Gotta Get That: Go-Bag for the End of the World

It’s not up for discussion that the world is barrel-rolling towards hell. For example, a man who’s supposedly the President of the United States just drafted legislation allowing him to abscond with his country from the World Trade Organization in order to form what would be called The FART Act. Who and where are we, also why and how.

People who don’t feel this Atlantis-style rumble are so far removed from a minority status that ultimately their opinions are worthless. This article is starting out fun! Which is good, because that’s its purpose. To be fun! Let me tell you why: it’s about shopping.

What for? Well, for the end of the world! I’ve put together the go-bag of your dreams, and all you have to do is purchase its contents before your bank account is frozen by the government. You might be asking yourself what a go-bag is because you’ve spent all of your free time on the phone begging for children to be released from actual cages, not reading about things on the internet. Not to worry!

A go-bag is something with which you nearly escape disaster and is the only item in your possession that’ll give you a fighting chance at surviving the aftermath. A go-bag is your lifeline, your friend, and, hell, with how starved for human connection you’ll soon be, it might even become your child.

What You’ll Need

Hand sanitizers

Yes, bitch, plural! We stan sterilization! One’s for your go-“go-bag,” and one’s for your self-surgery station. We want bacteria to be as scarce as our water, so grab a handful, plus a little extra, because, hey, a little dab in the mouth never hurt anybody!


Just because the world’s dusty doesn’t mean your face has to be! Slick on that coconut oil and feel confident in knowing you’ve got your daily caloric intake accessible literally on you anytime, anywhere.


Like the soil beneath your feet, we want that face to be radiating, honey, so swipe up for the kind of glow that’ll rival that neighboring mushroom cloud. Dual Purpose Alert: that glare reflected by the sunlight will have those people who wouldn’t have otherwise known there were any more survivors literally and figuratively saying “Who’s that girl?”


Now that it’s never night, let’s keep those eyes shielded with an extra layer of lash!

Powder compact

A lot of people won’t tell you that powder compact doubles as a great temporary, easily removable communication agent, but I will. Powder compact is a great temporary, easily removable communication agent. Want to alert your division to your next supply station, but don’t want the whole world to know? Write it with your powder compact against any metal or non porous surface so that once the message is received, someone can make it disappear with the swipe of a hand.

Setting spray

The winds, now our only gods, demand our devotion in the form of bare face prostration. To withstand the elements without a face wrap, you’ll need the kind of veneer that was made to withstand hours-long romps in the bedroom.

Those gel face masks with the eye, nose, and mouth holes

There’s no way around it, these are terrifying. Play this to your advantage by wearing them when you hunt for scrap metal, because no one would dare cross you, The Echo of a Thousand Lizard Queens Clicking their Tongues, for that airplane door. Think of it as self-care.

What They’ll Be Saying

“Hm, sounds like a makeup bag.”

What I’m Saying

It’s one hundred percent a makeup bag. So what! What are you gonna do, sue me? You wish! Anyway, a court of law would be LUCKY to have me, and I think we can all agree that no one would be any worse off with this go-bag in their possession. Plus, we don’t even know what our currency will be, which means there’s a chance that something in this bag could be it.

Good luck to us all!

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Los Angeles based writer. Let's keep it clean out there!

Erin has written 208 articles for us.


  1. I don’t know, I feel like years of dystopian future pop culture consumption has me leaning more towards welcoming the eventual ICBMs with open arms and just calling it a day. Post-apocalyptic life looks too sweaty to be worth the effort.

  2. I don’t wear makeup, so I’m thinking I’m screwed. Surely my hair styling gel can sub for one of these items. The powder compact? I could write my message with hair gel, then throw a handful of radioactive dust on it in a pinch. Suck it, MacGyver!

  3. I’d like to make a case for lipstick/tinted lipbalm being included in the go-bag:

    * Dark red can make it look like you’ve been feasting on the corpses of the less fortunate (combined with the gel mask it will make you look terrifying)
    * You can use it to mark a secret trail, kinda like putting X notches in trees in the forest
    * You can make it look like you have a really bad rash/radiation burns/whatever so people will leave you the F alone
    * War paint

  4. Has the duck and cover drill ever really been put to the test? Maybe old school is the way to go here.

    Either way, I’m taking my copy of Carol on Blu-Ray with me. When the end is near, I’ll bury it so years from now some Ellen Ripley type will unearth it and know there was once something beautiful in this world.

  5. I’m spending a lot more time than I’d care to admit trying to figure out how to turn my purse stash of tampons into a portable water storage system.

  6. Checks prepper web sites, hmmm face paint is a kind of makeup, maybe this whole preparation for the apocalypse is just a excuse so men can wear make up. Toxic masculinity at it’s worst, wanting to bring about the end of the world so they can wear makeup…

  7. Did my mom’s spirit rise up and take over your body to try to find a way to get me to wear makeup?

  8. Can there please be an autostraddle spin-off website with just Erin? Erinstraddle, if you will. I’d pay for that. It could just be five gazillion days of Carol, end-of-the-world outfit and make-up advice, and post-apocalyptic straight people watch (in which they will very much not be okay). Like I said – I’d pay for that.

  9. i love erin and i love this bc i thought i’d never have use for makeup but now i gotta stock up

  10. Don’t forget to include a metal nail file. It’s small and versatile. It’s basically a knife with sand paper on the side.

    Also, I recommend keeping at least one finger nail filed to a sharp point so that you’ll have a weapon always on your person.

  11. So basically the end of the world is going to be that Sweet Valley book where the twins are spelunking and Jessica’s bag full of nail polish and makeup saves the day cool I can go with that

  12. I recommend putting everything in a handbasket because then we’ll also have the perfect transport straight to hell, and we’ll look darn fabulous.

    • Whenever I’m told I’m going to hell and I always answer that I’m ok with that because the weather is nicer and all my friends will be there. I hope the ride in the hand basket has a nice view of the lake of fire.

  13. As someone who has literally written the book on go-bags*, I approve!

    * I’m not even kidding. I’ve ghostwritten several e-books on bug-out bags and getting out of Dodge. A few of them are still available on Amazon. The one thing my straight-white-male-American-focused lists have that I’m surprised yours doesn’t have is tampons. White male gun-toting libertarian Americans love tampons. They’re excellent fire kindling, and wound-dressing.

  14. I don’t wear makeup, so I’m Gonna go with canned food, water, matches, dust mask, Mylar blanket and can opener.
    Also don’t forget to provide water and food for your pets.

  15. As long as I can fit this stuff in the bag with a handcrank generator for my hitachi, I’m all set ?

  16. “Like the soil beneath your feet, we want that face to be radiating, honey, so swipe up for the kind of glow that’ll rival that neighboring mushroom cloud.”

    Everyone else can go home, because Erin has crafted the perfect sentence.

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