Don’t put together a get home bag without reading this!

by M.D. Creekmore on October 10, 2011 · 101 comments

A guest post by Ron G

A Get Home Bag is a smaller bag designed to get you from where ever you are to home (or other predestinated location, according to the nature, location, other specifics of the Schummer HTF situation, and your family’s plans). A GHB will be useful if you drive, take public transportation, or have to walk all, or part of, the way home.

The contents of our GHB’s are based upon an ongoing Threat Level Analysis. Everyday I wake up, check the current events, evaluate what it all means to us, and decide if we need to change our Threat Level. I repeat the process every night before going to bed.

Threat Level I:

Normal conditions. At this moment our GHB’s, setting by our back door, consists of the following items:

  1. Flash Light (AAA)
  2. Extra Bic Lighter
  3. Leatherman or Gerber type multi tool. (I always wear mine).
  4. Knife, 3 inch, folding
  5. Water, 1 bottle, 16 oz.
  6. Energy Bar
  7. 2 Packages Chicken or Tuna Salad Cracker Snacks
  8. 1 Can Vienna Sausage
  9. 2 4 oz Containers of Peanut Butter
  10. Two Way Radio (AAA)
  11. 3 Extra AAA batteries
  12. Small Pkg. of dry dog food (Wife only, in case the dog is with her).

Threat Level II:

At Threat Level II we carry the GHB in our vehicles. We also put CB Radios in the vehicles, keep vehicle gas level above ¾, avoid trips to the other side of town, and keep our cell phones fully charged. We add another 16 oz bottle of water and several pieces of Zocai Chocolate.

Threat Level III:

We carry the GHB’s everywhere we go. At work I will carry it to and from my truck and the office, at lunch, into stores, whatever. We want friends and coworkers to get used to seeing them. If they ask I will answer honestly (not giving to much info because of COMSEC) however, I will not tell them about…

Threat Level IV:

We add a handgun and extra ammo (50 rounds minimum) to the GHB’s and we carry the GHB’s everywhere we have to go. (At this time we do not have CC Permits but if we see the need we will carry anyway).

There are many other things we will do as our Threat Level assessment dictates but this is just our about GHB’s.

A few other things, your geographical location and situation, changing seasons, the nature and location of the SHTF, your families plans, and the distances you may have to travel, should cause you to adjust the contents of your GHB If you cant wear good walking shoes at work you will need to keep a pair in your bag.

Keep an eye on any “Best Buy Dates” on the food and water and keep your GHB as light as possible.

BTW: We use Maxpedition Versipacks. (Not associated with them in any manner). Quality is good but they do not lend themselves into maintaining a “greyman” appearance very well. One of the Messenger bags may have been wiser.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below…

101 comments

nobodyssister October 10, 2011 at 8:58 am

What qualifies as Threat Level 2, 3 or 4? How often have you used the elevated threat levels?

Ron (on the Rio) October 10, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Ms Sister,
I dont know if anyone can answer that question other then in a very generic way. A coherent detailed response would be even more difficult. All I can suggest is to 1. Stay Aware of what goes on and dont trust the main stream media for all your news. 2. Trust your gut. 3. It is easier to downgrade to a lower level then to go up one.
Ron on the Rio, formerly known as just Ron G.

OhioPrepper October 11, 2011 at 12:40 am

nobodyssister,
You should already have looked at a threat matrix for your general area. For instance here in Ohio Mine would include tornado, blizzard, and possibly flooding (not at my home but between here & there). I’m not especially worried about hurricanes, earthquakes or tsunami.
As for social threats, like zombies hanging out in the parks of major cities (like those in NYC at Wall Street), you will have to evaluate those conditions from a personal perspective, based on where you live, where and how you travel, and what kind of terrain and infrastructure is between you and them. As Ron said, develop your own sense of things from multiple sources, since the MSM will most likely not be on top of things until it is much too obvious and probably too late, or conversely, they’ll be decrying things and turning molehills into mountains for the shock value. Be ever vigilant.

Ron (on the Rio) October 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Very true.

Tinfoil Hat October 10, 2011 at 9:13 am

Great article! Very relevant to my situation, as my plan revolves around bugging in, but I commute 40 miles to work over a bridge tunnel that may or may not be open or traversable wtshtf. So I also keep a bike in my truck and a small handgun as well. Probably should add the 2 way radios. Thanks for the goo read!

rachel October 10, 2011 at 9:30 am

I carry a winter bag in my car for weather related issues. The bag has water pouches, granola bars, extra blankets, first aid kit, portable hiking stove, extra socks, flashlight, batteries, matches, tin cups, emergency candle, emergency phone charger, some tools.

