I am sure you’ve all heard of Bug Out Bags, designed to allow for quick and effective evacuation during times of civil unrest. Many of you probably have one, or more, of these mobile tactical kits stowed in your home, car or office “just in case.” But, although you are prepared for the zombie apocalypse, are you prepared to make it home to your family if left stranded when transportation networks shut down? Do you have a “Get Home Bag?”
Get Home Bags (GHB) are similar to Bug Out Bags (BOB) in that they allow you to keep essential survival items close at hand and carry them while moving on foot. However, where the BOB is designed to allow you to survive and defend yourself during civil unrest, GHBs are designed to allow you to keep from getting stranded when normal transportation modes shut down and you are forced to walk. Most often this is the result of a natural disaster, meaning you will require a different type of gear.
- The bag – almost any bag will work, but some will work better than others. As with a BOB, your GHB should be capable of carrying all your gear easily while allowing accessibility to your most important items at a moment’s notice. Backpacks have become a favorite platform because they offer a variety of pockets and pouches while the straps allow hands free carrying.
- Change of clothes – having a change of clothes available can mean the difference between a safe hike home and a trip to the ER, especially if you get wet during dropping temperatures. If your normal day to day travel requires you to wear a suit and dress shoes, I would recommend keeping an initial change of clothes and a sturdy pair of footwear in your vehicle to change into prior to setting out. Remember to update your available clothing as the seasons change.
- Food and water – you cannot count on simply walking into the local 7-Eleven for a drink and hot dog when conditions deteriorate. Make sure you have enough energy bars, beef jerky, MREs or other dry goods on hand for at least 72 hrs. It is doubtful you will be able to carry enough water for more than 24 hours, but you can extend your survivability by including a filtering straw or water purification tablets.
- Navigation kit – if you carry a smart phone then you already have access to a map and GPS. In an emergency there is a good likelihood that phone systems will be unreliable, if operational at all. This means that an old fashioned paper map and compass is a very important part of your GHB. Insure that you highlight predetermined shelter points along your day to day travel routes including fire stations, ERs, police departments and the homes of friends or family.
- First aid kit – a small first aid kit is a must in any GHB. Ensure that you have a small supply of bandages, OTC pain medication, tapes and items necessary to address hiking related injuries. If you take any prescription medication, include a 3 day supply.
- Shelter – although including a full size tent or shelter may not be practical, you do need some means of protecting yourself from the elements if you need stop for the night. A small tarp or piece of heavy duty plastic will provide minimum shelter and takes up little space.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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