Redoing my Get Home Bags……….

I have recently been trying to organize and inventory my preparedness supplies. It is a daunting task. One of the things I want to do is redo some of my bug out and get home bags.


I want every vehicle to have a kit in it “just in case”. The most likely scenario for these kits use is in case of some kind of catastrophe which results in a giant traffic jam. In the past there has been a small plastic tote in each car with a variety of supplies- water, a few energy bars, multi-tools, some paracord, first aid kit, maps, phone numbers, etc. This is all fine and dandy unless the driver needs to walk 20 miles home. Lugging that tote around won’t be easy.


Foolish I haven’t worked on this sooner.


So – I need bags. I have lots of bags – mostly from I have an old backpacking pack, a Medium Transport Pack, a Paladin Go Bag, and a Paladin Mission Pack Expedition. Right now as I type this I have these bags laid out on the floor of my garage. Plan is to put together new kits to go in each vehicle. In my wife’s Expedition I will place two kits as we are often driving that one as a family. 


Putting together the bags is easy enough. Next is convincing the wife that she needs to lave it in her car and explain the procedure of using it. She is not a prepper by any stretch. I have explained to her that if “something” bad happens she is to get our youngest boy and then our oldest. I know our oldest could walk home from school if necessary.


As far as myself I can walk home if needed. I work 22 miles from home – and I figure it would take me 10 hours or so to make it – hopefully less. I have talked to my wife about doing a trial run and making the walk. She looked at me like my head just spun around and green slime flew out my mouth.


Nope……haven’t tried it.


After putting these kits together will work on some tactical load outs. Right now I……alright, saving that for another post.


 – Rourke




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29 thoughts on “Redoing my Get Home Bags……….”

  1. I am also looking to redo my Get Home Bags that we store in our vehicles. Last year I made one for my oldest daughter as she headed off for College (she is now 45 miles away from home). My youngest now has her liscense and a 1992 F-150 truck (her choice of vehicle). I still haven’t gotten her bag together yet and is may latest task. The problem I have run into is finding a bag that will fit behind the seat so she will always have it with he. Currently she only goes to school and home with the occasional trip to the feed store or grocery store for me so it won’t need a lot other than the basics. Do you or any of your readers have a good idea on a bag that will fit behind the seat?
    I have a small messenger bag that I am currently using for my office BOB that I keep in a drawer along with a gallon of water that stays under my desk. This works for my work, and if I need to get home on foot I will combine the contents with what I have in my car. Some things will be duplicates, but would still be good to have on the 23 mile walk home (multiple routes most on back roads). Thanks for a great site

    • Amy –

      Thanks for the comment and info. Make sure you don’t have anything in that BOB that your employer would frown against. That is one of the reasons for me keeping everything in he car.



  2. Something to think about if you plan on walking 22 miles. 1) Plan for the weather. You can hump 5-6 mi. in bad conditions if you have to, but if it gets cold and you don’t have a good jacket or something to insulate yourself properly from the cold, 22 mi. could be nearly insurmountable. Most hypothermia occurs between 30-50 degrees. Make sure you have enough water, dehydration speeds hypothermia. 2) Have good shoes. If you work somewhere where you wear non-athletic shoes, keep at least a pair of sneakers or preferably broken in boots. I cannot emphasize enough how terrible it is to hike 10-15 mi. in bad shoes (been there done that…stupid hurts). Oh, keep some wool socks with you too. 3) Consider keeping a complete base layer of synthetic material, it prevents chafing in areas that normally aren’t an issue. Since it’s winter, the ability to layer, and keep moisture off your skin will keep you from getting cold(er). Sweating becomes a huge issue in the cold and if you don’t get it off your skin your risk blisters, dehydration and possibly hypothermia. Fortunately I live about 3.5 miles from school and 1.5 miles from work. I’d try to convince the better half to let you try it one day. Reduce the learning curve and all that…

    • Jesse James –

      Thanks for the info. One of the reasons I want to do my trial trek is to see what happens NOW when I can just make a phone call and get picked up.

