What is a get home bag?
A get home bag is basically a bag of supplies that you can utilize if you are forced to travel back home after the event of a disaster or crisis where it’s impossible for you to call a relative, friend, or a cab to get you.
There are several types and levels of a get home bag depending on how far away you think you’ll be and how long it will take you to get back home after such event, and we will be tackling these on this article. Needless to say, a lot of foresight is necessary when putting together a get home kit.
First, let us discuss the differences between a get home bag, an everyday carry kit or EDC, and the bug out bag or BOB. These three survival bags may have similarities, but the purposes they’re intended to be used are very different.
Get Home Bag Vs. Everyday Carry Kit Vs. Bug Out Bag
- The Get Home Bag
The main purpose of the get home bag is to get you home as quickly and as safely as possible in case your normal commute is compromised due to an of an unforeseen circumstances such as natural disaster, road closure or vehicle breakdown. A get home bag typically contains emergency items needed for 24-48 hours of survival.
- The Everyday Carry Kit
When we talk about the everyday carry kit, its contents are usually items that you would use sometimes on a daily basis. In short, these are your EDC items that can help you solve frequent problems that you face in you day to day activities as well as likely emergency situations.
Bug out bags are survival bags that equip you with tools or items that you will need to survive for several days or even longer. These bags are compact and easy to carry. The main difference of a BOB to that of the GHB is that, BOBs are not intended to be kept on your person at all times. Instead, they are stored in your home in a place where you can easily grab it when emergency strikes and you need to evacuate to a safe place.
Your BOB should contain goods that help protect you from harsh elements and keep you nourished and hydrated while you travel to your bug out place. Some of the essential items that you need to put in your BOB are water, food, first aid kit, and fire building tools.
Building Your Get Home Bag List
What’s inside your get home bag will greatly depend on where you live and the type of emergencies you need to prepare for. Also, it is very important to improvise ways and know the fastest route for you to get home should your car or any other modes of transit become unavailable. Knowing how to read a map is also a great skill that will come in handy in this type of situation.
These are the things you need to consider first when building your get home bag list:
- Will you be travelling through major cities, suburbs, or the wilderness?
- Will you be crossing any major waterways?
- How many hours will it take you to get home?
By knowing the answer to these questions, you can now devise a plan and organize your get home bag with respect to your location and the distance you need to travel before you arrive to your destination which is your home.
There are typically three compartments or levels in which you can organize your get home bag. Each level contains important items that you will need in order for you to survive for a certain period of time. And these levels or compartments are as follows:
LEVEL 1: UP TO 3 HOURS AWAY FROM HOME ON FOOT
If you are approximately 1-3 hours away from you home by foot, then, these are the things you need to have inside your get home bag.
- Folding knife
- Multi- tool
- Water bottle
- Concealed carry weapon
- Sturdy footwear/boots
- Rain gear
- Map and compass
- Duct tape
- Emergency signal (flare, mirror)
- First aid kit
- Protein bars
- Bug spray
- Tactical pen
- Extra clothes
- Spare cash
LEVEL 2: UP TO 12 HOURS AWAY FROM HOME ON FOOT
If you are 12 hours away from home, you should have all the items in level 1 plus the following items.
- Spare batteries for flashlights
- Wool blanket
- Tarp or poncho
- Garbage bags
- Spare socks
- Emergency radio
- Hygiene kit
- Water filter/purification tablets
- Extra later of clothes for warmth
- Spare medicines
- Tinder materials for fire
- Toilet paper
LEVEL 3: UP TO 48 HOURS AWAY FROM HOME ON FOOT
In extreme cases and you find yourself to be more than 48 hours away from your home on foot and sleeping somewhere overnight cannot be avoided, then, below are the things that you need to have inside your get home bag.
The contents of LEVEL 1 & 2, plus the following items:
- Sleeping bag
- Large fixed blade knife
- Spare magazine for pistol
- Walking sticks
- Advanced first aid kit
- Additional energy bars or survival rations
What type of bag is best to use for a GHB?
Well, there are many different types of packs that you can choose from for your get home bag. And all of these packs come with their own advantages and disadvantages. It will now be up to you to choose which pack you think is best suited for you and your particular situation.
Here are some good options:
Backpacks are great get home bags. It frees your hands to do or carry other things and also makes running and climbing fairly easy. The only drawback of backpacks is that you cannot access the contents of your bag that easily while on the move.
- Messenger Bag
If you prefer easy access to the contents of your survival bag while on the move, a messenger bag is what you need. This type of bag tends to have many pockets and it doesn’t look like a survival bag. However, running and climbing will be a little bit harder if you use a messenger bag as your get home bag. And in the long run and over long distances, it becomes uncomfortable and harder to carry because the weight of the bag is not distributed evenly.
- Hydration Pack
Hydration packs are small backpacks that are excellent for walking long distances. It also holds extra water for drinking and the shoulder and waist straps provides an even weight distribution. However, this type of bag offers limited storage space. It will be good enough if you’re assembling a GHB for a level one type situation though.
- Lumbar Pack
A lumbar pack is compact and easily accessible with external straps for carrying extra clothing. However, all the weight is on your hips and there is no extra room for additional items you may have with you.
Here are our top 6 picks as ideal GHBs:
- 11 Rush 24 Back Pack
- Maxpedition Falcon Backpack
- Explorer Tactical Assault Pack
- ALPS Outdoor Z Lumbar Pack
- Mountainsmith Lumbar Backpack
- Camelbak HAWG Hydration Pack
We all know that disaster can strike anywhere and anytime. This is why it is very important to be prepared at all times. While having a bug out bag prepared just in case of an emergency is a great idea for survival situations, it will still not matter if you can’t get home. This is the main reason why you must also have a get home bag with you or stored in your car or workplace that you can easily access at all times.
The post How To Build The Best Get Home Bag appeared first on Survival, Prepping, Homesteading Skills For Everyday Folk.
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