Questions & Answers with The Wolf Pack – How to Put Together a Get Home Bag

Question from BCTruck

I’ve mentioned on a few occasions that I’m to old and fat to ever consider bugging out unless it was for the most dire of circumstances. So my need for a buggout bag is nowhere near my need for a get home bag. I’ve put some thought into what I might need for two older folks to get home, should that need to hoof it ever arise.

There are a plethora of discussions about bug out bags,but Rarely hear mention of get home bags. I’m wondering if the pack has put more thought into this than what has been discussed in the past. I assumed at first that copying a buggout bag would be the thing to do,then ive gone and redone my GHB several times as I thought of different potential scenarios. How bout it pack, any thoughts ideas or experience fitting out a GHB? If you had to build one, how would it differ from your Buggout bag?  Thanks y’all.

M.D. Creekmore adds : Brad here is some info that you might find helpful “The get back home urban survival Kit” we also have a full list of articles on bugging out and bug out bags here.


  1. Finn Mahone says:

    I have put together GH bags for myself and for 2 other family members that I keep in my car. First off I read somewhere that you do not want to look like some military person walking down the road with a camo back pack and a rifle slung over your shoulder. Blending in with what people consider “normal looking” is important. You do not want to draw attention to yourself and have the unprepared thinking that you have a bunch of food, water and survival supplies in your bag. I choose to use high quality school backpacks that I saved from being thrown into a dumpster after the end of the school year. (I also forgot to mention that at the time I worked for a school district.) These bags have multiple pockets and the straps are padded and have straps for your waist too.

    First thing I put into the bag was water. I plan on adding “Life Straws” to each bag as soon as I get a little extra cash. I also put in food such as energy bars, candy, dry food, instant soup and tea bags. I also added an old empty tin can and attached wires to it so I can suspend the can over a small fire to heat my soup and tea and to even boil water I may get from streams for drinking.
    I have several systems for making fire. From Bic lighters to water proof matches to magnesium rods that are easily shaved to get shavings to get a spark from a ferro rod to get a fire going. I even added cotton balls with Vaseline on them.

    I have cordage. About 75 feet of 550 cord. A small first aid kit. A bandana. A 10X10 tarp with 8 plastic tent pegs. A rain poncho. A knife. A small pocket pad and pencil.

    I even have a machete that can be tied to a back pack and be hardly seen. I also have a small shovel but I want to get one of those folding entrenching tools like the GI’s used in WWII because they are a sturdy tool.

    These are just some things off the top of my head. I know that I have more in my GHB but can’t recall right now.

    Just one parting note. Having a firearm for your GH Bag is a pretty good idea WHERE IT”S LEGAL. Unfortunately in the Socialist Republic of New Jersey where we currently live, that is a no-no.

    I hope I was some help to you.

    • Lifestraws,,,,Great suggestion. I have a berkey water bottle with a filter in it,but more access to drinkable water is a good idea,and they dont take up that much space. Thanks.

      • j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

        Also check into the Sawyer Mini-Filter, they too are very compact and have a 100,000 gallon life. About $30, competitively priced with the Life Straw.

        • Ill look for a couple. Thanks!

        • Received 5 Sawyer Mini Filters yesterday for my family’s get home bags. They are very small and attach to the pouch that comes with them, a plastic drink bottle (water or soda bottle), may be used with the enclosed straw, or may be used inline with a water bladder (not included). I ordered these because they had options beside just drinking through like a straw. They also weigh about 2 ounces. Abt $20 through Amazon.

      • tommy2rs says:

        A 4 way Silcock key is handy as it gets you access to water from exterior faucets on industrial/ commercial buildings, rest stops, etc.

        Amazon sells them and youtube has the videos on their use.

        • j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

          +1 on these keys, pretty handy in the urban environment. Also remember that a short length of hose with a threaded adapter to fill your bottle is recommended. A clothes washer inlet hose (connects water to unit) can be cut in half, providing a pair of these for approximately $5.

