The budget prepper: You need these 10 multipurpose items in your bug-out bag

For preppers, one of the biggest challenges is finding a balance between having enough survival items in your bugout bag and having too many items in your bugout bag. While you want to have enough supplies to be able to survive comfortably, you also don’t want to be traveling over long distances with an excessively heavy bag hanging off of your shoulders either. One way you can find a nice balance between the two (while also saving money) is by packing items that serve multiple purposes. The following is a list of ten multipurpose items for your bugout bag, courtesy of

1) Survival Knife 

Even if you think you know each and every function of a survival knife, chances are there’s an additional two or three dozen uses that you didn’t even think of. Survival knives can be used for everything from starting a fire, making splints for emergencies, building shelters, harvesting vegetables, and much more. As noted by, some features to consider before selecting a survival knife include the blade shape, the blade steel, and what kind of handle it comes with.

2) Dental Floss

It’s understandable if you had never before viewed dental floss as a potential survival item, but the truth is, dental floss can be used for a number of different things. Floss makes a great fishing line, can cut soft foods like cheese, can be used to stitch torn clothes, and can even be an effective firestarter.

3) Multi-Tool

If you’re serious about prepping, then the multi-tool has to be included in your bugout bag. Its functions include everything from cleaning game, cutting wood, harvesting plants and crops, building shelters, and cutting rope.

4) Shemagh

Simply put, shemagh refers to a tactical scarf, typically used by people in the Middle East to protect themselves against dust and wind. In a survival situation, a shemagh can be used as a blanket, a pillow, or even as a replacement for a towel. In the event of a medical emergency, a shemagh also makes a good tourniquet or bandage. (Related: Does your bugout bag include a medical kit?)

5) Duct Tape

 The age-old belief that anything and everything can be repaired with duct tape certainly holds true here. Packing duct tape in your bugout bag will help you repair clothing if it rips or tears, help you build an effective shelter, help you patch up an open wound, and even help you start a fire because of the fact that duct tape is highly flammable.

6) Safety Pins 

Believe it or not, safety pins also make great multipurpose survival tools. Use them to secure bandages, fix ripped or torn clothing, or even combine it with dental floss to make a fishing line and hook. (Related: Here are seven items that would be nice to have in any emergency.)

7) Plastic Bags

Given the fact that plastic bags are likely all over your home or apartment, it’s understandable why most people would take them for granted. But packing them in your bugout bag and using them in a survival situation can help with everything from providing added insulation to a shelter to containers to transport water from one place to another.

8) A Tarp

One of the more obvious uses for a tarp is for a shelter, but tarps have a number of other uses as well. For example, in case of a medical emergency, a tarp can be used as an improvised stretcher to carry the injured person from point A to point B.

9) Paracord 

What makes paracords so great is that they can withstand a tremendous amount of weight. The 550 paracords, for example, have a minimum of 550lb tensile strength. That being said, paracords make a great replacement for ropes. They can also be used to help you build shelters, climb up or down steep slopes, or even as a snare for catching small game.

10) Tampons or Sanitary Pads

Obviously, tampons are highly absorbent, meaning that they are great for makeshift bandages in the event of a medical emergency. They are also extremely flammable, meaning that including these hygienic products in your bugout bag can help you make a fire with relative ease.

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