OhioPrepper October 10, 2011 at 6:38 pm

rachel,
Have you had any issues with the water freezing? I’ve had both pouches and cans freeze pretty solid.

Lint Picker (Northern California) October 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm

OP, have you tried storing your water in a thermos?

OhioPrepper October 11, 2011 at 12:29 am

Lint,
No since it already comes in either a 12 oz can or an 8 oz foil packet. The packets are simply placed in a zip lock (one more level of leak protection and an extra container) and the cans are just in the bag.

Jarhead 03 October 11, 2011 at 12:43 am

Have you tried a foam igloo ice chest? I toss two one gallon jugs and some loose 16 oz bottles in and keep them in the vehicle when camping in the snow. It has kept it from freezing at 19 degrees stored inside the vehicle.

I’ve heard of tossing the igloo in a cardboard box
and insulating it with newspaper or insulation foam for colder temps. Cardboard and newspaper is a great insulator as long as it stays dry.

Alex(Ontario) October 10, 2011 at 9:31 am

I have a question. How exactly do you determine what threat level you’re on?

Tom the Tinker October 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Just me talking….. threat level is a perception based on where you live, distance from home, etc and your understanding of world and local events and conditions. Mine…. have only a vauge relationship to what the author’s may be…. but! I decided what they… are.

Ron (on the Rio) October 10, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Tom, You are correct sir. Bottom line is we each have to decide.

Ron (on the Rio) October 10, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Alex.
Please see my response to Ms Sister above. I can add that I like to think, “Very Carefully”.

Alex(Ontario) October 11, 2011 at 7:53 am

Thank you.

riverrider October 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm

alex, for me the threat levels are the likelyhood of injury or death, level 4 being eminent danger, such as caught in a riot or attempted robbery etc…. you have to ask yourself what the chances are that you could be caught in a bad situation. keeping in mind that things can go very wrong very quickly, my ghb is packed for level 3, plus i always carry a handgun now. as things get worse,toward election time, i’ll pack extra ammo , a smoke grenade and finally a carbine. as distance from home increases, i add clothing, more food and flotation to cross rivers. you have to think about how long it will take you to walk home from wherever you are going and what you would need to do it. good job ron.

Michele October 10, 2011 at 9:51 am

I made myself and all my adult children a bag that I ask them to keep in the car with they at all times. I worried about them being on the road and having an EMP take out their car, or in a panic situation with a serious traffic problem and no way to get around.

So for each bag, I packed first aid supplies, including little ziplock bags of anithistimine, guifenisen, anti-dirrheal. aspirin, a small bottle of children’s tylenol, neosporin, bandages, sanitary napkins (dual purpose – serious wounds and feminine protection) iodine (again, dual purpose water and wound disinfection), etc. Each bag, including the first aid kits are customized for the family.

They each have a bottle of water for each person, and a 2 qt plastic canteen they can fill on the way if needed, alsong with directions for water disinfection and food for three days.

It’s not a lot, but should get them home to me if TSHTF.

Ron (on the Rio) October 10, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Ms Michele, In my opinion you have done good for your family.

You said “its not a lot”. My way of thinking is this, the less you have to carry the faster you can get home and the simpler the logistics, the better. A lot of your first aid items have a limited shelf life. If you have not done so you might consider a spread sheet to help you keep track of those items. Especially since it sounds like they are spread out and not under your direct control.

For the wife and I, the distances and environment we have to travel from worjk to home, on foot, would be covered in a matter of hours. Not days.

We have first aid kits in both vehicles and would take them with us if we abandoned the vehicles. We also have them at work and realiuze it would be silly not to appropriate one before leaving there under shtf conditions.

Sharon October 10, 2011 at 10:20 am

I usually keep my trips to a minium. It’s about 20 miles into the city, where friends are and my doctor. Other than that, 12 miles to the grocery stores. I have been thinking about a GHB, because anything can happen. So, that being said, this is good advice and I’ll pack one and put it in the truck. You just never know.

Bitsy October 10, 2011 at 10:33 am

My GHB and BOB are one in the same. I keep it in my car always, stocked with the usual suspects. Even though I am rarely more than 20 miles from home without my husband, there’s always the possibility I will get stranded alone with just me and the kids. In that case, that 20 mile walk home is going to (easily) take 3 days (assuming I can make it at all).