          • Had one of those nifty collapseable water hoses blow out on me the other day. I needed to do the semimonthly drain off my water heater to help keep the lime scale from building up so cut it at the point it blew out, and it’s got a valve to shut it off. Only about 4 or 5 feet long unfilled and 10 feet or so filled, even without a fitting on the other end. Almost weighs nothing, so that would be a good thing to keep in a GHB. Even one of the unbroken ones would not be a bad idea I think…
            J.R.? How’s things going with the children down that way? Most of my news comes out of Austin and we all know how they vote… Way too much on the World Cup and not enough of what matters….

    • rjarena says:

      I feel for you, my brothers also reside in the peoples republik of Jersey, self defense in the formally garden state is a tough one, but you have it right with the basic contents, one thing, we should always keep this in mind that a SHTF moment for us may not be one for those around you, it could be a personal SHTF, or one that the locals may not understand yet, and you are trying to get home before it gets ugly, so keeping a low profile is very important. I would also suggest that carrying a mass transit pass or exact change for bus/train service is essential, you may not be able to get your car home, but mass transit may get you part of the way there.

      • You know, I hadnt considered the possibility that others may not realize that the S has hit the fan, and our need to be “gray man” and covert might be needed. Great thing to consider and remember. Thanks!

  2. PreppingMomma5 says:

    This is on my mind quite a bit too. With 5 very young kids, it becomes a bit more of a logistical nightmare! I try to always have a pair of tennis shoes in the car for each child because we are usually all in those healthiest of shoes-the flip flop. I keep two backpacks in the car one for each adult, or one for me and my oldest child who is 11 to carry. I have a large tarp for a makeshift tent, but am hoping when I have the funds to actually purchase a tent. Containment for my littlest 3 is always tough on a good day and having a shelter to be confined to would be helpful for me if I am getting home without my hubby! I carry more food than is probably necessary, but we spend most of our time in a large metro about 40 miles from home, and if we had to walk that with our kiddos, it would take significantly more time than the average person, and hungry kids does not a happy, productive scenario make!

    • Hmmmm,comfortable walking shoes are something I should put some thought into. Im barefoot an awful lot, which is fine for where i go,but not so good for walking home on hot asphalt.

      • A few pieces of moleskin to treat any blisters is also handy, and something to cut them to shape. Even worn in shoes can rub the wrong way on a long trek.

      • BC, I wrote this one a few years ago. The concept is still sound. Remember, keep it light weight and keep moving. The idea is to get home as quickly as possible. Not going camping, fishing, or searching for wild plants to eat.

        • Curley Bull says:

          Very good advice! I do tend to over pack; but not knowing how far I’ll be from home when it happens, I like to “Be Prepared”. It’s much easier to leave an item behind or drop off on trail than to acquire what I don’t have. As you may have seen in a comment to another subject, I use a walking stick (cane) if I have to go more than 50 yards, so I’ll not be making real good time (but will move quickly as possible for me). There’s the chance I’ll spend at least one night on the trail, but WILL travel as light as possible. I can easily go 4 or 5 days with a pound of jerky, ½ pound dehydrated pineapple, some multi vitamins, and water. I guess what I’m trying to say is I would rather have too much than not enough. I can always discard what I don’t need.

    • Finn Mahone says:

      Comfortable walking shoes is a must have item. Thanks for mentioning it.

  3. JP in MT says:


    I too have the same physical issue. When we leave home I don’t have a GHB as such, although we are working on them. Since we leave in a vehicle, what I do have a several small “duffle” bags that contain food, cooking items, life straws, blankets, etc. Our latest addition which will also go in our 4-wheeler gear is “Life Straw in a bottle”. They put one in a water bottle so you don’t have to carry a separate one (although we do).

    For weapons, we have DW’s Berretta clone and Sub 2000, and my S&W TRR8 and M92 16″ stainless 357. I like the versatility of the 357, from defense to small game loads with light 38’s and shot shells. It also keeps me from going “Rambo” and thinking about taking on more than I can handle. I figure if they are over 100 yards and there’s cover, I can hide.

    Hopefully by the end of summer, I’ll have our actual bags done and I’ll email you my list. We can dompare lists and recommendations specifics then.

    • Im also keeping my keltec sub2K in my bag along with 4 happy sticks (loaded) and 200 extra rounds. I also have tucked behind the seat (that was not easy to do) a .410/22 breakdown combo (rossi) with several hundred round of .22 and .410 slugs and shot. i look forward to your email.

