SHTF bag

SHTF bag

This is a discussion on SHTF bag within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So let's hear it... Who has a SHTF bag? What do you keep in it? Where do you keep it? What type of bag is ...

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Thread: SHTF bag

  1. #1
    Member Array gordo23's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Madison, MS

    SHTF bag

    So let's hear it...

    Who has a SHTF bag?
    What do you keep in it?
    Where do you keep it?
    What type of bag is it and how large is it?

    FYI a true SHTF bag is one which you do not raid from time to time for supplies and ammo. This is a bag that is kept up to date and secure with all the things you would need to protect you and yours in a time in which the SHTF.

  2. #2
    VIP Member
    Array Thumper's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Dayton, Nevada
    I was looking for one and a friend sent me this:

    I'll be interested to hear what people carry too!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
    judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
    superior skills."

  3. #3
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    South West PA
    I am reminded of a thread here or maybe on THR which covered this extraordinarily well - if I find the link I'll drop back with it.


    Ahh - found it - it was on THR and started by Preacherman after Katrina but hey - some of the posts in it are IMO extremely laden with good info.

    My own bug-out bag is in the process of being rebuilt - as in replacing old first aid stuff in particular.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!." - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Array hsuCowboy98's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    My bug out bag(obtained at a army surplus store-labeled as a field surgical bag) contains all the basics, plus a knife sharpener, batteries, advanced medical supplies,MRE's, spare ammo(50 9mm, 50 .40, 100 .45 lots of .22) a ruger mkII, and is accompanied by the softside tactical case that holds my M4 and 8 loaded mags. Both sit together close to the door, but out of sight, and I can gather them in seconds.

    Its always a good idea to be prepared.
    Fear No Evil.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Puerto Rico
    I have a major dissaster - earthquake/hurricane/tsunami/NBC - bag; its an old large ALICE pack that I keep in my room. Somehow I have managed to fit/attach: GI 1st aid kid, sun screen (SPDF50), insect repellent, hygyne bag (soap, toothbrush, 10 razors, etc), pair leather gloves, 6 MREs, water (4gals - distributed in: six 2 qt canteens in outside of pack, one 4 qt blader inside of pack), NOAA weather radio, 25yds of 550 cord, roll of riggers tape, weapons cleaning gear (9mm/45AUTO/5.56mm/7.62mm), space blanket, mag light, spare batteries, small survival kit inside a pop up flare canister tapped to a K-Bar, map of the area, compass, signal mirror, whistle, old cell phone (the ones that can still dial 911 without being connected to a plan), basic dive gear (fins/mask/snorkel), 2 PFDs (one for son, one for me), snaplink, 12feet rope, and the most important - 4 rolls of toilet paper!!!. On top of the rucksack lays my body armor + helmet, gas mask, 1 set of Marine cammies (MARPAT), sturdy clothing for my son. Now I just need to add a good carbine and I'm set. What you guys think, I forgot anything?

  7. #6
    Member Array Lawrence Keeney's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    West Virginia
    I have two different bags I am starting to contemplate filling out.

    One of them is a Countycomm Bail Out Bag, which is sort of a copy of the Maxpedition bug out bag. It's a great bag, and I use it right now for work. Has a heck of a lot of pockets, and a nice place designed to hide a handgun.

    Secondly, I just bought a Jack Bauer bag from Phil Elmore at

    It is what it is, a green canvas messenger bag, just like the one Jack carries on the show. It is cheap, but easy to carry over your shoulder, has pockets..and you can put a lot of stuff into it.
    "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong." Denny Crane:

  8. #7
    Member Array Exmasonite's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    lemme think off the top of my head (+1 on what everybody else has put down):

    - water filtration system + nalgene water bottel (although, i need to do some research on those newer bottle w/ built in filter combos)

    - set of 2 way radios

    - camp stove (some of these are VERY compact these days. i have the MSR pocket rocket. bout the size of a deck of cards w/o canister)

    - cookset (barebones- 1 pot... or pot/skillet/cup combo). boiling water may be necessary if filtration breaks or you don't have one

    - Multitool (Leatherman or something similar)

    - Maps, compass +/- GPS

    - +1 on batteries and a good flashlight (or 2-3)

    - hatchet

    - reflector mirror

    - duct tape

    That's what i've got off the top of my head. i've got a couple "levels" of BOB

    1) I have a hunting vest with extra mags, light weight tactile gloves, flashlight. hangs in closet next to other stuff

    2) Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack sling bag... just the basics. (basic first aid, extra mags + ammo, knives, flashlight, nalgene full of water, extra cash, passport, poncho, xtra cellphone battery, matches, lighter, MP3 player, digital camera, paper, pen, photocopies of my DL, SS card, CCW permit, duct tape). this bag goes with me a lot or at least in car.

