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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I'm new to the prepping world. The first step that I plan on taking is building a Get Home Bag (GHB). I feel this is in my best interest because I drive 35 miles for work one way. From the research I have done, a GHB consists of enough supplies to only last a day or so, keeping the bag light and easy to carry. I believe with having such a long distance to get home (estimating at least 3-4 days to get home, based on the very hilly terrain), it would be better for me to just make my GHB as if it were a Bug Out Bag (BOB).

Anyone have any thoughts or helpful tips that might help me out on this?
 

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A GHB and 72 HR BOB are basically the same thing. If you get trapped away from home or have to leave home quickly for a short period... it should contain the items you would need to stay alive and hopefully stay comfortable. If you keep that in mind.... It's one bag. You can supplement it with a vehicle based bag that contains extra gear. I live in Colorado and change out gear based on the time of year. We are a high desert so it's very dry year round. It even gets chilly on summer evenings. So, I keep certain items year round.

A long term BOB is an entirely different matter and should be a two stage system as well. Your absolute essentials fit in the bag (in case you have to hoof it) and your "nice to haves" fit in a bag you'll carry for as long as you have a vehicle.

Hope that helps.
 

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On fairly flat ground there aint no reason why the average person, even if your not in all that great of aerobic shape shouldnt be able to cover a mile in 15 minutes. Even as a heavy smoker in pretty medicore shape (even by civilian standards) at age 39 in the military I could do the mile and a half PRT run in about 16 minutes quiet literally walking it! In fact just a few weeks ago my truck broke down and I couldnt get someone to pick me up and give me a ride and ended up walking 7 miles home in about 1 hour and 30 minutes at age 47 and in worse shape than I was in the military. Unless your basically mountian climbing, trodding through snow drifts or walking on ice, you should be able to cover 35 miles in less than 30 hours. I could be wrong here, but you would have to be moving pretty slow to take more than about 45-50 minutes to walk a mile. All that aside though...

A GHB should be what you need to keep you powered up, reasonably comfortable and adequately equipped to get you home, at least to my way of thinking. For most this could be a day pack with a jacket, some energy bars, rain gear, rain fly, water and a few other small items. For some it might take a little more in the way of gear. A BOB should basically be everything you might need for a 3-4 day camping expedition along with something more significant weapon and ammo wise beyond what you EDC. If you think its going to take you that long to get from point A to point B maybe you would be wise to look at a good quality pack and pack a somewhat minimalist BOB instead. When I say quality pack, dont under estimate the value in a good pack. A 20 lbs, crappy pack will wear you down in short order and have you hating life on even a short easy 5 mile hike! So what ever you get make sure its comfortable and fits well and well made (thats code for durable).

There is a lot to be said for a 2 part system BOB. I keep mine in my truck and if I have to Bug Out, I have everything I need. Inside it is a day pack I can stuff with just what I need for the most part to take with me if I have to walk home after being stranded some where if I need to. If I need to, I can just throw the whole thing on my back and start hoofing it. It weighs about 35 lbs and has enough stuff to get me by 4-5 days without having to ration anything. Its a large but very comfortable, well padded and sturdy built pack. It works very well for me. YMMV...
 

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These days it's better just to bring your long term BOB in your trunk with the way the worlds going. If that's not for you though with a 3 to 4 day trip back home on foot your get home bag should still be pretty close. Depending on what happens 3 to 4 days away from home could be a big difference depending on where you live what's there when you return. If you pack it, I say just go with a long term survival BOB outlook.
 

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My wife and I have both a GHB and a BOB and have had to use them several times already.

You seem to have the right idea about a GHB being a little smaller and lighter. I packed our BOB's first to make sure that they were ready to go. To me, that was more crucial than a GHB because I was able to use it for both purposes. Once that was done then I went on to GHB's.

