Firefighters approaching a wildfire in the distance

Building the Ultimate Wildfire Go Bag (2023 Update)

by James Walton

Updates by: Effy Lindström

Wildfires in the United States, and North America writ large, are a common natural disaster. They can occur anytime, and in any forested region.

With the potential to harm both properties andmore importantlythe humans who reside within them, wildfires can be incredibly destructive. The recent wildfires in Quebec have proved as much.

It is in light of current events, then, that more and more Americans are recognizing the magnitude of his danger, and, subsequently, building a go bag for the specific purpose of a wildfire evacuation.

In 2022, the US bore witness to over 66,000 wildfires that burned 7.5 million acres of land. Interestingly, while the number of American wildfires has fluctuated below average, the number of acres burned has actually increased since the year 2000. What this means is that the wildfires that do occur have been more destructive than in years past, leading to larger swathes of land being burned.

Needless to say, individuals may need to evacuate their homes immediately if a wildfire gets too close. This is where an emergency go bag can come in handy. Put simply, a go bag is a bag packed with essential items that one can grab quickly in the event of an emergency.

Want to build a wildfire go bag of your own?

Fortunately, it's pretty simple stuff. Below, we will introduce you to the basics, as well as some of MIRA Safety's best products for wildfire preparedness.

Table of Contents

  • 01

    What is a Go Bag

  • 02

    Essential Items for a Wildfire Go Bag

  • 03

    MIRA Safety Smoke Filters and Respirators

  • 04

    Choosing the Right Go Bag

  • 05

    Go Bag Packing Strategy

  • 06

    Additional Wildfire Preparedness Considerations

  • 07

    Final Thoughts

  • 08

    Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Go Bag

Let's start with the basics.

A go bag is a backpack or duffel bag that is pre-packed with essential items that an individual may need to survive for a few days, in the event of an emergency. 

But where to start? First, every bag will begin with a list of crucial items (detailed in the next section). Then, depending upon the nature of the emergency that you're preparing for, you can add or subtract things as necessary.

The most significant benefit of this kind of prep-work is that you do not know when a crisis will unfold. Therefore, you have this bag, stored somewhere safe and readily accessible, just in case. Ideally, your go bag should get you out of your homeand away from dangerin minutes.

If you have a family, each member must have their own bag, specifically prepared for them. Note that you have to be careful about the weight of a go bag, as younger children will not be able to carry a lot of gear—so keep it simple and effective.

While the contents will vary depending on the type of emergency, a go bag intended for wildfires should contain items that are designed to protect the individual from the harmful effects of smoke and flames.

Essential Items for a Wildfire Go Bag

Water and Food

In the event of a wildfire, it is imperative to have an adequate supply of food and water. That means you must stockpile enough sustenance to keep you fed and hydrated while you get to safety. If you are, for instance, planning to evacuate from your home to a family member's place, you'll need enough foodstuffs to make the trip.

If you are still determining where you will go in the event of an evacuation, then we recommend you store ample quantities of nonperishable food and water. Bear in mind that each family member will require a diet of roughly 2,000 calories, as well as a gallon of water per day.

To help reach that threshold, consider investing in survival meals, as they are both calorie-dense and economical.

Once you get out of the affected area, you can check into a hotel and/or buy groceries.


When it comes to clothing, you will want to pack a versatile assortment of clothes, including daytime garb and pajamas. Remember, too, to include any sentimental articles of clothing that you do not want to lose, should a wildfire engulf your home.

Finally, consider adding flame-resistant clothes that can protect against the heat of the fire. This includes long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and sturdy boots. It is also important to have a hat and gloves to protect against burns.

First Aid Kit

Word of advice? Wildfires travel very fast.

The embers blow with the wind and spread from treetop to treetop. That means you may only have about ten minutes between the time you are alerted to evacuate, and your last chance to get out of dodge. 

Because injuries can occur during the evacuation process, it is vital to have a first aid kit in your go bag.

Note that the average store-bought first aid kit will not suffice. Granted, it's better than nothing, but it is not equipped to contend with the three types of injuries that you may incur whist evacuating from a wildfire. They are:

1.Burns and Heat Related Injuries

It should come as no surprise that your first aid kit needs to have the requisite items to treat burns and heat-related injuries. It would be best, therefore, to have burn creams and bandages.

In addition to having supplies to treat burns, you should also include cold packs. These will come in handy if someone gets overheated from the scorching temperature of the wildfire.

Remember: heat-related injuries can occur faster than you think. After all, there is the danger of your car heating up to dangerous levels as you and your family make good your escape. Plus, you cannot run the AC if the air is thick with smoke. 

All in all, you must be prepared to offer relief to any family member who overheats or gets burned during the evacuation process.


Another injury worthy of consideration is that of a cut, which could easily occur during the loading process, or amid a frantic evacuation from the home.

It would be helpful, therefore, to stock up on styptic powder, pressure bandages, and tourniquets.

After all, you may not be able to get to the local hospital. If the air is filled with smoke, getting out of the danger zone ought to be your very first priority.