I do, however, keep a Bug Out Trashcan (a big black garbage can) in my basement. It just fits into the cargo space in my SUV. If there’s time and we need to bug out, I’ll grab that. It has the same stuff as the GHB/BOB in my car, plus extras like a 3-man tent, MREs, extras of everything, etc.

Ken October 10, 2011 at 11:52 am

Please consider switching out your AAA flashlight for a 1xAA LED flashlight. A single AA holds more juice than 3xAAA cells do. If you don’t plan on using Li-Ion cells than generic Lithium batteries will suffice. They have a much longer shelf life than alkaline, plus they are not nearly as affected by low temperatures as alkalines are. To go a step further you may switch out your radio for an AA one to keep battery type the same.

Lint Picker (Northern California) October 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Ken makes some very valid points about keeping your battery size uniform and going with AA lith-batteries instead of AAA. The little LEDs with 3xAAA are fine for simple and short-term tasks. But for seeing down the road or into the dark of the woods or for security, nothing beats a spot beam produced by a standard bulb with strong batteries. What good is a long-life LED if the batteries run down or become unavailable?

Go with a Garrity 2xAA flashlight with krypton bulb – these are good solid flashlights and also some of the least expensive ones around. They can often be found in hardware stores, grocery stores, and large pharmacies.

OhioPrepper October 11, 2011 at 1:03 am

Lint,
My two brightest flashlights are my Serengeti at 80/160 lumens which uses 3 AAA batteries (which BTW have a higher mAh rating than a single AA), and a rather generic 120 lumen model that uses 2 D cells.
Lithium cells typically have 30-50% more rated capacity and do have a longer shelf life, but they are rather expensive. If you plan to stash a flashlight and expect it to work when you pull it out a few years from now, then they are probably the correct battery. If you use the flashlights regularly as a tool like I do, then an Alkaline or NiMH rechargeable is probably a better value.

Lint Picker (Northern California) October 11, 2011 at 11:17 am

LOL, flashlights are like guns – everybody has a favorite. My motto: “Whatever works in the dark.”

Ron (on the Rio) October 10, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Ken,
I put these kits together with what we had on hand. Thanks for the suggestion Makes sense.

Ellen October 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm

In this day and age your bag should be a Bug home/Bug out bag.
No matter what.
It should be ready for the worst.

Ron (on the Rio) October 10, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Ms Ellen,
Depending on ones situation that may be the best course of action.

Charlie October 10, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I always have a 38 special in my glove compartment and a .380 in my back pocket. My trunk always has at least a gallon of water in it plus cans of soup (with the pull top) that I’m just too lazy too remove. Also enough flannel shirts for a for a baseball team plus an assorted rifle or two and a winter field coat. Unfortunately, this is not by design, but I change locations twice amount which are 400 miles apart and this is the stuff that just gets left over. Oh yeah, a flashlight as well. Perhaps if I should through a small tent, it could be my bug out trunk. I even carry a 50 pound bag of food for the dog, but unfortunately that would only last 10 days because he is bigger than the average man (6ft/200 lbs). If starvation comes along, one of us could survive several weeks off the other. If I ever get my homestead put together, I will raise guinea pigs for his food and mine too if the chickens etc don’t work out.

Ron (on the Rio) October 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Charlie,
I just made a trip to Houston and back. I took my GHB ar Level IV and since it was over 700 miles away I added a few extra rations but realized there was NO way I was ever gonna get home without driving and the fuel logistics of that were insurmountable.

Ohio Surveyor October 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Great article!! Thought I was the only one thinking of a “get home bag”. I have a few more things to add to my bag As a Land Surveyor my work takes me to about 17 counties. Which is at most about 2 hours drive from my home. If S.H.T.F. I always have at least 4 different routes home and paper maps of every county I work in. I suggest everyone has a Paper maps of your county in your car or bag. You can get them from your county engineers office for very cheep ( most are free or $1.00) they can mail them to you and most of them have the city maps on the reverse. If you live in remote areas of the country you may also want a U.S.G.S. Quadrangle map. of your area, and a compass. I believe those 3 items will greatly increase you chances of getting home. i.e. roads blocked with traffic, mobs walking the streets, hand held gps not working. The U.S.G.S. maps can be found here http://topomaps.usgs.gov/

OhioPrepper October 10, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Ohio Surveyor,
Without blowing your OPSEC, since you cover about 1/5 of the state, what is your general area of operation here in Ohio?

Ohio Surveyor October 10, 2011 at 7:16 pm

I currently live in S.W. Ohio. Over my 25+ years of surveying I have surveyed in 83 of the 88 counties in Ohio. Just missing 5 in N.W. Ohio. I’m hoping to get to those last 5 before I leave this earth.

