Gun cleaning and spare part kits included in bug out bags

I’ve read a lot of articles about what goes into a bug out bag, and invariably the list includes some sort of firearm — but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone include a cleaning kit or spare parts in their list for said firearm.  Seems to me that if you’re staking your life on a firearm you’d want it kept operational, which means clean and having common spare parts (e.g., pins, springs, etc) on hand.

Everyone is worried about weight, so what is the minimum?  Personally, I carry the old style surplus M4 pouch with the 3-piece rod and attachments for my rifle and pistol, along with some patches, brushes, and a small bottle of CLP.  I’ve never been a fan of bore snakes, and I’ve heard that the military is not a fan of the Otis flexible cleaning rod.  Spare parts include trigger springs, take down/pivot pins, etc.

What else?


  • Comments (9)

    • 1

      Honestly, if you’re running a modern and high quality firearm like an AR from a reputable manufacturer (BCM, DD, SOLGW, ADM, etc) you really don’t need to be worried about cleaning your weapon from your bug out bag. You likely wouldn’t carry enough ammo on you to shoot it enough to NEED cleaning. And if you do then you are either having a really bad or really good time. I’d just throw a spare BCG and a trigger in and call it done. If you wanted a pre packaged and easy cleaning kit though This one  is pretty nice. For reference I’m saying this having gone hundreds and even thousands of rounds deep on ARs with no cleaning, just oil and go. Even suppressed if you just oil it and wipe down the BCG it’ll keep on running.

      • 1

        I’ve heard this over and over.  My experience doesn’t support it, so I clean mine after every trip to the range or monthly otherwise.  To each their own, YMMV.

      • 1

        I really don’t know what to tell you then lol. Even my dirt cheap PSA build I use as a loaner rifle has gone hundreds of rounds between cleanings with no issues. My advice from above still stands, I carry something very similar to the kit I linked above and usually have a spare BCG. Throw in an oops kit of springs and that should have all your bases covered of repairs you could realistically make in the field. 

      • 2


        Sounds like you have good habits, but you should be *able* to abuse your weapon even if it’s a bad thing. Did you buy used? How are your springs?

    • 2

      This is a clever question. I’d personally say that a disaster so cruel (and long-term) that you would need to maintain your weapon would be one where you’d rather bug in. Those things would already be at your residence. Cleaning and parts replacement happen only after you’ve emptied a bunch of mags at a bad guy, dinner, or a paper target. Look at it this way: How many mags can you really bug out with?

      • 0

        This is fascinating to me.  I said I carry a kit in my BOB in case I need it, but it’s like I touched a nerve.  Care to explain why I should not carry one with me?

      • 3

        Let’s try to tone it down. No one’s objecting to you putting whatever you want in your own kit. Several people have explained why they think a gun repair kit seems low priority for a bug out bag.

        I would put it a bit differently. TP’s bug out list has pistol at level 2, extra mag at level 3… Gun repair kit and extra bullets probably belong around level 4, part of an extra container to throw in the car.

        But I think we can keep this topic a lot more interesting by focusing on how to include a light and effective gun repair kit, and what repair tools are most helpful, rather than back and forth on whether to include a repair kit. I don’t have anything to add to that topic, so I’ll bow out now.

      • 2

        Not particularly. All I mean is, it seems like a few extra ounces that you wouldn’t likely need. I used to have more food than was worth packing around

      • 2

        This is one of the reasons why I quit posting gun advice on this forum. You asked about kit, multiple people give you a similar answer, and you give a snark remark. Don’t know what to tell you.  I shoot anywhere between 2,000-4,000 rounds a year. Higher than that pre covid. The majority of my rifle shooting now is done suppressed. The majority of my crew all shoots suppressed and shoots just as much or more than me. I have seen rifle after rifle and hangun after handgun go hundreds and even thousands of rounds deep without requiring intense cleaning. One of my guys is on a mission to see how long one if his glocks will go without cleaning. Currently he’s at around 3k. Buy quality guns and you can stake your life on them even if they’re dirty. All I have to say about it.