Sometimes, a typical EDC just isn’t enough. And staying put isn’t an option. Enter the SCARE Kit (Social Chaos and Respons Emergency Kit). Designed for short-term and high-threat survival, the SCARE concept stresses the importance of self-protection gear and skills to navigate civil unrest.
SCARE bags are still an extension or variant of everyday carry even though they serve a specific objective. Below we break down what exactly a SCARE kit is, how it is different than a Bug Out Bag, and share a comprehensive SCARE bag checklist you can download, print, or save in multiple formats.
Contents (Jump to a Section)
What is a SCARE Bag?
SCARE Kit stands for “Social Chaos and Response Emergency Kit”, a specialized type of kit for surviving situations brought about by civil unrest. The bag contains equipment to help you avoid or prevail in unwanted confrontations.
A SCARE Bag is different than a bug out bag or go bag. Out of all of the well-known bug out bags, get home bags, or other loadouts- the SCARE is closest to a heavily focused EDC (or Everyday Carry). The SCARE kit is meant to be carried nearby when you expect potential chaos, riots, or social degeneration.
The SCARE concept was first documented by Mike D., the lead instructor at Combative Fighting Arts, a mobile cadre of blended fighting systems experts. The first guide, written over 10 years ago is no longer online as the writer at DirtTime changed their website’s focus.
Mike’s concept, however, stays relevant as he and his team have been training soldiers around the world as well as civilians in the US on risks, personal safety, and how to handle yourself in extreme situations.
The SCARE kit isn’t for everybody, and it requires a specific type of threat, exposure to that threat (risk), and a skillset to back up the gear you carry. This rules out plenty of people in general, as well as preppers who are unlikely to encounter civil unrest.
SCARE Bag vs. Bug Out Bag
SCARE bags are designed to meet different goals than bug out bags.
Bug out bags are typically designed for 72 hours, or to go from point A to point B if you are utilizing a Bug Out Location (BOL).
SCARE bags are designed to be by your side indefinitely, or if you are heading into an area that is socially unstable for a very short amount of time.
Because of this difference, SCARE bags are much more focused on potential conflict and conflict avoidance.
If you are looking for our top-level guide with all supplies related to bugging out, check out our comprehensive bug out bag guide:
SCARE Kit Gear List
We’re covering the original SCARE kit list with a few modifications, plus we’ve broken it down into essential, suggested, and obsolete gear (just to show the original lists’ intentions).
Essential SCARE Gear
This equipment is considered essential for this kit and most of these were from the original list, with a few upgrades here and there based on gear advancements and changing threats over the past decade.
- Backpack: 5.11 COVERT18 2.0 Backpack – We go with the best gray man backpack that has plenty of room and functionality without giving away the contents.
- Knife: ESEE Izula Fixed Blade Knife – Our top-reviewed survival knife works as a neck knife or in any kit where you need a dependable fixed blade.
- Small Firearm: Your preferred CCW that you are trained on (see ours here)
- Ammo: Stock up on your CCW (and other calibers) when you see good sales – we track ammo deals daily.
- Lighter: BIC Classic Lighter – You don’t need anything fancy. The classic BIC still makes our list in our lighter review.
- Flashlight: Olight Seeker 3 Pro – The blinding 4300 Lumens can come in handy during encounters or just seeing your way at night, which is one reason it grabbed the upgrade pick in our flashlight review.
- Compass: Brunton TruArc – Stay on track and navigate with maps. (See why this is the best survival compass.)
- Map: Make and mark your own local maps. Here’s how you download them for free.
- First Aid Kit: 299 Pc First Aid Kit – A simple first aid kit is best for most people.
- Hands-Free Cell Device: Whether it’s AirPods or a wired headset- be able to make your cell phone hands-free.
- Water Bottle: Nalgene Stainless 38oz – This is the best survival water bottle because of the stainless steel design, but that also makes it a nice, blunt, last resort.
- Ration Bars: Millennium Bars – Keep your energy up. (See why this is the best survival food bar.)
- Disguise: Slightly different than our clothing suggestions for other kits, you’ll want to have colors and clothes different than what you typically wear. The idea is that you could throw on a jacket/hat/face covering to drastically change your appearance if you are being followed.
- Jacket: 5.11 Bristol Parka – Lightweight but extremely versatile for a wide range of conditions (See why we recommend this in our survival jacket review).
- Hat: Condor Tactical Cap – Our top-reviewed ball cap is a good ‘disguise option’ if it’s a style you typically don’t wear and you want to change your appearance fast.
- Bandana/Shemagh: Rothco Tactical Shemagh – A shemagh can be a tough look to pull off if you are unfamiliar with it, but it really is the most versatile option being much larger than bandanas. This best-reviewed shemagh comes in over 16 different colors, so with a bit of practice, you could change up your look and cover your face quickly.