OhioPrepper October 10, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Ohio Surveyor,
Good luck on your worked all couties. I’m in north central Ohio, in a county a little northwest of the capital.

Ron (on the Rio) October 10, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Topo maps are great things. Our situation out here in Far West Texas is such that we would have no need for them but for many others they could be a lifesaver.

brimsxj October 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm

A triple and double A battery are both 1.5 volts apeice

OhioPrepper October 10, 2011 at 7:17 pm

brimsxj,
The AAA, AA, C, and D alkaline batteries are all 1.5 volts, but the difference is in their rated capacity (i.e., the amount of energy each stores for delivery) rated in milliamp hours (mAh) is substantially different. The AA contains more than twice the nominal capacity of the AAA as follows:
• AAA – 1200 mAh
• AA – 2700 mAh
• C – 8000 mAh
• D – 12000 mAh

Ron (on the Rio) October 10, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Thanks for that info. I was not aware of that.

brimsxj October 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Sorry forgot about the flashlight guys

HandAxeProMan October 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm

What kind of range does your two way radios have? Most are line of sight and limited to 2 miles max. What purpose do they serve? I agree with the need for at least a minimum capability first aid kit.

Ron (on the Rio) October 11, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I read your questions last night and they got me to thinking.
Other then just the comfort of knowing we are both doing ok and our locations I dont think they serve much purpose. But that comfort is worth a lot more then the radios cost. Besides, we already had them.
RANGE

Ron (on the Rio) October 11, 2011 at 8:41 pm

RANGE? Looks like you gave me a weekend task. Design and conduct a realistic, in the field test, Thanks.

GaTech urban survivor October 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Very cool read and a good idea, which reminds me, I have to switch out some items in my bag…

GaTech urban survivor October 10, 2011 at 5:48 pm

I also like to carry a monocular with me, might come in handy when scouting ahead for a clear path especially if you are forced to exit your vehicle.

JP in MT October 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I don’t ravel very far…except once a quarter and then it’s 600 miles!. I seem to look like I’m moving when I do. And I’m always nervous. Thanks for the article as a good place to start. I have most of the material, I just need to put it together. I also plan to include a 22LR rifle and a pump 308.

Ron (on the Rio) October 10, 2011 at 10:11 pm

JP,
personalize it for your needs. Where you live, adjust for the seasonal conditions you may encounter where you live.

riverrider October 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm

jp, keep in mind that you might have to carry all that stuff by foot. a guy toting 2 long guns down the road will draw unwanted attention. maybe a 22 pistol and a rifle that folds or disassembles easily? just a suggestion.

Jarhead 03 October 12, 2011 at 1:42 am

River your right but for the Rambo’s that will carry more than their weight I learned something from watching the homeless; get a shopping cart, load it and start pushing lol

riverrider October 12, 2011 at 11:27 am

j, LOL!!! i love it. thats the best idea in a while. and you could dress in rags and pile a bunch of cans and trash on top to disguise your preps. awesome idea. we often overlook or avoid looking at the bag ladies…my slackman practices what he calls” decops, the art of deception.” i thought it was goofy til a read your comment, now it makes perfect sence. hide in plain sight….. after reading your comments i think we were brothers in a prior life.

Ron (on the Rio) October 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm

CCD Camoflauge, Concealment, and Deception.

Jarhead 03 October 12, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Working in Los Angels and dealing with the homeless on an almost daily basis around my work I have learned so much about survival from a different point of view. I always tell them I’d rather live in the mountains off the land within a few miles of a camp ground than on the streets.

I see how they get around, prepare for inclement weather, the heat, get water and so on. Most people ignore them and I observe them. I have given them rolls of trash bags, my empty bottles/recyclables and they give me a different outlook on how they live. Some I have spoke to chose that way to live off the grid.

riverrider October 13, 2011 at 10:36 am

j, yeah when i was little a relative, vietnam vet, lived on the street. we tried to take him in a while but he preferred the street. he stayed a couple days, slept outside in the carport. not a doper, just lived life his way. ultimate freedom.

Jarhead 03 October 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm

River, when I got out of the Marines (due to a gunshot wound that should have taken my leg) I was mad at the world like many vets and when I got my DD214 I decided I needed time to my self. I took a couple fishing poles, my pistol, 1022, shotgun and bow along with my camping gear and spent 3 months in the Sierra Nevada mountains to be alone unless friends were bringing me resupply runs or the occasional hiker or others doing what I was doing. I think people need to get back to nature more often to find themselves.

