Packing Your Get Home Bag for Urban Survival
A key part of emergency preparation that many survivalists miss is a get home bag. The purpose of a get home bag is just what you’d expect, based on the title – it’s there to help you get home safely in an emergency. It’s not the same as a bug-out bag, which is meant to hold several days’ worth of supplies and is typically stored somewhere easy to access. A get home bag, on the other hand, is a bag that you take with you everywhere and has enough supplies for a day or two of survival.
If you live near an urban area like most Americans, then you need to tailor your get home bag for urban survival. Everyone’s get home bag is a bit different, but here are the must-have contents that can keep you alive in an emergency situation:
You can survive anywhere from 3 to 10 days without water, but that doesn’t mean you’d want to try. Even a few hours of dehydration when it’s hot out can leave you weak and delirious. A stainless-steel water bottle is a good choice as you can boil water in it, or a collapsible water bottle if you’re short on space. Keep water purification tablets or a filter with you, as well.
If you end up having to walk several miles, you’ll be glad you packed comfortable footwear. Don’t just buy a pair of shoes and toss them in your bag. Make sure you break in your shoes first so you know that they fit well.
A lightweight tarp is a versatile tool, as you can use it to cover the ground where you plan to sleep, as a signal for aircraft, or as a basic shelter.
This is another versatile item that’s great for all types of repairs. To save space, wrap tape around an old credit card instead of carrying a whole roll.
First Aid Kit
You’ll be glad you packed a first aid kit if you’re injured. You can find plenty of small, portable kits that work well for sterilizing and patching up minor wounds.
Maybe your GPS isn’t working, and you need to find to find the fastest route home on foot. A map is the most effective option for navigating through urban environments.
If you need to get through a locked door or gate quickly, you’ll need to pry it open.
A multi-tool, such as a Swiss army knife, has a wide range of uses and doesn’t take up much space in your pack.
You can survive for several weeks without food, but just like with water, you need food to keep yourself energized and thinking clearly. Look for food with high carbohydrates, which will give you an energy boost. Make sure to choose food that takes several years to expire, and that you can eat without any special tools. Trail mix and protein bars are both good snack options.
You’ll want a small flashlight if you’re on the move when it gets dark. Flashlights are also good if you need a signal.
Depending on the emergency, you may not have a cell phone signal. With a radio, you can listen to emergency broadcasts and get valuable information.
Electronics can drain their batteries quickly, especially if you need to use them for several hours. Try to find electronics that use the same type of batteries so you don’t need to carry multiple types in your bag.
It’s good to have at least some extra money in your get home bag. You never know when you could need it.
Hopefully you won’t have to use it, but just in case, pack your self-defense weapon of choice in your bag. A compact handgun, a taser, or pepper spray are all viable options. Before you take your get home bag anywhere, check the laws in that area to ensure that you’re legally able to carry your weapon (this is particularly important if you’re carrying a handgun). Choose a weapon that you’ve practiced with and are comfortable using.
This may seem like a lengthy list of items, but most don’t take up too much space, and all of them serve a purpose in an emergency. With proper packing, you can easily fit all of these items in a medium-size backpack.