Preppers: Get Home Bag
A Get Home Bag is essentially the little brother to the Bug Out Bag. The Get Home Bag is lighter and smaller and built for quick movement to assist you in one purpose, getting home! The Get Home Bag is meant to be left in your primary every day use vehicle and it just sits and waits until needed in an emergency. In July 2011, I initially wrote an article about my Vehicle Every Day Carry items and included in that list was a Get Home Bag. Here is an updated look at what I currently carry in my Get Home Bag. I highly recommend keeping a Get Home Bag in your vehicle in case it breaks down beyond repair, gets stuck in a ditch or for whatever reason you just have to leave the vehicle and go on foot.
Get Home Bag Contents:
Extra cell phone battery
Emergency credit card – With at least a $3000.00 credit limit.
Prepaid calling card – With 60 minutes or so of time on it.
$300 cash – Pay for a ride, buy spare parts or food, water, etc.
Bright colored poncho – shelter from rain, signaling.
Old broke in tennis shoes – Better for long walks than dress shoes, boots, or high heels.
Thick wool socks – Change of socks so feet stay dry and avoid blisters.
1 Liter stainless steel bottle full of water.
Emergency Water Filter Straw – Can be used with empty water bottles to re-stock on fresh water for the long walk.
4 Cliff Bars
Collapsible baton – Self Defense (Note: Check your local laws to ensure these are legal for carry).
Springfield XD-9 Subcompact and holster (To see this weapon click here)
Combat field bandage – Medical, Fire Starter.
Triangle bandage / kravat – Multi use, medical, water filter (not purifier), dust filter for face, etc.
Candle – Heat, Fire starter, Signal
6ft x 8 ft Tarp – Shelter, ground tarp for working on vehicle.
Magnesium Fire Starter / Fire Steel
Pitch Wood Club – Fire starter, Self Defense
Compass / Signal Mirror – Navigation, directional day time signaling (A couple flashes in a drivers eyes will get their attention – just don’t hold it on them as it could cause an accident).
Fenix TK 41 Led flashlight – For night time travel and vehicle repair.
Emergency road flare – Emergency distress signal, fire starter.
Folding saw – Collecting fuel for an overnight fire if needed, removing debris from a road, etc.
Fixed blade knife – Multi use.
Handheld CB – ( To see this CB radio click here) Signaling and Communication
Handheld FRS / GMRS Radios – Signaling and Communication with family.
Notepad and pens/pencil – Leaving directions, destination and contact information.
Road map – Finding ways around obstacles or detours.
Handheld GPS – Waypoints to home and friends houses or rally points preloaded.
Shemagh – Head cover, scarf, dust filter, water filter, Wet down put on neck to avoid overheating, etc.
White cotton towel – Waving it at passing cars is an emergency distress signal, to clean up with after repairing vehicle
Wool stocking cap
6 hand/foot warmers
All of the gear in my Get Home Bag fits nicely in a small backpack and it all weighs about 22 lbs. But once you put on the tennis shoes, socks and drink the water, the weight drops a few pounds. A little heavier than most will be used to carrying on long walks, but it isn’t over whelming and will give you plenty of resources to deal with a wide variety of situations.
While most all of the items in a Get Home Bag should have multiple uses the extra cell phone battery, the cash, prepaid calling card and emergency credit card are in all likelihood the most useful in most real world emergencies (non-SHTF type scenarios). If you had a long walk the extra socks and tennis shoes would also come in very handy, especially if you have to wear nice dress clothes to work. High heels or dress shoes aren’t fun on long walks. Well, I’m not personally aware of the comfort level of high heels, but my wife tells me they aren’t great…
What items do you keep in your Get Home bag that I don’t have in mine?
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Changes I would make:
1. depending on the state you live in depends on if you can carry the gun: I live in NJ the Nazi state, so that’s out and ammo is heavy! about 5-10lbs lighter already
2. If there is an EMP Blast, you can ditch the radio, flashlight, CB and anything electrical unless you can make a portable faraday cage
3. carry the poncho, so you can ditch the tarp and umbrella
4. add fish hooks, 50′ of fishing line, duct tape and a 540 cord bracelet they take up virtually no room.
5. add a small first-aid: bandaids, antiseptic wipes, benedryl pills for allergic reaction, pain meds aspirin and ibuprofen, if they are in envelopes take them out and wrap in plastic clean wrap, you may need the wrap for something later
6. put stuff that could get wet in ziplock bags such as: towel, wool hat, socks and Shemagh they may even compress it if you squeeze out all the air, and you may need the bags later
7. carry a Tom Brown Tracker fixed blade and ditch the folding saw. Saw is too heavy and takes up too much room.
8. make sure the lighter is a zippo, it lasts a long time and lights in almost any weather situation
9. make sure the notepad is a military waterproof pad
10. ditch the toilet paper for baby wipes, they take up less room (no cardboard roll) and you can wipe your butt, and if you are away from a shower for a while you can clean your body with the wipes.
11. add a few tampons even if your aren’t a girl they have many uses
12. add a spare phone charger! don’t rely on the battery to hold the charge
13. ditch the pitch wood club. I would never carry wood! Kindling yes.. wood no! too heavy and almost always acquirable.
14. If you can afford it, a bag with a built in camelback will definitely be great! but keep the stainless bottle in case you have to boil water. then you can boil water let it cool, put in camelback and then boil more…
15: emergency blanket!!! Most of the time your car will break down in the winter and you will have to wait an hr or so for Roadside service to show up. If its cold out and emergency blanket and water and snacks will perfectly hit the spot!
If you are in the Northern US, Canada or Alaska this bag is a necessity and it may save your life!
If you are in the city and don’t drive, store this bag in your office cubicle, locker or anywhere you can. Remember this is a get home bag! What if you are in the city and disaster hits… Public transportation is down… if you live in NJ or Long Island and commute, its a long walk home!!