How Much Should A Bug Out Bag Weigh

In case SHTF in the next 24 hours, are you ready to evacuate and go?

The threat of emergencies is ever-present. We do not know when it would happen so it helps to think ahead and prepare.

A bug out bag is essential for your family’s survival. It will contain all of the essentials that you need in order to survive the initial fall out and help you move to your bug out shelter without much hassle.

How Much Should A Bug Out Bag Weigh

A bug out bag needs to be light enough so it can be carried comfortably. That said, it must also contain enough provisions and supplies that would last for, at least, 72 hours. Anything less defeats the purpose, anything more and it will make you uncomfortable. It will also encumber your movement and the bag becomes more of a burden to lug around.

Bag Specifications and Considerations

First and foremost, you must consider a bug out bag that would be comfortable for you to carry around. One that is big enough to hold the essentials, but wouldn’t overwhelm you completely. Remember, comfort is key here as well.

Here are some considerations for you to remember when choosing your bug-out bag:

Measurement – A good bug out bag should rest on your back and fall on your hips and not an inch more. For most people, this is the most comfortable position to carry a bag.

Comfort – Choose a bag with shoulder straps that have some padding. It should not chafe your shoulder and help to ease the weight from your body. Compression straps can be an option but not necessary.

Storage Space – Make sure you have a lot of storage space available for your items. A good bug out bag should have more than 2000 square inches of space available. Anything less and you will not pack enough supplies for your trip.

Additional Pockets, Straps – The internal storage is not enough. Bug out bags need additional pockets to store more supplies and materials for our survival. Additional straps would help you to attach carabiners with other materials.

Fitness Level and Weight Ratio

The weight of the bug out bag should also depend on your overall fitness level. According to many sources, the ideal weight for a bug-out bag is 10 percent of your body weight. Some recommend at least 1/3 of your weight. You should carry a bag that you can carry with enough comfort. We recommend additional weight increments depending on your fitness level.

The most realistic way of determining how much you can carry is to put on your bug out bag on the road. Walk, sprint, hike and climb in different terrains to find out if you can carry it. Carrying the bag in different conditions will also help you build resistance and strength.

Content Considerations

Bug out bags should help you to survive for the first 36 hours after the initial fall out. The contents of the bag would vary from person to person. But, the following essentials should be placed inside the compartment:

Clothes – Roll your clothes together—this is referred to as a skivvy roll. It would reduce the weight and space it occupies inside the bag. Pack for functionality and comfort, not style.

Food Rations – Meals Ready to Eat or MRE’s must be included in your stash. Do not pack food that would spoil easy. Jerky meat is advised as well as energy bars. They might not taste good but they will help you survive.

Cooking gear – You need portable cooking gear to cook your food. It would also help to have spare cans of fuel handy.

Water – You need to have water ready. You can also carry containers and purification tablets or filters if you want to get water from natural sources on your way.

​​Self-defense item – In case SHTF you need ​something to protect yourself and your family.

Tarps and ropes – Ditch the bulky tents. Use tarps and ropes or a survival tent instead. It also reduces weight.

​​Extra Items​ – Some other important items that you should have with you are a good knife, a military watch, and a ​sturdy ​flashlight.


The weight of your bug out bags depends on your ability to carry them. Your fitness level factors in and your readiness as well. Do not prepare a bug out bag that you cannot carry comfortably for an extended period of time. Prepare a bug out bag that you can heft easily and has contents that would help you survive. Choose practicality and functionality over style.

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