      Thanks – Rourke

  3. I have been planning on a trail walk home from work as well. I work near the heart of a large city and there is a river between work and my home. It is a 16 mile trek and I feel that I need to know on foot how the neighborhoods I pass through in my car might feel when I am not so protected. This way if I need to bypass any areas I will know before I make a costly misake.

  4. Rourke,
    I have a similar set-up and situation. I made different size survival bags. For myself, I used my rucksack from the Army. It is much larger than the backpacks that I put together for my wife and kids. Consequently, it holds more supplies. Since my oldest boy will be 16 next month, and is a strong and healthy from weightlifting and football, I am moving his stuff to a bigger pack (like mine). Anyway, as previously mentioned, I wrote down the contents of my survival backpacks and bug out bags. I would be glad to send them to you. When I retired from the Army 2 years ago, I made a few of the smaller kits for 3 of my favorite soldiers. I sort of adopted these girls when I was their First Sergeant. I convinced them to carry the backpacks in their vehicles at all times by telling them that I put a lot of effort, energy and money into making these survival kits. Their only requirement in accepting these “gifts” was to promise that it would always be in their car/truck/SUV. I also warned them that I would be spot checking their compliance. It has worked so far! Good Luck!

  5. Consider getting a pack that fits in better and doesn’t scream “I got good stuff in here!” Something old looking and might be worn by a high school student to carry books. The military stuff is tough and excellently suited to the job but it stands out.

    I walked home from work one day some years back when I lived in the Southwest. 115 degrees and 10 miles. No problem except I carried nothing and had to stop a couple times along the way to tae a drink from a hose or once inside a bar (water, not beer). What I did learn was how easy it was for me (40 years ago and I ran 3 miles every day at noon in 115 degree temps). However I couldn’t do it today at least not easily. Everyone should try it before they crate plans to do it in an emergency situation.

  6. I used to do the exact same thing. It was just easier for me to keep my vehicle supplies in a tote. About a year ago I switched to a descent sized backpack and haven’t looked back.

  7. It took some work but I finally got my wife to carry a small backpack filled with gear and a pair of tennis shoes in her car. And it paid off, a few weeks after it was in the car she needed a band aid. She knew to look in the pack and low and behold there were plenty, after that a light bulb went off in her head. Since then she has been a lot more open to the idea of prepping. Although it took over a year to get that far.

  8. I going through mine a well. I use my Maxpedition Condor for my GHB and left it in the front room. I was going to switch out the “blood clot” for “cellox” but when I returned everything was gone, My wife came in and cleaned up and so now I can’t find the “Cellox” lol, because she can’t remember were she put it. Lesson learned, it’s probably were she lost my (Steripen, Jet Boil and Katydine Hiker H2O kit)

    • Badger359 –

      I know how you feel. My wife picks up stuff and moves it and when I ask where the such-and-such is she has no idea what that is.

      My fault need to get better organized.

      Take care – Rourke

  9. Can you please develop a running post as you put these together so we can see contents (and your reasoning behind these items)? I’m currently thinking out the same thing right now for our vehicles and would love to hear others ideas on these kits and their contents.

  10. I am with GoneWithTheWind… We have ours in teen style book bags that were on clearance. I figure anyone poking around would pass what they thought was full of books and paper. Still haven’t deployed them yet; building for myself, wife, 4th grader and 6th grader is somewhat daunting as I am sure you all know!

  11. I would like some info on back for a family with small kids. I have two under 5 and one on the way. The bags I have now are fairly comprehensive but would love some input on shelter, food, medical ect with a large family. Typically bob or get home bags are only discussed as for one person.

  12. Good lord I can’t believe it! Never considered a “Bug Out” bag because I’m not going anywhere, but a “get home” bag…. duh! 30 miles from work to home….. need to put some thought into this…… and right away!

  13. For those looking to obtain a packing list, I will send Rourke the inventory of each type bag/kit that I put together. Perhaps he can forward you the size that you are most comfortable with. I am not advocating that anyone lug around all the stuff that I do. It takes up considerable space in my SUV. There is redundancy in my bags and kits as well. The advantage is, I am pretty much ready to take off at any given moment.