      • Benjammin says:

        Yep, the sub2000 is a great complement to my edc glock. I keep 5 extended mags for it, along with 4 standard mags for the glock. I pack plenty of ammo as well. The 2000 is a practical carbine because of its inherent concealability when stowed. I put a picatinny forestock on mine so I can mount a red dot scope.

  4. So much depends on your locale, the time of year, terrain, and the distance you need to travel I think. Cross country skis and ice cleats would be good ideas around here for 5 months of the year, not so much in the desert. If you’re out of town on vacation or a business trip, cash and PMs might be the #1 item that could get you 95% of the way home in the least amount of time. One item I’d think that might help just about anywhere is a HT radio like a Baofeng or better, preprogrammed for your ahead of time, and having a pre-agreed comm plan with family/friends. Just need to get within a couple miles of each other to make contact HT to HT, or if any repeaters (police, fire, ems, ham) are still working then 50 miles or more is easily possible.

  5. Relocated says:

    What type of food would you recommend for a GHB that will say in the car during very hot humid summers that would still be ok to eat after say a month?

    • JP in MT says:

      Since I don’t keep mine in the car, I have Freeze Dried and MRE type foods. Plus we always have a box of “road food” (snacks).

      • Relocated says:

        These look like the best option for me, but does anyone know how they taste. I know not that important, but I can’t have coconut or aspertame. I could not find an ingredient list.

        • i_have_a_name says:

          I have the mayday bars. Impervious to heat and cold. 5 year shelf life. Apple cinnamon flavor, tastes pretty good. Ingredients below. I also have the Datrex bars, a lemon shortbread flavor, not quite as good in my opinion. A little drier. Google mayday for availability a d pricing. Very good for ghb/bob/etc.

          Ingredients: enriched flour, vegetable shortening, sugar, corn syrup, soy flour, corn starch, postassium sorbate, vitamin A, iron, vitamin E, riboflavin, vitamin b6, vitamin b12, pantothenic acid, copper, vitamin C, vitamin D, thiamin niacin, folate, biotin, iodine, zinc, apple cinnamon flavoring

        • I just read the reviews, the first one says they have coconut. So I’d say that’s a no-go for you, sorry.

    • Rick H. says:

      I don’t put a lot of emphasis on food, so all I pack are a couple of granola bars, some store-packed jerky, and a couple of those ‘energy shots’ from the dollar store. Water is more important than food in my book, mainly because I’m carrying a couple of decent meals on my waistline as it is. ;-).

      I recently rotated the stock in my car bag after a year of both blistering, humid heat and freezing cold. All items (including the liquid power shots) weathered the ordeal in flying colors. You may wish to inspect the contents at every turn of season, just to avoid surprises, but my stuff held up just fine.

      • Ive often wondered how long i could live off my hump.

        • Relocated says:

          These are very good suggestions. Thank you. I am 10 miles from home at least 6 days a week for work and in the summer 95-100 degrees in normal most of the time. I would prefer not to hoof it home, but if I do I need my bag to be as light as possible.

        • BC,
          a…front hump?…..reverse camel? I think we’d both be ok for awhile

    • I have the crunchy granola bars in my car all the time. The ones I put in there last summer were still ok Sunday when my hubby had a low blood sugar and had to eat them. I have since purchased more (2 pack box from Dollar General) to replace them since I always have something in the car.

    • Peanut butter. Fat, carbs, protein, fibre, iron, and 100 calories per tablespoon.

  6. Bam Bam says:


    I have the answer: all you need is water and a little food–with your mad shop skills you can McGuiver the rest.

    • I know! Ill pack a blow up raft and some bailing wire. I can catch a couple catfish, make a bailing wire catfish harness and force them to pull me home using the bayous!

  7. recoveringidiot says:

    Off topic,
    Hey BC, did you put any more thought in a water to air cooling system?
    Its been very hot here late spring early summer and I’m getting older every day. Sure would like a way to keep a little more comfortable without lots of power.

    • I havent had time to do much experimenting or building. 2 more months and things should be back to normal around here and i can get back to doing the things I love.

