Keep This in Mind: Bugging Out Does Not Always Imply a Long Stay in the Woods:
Not all bug-out situations will involve long-term escape and evasion in a remote stretch of wilderness or other uninhabited area. Some people may get the impression that bugging out means an "all or nothing" strategy of backwoods survival, when in fact the chances of having to implement such a serious bug-out plan are much less than the possibilities of a short term bug-out escape. My philosophy has always been to be over-prepared for any given endeavor, whether a long-distance sea kayak trip, a backpacking trip or an offshore sailboat passage. If you feel confident you are ready for an experience of much greater duration and difficulty than what you will likely run into, then everything else will seem easy by comparison.
With regards to the self-sufficient bug-out bag, the idea is that if you are prepared and equipped to survive as long as necessary while on the move in a remote area, you will thus by default be equally or more so prepared for events of shorter duration. You may not need to hunker down in the nearest river bottom swamp or retreat to a mountain wilderness at all. Perhaps you simply need the gear to travel cross-country to reach your own pre-stocked cabin, or the home of a friend or relative in an area unaffected by the event that forces you to leave. By having the gear and having a plan of action that includes knowing where you can go and how you will get there, you have taken the necessary steps to look out for your own evacuation and security and you will not become a refugee as so many who bash the bug-out option would have you believe. Refugees are the unprepared who are waiting to be rescued or herded in buses or other means to a safe area, leaving their fate in the hands of the authorities and others. If your bug-out bag includes everything you need to survive an extended stay in an uninhabited area and you have the skills and knowledge to do so, then any thing less will be that much easier.
Having a well-thought out bug-out plan prepares you for the worst-case scenario. That doesn’t mean such an all-out SHTF total breakdown scenario is bound to happen, and the plan or parts of the plan can serve you well in a lesser event. You may simply need to get out of the danger zone of a terror attack, or retreat from an approaching hurricane, or leave a city that has broken out in riots. The bug-out bag can also serve as a get home bag in certain situations where you may be traveling and some event happens that would make it difficult to reach your family and get them to safety if not for the gear you are carrying.
With this in mind, the well-stocked bug-out bag will have everything you need to meet the essentials of survival: proper clothing, shelter and the means to make fire, as well as food and water for the first 3 days. But it should go beyond what is often called a “72-hour bag” and include essential survival tools to include a hunting weapon and other tools to procure more food, purify the water you will have to use when you exhaust your supply, and construct more substantial shelters if needed. With this sort of bug-out bag and the skills to use what it contains that you should practice in advance, you will be prepared three days and much more if necessary.