I’ve been utilizing what I call a “get home bag” for quite some time now. This bag has changed over time to fit my needs and my growing concerns about the state of the outside world.
What I mean, is that as I’ve deemed the world more dangerous, my get home bag has gotten more serious. What started out as some survival supplies and some extra boxes of ammunition has quickly turned into something else entirely.
I used to use a regular backpack for this get home bag, and there is nothing wrong with that. A broken down AR-15 should fit in a regular backpack, to at least some degree. But at some point, you’ll have to upgrade to something meant to hold this type of firearm.
Quick deployment may be key in defensive situations.
More on that in a bit. But first, let’s discuss the following —
What is a get home bag?
The get home bag is one that I take with me on overnight or longer trips where I will be more than two hours away from home. The end goal of the bag is to get me back home in case of societal breakdown. It has enough supplies to do just that no matter where I am.
To me, the best place to be in just such a scenario where there is societal breakdown, is my house. It is the place I’m most familiar with and the place where the rest of my gear is located.
If I’m not home, especially if my family is NOT with me, my goal is to get there.
Knowing that this may take me quite some time means I have to make sure there are enough supplies in it to get me back home.
My get home bag supplies:
The bag has items in it that are meant to get me as far as possible on the journey home. These are as follows:
- An AR-15 Pistol
- Several loaded magazines for that pistol
- Several boxes of extra ammunition for that pistol
- Notebook and tactical pen
- Firestarter and tinder
- 4,000 (or so) calories worth of food
- Canteen and stainless cup
- Spoon and fork
- Medical gear (tourniquets, pressure bandages, etc)
- A map of the area
- Battery Charger and cables
Let’s take a look at each one of these in turn, very briefly:
The current setup is the CMMG Banshee. It is an excellent AR-15 and functions fantastic and in it’s shortened stature, with the brace all the way in, it fits perfectly in the bag.
Of course there are magazines that are pre-loaded. That is necessary, by the way because if they’re not pre-loaded they’re useless.
I tend to use the Gun Mag Warehouse for buying mags.
Extra boxes of ammo:
I keep a couple extra boxes of ammo in the bag, as well. That way if I need to do any defensive type stuff, I can replenish the mags when the time comes.
The knife is hopefully self-explanatory. In case it’s not, there are things I may need to cut or make out of wood, and of course the knife is a last-chance defense. I am classically trained in defensive knife fighting techniques with a Ka-Bar, but I tend to pack my Gerber Strongarm.
Firestarter and and tinder:
There are times when I’d need to start a fire. Maybe I’d need to purify some water or something like that. Most of the time I would NOT start a fire, however.
Notebook and tac pen:
The notebook is to write down anything pertinent that I may need to remember, like events that happened so that they’re fresh in my memory. Or, it’s to write a note in case the worst case scenario happens and people know who to contact.
The tac pen serves a couple of different purposes. First, it’s to actually write the stuff down. Second, it is a last chance defensive tool that I’d use similarly to the knife if ever needed.
4,000 calories of food:
Food is one of those things that most people don’t put as much thought into as they should for these purposes. A lot of folks just throw a couple granola bars into their bag and call it quits.
Your body needs foods that will hold you over and keep you moving till you get to your next meal. I’m not going to tell you what to pack because of allergy purposes, but can say things like beef jerky, nuts, peanut butter and other, similar, high value foods that have a mixture of good fats, calories, carbs, and protein are best.
The reason why I say 4,000 calories is because the “average” adult should consume about 2,000 calories per day. I know for a fact that I can make 4,000 stretch for four days by consuming just 1,000 calories each day.
Food can get heavy, which is another reason why having a backpack designed for this type of stuff with sufficient padding is a good idea.
Canteen and stainless cup:
The canteen holds water and the cup can be used to boil water for purification purposes if needed. Your body will need water, but water is heavy.
Some people consider a straw/filter device as well so they can drink water from more sources without having to worry about purifying it first.
Spoon and fork:
You need to be able to eat any food you bring. I actually don’t need the fork and can get by with the spoon but include the fork “just in case” I need it. The spoon is needed for the peanut butter, though I could use my knife or just dip my finger in it if necessary.
Still, for measurement purposes it’s useful to be able to grab a spoonful at a time of something like that.
This is another area not enough people put thought into. In the case of civil unrest your chances of you or another in your party getting hurt is big.
Being able to stitch yourself back together to get back on the road home could be necessary.
I usually recommend Mountain Man Medical for this type of gear. They’re good friends of mine and only put together kits with the best gear.
Map of the area:
People have grown too used to not being able to navigate the land that if the crap ever hit the fan they’d have a really hard time getting back home if they had to stray from the main roads.
Obviously you know the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. In the United States of America you should be able to get a heading by the sun. But that might not be enough.
Having a map of the area, like a roadmap, that tells you the names of the roads and the junctions they take with other roads could mean the difference between you getting there or not. Or at the very least, could shorten your trip.
People rely too much on their cell phones.
Battery charger and cable:
Finally we get to the charger and cable. You will need a way to charge your phone, even if the phone network goes down. The main reason being, even if you can’t make a phone call you may be able to still receive and send text messages.
Having the ability to keep your phone charged so you can at least try, can be a huge deal.
I have several of these chargers on hand from Anker and they work very well. They charge the average smart phone about four times before needing to be plugged back in themselves.
The bag itself:
The bag I use is the Elite Survival Systems Covert Stealth bag. It is big enough that I can stick an assembled AR-15 pistol in it, several magazines, about 300 rounds of ammunition, snacks, and lots of other survival gear.
The ESS bag is nice and big, obviously, because it fits an assembled AR pistol in it. But because it is big, it does hold a lot of other stuff.
What say you? Do you have a similar bag that you use to get home? Let me know in the comments below.