10 Essentials For Your GET HOME BAG

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Bug Out Bags are often hot topics on firearms, survival and ‘prepping’ forums across the internet. And while I fully support the open debate and discussion about survival kits, the main question, ‘what does the term “bug out” actually mean?’ sometimes doesn’t get answered. In most “adverse event” situations, your goal should be to get home safely to your family, friends and support system. A properly stocked and maintained ‘Get Home Bag’ will help you return-to-base safely and efficiently.

TFB is not a survival blog, however I tend to believe that most responsible firearms owners are also good at planning and preparing for traumatic events. So hopefully I have a receptive audience. On the flip side, much of this information might be too basic for our regular readers. If this article goes over well, we will consider intermediate and advanced preparation equipment, skills and techniques.

The Get Home Bag:

First and foremost, invest in a good, comfortable and well-made pack or bag. Pick one that is at least water resistant, has plenty of storage with high quality zippers and hardware. Also important is the size: stick with a day pack size and not one that is meant for a week-long adventure. You’ll only be packing enough gear and supplies to maintain yourself for 24-48 hours while you make your way home.

Some available options:
Hill People Gear Ashton House Pack
Prometheus Deign Werx S.H.A.D.O.
Sneaky Bags SENTINEL
Hazard 4 Plan-C
Camelbak Skirmish

1 . Pistol, Ammo, Mags:

TFB GET HOME BAG

Glock 19 and Suppressor in a Hill People Gear Kit Bag

Survival discussions go hand in hand with firearms discussions, but this isn’t the time or place to discuss personal carry-gun choices. Here’s one suggestion: a ‘Get Home Bag’ is not built for a carbine, short barreled rifle or AR-style pistol. Stick with a traditional, well made handgun that you know inside and out. If you carry concealed 24/7, great, use the space you saved for an extra spare magazine. If you choose to keep a handgun in your bag, make sure that you follow all laws and take proper storage and safety precautions.

As for ammunition, a total of three magazines should be a good compromise between weight savings and proper armament – you are not going to war, you are making your way home. Also, I happen to believe a weapon light is a must for any respectable defensive pistol. Holsters are also a personal choice, but I suggest something well made with solid retention.

Glock 19
S&W M&P Shield 9

2. Knife:

Even if you carry a $400 Stryder or Chris Reeve knife everyday, invest in an inexpensive folder that lives in your Get Home Bag. The truth is, no one has any idea when they will need to put their emergency plans into action and you may not have your everyday carry gear with you.

Other Options:
Benchmade Griptilian
Kershaw Leek

3. Food:

No MRE’s needed. What you want is off the shelf energy bars that are easy to eat and actually taste good. Steer away from the organic choices (or rotate your stores regularly); consuming a little preservatives won’t hurt you for a couple of days and you’ll avoid the potential of a mold and fungus mess.

Other Options:
Kind Bars
Lara Bars

4. Water:

15082560

Nalgene Bottle

Keep an empty water bottle in your bag. In most cases you’ll have time to at least fill up before setting off. If not, The Oral IV Hydration Fluid is a good stop-gap solution until you can find a water source. They come in individually packaged servings and have a five year storage life.

Other choices:
Camelbak Eddy Bottle

5. Clothing:

You probably won’t have room for a full change of clothes, but your bag should include a lightweight, water resistant jacket, a pair of fresh socks, and a hat. The hat should be warm and/or shield you from the sun depending on your climate.

Other Options:
Thorlo CoolMax Socks
Kryptek Reversible Beanie

6. Power:

Pack at least eight high-quality AA batteries and a way to use them. One good option are portable USB chargers that can power personal electronic devices. Don’t forget to pack a spare set of cables. Nothing is more frustrating than having power and no way to use it. Keep a car and/or wall charger in your bag as well.


7. Light:

For hands-free use, a headlamp is the way to go. Pick one with a solid, comfortable strap that uses AA batteries (the same battery type you are already packing in your kit). Your light should be shock proof and at least water resistant if not waterproof.

