A bug out bag is a portable survival kit that would carry the emergency essentials someone would need to survive 72-hours, if they had to evacuate in case of an emergency, natural disaster, or zombie apocalypse. The purpose of the bag is to be something that is quick and easy to get when time is limited and you need to leave (or bug out) in a hurry. When things are so chaotic that you cannot think, you won’t have to, you can just grab your bug out bag and go.
A bug out bag kit might sometimes be referred to as a 72-hour kit, but often times they are not the same thing. While ideally you would want to be able to survive at least 72-hours with your bug out bag kit, you might have to sacrifice on luxury items to keep weight down. For example, if you need to bug out from your house to try to make it to your parents’ house which is 25 miles away, you would want to keep the overall weight of your bug out backpack to a minimum. However, you would want to carry the tools you would need that would make your travel go easier.
When referring to a 72-hour kit, experts are typically taking about a survival kit for your home. In the case of an emergency or natural disaster where you are unable to leave your home and you need to hunker down, you would want to have at least 72-hours’ worth of emergency food storage and water available for each person in the home. Now some experts are suggesting that you have a 96-hour kit instead of a 72-hour kit because it could be more than 3 days before help can reach you. If you need to hunker down, the more food and water you have, the better off you are going to be.