- Protective Mask: Mira CM-6M Gas Mask – If there is anything we know, it’s gas masks. They are a quick way to cover your face and protect yourself from riot agents, building debris dust, and more! The CM-6M is the top-reviewed pick in our gas mask roundup.
- Earplugs: SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders – There are plenty of reasons to protect your ears, and these are versatile enough to meet every need.
- Multitool: Leatherman Signal – Designed for survival, it is no wonder it topped the competition in our multitool review roundup.
- Window Breaker: Resqme Escape Tool – Compact and effective spring-loaded mechanism means you don’t have to have room to swing.
- Miniature Pry Bar: Spec Ops D10CLAW – Not suggesting a demo bar due to weight, but this prybar can get it done.
- Paracord: TOUGH-GRID Paracord – Too many uses to list. (See why this is our preferred paracord.)
- Zip Ties: Gardner Bender HD Zip Ties – Get the best when you need to rely on them. (See how these tested as the best survival zip ties.)
- Duct Tape: Gorilla Tape 35-Yard Roll – Again, you want the best duct tape here. (See why this is the best duct tape for survival.)
- Emergency Cash: Stash some money in your SCARE bag.
- Lock Pick Set: GSP Ghost Set – A reliable lockpicking kit that can get you in and out discretely. (See why this is the best lock pick set for survival.)
- Door Wedge: Addalock Portable Door Lock – Even better than an old wedge, this portable solution can give you sole access to a door.
- Handcuff Key: Universal Handcuff Key – Easily break free of wrongful detention.
Suggested SCARE Gear
This set of gear makes more sense for some, but not for others. With conditional applications, we merely suggest you consider adding these items to your kit:
- Trauma Kit: Trauma IFAK – This isn’t an auto-include because you should use it only if you are trained.
- Swim Goggles: A budget and low-profile option if you don’t have a gas mask.
- Nose Plugs: Another budget and low-profile option if you are mask-less.
- Trip Wire: USGI Trip Wire – Used for snare or trip wire, it’s our upgrade pick from our snare wire review.
- Trip Wire Alarm: CampSafe 12GA Trip Alarm – Add some bang to your tripwire with an easy-to-rig alarm.
- GPS: Garmin Instinct 2 – We prefer our GPS in watch form. (See why this is our best-reviewed survival watch.)
- Survival Mirror: Survival Signal Mirror – Discrete signaling at its finest. (See why this is the best signal mirror.)
- Signal Flares: Orion Safety Flare Gun – Individual flares are relatively light and pack a punch when you need to signal. (This is our top pick from our emergency flare review)
- Whistle: SOL Slim Rescue Howler – Whistles make getting attention easy. (See why this whistle is the best in a close race.)
Common Equipment We Don’t Suggest
While you can make decisions on your own for your kits, we don’t suggest the gear below but acknowledge that it was in the original SCARE guide and many people opt to carry them:
- Security Badge: The original list suggested a metal security badge so you could infer that you were an officer of some sort in a tough situation. Typically, these types of situations don’t play out like they do in the movies, so we wouldn’t suggest impersonating an officer of any sort.
- Roofing Nails: The original author of the SCARE kit guide recommended roofing nails to use as makeshift caltrops. There are much better self-defense plans and gear, and we can do better than Home Alone-type shenanigans.
- Sonic Grenades: You can’t find the old-school sonic grenades anymore, but you can get portable motion detector alarms that work pretty well for the same purpose. Again though, you’ve seen this in movies.
Full SCARE Bag Checklist
A perfect SCARE bag doesn’t exist- what is right for you depends on your situation and risk tolerance. That said, we have as close to perfect of a starting point for you: our comprehensive checklist.
Our checklist is available as both a PDF download and as a Google Sheets/Excel file where you can check off items yourself, and even add and subtract items from the checklist once you have it saved to your own account.
SCARE Bag Printable PDF Checklist
If you are looking for the simplest way to print and use the checklist above, download our printable PDF version. It is one page long on 8.5″ x 11″ paper and makes creating a SCARE kit extremely easy. Once you open the SCARE kit PDF checklist in your browser, you can either print it directly or save it through your browser.
SCARE Bag Checklist Excel / Google Sheets
If you are looking for a comprehensive way to track your SCARE bag contents, open our Excel / Google Sheets version. The sheet is sharable, and you just need to copy it to your own Google Sheets account or download it to Excel to edit it. We also keep the best-reviewed item for each category linked to simplify shopping for any equipment you may find yourself missing.
The Next Step
Whether or not you’ve chosen to build a SCARE kit, our next step in this guide series stops off at EDC, or Everyday Carry. This is a larger and more comprehensive take on what you have on you each and every day- beyond even a SCARE kit.
Check out our Everyday Carry Guide here:
Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.
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