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Open Thread: Get Back Home Bag

As you might know, I am not a big proponent of the bugout bag. Most people will wait too long to get clear of the blast zone and likely get stuck, and your smarter course of action is to bug-out right now.

However in our circumstances I believe there is a need for a “get back home bag”, a kit for me and especially for my wife to carry in whichever vehicle we are in that has necessities in the event of a calamity or sudden inclement weather. 
Keeping in mind that generally we are never far from home, and when we are that calls for a different gear kit, and also that where we tend to be driving we are never more than a mile from a friendly Amish farm if things go wrong. I am using the L.A. Police Gear “Tactical” Bail Out Gear Bag so it is pretty roomy without being backpack sized. 
Some of the obvious stuff is already on the list: a EDC sized pistol and extra mags, a decent sized folding knife, a first aid kit, space blanket. I need a small flashlight but I am not sure which one to get yet. 
My question to the crowd: what else should we be carrying and/or what do you have with you at all times?
Have at it!


  1. Anonymous

    My regular work requires driving upto 900km to get home. I never have less thsn half a tank and i keep 3 jerry cans which is enough to get me hone with the half tank.

    In case i have to walk i make sure i have good hiking boots sleeping bag and a weeks worth of mre's as well.


  2. jl

    Sturdy walking shoes AND good socks, a waterbottle and a clean bandana/handkerchief. For a good yet inexpensive small flashlight, Ive used the AA Maglight with good success. The important thing with those flashlights is that you need to remember to turn them on and let them run for a few minutes every now and again. Otherwise the batteries corrode and the case goes into "vapor lock" for lack of a better term. Ive had to throw out two flashlights for the same reason – batteries corroded and lodged in the case that no amount of persuasion would release. My most recent one is going on 5 years now with zero problems – I run it about 2 minutes every 3-4 months, so far so good.

  3. evanfardreamer

    We use 15-20 year old vehicles in AZ, so my get-home kit is mostly vehicle stuff. Small socket and wrench kit, two quart jug of motor oil, pint of brake fluid, roll of duct tape, 12v air compressor, tire iron and jack, a flat of water bottles, sweater and spare blanket, atlas of state road maps, couple flashlights and phone charger, notebook and pen, first aid kit. Around town it's plenty, if venturing further afield I'll always pack extra food and water.

    As far as personal EDC, always have a pocketknife, hanky, flashlight (I found a Streamlight Stylus Pro while camping once and love it, size of a pen but plenty bright), one of those little wallet size 'survival card' tools, and a paracord bracelet. The last couple are probably a little hokey, but are unobtrusive and weigh next to nothing.

  4. weaserdapi

    Alot will depend on your personal area and how far you may have to trek to get home. Adjust as necessary.

    I live in the north where we have seasons including winter. Also my office is 25 miles from home. Hopefully I wouldn't have to cover the entire distance on foot but it's very possible.

    Like another poster said high quality socks and appropriate footwear. I have broken in hiking boots and 2 pair of good socks. Also gators in case I'm dealing with deep snow.
    Full change of clothes with appropriate options for weather and two different color shirts in case you need to change appearance suddenly. No doubt when the balloon goes up will be the day your in flip flops or dress shoes because why not.
    Map or satallite images with preplanned routes home. Know where you can cross a stream or jump a fence. Compass
    Portable charger and extra cord for your phone.
    Small but not insignificant amount of cash. $30 in 1s and 5s. For whatever. Don't expect CC to work or get change.
    Water filter, I have a basic survival straw just in case.
    Personal first aid kit – mole skin for blisters, tape for ankles bandages and quick clot.
    Flashlight with extra batteries
    Leatherman and knife
    Pistol and extra mags.
    All this fits in a medium non tactical looking backpack under the seat of my truck. I also have a smaller flimsy nylon backpack inside so if I want need to ditch the bigger bag I can and still carry a few things. Most of these items would be carried on person so a backpack would not be all that necessary once unloaded for the Trek home.

  5. Great Scott

    I carry the following:
    2 or 3 water bottles
    Ruger with 2 spare mags
    Streamlight flashlight with spare batteries
    Phone charger and a biolight lamp which can also charge my phone
    Pocket knife
    Small first aid kit

  6. Anonymous

    Full first aid kit, the "boo-boo" kit so many carry, and various fire starters. Also road flares. Very handy for a variety of purposes including staying warm.

  7. Anonymous


    The flashlight (torch) is a very important item. I have spent hundreds on a single light before. Of coarse these required special batteries. I now use lights that use the 18650 (18 mm across by 65mm long) rechargeable battery.

    If you go to fleabay you will find may styles of lights. ie: head or holding type. I'd like you look into this battery (lithium-ion) as this is the most common size.

    I have been reclaiming batteries from many sources. First source was laptop battery packs. Note: this sucks because they build the packs to make them difficult to get apart. But, they are built into many things today. (even the early Tesla cars.)

    You can just buy the batteries, just stay away from the china crap. If it says that it has 5,000 mAh, just call it BS. Even for the high end ones they will not go above 3,200 mAh. The battery life is claimed 10 years, but I have older ones that still take a good charge.

    You can find many articles to research. Once you start down this rabbit hole, a new world of power is open to you.

  8. Don

    Surefire Fury intellibeam dual fuel flashlight. Very compact and has 2 brightness levels. Rechargeable battery. Not a bad idea to have a small solar charger for cell phone and rechargeable batteries.

  9. Mikey

    M-F it's 14.5 miles from my driveway (out in the sticks) to work parking lot (small town). Outside of an EMP, I expect to be able to drive home. The bag I keep in my vehicle is pretty much just some spare mags (other than the spare I carry) with an extra complete box of ammunition along with a small first aid kit, flashlight, etc. I also carry a small tool kit, tire repair plug kit w/air compressor, and a jump starter.

    If the worst occurs like an EMP, I've considered how I'd get home. I work at a university. There are bicycles everywhere. I figure I wouldn't have too much problem appropriating one for emergency use.

  10. Arthur Sido

    I will check that one out, we do have a spare Norco jumper that we can charge up cell phones with, it isn't that large but it has enough juice to jump a completely dead 15 passenger van with a huge V8 engine.

  11. Anonymous

    I keep both a backpack and a rubbermaid container in my truck. Container has extra pair of boots, jacket, gloves , fleece cap/hat, socks, small ax etc…many items I may or may not prioritize to carry depending on weather/time of year etc. My backpack in truck contains most of the above (so I wont restate) but also Matches/lighter, 100 ft of paracord, survival blanket and shelter, several chem light sticks, several XMREs, Tourniquet, water purification tablets, multi-tool (someone might have said this), roll of TP in a ziploc, package of wet-napkins, small bottle of hand sanitizer and small box of fire starter tabs. Again, depending on length of trip home, I would repack backpack and leave in container items I would or wouldn't need.

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