Survival Definitions

These are some of the basic survival terms you may come across and their meanings. To learn more search for the specific term such as Bug Out Kit. There are dozens of websites providing lists of items that would go into a bug out kit.

72 hour survival kit

72 hour Survival Kit

A “72 hour kit” is the most basic minimum survival kit you should have. It is they type of kit recommended by FEMA and the Red Cross. It is designed to help you get through the first 72 hours of a disaster. It usually consists of food, water, warmth and shelter, extra clothes, first aid supplies and personal items.



Altoid survival kitAltoid Survival Kit

An “Altoid survival kit” is a mini survival kit that fits into an empty Altoid tin. It usually consists of items such as matches, fire starting items, a mini knife, fishing hooks, Band-Aids, first aid, led flashlight, compass, and anything else that might fit inside.





Apocalypse and armageddonApocalypse/ Armageddon

The catastrophic end of the world. The scene of a final battle between the forces of good and evil, prophesied to occur at the end of the world.





Bug OutBug Out

Bug out is defined as leaving one’s home and going to another location when disaster strikes. The reason for a bug out is your home or life is threatened by a natural or manmade disaster. You home may have been destroyed or you no longer feel safe for fear of gangs or marauders. Bug out locations are usually far from large cities and can include small towns, cabins, farms or deep wilderness.



Bug out bagBug Out Bag

A “bug out bag” or BOB is an extensive survival kit and you can grab and go in case of a disaster. It contains more survival gear to sustain you for a longer period of time. It contains food, water, shelter, survival tools, weapons, ammunition, clothing, first aid and personal items. Bug out bags are usually carried in a backpack but can also include duffle bags and plastic tote bins. The idea is you always have this packed and ready to go at a moments notice. In the event of an emergency or disaster you can grab this and take off without wasting valuable time searching for and packing items you might need.


Earthquake and hurricane survival kitEarthquake or Hurricane Survival Kit

If you live in an area where there is a chance of an earthquake or hurricanes then you should have an earthquake or hurricane survival kit. This kit is the same as a 72 hour kit. It contains the basics of food, water and shelter to get you through 1-3 days or until help arrives.





Every day carryEveryday Carry/EDC

Everyday carry or EDC are items you carry on you at all times. Items that may help you in the event of an emergency such as a small flashlight, a pocketknife or multi tool. Some people carry these items on their keychain, others carry them in a small bag or pouch.




Get home bagGet Home Bag

A get home bag is similar to a bug out bag but smaller in size and scope. The purpose of a get home bag is to help you survive an emergency or disaster just until you can get home and get to your other survival supplies. Usually kept in your car or place of work. If a disaster strikes while you are at work, a get home bag can provide you with the essentials you may need for a few hours. Items such as water, high energy bars, a good pair of walking shoes, first aid supplies and a flashlight.


Get Out of Dodge

A term that is similar to Bug Out. Originally an old west term used when the sheriff wanted you to “get out of Dodge”. Now used to mean when disaster strikes get out of the city.

Go bagGo Bag

Another term for bug out bag and/or get home bag. A go bag is a survival kit that you can grab and go.





Prepping food storagePrepping

Prepping is the act of buying and storing food, water and survival equipment and tools. It is making sure you have anywhere from one week to a one year supply of food in your pantry. In the event of an emergency or disaster you would have enough food to last you several weeks to several months without having to go to the grocery store. Some people stock up on normal can goods, beans and rice from the grocery store, others buy MRE’s (military ready to eat meals). Some people buy large quantities of wheat, rice and beans in 5 gallon pails, while others buy cases of dehydrated meals and foods packed in #10 tin cans. Many “prepper’s” have a combination of these.



Preps are anything you buy and store in case of an emergency or disaster. Food, water, ammunition, extra candles are all considered “preps”


SHTF is the abbreviation for Shit Hits The Fan. As in when disaster strikes, the economy collapses, a nuclear bomb goes off, terrorists strike or any other large scale natural or man made disaster. Also known as S**F

Survival gunSurvival Gun

Survival guns are weapons you may need to help you defend you home, or hunt for food. They can include military style assault weapons such as an AK-47 to a common .22 caliber rifle.  They can also include pistols and shotguns. A survival gun collection will include several types of weapons in a variety of calibers. It may also include older used military rifles and well as modern hunting rifles. With each type of weapon is usually stockpiled a large quantity of ammunition and reloading supplies.


survival kitSurvival Kit

A survival kit is any container of supplies that help you survive any emergency situation you may be in. It can be fairly simple kit you take with you when you go camping that would provide shelter and fire in the event you get lost. A more comprehensive kit would include supplies to keep you or a group going for several days or weeks.





TEOTWAWKI  stands for The End of the World as We Know It. The big disaster or the total break down of civilization and social order.

Winter survival kitWinter Survival Kit

A winter survival kit is a survival kit that is usually kept in your car in the event you get stranded in the winter. It usually consists of extra warm clothing, a sleeping bag, a tin can you can melt snow in, a candle, and food such as high energy bars.





zombie gunsZombie Gun

A weapon that will kill the walking dead. Usually a 12 gauge shotgun or high capacity gun chambered in a caliber with known knockdown power.