How To Build A Cheap Bug Out Bag


Building a cheap bug out bag while still maintaining quality can be somewhat of a challenge.  Putting together a quality, survival style, bug out bag can be hard on the wallet these days.  In this article, I will give you my advice on how to build a cheap bug out bag. If you follow us on social media, you may have seen some photos of my bug out bag and contents.

Cheap Bug Out Bag

If not, here is another picture of my personal bag.  I have stocked my BOB with some of the latest survival gear, some of which is a little on the pricey side.  The good news is that if you are willing to put in the time, you can save a lot of money putting your bag together.

Building A Cheap Bug Out Bag

Here is my advice for putting together a cheap bug out bag:

  1. First, you have to determine the contents of your BOB.  Go to our Resources page for checklist.

Bug out bag checklist pdf2. Save up and purchase a decent backpack.
3. Start to accumulate your desired contents over time when you can find good deals.
4. Buy what you can at thrift stores. Thrift stores are an amazing resource for bug out bags and prepping gear in general. You can pick up items for next to nothing and the inventory is constantly changing.  Find one or two on the way home from work, pop in once a week, and you will be amazed at the deals you can find!
5. Check out Walmart and Amazon for many of the low cost times; fire starters, matches, etc.  Take your time and look for items on sale.
6. Build you own water filter. There are many articles available.  Search American Preppers Network for details.
7. Quit the gym and go backpacking!  This will save some cash, is great exercise, and will get you in shape when an emergency does happen.

What To Buy On The Cheap

When prepping on a budget, many people overlook thrift stores and garage sales as viable resources.  But this is where you can find some great deals on slightly used and never used survival gear.  Here are some great items you can purchase for next to nothing at thrift shoppes and garage sales:bug out bag contents

  1. Many types of cordage
  2. Camping equipment of all kinds – tarps, tents, canteens, metal pots and containers for boiling water, hiking boots, and
    many other camping items
  3. Fishing equipment
  4. Rain and/or winter clothing
  5. Containers for water
  6. Multi-tools and folding shovels
  7. Machetes
  8. Maps – These are getting harder to come by, so when you find a map of your area snatch it up!
  9. Flashlights
  10. Candles

What Not To Buy Cheapcheap bug out bag

In my opinion, there are two items that you should not buy on the cheap.  One is the backpack, and the other is your survival knife. If your backpack does not hold up in a rugged, emergency survival situation, then you are in serious trouble. Take your time on this item and buy one that will meet the demands.

Same goes for your survival knife, the most important tool in your bug out bag, without a doubt.  (See our article “Three Features of a Great Survival Knife” for more information)

So hopefully this will get you on your way to having a fully stocked bug out bag for when that emergency strikes.  Take your time, look for deals and add a few items to your bag here and there.  Before you know it, you will be ready when the SHTF!

Please see our Resources page for other useful information!

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