Other options:
Surefire EB1
Chemical Lights

8. Communications:

 

Consider the fact that mobile telephone and internet services may be down or you may not have a working cellphone – how will you get news, weather and emergency information? A set of hand held walkie talkies with a NOAA emergency band can provide you with news alerts, and if you decide to carry both, two-way communications with other members of your group. Get a set that runs on AA batteries so that you have already packed power and you don’t have to constantly worry about keeping them charged. Your walkie talkie choices should also be at least water and shock resistant.

Other Options:
Midland 2-Mile FRS
SPOT Satellite Messenger

9. Cash:

money

I like to keep the big bills on top…

Stash $100 in various small bills and change somewhere in your bag. Remember, we aren’t preparing for a full economic collapse where you are bartering rimfire ammunition for bandaids. Small bills can be used at gas stations or vending machines when electronic payment systems are disrupted.

Other Options:
Prepaid Visa Cards

10. Medical:

Your Get Home Bag should have two types of small medical kits. One for minor injuries: bandaids, painkillers, antibiotic ointments, anti-diarrhetics, cold medications and backups of any required prescription medications. The second kit should be able to immediately handle severe trauma: quick clot, bandages, dressings and a chest seal.

Other Options:
ITS Tactical Fatboy IFAK
TacMed Solutions Operator

Bonus: Navigation

Since you won’t know if mobile internet services will be available, throw in a paper copy of your current AOR – rural or urban. At a minimum, print off a few basic maps and zip them up in a baggie. Whether or not you are driving or on foot, a wrong turn in an adverse situation could cost you hours. And that’s time you may not be willing to waste.


Keeping up your bag:

The above items are the very basic beginnings of a Get Home Bag. Obviously there are many other options, additions and substitutions that each owner can make. And don’t forget to throw in the odds and ends that could come in handy. A lighter, multi-tool, lock picks, a pen, a few ziplok bags, paracord and anything else you are comfortable carrying.

One of the biggest questions that only you will be able to answer is where should you decide to keep your bag? In a perfect world, it would always be with you in case of an emergency. The reality is that you are going to need to make compromises. Maybe you have a secure storage solution in your car and since you are either with your car at work or at home, the bag is a short walk away. But maybe you take the train to work and carrying a second backpack just isn’t feasible. Maybe you decide to carry some essentials in your everyday bag that goes where ever you do.

One suggestion: once a month, go through all the kit in you bag to make sure every thing is still in working order, make sure nothing has expired and the batteries are still fresh.

Oh, and don’t forget to pack the common sense. It’s priceless.



Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Dickie

    I like it. Love combining the topics of prepardness and firearms. As long as we dont go down the “Zombie” route. Keep it real and im sure this will be received very well.
    *As a side note if you plan prepping with medical gear, get training on how to use it properly.

  • Spencerhut

    Also . . .
    1. Life Straw

    2. At least three ways to make fire.
    Nothing that looks tactical.
    Consider using a carbon steel fixed blade knife. Stainless is great, but getting a spark off of a firesteel with stainless is a lot more work.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Agreed. I start with the basics. Once you start talking about fire and water purification, the newbies zone out like it’s too hard.

      • Cymond

        I’m pretty much a newbie, but a Bic lighter and a bottle of chlorine tablets seems pretty easy.

        • Pete – TFB Writer

          You aren’t a newb. Think of the large percentage of people that freak out when Starbucks is closed. That’s the newbies I’m referring to.

      • Spencerhut

        A Life Straw is cheap, simple and foolproof. Ever used one? If you are in mild climate I can see foregoing fire. If you live anyplace where it gets cold, no fire may kill you. Matches, a BIC and a fire steel are a good idea. Personally I’ve been cold, really cold, and the mental scar from it won’t allow me to go anywhere without a fire steel and a knife. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5159a5fb756c89f3fed9644d56e6e71f5f34ef607b232a05723377647b15a46d.jpg

    • PK

      Luckily that sort of knife, such as the various Mora carbon steel models, can be found for extremely reasonable prices. The quality of Mora blades is quite good, too.

