A bug-out bag is basically a bag to just grab and go in an emergency when you decide to abandon the house and head for the hills or to another safer location.
This should be packed and ready at all times. We know you can't carry everything you may want or need, but you need to focus on survival. This should be something easy to carry since you could be carrying it for a while.
You worn luggage probably has plenty of room, but is not practical to carry over rough terrain. This can happen do with having to leave your vehicle. It's better if you have a large backpack or a bag you can sling over your shoulder as your bug-out-bag.
It needs to hold what you need to stay alive for at least three or four days at a minimum. If there's extra room then you can add things to make life a little easier.
Bug-out Bag List:
Water is the most important, but you won't be able to carry enough for your journey. This means you must take enough to get you going, but realizing your going to need to find more. Getting to a safer location is most important at this point.
Food is almost as essential as water, but you can go far longer without food than without water. Cans are nice for long term food storage, but you don't want them in your bug-out-bag. Dried or dehydrated foods will be best to save on weight.
A light weight tent will give some shelter from the rain and help hold in some heat at night. You can use this as a base camp until you get to safety.
First aid kits with basics are necessary as it's easier to get injured in a survival situation. In an emergency it's easier to get a cut resulting in an infection or break a bone. Any medications that are needed on a regular basis should be brought along and make sure they are not expired.
Paracord and duct tape can be used like rope and to make repairs. Paracord is best known as the cord for parachutes, but is light weight and can be used wherever rope would be used.
Survival Knife with a with a fixed blade is essential.
Canteens or water bottles are for when water is found.
Water purification tablets are indispensable for when you do find water. You'll want to make sure it's safe to drink. These can kill bacteria and microorganisms. You may also want to put in a personal water filter.
Backpacking cookware aids in making a hot meal or to boil water for drinking. It's also lighter in weight than what's in the kitchen.
Multiple fire starters are needed in case one fails. Water proof matches are okay, but toss a couple of disposable lighters in your bag too, and a magnesium alloy fire starter kit.
Emergency Mylar blanket for the cold at night can reflect up to 90% of body heat and weights about a pound.
A poncho is helpful and you know if you don't have it packed you'll wish you did and if it doesn't rain, it can be used to lay on the ground while you're sleeping.
Fishing gear doesn't have to be a pole and tackle box. A few hooks and some line could mean dinner and won't take much space and only add a few ounces of weight.
Change of clothes is vital considering your clothes could become ripped or wet. You don't want to pack like you're going on vacation, but you need at least one change of clothes.
Personal hygiene is important for mental and physical health. Just some soap, toothpaste and a roll of toilet paper will improve a person's attitude and will to survive.
Hand crank radios with a flashlight are excellent so you have the opportunity to know what's happening where you left. As a result, you will know when it's safe to go back. The flash light on many helps make travel possible at night. Since it's hand cranked there is no worry about low batteries.
Basic documents and pictures cause many people to waste time and energy after deciding to leave. Save a tree and keep a copy of any essential documents, passwords and pictures on a flash drive in your bug-out bag using only minimal weight and space.
Compass and map still works even if the power has been out for weeks. Your planned route may be blocked or too dangerous to travel so a map and compass become essential. GPS is nice, but if the electric is not working or don't have a place to plug in you have a back up.
In the end, personal needs will vary. If you live in a colder climate than warmer clothes become more of a factor. In hotter climate or the desert water becomes even more of a concern.
You must be able to properly use anything in your bag. If something is recommended on a number of sites, but you don't know how to use it then it's just more weight.
You must make the hard decisions on what goes in and what does not go in the bug-out bag. If you try to pack everything for every possible scenario or pack everything everybody says you'll need, then you'll never lift your bug-out bag.