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What goes in my Get Home Bag?

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  • What goes in my Get Home Bag?

    2Minutes’ Get Home Bag Thread

    Hi all. I am in the midst of creating a “get home bag.” For all reasons I shall not go in to here, but mostly family requirements, in the event of ____ (fill in the blank), I will probably need to get home (or die trying) from work before launching into any type of bugging. I want to know what you all think should go into my Get Home Bag which will get used in the event the roads are completely screwed up, traffic from hell, etc. and it’s time to start walking or scratch your butt.

    I'd show you the bag I got, but I'm still a newb here, so no link. Google up voodoo tactical tobago pack (mine is in woodland camo) if you want to see size I am working with.

    Here is my situation:
    • Home is 40 miles away from work; these 40 miles are mostly flat, light rolling hills (East Texas).
    • Travel strictly by foot will take 2 days minimum.
    • Most of my car route to work is on a 4 lane divided highway, which is very close to the “crow flies” shortest distance.
    • Areas crossed is 80% rural, 10% suburban, 10% urban.
    • Small streams and lakes are common, farms, and some state/nat'l forests
    • Common Low Temps: mid 60s in summer, 30-40s in winter
    • Common Highs: 90s+ in summer, 60s+ in winter
    • Seasonal repacking every 6 months is not out of the question
    • Me: decent shape, roughed it plenty, but prefer a pack weighing in at less than 70 lbs, though!

    That’s all I can think of now. WHAT GOES IN THE BAG? I have pretty good ideas about it – but the beauty of a forum is many people will tell me what I already know. And one very important person will remind me of something I’ve forgotten or did not think about.

    After all is said and done, I will post contents.


    PS. Is Scotchguard still the way to go for waterproofing such a pack?

  • #2
    Every answer will be different and none of them will be wrong, just due to different needs, abilities, and situations.

    Since your going to be spending a few nights, I would start with the "rule of 3's"
    That is, You could die in:
    3 minutes from injury
    3 hours from exposure
    3 days from dehydration
    3 weeks from starvation

    Injury would include a good first aid kit as well as a means to possibly prevent injury from others. (Insert weapon of choice here)
    Exposure would or could include climate appropriate clothing, hat, rain gear, shelter (small tent, or tarp) sunscreen, and a couple different fire making tools
    Dehydration.... Two to three days worth of water is going to be HEAVY. I would pack 3 to 6 liters, as well as a filter, a method for boiling, or chemicals for purifying what water you can find on your route. (I use a Katadyne filter, a small steel cup and an esbit stove) It may be a good idea to check your route and backup routes for lakes, streams or ponds.
    Starvation... The lighter you go on food, the more water and ammo you can carry. I would load up 3 days worth of freeze dried meals, or MRE's and some power bars. ( I keep a few bottles of "5 Hour Energy" in my bags as well. I won't recommend using them often, but if I have to keep moving and I'm going through an adrenaline dump, they might help put a few more miles between me and danger).

    Extras: Maps, compass, radio (even if it's just a hand held CB or cheesy weatherband, just for information if there is any), a butt load of paracord, Good flash light, and a knife, I work in an office environment so my GHB kit also includes hiking boots.

    Oh!!! Socks!!.. a couple of pairs, and foot powder... You gotta take care of your hooves if your gonna be walking
    Last edited by slowz1k; 04-28-2011, 03:35 PM.
    The 12ga.... It's not just for rabbits anymore.


    • #3
      I keep the following for SURE, plus seasonal load out in my GHB:

      G23 + 2 G22 mags + Serpa
      2 - fire sources (1 bic and 1 sweedish steel)
      2 - nav aids (1 compass and 1 GPS)
      3 - sources of H20 treatment (pills, iodine, filter straw)
      2 - 1 liter stainless bottles (can't boil in nalgene)
      2 - pairs of socks
      2 - surefire lights
      2 - packs spare batteries
      1 - pack spare batteries for GPS
      1 - Leatherman
      1 - Spyderco Endura
      1 - Bush knife
      6 - Mountain house meals
      1 - Map
      Foot Powder