  8. Bam Bam says:

    If you’re looking for an EDC bag on the cheap check out this place. I just ordered my third bag from them–the first two were Christmas gifts. I was happy with the quality given the price I decided to order one for myself.

    • This goves me an idea that will make handling my GHB a lot better. Since I pack a small arms room with my bag, I take it in and out every day. If I ket all the guns and ammo in one bag, it would make securing it at night a lot easier. Thanks for the link!

  9. Hobbitt of the Shire says:

    you forgot to mention one of the most important things. TOILET TISSUE…………. I would hate to know that i grabbed poison oak after my business in the middle of the night……lol…..

  10. recoveringidiot says:

    One thing to think about, in the early stages of a disaster cash will still go a long way. Don’t forget to keep some cash on hand.

  11. I have a couple of N95 masks for protection and deterrent (people may avoid you if they think you are sick.) I also keep both a square and a spline spigot handles in my GHB to get water in a pinch from some outside water faucet where its handle was removed. Most buildings in a city have some sort of faucet outside with the handle removed.

    • In my case,people are a lot more likely to avoid me,if i DONT cover my face. The water spigot handles are a great idea and take up so little room it doesnt make sense not to have them. Thanks!

  12. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Good you raised this again. Friends and I are facing probably having to cross a river to get home should the bridges be impassable. Our contengencies and ghb gear must include flotation and navagable gear to transport us and our gear. Not everyone has the same obstacles. So there is no one-size-fits-all bag.

    • If the red river wasnt so treacherous and unpredictable, i would keep a small inflatable raft in the truck. They take up very little room and its the only body of wqater i need to cross to get home,,,well there is another (bayou dorcheat) but there are bridges aplenty going over it and it is far away from potential banditos.

      • Relocated says:

        I only have 1 bridge between work and home, but I think I could get my Subaru through it fairly easy. I think as long as it hasn’t rained recently the creek would be dry.

        • Thisall H says:

          2 or 3 large bin liners can be used to get you across most rivers in a Dire emergency. 1st one for you kit just fill with air and tie off. other 2 fill with air and tie off joining one to the other in the middle. swim with the join across your Chest so that the air filled part is coming up under your arms to help keep you afloat. while pushing along the kit filled bag as you swim.

  13. Rick H. says:

    I forgot to mention one thing. Something like a crescent wrench and a screwdriver so you can access ‘hidden’ water supplies, such as those contained in water heaters and drinking fountains, among other places. Another place to find a reservoir of ‘safe’ water would be in a coffee vending machine, of which some have a separate tank to speed up heating water for their products. A small pry par could be useful here too.
    And what Mike says is another source of water. I recently added a couple of flexible plastic water bottles to my car bag just for this purpose. They don’t take up much space or weight (unfilled) and the plan is to fill them up when the balloon goes up. That way you don’t have to worry about them freezing and breaking their bottles in the cold.

    What I am looking for are water purification tabs in individual pouches, because I just discovered that taking them out of the bottle and putting them in pill pouches results in brown tabs, which I don’t see as being very good. Any ideas?

    • rjarena says:

      G.I. Issue Water Pure Tablets
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  14. rjarena says:

    In the summer months I put the “cooling bandannas” and a good hat, sun screen are very important. I try to keep a good walking stick in each vehicle, somehow they migrate back into the house, since carving them is a hobby of mine you would think I would remember to leave on in the car/truck all of the time!;-)
    I am in a friendly CWP state, so I carry everyday. I also make sure that I have spare daily meds. in my bag, not so concerned about food, I know I could go a few days without it, but water in the desert is a must!.

    • I never drove away from folks broke down in the desert until I was certain they had contacted help,and had plenty to drink. Water is life,but water in the desert takes on a whole different level of importance.

    • rjarena,
      water is a very good one, I keep a gallon in the car, it may only get me through one day, but at least the jug can be refilled with boiled or filtered stuff along the way. Its surprising how fast you can dry out, especially when you’re physically exerting yourself, and that goes for winter weather as well. The body uses a lot of fluid to keep warm.

