The items in your bug out bag should be personal choices and be things most suitable as what is required for your survival however I get the impression that most people start building their bug out bags with good intentions and drift off into a extreme survival pack. I think we lose focus that the bug out bag is intended for a 3 day survival and then we feel like 3 days isn’t adequate and we end up with a creation more designed for a hike to the top of Mount Everest.
Even myself personally I want to be able to get more than 72 hours out of my BOB but realistically depending on the person and their needs 3 to 5 days is about the maximum you’re going to get out of a bag while maintaining a manageable weight. So let discuss things that a person might add to their bug out bag that serves no reasonable need for short term survival.
Gun’s and Ammo: Let’s be realistic here and not just preparing for the zombie apocalypse but the more realistic type of disaster that would have the most likelihood of happening to you. I would say that this greatly depends on location and examples of disasters would be hurricanes, earthquakes, wild fires, floods and things like that. I say bring only what you’d have with you for a EDC for self defense purposes only not to be waging wars against mass gangs of looters. However I do realize that their could possibly be a event take place in where such a bag would be needed and I suggest having a separate bag such as a range bag ready to go if the situation requires such.
First Aid: Let’s remember that this bag is designed for a few days and not to provide first aid for the rest your lifetime, I think first aid is another thing people go to extreme with when adding first aid kits to their bags.
Knives: How many do you really need? Now a good multi-tool is great to have and typically from what I’ve seen the multi-tools blades generally aren’t very good at all so a additional folding knife and quite possibly a fixed blade knife seems reasonable. Anything beyond that is IMHO a little much for the given purpose.
Tools: Hatchets and machetes maybe but a bunch of other tools like crowbars, hammers and stuff like that really isn’t needed for survival and shouldn’t be added to have a useless item weighing you down.