I’m a Prepper. I prepare as best I can for emergencies and situations where I may need to get myself and those I care for out of harms way, with no help from the outside world. The first rule of being a Prepper is the a lot like rule number one of the Zombieland Survival Rules.
To escape a pursuing zombie you will need to out-run it, and this means being in good shape.
I simply go by the rule “Be in shape!” That doesn’t mean be a supermodel or bodybuilder. It just means that you have confronted the reality that when things go bad you may have to push a car, swim out to help someone, or just make it to a safe place that is miles away on your own two feet. If you aren’t in good physical condition then you won’t able to help yourself, or the people on your Team. This is true for everyone, but especially so for men. Think about that.
A Get Home Bag is exactly what it says on the tin. A small, short-term bag that has everything you need to walk home or to a safe place from anywhere that is 2-3 days away by foot. These things aren’t packed for comfort. They prioritize safety, nutrition, and being able to endure the local climate above all else.
My GHB is designed to make sure I can quietly get home from anywhere within 2-3 days walking distance, E&E (Google: “Escape and Evade”). This bag is equally suited to help if I need to sit on the side of the road waiting for a repair truck in the middle of 115-degree summer or a -10 degree cold winter. Once yours is assembled, you will be surprised how light this is.
We often think of disasters only striking when we are at home or work, where we may have resources. Unfortunately, we may be in-between places when disaster strikes. I suggest keeping this bag in your trunk.
* Start with a good knife! Choose a solid, reliable knife using these standards.
Below is an example of my blacksmithing. This one is called the Paleolithic Die!
* Rolling gym bag. We can pull a lot more than we can carry. Don’t get a military backpack that you A) won’t be able to carry on your back for very long. B) Draws attention to the fact that you might have something so valuable you’d carry it instead of leaving it. The best bag advice I have ever heard was from a professional photographer. he told me that anything valuable should be kept in the ugliest bag possible. As a result, his bag looks like it belongs to a
The best bag advice I have ever heard for protecting things was from a professional photographer. He told me that anything valuable should be kept in the ugliest bag possible. As a result, his bag looks like it belongs to a homeless street urchin on the outside. Inside its lined with custom camera cushions. Don’t be a target!
* Eton MICROLINK – American Red Cross Radio & LED Flashlight to the bag. I researched it and it is one of the best suited to my purpose. It has a handle to manually crank to generate power as well as a solar panel to passively collect power. I have the attachments to be able to charge everything from a cell-phone to things that need electricity. The radio will be indispensable in an emergency as well, it has AM, FM, and Weather Band. The radio will remind me of exactly where NOT to go during a disaster. The vast majority of emergencies I have read about, manmade or natural, talk about how horrible and much worse than anywhere else “government sponsored relief centers” are. I suggest an Eton MICROLINK – American Red Cross Radio & LED Flashlight.
* A map, a simple city map from a gas station and a quality metal compass, even good ones very affordable. Please don’t think the plastic compass on your phone or on the dashboard of your car will help.
* Two (2) Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets. You can buy packs of 10, cheaply, on Amazon.
* 2 large, folded garbage bags.
* A roll of $1 and $5 bills. Pack whatever you can afford to keep in that bag.
* Reliable flashlight, plus 1 set extra batteries. Don’t store batteries in the flashlight or they will be drained by the time you need them. I prefer MagLights. Research your own favorite. Just remember not to turn on a light unless you absolutely have to. Lights draw attention. Don’t be a target.
* Mechanical, winding watch with glow in the dark face that I can cover, preferably with the date on it. I only want a glowing face if it can be turned off or be covered.
* 100 feet of 550 Paracord. No bright colors, please. The most common is Olive Drab green. You can usually get it for less than ten cents a foot.
Alternatively, you can spin your own rope. My friends and I make rope from natural fibers, in the same style as old sailors. It’s an old-world skill, but in the event of an emergency, it will be old skills like rope making that can be the difference between a mans being valuable or expendable.
* Waterproof matches and a bag of dryer lint. Yes, dryer lint! Dryer lint makes amazing kindling. It starts fire fast! Save up a zip lock bag full.