  15. TexasScout says:

    I work over 50 miles away from home so my get home bag is a little different. If I had to “hoof” it home, it would most likely be a three day trip. I have the usual stuff for a three day hike that anyone would carry (freeze dried food, energy bars, tea, coffee, etc) in addition to some survival gear which changes according to our two seasons, summer and not quite summer. I have a small bivy bag and a very compact down sleeping bag in the winter. A tarp and a few big trash bags, para cord and stakes. Communications gear (if it survives the EMP!) Ham radios, flares, signal mirror etc. I do keep at least a gallon of water in my truck that would be transferred to my bag and I have a water filter also. It is the most important thing as I must travel the South Texas coastal brush country to get home. There is a river, some lakes and a few cattle troughs along the way, but you never know. I always have my side arm so that’s with me. No rifle, as that’s would be a sure way to get picked up or picked off!


    PS: I don’t forget the bug spray or sun screen!

    • C.R. AKA Mistyvalley says:

      Thanks for the P.S. I’ve changed out my bag to summer and forgot to add the bug spray! Gosh you all are such a help!

  16. C.R. AKA Mistyvalley says:

    I didn’t see this mention but if it was, sorry to repeat. Hydration is very important to me. I’ve made my own hydration mix and packaged to keep in my bag.

    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    6 teaspoons sugar
    just dump it in a liter of water.

    I stocked most of my bag with homemade items. Found it much cheaper that purchasing kit for this, kit for that.

    It’s amazing what you can find at Dollar Stores, thrift shops that would be useful to get you home.

    • Hydration mix! Another great idea and takes up very little space. Thanks!

    • Ce,
      at that distance a little more gear is needed, a great way to carry it without unwanted attention is the hand truck, or a even a baby stroller they fold up and are light weight. Be sure to divide up your gear though, don’t keep it all in one place in case you have to leave it behind, you’ll still have something.

    • C.R.,
      hydration mix is a good one, either homemade or commercial, I keep some with me, and tea bags just cuz plain hot water isn’t very tasty.

  17. ChristineM says:

    Especially for summer …..
    Tooth Powder (vs. paste)
    Electrolyte powder packets that pour into water bottles

  18. kellieccc says:

    In a few weeks, I will be dropping my oldest at a college which is four hours away (by car). I am putting together a GHB. I plan to add a compass and old fashion paper map with marked railroads in addition to many of the items previously listed by others. Since he has to live in a dorm, a firearm is not an option. He will have to have a knife for protection. I also plan to stock his dorm with water and food as inconspicuously as possible. We have discussed the importance of keeping his mouth shut about this to others! If SHTF during the winter, he would most likely have to stay put.

  19. Curley Bull says:

    I’ll not go into a list of items, but was planning to write and article on this very subject to be posted. My how time gets away sometimes. You know, we could make a video on building and stocking a GHB.

    Rule of thumb with backpacks is max of 25% of body weight. I can no longer carry even that much, but can pull twice that. I chose a 1×4” plank frame with 12” non-pneumatic wheels and a zippered duffle. I could spend a month traveling with what I have (items + skill/knowledge).

    Something to think about. Give me a hollar.


    • Bctruck says:

      A video is a great idea. I’ll be in your neck of the woods tomorrow and maybe Friday. If I’m there Friday morning,are you free for coffee and a donut?

      • Curley Bull says:

        Sounds good. Call me with a little warning though.
        I’m headed to Shreveport now to visit a friend in the hospital and to Longview tomorrow to visit another friend in the hospital. Both having the same problem.

        • Loaded up my fishing gear and im heading your way now!!! catfish,,,,,,,be very afraid!!!!

          • Curley Bull says:

            Hold on Hoss! You know we charge you Lousisana tresspassers a special tax for catching and/or trying to eat up our fish! Hope you come prepared to tally up . . .

          • Bctruck says:

            It’s ok! I’m Texan by proxy! But,,,,, just in case, I brought crawfish. Maybe we can work a trade.