Ron (on the Rio) October 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Jarhead,
Where abouts in the Sierras?I lived up around Columbia – Sonora area from 74 to 77.

Jarhead 03 October 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Back in 1998 from Mount Whitney to Yosemite on the John Muir trail. I would stay in place a few days, hike and have friends meet up with me. Had a couple friends that would stay with me for a few days here and there but I was solo most of it. I would map out where I would be and with a bum knee I would be a day or two behind schedule but it helped.

I was career Marine Corps so the medical discharge for my knee was rough on me. Most friends didn’t understand, dads friends that were WW II, Korean and Vietnam vets were great to talk to and it was the suggestion of a Nam era Green Beret and Force Recon Marine that suggested I do the hike to find myself and it helped. After the hike I had knee surgery, worked for the LA County Sheriff as a jailer then got into body guard and security consulting business.

SweetPea October 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm

I would prefer a bag that didn’t call attention to it. You have to admit that is an unusual bag and if a man is “wearing” it then it is even more odd. A cheap backpack, not camo, not black, not an alice pack, something from Walmart that looks cheap.

Ron (on the Rio) October 10, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Sweet Pea,
I did admit that. But the Bag does have easy access to a firearm. BTW: There is a coworker who carries one all the time. Tan not black. No weapon normally but his thinking is along the same lines as mine.

Bitsy October 11, 2011 at 8:40 am

I use my Maxpedition bag as a diaper bag. It’s got so many organizational pockets… it’s the perfect bag for storing kid stuff.

Jarhead 03 October 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Agreed, I have to travel from Los Angeles 26 miles to home. A 6’0 tall white guy of my build and short hair cut sticks out so no matter what pack I have I stick out but you are correct, the military style packs stick out. Among the homeless and tourists the packs that stick out are the military style and hike/backpacker types.

Ron (on the Rio) October 12, 2011 at 11:45 pm

It just occured to me that IF I was a bad guy I would suspect any backpack or bag carried by anyone over the age of 14.

Copperhead October 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm

With winter coming I would add hand and foot warmer packets. Great post, Ron. I need to update my GHB.

Ron (on the Rio) October 10, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Copperhead,
Seasons are important and the GHB need adjusting accordingly.

Patriot Farmer October 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Great posting! I have been following a similar plan for a few years.

OhioPrepper October 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Ron,
What radio service are your hand held’s (e.g., CB, FRS, GMRS, Amateur, etc) and who is the intended person(s) you plan to communicate with? Just wondering, since most HT’s have limited range unless used with a still functioning repeater.

axelsteve October 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm

as far as flashlights I prefer a mag 3 d cell. You can use it as a baton and it is just a flashlight to l.e.o. or anyone else.

Ron (on the Rio) October 10, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Good question OP.
These have a combination of channels. Some require license and some do not.
We have a written plan (included in the bags) to change channels at given time periods and what to do if no contact is made. Every time we use them the channel will change. We will use licensed channels at times but that use will be minimal. We will only be giving short status reports to each other.
Remember this is for shtf and the chances of the regulators monitoring and enforcing instead of running for the hills will be slim.

OhioPrepper October 12, 2011 at 12:32 am

Ron,
So I assume you are using GMRS/FRS radios.

Ron (on the Rio) October 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm

That is correct. Midland units

Lint Picker (Northern California) October 10, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Ron, great guest post. For some reason, my favorite part of prepping is updating and improving my EDC, GHB, BOB, and my home storage. It’s incredibly challenging to configure these things for their most lightweight yet versatile uses.

May I suggest you add another bottle of water to your Level 1 GHB? The reason being you have some salty foods but not enough water to properly digest them, especially during stressful times – it’s important to remain hydrated.

I’d forget about carrying extra batteries (again, I’m talking about the Level 1 GHB) and the 2-way radios and go with more water and a small first aid kit and a whistle. Every one of those little 2-way radios are worthless when you need them most IMO. They don’t ever have the range they claim. If the cell phones don’t work, then it’s more than Level 1 threat IMO. If communicating is vital to your plans, then spend the money necessary to get high-quality 2-ways and some headsets. These will add lots of weight, but they will be more likely to work when you need them.

And an emergency blanket would be useful, even in Level 1. They weigh next to nothing and can be used to keep warm, keep dry, cover a dead body, signal, collect rainwater, make a reflector oven, etc. I recently bought 10 of them and put them everywhere I could think of.

