What Must a Gal Have in Her Get-Home-Bag? (What is a Get Home Bag and a Checklist for What You Need)
What is a Get Home Bag? This article is about the necessity of having a Get Home Bag ready to go and in your vehicle. It’s kind of like a bug out bag in reverse because instead of “bugging out,” the aim of this bag is to help you get home. Find out how to put it together and what kinds of things you need! This is a perfect gift for a loving man to give his woman…or even a woman to make sure her man is carrying!
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!! It was a rural school, far away from any kind of service…and we all just stood there looking stupid, sorry to say. Isn't that crazy? And sad?
Finally, the custodian saved the day....but shouldn't we seriously have some basic things handy? Besides, if an even worse real catastrophe struck, I’d want to get home FAST.
So, I finally got myself in gear to get my emergency items to help me get home in a disaster going on in my truck, including my Get Home Bag!
I’ve put together a list of things I figure I could possibly need in order to get myself home from the large nearby city I have to visit often for work and supplies, which is around 3 million people, most of whom are tourists.
It’s a little over an hour a way, depending on where in town I go. That’s a LONG walk back to our off-grid cabin in the mountains, and one not to be taken through the desert without some forethought….
But the thought of hanging out in a desert city that huge with no resources….perish the thought! If anything ever happens, I’m hitting the road by foot if need be!
Here is how I chose and built my Get Home Bag and the emergency supplies I have in it.
NOTE: This article is edited and updated since I first wrote it a couple of years ago. If you’d like to find out more about why we left the large city we were living in and near for so long, you can read more in Getting Out of Dodge: Why We’re Leaving the City.
FTC Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links, mainly through Amazon. If you happen to click through and make any kind of purchase, I may earn a very small commission at no extra cost to you!
Here is What You Need in Your Get Home Bag:
These are all ideas, first of all. But they are a great starting point. I tried to explain why I chose the things I did, and that way, you can decide if it’s something you really need or want in your own get home bag.
1. 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! This pack is very easy to carry.
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 these are worth keeping on hand and definitely in my Get Home Bag. 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.
You might be interested in reading about Preparing for Feminine Hygiene (What Did They Do in the Olden Days?) 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.
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
Other Things I Keep Handy in My Truck:
These are the items I currently have in my Get Home Bag and in my truck. I need to go through it again, since we just changed seasons, and now it's getting hot! :-)
Be sure to change up your clothing on a seasonal basis. Also, be sure to rotate your food and especially water bottles if they are in plastic. You don’t wan’t that BPA leaching in the water you have to drink….although if you are in survival mode, it’s not going to matter. The more important thing is to stay hydrated.
Final Thoughts on Having a Get Home Bag
If you are a man and reading this article—-I DO hope you will get your woman a Get Home Bag. And ladies, if you are reading this yourself, PLEASE put one together for yourself. You seriously never know when you might need to get home and walking is the only option.
And…if you happen to be a woman who is prepper minded, you need to make sure your man is squared away too. I think making up a Get Home Bag for your man is a huge sign of your love for him…and a wonderful Father’s Day, birthday, or Christmas gift.
After learning my little lesson earlier, I feel much safer and more prepared should anything happen if I'm out there in the world! When I turn around and see my Get Home Bag sitting there all ready to go? I feel a bit more secure because I know I’ve given myself the best chance possible to get back home if disaster strikes.
As a matter of fact, I’m getting ready to update my bag, as well as our emergency supplies after learning about 15 Catastrophes That Will Happen Again One Day. It’s pretty freaky stuff, and you need to check these out!
Do you have a Get Home Bag? I'd love to know your ideas on preparedness! And if you have ideas for other necessities, please leave a comment in the comments section with any thoughts or questions!
You might also enjoy these articles:
And there are LOTS more over on the blog! :-) Go on over and browse around for other great ideas.
Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance!
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