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Author Topic: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?  (Read 2168 times)

Offline ConcoursRider

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Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« on: October 28, 2012, 09:52:53 PM »
I've been doing some thinking on this as I just finished my wife's GHB. Now I realize the BOB is for 72 hours but the GHB in theory is for 24 hours and to get home. As I packed her bag, I started to think that maybe I put too much in there Wife's GHB Bag Link. She is 28 miles away when she's at work and most likely it would take her over 24 hours to get home if she had to walk from there. But then I started to do some research on the BOB and realized that people carry their bags with them. Is it overkill to have a GHB & BOB especially being that far away? Now I now some people feel that leaving their BOB at home isn't the smartest thing to do especially if the SHTF while at work and you can't get home. Am I better just having her carry a BOB instead? The same would go for me once I start to build my bag. I'm just trying to figure out if what I built for her is fine and that her BOB will be much bigger.

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Offline soupbone

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2012, 10:37:39 PM »
I don't consider myself an expert by any stretch, but: a get-home bag is designed to support you for a very short time while you make your way to a more secure location. It is light weight and handy, and covers the basics only. That means very limited food [energy bars as opposed to half a dozen MREs], clothing limited to a comfortable pair of boots/shoes, weather protective clothing, basic first aid kit, mini-mag light, a utility knife, etc. It should also be very unobtrusive so as not to draw attention to herself. You don't want her to be "humping a ruck" through the town if she has to walk.  A bug-out bag, on the other hand, is much larger and designed to support your family comfortably for a number of days. The bob would include important documents, more clothing, a bigger tool kit, more comprehensive first aid kit, more food... You're leaving your home for an undetermined period.

Remember, she may have to carry the darned thing. Speaking of which, you don't want to include anything that could get her in trouble if she has to go through a checkpoint or get her fired at work, if someone would go through it.

As for carrying your bob with you all of the time - you're playing the odds that the probability that the S will hit the fan is higher than getting your car stolen, getting into an accident, having your personal papers or weapons stolen, etc. To me, it's not worth the risk.

Just my opinion,

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Offline The Professor

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2012, 11:48:00 PM »
Basically, depending upon your personal situation, it's Short term (less than 24 hours) vs. Long Term.

A GHB is, typically, a smaller kit designed to get you from your place of work (for example) to your home.  Hence the term "Get Home Bag."  Since most of us don't work more than 24 hours away from our homes, the GHB can be smaller, lighter and less comprehensive than a Bug Out Bag.

The BOB is for when you have to leave your home to relocate to a safer area for a longer period of time.  This can be the stereotypical 72 hours, or indefinitely, depending upon your personal needs.

As Soupbone indicated, many people don't carry a comprehensive BOB in their vehicles or locate them at work.   Our GHB's are designed for fast relocation if something happens at our places of business or while we are away from home at, say, the movies, the store, or visiting friends.  They cover approximately 24 hours of mobile support in a small bag that allows us to maintain maximum mobility.

Hope it helps.

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Offline ConcoursRider

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 06:59:37 AM »
Thanks for the posts. I sometimes think I over did it with my wifes bag but then I think I didn't. I guess the BOB will be MUCH bigger once I put it together. Probably seeing how much she would need for 24 hours is quite the eye opener. You don't think you'll need much but in the end you do.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 12:14:56 PM »
Thanks for the posts. I sometimes think I over did it with my wifes bag but then I think I didn't. I guess the BOB will be MUCH bigger once I put it together. Probably seeing how much she would need for 24 hours is quite the eye opener. You don't think you'll need much but in the end you do.

Well, keep in mind that a lot of it will depend upon your circumstances.

For example,  where we live, the climate is pretty forgiving for most of the year.  Plus, both my wife and myself can wear clothing that's mostly appropriate for walking back home.  Even in winter, the clothing we wear would be acceptable for a 15 mile walk.

So, let's look at what we would need (used as examples and an exercise):

Food:  Not as important over 24 hours. If push came to shove, both of us could easily go a day without eating anything.  Some people may not (hypoglycemics, for example).  In our case, we  have about 2000 calories of food in our GHB's in the form of a single MRE and a couple of Millenium Bars (@ 400 cals each).  Neither of these require any form of preparation.

Water: We have actually walked from my wife's work back home specifically to check the routes and what she may face getting back or what I may face coming to her.  In the worst case, she may not have access to water once she leaves work.  I'm lucky in that my wife is a survivalist/prepper, as well.  She carries a 5.11 Rush Moab 6 as a purse.  She has an internal bladder in that, which would be filled as soon as she leaves, and ways to carry two more 1 liter bottles.  If she has to supplement from other sources, there are numerous places (businesses, etc.) that have external water spigots from which she can draw water on the way.  There are also two, year-round natural water sources that can be a resupply, if necessary.  She has two water purification straws for these.

