7 Survival Items You DON’T Want In Your Bug Out Bag

The talk is always about the survival items you don’t want to miss in your Bug-out Bag (BOB). You may even know all about the prepping basics and how to bug out.

Have you stopped to ask yourself about the items you don’t want in your bug-out bag?

I guess it is the last question in your mind. In general, we can classify survival items into two – necessary items and essential basic items.

Necessary survival items that you may need to improve your survival chances in the wild.

However, it would be a mistake to have them in your BOB. We can refer to the necessary items as those that are good to have.

Essential items, on the other hand, are basic survival items that you cannot do without in the wild.  

There are many reasons for ditching such necessary items in your go-bag. They could be too bulky or too heavy.

Like light sources, for example, do you need the brightest flashlight even if it’s bulky, or will a dimmer but compact one suffice?

Thus, the items will take up a lot of space and weigh you down because of the enormous weight. Instead, you can go for lighter and more compact alternatives.

Here is a list of 7 survival items you don’t want in your bug-out bag.

#1 A Tent


It is no doubt you will need shelter to protect yourself from the elements and extreme temperatures.

A tent would be a great idea. But most tents are bulky and heavy. Instead, pack a tarp and good quality cordage such as paracord. You easily use these items to build a shelter.

Even better is to carry the only cordage and use stuff you will find in the woods to build a shelter.

Parking an alternative to a tent will take as much as 5 pounds to 10 pounds off your BOB.

If you are worried about your safety with any other kind of shelter, look for the lightest tent available.

#2 Sleeping Bags

You need to feel warm and comfortable when sleeping even in the wilderness.

Sleeping bags are wonderful items for survivalists. But sleeping bags are heavy and expensive. Why not park a couple of emergency bivvies.

Apart from being lightweight, emergency bivvies are cheap.

Bivvies are as warm as sleeping bags. They are usually made of tear-resistant polyethylene.

This material reflects up to 90% of your body heat back to you to keep you warm. However, emergency bivvies may not be warm enough in extreme cold.

Another option would be to get a wearable sleeping bag (yes, these also exist).

#3 Utensils, Cast Iron Cookware, And Plateware

It would be unwise to pack an assortment of utensils, cookware, and plate ware.

Survival means making it out with meager resources. No room for convenience or luxury.

If your bug-out bag must be light, you cannot afford to carry extra utensils, cast iron cookware, or plate ware.

Instead, go for a Spork. A Spork is a spoon-like eating utensil with rather short tines at its end. You can simply eat from the cooking pot with a Spork.

This will eliminate the need for serving plates, spoons, and forks. Instead of cast-iron cookware, you can choose a small and lightweight cook set.  

#4 Canned Food

Canned Food

Canned food is a delight of a survivalist.

This is because it is ready when needed. If you have to prepare it, canned food with be ready in minutes if not seconds.

But, do you know how heavy a can of processed food can be?

The culprit of the enormous weight is water. Despite being heavy, the caloric content of such food is too low.

Thus, canned food is one of the survival items you don’t need in your bug-out bag.

Alternatively, go for freeze-dried food and then rehydrate it with water once you are in the wilderness. You can also pack other foods with long shelf life, depending on your preference.

You can also depend on the food you will find in the woods if you are a good hunter, because bringing a camping food cooler will be a hassle.

#5 Survival Reading Materials And Entertainment


If you love reading as I do, the temptation to lug along survival books is real.

But, it would be a mistake to carry survival reading material along. It is great to be knowledgeable but books are too heavy.

Why not create time to read the books and have the information in your brain before you head out?

Alternatively, you can look for pocket-sized editions of survival books.

Another item to be wary of is entertainment. It is good to devise some form of entertainment in the wilderness to help you pass time.

The choice of such entertainment matters. Travel-size games are tempting. But with what you will be doing in a survival situation, they are not appropriate.

Possibly, a deck of cards is a good form of survival entertainment.

#6 Back-Up Survival Gear


A rule survivalist applies a lot is the rule of “two is one, one is none”.

The rule is as true as it can get. But carrying a copy of an item means you will have to bear the double weight of that item.

There is no need for backup survival supplies if you will be going out for just a couple of days.

Exceptions to that rule are fire-starting items such as matches and lighters. You can also carry bottled water in addition to a water filter.

But you do not want back-ups like an extra tarp or extra cordage in your bag out bag. They will wear you down yet you may not actually use them in the wilderness.

#7 Medications And First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

It is not possible to predict what health issues you can develop in the wilderness.

However, you must be ready for common illnesses such as headaches and allergies. This does not mean you have to carry whole boxes of over-the-counter medications.

Instead, carry just enough tablets to last you the days you will be in the wilderness and handy medical tools like a pair of the best trauma shears for emergencies.

How to Build Your Own Medical Survival Kit?

For instance, there is no need to pack a full box of aspirin tablets or allergy medications. The same goes for the First Aid Kit.

A piece of good advice is to select only the vital components of the First Aid Kit. The full version of the kit may be too bulky yet so many items in there will be unnecessary.

Find more survival tips on the Best Subreddits for Preppers.

Bottom Line

We hope that we helped you reduce the weight of your bug-out bag and bring only the essential SHTF gear, such as the best survival watch, a survival flashlight, the best backpacking axe, or a must-have, a reliable knife.

Imagine walking a long distance after a catastrophic disaster carrying a heavy BOB. You will be slow and get exhausted quickly.

The outcome of the disaster may be serious. Find a way to avoid those items you don’t want in your bug-out bag. If you’re packing a get-home bag instead, our get-home bag checklist has everything you need.

If you’re planning to pack an INCH Bag, we also wrote an article on why you should have one.

Have raccoons invaded your backyard? Learn how to get rid of them quickly from our article on how to scare a raccoon!

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