      • #4
        The very minimum I would carry to get home with

        A weapon is optional

        1 Small pack
        1 map of the area
        1 compass
        1 GI poncho w/Ranger Rick liner
        1 space blanket
        1 hank 550 cord
        6 light weight tent stakes
        1 pair jersey gloves
        1 ski mask
        1 neck scarf
        2 bandannas
        6 Millennium ration bars
        2 pounds jerky
        2 pounds gorp
        1 Guyot stainless steel water bottle w/GSI stainless steel cup
        2 24oz bottles of water
        1 package Katadyn Micropur MP-1 tablets (30 tab/30 quarts)
        1 old style soda can opener/cap lifter
        1 P-51 can opener
        1 lockblade knife
        1 small fixed blade hunting knife
        1 whistle/thermometer/compass
        2 Bic lighters
        2 match cases with strike anywhere matches
        1 Swedish Steel fire starter
        1 8-count package Wet-fire tinder
        1 roll camper’s toilet tissue
        1 crank/solar radio/light/LED beacon

        First-aid Kit
        1 tube triple anti-biotic ointment
        1 1oz bottle Purell
        6 alcohol prep pads
        2 knuckle bandages
        2 fingertip bandages
        10 strip band-aids
        1 2” elastic wrap
        3 3” gauze pads
        2 8” x 7 ½” combine dressing
        1 triangular bandage
        1 4” gauze wrap
        1 sunblock
        1 foot powder
        4 packets rehydration powder
        Jerry D Young


        • #5
          I work 53 miles from my work and have a day pack with my in my truck. If I have to walk I have in my pack,
          stainless bottle
          pairs of socks
          fire starter
          rain gear
          flash light
          foot powder
          iodine pills
          SOG Knife
          .22 pistol 50rds ammo
          hand held CB with weather band
          emergency blanket
          first-aid kit
          and I add to or take away Summer/winter stuff
          "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
          -Ben Franklin


          • #6
            Try looking thru the Gear forum for tons of ideas. Much has been posted there on all types of bags.

            As Zombie Axe would say...
            "Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty."


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jerry D Young View Post
              The very minimum I would carry to get home with ....
              2 pounds gorp
              JD, I see no one else has asked .... what is gorp.

              Things are seldom what they seem.


              • #8
                Don't know what it is these days but way back in the 60's is was fruit, peanut butter and nuts, a little but mushy hence the name.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 2Minutes View Post
                  2Minutes’ Get Home Bag Thread

                  I want to know what you all think should go into my Get Home Bag....
                  When I first began reading threads like yours I imagined myself in a place far from where I wanted to be .... wet, cold, hungry, thirsty and exhausted. I sat down with pen and paper and listed everything I would need to prevent me from experiencing this misery. After puting this all together I walked into the woods for the weekend. I took pen and paper along to note things that I'd overlooked and other items necessary for unanticipated events.

                  Things are seldom what they seem.


                  • #10
                    My homemade gorp is approximate equal weights of deluxe mixed nuts, Plain M&Ms, and diced dates. A lot of people have different versions, with a lot of different things in theirs. I like mine better than any of the commercial ones. I don't like rasins, banana chips, peanuts or peanut butter chips in mine. Pretty much whatever high food value things you like that will keep in both heat and cold can be put in.
                    Jerry D Young


                    • #11
                      if shtf so bad as to not being able to drive home....earthquake, tornado?
                      in this situation abandoning my vehicle... worst possible scenario....
                      would hope to have bicycle stashed at work?..... amazing how many shortcuts you can achieve on two wheels...... even if that means carrying the bike through some obstacles......40 miles could be done easily if you really had to....
                      extrication tools help those around you if you are able ...hope others are helping your family.....
                      pry bar medium wrecking bar
                      hammer and hatchet? ripping and shredding as necessary
                      crescent wrench shut off the gas, water, and electricity...or to borrow utilities as necessary in an emergency...

                      h2o bladder, will be able to fill once..... be resourceful.... toilet reservoir? water heater drain? walmart camping aisle
                      first aid kit

                      filter would be nice but.... ghb means bare essentials walmart camping aisle
                      knife, invest in decent steel Spiderco is decent lightweight reliable knife....
                      will cost a few $$$$$ invest in your steel!
                      mountain house x3 just add hot water in the bag camping aisle.
                      hikers stove light weight and discrete....vary small again an investment but$$$$
                      spork under ratedwalmart camping aisle
                      p38 can opener walmart camping aisle
                      hikers skillet? pan? mug? titanium is nice if you plan on actually carry$$$$$???
                      socks, unders.....
                      bandannas....... multi use
                      large heavy contractors trash bagx2
                      550 cord
                      safety pins
                      paper clips
                      space blankets walmart camping aisle
                      hikers toilet paper walmart camping aisle
                      cash small denominations and quarters.....

                      daily carry weapon?!!!!!