    • Lars Fladmark

      3 different ways to make a fire in 48 hours seems extreme. A 3 pack of Bics is more than enough for a get home bag. Full bug out, yeah, the more ways you can make fire, the better.

      • Spencerhut

        Bic’s are great, but if a person is lax they can go bad in many different ways, same with matches. Fire Steel is usually the most work among the three, but it always works if you know what you are doing.
        If I have a working Bic it’s the fastest, easiest for certain.

        • Sasquatch

          Zippos are about $10 at wally world. Just saying…

          • Spencerhut

            A Zippo, even sealed in a bag, needs to be constantly checked since they go dry in 3-9 months depending on the specific Zippo. So carry one, but check it often. Fire Steel does not go bad.

          • Sasquatch

            Yep no replacement for steel but a small extra bottle of fuel doesn’t add much weight.

          • Avid Fan

            If I was packing extra fuel, it would have to be double sealed in something. The zippo I carried for nearly 30 yrs was useless after a week. Nothing like a little lighter fluid on bare skin. It burns in two ways. IMHO, stick with fire steel, matches or multiple bics stowed in your gear. Don’t limit your options. Small things like lighters or “micro lights” think of them by the handful not ones and twos.

          • Sasquatch

            This is true

          • Bierstadt54

            I went through several different lighters when I started backpacking and I carry a Zippo now – and I am religious about filling it up every time I take it out. Bics seem to stay filled a lot longer, though I prefer the comfort of knowing my lighter will absolutely work. I second Spencerhut’s advice on Zippos. If you have one, it is a commitment: Fire in exchange for regular filling.

            I would also add that not everyone has a knack for fire steel. For those who don’t, or don’t yet, don’t rely on a piece of gear you can’t use. There almost always other options if you need them.

          • JW

            I have had the same firesteel for 25 years. Still works.

    • noob

      Hmm i heard Mythbusters had issues using gunpowder for kindling. I’ve never been game to try

    • Jai S.

      LifeStraw does not filter toxins, just bacteria and parasites. I would not recommend if for flooded urban environments where your water could be contaminated with harmful chemicals.

      If you are in an urban environment, and the available water has been compromised, you should only use what you have verified is potable.

      • Spencerhut

        Staying alive always involves some risk.

        • Jai S.

          I’m just bringing up the risks. Someone shouldn’t pack less water thinking that the LifeStraw could be a viable supplement in all situations.

    • JW

      Life straw is a god choice. I also have a platypus GravityWorks filter in my bags. It allows me to fill up my drinking bladder full with clean water.

  • Major Tom

    You forgot the most important thing of all, the multitool therefore this is NOT Les Stroud approved!

    • Captain Obvious

      Actually Les Stroud knows his stuff but I do agree with having a multi-tool. Handy for just about everything including fixing ones own gear and improvising fixes along the way. Heck, it’s a tool kit.

      I would also add a length of para cord and a length of duct tape. You can wrap 10 feet of duct tape around a pencil pretty easy to carry with your notebook that you should also carry. You also never know what you may need to tie, carry, or secure with a length of paracord.

      In terms of communications, skip those POS toy radios and carry a Baofeng/Pofang UVB5 hand held dual band two way radio. These things can be programmed to HAM, GMRS/FRS, MURS, MARINE as well as public safety and business class freqs in VHF and UHF. They also pick up commercial FM radio.

      • Pete – TFB Writer

        Agree with you both. I meant to include the multi tool in the knife section.

        • PK

          Who doesn’t carry some sort of multitool, these days? I find myself using mine nearly every day, usually quite a few times when I do need it.

  • BattleshipGrey

    Thanks for covering this topic. Sadly most people are too confident in their daily routines to consider basic “what ifs” to even keep half this list available to them at any given moment.

