Notice: This website may or may not use or set cookies used by Google Ad-sense or other third party companies. If you do not wish to have cookies downloaded to your computer, please disable cookie use in your browser. Thank You.
Showing posts with label Bug Out Bag. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bug Out Bag. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Get Home Bag

VikingRS left us a comment on the post "Survival Lessons Learned from West Coast Power Outage….."The extra bag you talked about at the end of the article is what my friends and me call a GHB; Get Home Bag. I am in the process of getting my BoB together, but I wanted to be sure I had a GHB ready. It has some food (I always carry a metal water bottle), emergency blanket, two knives, fire starter, bug spray, rain poncho, mini first aid kit, pain killers, sunblock, radio, sharpie markers (to leave messages), cheap flashlight, 2 glow sticks, etc. And a book too. All of that fits into a small pack that I got at Walmart in the hunting section that goes around my waist and has shoulder straps.  Also in the trunk of my car I keep a pair of pants, a shirt, 2 pairs of socks, my combat boots, my duster (coat) and a hat.  I have these things so that in the event I am not near home I have supplies ready. Even if the car is unavailable, I have the stuff I would need to make the trek home, or at least start out if that wasn't an option. If the Wife and I take her car somewhere, I throw that stuff in her trunk.  Maybe you could do an article about the usefulness and IMO, importance of a GHB.”
UrbanMan’s comments:  VikingRS, good comments about Bug Out Bags and Get Home Bags.  I did not have Sharpies in any of my kit.  I had small waterproof notebooks and pens, but never even thought about Sharpies until your suggestion.  Thanks! 
In my mind, the Bug Out Bag and Get Home Bag are essentially the same thing, however the package or bag the items are carried in, and what items are carried could be influenced by different factors.  I actually have two bags in my vehicle I take to work.  I have one of those vacuum packed storage bags in my trunk with a pair of older running shoes, extra 5.11 pants and an old Khaki hunting shirt, extra socks, a ball cap, a watch cap and a pair of lightweight gloves.  I also have a small Eagle Industries hydration bag I keep in the back seat which I refer to as “the Bug Out Bag I Keep In My Vehicle”.   The 100 ounce hydration pack stays full and if I had to Bug Out from work I would augment water with water bottles from one of several refrigerators at work.  
I also have a leatherman tool (or is it a Gerber?); a fairly cheap Spyderco folding tactical knife; butane lighter, and fire starting material; a lightweight green gortex jacket; a cut down MRE meal; a metal canteen cup; one small packet of bullion cubes and a couple instant coffee packets; a small first aid kit with a couple travel packets of aspirin; a “AA” flashlight and pack of extra batteries; a small red lens photon key chain type light; and some other small items.
I always carry a handgun (Glock 19 and one extra magazine) and if the threat indicators grew I would add a rifle to my vehicle as well. 
Some of the factors that could influence what you carry in a Get Home Bag, in my mind, would be:         
Terrain.  The terrain you have to negotiate or transit to get to a safe site.  If you had to transit a lot of concrete and asphalt, this would influence a different type of footgear, than if you were traversing forested areas or other rural type terrain.  If you had to cross a river and planned to a bridge, what are you doing to do if the bridge is down, or access is blocked or if it is occupied by what appeared to be a criminal group?  Maybe a small inflatable floatation device and waterproof bag cover would come in handy for an expedient river crossing.       
Weather.  Unless you live or work in paradise, you probably have diverse seasonal weather conditions which would make ir important to pack and re-pack your Get Home Bag so that the contents are necessary for the weather conditions you’ll face.  The summer months may make it necessary to carry more water.  The winter months may it necessary to carry warmer clothing items.   
Threat.  What are the active and passive threats you could be facing on your movement to the identified safe area or your home.  Passive threats could be radioactive fallout or contagious disease.  Active threats could be roaming gangs, violent crowds, law enforcement or military activity such as patrols and checkpoints if there was movement or curfew restrictions.   
Distance.  The amount of distance you have to travel will certainly affect what you carry.  If you have to traverse 20 miles, it may take you two days of fairly careful movement to complete.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 5

Last night I went over to Neomi’s to show her the latest on the web site I am developing for her home based business which is, no kidding, Wedding Planning. Her day job is an Office Manager for a Physical Therapy Doctor. It’s hard to keep my mind on work when she’s walking around looking 100% gorgeous, but I have a story to tell.

