Thursday, May 27, 2021

The Emergency Bag

We always carry an emergency "bug out bag" in our car.  Ever since hubby had several health problems in a row that usually ended with him staying in the hospital for days at a time, I decided to put together a bag of emergency supplies so that if we had an emergency and needed to leave our home for any period of time, we would have all of the basics to sustain us right in our car.  I usually take this bag out every few months, review the contents, add or subtract stuff in the bag as needed, and make sure things like batteries still work, the battery bank is charged, the food is rotated, etc.  With hurricane and wildfire season coming up, I thought this was a good time to make a post about what we always have with us.  

Our emergency bag includes:

  • A bag.  I use a backpack as it is easier to carry than, say, a duffel bag, in case I need to bring the bag into a hotel room/hospital room/need to leave the car behind/etc.
  • A complete change of clothes plus jackets and underwear for both hubby and I.
  • Four face masks and two sets of nitrile gloves (this was added since covid but the masks are also good for wildfire smoke too).
  • Two Mylar emergency blankets, two disposable plastic rain jackets, and some paracord
  • A spork and a micro fiber towel from REI
  • The black flowery bag has tampons and a complete set of makeup for me (lipstick, eyeliner, brow liner, concealer, powder, eye shadow)
  • The small grey bag is a first aid kit (band aids, Thera flu, alcohol wipes, Tylenol packets, safety pins, lip balm, two condoms--not for their original use but to be used to carry water in an emergency, as a tourniquet, etc, spare batteries for hubby's hearing aids, Fix a Dent for hubby, glucose tabs for hubby, a few cough drops, an two day's worth of medications for hubby)
  • In the pink striped bag is a toiletries kit (comb, razor, nail clippers, nail file, tweezers, bobby pins, tooth brush, toothpaste, floss, shampoo, conditioner, suntan lotion, soap, mirror, hand lotion, deodorant)
  • A 20,000mAh battery bank 
  • An AM/FM transistor radio and ear buds
  • A second spare pair of corded earbuds (both of our cell phones still have a port for corded earbuds so we use these in an emergency as they don't need to be charged like our wireless earbuds)
  • A headlamp
  • A mini Maglight flashlight
  • Spare AAA batteries (for the radio, headlamp, and Maglight)
  • A charging cable with type A and C tips (to charge our cell phones, tablets, wireless ear buds, etc)
  • USB to type A and type C cables (ditto, so we can charge multiple items at the same time)
  • A thumb drive with all of our backed up files on it
  • A small Gerber knife
  • A Sharpie pen
  • A Fisher Space pen
  • A combo emergency whistle, magnifying glass, compass, and thermometer
  • Two packs of Kleenex tissue
  • A ziploc bag with matches, sticky notes, rubber bands, mini can opener, and a mini Super Glue
  • Basic food (granola bars, candies, mini packs of raisins, mini packs, of nuts, etc)

We carry the following items every time we leave the house:

  • Cell phones
  • Wallets with ID, credit cards, and cash
  • My purse: packet of tissue, keys, sun glasses, face mask and a mini emergency kit that I always carry in my purse (band aids, Wet Wipe, Tylenol packet, spare hearing aid batteries and spare medication for hubby, tampon, lipstick, pocket knife, Fisher Space pen, thumb drive with my files backed up on it, mini Maglight, alcohol wipe, matches, nail file)
  • Insulated Contigo beverage containers along with lunch or snacks

In the car we always have:

  • Mini umbrella
  • Spare jackets
  • A case of bottled water
  • A complete car emergency kit


  • We would be wearing a full set of clothes and shoes
  • We would grab our tablets and laptops on the way out


  1. Doesn't the heat where you live ruin things in the bag? I live in Alabama and things did ruin in my bag in the car. Your bag is certainly well-stocked.

    1. Yes that's a problem here as well. I try to wrap the main contents of the bag like food and electronics in the clothing so it keeps them sort of insulated. So far, so good!