    I remember my college days walking across campus in the dead of winter seeing girls in skimpy outfits on their way to the bars freezing their butts off just so they wouldn’t have to keep track of a coat once they got there.

    On a side note, what’s the point of having a knife with a square/blunt tip (as pictured)? If I’m going to carry a knife (which I do daily) I want it to be able to use it defensively as a last ditch weapon if my gun is out of commission.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Thanks BG.

      You are probably right on the blade, but in high-stress situations, a blunt tip can prevent accidents for beginners.

      Plus knife fighting is an advanced art.

    • Cymond

      That particular knife is a niche product, designed for rescue workers to cut seat belts and such.

      • Pete – TFB Writer

        I carry one. They are strong, sharp and inexpensive.

    • Bill

      My LE duty knife has a square tip that’s essentially a chisel that I can use to scrape or pry. Fortunately I haven’t had to battle zombies or exsanguinate a tango, but I can still cut with it or use it for weapons retention.

      • Lt. Dan

        “exsanguinate a tango” 😀 😀

        Vocab win!

    • Klaus Von Schmitto

      I hope you planned far enough ahead to provide them a warm car to ride home in.

  • Tyler Frizzell

    Spot on really. I second that there should be a way to make fire. More articles on this please.

  • vwVwwVwv

    forget the folder, get a fixblade, mora is light and does the job a bic lighter or two can help.
    the equipment of Otzi the 3500 BC died natural mummy from the Alps can be a
    help in createing the perfect bag. to much equipment can be deadly.

    • Roy G Bunting

      Concealed fixed blade is a felony in CA, for example. Even folders can get you in trouble some places.

      Better to not have a knife that is a risk every day, on the off chance you need it someday.

      • vwVwwVwv

        fixblade is concealed?
        thanks, now i know that in CA
        i am in trouble with a knife, culdent imagin this.

  • Gary Kirk

    Zip ties…

    • Dave Y

      Not to deter or disagree with this choice, but… make sure that an objective observer won’t think abduction is the plan in viewing the contents of your bag… Think in the context of a ‘suspicious person stop’.

      These and duct tape – great ideas. But, again consider the full context of the bag contents.

      • Bill

        I always keep them with the bags of candy in my windowless van.

        • Klaus Von Schmitto

          With your Peter Pan outfit?

    • claymore

      550 cord also

  • Pete Sheppard

    Nice article. I carry my computer in a small ruck, and keep these items in it or on me.
    Remember KISS–it’s way to easy to overthink and overload.

  • Wolfgar

    The first thing to consider is where are you going to need to get home from, a few miles from work, across the country, from the middle of the Taiga?. How about a person always makes sure they have good durable walking shoes and clothing. Alternative routes home should always be considered before problems occur, then start your list assessment.

    • Pete Sheppard

      You reminded me of a sudden snow/ice event we had a few years back. Watching people trying to walk in the slush with dress shoes/heels/running shoes was almost painful in itself–then there were the people trapped in their vehicles overnight. It doesn’t take much to become a survival situation.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      You are correct. But two things:

      1) People like to buy gear. Get them hooked with buying stuff then reel them in with common sense talk and planning.

      2) I hate impractical footwear. HATE.

    • Anomanom

      That’s my number one piece of life advice: Always wear shoes you can run in.

    • Spencerhut

      Several pairs of good boots, enough for all your vehicles. Wear each pair in turn until they are broken in and keep a pair in each car with a couple of pairs of fresh socks. That comes in handy more often then you think.

  • Rick O’Shay

    In the “keeping up the bag” section, you mention other extras that might be handy, such as lock picks. I’d add a caveat that the things you add should be things you actually know how to use. Too many people buy things like lock picks, with no idea how to actually use them, assuming it’s going to be something like the movies where you just go at it and the locks pop right open. That goes for any specialized tool, really. Know how to use it. Otherwise you’re just carrying extra, pointless weight.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      So true. Even watching YouTube videos can be instructional. Then practice.