  20. I work 10min up to 3hrs from home, my bag has
    good knife, hand saw, metal cup, fire starter(4 ways-lighter-flint/steel-ferro rod- feso lens) cotton balls with vasoline, emberlit stove, 4oz of fuel and trangia, gerber ax, 2- clapsible water bottles, s.s. water bottle, rice and bullion cube, sawyer filter,mil poncho, 7×9 tarp, small roll gorilla tape, extra socks, soap, bug juice, small pack of seasoning, couple esbit solid tabs, rag, leather gloves, compass, 1-25 2-50 coils of para, small fishing kit, small first kit(w/ benadryl, anti-dirra meds),also a folding kitchen sink(yes a sink by sea to summit, i can wash or carry water or open and put over pack to keep it dry). Pack is 14x12x8 and weights about 12 lbs. i keep winter cloths in work trk and water in there too. I have pics but not sure how to put them up.

  21. Hobbitt of the Shire says:

    Another thing to think of is a network of like-minded friends to restock you on the way………In your case, east and west you have covered, that i know of……

  22. Bam Bam says:

    If anyone is interesting in reloading Rem. 223, you can pick up a new Lee Precision Load Master Press for $100 off here

    I keep an eye on the Ebay daily deals and this is the first time I’ve seen this.

  23. I work 50 miles away & made a GHB for both DH & my cars (each for 2) We live in So. CA & made the GHB last year. I went thru it a year later & all items withheld very well, surprisingly. The best things that I did was buy back packs that are divided into compartments. I then bought clear large cosmetic bags one for the first aid items & one for the hygiene items. This corralled all the little pcs. and made it easy to visually identify. I then made & printed a spread sheet list of all items & where to find them in the pack. This is kept in the very front pocket of the pack. This way we are not removing everything to find one item.. Turned out to be the MOST important piece in the pack. I had forgotten exactly what I had in there. One quick look & I knew exactly where to go. I am very fair skin, so I added an umbrella that can also be carried on hot days. Another item that we keep in the car at all times is the little folding hand truck, can be picked up at Costco or Amazon for under $40. This way you can put your pack on it and drag it along behind you. Saves a lot of strength & it holds up to 150 pounds.

  24. k. fields says:

    My bag would probably seem like overkill for most readers as I simply keep my backcountry backpacking outfit in the truck or motor-home. I enjoy hiking and camping so if I’m traveling and see a spot worth exploring, I can simply shoulder the bag and know I’m set for 4 – 5 days.

    But there are a few small things that I carry (that I don’t believe have been mentioned) that you might consider:

    A pair of compact binoculars (I like the Nikon Trailblazer) – sometimes it’s important to get an idea of your future path before you step on to it.
    A map and compass in case you need to change your route.
    A zippo lighter wrapped with strips of bicycle inner-tube (the inner-tube strips make great fire starters no matter how wet things may be).
    A headlamp (I like the Princeton-Tec Fuel) + an extra set of batteries. Much better than a flashlight.
    Some 100 mph tape, 550 cord and 24 gauge soft brass wire.
    A small Leatherman tool – I like the old Pulse as it’s very compact and the tools all lock open.
    A couple of sewing needles, 2 safety pins and a roll of dental floss for repairs (dental floss will repair most anything you can get a needle through).
    A pair of soft, leather work gloves (I prefer deerskin) – soft enough that you can fire a weapon but tough enough to protect your hands for the duration of your journey (some folks prefer those mechanic’s type gloves but I’ve never liked them).
    Extra wool socks and a hat.
    A large bandana (protects you from sun, dust and can be used as a water pre-filter).
    Sun/safety glasses – the kind with a strap so they won’t be lost and “safety” so they won’t break if impacted.
    Sun screen / lip gloss.
    A Rite-in-the-rain notebook and a couple of golf pencils.
    A compact garden trowel – the kind with the bail type fold up handle (I don’t think I need to explain what it’s mostly used for).

    • k.
      +10 on the binoculars, or even a small mono, seeing what’s ahead, choke point, ambush, down wires, large groups of people is very important and often overlooked. Being able to see trouble before you’re in it is always good. You may see that a couple of guys are armed or there was 7 guys now only two are visible, or even the roadway ahead is blocked or damaged saving a long turnaround hike.

  25. To make it home you need a S.P.U.D.
    Sustenance, Protection, Utility, and Direction

    Easy as this just food and water. Crackers, tuna pouch, powdered energy drinks, granola bars. Water in a canteen or bottle. Purification tablets and a water straw.

