What to Put in Your Loadout Bag

A loadout bag (often labeled a minuteman bag or bugout bag) is the go-to getaway bag for emergency situations. Whether you’re picturing Jason Bourne’s red bag or Dexter Morgan’s hidden weekender behind the drywall, a loadout bag is a must for any true prepper in an emergency.

That being said, the loadout bag is not “one size fits all.” Ultimately, you need to determine which items will best suit you in the course of an emergency. Below are a list of suggestions to help you make the most informed decisions for your loadout bag.

Loadout Bag – The Basics

Before you buy the bag, consider the loadout items you will most likely need. There’s nothing worse than overfilling a small bag and being forced to cut out critical items. On the other hand, it’s equally undesirable to feel like you need to add extra items due to your bag being oversized.

The best place to start is with food and water. Arguably, food and water are the most important items needed in any emergency. Generally, humans can only last around 72 hours without water, so be sure to pack at least three gallons of drinking water, a metal water bottle, and filters or purification tablets. Then, pack three days worth of food. Easy to carry items that you should consider are protein bars or canned items.

Next priority is clothing. Based on your immediate situation, consider the weather outside and your location. Generally speaking, a lightweight shirt, zip-off pants, wool hiking socks, a hat, work gloves, and rain poncho should cover all the basics.

Loadout Bag – Must Haves

After the basics, consider what you would need in a true emergency. Hopefully, you can either get to a vehicle with room to sleep, or drive to a shelter. If not, consider packing a small tent, tarp, sleeping bag, ground pad, or blanket.

Then, you’ll need to consider a heat source. Making a fire is the most obvious answer, which means you need to pack an ignition source, tinder, and waterproof storage. But, if you’re in a rainy area, consider a battery-powered heater or space blanket. Likewise, also pack an LED headlamp, extra batteries, and a flashlight.

Finally, you’ll also need a first aid kit, hygiene items, and various tools. A general survival kit will work for the first aid, but pack any extra items such as required medicine or vitamins as well. Then, pack extra hand sanitizer, camp soap, pack towel, toilet paper, travel sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and anything else you think you may need. In terms of tools, consider a survival knife, multi-tool, and maybe even a machete.

Extra Loadout Items

Next, there are more advanced items such as travel aids, communications, and items for self-defense. These days, most people will have a cell phone in their pocket, but consider a secondary charger or emergency radio as well. In terms of travel aids, pack small bills and/or gold, a local map, a compass, and an emergency whistle.

In terms of self-defense items, consider pepper spray, a handgun, a takedown rifle, and ammunition if they are available to you. In open areas, these items may also help with hunting.

Finally, there are miscellaneous items to consider such as a parachute cord, duct tape, garbage bags, sunglasses, sewing kit, fishing kit, binoculars, and snare wire.

Remember, emergency preparedness is not a hobby or fad. The devastation wrought by hurricanes has shown that it can happen to anyone, anywhere. Instead, it’s an important way of life that can ensure you can get through any emergency situation.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Brock Swinson

Brock Swinson

Brock Swinson is a writer living in North Carolina with his wife, Jess. As a writer for Creative Screenwriting and the host of the Creative Principles Podcast, Swinson frequently interviews creators such as Mel Brooks, Aaron Sorkin, Taylor Sheridan, and William Monahan, on storytelling. Outside of work, Brock is currently training for an Iron Man, practicing jujitsu, and looking for new trails to run with his husky mix, Tessa.
Brock Swinson

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