A get-home bag is like a smaller version of a bug-out bag. It is a bag with contents that will help you survive for 24 hours in cases of emergencies when you are away from home, such as a vehicle break-down, power outages, tornadoes, storms, fires, floods, terrorist attacks, or other emergencies and disasters.
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Overall, the guideline for preparing a get-home bag is that it needs to be compact so that you can carry it easily with you at any time and thus be prepared for an unexpected disaster.
Get Home Bag
Some of the main items which should be included in your get home bag include potable water, sufficient food for 24 hours, a first aid kit, a fire-making device, a light source, a map, a sleeping bag or kit, weather protection clothing, and gear, visibility gear as well as self-defense items, a survival guide and everything else you will need to help you get home to your family members.
The 24-hour survival kit also referred to as a get-home bag, is different from a larger and more substantial bug-out bag, which is meant for survival for 72 hours.
It is a bag which you can actually have with you at all times, or to keep in your car trunk, or if you commute – to keep in your desk drawer or locker at work. You may also want to consider storing it in a public locker or a PO Box.
It needs to be easy to carry, so you need to be careful about the number, size, and weight of the items you add to it.
It should also be easy to carry, so decide between a backpack, a sling bag, a lumbar pack, a pouch, and other options based on your personal preferences.
Even if you don’t think you’ll need it, keeping one of these kits on you at all times or in a secure location away from home can make all the difference in the world if you’re ever caught in an unexpected situation.
When you have a get-home bag checklist at the ready, it’s easy to whip one together fast and affordably.
In a survival crisis, however, having one on hand and hidden away or with you can make all the difference between life and death.
You should try walking several miles at a time with a specific sort of bag and weight to see how you handle it before deciding on the size and weight of your get-home bag.
What Should Your Get-Home Bag Contain?
Here are some ideas for the get home bag contents and items which you may need in case you need to stay away from home for up to 24 hours in case disaster strikes:
Clothing and accessories
- Comfortable tennis shoes or hiking boots (if you tend to wear dress shoes or high heels)
- A pair of socks
- Extra underwear
- A shirt
- A hat or bandana
- Sunglasses or an extra pair of prescription glasses
For space-saving, you can use a compression bag to keep your clothing stored in your GHB. Plus, you should ensure that you have weather-appropriate clothing, so remember to revise the contents of the bag every season.
Water and food
- Water in a suitable container or water bottle
- Water purification tablets or a compact water filter
- Freeze-dried snacks, energy bars, or foods that have a long shelf life
First aid and hygiene kit in your get home bag list
- Extra prescription medicine or other medication you are taking
- An N95 face mask
- A hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper
- Wet wipes
- Insect repellent
- Toothpaste and a toothbrush
- Deodorant and soap
- Hygiene products for ladies (if you are a female)
- A first aid kit which you can build yourself, or buy a ready-made one
Gear and tools
- A fire starting tool such as a Ferro rod, waterproof matches, or several disposable lighters to start a fire or boil water
- A headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries
- A survival knife or multi-tool
- 550 paracord (at least 100 feet)
- Some duct tape wrapped around a plastic roll or card
- Glow sticks
- Utility or work gloves
- A map of your area
- A reflective vest for high visibility
- Compact binoculars
- Compass (or a GPS)
- Emergency radio
- Waterproof pen or pencil and notebook
- Emergency signal – mirror, flare, whistle, or other
Additional optional items
- Cash and a prepaid call card
- Coins for vending machines
- USB charger, power bank, solar charger for your cell phone, GPS, or other devices
- Two-way radio
- A pandemic kit
- A firearm and ammo (if your state allows it) or another personal self-defense weapon like pepper spray or other
How to Organize Your Get-Home Bag?
You can organize your urban get-home bag as you prefer, but it is a good idea to pack the different types of items in sealable clear bags so that you can see them and so that they stay together and are protected from an eventual rainfall.
Make sure that you place the first aid kit somewhere you can access it quickly.
