What Must a Gal Have in Her Get-Home-Bag? (10 Considerations!)
I'm so bad. I admit. I have been meaning to get my Get Home Bag together for a LONG time....over a year, now actually. It's time to put some serious thought into this! What spurred me on is that one of the teachers at work had her car battery go dead. Nobody had any cables!! Isn't that crazy? Finally, the custodian saved the day....but shouldn't we seriously have some basic things handy?
So, I finally got myself in gear to get my emergency things going on in my truck and Get Home Bag! Here is my list of things I figure I could possibly need to be able to get myself home from the small town in which I work (about 1,000 people and about 25 miles away) OR from the very large city (over 2 million people and a little over an hour a way, depending on where in town I go) I live near and must visit about once a week for groceries & supplies. I wanted this bag to be something that is easy to carry too, in case I need to hoof it.
NOTE: This article contains affiliate links, mainly through Amazon. If you happen to click through and make any kind of purchase, I will receive a very small commission at no extra cost to you! :-) I truly appreciate your helping support Healing Harvest Homestead! Heidi
Here is What I Packed in My Get Home Bag:
1. Well, first, there is the Bag.
I've seen some pretty fancy backpacks and bags for either Bugging Out or Getting Home. I'm honestly most interested in getting home because we are not ready for bugging out...yet. Even though there are some pretty cool kinds of bags (some even look like large purses), I decided to go with simple.
So I chose a back pack meant for trail hiking. I chose this kind of bag because it's very comfortable, and if I have to walk a long way as I would when hiking a long trail, then I know it won't make my back hurt. I also like the fact that even though it is smaller than an overnight type of backpack, it still has lots of room! The color was another factor. I chose neutral shades (green/gray) because I don't want it to stand out in any way. I'll be honest...I've had this trusty bag for YEARS! This was my day pack for many great years and hiking trails! I thought I had retired it, but it is now serving a great purpose! **The back pack I use is so old it's no longer being sold, so the Amazon links above are for one I thought looked similar.
2. First Aid Supplies
The next thing I decided I'd better include is a First Aid kit (not pictured with my stuff). I just got a basic kit that fits right in the backpack like this one:
In addition to the kit, I also have some clean rags, some duct tape, and some Cayenne Pepper (Cayenne Pepper helps stop bleeding fast....See this article.)
Here is another option that appears to be Uh-Mazing! I don't personally have one of these, but I think I may be getting one. It's a VSSL (pronounced Vessel) Flashlight with a cache container that holds first aid supplies! Isn't that cool? They are supposed to be lightweight too.
3. Hydration! Water, Anyone?
You MUST have a plan for hydrating yourself. Whether you are stuck in your vehicle or find yourself having to walk away from it, water is SUPER important. I won't go into all the many many reasons you need a plan for water because any person who has done any reading about health and fitness knows these things already.
So, here is my plan for water:
1. My Nathan Hydration backpack. This little pack is small, and it holds 2L of water. At this point, I am keeping it in my pack empty. I keep emergency water in my truck. If I need to, I'll use that to fill it up. Otherwise, if I'm near a place where I can get some fresh tap water or bottled water, I'll fill from those sources.
2. I keep 2 16 oz. bottles of water in my regular backpack at all times.
3. My Life Straw. I know I will probably never need this on a walk to get home from someplace, but you just never know. I love these things because they filter water wherever you happen to be. So, let's say I'm not in the desert and I'm having to walk through Oregon somewhere (hey! It could happen! My mom lives there!). If I'm out of water, I can just stick the Life Straw into the water and drink up. They are not expensive either. I think it's worth keeping one on hand. Here's a picture. You can see they are small and lightweight.
Yep. A gal needs to unapologetically be able to protect herself. I carry pepper spray in this backpack, a Swiss Army knife which serves many purposes, and also I keep a small pistol ready to put inside my back pack, in case I'm walking anywhere.
5. Hygiene Items
A gal should always carry some feminine supplies anyway, right? But I do keep some in my backpack. I also carry a half roll of toilet paper. It doesn't take up as much room as a whole roll, and that should be plenty to get me home. Another set of items I carry are baby wipes. They help keep you clean, and I believe in a long walk situation, they would also be a morale booster too.
If you have a long way to go, you'll need energy! I keep plenty of lightweight bars in my backpack. I like Larabars, Rx Bars, and meat bars like Epic or Brix bars. You can find them at Thrive Market at a great discount. You can also find them on Amazon. And some grocery stores and Whole Foods carry them, too...but they are usually a LOT more expensive in the stores. The reason I like these bars are because they don't have all the chemicals that many other bars contain. Also, they are high in protein and balanced in fat and carbs. They are a pretty perfect on-the-go energy source.
Other options are PayDay bars, Snickers (if it's not hot outside)....pretty much anything with a high calorie to energy ratio. Stay away from purely sugary snacks.
I keep a small LED Flashlight in my backpack, along with a few extra batteries (AAA in this case). Here is a great little flash light with an adjustable beam and a strobe if desired. I'm pretty sure the one I linked to is the one I have. If not, it's similar...and not expensive either.
Here is another option! This VSSL cache flashlight not only includes the light, but also a compass. There are different varieties too. Check out the VSSL's!
8. Extra Clothing
A light jacket or sweatshirt
An extra pair of pants for walking.
An extra set of layering shirts too.
An extra pair of socks.
Gloves for the weather.
A baseball cap or hat
A scarf or neck warmer (winter)
Ear muffs (winter)
UV Shirt or lightweight long sleeve shirt (summer)
**If I was going to be on the road for a couple of days, I'd add another set of panties. What the heck? They don't take up space----I'm going to get those in there.
I also keep an extra pair of hiking shoes and a heavier jacket in my truck all the time.
A few zip lock bags, gallon size.
Paracord (some people like the cute paracord bracelets--I just have a handy roll of it.)
A fire starter
Mylar blankets for warmth---just in case.
Chap stick/lip gloss
Hand lotion and/or herbal salve
10. Other Things I Keep Handy in My Truck:
These are the items I currently have in my Get Home Bag. I need to go through it again, since we just changed seasons, and now it's getting hot! :-) After learning my little lesson earlier, I feel much safer and more prepared should anything happen if I'm out there in the world!
Do you have a Get Home Bag? I'd love to know your ideas on preparedness!
Hugs & Self-Reliance!
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