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What Type of GET HOME BAG Do You Have… & What’s In It?

by SGT,

Friends, in these crazy times sharing survival related info with each other is important. Over the past year we’ve heard from author and SurvivalBlog.com founder James Wesley Rawles. And we’ve featured posts from Rawles’ SurvivalBlog, Survival and Beyond, Ammoland, ReThink Survival and nutnfancy, among others. But all of this good info can get a bit hard to consume – much less fully digest – when our primary focus each day is on economic crimes, precious metals and the emerging police state.

So here’s a question for you. What in your opinion, is the best quality, most useful ‘Get Home Bag’ (or Bug Out Bag)? Please leave us your thoughts in the comments below. What’s your favorite brand and model – and why? Also, what are the top ten most important items you’ve loaded into yours? I have one from Maxpedition and it’s great, but I could stand to get a slightly larger one.

I think this is a conversation that can benefit a lot of folks who still haven’t taken this particular step in the Prepper’s journey. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

38 comments to What Type of GET HOME BAG Do You Have… & What’s In It?

  • Mike

    From experience I can say without a doubt stay away from anything heavy and too many pockets etc.I see these SHTF bags all the time and the bags themselves add a lot of weight. With anything keep it simple and if you expect to be running keep it very very light. You dont need 90% of the crap you’ll think you need now. Anything like the picture above stay away from…Just my .02! I like any bag without pockets that is streamedlined to be light.That extra pound or two is the difference of breaking the Camels back or in this case yours. The weight I carry I just want to be contents not the bag itself. Dont have a favorite.

  • GoodOleBoy

    Couple bottles of water, couple HD trash bags, duck tape, fire starter (no matches or lighters, they can get wet or not work), trail mix, can soda (sugar is a boost and the can be used to cook with among other things), gloves, pullover or blanket (cold really sucks), a headlamp, a small tomahawk, and Ruger 10/22 with an extra box or ammo. The Ruger is always in my truck with me along with my go bag, my Glock, and my Gerber knife. The Ruger 10/22 is lightweight, holds a bunch of rounds, and if your a good shot will take down most game. The bag is a regular Northface hiking bag with the back brace because my back hurts from an old injury.

    The good thing is none of this is really heavy which is a big deal like previously mentioned.

  • NaySayer

    Since this is a get home bag and not a bug out bag, I could leave out a lot of the camping equipment.

    1. Lantern/Flashlight, crank powered type with built in AMFM Radio and siren. It is no time to be running out of batteries when you are trying to get home.

    2. Energy bars/Granola Bars
    3. Water, bottles of water & a small filtering bottle or straw too.
    4. Space Blankets, 2 or 3. (small folded, big when unfolded keeps in 90% of body heat)

    5. Gun, ammo
    6. Comfortable shoes made for walking if necessary
    7. Twine. Could be used with a space blanket to make a tent. Could be used for many things as well.
    8 Clean Bandanas. Several of them. They are good for a multitude of uses.
    9. 1st Aid kid
    10. Swiss Army type knife or Multi Tool.

  • NaySayer

    For her birthday last year I got my sister a crank/hand powered lantern with built in amfm radio and a siren as well as some space blankets and a rain poncho. I also made her a small woodgas stove from a large tin can like spagetti sauce comes in and a soda can. You can find videos on how to do it on youtube.

    If it hits the fan she will have light, a radio for information, warmth from the space blankets and a way to have heat and cooking with her small woodgas stove using very little fuel. Other than giving all my relatives silver for gifts that is what I have also given family members.

  • RedOak

    1. Waterproof hiking boots (broken in)
    2. Maps and compass (not taking roads)
    3. Iodine pills (water purification)
    4. Pocket Constitution
    5. Space blanket and tent made out of same material
    6. matches in waterproof container
    7. high calorie snack bars
    8. camo rain jacket
    9. empty metal coffee can (boiling water, etc)
    10. multi-tool
    11. Constitutional silver coins
    12. hand-crank flashlight
    13. 1st aid kit
    14. paracord survival bracelet

  • CAJUN

    WOW! Y’all are talking “Heavy Logistics”! What if you had only “1-2 seconds” to haul ass, what would you then take???

  • bestkeylar

    Hard cash and a GUN !!!!