Anyway our discussion turned to General Survival topics, with a lot of “what if’s”. I told her my general plan, was if the city or my house became untenable to live and survive at, would be to head to a old cabin in the mountains that remains belonging to someone (I’m not quite sure) in my family. It’s about 220 miles to the cabin, but I would have to plan on 50 mile detour to pickup my son from college where he is studying Computer Added Design so let’s say 275 miles. My vehicle is a ’04 Toyota RAV 4 which averages 22 mpg (city and highway) so that means I would have to have a full tank, 14 gallons, in order to get from my house to the cabin. I figure if I can get half way there, I could always walk 100 miles in about 5 to 6 days.

Neomi said, only half jokingly, ‘So, you’re just going to leave me?” I said “No, I would offer to take you, but if we have no telephones, cell or computer communications how are we going to talk and coordinate anything?” I then told her, “Look, if something gets really bad you can always come to my house. You’ll probably need to skirt the foothills of the mountain and come in the back way to avoid the heavy population. You need to have durable clothing suitable for hiking and camping, good boots, and only pack essentials – you don’t need makeup and that crap.”

Neomi looked like she thought about it for a few seconds, and then said, “Fair enough, what about guns? I have a couple of guns that my Dad left me.” She went into her bedroom and came out with a rifle and a handgun. Looking at both I figured out she had a Bolt Action Springfield rifle in .30-06 and a Revolver in .38 Special. I asked her is she had any ammunition for each, and she said no, so I told her she would have to pickup some at Wal-Mart, the local Sporting Goods store or a Gun Store and I wrote down what she needed to buy.

Neomi further surprised me by saying “she had a hand held Global Positioning System (GPS) that she had bought when she was dating a guy doing the geo caching sport.” She went and found it, so I wrote down the name “Garmin Etrex” and noticed that it used “AA” batteries. I told her to make sure she brings it with her. She said the only thing she knew what to do with it was figure out her location, input another location and use the device to walk to the cache. So I made a mental note to finds out more about GPS’s.

I finished my time last night with Neomi giving her an idea on what else she will need to bring with her, concentrating on some bottled water, granola bars, lightweight foods, matches/lighters, blanket, any medications, a toothbrush, etc. She exclaimed “Holy Cow, I’m going to need a big back pack”. I replied “that’s right Sweetie, it’s called a Survival Bug Out Bag, and I’m going to send you an e-mail with some more things to pack and keep it prepared to grab and immediately go – that’s the point”. And as much as I hated to say it, I said “…and those short pants you’re wearing aren’t going to be practical,… nothing but long pants.”

So now I have a possible survival partner. The boys warned me about taking on “strays” as each stray person absorbed by me will impact negatively on any survival stocks I have and may impact worse on my own survivability. They told me “to realize you can’t save everyone” as well as advised me to be careful on who I tell about my Survival Plans, and to choose my “strays” or Survival partners carefully. Their final advice on the subject was to base those choices on not only the skills sets other people would bring but how they would fit into a group.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Urban Survival Gear - Lightweight Sleeping Bags

As listed in a previous post on recommended items, a lightweight sleeping bag is an essential item for the Urban Survivor's Bug Out Bag. Remember we are talking survival and not camping comfort. If you live in or plan on transiting cold weather climates you are most likely going to require a heavier sleeping bag. The intent of the Bug Out Bag sleeping bag is to provide life saving shelter and not sleeping comfort. During a degraded situation the Urban survivor may most likely be moving during the night time, when it is the coldest, and holing up during the daytime and therefore be able to get away with a smaller, less warmth providing sleeping bag. Besides, unless you plan on humping a 90 lbs rucksack you are going to have to give up some comfort and capabilities in order to achieve mobility, especially if you are on foot which is the worst case scenario.

The two companies, that make or market sleeping bags, and that we have some experience with are Snug Pack and REI. A couple of the sleeping bags that each offer that we think meets the criteria for a lightweight, easily compressed sleeping bag are:

Softie 3 Merlin

This is an 900 gram bag including the compresion stuff sack. Weight with bag is 2.0 lbs. Available in Red, Olive, Desert Tan, or Black color with a full length two way zipper. Rated at approximatley 35 degree F this bag compresses, in the stuff sack, to approximatley 7 x 10 inches. Made in the United Kingdom this bag is filled with a Snug Pack material called Sofite, Reflectaherm. This is bag is a excellent product, well made and in an exceptional small package making it a good item for the Survival Bug Out Bag.