For GHB's I keep food that doesn't need to be prepared so that I have the ability to eat and keep moving. However with that type of food, it doesn't necessarily have the best shelf life either. So I'm always rotating food out by either putting it in my lunches once a week, or using them as a snack on the weekends.

Some things to keep in mind for you too. You may be able to make it home in 3-4 days assuming that all goes well and you don't run into any problems/road blocks/etc. Make sure you have a couple extra routes to travel JIC. You may need to lay low for a little while and travel at night, or you may not be able to move at all for a couple days. Situations like these make knowledge more powerful than all the gear you could carry. Being able to find/make shelter, food, and heat will help save a lot of weight and allow you to adapt especially if you are alone.
 

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Over moderate terrain you can look to get about three miles an hour with a fully loaded pack. Cut that down to between a mile and a half and two miles per hour over rough terrain. Then factor in breaks. Yeah even when you're hopped up, with thirty five miles to go, you are gonna wanna stop for a while. Remember if things are bad enough there is a high probability of needing to fight either along the way, or once you get home. If you beat feet the entire way home and are spent when you get there, you're pretty much worthless if something bad happens.

Edited to add.

Packing a well thought out bag is all well and good. But never carrying it until you have to is a very bad idea. Once you get your pack made take a weekend and see just how realistic it is for you to hump it thirty five miles. I recommended this to a friend of mine, and when he finally tried it he realized that packing a shotgun and two hundred shells was a very bad idea. He'd always figured that a shotgun was exactly what he wanted in a SHTF scenario. He changed his mind and bought a rifle, and also modified what he carried in his GHB.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess I should have been more specific, but my 3-4 day estimate was a worst case scenario. I’ll be traveling through the Appalachians (hilly terrain wasn’t the best choice of words) and will need to cross the Ohio River. Worst case is traveling in the winter while needing to avoid roads. Deep snow drifts in the low valleys and finding a way across the frozen river would be some of my major obstacles. I just figured planning for a 3-4 day trip would help cover the worst case scenario. Thanks for your input!
 

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Its a hard row to hoe.

I spent a good bit of time up in northern NC, VA and into WV (and spent a lot of time in PA). That terrain can be rough to travel. But move a few miles to the right or left and you can find foothills. Ive been to places where it can take an hour to go ten miles by car. So it is going to depend on where you are.

A handheld radio is always a great thing to have. Nowadays you can pick up some with ranges in the double digits for a few hundred bucks. You have one, and one at home so if your significant other gets there first they can walk you in, keep you informed with what is going on and where. Then there is the simple fact that hearing your lover's voice can drive you far further than anything else. It really is amazing what the body can endure.

People always stress food when talking about their bags. Yes, food is important. But heavy. I would rather be light on food and high on ammo and spirit. But for the unprepared food can break your spirit. Everyone here has heard the laws of threes (which may change depending on your situation). Three minutes without air. Three hours without shelter. Three days without water. Three weeks without food.

You can hump along without food for three days, especially if you know that there will be food when you get there. Only you can accurately judge the threats in your area. Only you can truly know yourself. Can you continue on mentally while tired and hungry for three days? The mind will quit long before the body. So. Do you pack three days of food or three days of ammo? Can you save weight for things like medical supplies, batteries for your comm, ammo, or fire starting utensils by sacrificing nutritious foods with things that will trick your belly like broth?

Only you can answer these questions. But you can only answer these questions if you put yourself in these situations. Like I said. It's a hard row to hoe.
 
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Packing a well thought out bag is all well and good. But never carrying it until you have to is a very bad idea. Once you get your pack made take a weekend and see just how realistic it is for you to hump it thirty five miles. I recommended this to a friend of mine, and when he finally tried it he realized that packing a shotgun and two hundred shells was a very bad idea. He'd always figured that a shotgun was exactly what he wanted in a SHTF scenario. He changed his mind and bought a rifle, and also modified what he carried in his GHB.
Now there is you some Gold Nuggets of wisdom worth reading a few times over and then taking it for action! Like your friend I usually learn things the hard way unfortunately, so I have "seen that movie" a few times.
 

