The Get Home Bag (GHB); Can You Get Home in an Urban Survival Situation?

Posted: September 5, 2014 in Every Day Carry (EDC)

Most preppers are prepared to face a survival situation from their home base. They have all their preps close at hand and can begin their bug-out process if required. However, all the preps in the world and the most powerful bug-out vehicle will do you no good if you can’t get to them. If you are at work when the shit hits the fan (SHTF) how are you going to make it the 5 to 40 miles back home to your supplies and family. You need a plan and some different equipment. There are several things that you can do to improve your chances to make it back to your domicile.

Let’s look at the worst case scenario, the transportation system is down and not coming back up anytime soon and along with it communications are also down. Earthquake, terrorist attack or some other calamity has struck the area, and no assistance will be coming. So we have reached our first decision point, in the immortal words of the hit song by the Clash “Should I stay or should I go?” This would depend on two factors that we will discuss later.


Now let take a look at some items that you will need whether you stay put or decide to hoof it to the homestead.

The Get Home Bag (GHB): The GHB will be a lot like your Bug Out Bag (BOB), but it will contain some different items. The first major difference is the size. The GHB will be smaller than the BOB for several reasons. First it is camouflage. You don’t want to be the one walking a busy street with a mountain

climbing backpack on during a disaster. One of two things will happen and neither one is good. First, someone will make the connection between your big pack and the things it will contain and try to relieve you of your extra burden. Or, someone will see you as a survivalist and try to relieve you of what weapons you may have. So based upon these fact, a smaller day type pack is the ideally size for the GHB. Something small enough to blend in with the rest of the urban crowds, but big enough to pack all the items you will need.

Probably the most important item that you can carry in your GHB is foot wear. The shoes you wear in the office or to work are fine for that environment, but will not be functional for the long walk home. Tennis shoes, hiking boots or other foot wear that is well broken in will work. You should look for something practical that can afford you with protection to your foot and ankle. However, you want to ensure that your footwear will not cause an injury that will render you incapable of making it home.

The next thing you will want to pack in the GHB is a water container. Some say that a collapsible container is best for this type of situation, other say you need to have several bottles of water. However, I believe a mix of both is best. A gallon collapsible container or water blatter empty with two to four bottles of water should be good.

During the first couple of hours during an event such as this you should be able to find water sources along your route. Remember, you will need at least one gallon of water a day. However, because you will be moving, you will need more water than usual. It is always a good idea to pack some light weight, high energy food to refuel your body on the trip. The one or two day movement won’t cause you to starve to death, but you will get hungry. It’s a good idea to pack something to eat to make your walk more bearable.

If you have to hoof it through an inner-city area I highly suggest you have a weapon with you that you are proficient in using. There are two schools of thought when concerning this topic, gun or no gun. Knowing how to use your firearms in any survival situation will give you an edge, in an urban survival situation firearms can mean your life. A firearm can be easily kept in your vehicle if security is an issue for your office or work. A knife can also be stored in your GHB in your vehicle. Again, a knife can also be used for protection as you move along your route. Remember it’s your choice, but you will have to be prepared to use which one choose.

Personal Protection Equipment or PPE is also important to have in your GHB. Items such as a Dust or Medical Mask will protect your respiratory track if needed as is the case of building collapse dust clouds or explosions of some type. Hearing protection, such as the small foam throw away ear plugs can serve to protect your hearing when needed. Other items such as gloves, heavier clothing and a head cover (hat) will also provide your body with some protection on your trip. And don’t forget your eyes if you don’t wear glasses. Sunglass can help you preserve your vision if you are not use to being outside.If you are having to travel during the hours of darkness, a couple of other items you may need are a flashlight and small trap or space blanket.

If you have to hold up somewhere, the space blanket/trap can be use to make a small shelter or a blanket. The flashlight is a good idea to assist you while you travel in the dark. However, if the area has become hostile because of the event, using a flashlight or stopping overnight may not be the best choice to make.

Perhaps one of the most important items you can have in your GHB is a map. Today, most of us have a GPS and have grown to rely on this piece of equipment to get from one place to another. But, during time when power maybe an issue you may not be able to stop and recharge the GPS somewhere. Also, extra batteries mean extra weight to pack on your journey. A paper map of the local area will provide you with the ability to plan routes and make adjustments when needed. The map can also provide you with a paper source if needed for a variety of uses. Maps are easy to read and will also provide you with information about the area you a traveling through.

Finally a travel partner is a great thing to have. The buddy system not only prevents you from being lonely but will also provide you needed support in the event you need help. The travel partner can render first aid if required, advice on the unknown and provide you security in dangerous time. Travel partners are always a good idea.

Traveling on foot for any distance during a disaster situation can be very dangerous. If you have to travel any distance at all chances are you will have to travel during the hours of darkness through a strange place, never a good idea. No matter how many times you have traveled a route in a car, it is totally different on foot. If the event is going to last less than 24 hours, I would highly suggest staying in place if possible. After the first 24 hours, you may need to be prepared to move-out. If you have to walk home a GHB could mean the difference between your life or death. between your life or death.


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