Clothing: As indicated earlier, she can wear clothing that's appropriate for a relocation.  In her case, she can generally wear stuff like 5.11 pants, good shoes, etc.  With her GHB, we still include a full Clothing Bag which sits in the trunk.  This includes one full set of clothes (5.11 pants, belt, good socks, broken-in boots, underwear, t-shirt, long-sleeve shirt, pair of leather gloves, large neckerchief, spare glasses, and hat).  This is for those situations where she may have to wear more formal clothes, such as when she has a meeting or a social engagement.  If she doesn't need to change, she can just go as she is.

First Aid/Personal Maintenance: It's a relatively short walk, less than 15 miles, but she also has a small Trauma Kit and a minimized first aid kit that has items such as moleskin, various pain killers, bandages, etc.

Communications: We're Hams, so she always has her small tri-band handheld with her.  This doesn't make us reliant upon cell or landline phone systems.  If she can drive, she can plug the handheld into the car system for extended power and larger antenna.  But we've always been able to get comms on our handhelds between home and work.  She also has an AA-battery adapter and half a dozen AA Lithium batteries in her purse.  Additionally, she has an AA-battery recharger in her purse for her cell phone if the cell towers are still active.  Our comms plan has her using her phone as the primary for voice, text, email and even fax, if necessary, since I don't have the ham radios on all the time and don't normally carry my handheld with me when I'm out of the vehicle.  Our plans have her calling or sending a text/email/fax if the cellular system is down and then moving to the amateur radio after that.

Defense: She has her CCW, so she always has a handgun with her.  Usually, she carries a KelTec single-stack 9mm on her person at all times.  There are spare mags in her purse.  If things are expected to be bad, she has her full-sized .45 in her purse, as well.  She also has three large OC projecting canisters and a small 2 oz rapid dispersion OC canister, a folding knife (Spyderco Delica) in her pocket, and a collapsible baton in her purse.  She's a competent reality-based shooter and martial artist, so she does know how to use all of these.

General : She also keeps other items in her "purse" or on her person as EDC such as a Leatherman Wave, at least two flashlights (An LED MiniMag and Streamlight LED),

As I stated earlier, we like to walk and/or ride our bikes a lot, so we've covered the routes from her work to home several times.  We've already marked out several Link Up Points (LUPs) along the way.  She has a waterproofed map set of the area in her purse as well as a Silva Compass, in case her primary route is compromised.

Since we also camp a lot, she's okay with off-road travel and how to seek shelter, if necessary, along the way.

It's important that you be familiar with the ground that needs to be covered.  More gear doesn't necessarily equal better chances at survival.  In all honesty, that same distance could be covered in a pair of sneakers with a bottle, or two, of water.  Everything else is just a contingency.

Just some more thoughts. Hope they get the brain juices flowing.

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Offline flippydidit

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 12:22:21 PM »
I'd recommend you balance your gear with two sayings we have in the infantry:

"Speed is security."

And:

"Pack light, freeze at night."

Somewhere between the two means no kitchen sinks.
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Offline Ken325

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2012, 02:33:40 AM »
I have both because I am in Texas where your car is an oven in the summer and because I work downtown where homeless people break into cars.  My get home bag is cheap Walmart stuff and my bug out bag is my best gear.  I would be ok if my get home bag is stolen but my bug out bag is too valuable to take to work. 

Offline ConcoursRider

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2012, 05:31:34 PM »
Well, keep in mind that a lot of it will depend upon your circumstances.

For example,  where we live, the climate is pretty forgiving for most of the year.  Plus, both my wife and myself can wear clothing that's mostly appropriate for walking back home.  Even in winter, the clothing we wear would be acceptable for a 15 mile walk.

So, let's look at what we would need (used as examples and an exercise):

Food:  Not as important over 24 hours. If push came to shove, both of us could easily go a day without eating anything.  Some people may not (hypoglycemics, for example).  In our case, we  have about 2000 calories of food in our GHB's in the form of a single MRE and a couple of Millenium Bars (@ 400 cals each).  Neither of these require any form of preparation.

Water: We have actually walked from my wife's work back home specifically to check the routes and what she may face getting back or what I may face coming to her.  In the worst case, she may not have access to water once she leaves work.  I'm lucky in that my wife is a survivalist/prepper, as well.  She carries a 5.11 Rush Moab 6 as a purse.  She has an internal bladder in that, which would be filled as soon as she leaves, and ways to carry two more 1 liter bottles.  If she has to supplement from other sources, there are numerous places (businesses, etc.) that have external water spigots from which she can draw water on the way.  There are also two, year-round natural water sources that can be a resupply, if necessary.  She has two water purification straws for these.