It also makes sense to organize your thing in different levels, and place the ones which you will need last on the bottom level 3 (like the sleeping stuff, toothbrushes, and others), the ones which you might need after 4 or more hours at level 2, and those items which you will need immediately in an emergency situation at level 1 on top, so you can access them easily without having to unpack the entire bag.
The Best Get Home Bags
A backpack is probably the perfect choice when it comes to a get-home bag. It allows for easy, hands-free carrying of larger volumes and weights, and also many backpacks are designed to be ergonomic and comfortable to wear at long distances and in rough terrains.
It is a good idea to invest in a good-quality tactical backpack. These specialized backpacks are rugged and have multiple compartments, gear attachment options, adjustability, additional straps, and other features that make them more suitable than regular backpacks.
In addition, tactical backpacks come in a variety of sizes to accommodate anything from a one-day excursion to a three-day expedition, so you may bring everything on your urban evacuation checklist.
You wouldn’t want to stick out in a crisis, when people can turn very shady, especially those who aren’t as prepared as you are, so make sure you pick a more covert color like black or green instead of an obvious camo or other colorful patterns.
Also, your GHB will probably spend most of its life in a locker or car trunk, so there’s little use in splurging on a high-end tactical bag.
Here are several of the favorite get home backpacks you can buy:
This best-selling military backpack is 12 (W) x 20 (H) x 13 (D) inches in size and is made of water-resistant, durable 600D fabric.
It has fit a hydration bladder up to 3L and has two main internal compartments and two small front compartments for easy access to your survival items.
There is an elastic strap in the main compartment to keep your stuff organized, and one of them can open completely for easy packing, access, and unloading.
It can be used both as a bug-out bag as well as a get-home bag, or an everyday bag.
This reasonably priced tactical backpack by Tacticon is an excellent high-quality solution for a get-home bag, because it is designed for 1 to 3-day assaults, and its size and capacity can be adjusted easily in accordance with your needs.
The size of the backpack is 10 (W) x 13 (L) x 19 (H) inches, and thanks to its compression straps it can easily be expanded or collapsed in accordance with the number and volume of the items you have added in your GHB.
It is made of a double-stitched rugged material and has a waterproof lining and sturdy zippers. The backpack has numerous outer and inner compartments and pockets, so you can organize your GHB stuff properly, and get easy access to whatever you need.
The backpack is hydration bladder compatible and has a large padded compartment that can fit a 17-inch laptop or other delicate items. It also has front and side MOLLE webbing for adding more pouches and gear, and also a Velcro backing to attach patches.
The shoulder straps are padded and adjustable, and the back panel is padded and is made of breathable mesh to keep you cool and comfortable after hours of wearing it on your back.
The backpack even has a holster holder, and also a chest strap and waist strap to make carrying larger loads even easier.
Sling or Messenger bag
Sling bags are another suitable option for a get home bag. They can fit a lot of items and will allow you to access anything easily without having to remove the bag from your back.
The only problem with single strap bags is that they may start swaying and getting in your way if you need to move fast, especially if you are miles from home. Thankfully, there are tactical sling bags that have added straps that can easily solve this problem too.
It is made of 600D polyester and can fit your 1-day gear for survival with its size of 14 (H) x 7 (D) x 12 (W) inches.
It can fit 14-inch laptops, and your everyday gear, but can also be used as a get-home bag with all your essential survival stuff too.
It is affordable, well-constructed, and sturdy.
The bag has room for a 2L hydration bladder, has a large inner compartment, and added two large outer compartments on the front and two zippered pockets on each side.
It has compression straps so you can reduce the profile of the bag if you take out stuff from it.
The sling bag also has a concealed pocket on the back with a Velcro closure and a padded and breathable back panel.
The sling strap can be adjusted and is padded, and the bag has an added waist strap to keep the bag in place if you need to walk fast or run.
The sling bag costs less than $30 and is an excellent option for a bag that will be spending (hopefully) most of its time in your car trunk or other safe storage space.