    • Bill

      I went through a lock-picking course and learned that lock picking is extremely overrated. Hence I have a variety of halligan type tools and pry bars. A Stanley wonder tool or FUBAR is light years more practical than lock picks.

      • Rick O’Shay

        And if you absolutely need to pick, a pick gun can cover the vast majority of locks you’d need to pick, without the need to actually develop/hone picking skills. Really though, for the concept of “getting home,” I really can’t imagine a huge need for picking locks (unless maybe needing to seek shelter in a house for the night?), and the concept of having picks themselves is a seriously grey area in many states.

        • iksnilol

          I’d like a pick gun but it takes more space and is very noisy.

          • Rick O’Shay

            Probably less so than a crowbar or similar, on both noise and size. Really, the only reason I’d be picking is for shelter. And if I’m in bug-out/get-home circumstances that I’m breaking into a home for shelter, I’d probably rather just bust a window in a discreet place and climb in and bunk down in a different room of whatever residence I just broke into. Of course, this is strictly in my geographic area. Needs or circumstances would vary greatly for other folks.

          • Dougscamo

            Not as loud as that 12 ga zip gun you mentioned earlier….

          • iksnilol

            Eh, that’d be for super srs emergencies only 😛

    • Gary Kirk

      A simple credit card can get you in more doors than many realize, and fairly quickly
      As long as no deadbolt

      • iksnilol

        Do you know how to do that tho? I know many people mention that but they can’t do it when needed/pressed to.

        • Rick O’Shay

          You raise a good point. Credit cards (or mica shims, for those who do physical pen testing on a regular basis) only work under very specific circumstances, and it really would be a fluke if you lucked upon a door where a credit card was enough to get in.

        • Gary Kirk

          Yep, have had to many a time for work, garage Windows get left unlocked a lot. And the interior door to said garage rarely ever has a deadbolt..

          • Bill

            Putty knives and painter’s tools are almost identical to shove knives, the purpose built version of the credit card trick, which aren’t any more expensive, really.

          • Gary Kirk

            Yeah, but those work best on loose fit doors. I actually prefer to use the plastic auto trim removal tools. They tend to leave less damage/signature to everything.

            I worked for a buddy that started a home security system business a while back.. Sure the new stuff is leagues beyond my abilities, but most people don’t update their basic security measures very often, if at all..

            I was in sales for him, and would purposely show up way early to my meets, to go over the customers home without them being “prepared”

          • Gary Kirk

            Oh, and glaziers tool..

      • Klaus Von Schmitto

        And simple, good hard lift will move most sliding glass doors out of it’s track far enough to get past the lock.

        • Gary Kirk

          Have seen that one too.. Normally because the latch is installed upside down..

          • Klaus Von Schmitto

            LOL! That is exactly the reason why. I wonder why homeowners don’t check for that?

          • Gary Kirk

            Most are just blind to it.. Just don’t know any better..

  • codfilet

    I always have a complete change of clothes behind the seat of my truck, and if it’s wintertime, a pair of Army surplus black “Mickey” boots, socks, gloves, and a heavy parka. It can get real cold real quick if you are waiting for a towtruck, or if you find yourself on foot in a snowstorm. I travel along I-80 in Pennsylvania, and I always notice at rest stops how lightly many people are dressed in the wintertime. All it takes is a whiteout, a few trucks spinning out, and you are stuck in Snowshoe, Pa., with a long, long wait ahead.

    • Ryfyle

      I like long coats with a fleece or wool liner, saved me a chill in my teens during freak snow in Las Vegas. Someone thought it was a great time to pull a fire alarm.

  • codfilet

    It wouldn’t hurt to have some toilet paper in that Bailout bag,too.

    • Wolfgar

      I thought that was a given. I have used leaves and even snow, that is why I have rolls of it everywhere LOL. Great advise!

    • Roy G Bunting

      Pocket sized baby wipes FTW. Or just a bandanna you don’t like.

