While many people are aware of the critical importance of keeping a bug out bag or survival kit in their home at all times, far fewer are aware of the necessity of keeping a smaller version of a bug out bag, called a get home bag, in their car at all times as well.
What Is A Get Home Bag and Why Do You Need One?
A get home bag is exactly what you would expect it to be: a bag of survival items designed to get you home should you be forced to evacuate your vehicle and make your way back home on foot in the midst of a disaster.
How or why could this happen? There are a number of reasons. The first is there could be a solar flare or EMP attack that simply renders your vehicle inoperable. Or, there may be a mob of angry protesters or desperate people following a disastrous event that prohibits you from driving forward.
Or there may be a natural disaster that strikes such as flooding, or the authorities may block off all the roads and force you to strike out on foot.
Regardless, having a get home bag in your car will be important to help you in the critical hours of fighting your way through a dangerous city to make your way back home.
Is a get home bag truly necessary to get you back to the safety of your house in a time of crisis? No, but there’s also no denying that a get home bag and its contents would help make the process significantly easier.
What’s more is that once you build a get home bag, you just keep it in your car and pretty much forget it, at least until the time comes to use it.
So, what needs to go into your get home bag?
What Needs To Go Into Your Get Home Bag?
In short, a get home bag needs to be smaller and lighter than a traditional bug out bag. Whereas a bug out bag is designed to carry enough items to help you survive for several days if not weeks, a get home bag really just needs to help keep you alive for only a few hours, and a full day at the most.
Furthermore, you need to remain as nimble and fast and agile as possible with your get home bag as you steadily and stealthily make your way through the streets. This is why you don’t want to have a big and heavy bag to weigh you down.
In fact, a normal backpack like one would use for school would probably work for a get home bag. It would certainly draw less attention than a standard tactical pack and it would also be sturdy enough to carry a limited number of useful survival items.
Exactly what survival items would you be wise to carry in your personal get home bag? There are a number of items that would be useful, and what you choose to include in yours is entirely up to you. To help you get your kit list together, here are some examples of items that would be highly useful:
A knife is one of the most versatile and important survival items of all, in both an urban or rural environment. The best knife for a get home bag will be a tactical folding knife that can be easily clipped to the inside of your pocket.
You should definitely carry a water bottle in your get home bag, with the aim being that you’ll have enough water to keep yourself fully hydrated for at least twenty four hours, so around 32 to 40 oz should suffice. Clean, safe water is a top priority.
PROTEIN OR ENERGY BARS
Or any other foods that are portable, long lasting, and nutritious. Protein and energy bars are simply very light and compact and can be easily carried around. Pack at least three such bars in your get home bag (one for breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
FIRST AID KIT
A basic first aid kit in its own separate pouch is another must have for any get home bag. This kit should consist of bandages, gauze pads, Tylenol, prescription medications (one day’s supply), tweezers, and a tourniquet. You may want to add in other items, depending on your first aid knowledge, but keep it simple.
Boots likely won’t fit to the inside of your get home bag, but you can keep them lashed to the outside. This has the added benefit of making them easy and quick to access. The reason why boots are important is because the last thing you need is to find yourself in a survival situation with improper footwear such as flip flops. Don’t forget to keep a good pair of socks tucked inside your boots or tactical shoes.
FIRE STARTING DEVICES
A lighter will be the most convenient fire starting device to have with you, though you could also carry matches or a magnesium flint striker as well.
A compact yet bright LED flashlight with spare batteries is a must-have item for any get home bag.
Think you know your neighborhood well? In a disaster you may have to come up with novel routes to get yourself home safely, so a map of your city to help you navigate is another must-have for your get home bag.
You may need cash to help barter your way out of some tricky situations. Try to have at least $100 in small bills, but divided up and stashed in different pockets to avoid anyone knowing exactly how much money you are carrying.
Having a get home bag in your car could really save your bacon in the event that you find yourself stranded in the middle of a dangerous and chaotic city and need to fight or work your back home.
Building a get home bag with the right survival items will help you to stay alive and safe when you become cut off away from your home.