3.Mechanical Injury

In the midst of a wildfire, the last thing you'll want to deal with is a twisted ankle, a strained muscle, or even broken bones.

However, such things can happen, and when they do, they can significantly slow your evacuation process.

There are ways to prepare, however. If you have splints, ACE bandages, athletic tape, medical tape, and finger splints, you should be able to fashion a means of caring for mechanical injuries, both minor and severe.

Personal Hygiene Items

Personal hygiene is one of the keys to long-lasting health. It is vital, therefore, that you are able to brush your teeth, wash your hands, bathe, and wear clean clothes while you are away from home.

Accordingly, you must include in your go bag everything that you use daily to maintain your personal hygiene.

Ask yourself: If you find yourself in a situation with no running water, how will you deal with that?

One simple solution is bathing wipes, which can act as a temporary substitute for one of the most fundamental daily personal hygiene practices.

Important Documents

Don't let the mundaneness of documentation lead you to overlook its extreme importance.

After all, so much of your life is wrapped up in your home. Should you ever need to provide proof of what you own, or who you are, you will be happy it all didn't burn up in a wildfire.

Here is a short list of documents that you should have together and ready to take with you in the event of an evacuation:

  • Personal information and identification (e.g., permits, licenses, and degrees)

  • Insurance documentation

  • Medical documentation (medical records, insurance cards, daily prescription info)

  • Proof of ownership (e.g., deeds and titles)

  • Legal documents ( e.g., contracts, divorce, custody arrangements, and adoption forms)

  • Financial records (e.g., stocks, bonds, savings, and loans)

Some of our readers like to keep all of their most important documents in a fireproof, locked document bag. That way, they can depend on them to remain safe.

It is also advisable to store these items near your go bag, so that you can toss everything in the car when it's time to bug out.

Backup Power

Your number one means of communication is your cellphone. During an emergency, this is how you are going to navigate, communicate, and stay updated on the fires and where they are headed.

For this reason, you have to have a means of powering multiple devices all at once. While you are driving, your vehicle could be a convenient energy source. However, you will need rough chargers and enough portable power to recharge your family's devices, wherever you wind up.

Power banks are an excellent solution for this. A large power bank, for instance, can fully charge a couple of drained devices. For larger backup power units, check out the offerings of companies like Jackery and


The prudent survivalist always travels with cash. 

Why? Cell service and the internet can be affected in a wildfire emergency as power lines and towers get caught in the fire's path.

If such an occurrence takes place, your family may find yourself in a sticky situation. What, after all, will do you do if the littles are hungry, but the restaurant's card reader is down?

The solution is simple: Take $500-$1,000 in cash and store it in the same fireproof locking document bag mentioned above. Alternatively, keep the cash otherwise hidden until go time and chuck it in the bag during evacuation.

Once this is done, you will have the ability to pay for whatever you need, whether the power is out at a local hotel, restaurant, or convenience store.

MIRA Safety Smoke Filters and Respirators

Let us be clear: no wildfire go bag is complete without MIRA Safety smoke filters and respirators.

This is because these products can help to filter out harmful smoke particles and protect against respiratory damage. Having at least one smoke filter and respirator for each family member is therefore recommended.

MIRA’s Best Gas Mask for Wildfires

There are a lot of gas masks on the market today, but the MIRA Safety CM-6M tactical gas mask is the best for surviving wildfires. This is, in part, because it offers an incredible field of view for navigating smokey, low-visibility situations.

What's more, this cutting-edge mask blends premium features with superior mil-spec construction, keeping your face, internal organs, and respiratory system safe and sound. In this way, it's your reliable defense against the entire gamut of toxic industrial chemicals (TIC) and chemical warfare agents (CWA), spanning the likes of chemical, biological, and nuclear threats. This means that, from radioactive dust to noxious gases and vaporized pollutants, the CM-6M has you covered.

Originally engineered for professional use in a variety of demanding sectorsincluding industry, agriculture, law enforcement, rescue squads, and civil defensethis reusable full-face respirator/gas mask can be used in a variety of emergency situations, making it a worthy investment.


Family Members with Breathing Issues

If someone in your family has a breathing condition, using a gas mask can be very hard on them. In fact, they might not have the lung capacity to use a gas mask safely. The good news is that we have developed our PAPR system that pushes air into the mask so that people with breathing conditions need not worry.

How does it work?

The PAPR elevates your standard gas mask to the next level with this detachable unit that transforms it into a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR mask). By utilizing an integrated blower instead of relying solely on natural breathing, this innovative product enhances airflow and creates positive pressure within your gas mask, guaranteeing optimal performance and protection.

Another standout feature of MIRA Safety's PAPR is its enhanced design, originally inspired by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), and now modified to utilize standard AA batteries. What sets it apart even further is its incredibly competitive pricing, a mere third of what the closest competitor charges.

MIRA Safety’s Best Filter for Wildfires

One filter that stands out in our inventory for dealing with things like smoke and toxic burning chemicals is our NBC-77 SOF 40mm Filter. Not only will this filter protect you and your family in a wildfire escape situation, it has many other benefits as well.