Clothing: As indicated earlier, she can wear clothing that's appropriate for a relocation.  In her case, she can generally wear stuff like 5.11 pants, good shoes, etc.  With her GHB, we still include a full Clothing Bag which sits in the trunk.  This includes one full set of clothes (5.11 pants, belt, good socks, broken-in boots, underwear, t-shirt, long-sleeve shirt, pair of leather gloves, large neckerchief, spare glasses, and hat).  This is for those situations where she may have to wear more formal clothes, such as when she has a meeting or a social engagement.  If she doesn't need to change, she can just go as she is.

First Aid/Personal Maintenance: It's a relatively short walk, less than 15 miles, but she also has a small Trauma Kit and a minimized first aid kit that has items such as moleskin, various pain killers, bandages, etc.

Communications: We're Hams, so she always has her small tri-band handheld with her.  This doesn't make us reliant upon cell or landline phone systems.  If she can drive, she can plug the handheld into the car system for extended power and larger antenna.  But we've always been able to get comms on our handhelds between home and work.  She also has an AA-battery adapter and half a dozen AA Lithium batteries in her purse.  Additionally, she has an AA-battery recharger in her purse for her cell phone if the cell towers are still active.  Our comms plan has her using her phone as the primary for voice, text, email and even fax, if necessary, since I don't have the ham radios on all the time and don't normally carry my handheld with me when I'm out of the vehicle.  Our plans have her calling or sending a text/email/fax if the cellular system is down and then moving to the amateur radio after that.

Defense: She has her CCW, so she always has a handgun with her.  Usually, she carries a KelTec single-stack 9mm on her person at all times.  There are spare mags in her purse.  If things are expected to be bad, she has her full-sized .45 in her purse, as well.  She also has three large OC projecting canisters and a small 2 oz rapid dispersion OC canister, a folding knife (Spyderco Delica) in her pocket, and a collapsible baton in her purse.  She's a competent reality-based shooter and martial artist, so she does know how to use all of these.

General : She also keeps other items in her "purse" or on her person as EDC such as a Leatherman Wave, at least two flashlights (An LED MiniMag and Streamlight LED),

As I stated earlier, we like to walk and/or ride our bikes a lot, so we've covered the routes from her work to home several times.  We've already marked out several Link Up Points (LUPs) along the way.  She has a waterproofed map set of the area in her purse as well as a Silva Compass, in case her primary route is compromised.

Since we also camp a lot, she's okay with off-road travel and how to seek shelter, if necessary, along the way.

It's important that you be familiar with the ground that needs to be covered.  More gear doesn't necessarily equal better chances at survival.  In all honesty, that same distance could be covered in a pair of sneakers with a bottle, or two, of water.  Everything else is just a contingency.

Just some more thoughts. Hope they get the brain juices flowing.

The Professor

I agree with you sir. I think I "over did" it with her bag and need to make adjustments. While my wife does have her LTC, her work doesn't permit her to have a gun while working. I'm thinking of ordering some small vaults for her car and she can leave them in there during the day and bring them in the house at night. This way she has protection if she had to walk home. I'm also in the process of trying to figure out how to create those topo maps via  http://www.mytopo.com/. I'm just trying to figure how many I'll need as I cover Massachusetts and RI and they aren't cheap.

Great advice once again professor.

-Chris
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Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2012, 05:41:26 PM »
For me its both because I work in a secured facility. My BOB would have be doing time in said secured facility if I took it on grounds. The GHB is a very simplified bag that exists only to get me to my BOB or the wife who hopefully has her BOB.
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Offline endurance

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012, 07:38:30 PM »
Personally, I think folks get a bit caught up in semantics on these things.  I work 26 miles from home, so I keep 72 hours of food at work in my office along with other supplies.  I also keep a change of clothes at the office.  In my car I carry two kits, one is a grab and go with 2400 calories a water filter water bottle, a couple liters of water, and basically a wilderness survival kit.  It's small enough I could run at full speed without it slowing me down.  The other is what I consider my GHB.  It contains extra clothing, during the winter it has enough stuff to be comfortable at typical winter temperatures in the elements, 4-5 days of food, 5-7 liters of water (often rotated and used up on hikes, but never less than 5), a wool blanket, a first aid kit, lights, water filter, etc.  During the winter I toss in a -10F sleeping bag.  It weighs in at about 20 pounds during the summer and about 30 pounds during the winter.

At home I have a duffle bag with my travel kit already in it.  It also has an external hard drive with a backup of my computer in it.  It has some basic clothes, but mostly it has room for all my work clothes that are in the laundry room or closet because if the SHTF, I'm grabbing my work clothes and going to either a friend's house where I have some preps pre-staged or to a hotel for a night or two.  I'd also try to grab my laptop, but the priorities are to keep life as normal as possible, so getting the dogs, wife, and clothes out, then worry about the other stuff.  That's my version of a bug out kit, since the survival stuff is always in the car. 
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Offline joeinwv

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2012, 09:27:08 PM »
My GHB is meant to convert me from white collar worker to middle class hiker. My GHB is meant to turn me into a grey man if I need to abandon my vehicle and walk home. Depending on the day, this could be 1 mile or 75 miles. The focus is on first aid, speed and low key.

