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The ‘Get Home Bag’ and Why You Need One

One of the less well known essentials for a crisis is the get home bag. Actually, what you will tend to hear about more often than not is the bugout bag. On most of the survival websites you visit, you’re probably going to hear about the bugout bag, but not the get home bag. This is an essential resource, and I’m about to tell you why.

What is the get home bag? Well, the get home bag is a survival prep bag intended for the opposite purpose of the bugout bag. While the latter is intended for being prepared for some sort of immediate evacuation due to unexpected events, the get home bag is intended for getting back home when things go south.

Is this bag really necessary?

Think about it. How much time during your day do you spend out of your house? As a matter of fact, most people spend most of their day away from home. Along with the fact that the future is never perfectly predictable, we need to be prepared in a way that fits our situation. And that way is the get home bag. Every person in the household should have one.

No matter what you are doing in your life away from home, this bag will serve as a reliable, and perhaps lifesaving tool to help you get back to the safety of your home. And the supplies that will be contained in any well-stocked get home bag will help you do exactly that.

What to take into account when creating your bag

  1. What are you potentially going to have to deal with when making it home during a crisis? What mode of transportation will you be taking? Which route will you be taking?
  2. Considering that one of (if not the) top threat in a crisis situation is people, how are you going to deal with someone who tries to bother you?
  3. Distance to your safe area is vital in a crisis. How far are your away-from-home destinations from your home? Are you physically prepared to make it home safely and efficiently on foot?

Everyone writes about nifty gadgets, survival tools, and general disaster planning, and they will continue to do so. This is all well and good, but the critical factor that people don’t often consider is physical fitness. You are the first step to making your survival possible, not your supplies. This will be, in many cases, one of the most important factors in situations where you are far from home. In short, gadgets and plans are steps two, three, and so on, but step one is you.

Having one of these bags is vital, especially in situations where a state of crisis is highly likely or imminent. And while you need to have the right supplies, you also need to make sure you aren’t carrying unnecessary weight. So make sure you have the right tools. Your get home bag is no good if you can’t carry it long distances.

Plans for a crisis are going to vary from person to person. But every person’s plan will depend on the following factors:

  • The type crisis likely arise
  • The dangers or risks specific to your area (if you live near water, far from a city, etc.)
  • The threats you are most likely to face specifically on your route home
  • Medicinal requirements
  • Needs for children/elderly
  • Any and all other factors, needs, and weaknesses specific to your and your family 

Routes

Before the disaster ensues, you need to have planned ahead of time how you and your family are going to make it home or anywhere else you may need to gol. You need to have picked the safest, quickest, and most efficient route, considering as many potentialities you can.

Cash

Another necessary supply that most people probably don’t consider for a crisis is cash. Cash, even in a situation like this, can really help you get out of a tight spot. Whether it is for gas, paying somebody for a ride, or any other potential conflict that can be resolved with money, having an accepted form of currency still has high value in a crisis.

What Exactly Do You Need?

Naturally, everybody’s needs are going to vary. But there are basic guidelines for the types of supplies that everybody is going to need. These include:

  • Self-Defense tools
  • Maps and Route Planning
  • Food and Water

Self-Defense

In the midst of a crisis, such as a national emergency, war, or natural disasters, there are always those who will prey on others, and these are the people you must be prepared to defend against. Guns and knives are the most common and obvious resort, but do some research to find out what works best for you. Non-lethal weapons like slingshots and pepper spray could be worth having on hand.

Plan Your Route

Maps are a near-extinct but extremely useful tool and should be one of the first things packed into your bag. Find the most current map of your area that you can, and mark out the routes to get back to your home from any and all common destinations. You should also mark any safehouses, meeting spots, fueling stations, and areas that should be avoided.

Food and Water

The way that you take to get home in this situation may be different than your typical way, and you may even be walking. Either way, but especially if you are on foot, you will need energy. Choose light, dry foods that are high in nutrients and protein to store in your bag. Make sure you also have at least a couple bottles of water in your bag. If you can manage some extra weight, you may even want to look into some sturdy, reusable bottles (hard plastic or steel). If you anticipate that the road home could be a long one, you may also want to consider purification tools, such as survival straws or dissolvable purifying tablets.

About the author

Peter D.

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