A get home bag is essentially a bag that you carry with you in your car or on your person that provides you with the essential gear you will need to get back to your house safely. One mistake I see a lot of people make is they only have one bag, usually a bug out bag and fail to prepare for all possible scenarios. Consider this, you are much more likely to be cut off from your home during a power outage, storm, or other natural disaster then you are to be in the middle of the SHTF scenario where the world is in total chaos. Plus, one must also consider that the items in these different bags will be drastically different. For example, in a get home bag I would only have the essential items that will help you survive a short term emergency rather than a long term crisis.
Common mistakes made by beginner preppers
A common mistake made by beginner preppers and survivalists is they purchase tactical type backpacks for their get home bags. This is a mistake because when your trying to get home during a crisis chances are you will be moving through an urban setting and most likely you will be on foot. If your moving through an urban setting with a tactical camouflage backpack that will make you stand, especially to law enforcement. On the other hand, if your moving through a rural setting or through the woods it would make sense to have a backpack that is either camouflage or earth tones. If you want to give yourself the highest chance to survive an emergency situation it’s critical that you think these difference scenarios through ahead of time and prepare accordingly.
What is the best get home bag backpack?
The best backpack for getting home during an emergency is one that blends in with everyone else around you. For example, a standard pack that a student would take to school would be ideal. The pack should be robust enough to hold your gear but not look flashy or expensive because that too could make you a target. One of my favorite options is a basic JanSport backpack that you see school children using. These packs are robust enough to carry your gear, but do not look expensive or stand out in a crowd. I would avoid single strap satchel bags because they will limit your movement or mobility. In an emergency situation you may need to jump a fence or use both hands so it’s important to have your pack firmly secured on your back. Color selection is also important when considering which backpack to buy. Your best color options are earth tones that would blend in most environments and not stand out like a bright yellow or red pack would.
What type of contents would you keep in your get home bag?
As I mentioned earlier, the type of contents I would keep in my get home bag are vastly different than that of a bug out bag. The purpose of this kit is to simply get you from point A to point B where ideally you would have more supplies available. Usually the time frame in which you will need to depend on this bag is between 1 and 24 hours. When building your get home bag I recommend the following items:
- Several bottles of water
- Comfortable walking shoes or boots
- Food and snacks that do not require cooking
- Rain coat
- Extra clothing
- Extra pair of socks
- Backup cell phone charger
- Map of your local area
- Backup communications equipment
- Compass or GPS
- Self-defense items such as pepper spray or taser
- Flashlight and headlamp
- Small blanket or packable sleeping bag
- Pair of gloves
- Hat or stocking cap
- Basic medical equipment
- Small pad of paper and pen
- Big lighter and tinder
- Small lightweight tarp
- 50-100 feet of cordage
- Folding knife
Remember, this bag is only meant to sustain you for a short period of time. Ideally you would want just enough gear to get home because you will be able to move much quicker without a heavy load. Extra items that weigh you down and most likely will go unused should be transferred into your bug out bag. Furthermore, this bag will be kept in your vehicle at all times so it’s important that fluctuations in temperature do not effect its contents.
Hopefully this article was helpful in helping you select the best get home backpack for your specific situation. Remember, everyones needs are different and your going to have to customize this kit to fit your exact situation.