    Mostly protection from the elements, but occasionally from people and wild animals. Appropriate clothing for the weather and location. Good socks and shoes. Breathable or warm clothing depending on the climate. Rain gear. If you have to travel more than a day, a large poncho or a small tarp for shelter if you have room. A concealable firearm or knife for those live threats.

    This varies on your length of travel and expected obstacles. Utility knife, fire making equipment, first aid kit. Traveling by bike, you may need a tire repair kit. Length of cordage and duct tape. Handkerchief or shemagh to keep the sun off you neck, mop the sweat off your forehead, keep you from breathing in dust and smoke. This category is wide open for adding items unique to your situation.

    You need to know where you are going and how to get there. Laminated and foldable map of the local area with multiple routes marked with distances. A compass if you are traveling overland with few landmarks. Flashlight and/or headlamp so you can see where you are going.

  26. Howdy,

    I don’t have a bug out bag. Not much sense in it if you don’t have anyplace to bug out to. I do have a get home bag that I could use if I had to. I work 35 miles from Homs so I use a black three day assault pack from Condor. It’s big enough to hold a Ruger 10/22 takedown in the back of it. I have three 25 round mags in it plus 200 extra. Two mags each of 45 and 380. One medium kbar tanto knife. My fire kit includes a lighter, matches, a striker, magnesium flakes,and kinder from the dryer. I also have a small emergency lamp made with liquid paraffin that I can use for heating water in a tin canteen cup. It’s on unstructables as emergency lamp. A decent first aid kit. Six mountain house meals some snacks, and gatoraid. I have a shemaug, poncho, dewrag, sock sand underwear. The pack holds two 100oz camelbacks and I have a filter attachment. 100′ of para cord and a bivy sack. There’s a few other items. I have a gerber gladius machete attached to the outside and a good walking stick with a compass on it. It’s a nice and thick head thumper if I need it.

  27. riverrider says:

    hope you have a pack mule to carry all these things for you! i won’t advise what you should pack, but what you shouldn’t. getting home will be your primary concern. it won’t be a camping trip. unless you are more than 3 days walk away, leave the tent out, along with the cooking kit, stove, food requiring preparation and anything else not required for walking. leave the rain suit if you carry a poncho or tarp, you can wrap up in it to stay dry. the reverse is also true. dump the sleeping bag, you won’t be sleeping long if at all. a poncho liner, wool blanket, fleece blanket etc can be enough for you to wrap up in for a cat nap up against a tree. like i said this won’t be a camping trip. pack light and haul a$$!

  28. ChristineM says:

    A few more random thoughts:
    Sweatband to hold bandana in place.
    Ladies: I just did a major purse purge & lost 2 pounds.
    Child’s Inflatable Pool Donut — Inflate and tie to your pack
    for JUST IN CASE you have to drop your pack at those
    high water crossings and you’ll know where to dive.
    Holds water too and you can sling it over your shoulder.
    Disguise your Gear — New pack? Sponge a little rust color
    primer on exposed metal, paint on a few odd colored stains,
    and add white “bird poop” drips. Add some frayed duct
    tape to your “cracked” walking stick.
    OK, I’ll be quiet now. I really try not to be absurd, but sometimes imagination overrides brain.

  29. I bought a kit from a prominent company and everything is packed in a bright red bag. Now I’m thinking I need to ditch the bag because it screams “emergency.” Maybe I’ll find a good book bag at the back-to-school sales.

    • No Way,
      Its better to go with a more subdued bag and gear… dark blue, light brown, classic black, you don’t want to it to look like a gear bag…maybe it’s a gym bag or it’s got school supplies in it not worth the bother. Inside ,however, should be a brightly colored, orange, red, bright green, reflective, bandana or safety vest or rain fly incase you need to be seen…injured, or lost, walking a busy road. Its easier than trying to hide a bright, ‘hey over here’ bag if the need to escape should arise.

