. Toilet Paper

VBOB, Toilet Paper
Yes, it’s bulky, but once you’ve had to improvise you’ll never want to be without it.

31. Pistol & Two Extra Magazines

31 Vehicle Bug-Out Bag Pistol
You may also have to defend yourself and your gear. Have the tools to do it effectively.

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