Building a Bargain Bug Out Bag: The Bag

Over the course of the next few weeks or months we are going to do a series on building a low cost bug out bag. Bug Out Bags are generally a kit that will sit and not be used on a periodic basis. I don't believe that they should require expensive gear.

 Bug Out Bags are designed to aid in your survival for 3-7 days; beyond that you will need more than what you can carry on your back. Many people pack things in their bug out bag that I find as non-essential. I myself fall victim to this, like packing fishing kits or what not. Stuff that really isn't going to do you any good in that 3-7 day range. Another problem people face when building a BOB is they transform into an Apocalypse Bag- packing everything you can in it. That isn't a good practice, because if you plan on bugging out with just the bag in the wilderness you probably need to go back to developing a better Bug Out Plan.

A Bug Out Bag is for just that, bugging out. It's a consumable item that you use up during your "bug out". It is not technically a wilderness survival kit. Wilderness Survival Kits are designed to gather food/water and build shelter whereas a Bug Out Bag has food/water/shelter. I've had time to go through my BOB and ditch things that I decided wasn't necessary and added some things I think are. I will do another video on my updated BOB soon.

With anything I always suggest buying the best that you can afford. Hopefully your BOB will never have to be used. But do you want a $1,000 survival kit sitting in the closet? Why not spend that money on other stuff. Do you really need a $400 pack that has been tested on Mt Everest, when your BOB is only going to help you for 3-7 days getting out of the burbs?

My BOB is mostly comprised of reasonably priced items. I do have a few expensive tools in the bag, but that's about it. My "expensive" gear that I have, and use, I use in the field on a routine basis, not to sit in the closet. Sure I could run and pack everything I own in a few packs and then bug out (and if time permits I will do so). But a BOB is a grab-n-go kit, so that would defeat the purpose (if I had to pack before I left).

Here are a few low cost options:

My BOB pictured above is the LA Police Gear Operator Pack and is really tough bag for the price. The bag is priced at $79.99 but has been on sale for almost a year. I got mine for $45 and its still at that price point. It is very comfortable and durable, has tons of pockets to organize gear. It also comes in 3 different colors (black, tan, and OD green). 3 colors that are perfect for a BOB

Another Pack that I have not tried (but I trust their products after using a few packs from them) is the LA Police Gear 3 Day BackPack.

Believe it or not, another pack I found of so-so quality is the Fieldline Alpha Ops Daypack from Wal-Mart. A friend of mine had this pack on and I questioned where he got it and when he told me Wal-Mart, I was like it must be crap. The pack felt pretty durable, although I cant attest to the stitching. But for the real budget minded it comes in at $19.

They also offer a larger pack, the Fieldline Alpha Ops Internal Frame Pack. This pack comes in at $39.

One more pack that's some what pricier is the Sandpiper of California Three Day Pass Back Pack. This pack retails for $54, also available at

One of my favorite rucksack's that I used in the Military was the ALICE pack. They can take an amazing amount of abuse and with a frame they feel rather comfortable. These Ruck's can be found locally at military surplus stores or flea markets. They can also be found on Ebay and Amazon; used an new.

Those are some low cost bag options to help you build your bargain BOB. Over the course of these articles I will try and show you some places these items can be picked up locally (like Wal-mart; to save on shipping cost). If you guys have any other low cost alternatives to any products in this series, please drop a comment in the box below.


  1. CONDOR makes relatively inexpensive packs and bags, Ebay, Amazon, or

  2. 3000 cubic inches
    Molle eveywhere
    place for 100oz hydration bladder

    Best bargain IMO..