How to Build a Go Bag - Free Checklist

How to Build a Go Bag - Free Checklist

What is a Go Bag?
A Go Bag is a pack you have at the ready, filled with the essentials you need in case of an emergency or potential threat. When disaster strikes, time is of the essence and being prepared can make all the difference.

Each person's pack will be specific to that individual, to fit their needs, skills and of course, the emergency. No matter the situation, we believe having a go bag is an absolute must for everyone. Getting this go bag together before an emergency is obviously crucial. When you think about it, when do you really need your seat belt on? When an accident happens. But you won't know for sure when that crash will occur and most likely not in time to click the buckle in place to save you. The same is true for any crisis. If a fire is blazing near your home, you won't have time right then to throw together all you and your family will need in a state of panic.

3v gear velox go bag loadout
Ensuring you have the essentials for not only the potential threat but also the environment you may have to face, plays an important role in building your go bag. Whether you live in a colder climate, desert, forest, etc. There are endless possibilities for the obstacles you could encounter but having the right items in your go bag should help you to better adapt and most importantly, survive.

Getting the items together for your go bag can appear like a daunting task. This is why we have created a check list for you to start with and you can tweak it to fit your specific needs.

Situations When You Would Need a Go Bag
  • Fire - In case of a fire, you should plan on being away from your home for an extended period of time. If a wildfire is burning near your neighborhood, it could take some time for firefighters to get the blaze under control. Packing important documents for your home as well as yourself such as birth certificates, passports, etc are necessary to have with you. Vital items such as a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket should also be present in your go bag.

  • Flood - Did you know if only takes a foot of moving water to cause destruction to your home? If flooding has been known to happen in your area, having a go bag for your essentials can give you enough time to seek out local shelters in your area.

  • Hurricane - In the past, when devastating hurricanes were forecasted to hit near you, necessary items like food and water became increasingly harder to come by. Prices skyrocketed as panic buying ensued with the oncoming hurricane nearing closer and closer. Being prepared and stocked up months before can make all the difference.

  • Earthquake - Keep in mind if you have to leave your home in case of an earthquake that there could be hazards outside as well. Such as broken power lines, crumbling buildings, and burned out streetlights at night can be just as dangerous. Pack a headlamp to keep your hands free while you keep an eye out for these potential threats. For Earthquake preparedness the main goal is to withstand, respond and to recover.

  • Snowstorm - If you live in the southern part of the US, chances are you don't need to build your go bag in case of a severe snowstorm. But if you live in the north, adding additional layers, hat and gloves, and backup heat sources are probably items you should add to your bag.

  • Terrorist attack - Being cognizant of this possibility can be scary but we believe necessary. A few firearms at the ready as well as ammo to protect you and your loved ones for at least safety precautions would be a good addition to this go bag. First aid kit, flashlight and let us not underestimate the impact of a good roll of duct tape.

  • Gridlock or broken down car - If your city has been gridlocked and you have to abandon your vehicle, you should have a go bag to keep you going until you can get moving again. Having the right items in your bag can be the catalyst between you getting back on the road again or being stranded for hours. In either case it would be good to have non perishable food items and most importantly water. Especially if you are in hotter climates, the heat and dehydration while standing next to an already over-heated vehicle can be deadly. Safety cones and road flares are also key items to have with you to signal those around you that you are in need of assistance.

  • Having a baby/hospital bag - Last but not least we have the pregnancy go bag. Especially if this is your first child, you may have no idea how long you will be in the hospital and what to pack in preparation for the arrival of your new baby. Pack clothes for yourself as well as your spouse as you may be in the hospital for a few days and will most likely prefer another change of clothes to go home in. Toiletries such as deodorant, toothbrush, and toothpaste are items you're sure to be grateful you packed.

Go Bag Check List

Bag or Backpack

This is subjective and depends on the amount of gear you are going to carry and if you prefer a backpack, sling bag, duffel or some other style of bag. These bags haven proven their ability time and time again. 


  • Medications
  • First-aid supplies
  • Personal toiletry items
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Face mask
  • Latex gloves
  • Purification tablets
  • Reusable water bottle
  • High calorie sport bars
  • Beef jerky
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • Extra layers in waterproof bags
  • Beanie
  • Neck gaiter
  • Work gloves
  • Hat or head protection
Tools and Equipment
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Spare batteries
  • Emergency blanket
  • Spare keys for your house and car
  • Knife
  • Lighter and matches
  • Multi-tool
  • Pepper spray
  • Important documents in sealed plastic bags
  • Cash
  • CCW if not already on your person
Potential additional items
  • Complete IFAK
  • Shelter
  • MREs
  • Poncho
  • Survival blankets
  • Toilet paper


  • Dan

    Great list. I add zip ties and paracord. They are small, light weight, and super versatile.

  • Dan

    Very thorough checklist. Thanks for sharing! One thing I add to mine is a few charging cables and plugs so I can charge a phone or other electronics in the event I can find power (I have both wall plugs and auto).

  • Mike Valentin

    Good starter list….easy to build upon….thanks!!

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