The bug out bag might be one of the most talked-about bags in the prepper community, but the get home bag (a.k.a. EDC bag) just might be the bag you are most likely to use in a crisis situation.
The get home bag is precisely what its name implies, a bag that is filled with the items you will need to get you from wherever you are when disaster strikes to the safety of your home.
If you work or go to school outside of your home—and you probably do—then this bag is essential for your safety and survival. You will build your get home bag tailored to your specific needs, but before we get into what it takes to build your EDC bag list, here are some general tips.
A get home bag is not strictly for “the end of the world as we know it” events. Even a severe winter storm, hurricane, earthquake, or other natural disaster can warrant the need for a get home bag.
This is a bag that will ensure you have what you need while you make your way home when you have to go on foot or even ensure you are more comfortable if you have to stay the night somewhere.
Your get home bag should not stand out like a sore thumb (think grey man). Whenever you are carrying it, the backpack should blend in with the environment because you don’t want to draw attention to yourself or what you are carrying. If you’re in an urban area where tactical backpacks have become common, then it’s okay to go tactical. But, in some cities it’s not so common (especially overseas), so make the call based on where you’ll be spending most of your time.
The size and contents of your get home bag will depend on how far you are from home. If you work 3 miles from home, you won’t need as substantial a get home bag as if you work 15 miles from home. We’ll talk about this in more detail later on.
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Everything to do with your kit should be of the highest quality you can afford, from the bag itself to the get home bag contents. These supplies are meant to keep you alive and safe and that is not to be taken lightly.
Make sure you have an appropriate-sized get home bag for every member of your family. Ensure they know how to use everything in the bag and that they know how to make their way home in any type of situation.
Always keep your get home bag as close to you as you are able. If you can take it into the workplace with you and keep it at your desk or work station, that is ideal. At the very least, keep it stored in your vehicle.
Hopefully you will be able to make it to your vehicle and drive home, even if you have to detour, but that isn’t always possible. For this reason, design your get home bag with the assumption you will have to walk.
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First you need to choose a bag in which to pack what you need to help you get home. The ideal bag is a good, sturdy backpack that offers waterproof protection for the contents and is comfortable and easy to carry.
The bag you choose will depend on the following:
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With the above in mind, here are some options for backpacks. Of course, these are just a few of the choices available, but it will give you something to start with.
Again, choose a pack that is comfortable and the appropriate size for what you need to include in your get home bag.
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No matter how close you are to your home on a daily basis, there is a minimum of food, water, and supplies you will have in your get home bag. These contents will form the basis of your get home bag and you will add onto that if you have a greater distance to travel.
For this reason, we have split the contents of the get home bag into three categories, based on the amount of time it would take you to walk home. The first category includes the basic supplies you will need and the other two categories will build on that.
These are the food, water, and supplies you will need when you can walk home within three hours. This is the smallest and easiest get home bag to assemble and carry. This bag should include the following:
Choose high-quality supplies for your Get Home Bag.
Self-defense: It is important that you have a concealed-carry weapon and enough ammo. Just be mindful about concealed carry laws and do what you can. If you cannot carry a gun, then carry another type of self-defense weapon, such as a stun gun or pepper spray.
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In addition to the items in the Category 1 get home bag, you will need the following:
Personal hygiene kit: You can include hand-sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, or anything else you think you will need.
In addition to the items in the Category 1 and 2 get home bags, you will need the following:
Finally, make sure you pack your get home bag in such a way as you make it easier and less bulky to carry. Put heavier, less-frequently used items to the bottom of the pack and lighter, more-frequently used items near the top. This will help distribute the weight better, particularly if you need a larger get home bag.
You might be in a situation in which you cannot carry a get home bag due to physical or job limitations. If so, then your next best option is to carry EDC gear.
Ultimately, your get home bag will be enough to keep you alive and safe as you make your way home. Once there, you can decide how to best handle the situation at hand to keep you and your family safe.
Anything that you think we missed that’s in your get home bag? Let us know in the comments below.
A get home bag is designed to have the essentials you need to get home from your job or school. It may be lacking in some very long term survival items. A bug out bag is generally designed for at least 72 hours of survival and often for weeks.
A get home bag is usually lighter weight, with all items fitting in a standard-sized backpack. Those with very long commutes or that travel a lot for work may want more comprehensive bags than those that work or go to school less than 25 miles from home.
There are many reasons why you might need a get home bag. Natural disasters, accidents on the road, or even just a vehicle break down could leave you stranded for a short to a moderate period of time. A get home bag ensures that you can meet your basic needs and remain more comfortable until you can get home or at least get to a comfortable and suitable place to stay until conditions improve.
If a child is old enough, you should have a small get home bag for them. You may have to include some supplies in your own bag to help take care of their needs too. Pets generally don’t need much. A few days of food and a collapsible water dish might be a good idea. Some pets may be able to carry their own supplies with a dog backpack. Remember to be careful and not overload bags for kids or pets.
Roman is a notable figure in the sphere of emergency preparedness and has been featured in various news broadcasts, publications, and documentaries to weigh in on the subject. He has made multiple appearances on HBO, BBC, CBS, and other media outlets to provide insight on the critical importance of readiness under all circumstances. When he is not hard at work being the CEO of Ready To Go Survival and MIRA Safety, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, shooting, handball, and scaring his neighbors by taking out the trash in full MOPP gear.