Prepping News, Information & Commentary

Build A 14 Day Bug-Out-Bag For $50


We get a LOT of folks asking us how to prep on a budget. In fact, this is probably the #1 question we get asked!

It’s sad when people who clearly share a passion for prepping lose their enthusiasm because they believe it has to be an expensive to be done correctly.

And while some of you are probably as frugal as Ebeneezer Scrooge and find ways to minimize your expenditures, many more of you get trapped in the pitfalls of expensive prepping…

Without a doubt, prepping is more popular today than ever before. Because of this, companies undoubtedly capitalize by selling “high-end” or even luxury prepping gear and goods. We don’t think luxury and prepping should ever be used in the same sentence. We like to associate prepping with worlds like: practical, useful, reliable, and affordable.

We plan to do many more articles around Prepping on a Budget so if this is your thing, check back frequently for more posts.

This week, we wanted to show you how to build a complete survival bag (aka bug-out-bag) for less than $50.00.

Your bug-out-bag should be THE go-to item if SHTF and it should contain enough supplies to keep you alive for more than 48 hours.

Here’s how you can build your very own bug-out-bag – complete with supplies – at an extremely affordable price:

The Bag (<$30)

Your bug-out-bag should be durable, comfortable, and do what it’s supposed to do: hold your gear.

We scoured the internet, and came across this step-by-step DIY to make your own waterproof survival backpack. This pack in particular gets BIG props for being waterproof, which is one of the reasons we chose this one to share. You do not want your contents to get waterlogged!

Your bag will arguably be the most costly item of this build – and would be even more so if you went with a brand new pack – thus, we went the homemade route with this DIY. You will need some arts-and-craft skills to complete this, but it’s nothing too complicated.

Here’s how to build your bug-out-bag.

Food ($8.14)

You won’t stay alive for too long if you don’t eat. We suggest sticking to rice and beans because they provide enough macro-nutrients to keep you alive for months on end and are extremely lightweight relative other foods. It might get monotonous to eat the same thing every day again, we’re trying to stay alive, not win any culinary awards. Besides, rice and beans are about as cheap as food gets so that’s another big plus.

The Rice ($2.32)

We found a 5lb bag of white rice for only $2.32 online at Buy it HERE.

The Beans ($2.88)

We found 1lb bag of pinto beans for only $1.44 online at You’ll probably want 2lbs worth, so two bags. Buy it HERE.

Plastic Food Wrap ($2.94)

Although all of the food should come shipped in airtight, waterproof packaging, we recommend wrapping both your rice and beans again with some type of cling wrap to make sure nothing gets in or out of the bags. A bad situation is having a little critter lay eggs in your rice!

Check out this cheap press n’ seal that can also double as wrap in first aid situations.

This food above should give you roughly 13-14 days of meals (two meals per day), depending upon how hungry you get. That equals out to about $0.37 per meal.

Water ($3.35 or free)

Drinking unfiltered water from the wild is a BAD IDEA! Even clear water that may look clean can contain dangerous bacteria and pathogens. If worse comes to worse and you’re actually dying of thirst, you’re better off taking a risk with giardia than to abstain from drinking, but if not, it’s best to purify your water before drinking.

A couple options to purify your water:

You can always boil your water before drinking which requires building a fire first. This can be time consuming and labor intensive.

Another option is to use purification tablets which are very cheap and work fast.

If you decide to go the water purification route, here are the cheapest ones that we could find. Click HERE.

According to the website: “Aquatabs® are a great effective and efficient way to always have a option to get clean drinking water. They are light weight, easy to carry, and just one tablet can treat 2 quarts of water.  1 strip comes with 10 tablets.  Aquatabs® are used by all major aid agencies, NGOs, and peacekeeping / defense forces worldwide for the treatment of human drinking water in emergency situations.”

These tabs should last you over 2 weeks. Each tablet can purify up to 2 quarts of water. The daily recommend water consumption is only 0.25 quarts per day.

Flashlight ($2.49 + $1.99 shipping)

This is an item that you can take or leave. We like including a flashlight into all of our bug-out-bags because they are obviously useful at night if you have the misfortune of looking for supplies but they can also be useful when exploring caves, buildings, or anywhere else that can get dark if there is no electricity.

We found this awesome flashlight on Amazon for a total steal:

It’s call the Mini Perman 1000 Lumens CREE XPE-R3 LED Flashlight Lamp Light Clip Torch Penlight. Click to get yours.

Fire Starter ($1.12 + $1.28 shipping)

Forget lighters or matches, a striker fire starter is more practical and won’t succumb to the elements. If you can put 2 and 2 together, you can build a fire with a magnesium flint scraper and some tinder.

We found this effective and cheap one at Buy it HERE.

Mini First Aid Kit ($1.70)

A first aid kit isn’t going to do much for a broken limb or stab wound, but for minor nicks and bumps it can be effective to mitigate pain and prevent infections.

Here’s one that we found online for only $1.70. It’s tiny so it won’t take up much space! Buy it HERE.


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Photo credit: Nature Adventure Leaves Hike Man Backpack Forest licensed under Creative Commons 2.0