      • codfilet

        I just save all the extra napkins from places like McDonalds, and keep them in the door of my truck.

    • Gary Kirk

      If SHTF.. Definitely gonna need some $#!+ tickets..

    • Sasquatch

      Amen

  • Roy G Bunting

    I agree with some, but it all depends on the disaster you are planning against. My list for every person goes like this.

    *Cash, credit card, and transit card.
    *Cellphone, cable, battery pack, wall and car adapter
    *Meds you need
    *Walking shoes and dry socks
    *Bottled water and convenient food
    *Jacket or poncho, maybe a small hat or beanie
    *Physical map
    *Dust mask

    The idea is to get home, and a bunch of these things will be useful when get home means calling a taxi because your car got stolen, or there is a protest or riot on your usual path and you have to go around. You don’t need to make fire or eat a lot to get home. You do need to have hydration and stay warm.

    YMMV, but start simple. If you have a CCW, sure, add a gun, but for lots of people, it’s just something to get lost, stolen or used wrong. If you want to use radios, you need someone on the other end. And to be useful you need licensed power. Water filtration is good, if you know what you are doing, otherwise it’s better to have $5-15 for the profiteer selling water bottles.

    It’s not going to become Mad Max overnight, in accounts of local and regional disasters, people mostly are good and helpful because most people are good.

    • Spencerhut

      WTF is a transit card?

      • Roy G Bunting

        A prepaid bus or train card. After the 1989 Earthquake bus fare was needed for many people to get home in the Bay Area

        • Spencerhut

          Oh, well thank the maker(s) I don’t need one of those.

          • Roy G Bunting

            To each their own, it’s been a lifesaver for me more then once.

            But I have lots of public transportation options that take one card here.

      • Dougscamo

        One of those cards that Hillary couldn’t figure how to use on the subway…..

    • Bierstadt54

      This is my view as well. A lot of prepping seems to be for fun. But this is the more useful side of it. I don’t have a bug-out bag or an end-of-the-world shelter, but I do have an EDC kit that changes based on what I am doing and might need, and a vehicle kit that will handle anything I am likely to encounter. If what I may be in a position to encounter changes, so does my kit. It is nice to keep everything well-organized, though.

  • Dave Y

    How about a multi-tool or similar multi function apparatus ?

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      It’s in the conclusion section but probably should have been its own heading.

  • Don Ward

    10 essentials of a bugout bag that DOESN’T include the bag?

    Such fail.

    Also. Don’t leave this kit lying around in your car. Not unless you want to arm the next junkie who breaks into your vehicle.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      I’m not following.

    • Rick O’Shay

      The bag was the very first item on the list.

      Reading comprehension fail.

    • codfilet

      How do you carry a bag containing a handgun into your workplace, assuming that the idea of a BO bag is to get home from work, in most cases? Just having a gun in your car in a company parking lot is grounds for a dismissal, in many cases.

      • Rick O’Shay

        I have a Texas LTC and work in a workplace where carrying is permitted by my employer, as outlined in HR’s employee handbook. This list would work for me. BUT….
        I think it kind of goes without saying that this is not going to be a perfect list for everyone. Most folks who have the common sense to make and have a BOB will have the common sense to tailor it to their individual needs/laws/local circumstances.

      • Klaus Von Schmitto

        So, don’t tell anyone you have one. Do they search your car where you work?

        • codfilet

          Well, no-I was just replying to someone who warned everyone not to leave their bag in the car. Most of us would not be so foolish to leave the bag in plain view in their car, but there is really no alternative to keeping it locked in the trunk or otherwise concealed in a truck.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    11. House keys

    • iksnilol

      *12 gauge zipgun (like barely longer than the shell, so it doesn’t take up much space), that way any door can be unlocked.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    I spy a Hill People Gear fan. With the Aston house pack suggested and the Glock in pic 1 being carried in a HPG Kit Bag I think Pete might own a few of their things.