  30. I get the strong impression that most posters here have not addressed and evaluated the most important aspect of a Get Home Bag. That is… Where are you starting from??
    5 days a week I am at work. 13 miles. 1 day a week I fill up my truck with gas. 4 miles from home. That is 95% of my routine travel. The remaining 5% is within 12 miles.
    On a rare occasion when I have to go 100 or more miles from home I take more but I also accept the fact that I might not make it back again.

    • Ron,
      good point, the amount of time spent at a certain distance is a good plan. I work five days a week, 10-12 hours a day 24 miles from home…that’s what I plan for. If I’m going further, or more people are coming with, then my gear gets upgraded. If not, like just running a couple miles to the store, then I’m already covered.

  31. I work 24 miles from home so I use my lil’ Hyundai to go back and forth, my HD Suburban is a tank but it also gobbles up three times the fuel. The Hyundai runs light and empty, plan is if it gets trapped or disabled just leave it and go. It would probably take one, maybe two days to get back on foot.
    GHB’s should be lightweight, look civilian so as not to attract attention but still be decent in size to carry enough to get where you need to go. I use my daypack with a couple things switched out, leave the tents, sleeping bags, 5 piece cook sets, anything bulky, heavy, or that will stand out too much. My EDC, a small ‘fanny’ pack, is always with me already, it has a lot of useful gear, fixed blade knife, multitool, two firestarters… lighter and firesteel, two flashlights and a headlamp, Glock 23, two extra mags, and a bunch more little things. Added to the GHB is clothing appropriate to the season, two ‘space’ type covers…a bivy and a blanket, extra ammo, easily lit tinder, small binoculars, straw type water filter, steel cup, some snacks and tea bags, 100′ paracord, extra batteries, large orange/green safety type vest…if I want to be seen…basic gear to get through a couple days on the road/trail. I’m looking into a tactical style 12 gauge that folds up small enough to keep out of sight. Most likely the disaster will be localized or just beginning, not some sudden SHTF/end of the world scenario… so once again you don’t want to attract attention, just person walking along, no AR’s slung over your shoulder or 27″ machetes strapped to leg, no military look camo or open carry sidearms.
    So lightweight, even a cheapo kids backpack, doesn’t stand out, blend in clothes, especially good shoes, plain old Joe walking along.

  32. Big D,
    I don’t pack seasonal clothing. What ever season it might be I am already dressed appropriately when I leave in the morning.

    I was just picturing Big D with a Sponge Bob kids pack. Now who would notice that?

    • Ron,
      I wear a uniform at work with work boots. I keep more appropriate clothes in my GHB, the uni’s limit range of movement, are cold in winter and hot in summer, the boots would not be a good choice for a 24 mile hike.
      I also keep a hat, baseball style in summer…baklava in winter, warm gloves for winter…mechanix type in the summer, a shemagh is good all year.
      Reminds me of Men in Black…sweet little Tiffany…with advanced calculus textbooks, in the middle of the ‘hood at two a m …she might be up to something.

      • “…uni’s limit range of movement, are cold in winter and hot in summer”…
        I cant imagine who would pick a uniform like that or for what kind of work.

        • Elizabeth says:

          freakin’ security company uniform with the “cold in winter and hot in summer” polyester pants!! switched out for black denim and hang the ‘that’s not your proper uniform’. standard reply : ‘I am allergic to polyester.’

  33. ‘I am allergic to”…
    Great answer.

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  37. I’m rarely more than 10 miles from home. A days walk at most so my GHB needs are minimal. I conceal carry an XDM with two spare magazines and a 22 magnum derringer along with a large spring assist folding knife.

    I keep a case of water in my truck, a dry sack of mountain house meals and a nondescript back pack with all the usual suspects. I live in Florida so shelter isn’t really something I worry about.

    I can only see two events which would require me to walk home. High altitude EMP (HEMP) or martial law. In the event of HEMP I’m fairly confident I can make it home before things get to bad. Martial law on the other hand worries me.

    I always wear boots and jeans. I keep a hard hat, lunch box and reflective vest in the truck. I also have six different wind breakers in six different colors. They smash down to next to nothing and can be switched quickly. A couple of different colored ball caps in the back pack complete my quick change disguise. Weak I know, but possibly in the initial chaos of martial law enough to let me blend in and not be noticed.

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