If you are a fan of survival and prepping websites, then you must have come across the term “Get Home Bag”.
So, what is a Get Home Bag? A Get Home Bag is simply a bag of supplies that you can use if you are forced to walk back home after some disaster or crisis occurred and it’s impossible for you to call a friend or a cab to get you. There are several types and levels of a get home bag depending on how far away you are and how long it will take you to get back home, and that’s what we will be tackling this article.
But before that, let us first discuss the difference between a Get Home Bag, an Everyday Carry Kit, and the Bug Out Bag. These three survival bags may have similarities, but the purpose they’re intended to be used is 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 because of 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.
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 the EDC items that can help you solve the frequent problems that you face in your day to day activities as well as likely emergency situations.
Bug out bags are survival bags that equips 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 BOB are not intended to be kept on your person at all times.
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 types of transit is unavailable. Knowing how to read a map is also a great skill that will come in handy in these types of situations.
In building your get home bag list, these are the things you need to consider first.
- Will you be traveling 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 at 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
- 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, these 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 the best to use for a Get Home Bag?
Well, there are many different types of packs that you can choose from for your get home bag. And all of these packs comes with its 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. Below are the following bags that you can use as a get home bag.
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 want to access the contents of your bag more easily while on the move, the messenger bag is what you need. It also has 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 provide an even weight distribution. The only downside of the hydration pack is its limited storage space.
- 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 6 of the best selling bags that you can use as your get home bag. All of which can be purchased at Amazon.
- 5.11 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, anytime, and in any place. That 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 that you can access at all times whenever you leave the premises of your homes.