How to Pack an Emergency Bag

Everyone should prepare an emergency bag to prepare for a sudden emergency, i.e. a flash flood, fire etc. Here is how and what to pack for possible emergencies.


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    Find a bag. It can be anything from a backpack to a laundry bag, as long as is easy to carry and comfortable, though a large backpack with several pockets is ideal.
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    Pack as much as you think necessary, with at the very least one outfit per person, water purification tablets, the first aid kit, and food.
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    Use your bag's main compartment for the bulky big things such as food, blankets, clothes, etc.
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    Wrap plastic bags around the inside of each pocket. This will help protect the items inside.
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    Make a first aid kit. A burn proof, melt proof, waterproof, airtight tub is ideal, but another container can be used (like a pencil case) to store smaller items. Include:
    • At least 25 plasters/band-aids, of different sizes, shapes and qualities.
    • At least 25 bandages, of different sizes and shapes.
    • 4-5 inhalers if anyone is asthmatic, or 1 inhaler if no one is.
    • 3 clean, sterilized needles and a few rolls of clean black thread. If someone needs stitches, these will be useful.
    • Several boxes of painkillers, such as paracetamol, and several boxes of pain killing anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
    • A tub of lip balm. If someone has chapped lips, or even needs the outside of a wound numbing, this is useful.
    • Several travel sized hand sanitizes
    • Q-tips, cotton balls, tissues, fishing kits, fire kits, candles, a pack of tissues, a fishing kit, fire kit, candles, LED flashlights or headlamps can also fit there.
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    Include food. You can get MRE (meals ready to eat) from the military, as well as nonperishable food right out of your pantry (granola bars, canned goods, etc.) Make sure you go to the store see what you can find to maintain a nutritious diet.
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    Buy and pack an emergency stove, which is easy to operate. The ideal emergency stove requires no liquid, priming, wicks, or pressure.
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    Include water and/or a water-purifying system. Water helps you cook some foods, keeps you alive, and cleans cuts and wounds. Water is a major must have!
    • You're unlikely to be able to carry enough water with you for a real, ongoing emergency situation, but some water purification tablets or a water filter can be a good longer-term solution.
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    Add a blanket or solar blanket. You may need something to keep you warm or to build a shelter.
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    Include a few large bags for shelter and protection purposes.
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    Include any other items you think you might need. Consider hiking boots, sunglasses, a hammock, a tent, clothes, personal belongings, utensils, cups, first aid, light sources, etc.
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    Buy and include a multiple tool and a multiple utensil tool. They are so helpful in a situation with making a shelter.


  • Pack money and 'trade-able' items like can openers.
  • Pack two smaller bags labeled winter and summer. This really could help your situation.
    • Winter bag: pack a coat, extra blankets, extra fire kit, ski mask, beanie, warm clothes, always keep water, scarves, anything for the cold winter seasons.
    • Summer bag: shorts, clothes, plenty of water, sunscreen, hat, deodorant, a bandanna, etc.
  • Pack a few 'wind-up, self powered' torches, and some waterproof matches, and possibly a few lighters.
  • You may want to get a camouflage colored bag.


  • Not all of the suggested contents will fit in a regular backpack. Consider having multiple survival "kits" for different situations.
  • Don't—under any circumstances—be absent-minded during packing. You will only regret it.

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Categories: First Aid and Emergencies | Travel Packing