How to Carry Ammo in a Bug Out Bag: Survival 101

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By Bryan Lynch •  4 min read

Bugging out is dictated by an unsafe situation. 

How to Carry Ammo in a Bug Out Bag

This is why many people choose to carry a personal protective device on their person or in their bags. 

That tool can take many forms, but I would say the most popular choice is a firearm. 

The question then follows of how much ammunition and how to carry it in a bug out bag.

This is one of those hot topics that I am sure not everyone will agree with what is laid out in the following article.

And that is okay.

With that in mind here are some things to think about when it comes to ammunition and your BOB.

How Much and How to Carry it?


The classic answer to how much ammunition should you have is “you can never have enough.”

I do agree with that statement as it relates to staying in one location, but I do not fully agree with it when it comes to your bag. 

A BOB is meant to function as a resource to help you get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. 

The distance between those two points is going to be different for everyone but point B is hopefully going to be a location that has additional supplies stockpiled.

This includes ammunition.

To get to point B quickly a BOB cannot be extremely heavy. 

I do not think I need to tell most people that ammunition is heavy, and it does not matter what caliber you use, its weight quickly adds up. 

An overly heavy pack will dramatically slow a person down and can be a cause for injury. 



I am not exactly sure what people think they will be running into that leads them to think they need to fill half of their bag with rounds. That is what ammunition caches are for.

And I guess that is part of the rub. We never know what we will run into. 

However, I think it is unreasonable to think thousands or even hundreds of rounds will be needed for a person to get to their second location. 

If a person is bugging out it stands to reason that many others are doing the same. At the beginning of an event, most people are not going to want to fight but simply get to safety as well. 

This is not to say there will not be dangers and those who might have ulterior motives. 

At the same time, I find it hard to believe people will be pinned down in these large firefights as though a military action is taking place. 

So down to specific amounts.

A firearm owner who is bugging out is probably carrying two platforms. A primary and a secondary.

Having enough ammunition to fully reload those tools several times over would be appropriate. 

Depending on the capacity of the firearm, somewhere under two hundred rounds total seems reasonable.

This range gives a person the ability to protect themselves without breaking their backs. 

Carrying It


The best option for carrying ammunition would be in the form of extra magazines or moon clips for revolvers. 

These will keep the ammunition both organized and readily accessible. 

Other options would include ammunition pouches or belts that have individual slots for keeping the rounds secured. 

Carrying ammunition in its original packaging where the rounds are “loosely” stored could prove frustrating if the box were to open inside the bag.

Additionally, loosely packed ammunition in bags, like a resealable plastic bag, may not be the best option.

Unprotected rounds bouncing around in a bag full of tools and gear could unintentionally lead to a primer being stuck. 

Wrapping It Up 

Bug out plans should entail you getting to your secondary safe area as quickly as possible. 

This means an assortment of gear will be needed. But none of that gear should be sacrificed due to the others. A well-balanced BOB will provide necessities such as water, shelter, food, first aid, and yes protection. 

The amount of ammunition you carry will depend on your abilities, your physical state, and the distance being covered. Plan for your situation and keep it realistic. What are your thoughts on a BOB and ammunition? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know. Thanks for reading and stay prepared! 

Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land, and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually, he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. His goal was to spread positive information about this field. In 2019, Bryan authored the book Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. His second book, Paracord Projects For Camping and Outdoor Survival, is scheduled to be released on March 2, 2021.