Kelty Galactic +35 Sleeping Bag

The Kelty Galatic Bag is also rated for 35 degrees Fahrenheit and weight tslightly more than the snug pack at 2.5 lbs, compressing into a 7x15 inch configuration.
One advanatge on this bag is that it can be zipped open to use as a blanket or bottom insulation on for two people. It is filled with down, an excellent insulation. This is also a first class product from reputable REI,....well known in the adventure world.

The Urban Survivor would be well equipped with either sleeping bag prepacked into his/her Survival Bug Out Bag.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Urban Survival Gear and Equipment – The Basics

Some of the mistakes survivalists make is rather than ensure they have a minimal amount of survival gear and equipment across all priorities, some will focus on fulfilling one category of equipment, such as firearms ie. purchasing many makes and calibers, before starting to build their supply of food, clothing, boots, flashlights, batteries, etc.

The immediate priorities for someone just beginning to get prepared should be gear that can be carried by one person on his/her body, usually in a pack – sometimes this pack is called the “survival bug-out bag”. If you survival plan is to re-locate you and your family to a safer location, perhaps with relatives or friends in a rural area, then the following list would be a starting point for your personalized survival bug out bag built to support your plan to enable your movement to their location:

Firearm. Rifle or shotgun preferably, handgun is good backup firearms; rifle is nothing else.

Ammunition. Several boxes, consider 100 rounds or shot shells a starting point.

Gun cleaning kit. There are several small complete kits on the market.

Canteens or Camel-Baks. Better yet, a combination day pack – Camel Bak.

Clothing. Durable clothing and does not and quite probably SHOULD NOT have to be camouflage. Earth colors such as light green or brown, maybe tan will work. Camouflage may attract unwanted attention during a movement in a developed area before things got really bad.

Gloves. Probably need three sets: work, cold weather and a pair that you can operate (shoot) your firearm with.

Boots. Good pair of lace up hunting or military style boots; broken in to YOUR feet.

Sleeping Bag. Lightweight – and able to fit into, or strapped to, your combo day pack Camel- Bak type rucksack.

Gerber or Leatherman combination tool. Many uses and not just for McGyver type situations.

Water Purification device. This is usually a pump action filter. Several lightweight ones on the market.

Survival Manual. The SAS or U.S. Army Survival Field Manual, both good references.

Good large folding knife or fixed blade, with sharpening stone.

Flashlight. Even better have two or three of them. Get LED’s rather than bulbs, at least one with a red lens or red LED feature.

Spare batteries. Consider buying rechargeable batteries and a solar/12v recharger.

Lantern. There are several small LED type lanterns that run a long time on common small batteries.

Poncho or Ground Cloth. Water resistant, can be used as a rain poncho or to make a lean to tent for shelter.

Long life food items. Canned foods generally last a long time but are heavy if you have to carry them. Army style MRE’s are a lightweight, but expensive alternative.

Quick Snack Foods. For eating on the move without preparation. These would include nutrition bars, trail mix packs, beef jerky packets, etc.

Roll of Duct Tape. Buy the green stuff and not the silver tape.

Butane Lighters. Buy a three pack of these at the checkout of a local store.

Rope or heavy duty twine. Military suspension line is ideal.

AM/FM/Shortwave Radio. Hand cranked, capable of using batteries, ensure you have the weather and emergency warning frequencies on it.

Medical Kit. All necessary prescription meds - buy and rotate stocks what you really need to take. Consider heavy trauma and routine medical needs.

Vitamins and Supplements. Buy high quality products and rotate to ensure highest extended expiration date as with your prescription meds.

Matches and candles. Cheap and still effective way to provide light and heat in small places. Matches should be the wooden type. You can coat the ends in wax or even chapstick to protect the sulfur and igniter.

If you plan is to use a vehicle, you can pre-load additional items in your vehicle, primarily water, food and clothing. At the last minute you can add all the extra food and water you can load. Ensure your vehicle has a minimal tool kit as well as at least one full-size up spare tire.


  • The above gear list becomes your last ditch “personal survival bug out” bag, designed to throw into a vehicle and “bug out”. If you have to exit your car and travel on foot, then you are much better prepared to survive and get where you are going.
  • Everyone in the family needs their own survival bug out bag. Ensure you cross load so that each individual has the capability to survive if separated from the main group.