You’re sitting in the office and typing away when the power goes out. You hear the sirens in the distance.
At first, everyone is quiet. The manager comes out to say there has been some kind of disaster. Public transportation has been temporarily shut down.
There is no power. Every store and restaurant is closed until whatever is going on is over and done with.
You walk out to your car, grab you get home bag filled with free survival gear, and start walking. Who would you rather be: the people stuck in the office overnight, or the person unafraid to go home?
Keep reading to find out everything you need for putting a get home bag list, so you don’t end up forgetting your most important life-saving survival gear.
What’s a Get Home Bag?
You may be familiar with the term “Bug out bag” as well as the “bug in bag”.
They are substantially different. Both of those setups are for about a week either stuck in your home or having no other option but to leave it.
The get home bag is something that helps you get back home safely after a disaster strikes while you’re away from home. It’s to give you enough supplies to last 1-3 days. Here’s a get home bag checklist to help get you home in an emergency.
The Get Home Bag List
Messenger bags may be more stylish, but tactical backpacks are more practical for get home bags because they make it easier to carry your survival supplies.
So a high quality backpack is at the top of our get home bag list. Your backpack should be light, durable, and above all else, waterproof or water resistant.
2. Food and Water
Food and water are absolutely essential for your survival, so…
You’ll want at least a liter of water in your get home bag (preferably in a stainless steel water bottle, in case you need to to boil water to make it safe for drinking or cooking).
This is the survival tool you need the most. Clean water is the most important thing to have whether you’re in an emergency situation, out on a trail or camping in a remote area where clean water isn’t available to you.
Running out of clean water is one of the most dangerous situations you can find yourself in. With a water filter, you can make clean water from the puddles, streams, ponds, or rivers you come across.. Drinking from a water filter will keep you hydrated so you have enough energy to find your way back home to your loved ones.
Purification tablets are also great for purifying water. Purification tablets are also a small, light and easily transportable item to include on your get home bag list of contents.
Always keep food with a longer shelf life in your get home bag. Go with high-calorie snacks, energy bars, or protein bars and other foods that are light, easy to eat, and will give you sustainable energy, such as protein rich sardines or tuna.
Use plastic ware to lighten the load. Push comes to shove, you can make an eating utensil out of pretty much anything.
A handgun is the ulitimate self defense weapon and an essential tool to have in your get home bag (if you can legally carry one), along with plenty of ammo. You’ll want an everyday carry (EDC) knife for protection and utility uses (such as clearing a jammed round in the chamber, cutting paracord, etc.), as well as a quality survival knife.
If you can’t carry a handgun, then at least add pepper spray to your get home bag list. Really, pepper spray is good to have on hand even if you do have a gun, for times when deadly force is overkill.
4. Fire Starting
Keep it light and simple. A waterproof survival lighter like the free Everstryke Pro and some weatherproof tinder like Fatwood or Magnesium in your get home bag will be fine Remember, we’re on the fly here. Don’t weigh yourself down.
Watch this cotton ball fire starter video so see how quickly you can start a fire with a ferro rod, a cotton ball, and some petroleum jelly.
5. First-Aid Kit
This kind of goes without saying. If you want to be prepared for anything, then a first aid kit should probably be one of your first buys. Also include any medical supplies that you specifically need, like heart medication or an EpiPen.
At the very least, you’ll want a head lamp in your get home bag. They’re light and keep your hands free to work. We also suggest a small and lightweight EDC flashlight (this one’s free).
When the power goes out, Mastercard won’t be accepted everywhere… so make sure you have plenty of cold, hard cash or gold and silver in your get home bag for emergencies.
8. Emergency Items
A paracord bracelet is fashioned out of small pieces of nylon rope and cord woven together, and each piece can be taken apart and used for necessary survival tasks.
Duct tape is, well.. it’s Duct Tape… and should definitely be included on your get home bag list of contents.
For example, if you are running low on food, you can use your paracord bracelet to set up a trap or catch some fish. You can even use some of the loose threads to start a fire so you can cook whatever you catch.
You can also use the ropes and cords to set up a shelter or bear proof your camp by hanging your belongings from a tree. Though it may look like a fashion statement, this bracelet could save your life.
A mylar blanket has a lot of uses, and one of the most important uses is keeping you warm at night. Temperatures get cold at night when you’re out camping, and a mylar blanket will keep your body heat from escaping.
They can also be used to make emergency shelters. If you need a place to sleep at night, you can make a lean-to with the mylar blanket and some sticks, or if you just need shelter from the sun, you can set up the mylar blanket as a sun blocker.
Mylar blankets are helpful because they can be used like multiple different survival tools. You can use them to cook meat and light up the camp, and they are very easy to carry in your get home bag.
Being ready for anything means being ready for everything.
9. Hygiene Items
Just because there’s a disaster doesn’t mean we can’t stay fresh and clean. Toothbrush and paste, wet wipes, bandana. If you want to bring toilet paper and have room for it, by all means.
10. Clothes and Shoes
Though they may not seem very important, a change of warm, dry clothes is one of the best survival tools you can pack in your get home bag.
If for some reason you get wet, maybe it rains or maybe you have to wade through a river, you do not want to stay in your wet clothes. Wet clothes will make you cold, and your body will have to waste energy to try to keep it warm.
You also run the risk of getting hypothermia, which is never something you should chance, especially if you’re on your own. A change of clothes can keep you warm and dry even if getting wet is unavoidable.
You never know what the weather is going to be like in a disaster. And you don’t want to be stuck having to wear dress shoes on your walk home when what you really need is something more along the lines of hiking boots.
Be prepared by packing an extra pair of weather appropriate clothing and footwear in your get home bag.
11. An Emergency Radio and Navigational Tools
This could be the only way you have of knowing what’s going on around you and how to best avoid it. These products are all light and easy to pack.
An emergency radio keeps you informed during an emergency and is a must have piece of equipment in your get home bag.
A good emergency radio should be lightweight and should be able to operate from multiple power sources including hand-crank, AA and rechargeable batteries, and even a solar panel.
It should also include an AM/FM radio, NOAA Weather scan, an emergency flashlight (that flashes the SOS morse code) and even an ultrasonic dog whistle to help alert the rescue dogs of your location.
A good emergency radio will also include a USB plug to use for recharging your other electronic devices such as your cell phone.
An old-fashion compass is an essential piece of survival gear for your get home bag because it can always help you get home if you’re lost.
Make sure you know how to use your compass before your hike or camping trip. It may sound silly to say, but many people don’t know how to use their compasses, and the compass is only helpful if you can read it.
It is also a good idea to map out the area you will be hiking through so you know what’s around you. If you get lost, you can look at your map and figure out how to get back on track.
These are the essential items for your get home bag. They pair nicely with the bug out/bug in versions. However, it’s really important to keep them separate. As an example, don’t use one first aid kit for each edition.
What did you think of our get home bag list? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out more of our free survival gear for your bug out bag or get home bag while you’re at it.