I wish I could say that this lifesaving bag is the latest Louis Vuitton, Coach, or Michael Kors because that would be my perfect excuse to add another purse to my collection. But no, the lifesaving bag I’m speaking of is a regular old backpack.

There are two types of packs that you should prepare; one is the Get Home Bag (GHB), and the other is the Bug Out Bag (BOB). The GHB is a 24 to 48-hour emergency bag designed to help you get from the point of devastation back to your home. The BOB is a more substantial (typically 72-hour or longer) bag that you keep at home for when you must evacuate on short notice.

In this article, we will concentrate on the Get Home Bag. A properly packed GHB could be the difference between life and death and therefore, should be a fixture in every vehicle. Remember the winter storm that hit Atlanta in 2014? The storm stranded passengers on the highway for more than 24-hours, many without food, water, medicine, and other needed provisions. Even the 2010 Nashville flood stranded people in their vehicles, many without the proper provisions for themselves and their little ones. In both instances, some motorist abandoned their cars and set out on foot for home or a haven from the weather. Had you been stuck in those natural disasters or any number of disasters that could take place while you are on the road, would you have the supplies needed to survive the night or make that long trek home?

7 Key Categories for Your Get Home Bag

1. The Bag Itself

The key is to choose a bag that offers hands-free carry, has exterior pockets or loops and is commonly seen, so it blends in as opposed to sticking out in a crowd. A good backpack will suffice. Once you have chosen your bag, pack it as light as possible, without sacrificing content.

2. Food and Water

Although our bodies can survive longer than 48 hours without food and water, many of us start to suffer from diminished physical and mental capabilities within hours of not having certain nutrients. Therefore, your GHB should include items such as granola type bars, jerky, sweets, and other proteins and carbs. Water is also essential but can weigh your bag down, especially if you are equipping it to support multiple people. So, in addition to water, I suggest a LifeStraw or a Sawyer straw in order to filter the water you might find during your journey home.

3. Shelter and Attire

Many of us who drive from doorstep to doorstep, tend to dress for inside comfort. However, for your GHB, you’ll need to imagine being stuck outdoors for up to 48-hours. Therefore, your bag should include not only shelter related items, such as Mylar emergency blankets and sleeping bags. It should also include appropriate weather gear, such as gloves, hat, and raincoat/winter jacket. An extra set of clothes is also important. I pack these items in a Ziploc bag before putting them in my GHB. Speaking of attire, keep a pair of sturdy walking shoes in your trunk. This way, you can change out of your dress shoes before you head out on foot.

4. Toiletries and Sanitation

Just because your world is in kayos, doesn’t mean you have to live like a cave dweller. Pack toothpaste and toothbrush, soap, sunblock, hand sanitizer, small trash bags, and paper towels or rags. Ladies should also include feminine products since that TOM won’t stop just because you are in a state of emergency.

5. First Aid

A good GHB includes a first aid kit, complete with QuikClot for bleeding wounds and a tourniquet. Remember to add pain meds and any other medicines you require to survive up to 48-hours. Mini sized bottles of drinking alcohol can also come in handy. Yes, I said alcohol. Thirty-five percent ABV or greater can be used as an astringent for wounds or as a cocktail to calm your nerves.

6. Tools and Weapons

It’s better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them. Tools such as a flashlight, compass, small tool kit, fire starter, and Paracord, are excellent choices. The same goes for weapons such as a knife, pepper spray, and whistle. As you pack this portion of your bag, think about the real possibility of running into opportunistic criminals and wild animals.

7. Other Important Items:

In addition to the above, pack emergency cash, a copy of your ID and insurance card, and a list of emergency contacts and allergies in a Ziploc bag. If you are found cataleptic, this information could assist first responders.

This article provided an overview of the seven key categories for building your Get Home Bag. However, keep in mind, everyone’s needs are different; therefore, you should equip your bag based on your personal needs and the people who might be in the vehicle with you. Also, adjust the contents based on terrain. For instance, parents with small children, typically traveling on long stretches of country roads, will have different needs from a person using city streets. So, use your judgment as you build a GHB for every vehicle in your household.

Click here to download the complete list of items I recommend for the GHB and the additional items that I recommend for the trunk.


(931) 338-5053
923 Oldham Dr. Suite 322,
Nolensville, TN 37135


Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


(931) 338-5053
188 Front Street Suite 116-76
Franklin, TN. 37064


Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news, scheduled trainings, free resources, and updates from our team!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This