    2) larger internal frame backpack (room to strap on small bag). beefier first aid, hatchet, more ammo, 1 change of clothes + 2x socks, few cans of food (spam, baked beans), water filtration system, small cookset, compass, firestarter kit, lighter x2, waterproof matches x2, extra ziplocs for the important stuff, small blanket, heavy duty gloves, winter hat, gaiters, camp stove + 2 fuel canisters, extra batteries (AA), maps, large hunting knife, 2 rolls of twine, duct tape.

    next to that stuff, are 2 medium sized tupperware if i'm evacing via vehichle. 1 has a sleeping bag, tent, collapsible hiking pole, snow shoes. the other one has a case of bottled water and about 7 days worht of food for 2.
    I also have a pretty considerable first aid trauma kit. fits in a very large tackle box.
    within 2 feet of these things are my AR-15, .22 rifle, and hiking boots.

  9. #8
    VIP Member
    Array Betty's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    My bugout bag is my backpacking bag. It's an REI Aires women's hydration backpack with a 2 liter Camelbak reservoir. (The women's pack has curved shoulder straps designed to comfortably fit the anatomy.) What I keep in my bag is enough to keep me sustained for two to three days on backpacking trips, and works just as well for bugging out. Some stuff can be left behind for SHTF stuff, like the sleeping pad.

    • various protein & carb bars
    • individual pocket packs of salmon, chicken, tuna, etc.
    • bread I add as I go (flat pita bread doesn't smoosh and takes up less space than regular sliced bread)
    • 1 to 2 MREs and heaters
    • beef jerky
    • 2 liters water
    • collapsible plastic bottle, water purification tablets

    • enough for two/threee days, changes with season
    • all clothes go in compression bag to save space
    • synthetic undies, a couple synthetic layers of socks with outer wool socks (synthetic fabrics wick moisture away from the body)
    • two convertible pants
    • a couple tops
    • one long sleeve microfiber top for chilly mornings
    • one size fits all rain poncho that fits over me and my backpack

    • travel size toothbrush, toothpaste, Oral-B Brush-Ups
    • travel size Gold Bond medicated body powder, Ben Gay
    • female products
    • glasses case with contact lens care kit & old glasses
    • pack of baby wipes
    • travel size deodorant
    • lip balm, small Burt's Bees hand salve
    • travel size liquid hand sanitizer
    • compact, highly absorbent towel
    • hair comb, hair ties

    Petzl Tikka Plus LED headlamp
    Ka-Bar camp knife
    • First Aid Kit
    • sleeping bag, sleeping pad
    • mini sewing kit
    • waterproof/windproof matches
    • fire starter
    • space blanket
    • fishing hooks & line
    • 50 ft. paracord
    • a couple yellow lightsticks
    • compass
    • travel size sunscreen, bugspray

    My bag is around 15 pounds and I still have room left in the bag.

    My husband and I go camping together, so he packs our two-person REI Quarter Dome tent, our Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter and his personal gear.

    I sound like an REI salesperson, but I can't help it. We have a store nearby and it's addictive (and expensive!).

    For bugging out, add firearms and ammunition.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Prescott, AZ
    I use a surplus "buttsack" with the alice clips. I've got a poncho, 100ft of 300lbs cord, 4 chem lights, 100rounds, an MRE, spare bulbs/batts for my Surefire, an old buckknife, a home-built flare (made from an old bottlerocket), and a small medkit. It's a tight fit but it works. I drive everywhere I go so it stays in my trunk, under the mat next to my spare tire.
    The Gunsite Blog
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    "It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." - Justice Scalia, SCOTUS - DC v Heller - 26 JUN 2008

  11. #10
    Member Array BSMART's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    Great Post

    This is a great post and I appreciate all of the previous remarks. Those are some serious good ideas. I think my "emergency kit" is a little lacking.

    I have one in my car and one in my wife's car. If the SHTF, we should be in or near one of the cars.