  • James

    I’m the UK, commute to work and work at multiple locations. No matter where I am (even out to lunch, or out and about at weekends), I carry an EDC (Every Day Carry). The EDC pack is a Deuter Neo Belt 2 which is discrete and flexible enough to contour to the body and sit beneath any outer layer. I’ve squeezed in the following items:

    – SOG multitool
    – 2 x AAA LED torches (might as well carry extra torch instead of spare battery)
    – SureFire EP3 ear protection (in case I forget hearing protection for the range)
    – pen/PostIt pad
    – plasters
    – antiseptic cream
    – titanium fork/spoon (weighs nothing)
    – 3M FFP3 dust mask
    – cash/cards
    – house keys

    Believe it or not, this all fits into this tiny little hip pack. This EDC is not meant to be a BoB, just a bunch of items that you never know when you’ll need ‘em. Credit goes out to NUTNFANCY of YouTube fame for inspiring me to do this. Sadly, I’m not permitted to carry a Glock ;)

  • Troy

    I’m lucky enough to live in an area if the SHTF, I would want to be in no other place..I’ll bug in.

    • lastmanstanding

      ditto…unless I’m at work and an emp does my truck in. have a mtn bike for good weather but difficult in winter, then on foot…pick any of the survival scenarios that Cody Lundeen, Les Stroud have faced and that will be what it takes for me to get home…but when I get home it will be impossible to eliminate me from that point forward.

      have spent alot of time traveling thru the mountains in all seasons but am getting older…looking for an emp proof rig to ease the trip.

      oh…2 firearms are mandatory in my neck of the mountains.

    • lastmanstanding

      …and a crapload of faith…

    • Ed_B

      Agree, Troy. It always amazes me when people fortify the crap out of their home and have tons of food and water but are willing to “bug out” and leave it all behind when the SHTF. Not me. I have what I need right here and I am not leaving it. Here, I am strong, well stocked, and well prepared. If I bug out, I will be FAR less prepared and weak. Yes, I will gain some mobility for a time, perhaps, but the loss of my stored preps will not make up for that. In fact, our place is a family meeting place and we have room for all of them. We can all live here, watch each others backs, and deal with whatever comes. We also have plenty of firepower and training to do as well as we possibly can with defending our place.

      This is not to say that I do not have an E-bag, though, in case I am elsewhere and need to get home. I got a cheap backpack from WalMart that works really well for this. It cost about $17 and has room for the essentials:

      1. 100 feet of polycord
      2. 1 small plastic tarp
      3. 4 space blankets
      4. Ruger LC9 pistol and 100 rounds of ammo (ammo is always in truck)
      5. small 1st aid kit
      6. 2 charged batteries for my cell phone
      7. a dozen granola bars
      8. small pot, plate, cup, & fork package
      9. small fishing kit in plastic box (hooks, line, etc)
      10. county map & compass
      11. 4 cans tuna
      12. 2 pairs of sox in ziplok bag
      13. fire starter
      14. Buck hunting knife w/ belt sheath & sharpening stone
      15. 2 pint water bottles & iodine tabs
      16. small pair of binocs
      17. multi-tool (like Leathermans tool)
      18. 2 small LED flashlights
      19. several aluminum coffee packets & filters
      20. $20 face in US 90% silver coins

      All of this together weighs about 15 lbs. Easily carried.

  • nurikabe

    I have gear bag that I use for camping, hiking, and general emergency preparedness. Unlike Mike I really like my multi-pocketed army surplus ALICE pack (you can get them with frame from ebay for about $40). It’s a little heavy and uncomfortable, but useful when organizing stuff for an entire family. For any bag, a clear map pocket is a must. My favorite items that go in (or strapped to) the bag include:

    1. LifeStraws (Super light water filters)
    2. Ghillie Kettle (Basically a small rocket stove in kettle form; cook anywhere with twigs. More expensive than the Kelly Kettle, but sturdier.)
    3. ToolLogic Firesteel knife (Knife and fire starter in one.. newer models also have a flashlight)
    4. Black Diamond “Sprinter” headlamp. (USB rechargeable. Great for night jogging; awesome for camping and power outages when you need two hands free in the dark.)
    5. Eton Rover hand crank flashlight/radio/usb charger. (I use it to charge the above, mobile phones, etc)
    6. CRKT Eat’N Tools (A genious little slab of metal..)
    7. Mad Grip Gloves
    8. GreeNoodles (Healthy instant ramen if you can believe that. I like to have a light food item that can be cooked and served hot in addition to energy bars, etc.)

    Beyond the above I have water proof matches, mylar blankets, etc. Stuff one would normally want when out in the woods.

    I’m personally not so concerned about bugging “out”. If we did have to leave in a hurry, I’d grab a couple of Sta-Bil buffered cans of gas and we’d all pile in the truck. I keep general supplies in there including “Exta Fuel” (http://extrafuel.net/) which, unlike gasoline, can be stored safely inside the vehicle.

  • Kevin Warren

    In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with a Government issue military ALICE pack. For a get home bag, the medium sized ALICE bag is great.