I’m retired, so getting home from work is not a problem. LOL My GHB is also my BOV bag and contains enough stuff to live for a week fairly comfortably. Since I am never very far from my vehicle, I think my EDC will get me back to the SUV and from there I have my life-sustaining supplies. If the car is destroyed, stolen, or ransacked then I would be up a creek.

Ron, you worry too much. It’s important to stay alert and vigilant, but you shouldn’t have to think about your GHB every night and every morning. Incorporate some of your higher level items into your GHB and make it a more versatile setup. You can keep water and some foods in your car yearround if you insulate it from freezing (and there are no bears in your neighborhood). You can keep the CBs in the car if you lock them in the trunk or hide them under the seat or wherever they are out of sight. Then your guns & ammo would be the only things you would actually have to grab if a Level 5 threat materialized.

I’m not in your shoes, so what I’ve written here is merely my 2 cents. So I’ll add this one last thought. If you have a well-designed EDC, you wouldn’t need to carry your GHB everywhere you go. You use the EDC to get to your car or your cache or your friend’s house…from there, you get home.

OhioPrepper October 11, 2011 at 12:25 am

Lint,
I was thinking the same thing. At least some of these items (including several space blamkets) should be in your EDC.

Bamabecca October 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm

This very subject has been on my mind a LOT lately. I don’t have a BOB or a GHB yet……..I know, I know…..

I have an approximate 70 mile commute to work…..and then 70 miles back…..7 miles of which is interstate crossing the delta. When TSHTF, I do NOT want to be trying to get home via a major interstate….and the water makes it even worse. The only alternate route would add about 30 miles to the trip and I would still have to cross a bridge on a major State road……..wracking my brain as to what to do. Unless of course I hid boats up and down the river bank, lol, which is not feasible.

Thanks for the great post Ron. GHB will be my next project, I promise! ;)

Lint Picker (Northern California) October 10, 2011 at 10:04 pm
riverrider October 11, 2011 at 1:17 pm

lint, now THAT’S a BOV!!! i must have one:)

"Big Jim" October 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm

“Love that Duck”….Aflack !

PainDoc October 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Good post Ron. I will have to disagree with the wearing of these packs in the open and also discussing their contents with anyone. Divulge too much info and it defeats the purpose. Just my opinion. Otherwise everything else is on point.

Ron (on the Rio) October 11, 2011 at 8:03 pm

I understand the disagreement but let me explain.
I would not be talking with strangers about the bag. In fact I would not even bring it up to my coworkers unless asked, I am the Safety Officer so I am always sending out information of home safety and family emergency preparedness. In fact many coworkers have asked about Preparedness in general and I send them the the ARC and NSC for general information and answer specific questions as needed. If I start carrying my GHB and they ask about it I am pretty certain that they will be better prepared the next day. In my case there is also this to consider.

I live 1.2 miles from work and I really dont think I will need most of the things I would be carrying in it. I spend 95% of my time away from home at work. The bag is really for that other 5% of the time. If the shtf while I am at work I will probably give the food and water to someone who has a lot further way to go.

Legion7 October 11, 2011 at 2:36 am

I managed to find camelback “demon” packs that allow for CCW for my wife and I. The best thing is that they are red, and look nothing like military stuff. Very grey man. I also carry the sealed survival water packets for immediate drink, and straw purifiers for other sources and filling the camelback. I also use the survival bars as their long term storage life and calories can’t be beat. I threw in a few survival sleeping bags and blankets as well as good shoes, clothes and the above mentioned pieces in the article. My wife wears heels, and I sometimes wear shoes that just couldn’t make it home, so light hiking shoes are strapped on the outside of both packs. My wife can go from business wear and heels to tennis shoes and poly sweats and hike home much more comfortably and warm. The demon pack can easily conceal a hand gun and several mags, whilst making them availible to the pack wearer without having to take the pack off first.

Lynn October 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Ron, very good article! My husband commutes to work and switches out his vehicle for a company SUV during work hours. He carries and also brings along his EDC which is well packed, too. What he does not do is transfer his GHB into the company vehicle, something that might be worth considering at this time.

