note: first appeared in January 2015
Have you ever considered being at work, school, church, or anywhere other than home – and then wondered if a disaster hit right now, right here…how would I get home? Especially a situation such as “grid-down” and you couldn’t drive? Yes, maybe an EMP situation but I am not talking that drastic, I am just saying it was an emergency and you were stuck traveling on foot.
Well, you still have the basic emergency and disaster priorities LIPS <click here>. So your first thought should be what gear and equipment do you have to work with. Then what gear and equipment is available to you in your immediate surroundings, and then what can you acquire by scavenging. Wouldn’t it be great to start with a basic gear load to help you get home to your family?
It’s called a Get Home Bag (GHB). Let’s get talking about what I think is a good basic load for a GHB. Keep in mind that your GHB may contain items different than the list here. And your list should be based on your needs vs. mine. But this is a good starting part to get you thinking.
Any project with me has to have a clear, specific mission to make sure I am focused on the “need & solution.” Here is my mission statement for my GHB:
To provide necessary items required to assist in returning to my home from work or another location. To provide the primary means of survival, including: defense, first aid, communications, water, food, shelter and navigation.
Remember: I am a huge believer in the “space & weight” concept. You can always find lots of stuff to put in your bag. BUT…Is it really needed just to get home? That’s all you are trying to do…just get home. So before you start loading that bag up, consider each piece of gear and decide is it is really needed. I would rather move lighter and faster vs. carrying the kitchen sink.
PACK – Fieldline Tactical Pack : You can use any pack you wish but I like this particular pack for its compartments, accessibility, and comfort. It is sturdy and plenty of options to store gear. There is a good argument to be made to use a civilian pack to lower your profile and blend in more. Your choice.
DEFENSE – I carry a separate small bag with me each day that carries my every day carry pistol, extra magazines, tactical light, pepper spray, and holster. So those items are always with me in my truck. Additionally, in my GHB kit I have have a ESEE3 knife, extra magazine and 48 rounds of XTP and a double magazine pouch. There is no folding knife listed because I always have my Spyderco Paramilitary 2 on me .
FIRST AID – Elwyn Field Dressing (carried on my person). In the pack: 6″ Israeli Trauma Dressing, Mole Skin, Quick Clot, 4-1/2″ role of gauze.
WATER- NDuR survival straw or LifeStarw (carried on my person). In the pack: 2-liter bladder (in the pack’s bladder compartment), 1-1/2 liter aluminum water bottle, and Portable Aqua Tablets.
FOOD – In the pack: 3xFreeze dried food pouch, 1xFreeze dried granola with milk & blueberries, stainless steel GI cup, spork.
COMMUNICATIONS – I have my cell phone but I don’t depend on it for communications. Baofeng UV-5r handheld radio in pouch (carried on my person). In the pack: Whistle, signal mirror, and 3″x5″ (Write in the Rain) notebook with pen. Plus, 12vDC charger and a 14.5″ antenna for the radio.
FIRE – 3 lighters; 1 on my person, 2 in the pack. One container of waterproof matches in my pack.
LIGHT – Petzel Tactikka XP headlamp (carried on my person). In the pack: Gerber Recon LED flashlight (white, red, blue lights) and one extra set of batteries for each.
MISC. – Celestron 10 x 25 monocular, map in a Ziplock bag, toilet paper in a Ziplock bag, hand sanitizer, body wipe towelette, compass, money pouch with $50 in bills and coins, camo poncho, pair of Mechanix brand gloves, and 550 paracord (12′ with Maxpedition carabineer & 18′ with Maxpedition carabineer)
- I consider the Elwyn Field Dressing as my Blow-Out-Kit (BOK) and is carried in a cargo pocket of my pants.
- I use Mountain House freeze dried food because it tastes great and is very lightweight. It can actually be eaten with cold water or simply by itself without water.
- Hand sanitizer is critical! Not keeping your hands clean after bathroom breaks and before eating will make you very sick.
- The camo poncho is my choice for its ability to help conceal you on the trip home if needed. It can also be used as a shelter along with the paracord. And if all else fails, when it rains it can help keep you dry.
- The 550 paracord is in two different lengths so I am less likely to have to cut it. I use only 550 paracord for its superior strength and durability. If you haven’t used the Maxpedition carabineers you haven’t lived. They are fantastic.
- The body wipe is in there in case you are out longer than overnight. Getting crotch rot sucks. Keep yourself clean to keep yourself on the move.
- I chose the ESEE3 vs. my ESEE6 in this situation because the 3 is smaller, lighter weight and easier to conceal. That little knife is just as sturdy and useful as its 6″ bigger brother.
Get prepared, prepare a bag, get home. You family needs you.
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