Monday, November 7, 2011

The Suburban Get Home Bag (GHB)

     It seems everyone has a post/blog/thread,/YouTube video about Bug Out Bags (BOB), or Get Home Bags (GHB) or some witty acronym that means the same thing. Everyone, including me, so here's mine. This isn't a product endorsement or gear review. It's simply the bag *I* have and it's contents. This bag is set up for a range of up to 60 miles (2-3 days by foot). Hopefully you might get some ideas for your bag, or even better....leave me some suggestions for MY bag.  Please. :)

    With that being said, this bag is to get me home from anywhere in the metro area I live in. It's not a bug out bag, it's a get me home to my family bag. From there we'll evaluate our circumstances and decide, bug in or bug out. I have to tell you though, short of a fire, flood, or chemical spill....I'm bugging in.

The Bag: Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger
     Seemed like a nifty choice at the time. I can wear it like a backpack, and "sling" it around in front of my body like a 80's hairband guitar player should I need any of it's contents in a hurry. It works pretty good in that capacity. It's easy to get off and on, which is a plus in a suburban environment.....because I take it off and put it on a lot. It holds a ton of stuff (1100 cu. in. for you gear nerds), and has a lot of internal pockets which keep things organized (it'll even hold a laptop). IF you can remember what is in which pockets AND you don't get reorganize-itis and change everythings' location every two months.  If you want to know more about the bag please go HERE.

The Outside Pockets:
     I keep various things I would need more frequently or more urgently in the outside pockets. Here is what I have on the outside of the bag, in no particular order:
  • Compass (Engineering) and GPS(eTrex Vista w/ spare batteries)
  • Sunscreen, chap stick, Quick Clot
  • Carabiners (NiteIze S-biners and Figure 9's) - I really can't say enough about the innovative products made by NiteIze. Check them out at
  • Emergency Water Filter (Drinking straw style by Aquamira)
  • Flashlight - Surefire G3 w/ spare batteries
  • 1 Liter stainless steel water bottle. Don't try to boil water in a Nalgene bottle  :)
  • 1 bar of Trioxane stove fuel
  • 1 plastic magnifying glass - credit card sized.
  • Leatherman Wave, Spyderco Endura folder
  • Shemagh
  • 1 pair of 'operators' gloves - Camelback Vent
  • 1 IBD (Israeli Battle Dressing, or Emergency Dressing, depending on where you find it) I buy them from Botach Tactical HERE
  • Small first aid kit
  • Bic lighter
  • 150 feet of para cord
  • Large contractor grade trash bag
  • Wire Saw  - would suck to use, but beats dulling my knife. It's easier to use if you cut two handles and put them through the key rings on each end.
The Inside Pockets:
     Things I'll need to set up for the night, to gather food, build shelter, or will be deployed on my body as I start to move towards home.
  • Fixed blade camp knife.
  • Katydyn hiking water filter
  • Binoculars
  • Write in the Rain pad and pen. Check them out HERE
  • Altoid Tin containing 2 steel broad head arrow heads
  • Socks and foot powder
  • 4 Mountain house freeze dried meals
  • 4 Clif Bars
  • Local map (marked with alternate routes home from work, bivouac locations, and water sources)
  • Firesteel and tinders
  • Wool stocking cap
  • G23 and holster,  w/one extra mag and holder
  • 5.11 Trainers belt Check it out HERE
  • 1 Liter aluminum water bottle
     That's about it for the contents of my bag. It changes seasonally and some contents vary if I know I'm travelling beyond a 60 mile range. Now that I've paid homage to the survival writers before me with a GHB/BOB post, I can promise you I'll NEVER do a AR-15 vs AK-47 post. 

I'm not an expert, and I don't play one on the Internet. Survive to fight another day.

Tips, comments, and suggestions please e-mail to

Join the site by using the gadget on the right :)


  1. Great post and good suggestions. I was wondering what the arrowheads are for though?

  2. They make field expedient spear heads or gigs. The broadheads are stored unassembled, so the blades can double as razor blades. I got the idea from a guy who had embedded a cut arrow shaft into the bottom of his walking stick. For hiking he threaded a firld tip into it, for anything else, he threaded in a broad head.

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