His commute involves going up and over a mountain and there are limited roads to and from between his destination and home. It doesn’t take much imagination (or a real-time scenario) to realize the difficulty in getting home without having road access. Add to that is the necessity of having to cross the Shenandoah River no matter what the route. He’s not a swimmer and doesn’t know much about the dangers of river water, so you see what I worry about. Short of having to add a PFD of other flotation device into GHB, he could be in a world-of-hurt. Especially in the winter……

In his GHB are most items you list, plus rain poncho, hotties, space blanket, first aid kit, winter gloves, extra wool socks, etc. No portable radio (we have a 2-way via our Nextel).

riverrider October 11, 2011 at 10:00 pm

lynn, i use an army foam sleeping mat tied to the bottom of my ghb for floatation. about half a pound. also keeps you warm,dry n somewhat comfy when napping:) and about 10 bucks. i cut it down a couple inches so it doesn’t stick out n hang vines n such. burns and can be used as a splint, or cut up and stuffed into your jacket for insulation. i think its the most under-rated piece of gear on the market.

Lynn October 12, 2011 at 7:21 am

Interesting idea on the mat, RR. I’ve also thought to roll and secure his Neoprene suit that could be used in much the same way. Of course, he’d have the choice to float or freeze by doing that. lol

I mentioned this post yesterday evening and ironically, he’d been thinking of adding some extra ammo into his ankle holster. That translates to “Lynn, stitch an envelope on my holster to hold a clip”. lol

Jarhead 03 October 12, 2011 at 7:42 pm

The GI issue isomats we would cut them to our shoulder with just like you to cut down on mass and every ounce we could. It helps when going through brush, doors or tight quarters.

Jarhead 03 October 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm

River, if you have all of your contents in a heavy duty waterproof bag (also search Willie Pete bag) that is used for military packs. If all your contents are inside it should float. We used to use our packs for crossing rivers and also swimming back to shore from the ocean.

Lynn October 13, 2011 at 5:42 am

Jarhead — you’ve provided yet another great idea! We have a water resistant float-bag for our raft! The added plus is the over-the-shoulder webbed strap that’s attached.

So how weird would a royal blue, rubberized GHB look if a 6’3″ bearded guy was carrying that? LOL Time to get that bag out and give it a serious look!

riverrider October 13, 2011 at 10:38 am

lynn, spray paint it.

Lynn October 14, 2011 at 6:10 am

RR, give us a color suggestion. Muted brown, black, camo?? What would blend in and not attract too much attention? I don’t have a problem painting it at all. And on the river, the bag is simply tied down inside the raft.

Jarhead 03 October 14, 2011 at 12:22 am

I also keep a few heavy duty contractor grade orange trash bags in my pack so I can seal up every thing and if need be make extra flotation devices.

I have taken 8 bags secured them, put a tarp on it and made raft out at the lake. Gets the looks but proved it works. And nice having a few drinks on lol

Jarhead 03 October 14, 2011 at 3:49 am

Look online and see if you can find one and if not find someone who knows what kind of spray paint to put on it so it stays on.

riverrider October 14, 2011 at 10:42 am

lynn, personally, i like grey. it doesn’t scream “hey, i’ve got some nice stuff in my bag!” like camo or o.d. but who knows. i think local thugs will carve up the territory pretty fast, setting up checkpoints/toll stops like serbs and bosnians did. any bag or car will get searched for goodies, so it won’t matter what color it is. hopefully he’ll be home long before that happens.

riverrider October 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm

ron, good job. one tip i learned long ago. turn one battery in your flashlight or whatever backwards before you pack it. it won’t allow drain that way. or simply don’t put them in and be sure to waterproof them and anything else your life depends on in your ghb. i garrantee it’ll be raining like heck when you need it, and you never know when you might have to swim for it:)

Nikki October 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm

riverrider,

I once fried a camera by accidently sticking one battery in the wrong way.

riverrider October 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm

nikki, never tried a camera, but it hasn’t hurt any radio, flashlight, gps or other device i have put them in. best bet these days is to leave them out anyway. i’ve had a couple of corrosion issues from properly stored brand name(energizer) batts. hate to lose expensive devices over a 50 cent battery.

Ron (on the Rio) October 11, 2011 at 8:19 pm

You are right about the batteries, best to keep them out of the devise until needed and if not in factory package a little black electricians tape to keep them tobether.

I live in the desert, although we dont get a alot of rain, flash flooding is a fact of life out here. The good news is they move out as fast as they move in. Just sit down, open a can of sardines, and wait it out.

