Emergency Survival Kit – bug out bucket

With disasters seemingly occurring more and more frequently in North America it’s never too early to set up an emergency bucket or two. We’ve already done an article about 10 essential items you should put in every emergency honey bucket, in this article we’ll cover a few different items. Some aren’t so obvious, and some items may or may not be applicable to your situation.

The best bug out bucket is going to be tailored to your individual needs, incorporate a few modern gadgets as well as a few healthcare necessities, and be light enough to take with you should you need to head out in a hurry.

DIY or Store Bought?

Skip the store-bought kits and premade buckets – while they often have a bunch of useful items – you can’t really be sure of the quality or utility of many of the items. Look at kits online, then take inspiration from them if need be, but you’re almost always better off making your own bug out bucket.  A lot of these items you’ll already have somewhere in your home already, you can choose better quality items, and you’ll likely end up saving money.

Copy the lists below and paste it into a document and edit as you see fit to keep stashed in your bucket, or print out the page at the bottom, and write in your own substitutions.

First Aid Kit

  • basic first-aid guide
  • moist towelettes
  • antiseptic towelettes
  • latex gloves
  • acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • ibuprofen (Advil)
  • aspirin
  • diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • loperamide (Imodium A-D)
  • burn cream
  • sting relief towelettes
  • hydrocortisone cream
  • triple antibiotic ointment (Neosporin)
  • cough drops
  • earplugs
  • instant ice pack
  • tweezers
  • nail clippers
  • scissors
  • digital thermometer
  • cotton balls
  • waterproof adhesive tape
  • gauze rolls
  • gauze pads
  • moleskin
  • band-aids
  • butterfly bandages
  • ace bandage
  • triangular bandage
  • hand sanitizer
  • Q-tips
  • petroleum jelly
  • RAD sticker (personal radiation dosimeter)
  • potassium iodide (radiation emergency thyroid blocker)

General Supplies

  • glow sticks (12 hrs)
  • flashlight
  • liquid candle
  • matchbooks
  • mylar blankets
  • hand warmers
  • AM/FM radio
  • whistle and lanyard
  • sewing kit
  • blank notebook
  • pencils
  • extra batteries (for flashlight and radio)
  • zip ties
  • P-38 can opener
  • trash bags
  • N95 dust masks
  • duct tape
  • small tarp
  • paracord
  • safety goggles
  • split leather gloves

Hygiene Supplies

  • bar soap
  • kleenex
  • floss
  • baby shampoo
  • hand lotion
  • sunscreen
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrushes
  • feminine hygiene pads
  • comb
  • toilet paper
  • wash cloths


Click here for a printable list

bucket checklist


These items are simple – they’re the same “travel size” things you’d take with you when travelling. Just make sure that they’re stored in their own sealed baggies to prevent any leaks or spills with them. One item that you may overlook – but honestly shouldn’t (especially if you’re male) is tampons. Sterile, absorbent cotton can help in any number of situations.


The most important part of any bug out bucket – you should include a full first aid kit. If there are any specific hazards in your area you may want to plan for them by including certain items in your kit. Include a list of whats packed inside so you can quickly identify if you have what you need.

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