A get home bag is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a prepper bag designed to get you from where you are back to your home. This is important for several reasons, likely you’ve got loved ones that you want to get home to. These loved ones might even rely on you so getting home to them is especially important. You can skip to my shopping list, but this article will help you understand why you need what you need.
At the least, if you’ve got a get home bag, you’ve probably already got a bug out bag at home, likely even more supplies. Your get home bag is the small mobile version of these supplies designed to get you back to your main supply stash. So what kind of things should you put in a GHB, what kinds of things should you leave out?
The first thing you need to consider is the weight. The primary goal of your get home bag is to get you home, this means you’re going to be mobile the whole time you’ve got it. Especially if time is of the essence you’re going to want to move fast. Keeping that in mind, you also want to plan to have about 24 hours of supplies with you.
Get Home Bag Rations
Water is one of the heaviest things that humans need to survive. Fortunately, you really only need about a liter of water in your GHB. To hit the 24 hour mark, you’re going to want some food in there too. About 3-6 protein bars will do the trick. They may not be a long term solution alone for food but for getting home, they’re light and they’re all you need. Being able to slim down on the rations part of your bag is going to leave valuable space for everything else. This is especially important as GHB’s need to be as versatile and as light as possible.
A full set of survival ready clothing is a must. You don’t want to go bugging out in a suit and tie and you’ll be a lot slower if you try. You’ll want a good camping shirt and pants but most important is a good pair of shoes. If you try to go a long distance in dress shoes, you’ll regret it. You’ll want a pair of tennis or hiking shoes that you can stay on your feet in. In addition to those, your set of clothes should include a shady hat and a pair of gloves. If you find yourself bushwhacking, you’re going to want to be protected.
Get Home Bag Shelter
If you’ve got to hunker down you’ll want a poncho and a tarp. They even sell ponchos that have grommets in them so they can double as additional shelter. Hopefully you won’t need to stay overnight anywhere but in the case that you do, you’re going to need to stay dry and warm. Between the two of these fabrics, you’ll have an overhead cover and a ground cover. Additionally, an emergency blanket is another fabric that’ll serve you well. Especially so if it gets cold. Of course to construct your shelter, you’re going to need some rope, too. About 100 feet of paracord should be enough for anything you need to get through.
If you’ve got to camp out you’re going to want to want fire. It keeps the bugs away and it may be crucial to your survival if it gets cold out. A good firestarter is important. (Bic lighters are cheap and effective.) Some pre-prepared fire gel will get your fire going easily. For a DIY option, Some petroleum jelly soaked cotton balls will also work.
If you’ve got to be out in the dark you’re going to want a headlamp, too. The headlamp is better than a normal flashlight too because being hands free keeps you ready. It’s also a versatile tool. Speaking of versatile tools, a multi-tool is always important. Frankly, a multi-tool is something worth keeping on you at all times, it just comes in handy all the time.
Get Home Bag First Aid
A First Aid Kit is always a good thing to have around. This is another item that even if you don’t have a get home bag, it’s still worth keeping around. Now more than ever we’re sure you know having hand sanitizer around can come in handy. Along with the first aid kit, having some extra hygiene supplies will bring some comfort. A toothbrush or some moist towelettes are a good example of these. An N95 respirator mask can also keep you healthy if there’s smoke in the air. And if there’s a serious disaster, there’s likely to be smoke.
As far as emergency communications, it’s a good idea to have a crank-powered emergency radio. This will keep you in the loop if situations change and can’t run out of charge. You’ll also want some sort of emergency signal (like a flare gun). If you end up in a situation you can’t get yourself out of it may be the difference between life and death. Finally, you’re going to want a map and compass of your local area to help you navigate.
Finally on the interpersonal front you’re gonna want some cash. Whatever amount you have, keep the bills small and spread it out throughout your pack. Never put yourself in a situation where you have to show all of your money at once. If things go really south, you’ll want some protection, too. Mace is a must. It’s cheap, effective, and allowed almost everywhere. Additionally if you know how to properly keep and use one, a small handgun will serve you well if you have to use it.
This should pretty much cover the things that you really need in your get home bag. If you think of other things to add, as long as you follow the golden rule of keeping the weight down, you can expand the range of things you’re ready for. Remember, all the prepping you do won’t do you any good if you can’t get back to it!