Duration: 1 week or More
Long-Term Catastrophic Emergencies: House Fire, Tsunami, Earthquake, Hurricane, Super Storm, Military Strife
Must Have Gear:
Water, Food, Clothing, Tents, Tarps, Stove, Tables, Chairs, Sleeping Gear, Batteries, Lights, Tools, Cordage
The "I'm Never Coming Home" INCH acronym is hopefully not as bad as it sounds: eventually you should be going home.
But what will you be facing in the weeks or months before? What will your house look like when you finally do get back? Is it a tornado that just ripped through your neighborhood? An earthquake or fire? Worse?
If you lived in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and powers been out for MONTHS would you stick around? Do you even have the choice to leave?
So in the event you aren't going to be able to use your house for a while, you should consider your long term needs - for periods lasting from 3 days or 3 weeks or even months. This is a bag or kit(s) that you will keep packed and ready in the garage or in a high and dry spot to be recovered after a flood.
SHTF = INCH
Most of our emergency planning revolves around those events we see happening often: house fires, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes.
Once you've gotten yourself set for those events, which tend to be short term disruptions of a few days or so, then it's time to step up your game and get a longer term plan in place.
That's where the INCH Bags step in. If things have really gone south for you then having a kit that keeps you going for several months will be required.
Don't be a Mule
If you haven't already guessed, you will have quite a bit of supplies to carry about, in addition to your Bug Out Bag and any others you may have made. This may make your INCH kit very heavy.
Some people can handle a 75lb bag but that's not the norm by any stretch, most people can only comfortably carry 20lbs on their backs comfortably all day.
Keeping that in mind, consider how you plan to lug this thing around. Hopefully you'll have a functioning car, but that is very often a luxury not available to most...just look at pictures from Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and how many cars were sitting underwater in peoples driveways.
It's up to you how far you want to take it and what to include. Some folks prefer low-drag low-weight options. Do what's best for you, but use the list below as a guide to make sure you have each of the main categories covered.
We don't include everything under the sun because we are assuming that you are using the other kits described in The BOBB Four Part Emergency System.
Another option, and probably the best one for this type of kit is to have something with wheels. We discuss that idea in-depth in our blog post about building a rolling bug out bag.
What goes in one:
Keep in mind: You will have to recreate your home with this kit, it's more than just survival gear. You will live out of it. So in many ways it's similar to what you would need for a camping or hunting trip of several days or more.
If you buy anything with the links we provide on this page we get a small percentage of the sale from Amazons end. For more info click here.
Power & Lighting:
Survival Gear & Tools:
- Paracord, Gorilla Tape, and Clothes Clips
- Multipurpose Axe and/or Machete
- Lansky Dual Grit Sharpener
- SOG Entrenching Tool
INCH Carrying Solutions:
Here are some ideas of bags and container boxes you could use for an INCH kit. They also illustrate what we are talking about.
Typical Price: $46 Size: X-Large - 100 Liter
Pros: Sturdy inexpensive canvas bag with a waterproof bottom, padded shoulder straps, 3-zippered outside pockets, an inside security pouch, vinyl reinforced carry handles, and lashing gear rings. We've had one of these for years and use it all the time. It's held up perfectly. 34"(L) x 12"(H) x 15"(W).
Cons: A little difficult to keep organized. Hard to carry when fully loaded. No wheels.
Typical Price: $360 Size: XX-Large - 190 Liter
Pros: This bag features HD over-sized wheels and bottom skids, rugged corner guards on all corners, double self retracing handles, a MOLLE/ALICE-compatible interior, adjustable inside loop-sided dividers, reinforced, rigid ends and bottom, lockable YKK zippers, name tape and flag holders, mark-able name strips, foot studs with lashing pass-through, and a business card holder and document pocket. Replaceable heavy duty wheels, wheel housing, skid rails, corner protectors and U feet (rated for 150 lbs.) 40"L x 20H" x 16.25"D | Weight - 18.90 lbs.
Cons: A tad bit pricey!
Typical Price: $329 Size: X-Large - 102 Liters
Pros: Eberlestock makes killer packs and bags. Velcro panels allow you to partition off compartments to divide gear or clothing. 6 spacious external pockets, 3 on either side with the middle pocket also containing elastic sleeves for small item organization. Attached and stow-able rain cover included. 41(L) x 18"(H) x 9"(W) |Weight - 14 lbs.
Cons: Not many to think of, its Eberlestock, so this things a tank.
Typical Price: $375 Size: XX-Large - 128 Liters
Pros: A high volume duffel bag with low-profile compression. The duffel is easily removable from its light aluminum frame. Comes with heavy duty, large diameter, off-road wheels. Built of double-layer, 1000D CORDURA with Teflon and PU coatings. 34.5”L x 19.5”W x 15”H - Weight - 9.8 Lbs.
Cons: Less organizing options than other options.
Typical Price: $275 Size: X-Large - 118 Liters
Pros: Pelican is the gold standard for hard cases. If you are looking for a bomb-proof solution, look no further. Tons of interior accessories available. O-ring seal to keep the water out. Guaranteed for life and made in the USA. 31.30"L x 20.40" W x 15.50" H - Weight - 22.80 lbs.
Cons: Heavy even when empty. Not flexible, might not fit some of the things you want to stuff in there.
Typical Price: $50 Size: 108 qt
Pros: Not as durable as a Pelican case, but it is a quarter of the price and it has wheels. If you aren't planning on moving it around non-stop it should be more than adequate for your INCH needs.
Cons: Not as tough as others. The latches could be more durable.