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in my opinion. a get home bag is different than a bug out bag. from what i have seen on different forums and youtube videos, a get home bag is ususally a smaller version of your bug out bag. it should have the necessary items to last you a day. it should be small enough to have in your car, truck, bike, transportation device. but with enough food and water and tools to help you get through the day.
 

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I have what i like to term an EDC bag. It comes with me everywhere I go, and contains the things I will need to get me through an emergency or get me home. It's constantly evolving as I find what works better for me. I'm swapping gear and such as I find better, lighter, smaller & more functional gear to replace what I have now. Start with what you have on hand and add or swap gear as you can. I'm using an old Swiss Gear laptop bag for this for 2 reasons. 1. I already had it and 2. it doesn't stick out in a crowd. Currently this is whats in it.
  • 299 pcs first aid kit
  • 3 MREs
  • Benchmade knife
  • cheap multi-tool
  • 100ft of nylon cord
  • matches (1 Lrg box sealed in a ziplock)
  • 3 small round boxes of drier lint (sealed)
  • 1 roll of orange marking tape
  • 1 roll of electrical tape
  • 1 roll of duct tape
  • 1 heavy clear plastic tarp
  • 2 Mylar blankets
  • 1 compass
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of cold weather gloves
  • 1 winter hat
  • 1 set of thermals
  • 1 shemagh
  • 2 cans of Sterno
  • 1 Surefire G2X Pro flashlight
  • 1 set of spare batteries for flashlight
  • pen, sharpie & note pad
  • Ruger LCP & spare mag
  • 2 32oz bottles of water
  • 1 bag of peanuts
  • 6 razor blades
  • 2 bandanas
  • 1 bundle of 8" zip-ties
  • emergency poncho
 

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I'd say sinkhole has it right.
My trunk bob (I have a truck so its actually my truck bob) is a lot smaller than my actual home bob. I feel that speed is more of a factor than being ultra prepared. It feels weird saying that (being a boy scout and tactically trained), but above everything comes my family. If im on the road and something happens, i need to get home quickly and safely. Portable shelter, clothing, food, water, first aid, weapons, fire, paracord, flashlights and other small items are all I need.
Granted this isn't applicable to everyone, but I'm able bodied and have 3 young kids that rely on me.
I have everything in a jansport backpack.
 

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I also carry 2 5 gallon Poland Spring Bottles in my truck. I get it delivered to the house and some how have managed to stock pile about 35 bottles, totally unintentional. But now I have a fair of water on hand for an emergency.
 

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Like the OP, I will have 45 mile hike to get home it at work when TSHF. My GHB isn't as robust as the one listed. I need to keep it light enough that it doesn't slow me down. I walk a sustained pace of 4 miles per hour. I'm tall, I have a long stride. I've upped the 120 steps per minute to 135 - 140 steps per minute. I've done road marches and I've done the 100 mile Nijmegen March several times. With a walk as far as mine or the OP, I suggest looking at a map and giving yourself a Plan A and a Plan B route. Don't forget to put railroad tracks in the mix. This often cuts into the distance.

Originally, my GHB included a set of BDU's but I've since changed that. I don't want to appear to be well equipped on the trip home. I want to just be another person trying to make my way home. I have to go from Jonesboro, GA to Monroe, GA. I plan to make it home within 24 hour period. At 3 mph, I'm looking at 15 hours. I have an office in Conyers, GA which is the perfect place to get rested up and replenish water and food as it sets just over 1/2 way into the trip.

Of course, I do not have to worry about dealing with snow.
 

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All ideas are good. The only thing I will add is that my EDC weapon is on me, not in the BOB. I do have extra ammo and mags in the bag, but not enough to be heavy. 2 loaded mags vac packed.
for most that goes without saying. I listed my weapon on my truck bag, but don't actually keep it in the bag inside of my truck.
 
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