My Bug Home Bag

Back when we had our scare with the propane tanker near our home, both my husband and I were far from our house and kids. He was over 100 miles away and I was over 30 miles away. It got us thinking about what if that had been a worse disaster – something more widespread like an earthquake or a fire. What if it was something that knocked out the bridge between Michael’s work and home, or caused the freeways to back up as people evacuated.

We often marvel at the massive traffic that fills our highways just at rush hour. What if people were in a panic and all trying to flee the area at once. Just recently there was a huge forest fire that burned only 47 miles away. To me, that doesn’t seem that far on a high wind day, as forest fires can travel at speeds up to 60 mph or greater. We were fairly save down in the city valley, but it makes you wonder anyway.

To that end, we decided it would be a good idea if we each carried some emergency supplies in the event we needed to get home from wherever we may be and the roads became impassable. We call it our Bug Home Bag instead of a Bug Out Bag.

What’s in our Bug Home Bags?


  • I carry a plastic trash bag that I can stuff with grass or leaves of newspapers if I need to stop and rest in colder weather. But any type of bivy, mylar blanket, tarp, or emergency poncho will work.
  • I also carry an emergency blanket

Hand warmer packets take up little space, and might just be the ticket to keep you moving.

  • Consider carrying 4 to use on both hands and feet in cold weather.

Paracord or other rope is useful

  • If you plan to string up your shelter
  • If your boot laces brake
  • To repair your backpack, or add things to it.
  • Honestly, I haven’t exhausted the number of uses for paracord.
  • I carry 50 feet

Food- Sea rations are my go-to food item because I don’t want to waste time cooking or risk attracting unwanted attention with cooking smells. Rations are compact, and nutritionally, not just calories, dense. They provide a full range of vitamin supplementation, and the Mayday brand I use tastes like apple shortbread.

Things to consider for your food choices:

  • Must be lightweight, easy to prepare, and be energy dense.
  • Consider time, fuel needed and risk factors of cooking, reheating, reconstituting your food.
  • Freeze dried food can reconstitute without heat, but you will need to plan ahead and you will need to carry extra water to do so.
  • MREs are options which require little to no cooking or additional water.
  • Granola/protein bars while not having as long of a shelf life will not take up much space in your backpack. Do your research to find the highest calorie per ounce you can.
  • Dehydrated fruit and trail mix are nutritionally dense, provide a sugar boost, and easy to eat on the go.
  • You must rotate food items before they expire. Otherwise, you may find at worst your food spoiled when you need it, at best crappy tasting food when you are already in a crappy situation. It also saves money.


  • 1 gallon per person per day is a minimum allowance for drinking and SOME hygiene.
  • My water bladder holds two liters of water.
  • Carrying more water would prove difficult for me.
  • A Sawyer Water Filter comes in handy for this purpose.
  • Also Iodine water tablets

First-aid Kit

  • Gauze bandages, band aids, gauze pads, emergency tape
  • Triangle bandages/slings (2)
  • ibuprofen, aspirin, anti-diarrheal, antihistamine, and tumms.
  • Quick-clot
  • Scissors (or a small knife)
  • Super glue seals cuts


I carry

  • Pepper spray
  • Headlamp and tactical flashlight and glow sticks

Other options include

  • a hunting knife, or taser (keep accessible, wearable)
  • CCW permit with appropriate firearm.

Extra Clothes

I am typically found in work clothes consisting of dress slack or dresses and skits, with high heeled shoes for my work.

Having a spare change of comfortable workout style clothes for the long walk home is essential. I have in my bag

  • Spare socks
  • Pants
  • Short sleeve top
  • Fleece jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • Rugged jacket
  • Spare underwear and sports bra
  • Thick mittens
  • 2 pair work gloves
  • Camping towel
  • Tennis shoes or hiking boots
  • Feminine Hygiene

Fire starting material

On the off chance I need to stop and start a fire, it is important to have quick lighting materials to assist. I carry

  • Cotton balls soaked coated in vaseline
  • dryer lint as tinder
  • Matches and lighters (in case one fails you should have backups)

Many of these items I either carry in my EDC bag or have duplicated.

If you can think of something to add to the Bug Home Bag, please feel free to comment below!



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