  • ib12541

    this is a useless exercise. it really depends on where you are when the shtf right? one who lives in washington but is currently in florida or even europe would need things that someone located across town wouldn’t. the parameters are all over the map here.

    • SGT

      I love this! Thanks guys, each of you has at least one item in your bag that I don’t have in mine. I’m adding a few specific things to mine now because of these responses!!! Thanks for commenting!

  • stackers

    two bags of grass,
    seventy-five pellets of mescaline,
    five sheets of high-powered blotter acid,
    a saltshaker half-full of cocaine,
    and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers…
    Also, a quart of tequila,
    a quart of rum,
    a case of beer,
    a pint of raw ether,
    and two dozen amyls.

    Never when you might stumble into bat country. Best to be prepared.

    • SGT

      See, I don’t have any of these items in my bag. BTW, you may need to watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhlaHwnErBI

    • lastmanstanding

      sounds more like you are giving up…you will find that beer is to heavy unless you just decide to sit down and let it happen.

      • stackers

        It will be loaded up in the back of my red 1973 Cadillac convertible, so no worries.

        • lastmanstanding

          fuckin sweet bro…a ride that a guy can work on with a motor (emp proof) that revolutionized the industry…didn’t mean to be condesending…I just kick everyone in the ass these days…even myself.

          i want to live…and can’t/don’t want to do it alone.

    • GoodOleBoy

      Damn bats! As messed up as Hunter S Thompson was, he is a true American hero. He pissed off a lot of elites with his writings.

    • Iguana One

      And now for some light heartedness: My get home bag will have:
      One McDonalds gift card ( for dinners)
      my MSNBC Member’s pullover turtleneck sweater
      A copy of TIME mag ( with Obama on the cover)
      Diane Feinstien’s biography ( a little light reading in the wilderness)
      My IPAD
      My gameboy
      One bag of Gluten free potato chips
      One six pack of Diet coke
      500. dollars in Federal Reserve notes
      Instant Starbuck’s crystals ( for morning coffee)
      My birkenstocks
      and finally my Nutri-bullet ( for smoothies)
      There , I’m all set to bug out and get home in case the SHTF. :(

  • Supernatural

    One other point: No one really wants to leave their vehicle and strike out on foot. But look at all these steel cable barricades on all our highways, which make it close to impossible to egress the other way. SOLUTION: ANGLE GRINDER. They are available battery powered.

  • Troy

    In my opinion, if you have to “bug out” you live in the wrong place, and you should sell it, and get out in the country by like minded people. I live in an area that is 5 miles out between two small towns. EVERYONE in my area knows the land, they all hunt and fish, can build things, have livestock, we have two rivers, marsh, and untouched by man state land that can be used to hunt. We have many many deer, coyote, raccoon, rabbits, pheasant, squirrel, wild turkey etc. Neighbors raise cattle, sheep and chickens. Beautiful Minnesota black dirt which can grow more food than anyone could eat. We all have guns, compound bows, ammo stock, food preps…well some of them do. We have generators, gas supply, propane and propane grills, heaters, solar lights, waters filters, rain barrels etc. Eden Pure heaters are a must..then can make lots of heat and can be plugged into generators. Have 100 gallons of gas at all times, I currently have 140. Many many tanks of propane. Have firewood, firepit, and large rocks for heating and putting in house if needed. A 400 degree large rock can get a room in your house over 70 degrees…if you have lots of rocks, you can rotate them for a home heat source if grid goes down. Burn a fire outside, heat rocks, and rotate them. You will nee to make a item for carrying large hot rocks. Also flat black painted sheet metal for placing in the sunlight in you house during the day can make your house very warm on cold sunny days. Have Mountain House #10 can, have a few thousand canned goods, lots of wild rice, lots of food period. Lots of AAA batteries with small LED flashlights, they last for HOURS and hours..sometimes 20-40 hours with 3 AAA batteries.

  • YankeeDoodle

    Four day survival Bug out Bag:
    Four day supply of freeze-dried food.
    Hershey bars.
    Small multi fuel stove with cup.
    Fire starter and Super tanker all weather butane lighter.
    Folding pocket knife 3 inch.
    12 inch fixed blade survival knife with sheath.
    Knife sharpener.
    Fenix led flashlight with extra batteries.
    Handy wipes.
    Utensils for eating, knife, fork, spoon.
    Change of underwear and socks.
    Katadyn Vario portable water filter system.
    BPA free water bottle that fits Katadyn Vario portable water filter.
    Lifestraw.
    Canteen filled.
    Toilet paper (5 rolled individual packs)
    Compass (2)
    Small unbreakable mirror.
    Siphon ball type.
    Hemcon bandages for stopping hemorrhaging.
    Tourniquet.
    Work gloves.
    Small adjustable wrench.

