Get Home Bag/BOB/Truck Bag/etc.

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by kckndrgn, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    So I've decided to re-evaluate my "Get Home Bag". In the process of reviewing it I felt like I was just plane "over doing it". So I figured I'd get some responses from here. So here goes.

    I've always had some sort of "emergency" supplies in my vehicle. I grew up in MN and before the first frost there was always some extra clothes and blankets put into the vehicles by my dad. I've done the same. Since then I've started carrying a bag with a couple of liter bottles of water, some emergency "food" (I say "food" because it's the mainstay 3K calorie bars).
    I'm now living in TN and don't have to worry so much about the freezing in winter (yes, it does happen, just not that often and not that long), but rather the heat of the summer.
    My "everyday" carry consists of Cell, leatherman, 2 folding knives, bic lighter, small Altoids tin w/ Vaseline cotton balls and small "firesteel" bar, Surefire E2DL (extra bat in laptop bag). This is what's on my person everyday.

    What I am looking at doing is the following: (note I'm not too worried about including firearms, as I always have a Glock 23 w/3 spare G22 mags in my laptop bag when at work)
    1) Vehicle based Get Home Bag. This bag is minimal, just enough to get me home from work. My work is approx 20mi by car, I figure if I had to go the route on foot it would take 2 days min but more than likely 3 days. During this time I want to stay as "light" as possible. What should be included in this pack?
    - Water filtration
    - MRE or Mainstay "food" bar
    - Extra socks/foot powder for the long hike
    - Small first aid kit (including, but not limited to Band aids, anti-biotic ointment, sunscreen, bug repellent, etc.)
    - Fire starting materials
    - Light source (flashlight battery/crank)
    - poncho
    what else?
    However "my" vehicle pack is setup, my wifes will be identical (less inventory to keep straight).

    My trek home will require at least one water crossing (large creek/small river). I know of several road routes that I can take, with the possibility of crossing fields to reduce travel distance.

    2) BOB - stored at home with 3 other bags (one for each member of the family, even though the 2 youngest really can't carry much at this time (almost 6yo & almost 2yo). This bag is more complex. But before "assembling" it I've been thinking about "where would we go with them?" A couple of scenarios:
    A - Major damage to the area or rioting and it becomes not safe, we need to leave NOW, roads still usable, grab bags and go. If things settle down, we can come back.
    B - Some situation happens and we cannot use vehicles (EMP, earthquake and a tree lands on both vehicles, etc.). This leaves us walking to the nearest relative.

    In either case we are heading to my in-laws, about 20mi by road using the interstate, 25mi using back roads.

    For now, I want to focus on getting the wife's and my vehicle bags complete. I'm sure everything for these bags can be contained in a Maxpedition Jumbo Fatboy type bag.

    After the vehicle kits are done. I'll continue to build the "BOB"s

    Am I just over thinking this and complicating things too much?

  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Get home gear: Rubber boots, if you are serious about the stream crossing. You KNOW where the truck will crap out. A three day hike wants more in the way of blankets when you hunker down for the night. Compass and chart. Comms stuff need to go in a waterproof sack.
  3. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I've thought about the rubber boots, but the areas that I would have to cross (should all the bridges collapse) would require a wet suit to stay dry.
    I've got the compass, and I'm looking at getting detailed maps of my "paths" home. I say paths, but that would be following the roads.
    I have blankets in the vehicle during the winter, but not the summer. I was actually thinking of putting in one of the "heavy duty" emergency blankets that was mentioned in another thread.
    Coms, unfortunately right now would probably consist of unsecured, GRMS/FRS radios.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Ah. I got that you were fording the creek with the truck. Now you have to consider how fast that stream is moving if you can't get over it on the skeleton of the bridge. Not a good option. With that as a possibility, you might need to think more of water proofing.
    For comms to get home with, security is not paramount, all you are doing is letting momma know where you are. Cell phone is probably enough making the assumption the tower is still active. If not, grms is fine for the purpose.
    Forgot to mention a knife. I'd go with something on the order of a K-Bar to get home with. Heavy enough to hack small branches for a fire, and could have other uses. Your folders won't be too useful, leave them someplace if you have to go on foot. IMHO, anyway, and for this discussion only.
    For a proper map, you might stop off at the local small airport and check in the office. They should have sectional maps that will show more detail than you'll need. If not there, then some local sporting goods stores carry geodetic survey maps and charts for visiting hunters, as do game land offices now and then. (Why they don't around here is beyond me.) Also, National Parks often have them.
    One of those HD space blankets is a good idea. I have one in the truck for just that reason, good winter or summer. One side is pretty reflective, the other an attractive RED. If you don't want to be found, a bad choice unless you can cover it with detritus.
  5. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Maybe a Pocket warmer or 2, with fuel, and a folding saw...?
  6. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Thanks Ghrit.

    Dragonfly, good thought on the pocket warmer. I got a bunch a couple years ago when they went on clearance. (really got them as a joke for the wife as she is always complaining about being cold). The ones I have, you open them up and expose to O2 and they start to heat.
  7. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I think your GHB is more than enough to carry you over. Learn to make a poncho raft and swim your equipment across. Dry on the other side- a pack towel (microfiber) might be a good idea.

    I lean towards the light side. Some say you can always drop weight if you need to. In my experience, you never have time to drop weight. What ends up happening is you drop the whole pack.

    Keep the vehicle bags light as well. Most days, it will be in the back of the car until...... you have to wear it.