  14. Men! You don’t get it. It’s not that we wives aren’t into prepping, we’re just not into heavy double-stiched camo bags. We carry an EDC (otherwise known as a purse). We’d like it better if you’d find ways to help us lighten the load and build needed gear into a tactical-purse. Now on that GetHomeBag – I don’t want something that begs the boys at Lowe’s to probe questions while loading mulch into the trunk. OR that makes the Cub Scouts scream when the troup loads up. We wives have more to deal with in our SUVs than the average man who uses their car to go to and from work each day. We’d like it much better if you’d find ways to make the GHB “fit” stylishly into the average mom-taxi. 2 or 3 small bags would fit us better than 1 oversized bag. Find ways to better use the area under the seats, in the wheel well and other out of the way places. Make it look more like a gym bag than a TEOTWAWKI bag. Love OK for the trial trek, make it a family affair and make it to someplace fun rather than from work to home. Plan a picnic along the way. I suspect you’ll learn just as much on the way to a fun destination AND you’ll be there to support Wife with the kids – which will be an even better training-event. Arrange for a friend to be on standby pickup duty just in case the trek is cut unexpectedly short. Thanks for your site. It’s great. But would love more woman’s perspectives.

  15. My wife and I use High Sierra hiking backpacks for our Get Home Bags. We figured hiking backpacks are made for long treks and with me working about 25 miles from home it would be a long trek (for me) to get back home.

    Mine has a some clothes including sneakers, wool hiking socks, and some tactical pants. I also have a couple of days of food, an Army plastic canteen plus an aluminum water bottle, a mess kit with silver ware, some matches & lighters, toiletries, a roll of silver dimes, some cash, some snare wire, glow sticks, zip ties, and some other stuff I can’t think of right now.

    My Every Day Carry bag is a UTG Messenger bag. It has my IWB holster with 9mm pistol, 2 spare mags, a box of 50 rounds of ammo, a flashlight with some extra batteries, a small med kit, a multi tool, and a lock blade knife. I usually have this with me or in the car except on days when I have to go on base for meetings.

    My wife’s bag basically has the same type of stuff as my GHB and EDC bag combined into one bag. She also has some water purification tabs and a few other minor differences since she’s more likely to be with the kids when SHTF.

    We still need to get more water purification stuff, paracord, duct tape, maps, better flashlights, compasses, yo-yo reel fishing reels, folding saws, quick clot, fire starters, and some other stuff that I can’t think of right now either.

    I’ve also been trying to decide if I need a long gun with my GHB and if so, what kind. 10/22 would be handy, but is it enough? Should I get a bolt action .308? Or a .30-30 lever action to carry in my car? Or a shotgun? Or an AR-15? How will these impact my walking and can I conceal them if need be?

    We also have a smaller school-type backpack for each of our three kids. They are little (ages 7, 6, and 3) so they probably wouldn’t be able to carry their bags far, if at all. However, in the event of a bug out scenario they have a couple of changes of clothes, their toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, etc.), a day or two worth of food, an army canteen, a mess kit with silverware, a flashlight with extra batteries, and a few other essentials. I think they may have a coloring book with crayons and stuff in theirs too to help keep them entertained if need be.

    One of my biggest fears though is having all this stuff, but then still faced with a situation where SHTF and our youngest is at preschool on the other side of town. Or we’re by my work while my daughter is still at school by our house 25 miles away. How to we get to them and make sure they are safe? How do we get us all out of dodge, or back home, safely when things don’t go as planned… which they won’t.

    • RocketCityPrepper –

      Thanks for the info. I know just what you are talking about with your youngest.

      One thing I have thought of was carrying a bike on the back of my vehicles. Transportation by bike is much faster than on foot.

      Just a thought.

      Take care – Rourke

  16. I have always carried my GHB in my Explorer. It is a Gerber Evader with the top ten essentials plus water filter, I have added a few other items since fall is upon us. It loads out to 10 lbs. I could build a nice camp if needed or just get a power bar. I always subscribe to “the more you know the less you need” mentality. It saves alot of money.

  17. Amy,

    At least about a year ago, anyway, the “big box” hardware stores carried plastic “pickup truck tool boxes” – about 18″x9″x3″ – intended to fit behind the front seat in a standard truck. A couple of these, and an old yard-sale BSA aluminum pack-frame (and some paracord) might work admirably.


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