13 Items You Must Have in Your Get Home Bag

We spend a significant amount of time away from the safety and comfort of our homes. The reality is that emergencies can strike when we’re least expecting it—during a commute, at work, or while running errands. This unpredictability is why a get home bag (GHB) is an essential component of emergency preparedness. Exactly what you keep in your GHB is up to you, but a few essentials should be in every Get Home Bag, no matter what you’re preparing for.

1. What Is A Get Home Bag?

Get home bag
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A GHB is a scaled-down version of a bug-out bag but serves a different purpose. It’s filled with specifically curated items to assist us in returning home when regular transportation options are unavailable or unsafe, such as during severe weather events, natural disasters, or unexpected social chaos. To create a practical GHB, we start with a basic, inconspicuous bag that is lightweight, durable, and comfortable to carry. It should blend in and not draw attention. Our selection often leans towards a versatile backpack or a sturdy laptop bag, as they are perfect for the minimalist approach we take with this kit.

2. Metal Container

metal container
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A metal container helps us with hydration and food preparation. The durability of metal allows us to safely boil water which is crucial to ensure we have access to clean drinking water. In a scenario where water sources are questionable, boiling becomes a necessary step to eliminate contaminants. Plus, when food options are limited, being able to heat or cook food is an important survival skill. Select a lightweight container that is strong enough to withstand direct heat. Stainless steel containers are a good choice, as they are rust-resistant and don’t leach harmful chemicals into our food or water.

3. Nutritious High-Energy Provisions

bowl of nuts
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You should have food in your GHB. Prioritize compact, nutrient-dense foods that deliver a high amount of energy. These foods are vital because they maintain strength and alertness without taking up too much space. Top choices include:

  • Energy bars, due to their balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, offer a rapid energy boost while being portable and non-perishable.
  • Dried fruits, such as apricots or raisins, provide us with essential vitamins and a quick source of energy.
  • Nuts and seeds are packed with calories and healthy fats, ideal for sustaining our energy levels over time.
  • Dark chocolate is not only a morale booster but also rich in calories and can provide us with a quick source of energy when we need it.

4. Poncho

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Don’t forget your poncho. It’s lightweight and compact, so doesn’t add much bulk. A poncho can keep you dry and double as a groundsheet, providing a clean surface to rest on, or be used as an impromptu shelter. Choose one that’s strong and has reinforced eyelets so that it can withstand rough conditions. A bright-colored poncho is also useful for visibility in case you need to signal for help, too. Conversely, if the situation requires a more subtle approach, a poncho in earth tones helps us blend into our surroundings.

5. Comfy Pair Of Shoes

comfy pair of shoes
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If your work attire doesn’t include comfortable footwear suitable for rough terrain, make sure you’ve got a pair in your go bag, or at least in your car. The right footwear can make a real difference in your ability to travel long distances on foot, especially in the event of an emergency. Prioritize comfort, durability, and support. But make sure you wear those shoes in so you’re not faced with painful rubs and blisters in an emergency situation.

6. Multi-Tool

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A multi-tool can prove indispensable in a variety of scenarios. A high-quality multi-tool typically includes a knife, pliers, wire cutters, screwdrivers, scissors, and more. Make sure you get a durable model that’s corrosion resistant and can withstand rough use.

7. First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit
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A well-equipped first-aid kit is crucial. Ensure it includes various sizes of adhesive bandages for cuts or abrasions. An adhesive tape and sterile gauze pads allow you to address more significant injuries. Antiseptic wipes and antibiotic ointment are important for disinfecting and preventing infection. For pain and inflammation, it’s wise to have aspirin or ibuprofen. Items like tweezers can come in handy for splinter removal, and a pair of scissors is useful for cutting tape or cloth. And don’t forget an emergency blanket to prevent shock and help keep you warm.

8. Mylar Blanket

Mylar Blanket
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Mylar blankets, crafted from heat-reflective thin plastic sheeting, are known for their remarkable insulation properties. We appreciate their lightweight and compact design, making them a favorable choice for our get-home bags. When you encounter extreme weather conditions, a Mylar blanket can act as a life-saving device. Its reflective surface bounces back up to 90% of your body heat, allowing you to retain warmth in chilly environments. Plus, you can use them to signal for help and as a makeshift shelter from rain and snow.

