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Survival Kit vs. Bug Out Bag

Posted by Self Reliance Outfitters on November 25, 2013  

A survival kit and a bug out bag have some similarities, but there are also some differences. The main difference being that a survival kit deals with a natural environment and what it can throw at you, while a bug out bag is designed for a person to survive for roughly 72 hours in a disaster situation. The bug out bag has items such as weapons for defense and tools, such as a multi-tool, for fixing or modifying. Both of these options are good for survival situations, but they are uniquely different.


A survival kit is used primarily for surviving in a natural environment like the wilderness or the desert, and the items in the survival kit reflect that. You should include items like a fire starter, a survival knife, and a container for water in a survival kit. Every item that you will have in your survival kit is designed to do one or several things in the wilderness. From shelter, fire or cooking, your kit will provide you with self-reliance when nature is at her worst.


A bug out bag is designed for a situation different from the one a survival kit prepares you for. It is made for disaster situations. In these situations, you are not always out in the wild. You may be in an urban environment, meaning that you may, in fact, need tools differing from what you would use in the outdoors. Items such as a multi tool would be an important item to include in your bug out bag. In addition to selected tools, a bug out bag needs to include a defense weapon.

A bug out bag should also include the essentials.You should pack things like a fire starter, blanket, granola bars, and a compass, which are indispensable items for any situation.In a disaster situation, you never know what might happen next, and you should be prepared to survive for an extended period of time.


Neither option is necessarily better than the other. It just really depends on the situation. One thing to consider is that a bug out bag is designed to provide a way for a person to survive for at least 72 hours, and there is not usually an amount of time associated with a survival kit.

Both of these options are simply used to try and keep you alive. Pack both kits in compact, lightweight carriers. The survival kit should be in something waterproof or water-resistant. Update your kits frequently, and tailor them to the season. This way, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way.

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