USMC_ILBE_lgThis article is more for myself than anyone else, so that I can keep track of my INCH bag contents, and maybe get some outside input. The reason I go with an INCH bag instead of a BOB is that I do not anticipate a singular moment of societal collapse; I expect long-term, gradual changes, and therefore I plan to “bug in”. This INCH bag is a last-ditch contingency plan; if circumstances force me out of my home in such a catastrophic manner that I cannot rebuild or find local relief, I’ll have nowhere in particular to go. The goal with this bag is to facilitate survival until I can find a new, hospitable place to settle.

Though this bag is heavy, I feel that the weight is justified as I’ll need clothing and tools that will keep myself, and possibly others, sustained through dramatic local weather swings ranging from 115°F summer spikes to -15°F winter lows, for an indefinite amount of time. Low pack weight is not so critical as with a BOB, since I have no destination to rush to, but I still cut as much as I can according to my finances, survival knowledge, and within my comfort level of durability and functionality.

This list represents an as-packed state; upon bugging out, some of this equipment will be taken out and used or worn, like boots, clothing, and pistol belt. The bag, therefore, would be lighter in practice and have room for consumables that I forage on the go. Depending on the situation, and as I become more confident with bushcrafting and improvisational skills, I can discard things that I find unnecessary.

Many of these items also double as recreational equipment in normal times, while the building of this bag itself is also something I find quite enjoyable.


  • * denotes an item under consideration for replacement.
  • ? denotes an item under consideration for removal.
  • Firearms are intentionally left unspecified. See here for my recommendation.
  • All weights were obtained firsthand and recorded in an as-packed state.
  • Table is sorted according to placement in pack (a hidden column) for my own convenience
  • Duplicate entries are (usually) intentional and indicate redundant items

“Field equipment is a most excellent hobby to amuse one during the shut-in season. I know nothing else that so restores the buoyant optimism of youth as overhauling one’s kit and planning trips for the next vacation. Solomon himself knew the heart of man no better than that fine old sportsman who said to me ‘It isn’t the fellow who’s catching lots of fish and shooting plenty of game that’s having the good time: it’s the chap who’s getting ready to do it.’ ”

~Horace Kephart, Camping and Woodcraft 1917