Bug Out Box Essentials

While my wife an I are camping at Martin Dies State Park – which is close to Jasper Texas – I thought this would be a good time to talk about our Bug Out Box. We do not call it a Bug Out Box per say, we call it our camping box. But it would serve either purpose.

If some kind of SHTF event happens and we have to bug out to the homestead, the box contains everything we need to prepare, cook and eat a good meal – pots, pans, coleman stove, propane, utensils, plates, radio,,,.

Cooking hot dogs on a coleman stove

As my wife and I use the equipment in the box while we are camping, lets talk about how things are working out.

The Box – My wife and I use a Rubbermaid 36 gallon / 136.3 liter green tote, which measures 29.75 inches long, 20.25 inches wide, and 20 inches tall.

After several years of camping with friends and family I think the Bug Out Box is tuned enough for me to share my experiences.

Two burner stove – in my case I have a two burner coleman stove.  But any good quality stove will work.  Please do not think of this as a sales pitch for coleman, because it’s not.

The first stove for the Bug Out Box was a coleman perfectflow stove with grill.  After using the grill several it became clear the grill used too much propane.  Over the course of a weekend the stove used a full one pound propane bottle to cook 6 times with.  We need to get more then 2 days out of a pound of propane.

I thought about having a single burner stove, but we want the ability to cook more then one thing at a time.  And, if one burner stops working, with a 2 burner stove, we have a spare.

Cooking burgers over a campfire

Tinfoil – For cooking cooking at campsites over an open fire. When the opportunity presents itself we use the firepits at the park to cook our burgers, hotdogs and the such.

Why use propane to cook burgers, when you have oak wood and a grill over a firepit.

Instead of cooking on a nasty looking public grill, cover the grill with tinfoil.

Plates – While shopping at the local china-mart my wife found some oval plastic plates about 12 inches long and 8 inches wide.

Instead of carrying styrofoam or paper plates, we carry the plastic plates that can be washed and reused.

Box for forks, knives and spoons – This is a clear plastic box about 10 – 12 inches long, 6 inches wide and maybe 4 inches tall. The box keeps all of the knives and forks together so we do not cut our hand as we are digging through the box.

Instead of going with plastic forks, spoons and knives, our box contains a good number of metal eating utensils. We have some plastic utensils, but we also have a good number of metal ones.

Battery / Solar powered radio – The radio in my Bug Out box is the kaito solar radio. I first saw the kaito solar radio while on a camping trip with a buddy of mine and his wife. I was impressed that the radio worked well on nothing more the sunlight.

One thing I was not impressed with was the reception of the kaito radio. While camping at Martin Dies Park, which is close to Jasper Texas, the kaito solar radio had problems receiving radio stations from Beaumont Texas, which was about 75 miles away.

Shortly after I bought my kaito solar radio, kaito released a digital version, my radio is the analog version.  I thought about buying the digital version, but as of yet have not made up my mind.

Collapsible water container – My wife and I use this for washing out dishes and otherwise holding water. It could be used to take a take a sponge bath, washing off, washing dishes, soaking sore feet, washing your hair,,, anything that needs water.

Bug Out Box collapsible water container

The container my wife and I keep in the Bug Out Box was bought at the local china-mart. Its intended purpose was for picking peas and snap beans. But we soon realized the tub would be well served in our Bug Out Box.  It is not fully collapsible, its more like really flexible.

Other Items:

Antibacterial hand soap
Cooking utensils – large fork, spatula, spoon
Cloth hand towels
Clothespins – for hanging stuff up to dry
Dishwashing liquid
Flashlight with lithium batteries
First aid kit
Hotpads – for handling hot pots and pans
Insect repellant
Lighter and matches
Mixing boil – for hamburger meat, dips, chips,,, and other odds and ends
Paper towels
Pokers for hot dogs
Pots, pans and skillet
Olive oil spray
Salt and pepper – we get the party size in packages of two
Ziplock / food storage bags

What is a Bug Out Box used for

We use our Bug Out Box for camping, and for weekends when my family and I practice bugging out to the homestead.  Whether its camping or cooking at the hunting camp, the Bug Out Box is part of our support chain.

The box is a support system for the whole group. Why should each person carry a stove, hand soap, cooking utensils,,, when we can pack a box for the whole group.