How To Put Together a Bug Out Binder

bug out binder important documents
bug out binder important documents

What the heck is a bug out binder?

A bug out binder is a place to store important items. I’ll talk about the specific items in more detail later.

Why would I ever need a bug out binder?

Instead of scrambling around trying to find all the important items during a crisis, you have it all right there in a bug out binder that you can easily grab as you leave your home.

Does it need to be in an actual binder?

Technically, no. The items can be contained in any sort of box, binder, fireproof document holder, etc. It doesn’t have to be limited to an actual ‘binder’, it’s just a term.

Would I ever realistically need a bug out binder?

Absolutely! There are many reasons why you may need to bug out. Having the bug out binder ready to go will be a huge time saver and one less thing to worry about.

Here are some suggestions on what to put in a bug out binder:

  • Insurance forms (car, health, life, mortgage, etc.)
  • Marriage and/or divorce certificate
  • Copies of everyone’s ID
  • Passports
  • Cash and/or precious metals
  • Cherished family momento’s or photographs.
  • USB drive with photographs, copies of important documents and other important information
  • Pet vaccination records
  • Medical documentation
  • Birth certificates
  • Reference guides (first aid guides, wild edibles guides, urban guides, water purification guides, etc.)
  • Local and national maps
  • Will and/or estate plan
  • Deeds or ownership forms
  • Disability records
  • Auto titles
  • Education records
  • Retirement plan
  • Physical inventory list(s) of all your supplies, preps, valuables, etc. Pictures of those valuables is recommended, as well.
  • Emergency disaster plan

Where should I store the bug out binder?

Anywhere, really, as long as it consistently stays in that one place. It could be hidden under the bed, in a safe, in a closet, it could even go inside of your bug out bag if you wish. Just as long as it’s always in that same consistent location so you always know where it is.

How often should I update it?

It should be updated whenever required. If any information changes at all, such as a change in insurance, change in will or emergency disaster plan, the old papers need to come out and replaced with new. Do this as soon as the change is made. Don’t wait or it may not get updated before a crisis, if at all.

During a crisis, time might be very limited. Being able to grab and go is essential. Even for everyday purposes, having all of your important documents easily accessible in one spot saves valuable time and stress.

Putting a bug out binder together isn’t difficult but you will want to block out at least a couple hours to get everything together. Once it’s together, all that’s left is to keep on top of updating when necessary.

Thanks for reading! If you’d like to learn more about bugging out, take a look at my bug out articles.

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Morgan is the founder of Rogue Preparedness. She has been a prepper for over a decade. She's a wife, mother of two daughters and is homesteading off grid. She teaches people how to be prepared for emergencies and disasters.

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  3. whole tabbed section of that “bug out binder” should be devoted to prepping the home to survive and be ready for your eventual return …

    simple thing like cleaning out the frig and propping it open – good chance you lose the grid and a crapped out frig on the return isn’t something anyone needs …

    utilities – you may want to pre-empt the eventual loose of the grid – shut down the gas, water and electric and lock down their resumption to you and you alone ….

    wintertime – don’t let your home freeze up – especially with the water supply on >> home could be totalled & unrepairable under post-SHTF conditions to repair ..

    window board-up >>> save them from damage and create a barrier to eazy entry ….

    1. Sure, checklists are a good idea. Thanks!

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