    In each kit there are:

    Basic tool set: as this acts as a roadside distress kit too
    100ft rope
    Couple of boxes of matches
    Paper Towels
    Coat or heavy sweater, gloves, beannie hat (Utah gets cold)
    A bunch of Ramen Noodles
    (2) Two- liter bottles of water
    Browning .22 With about 500 rnds and a spare magazine
    Twenty Dollars cash
    Phone card

    Thanks for the tips.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    I have a SHTF bag but its not a bug out bag since i will " bug inn not out " If i leave my house the places i will go will be aprox 30 miles away one to the northeast , and one due east depending on what made my place here unliveable ( i live in colorado and no disaster other than a blizzard affects a great area ) . Anyway on to my thoughts , I am not what you would call a rugged survivalist , i belive in community , and folks pulling togeather over the rough parts of collective lives . I have at least two vehicles stocked to work out in the boonies all the time , with such necessitys as a 5 gal cooler , some food , means of making fire ( cheap bick lighter 6 packs sold at discount stores ) blankets , coats , a pair of socks or two , chain , bandages , ect ... just your basic live out of the vehicle type pickups . ( where we work all the time cell phone is a wish and that makes 911 a bit less effective than prayer ). As far as my bag , it contains 100 rounds of rifle ammo , 50 rounds each for 9, .38+p, and .45 , a hideout pistol and 2 mags ammo ( .380 ) a full emt basic trama kit including sphig. , airways , ect . a spare leatherman tool , 5 " space blankets " in the original packaging , 3 rain panchos ( the 3 for a buck variaty ) a brick of .22 ammo along with a revolver to shoot same ( sometimes its a s&w mod 17 6" , sometimes its a ruger single six convertable , just depends on which i have in a pickup this week , one goes one is packed in the bag ). a pre paid cellphone ( trackphone ), a small ( computer type from best buy or circut ****ty ) 12 volt to 110 converter to charge said phone . an assortment of batterys from AAA thro D including 9vt, an empty 3 D cell maglight ( use part of the batterys that are packed to light it off ) , 50 ft of smooth wire ( bailing wire for the rural folks here ) and two sets of battery cable clamps ( which can be used to secure a lot of things ) . I pack no food or water that needs rotated ect.. that is handled in the work trucks , or can be thrown into redneck luggage ( trash bags ) if a bug out becomes necessairy . This bag is to grab for about anything here ... its the stuff you hunt for and dont find . Oh and the rifle is a cheap norinco SKS paratrooper that is bungie corded to the duffle bag . each truck has a bigger rifle and a .22 rifle in it with ammo .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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  13. #12
    Member Array Exmasonite's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    there was a similar thread going down over on XDtalk. Somebody had a brilliant suggestion of a siphon pump. i won't go that far but will definitely be adding a section of tubing to my pack for scavenging fuel, etc.
    seemed like a great idea.

  14. #13
    Member Array falkon's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    North Carolina
    This is a good post.

    I have been thinking about putting some stuff in a bag for emergencies for some time now. I agree with Redneck Repairs that if TSHTF I would stay home and wait it out. But it is wise to plan for the unplanned.
    There are 10 types of people in the world:
    Those who understand binary, and those that don't.

  15. #14
    Member Array Nate's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Alexandria, Va.
    Whatever you do decide to put in your SHTF bag, remember to WATERPROOF EVERYTHING. That means Ziploc bags, dedicated waterproof bags (found at surplus or outdoor/camping stores - and as Betty will attest to, REI has them as well ), or even double-bagged with trash bags.

    When packing for the long haul (as most all SHTF bags should be), I tend to Ziploc smaller items, spare changes of clothes, etc., in various sizes of Ziploc bags, then throw those, along with the bigger items inside a trash bag or two, and THEN put it in the waterproof bag, and THEN put the whole shebang inside the duffel/canvas/camping/whatever bag/pack/etc.

    Water can ruin your whole day, especially if it soaks through your clothes, lighters, maps, and food.

    EDIT: Also, as to not defeat the purpose of doing all this, if you have a water bottle, Camelbak, or other hydration storage device, place that in the outer layer, as to not have it soak everything if and when Mr. Murphy decides to break it.

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array p8riot's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Chesterfield, VA
    You know, if we had a disaster at home, we'd be OK, I've got a 6'x8' gun vault in the basement loaded with survival gear (MRE's etc.. in addition to weapons & ammo), and I've got 6 stainless 55 gal drums of potable water from my R.O. unit, generator, etc...

    My problem is when we are away. I really can't say I have a "bug out" bag per se, but this thread is giving me some great ideas for putting one together.
    "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." - Al Capone

    The second amendment is the reset button of our Constitution.

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