8. N95 Face Mask

N95 Face Mask
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Although we’ve all got theories, nobody knows what we’re really prepping for. And Covid taught us to expect literally anything. So the N95 face mask is a smart addition to your GHB. It filters out at least 95% of airborne particles, making it highly effective against environmental pollutants, dust, and even certain pathogens. During scenarios causing air quality to deteriorate, whether due to wildfires, industrial accidents, or pandemics, this mask serves as a critical barrier. It is important to have a mask that is correctly fitted to our faces to ensure the most effective seal against contaminants. Storing an N95 mask in your bag is a preventative measure to protect our respiratory health. Considering its compact size, there’s minimal downside to carrying one, but potentially significant benefits.

9. Flashlight

Tactical Flashlights
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A flaslight provides you with visibility during power outages or when nighttime falls and can also be a means of signaling for help. We recommend a durable LED flashlight, known for their long battery life and robustness.

Ensure it’s compact enough to fit without taking too much space, yet powerful enough to light your way effectively. And don’t forget extra batteries so you don’t have to ration your light source.

10. Map and Compass

man reading compass and waterproof map
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Get yourself a waterproof map and a compass. And learn how to use them. An unexpected event might disrupt electronic navigation systems and you might not be in a familiar location when the emergency strikes. So you need to know how to navigate.

11. Cash

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During emergencies, electronic transactions might fail, making cash an indispensable asset. Keep a mix of small and larger bills in your bag so you have flexible payment options.

Whether it’s for transportation, sustenance, or any other unforeseen expenses, ensure that your get home bag has enough funds to get you home safely without relying on functioning ATMs or POS systems.

12. Lighter

lighters to start fire
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A lighter gives you the means to create fire. Fire serves multiple purposes: it can keep us warm, purify water, signal for help, and cook food. A lighter is an indispensable item in these situations.

We suggest including a durable, windproof lighter, which is more reliable under various weather conditions. Be smart and carry a couple of lighters. And maybe some waterproof matches. And a fire starter.

These items are compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry without adding significant bulk to your get home bag. And the benefits of carrying htem and the risks of not far supersede the space they take up.

13. Weaponry

Pepper Spray
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In times of uncertainty, it’s crucial we carry a means to protect ourselves. This doesn’t necessarily mean lethal weapons, as not everyone is comfortable with or legally permitted to carry such items, but we should consider some form of defense. A compact, durable flashlight can serve a dual purpose— it illuminates dark areas and can be used as a striking tool if necessary.

Pepper spray is another option; it’s non-lethal and effective in deterring humans or animals during an unexpected encounter. Choose a tool that complies with local laws and our personal comfort level with using it. Remember, the objective is to get home safely, so training in the proper use of whatever defensive tool you include is as important as having it in our bag.

The presence of a self-defense item in our get home bag is a measure of preparedness, for those just-in-case moments we hope to never encounter.

20 Crucial Supplies for Surviving a Societal Collapse

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In the face of uncertainty, being well-prepared gives you at least some degree of control and security. The thought of a societal collapse, while extreme, prompts us to consider how we might endure without the conveniences of our current lifestyle. Here’s a list of 20 essential items that could prove indispensable in such a scenario. This guide isn’t about succumbing to fear but embracing preparedness and resilience.

14 Essential Canned Goods for Your Emergency Pantry

selection of canned goods
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I firmly believe in keeping a well-stocked emergency pantry. While fresh food is ideal, in a survival situation, we may not be that lucky. So, for my family, even though we grow a lot of our own food, canned goods play a crucial role in emergency preparedness. They offer a reliable source of nutrition when access to fresh produce may be limited. The goods you stockpile should be affordable, easy to store, and full of nutrition.

Best Regions in the U.S. to Escape to When Society Collapses

Alaska skyline
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Choosing a refuge in the event of societal collapse involves weighing the pros and cons of each location against your personal preparedness goals and abilities. Whether you’re drawn to the solitude of the desert or the protective heights of the mountains, the key is finding a place that offers safety and the opportunity for growth and renewal.

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