From: Sibi Totique
The Get Home Bag
What kind of bag you should get depends on your every day activity. Ideally you should be able to carry both the items that you need for your everyday activities like a computer, notes, books, lunch boxand other essentials in addition to the items you carry for crisis preparedness. Another option is to have a separate bag for emergencies in your vehicle or at your office.
The size of the bag depends on how much space you need and what kind of bag that you prefer. Back packs are generally the most comfortable solution especially if you have a heavy pack. Shoulder bags can be a good alternative but are not as comfortable to carry if they are heavy since al the weight of the bag will be on one shoulder. There are also bags that are a mix between backpacks and shoulders bags called gear slinger.
Maxpedition make some interesting bags in this category like the Monsoon, Sitka and Kodiak. There are a number of different companies that makes excellent bags like Fjällräven, Osprey, JanSport, Lundhags, Klättermusen, Haglöfs, Exped, The North Face, Norröna, Bergans, GoLite and Arcteryx. Find a bag that fits your needs and that is comfortable to carry.
Suggested items for the Get Home Bag
• A Get Home Bag should have some kind of shelter than can help shield you from the elements, this can for example be a light weight poncho, bivanorak, Fjellduk, emergency blanket or light weight tarp.
• Water is something that can be critical in a survival situation and your bag should have at least one small water bottle, the bottles from Nalgene and SIGG has a high quality a normal soda bottle can be used as well. This can also help you save money instead of buying soft drinks while on the move.
• A Survival Knife is a useful tool but you must check what the specific legal aspect of this is for your country – what kind of knives are legal and where is it allowed to carry them? There are also credit card sized tool kits from Victorinox and Tool Logic that you can carry in your wallet at all times.
• A compact flashlight or headlamp can provide light in dark conditions and be used for signaling. Choose a compact light that doesn’t take up to much space in your bag. Compact flashlights thats using a single AA or AAA battery can be found from Fenix and 4Sevens, the anglelights from ZebraLight can also be an interesting alternative.
• A compact First Aid Kit with some basic band aids and disinfection wipes can be a good thing for treating small cuts and treating wounds. The first aid kit is important but the most important part is that you take a course so that you know CPR and the basic skills. Also include some painkillers and anti-diarrheal tablets. If it is flu-season a small tube with alcohol based disinfection may also be a useful addition.
• Some kind of item that can help you start a fire like a fire steel, lighter or matches in a waterproof container.
• Roadmap / Citymap and Compass or GPS
• Notebook and Pen, excellent for writing down important information or for leaving a note. I personally like the notebooks from Rite in the Rain.
• A Pocket Survival Kit
• Paracord or Duct tape
• Signal Mirror and Whistle
• Lighter and more compact than a Bug Out Bag
• The bag be used as an Every Day Carry Bag
• Provides an resource to deal with problems in your everyday life
• Not as comprehensive as a Bug Out Bag
A Get Home Bag is a concept that lands somewhere between your Every Day Carry and a
Light Weight Bug Out Bag. There is no clear line between the different concepts, the important thing is that you create a concept that fit your personal needs and provides the tools that you need. Disasters can strike without any warning and even if your Get Home Bag is not designed to provide the function for an evacuation you may have to make do with this bag or your Every Day Carry in a worst case scenario. Equipment is an import part of preparedness, but items can be lost or incomplete. The main focus of your efforts should always be too improve your health and physical fitness, learn relevant skills and your improving your knowledge since these are the things that is always with you, no matter the situation