Get Home Bag

Items that go inside of a Get Home Bag

Get Home Bag

Duration: 24 Hours


Away From Home Emergencies: Storms, Tornado, Power Outage, Flood, Biological, Radiological, Chemical, or Terrorist Incidents

Must Have Gear:

Water, Food, Clothing, Lighting, Fire Making, Weather Protection, Visibility Gear, Games or Distractions, Maps, Sleeping Kit

What is a Get Home Bag?

A Get Home Bag is meant to protect you when away from home. Think of it as a 24 Hour Bug Out Bag. However unlike a Bug Out Bag, a Get Home Bag is meant to be compact and help you for a shorter duration.

At a minimum it should provide you with water, snacks, and a change of clothing. You should have a dust mask and goggles. You should have items that would make it more comfortable to sleep if you wind up on a floor somewhere. If you have the space then add harsh environment protection and an outbreak kit.

Generally a Get Home Bag is kept in a car or truck. Some people keep one at their job. If you are a bus or train commuter then this might be your only option.

Don't go overboard! It is easy to get carried away and try to make a Get Home Bag a full-blown Bug Out Bag. Avoid this temptation if possible. You want your GHB to be lightweight and low drag, so you can stay maneuverable. We'll discuss why a little bit later.

What Should A Get Home Bag Do?

The name gives you an idea, it is supposed to get you back to your home, back to your family. It's not meant to be a deep woods survival kit (unless that is what you would need it to be in order to get home.)

Get Home Bags are meant for sudden, unexpected events that may leave you stranded far from home. Two such scenarios seem the most relevant: a large scale terrorist attack (ie. 9-11) or giant solar flare which sends an Electro Magnetic Pulse, knocking out power for hundreds of miles around. A biological or chemical attack, a train carrying toxic chemicals, and explosion at a nearby plant; all of these could cause sudden area wide evacuation events.

In both scenarios the only transportation that available to people will be their feet. So getting back to the bag weight, make sure not to exceed 20 lbs if possible, and practice hiking with it a few times to see how it feels and how your body reacts.

FYI If you buy anything with the links we provide on this page we might get a small percentage of the sale from Amazons end. For more info click here.

What goes in a one:

  • A pair of socks, pants, shirt, and underwear in a compression sack
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses and/or sunglasses
Sleep Kit:
Food & Water:
Hygiene & First Aid:
Emergency Communications:
Shelter & Weather Protection:

Upgrades / Additions:

The Best Get Home Bag Backpacks

Here is a list of the bags we think are the best types to make a Get Home Bag with. If you already have something at home, great, use that. Just make sure it is sturdy though, and not going to fall apart on you when you need it most!

High Sierra Loop Backpack

High Sierra Loop

Typical Price: $29
Specs: This is an amazing pack with tons of features you wouldn't see until much higher prices. The best value we've seen in any pack. This can also make a fantastic BOB for most folks. The loops on the bottom are so handy and the strap design is perfect. One of our favorites.


Condor Compact Assault Pack

Typical Price: $60
Specs: A strong mid-grade tactical pack that offers a ton of features and storage options. MOLLE attachments allow expansion outside if desired. Hydration pouch built-in. Capable of carrying a ton of gear, or cinched down if lighter loads are desired. 


5.11 Rapid Quad Zip Pack

Typical Price: $90
Specs: Lightweight yet durable, the Rapid Quad gives you the best of the tactical packs while not attracting a lot of attention. Roomy enough to carry everything you'd need, with expasnsion options on the outside thanks to MOLLE tie-downs.


5.11 Covrt 18 Backpack

Typical Price: $129
Specs: See our full review here. A tactical pack in civilian clothing. MOLLE hides on the inside. Hydration bladder ready. Padded laptop sleeve. Lots of admin options. Very comfortable yolk-style straps.


Vertx EDC Gamut Pack

Typical Price: $199
Specs: One of our favorite packs of all time. Incredibly well built: durable, excellent design, smartly laid out. Velco lining along the inside allows you to customize the layout as you see fit. Low profile colors keep people uninterested, especially the Bracken color.

Maxpedition Entity 27

Typical Price: $219
Specs: The best day bag in the market today. Read our review here. Incredible design, built like a tank, and made to last a lifetime. The last backpack you will ever need.

Packing Your Get Home Bag

It is best to keep things compartmentalized by use, so if you can pack things into clear seal-able bags or into pouches with labels on them that's the best approach.

For example, put all your fire making items, matches, lighters, etc. into one bag so if you need it you can grab it all out at once.

This serves another purpose, you are adding water repelling protection to the contents inside the bag should your bag leak in a downpour.


Next Step: Build A Bug Out Bag

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