Paired with a full-face mask, mouthpiece assembly, or PAPR, this filter provides reliable protection for your precious air passages, shielding you from all known CBRN agents. That means that with the NBC-77, you can breathe easy.

Trusted by military personnel the world over, our battle-tested filters are equipped with standard round threads conforming to STANAG 4155 (EN 148-1) specifications - specifically Rd 40x1/7". This adds up to one hell of a hearty filter, with resistance against shock and impact damaged when used. (NOTE: The NBC-77 SOF is NOT rated to protect the user from smoke inhalation.)


The Perfect Gas Mask for Kids

Reality is, it's difficult to wrangle a child into a bike helmet, let alone a full face-covering gas mask. That is why we created the CM-3M Child Escape Respirator.

This respirator is designed to seal over your child's head without discomfort. This will ensure their safetynot to mention spare you having to hear their complaints.

When it comes to children's gas masks and personal protective equipment, nothing is as unique, innovative, or practical as the MIRA Safety CM-3M Child Escape Respirator. 

As you are no doubt aware, children have smaller and less powerful lungs than their adult counterparts. Because of this, you can have trouble using adult masks, which require you to breathe deeply.

Besides, even if a kid is old enough to wear a full-size mask with relative ease, he or she will still fatigue more easily. That is why, regardless of a child's size or age, we recommend erring on the side of safety.

Choosing the Right Go Bag

When selecting a bag to hold all of your essential items, it is wise to opt for one that you have used before.

After all, when you are in the throes of a wildfire evacuation, you want to avoid "firsts," as a high-stress moment is not the time to try things out. Too many forays into the unknown and you are going make a costly mistake.

For this reason, use a backpack that you are familiar with, or buy a bag that you like. Then, during the off-season, you can use that bag as your EDC (everyday carry), or maybe a range bag. Get used to the zippers, the adjustments, the pockets, as deftness will be critical when trying to find something in your go bag.

For the final considerations, make sure the go bag fits your frame, is sturdy, has quality zippers, and is either waterproof or comes with a waterproof cover. The last thing you want is a bag that is going to break on you when you need it most.

Go Bag Packing Strategy

The excellent news about strategically packing your bag is that the process is simple—you don't have to overthink it. Everything that you use often will need to be readily accessible. Likewise, the items you will use infrequently can be packed beneath those items at the bottom of the bag.

This strategy works in your smaller pockets, too. A good example is your hygiene items. You are going to use deodorant once a day, and then it will be done, so that is an item that should be packed underneath your toothbrush, which, hopefully, you will be using more than once per day.

Just make sure your bag is easy to use so that you do not have to take everything out of the bag to find the one thing you are looking for. Choosing the right bag will also make this process easier.

Additional Wildfire Preparedness Considerations

MIRA Safety FirstBreed Collapsible CBRN Animal Ark/ Dog Gas Mask

We love our pets in this nation, and it is borderline obscene the lengths we go to ensure that they remain happy and healthy. With this in mind, you cannot slap a CM-6M tactical gas mask over your dog's snout and expect them to be safe from the particulates and smoke in the air.

That is why we developed our Animal Ark to ensure our pets can be as safe as we are in an emergency evacuation.

The MIRA Safety FirstBreed Collapsible CBRN Animal Ark—or Ark for short—is a dome-shaped, reusable safe haven for your animal friends. Engineered to protect pets from exposure to a variety of threats, including smoke inhalation, this "dog gas mask" deploys in a matter of seconds, folds flat, stores easily, and uses a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) to create a perfectly sized enclosure for your beloved dogs, cats, reptiles, and more.

Gas Storage

Before disaster strikes, ensure you have a stockpile of gas at home to fuel up the car, even if all the gas stations are on fire or out of service. That way, if a wildfire occurs, you can take gas on the road.

Note that is common for roadways to be blocked by fire. Your initial route may not get you to safety. As such, having extra gas could be the difference between escaping or not.

Remember that if you travel with gas, you must keep it in plastic containers and protect it from direct flame and severe heat. For added safety, these gas cans can be wrapped in an insulating material or stored under a truck bed cover.

Final Thoughts

As plumes of smoke waft in from our northern borders, blanketing the East Coast and Midwest in a thick haze, Americansnow more than everare feeling anxiety about the extreme danger that wildfires represent.

Don't lose sleep over this urgent concern. When you pack a go bag specifically for a wildfire evacuation, you can rest assured that you will have everything that you need to lead your family to safety. 

After all, the problem of wildfires is only expected to get worse—making it paramount that we plan accordingly.

Note, however, that our list of go bag essentials is merely a starting point for recommended items that you should have in your go bag. Only you know exactly what your family needs to survive days away from home.

That is why we trust in our readers to know what is best for their go bags, from survival essentials to sentimental items. We hope that that trust will provide a ray of light in what may otherwise be a muted sepia sky.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we choose where to go in an evacuation?
When do we don our gas masks in a wildfire evacuation?
How long can my dog stay in the Animal Ark?