    They are an excellent company making excellent gear and are even more excellent Americans. Pete you should do a Kit Bag review for TFB so HPG can get some more attention (unless it has already been done; I havent been around here forever).

  • Kevin E Bates

    Call me crazy but I have more first aide in my pack and no pistol. I can’t take a gun to work, even the parking lot. If I’m not at work I put a pistol in my truck but otherwise not. A bigger first aide kit is good in more circumstances.

    • John Yossarian

      I also “can’t” have a gun at work (white collar job). It’s those damn P&C insurance companies who are to blame for most of it.

      But I’m pretty sure my boss carries. The fact that I don’t have confirmation means that we’re both doing it right.

  • A.WChuck

    Skip the listed alternate Lara Bars. My wife had two occasions where the bars were covered in mold. When contacted, Larabar seemed unconcerned and gave us coupons for more bars. Ah…no. No more mold for us, thanks.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Good info. Thanks.

    • JW

      I have had great luck with Lara bars. Too bad the customer service you received was lacking

    • Sasquatch

      Vieanna sausages and raviolis FTW.

  • A.WChuck

    For those in highly restricted areas, add a sturdy cane or walking stick. Very useful multipurpose tools.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    Prepping is a mental disorder.

    • John Yossarian

      If prepping is Paranoid Personality Disorder, then…
      Non-prepping is Dependent Personality Disorder. Take your pick.

      My martial arts (MBC) instructor (IT guy and part-time cop) always referred to himself as “preparanoid”. But I’ve always just referred to it as “intelligent”.

    • Bob

      I have been fortunate to never truly be in a “bad spot”. The closest I have been in recent years is one winter night when I found myself out miles from home in the woods with a dead car and the temp dropping fast with nightfall.

      I was in an area where I did get phone service, so it was a simple matter to make a phone call for a pick up. I then pulled my winter gear out of the trunk, bundled up, and awaited rescue. Now that was no big deal and I could have walked out sans winter gear and survived, but imagine I had been further out, in an area with no service, and didn’t prepare with anything more than a wimpy coat. It could have gone very different, but even had I been forced to stay there I still would have been good. Why? Because I don’t just have a snowsuit stashed in my car, I have food, water, fire starters, flashlights, and other assorted goodies. In short, I have prepped. Think about it. Prepping is not all about the end of the world…

    • Zachary marrs

      Yeah, no.

  • iksnilol

    Also a small idea: mark off points of interest on the map you’ve printed out. Points such as where you live (or comrades) live/work and important landmarks. So that it is easier to orient yourself with the map.

    • Rick O’Shay

      Grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, feed stores (if you live rural enough)… it would be good to know where all those places are within a reasonable traveling distance of your various routes.

      • iksnilol

        That as well, didn’t want to mention it so as to not be “encouraging lootery and other such despicable behaviour”(trademark pending).

  • valorius

    If you live in a big city, IMO, if you’re not already at home, you’re most likely not ever getting there if a major, civilization changing cataclysm occurs.

    • iksnilol

      Then you gotta Mad Max it… shame.

      *internal woohoo*

  • Pedenzo

    One thing to stay away from is a “tacticool” looking pack….having one of those is just screaming “come take my stuff!” Take a look at the typical bag college students are using and go with one like that.

    Live the life of The Grey Man.

    • DIR911911 .

      any backpack pretty much screams they’ve got something , I carry a 17 inch laptop, backup battery charger, bluetooth speaker and a small gaggle of cables in my daily carry around.

      • Pedenzo

        True enough….but MOLLE is a neon light flashing “cool stuff here” compared to your average college kid backpack….

    • Klaus Von Schmitto

      Which is why you have a gun. It should prevent people from taking the backpack away from you.

      • Pedenzo

        Yeah….carrying a rifle on your shoulder would never make you a target…..in my uninformed, amateur opinion, the best way to not have your stuff taken is to be not seen….generally getting into a fire fight tends to draw attention to oneself….