  8. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    If you are going to have a three day/night hike, I would add something more substantial such as Mountain House meals. They are very lightweight. I would also add a small, lightweight tarp, to keep the rain off you. A good window punch, in the event things get bad and you need shelter or need to hide, a window punch as someone else said is a lot quieter than a rock. Are you planning on spending three nights sleeping on the ground, got room for a sleeping bag in your bag? I have a very small, actually tiny pocket radio in my get-home-bag. A jWIN JX-M6 AM/FM radio. Here is a pic of mine. I have had it for years with the same AAA batteries it came with. It gets pretty good reception where I am. I would throw in some ear buds for it, so if you are listening to it you don't give away your position. Put one in your ear and leave the other out so that you can also hear what's around you. Just stick the other bud in your shirt to muffle it. All of this stuff is very lightweight, except for the sleeping bag which is more bulk than weight.
    Jwin img_0828.
  9. RevJammer

    RevJammer Monkey+++

    If there is a 20 mile "hike" to get home... the grms radios aren't effective to that distance are they?

    Is there a better option, assuming lack of cell service?

  10. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    GMRS radios can have a 20+ mi range, in "ideal" conditions (that being you are at the highest point and there are no trees, buildings,etc. around you). But, being that I may only need it once I get closer to my destination, it may serve the purpose.

    Ghrit, I do have a "Glock knife", I know it's no K-Bar, but it is better than nothin'. I did a google search, anyone have a place they would recommend looking for K-Bar knives at? I saw the same knife for anywhere from $25.00 to $120.00, so I want a place that reputable.

    E.L., thanks for the radio info. My only "problem" is my hearing. I am, for the most part, deaf in one ear. So if I listen to the radio and need to keep an ear out for approaching danger, I'm screwed. Oh well, hopefully my trek home will be before I have to be totally covert about it.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    K-Bar "or equal" meaning something of the size and heft. Bearing in mind that the military goes with the lowest bidder, that isn't necessarily the "ONE TO HAVE". There are any number of decent quality knives of that type. It happens that I have a Korean War K-Bar, in lousy shape that has served the purpose of a machete now and then. You might find an ex-military one at a gun show in the lower end of the price range you cite. Avoid Camillus, too soft to retain an edge.

    But I have a machete, too, and am thinking that it might be a good alternative if I don't want to bother shaving. (Have done that with the K-Bar, am unlikely to repeat --)
  12. Capt.Reynolds

    Capt.Reynolds Ya...NO WAIT!!!!

    For any of your get home bags. Do any of you work at a place that doesn't allow firearms on the premisis? If so, are you not including one in your get home bag? Are you substituting another weapon like a machete or knife? Are you just taking a chance and taking a pistol anyway? We work 35 miles from home as of December and the topic of making it home sans a vehicle (EMP, earthquake, etc) has been wheighing on my mind greatly as of late.
  13. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    My experience with GMRS radios are that the range is maybe a mile. My house sits on a small hill, the entrance to the subdivision is about 150 yards away, when testing GMRS units they begin to work pulling into the subdivision. Now the land is not flat, just rolling hills, but there has to be a better alternative for us than the regular GMRS radios. Reading online has revealed the same, at best a mile or two unless you are standing on a mountain talking to someone in a valley beneath you. Maybe buying marine radios and only using in emergency situations is an option. Oh, and what happens if you use one? Are you likely to get caught, and if you do what is the penalty?
    Cobra Marine MR-HH125 Two Way Radios

    <table style="padding-bottom: 5px;" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td align="center" valign="middle" width="300">[​IMG]</td><td>Price: $49.99

    In Stock, Ships Fast!

    Owners Manual
    </td></tr></tbody></table>Product Description
    The Cobra MR HH125 is a fully featured VHF radio with a rugged compact design. It’s perfect for recreational boaters or as a portable backup on larger vessels. The Cobra MR HH125 is designed to be rated JIS4 for water resistance, so that splashing water from any direction will not have a harmful effect on the radio. The Cobra MR HH125 is adjustable to support dual output power (1 or 3 Watts) for short and long communication.

    The Cobra MR HH125 comes standard with a backlit LCD and keypad allowing it to be used in low light conditions and will turn off automatically to conserve battery power. The built-in NOAA Channels and NOAA weather alert give you 24-hour access to local weather information. It also acts as an All-Hazards Emergency receiver and will alert you to weather, natural disasters and other emergencies provided to the National Weather Service by local and state government officials.

    This value pack includes the Cobra Marine MR-HH125 two way radio, spring loaded belt clip, lanyard, 12 Volt cigarette lighter charger, and rechargeable NiMH batteries. 5 standard AAA batteries can be used in emergencies.
    Cobra Marine MR-HH125 Features

    You bet, whenever we run into bad weather, especially if the power/tv is out my wife and girls all want to have the radio on, which is a good idea.
  14. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    There are basically 2 options, bring a firearm and keep quiet, or don't bring a firearm. I have a firearm with me, even though "Policy" says no. Pretty much my whole dept knows I work part time at a gun range, and they "assume" I have a weapon handy. I will never admit to it, nor deny it, I just politely change the subject.
    Hey look, the rain is now sleet, I hope they close the company early :)
  15. BAT1

    BAT1 Cowboys know no fear

    I have a Condor med assault bag in my Jeep, with an Airbonne insulated poncho and spare pair of boots. If I'm traveling the s/g is under the seats. My Glock knife is under there too.
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