My BOB is much more comprehensive, and in WV is geared towards taking it to the woods.

Offline ConcoursRider

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2012, 07:16:34 PM »
We were at REI today and I was looking at the backpacks for my GHB and after talking with the worker, I realized I overdid it for my wife's bag. I'll have to grab her a smaller bag when I buy mine.  All is not lost, as the bag I got her will work for a BOB.

One question I do have for you folks, are you buying 2-3 sets of everything for your bags, i.e. boots, jackets, clothing etc.? I'm thinking that I'm going to have to and boy this is all going to add up!  :-\

-Chris
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Offline Hootie

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2012, 08:58:55 PM »
One question I do have for you folks, are you buying 2-3 sets of everything for your bags, i.e. boots, jackets, clothing etc.? I'm thinking that I'm going to have to and boy this is all going to add up!  :-\

To cut down on the cost, I use GHB as a modular piece of my main BOB.
Maybe I don't have redundant gear, but save some money for better gear.
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Offline ConcoursRider

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2012, 09:32:38 PM »
Any chance you would mind posting a photo of it or maybe messaging me a picture? I can't envision it and I've heard of others doing it your way as well.

Thanks,

Chris
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Offline Hootie

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2012, 10:17:09 PM »
Any chance you would mind posting a photo of it or maybe messaging me a picture? I can't envision it and I've heard of others doing it your way as well.

I am not that fancy ;-) my BOB is just big back pack, and the GHB is just a small shoulder bag. But if needed to bug out, I would need both. I have pics, I'll see if I post them.
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Offline Fyrediver

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2012, 11:22:12 PM »
I agree with Endurance that there's a lot of semantics going on here! Just to add to the issue I'll add another acronym to the mix!

That being said, my "GHB" is a combination of my EDC bag (Mountainsmith TLS lumbar pack) and a RIBZ front pack.  The Ribz lives in my car and the Mountainsmith pretty much goes everywhere I do.  Additionally, I have extra supplies in my car like a jacket, flashlight, extra food, a couple blankets, space blanket tarp, hatchet & folding shovel, water etc.  This gives me modular kits and some redundancy between my EDC and my GHB.  I can also drop the outer layer if needed to move faster and just keep the RIBZ kit.

In the winter or during longer trips I throw in a rucksack that replaces the lumbar pack and has some extra clothes and a sleeping bag. 

If I were to need to bug out from my home, then I'd put all the stuff in my Arcteryx mountaineering pack.

Offline ConcoursRider

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2012, 01:56:38 PM »
Great information guys, I appreciate it. I'm over thinking this whole thing for some reason.  ::)
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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2012, 08:35:00 AM »
Great information guys, I appreciate it. I'm over thinking this whole thing for some reason.  ::)
Asking questions and learning will do that..  I over engineer things 99% of time making things more complex then they need to be.  The other 40% of the time is just,.. well we won't talk about it..  :o

It's part of learning - Just because you build it tomorrow - either a BOB or GHB or INCH bag,..  you should revisit it's contents from time to time...  upgrade items, add and remove items that don't work or work better...

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Offline ConcoursRider

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2012, 05:46:13 AM »
Unfortunately I can run into "paralysis by analysis" at times. But like you said, asking questions and reading this forum is the only way to learn.
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Offline endurance

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2012, 05:55:50 AM »
Part of my problem is my hobbies.  I love hiking and backpacking and after 25 years of doing it, gradually upgrading and improving gear over the years, I have boxes of my old gear that I can cobble together for a kit in every nook and cranny.  So every time I get a new flashlight, headlamp, jacket or pair of gloves I think, hmmm, should I swap my new old one out for the one in the car kit and put the one in my car kit in my office kit?  It's why I rarely have up to date pictures of what my kits look like.  Frankly, they almost never stay the same for more than a few weeks before something gets changed out.

Thankfully, I drive a relatively small car and that keeps me from going too overboard.  I still need to have the space to do a big shopping day at Costco, although I have been known to fill up the front seat in addition to the fold-down rear seats and trunk in a single trip. 

Hey, I have two Newfies to prep for and you'd be surprised at just how much space six months of kibble can take up. ;D

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Offline ConcoursRider

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Re: Bug Out Bag vs Get Home Bag, why have both?
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2012, 06:04:01 AM »
Gorgeous dogs! We have a dog too and you're right, it's amazing how much space bags and cans of dog food take up when you build up a supply. Not to mention we also have two cats as well, so we have to build reserves for them as well. We don't have kids so building reserves for animals isn't as bad if we had children!  ;)
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