* Put your favorite well worn, but with no holes/tears pair of sneakers in the bag and buy yourself a new pair. You don’t want to break in new shoes on a walk.
* Treat yourself to a new pair of glasses, put the old ones in a hard case with a small bottle of cleaning solution and a cleaning cloth. Remember, we only use clean water for drinking. Tape the case shut. Toss it in the bag. You may break the pair you are wearing in an emergency. If you can’t see you can’t get home safely.
* A seasonal jacket or coat, light jacket for the summer and a thick coat for the winter. Switch them out as the seasons change. Don’t buy a nice new one. Go to the Goodwill and buy a used one that is intact and has a hood. Wash it and throw it in your GHB. You’ll also need a hat that is correct for the season. A thick woven hat to cover ears in winter, and light hat with a wide brim to cover your head and neck from the sun in summer are the best to have on hand. This isn’t a fashion show, ugly but functional is what you should be going for.
* Emergency Food Bars, I stock the Datrex 3600 Emergency Food Bar. They taste like coconuts mixed with breadcrumbs, it’s not a bad taste at all. Look them up on Ebay for a good deal.
* A book to read for fun, something that will occupy your mind while you rest or wait for rescue. At least one book on survival that is specific to survival in your region and Where There Is No Doctor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_There_Is_No_Doctor.
* Vice grips, Flathead screwdriver, & a Phillips head screwdriver.
* Three (3) days worth of any prescription medicine that you can’t go without.
* A weapon that you are learning, or have already learned how to use. This is a very personal decision. Do you want silent weapons to dispatch people without drawing attention? Do you want something loud enough to deter other threats but may let people know where you are? Both?
I posted the need for a weapon last because when disaster strikes my goal is “Escape and Evade”! Violence is my last resort. My goal is just to make it home to my castle. I want to avoid confrontation at all cost. If you have any doubt AT ALL of your ability to hurt someone, please don’t pack a weapon. It does not make you anything other than realistic about your goals and capabilities. That allows you to focus on the things you can do well, like staying alive to get home!
All of the following can be found at your local version of the 99-Cent Only store or Dollar Tree:
* 2 pairs of thick tube-socks, 2 long sleeve undershirts, 2 pair underwear, 2 small hand towels, 1-2 thick towels.
* Notebook, sticky pad and Pen/Pencil, excellent for writing down important information or for leaving a note.
* A large, 42-inch square shemagh (pronounced “schmog”) – also called a keffiyeh and ghutrah. Avoid local or well-known gang colors, just get plain white, olive drab or black. You can read more about them, as well as how to tie one here -> http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/01/09/how-to-tie-a-military-style-shemaghkeffiyeh/
* Bag of hard candy. Do not buy sugar-free because they may have an unintended laxative effect depending on the artificial sweetener used.
* Toothbrush/toothpaste kit.
* 2-3 of the largest squares or rolls of gauze you can find. A box of the largest Band-Aids you can find, Remember that you can always cut them down to size if you need to.
* 2, one-gallon bottles of water that are only for drinking!
* A pack of baby wipes in a soft pack. To clean your body of dirt that can cause an infection. A shower/bath won’t be handy. Baby wipes will get the job done. You just have to use a dozen or so to cover your whole body.
* Resealable pack of disinfectant wipes in a soft pack.
* Bottle of hand sanitizer.
* Duct tape, you can use it to repair things as well as tape on bandages or even stop bleeding. Google “duct tape uses”.
* A pack of Aspirin, a pack of Laxatives, & a pack of anti-diarrhea medicine. Packs take up less room than bottles. You only want enough to last 2-3 days to get your stomach in order, dull minor pain, and reduce swelling.
This is not your Get Home Bag! This list suits my environment, my weather, and my personal preferences. Add what you need for yours. Feel free to make suggestions for mine.
* Have 3 days worth of feminine hygiene products in your bag! Assume you are going to have the absolute heaviest menstruation of your life and pack the appropriate pain meds, tampons, pads, sanitary wipes, extra panties and whatever else you may need. Pack birth control as well. Don’t go cheap on this!
BONUS: It’s not just for your car, if it’s in your budget, create a second bag, just like this, and keep it your house. Keep it in the same place you would run to in an emergency.
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