Art-e-Mouse (NorCal) October 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Excellent post! I don’t have a significant commute, but find myself traveling to and from my son’s and/or parents homes often (in state). Consequently, I have an GHB / BOB trunk: 1 week of food for two persons in air-tight bags (jerky, granola, vitamins, energy bars, etc.), 2 cases of water (16 oz btls.), flashlight(s) w/ batteries, waterproof poncho’s, several blankets, a warm pull-over jacket, folding wood saw, hatchet, Seychelle water purification btl. w/ extra filter element, a tarp w/ 100′ 550 paracord. I don’t carry any weapons except my knife (which never leaves my person), but am considering keeping my cut down (it’s legal) sngl. shot .410 with a few rounds for emergencies in my trunk as well.
My actual BOB has more stuff, but rarely remember to toss it in the car when I’m out and about… Thanks for the reminder and again, excellent post on a relavent topic.

Ron (on the Rio) October 11, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Sounds like you have addressed your potential needs based upon your circumstances. Thats what it’s all about!

Jarhead 03 October 13, 2011 at 12:24 am

For those working in major cities keep an eye on these sit in rallies that are gaining in numbers. A friend in LE told me that they are seeing known instigators from anarchist/socialist movement groups testing the waters and they could make a peaceful rally volatile. Nothing may happen but figure its enough to share since it is a possible scenario.

TekATL October 13, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I completely agree that this could get out of control. All it takes is someone with ulterior motives like a terrorist group to create a very “chaotic” situation that could erupt violence. Stay away from these areas. They recently started to occupy outside the homes of Bank CEO’s. Won’t take much to “spark” a fire and in chaos, a lot of bad human judgement or choices maybe made.

Jarhead 03 October 14, 2011 at 4:04 am

I guess I’m lucky that while at work I have state exempt plates and drive a heavy duty van with good suspension lol

Jarhead 03 October 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Its happening in Italy as we speak. Anarchists are instigating protesters, fighting officers and destroying government and private property.

T.R October 13, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Good article ,
its up to the individual and I would most likely do the same thing ( level 4 threat ) . But 2 things should be considered , first is , am I overreacting to the perceived threat level ? in other words , is it really that bad or am I just letting it go to my head when its in reality a level 2.5 threat . The other thing is , without a CC license , you could be in DEEP shit if you were detained for some reason , especially if you have a round chambered . You would be considered by all authorities as being part of the problem and have your weapon ( permanently ) confiscated , spending a few nights in jail , and if convicted , the possibility of never being able legally get a CC license ever , thus starting the crappy cycle all over again , and if you happen to be in a different state at the time it happens , you might also be charged with crimes in the local area that you didnt commit just because your an ” outsider ” . Get a CC license , its well worth the time and money .

Ron (on the Rio) October 13, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Over reacting? Not my nature. I once had a full col. ask me why I was so calm when the s was htf. I reponded simply, “Because I understand whats goung on”. Recently I had really bad feelings concerning two seemingly unrelated events occuring at the same time with neither mentioned in the msm. But I did not change my Threat Level. I didnt have enough facts.

I live in Texas and I fully understand the Law here. The states I normally travel in are NM, AZ, UT, and CO. They all allow carry, NOT on my body but in the vehicle (RV, car, motorcycle) while traveling. In Texas traveling includes to and from work. From the front door and back.

As for the rest…. when the shtf the police are going to have a lot of crap on their hands and wont have time for paying attention to one 60 year old guy minding his own business.

T.R October 14, 2011 at 8:20 am

Thats true , but for those folks that are much younger and with no military experience ( even with it , does not mean you are correct ), they do need to consider these facts . Not everybody is going to react or see the same situation the same way . Your current age is an advantage when dealing with the cops being armed . It will be a detriment for younger folks . It also depends on where they find the weapon . If its loaded on their person , without a license , they may have some real problems . Your behavior and appearance will also count . As a general rule , if you look or act like a a piece of crap , people are more than willing to treat you like a piece of crap . Rural areas not as much , but the city ….. you look like a thug …. you are one , and will most likely be disarmed if stopped by authorities . Common sense isnt common enough these days , A CC license is no guarantee but gives you strong legal ground , just having it tells a cop your on the responsible side . A full blown SHTF situation , your right , the cops will have more to worry about and your chances are probably low for an encounter with the authorities , the lower levels of threat are what we need to be mindful about concerning weapon concealment . Your vehicle is the handiest weapon you have with you at any given moment .

mrsgreg2002 October 17, 2011 at 10:23 am

How would you deal w/ small pets on a Bug Out situation? By small I’m talking, birds, ferrets, rabbits, etc., animals that have to live in a cage or aquarium. I have two parakeets, and this post made me wonder what I’d do w/ them if I had to GOOD. If it was summer I’d just set them free, their wings aren’t clipped and they’re not tamed so I’m sure they could learn to fend for themselves, but in the winter that’d just be cruel.

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