                      • #12
                        Everyones kit should be designed around that persons needs, skills and area. That being said I'm not going to make suggestions on what to carry but rather what not to carry.
                        Any item you don't know or have never used, don't buy it and throw it in your bag with the thoughts Of "ill figure it out when I need it " .
                        Only stock food/ snacks you will and do eat.
                        new untested cool looking fufu gear. I.E. "flare launching single mood ring".
                        When you get your bag together please post a list and maybe a picture of it.


                        • #13
                          Wow - great ideas/reminders. Much of this already packed or on list. Went to Wallyworld yesterday and did a little stocking - gold bond foot powder, stainless bottles, bandaides (don't want to deplete home supply!) gorp makings - lol - hadnt heard gorp since Boy Scouts, some Mountain House (wally is moving up in the world!). Good ideas about paperclips and other small multiuse items. I, like others, wear a tie to work and so boots in the bag along with old jeans. May look into some bdus. Weps are tricky where I work, but if I actually pack something in the bag it'll be my ar7. So sweet.


                          Oh, yeah, and its not earthquakes or tornados (well, not yet) but rather mass evacs/traffic in hurricane season. We are far inland, but google up "traffic" and "hurricane rita" and you will see the mess I fear being stuck in. Like I say, I gotta get home first.
                          Last edited by 2Minutes; 04-30-2011, 09:59 PM.


                          • #14
                            What we currently call trail mix used to be called gorp.
                            "If Howdy Doody runs against him, I'm voting for the puppet." - SkyOwl's Wife, 2012


                            • #15
                              I'm a cell tower climber and travel all over the state of NY (but not in NYC thankfully), so on anygiven day I could be a few miles from home or a few hours from home. I pack a bag every sunday night to be gone 5 days, but keep a small "GHB" packed within my work week bag. The way I see it, whatever it is that may happen, I'm going home, before the "if or when" bugging out occurrs. It's a family thing. Clothes I have covered in the work week bag, it's a frame pack MOLLE deal, so if I want to take it the whole way, it's fine. If I want to seperate the "GHB" from the big bag, so be it too, I'll just have less clothes. In the "GHB" I have a...

                              SAWYER water bottle with filter, I've used it on many a hiking, camping trip, and even grossed out some of the other tower guys with where I would be willing to drink water from, it's a great simple bottle, and I've used it enough to trust it.

                              Becker Knife and Tool BK2. I bought it in the mid '90s, and I know what it's capable of... it'll chop and pry, and holds and takes an edge just fine. again, something I've used a lot and trust. (I alsways carry a small case pocket knife and a locking folder on my belt, so the BK2 is the only knife needed in the bag)

                              A flint and steel, a lighter, and a couple books of matches wraped in foil and in a ziplock bag. (The foil and ziplock can be used for stuff besides holding this stuff).

                              I have a small collapsible shakespear fishing rod in there, teloscopic, about a foot long closed up or so. I love to fish, so I want it every week anyhow, never know where the job site is close to a fishing spot :) A small 35mm film canister has hooks, line, sinkers, and clevices, etc.

                              A NYS map, and a compass. I use this for work anyhow so I actually have doubles. one map and compass in my work truck, and one in my bag. Which brings up that great survival gear saying... 2 is 1 and 1 is none.

                              A heavy rain parka, has brass eyelets around the bottom, so it can be tied up and used as a shelter also.

                              Which brings up the 50ft of parachord... for whatever.

                              One MRE... I travel light I guess. I know what my body can go on and what it can't, I can stretch one MRE over a couple days if need be. Hay, the weight adds up! Also I have 3 energy bars.

                              First aid supplies- Antibacterial ointment, burnointment, roll of medical tape and guase, bandaids, and one of those emergency blankets...standard stuff.

                              A small flash light and extra batteries.

                              A gun, well, in my state you can only carry one in your vehicle if it's in plain sight and not loaded, and my company doesn't allow guns on the job site or in their vehicles so...

                              A multi tool

                              That's about it without looking through it I think... Mark