  • NaySayer

    You can also have stuff on your keychain/ring that will be helpful as well. On my keyring I have a very small plastic combination flashlight/compass/whistle, a very small metal Army P-whatever number it is can opener commonly known as a “john wayne” (although Cody Lundin says you can always just rub the edge of the can on a rock or concrete and it will open with some work), & a can of pepper spray.

  • baracalypse

    GHB…
    Red Rock Rover sling bag (very cheap, high quality, compact). I laced the sling to the bag w para-cord to keep it stowed ’til I need it. It’s easy to move with the sewn in handle on top. There are more pockets inside that I can fill.
    GHB contents….
    16 oz stainless water bottle
    water filter survival straw
    water purification tabs
    plastic spoons
    Lipton soup packets
    Power Bars
    matches
    lighter
    flint stick
    string
    mylar blanket
    mylar sleeping bag
    hat
    gloves
    socks
    flashlight
    glow stick
    AM/FM radio
    Sharpie
    paper
    compass
    tinfoil
    trash bag
    bandanas
    first aid kit
    dust mask
    pocket knife
    Gerber multi tool
    Pocket size pistol and holster.

    I based my bag on the need to walk home if no vehicles were running….. I live 30 miles from my work and I work outside so I’m always dressed for the conditions and for rugged activity. I keep a case of bottled water in my car and restock when I’m down to a 6-pack. Don’t leave home without it!

  • Mark S. Mann

    You MUST have a super high quality water purifier. DO NOT be cheap about this. With out clean water you will be dead in days. Personally I prefer Katadyn products, specifically the “Katadyn Pocket”. This is not cheap, but well worth every penny.

    • James

      Second that! I just bought a couple of Katadyn Combi’s and they’re not cheap. Looking forward to using them. I liked the look and build of the Katadyn Pocket (looks awesome) but the Combi had integrated charcoal filters and cost a lot less here (charcoal improves taste, smell and deals with pesticides). I did have a Berkey Go but it let me down the first time I tried to use it. I’ve been happy with their household systems though. I reckon it took me four years to justify the Katadyn purchase to myself :) I’ve also added Steripen Classic to each Katadyn kit so that will, I hope, cover most situations. Of course, this is not part of my EDC.

      I would expect a lot of people hold back on the water filtration, it is so, so expensive but you won’t be eating any food if the water isn’t good. This video contains huge amounts of prep information and tips from a couple of experts – Sean, you might even want to feature it?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZkqp7VR-zM

      I’m trying my first Mountain House meal tomorrow ;) They’ve just become available in Europe and while they’re horribly expensive (check it out, £33 for a #10 can), they might be a good option for some people.

  • Mark S. Mann

    In my opinion one of the most important items that you can have in you bug out bag is a super high quality water purifier. Personally, I like Katadyn products,and they are considered top of the line by many people. In my opinion the Katadyn “Pocket” is the best packable, small hand held water purifier in the world. At $365 full retail price they are not cheap, but you do get what you pay for in performance in size and weight.
    Don’t be cheap about this. You will be DEAD in days with out clean water.
    Also, assuming communications are still working, you will want to be able to contact your family. I also suggest a portable cell phone charger. I like the Brunton “Restore”. It is about the size of a box of 20 rifle rounds and will recharge your cell phone 4 times before you need to recharge it by letting it sit in the sun for 8 hours.

  • Mark S. Mann

    OH….and by the way….Only oneperson listed Compass! How will you get to where you want to go or find your way back home with out a Compass and Maps? I like to have 2 compass because if I doubt the reading, I can use a second compass to be sure. Also, you will want to avoid major roads and go around bridges if necessary. If you can not navigate, you will be lost in space.

    • NaySayer

      The sun comes up in the east and sets in the west. Moss grows on the north side of trees. Even without a compass, even though I have one on my keychain, I think I could figure out generally which way to walk.

  • Fonestar

    ALICE pack all the way! I have heard bad things about the MOLLE system, breaking in the field, etc. For the price of these bags and what you can attach to them with the optional cargo shelf they cannot be beaten.

    Three day’s worth of MREs, basic tools, pocket rocket stove, fuel, dry bag, canteen kit, air mattress and bivy sack.

    I know some trail geeks will harp on the ALICE as being heavy, uncomfortable and outdated. I would take structural rigidity and functionality over a light bag any day. These bags were built for warfare, not a day hike to Yosemite.

  • Troy

    Here is a water filter that can be used forever. Check out this video. I have one of these filters. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31fX8uqPKc8

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