  • USMC03Vet

    No candy corn? Amateurs…

  • RetroG

    You have to tailor it to your environment. Here in the desert southwest, I always keep sunblock and a hat in every vehicle. Life Straws, while a great product, are almost useless here, so extra water in my case.

  • Brian Hert

    I look at “zombie” prep as all of those other things in one word. And it resonates with the Walking Dead watching crowd because that’s their only real exposure to collapse and disaster.

  • Sasquatch

    I also like my sog tomahawk. You can chop, prye and turn it sideways and you got yourself a hammer. Plus its really light.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      I have two. Use them all the time. Inexpensive too.

      • Sasquatch

        Yep And if you run out of bullets…..

  • Bob

    Let’s see, going by the list I will put in my Makarov, headlamp, some bread, sausage.. Hey, you forgot the bag of bolts. How you going handle the anomalies?

  • J0shua

    Good article, everyone, gun owner or not should think about a get home bag. However, one kinda funny thing about this article, the first bag you show as an example of a good get home bag is the eberlestock, then you throw this quote in there: “Here’s one suggestion: a ‘Get Home Bag’ is not built for a carbine, short barreled rifle or AR-style pistol.” Ironic since that particular bag was made specifically for a carbine or ar pistol. Also, I would ask, why not pack a carbine, depending on your environment, especially if you’ve got a bag as capable as the eberlestock?

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Ha. Good catch. It took me a while to write, so by the time I was finished the requirements in my head changed a few times.

      Why no rifle? Blend in as much as possible. If it works for you, do it for sure.

  • Mike

    This is why I come to this site. Great discussion, wish more folks thought this way.

  • Gary Kirk

    “Zombies” exist.. Just go through west Baltimore..

  • Timothy Grant

    So buy a bag that is made to store an SBR, but don’t carry one… OK…. I think I will stick with my Tavor and Secret Weapon Pack.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      My fault. The bag choice didn’t mix with my SBR comment.

      • Timothy Grant

        It’s cool. They are great bags. I have the secret weapon (cherry bomb’s big brother) and X1A2 and have never had a nicer or more well made bag.

  • Bill

    Great Werner Herzog movie. Bill awards 5 magazines.

    His film about working at Antarctica is great also.

  • YZAS

    Really enjoyed the article, Pete. Looking forward to the ‘advanced’ one. Lots of good comments too. As for me, I actually have a really sweet SBR in an Eberlestock S34 like was pictured — but it’s not my get home/emergency car bag. I just keep it light and basic with the important stuff to stay warm overnight and get home, much like you describe. Oh and of course with a G19 Justin Case. I do agree with the need to make fire comments. You can go weeks without eating, but freeze into a solid block of ice overnight. Almost learned that the hard way in the Scouts. Peace

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Indeed. Thanks.

  • Pete – TFB Writer

    I completely agree. In short, life has become too easy and many of us have resigned our safety and security to “the system”. True independence, sadly, is dead.

    One intermediate “survival” topic I’m considering is the basic event of being stuck somewhere for 5-10 hours and preparing yourself, mainly mentally.

    You always hear about a plane stuck on the tarmac and passengers going ‘lord of the flies’. My first thought is always: “haven’t these people ever gone through a semi-traumatic event?

    • Wolfgar

      Good idea, Being in the older generation I sometimes forget the basic skills I learned as an adolescent are completely foreign to many young adults today. Mental strength comes from ones environment. I don’t know how a person could train someone who has grown up with safe spaces, pampered emotions,and instant comforts modern living has provided to be mentally prepared for hardship. I guess it depends on the individual.

  • JW

    Essentials should also include gloves, compass, sunscreen.

  • James Young

    I can’t ever get past the “bag” part of “Go-Bag” There were recommendations but beyond that I have no clue which are quality and at what price. So I default to cheap non-waterproof bags that I already own, which isnt great

  • patrickkell

    No Compass lighter pack of smokes Para Cord tactical tomahawk ?