Category I: Survival

"Life finds a way" GIF
It’s easier for your life to find a way if you plan ahead.

Baseline survival in your Go Bag means having your basic bodily needs covered, plus a few items that will help you MacGyver your way out of a bad time. We’re aiming to meet your whole family’s basic needs here, including your kids and pets.

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Recommendations vary, but the staples are a combination of food, water, protective gear, and tools:

This part can be super easy thanks to prepackaged kits.


Seriously, if your eyes are glazing over while you read this list, there is no shame in the prepackaged kit game. They can also be more cost effective than purchasing items individually.

If your emergency plans are a priority, but you’re short on time, a good option is to purchase pre-made kits now and then fully customize them by adding items later when you have more time.

Survival’s not so daunting now, is it? Crossing category 1 off your list just requires a bit of investment and a little thought about how to best use the space in your family’s Go Bags. Learning how to poop outside might be a bigger challenge, but you’re up to it.

Pro tip: Some items, like a first aid kit, might cover the whole family, so you can decide how many to order and how to distribute them. Whether you’re making your own bags from scratch or buying prepackaged bags, make sure you’re getting enough survival items for all of the people and pets in your group for three days.

Of course, a kit you get online is not a complete Go Bag. You’ll need to add your Important Papers and you’ll want to consider what you’ll need for your Physical and Emotional Wellbeing.

Person collecting water from by lake
Don’t poop near any water sources, and boil before drinking.

About the Authors

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

Professional worrier. Mom, entrepreneur. Lifetime student of brain science. Passionate about surviving what's coming (climate change, wtf) and staying as sane as possible. Determined to make the best of the end of the world.