What Clothes to Pack in Your Bug-Out Bag

One of the first things we pack when we go anywhere is usually clothes. But bugging out is certainly not your average weekend getaway. You’re packing for survival, for durability, flexibility, reliance and efficiency. Here are some tips for what clothes to pack in your bug-out bag.

Clothes You’ve Worn

You don’t want to pack worn-out, old clothes that might fall apart under stressful conditions, but you don’t want to pack anything brand-new either, this could be deadly. If you have something that’s not worn in or that might not fit quite right, you could get blisters, limited movement, or it could fall apart. Make sure you’re wearing something that fits well, is at least somewhat worn in, and that you feel comfortable in and know will work for what you need.

Versatile Items

Since you only have so much space in your bug-out bag, you want to pack items that will be easy to wash and useful for a number of scenarios. For instance, long-sleeve shirts can keep you warm when its cold or protected from the sun when its dry. Bandanas are small and compact, and can be used to keep your neck protected from the sun and cool, or tied on your head for the same purpose. Fabrics like wool and fleece can keep you warm and keep you cool, because they are breathable.

Functional Clothes

Obviously clothing you can hike, work, and maybe even run in are desirable, but think about their greater function. One very obvious choice would be cargo or tactical pants, or lightweight jackets with lots of pockets for gear. Clothing that is also waterproof is very desirable, like a lightweight Gortex jacket. Waterproof boots that are light but sturdy are probably one of the most functional items you can pack (although whether or not they will actually be in your bag is a choice you’ll have to make).

Neutral Colors

Finally, neutral earthtones are probably the best choice when it comes to color (for your clothes as well as your bug-out bag and even your gear). Not only will they show dirt less (in case you happen to care), be easier to clean, but you will also be able to hide or move less conspiciously across whatever terrain you may be in.


There are a lot of options out there for durable, well-designed tactical survivial clothing. Hopefully this guide has given you an idea of what you’ll need to plan for when it comes to packing clothing in your bug-out bag.

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