Introduction: Get Home Bag (G.H.B.)

Picture of Get Home Bag (G.H.B.)

How to build a get home bag (G.H.B.)

Step 1: Why Do You Need One?

Picture of Why Do You Need One?

So why does a person need a Get Home Bag (G.H.B.) and how does one go about building one? The simple answer is this bag is to get you home so that you can get to your Bug Out Bag (B.O.B.) and building one is easy if you have experience building a B.O.B.

The next question is that I need to address is what is the difference between a B.O.B. and a G.H.B.? The main difference is that a G.H.B. is a short term pack that is meant to get you home to your supplies. Both bags share many similarities but a G.H.B. is smaller and will have less gear/supplies as compared to your B.O.B..

So let's get started on Building a G.H.B.

Step 2: Bag Selection

Picture of Bag Selection

On selecting a G.H.B. I would look for something small that does not take up a lot of room in a trunk or something that you can carry daily along with you Every Day Carry (E.D.C.). Look for something sturdy and comfortable to carry. I suggest something that has a pocket for a water bladder. Camelback makes a good pack that can be used for this purpose if you want to spend the extra money.

I have a small pack that has plenty of pockets and it has places that I can put items like flashlights, knives, and other items that I carry. It is also easily adjustable and I use this as a day pack when I go hiking.

Whatever bag that you choose, make sure that its comfortable and can withstand the elements on your trek home.

Step 3: Gear Selection

Picture of Gear Selection

So what gear does one need in a G.H.B.? Well like what is stated earlier, some of the same things that you have in your B.O.B.. The only thing to remember is that a G.H.B. is not a B.O.B. and should be lighter in weight and designed for a shorter journey.

I like to think of it in terms of a day/patrol pack instead of a Hiking or long range pack. One can also supplement their E.D.C. items with this setup so that it's easy to carry.

That choice is up to each individual it some items are easier to carry that others.

Here is a list of essential items that one should have in their G.H.B.:
-Food (2-3 day supply)
-Emergency Blanket
-Poncho or an Emergency Poncho
-First Aid Kit (P.F.A.K or personal first aid kit, F.A.K.)

Step 4: Optional/Additional Gear

Picture of Optional/Additional Gear

There are some items that you can carry that are optional in your G.H.B. and one should always be in compliance with Local/State/Federal laws if one decides to carry some of these items in their E.D.C./G.H.B.

-Extra Magazines / Ammunition
-Water Purification Tablets
-Small Camp Stove
-Mess Kit
-Survival Bracelet
-Bivy Bag
-Small Tarp

I have added pictures of my E.D.C. as I carry these items all the time. What's not pictured is my lighter, e-cigarette & kit, and my extra cash stash. Other than that this mag makes a great supplement to my G.H.B. and I can use it as a dump bag if necessary.

This is not a definitive list as every area is different along with the severity of the seasons and a G.H.B. should be adjusted accordingly to your geographic region and season. During the fall/winter months I keep heavier clothing in my vehicle so that if I have something to change into if I have to make it home without me car.

Step 5: Final Thoughts

Does everyone need a G.H.B.? That is a personal question that one needs to answer for themselves. I keep mine in my car for emergencies as one never knows what will happen. The only thing that I can see it that it is better to have it and not need then to need it and not have it.


Printy (author)2015-09-21

I thought this was going to be more of a "Get Home Bag" from the sense of "I'm in the city and I just got lost and have no resources to get home". I'd put the following in my "City version" of the "Get Home Bag":
1. Battery Powered GPS device
2. Protein bars
3. A road map with every major city in the country I drive in most
4. Coins for a pay-phone
5. The numbers of the people I would most likely call to bail me out of a tough situation
6. A small reflective blanket
7. A few bottles of water
8. Pen and paper
9. $10 for gas
10. Cell phone charger


themanwoaname (author)Printy2015-09-27

I was on the other side of town and my cellphone stopped working year before last. Not only did i NOT have change for a payphone; but the shopping plaza i was stranded in (with a real chain grocery store and a real chain pharmacy) DID NOT have payphones.

Theyre the way of the dinosaur.

Locomiguel (author)themanwoaname2017-06-11

True! If and when you do find one, some fracking tweeker has vandalized it so badly it does not work, which is reason number two why they are at the extinction level. They are very expensive to repair, and the return, not so much these days.

gojohnnybgoode1 (author)2015-12-17

Great Instructable, man. I've been looking at a lot of these and yours is the only one I've seen to include a firearm. I like that!

I have noticed the same thing with firearms. I just did my first instuctable and i included firearms. Great

Artisanlocal (author)2016-11-14

Great information. I have had a small bag for my edc for probably 6 years now. I have got a few friends carrying them in there vehicles as well.

chinook07 (author)2015-09-21

The acronyms are enough to drive one nuts. Reminds me of that scene in Good Morning Vietnam. The items are good to have. The list is by no means complete, but it is what you personally wish to include. Thanks for reintroducing the idea.

Lmao! I was thinking the same thing.

"Excuse me, sir. Seeing as how the VP is such a VIP, shouldn't we keep the PC on the QT? 'Cause if it leaks to the VC he could end up MIA, and then we'd all be put on KP."

JuniorMint (author)2015-12-07

Just finished mine, great instruct able!

4WantofaNail (author)2015-09-29

Decent post good sir. some hood info. I'll be adding this to one of my collections. Cheers mate

jerry.ericsson2 (author)2015-09-20

Sounds like a good idea. Since I rarely ever leave the house except for camping excursion now days due to advancing age, and disability I don't think I will prepare one. Our motor home contains all the necessities for living for some time, and it is a rare day indeed when I leave home without a .45 somewhere near by for quick access. I am seeking a nice 45-70 trapdoor or Remington rolling block to hang over the TV cabnet on my motor home, one in good working order that can be used in the event the .45 just isn't good enough.

244 Jake (author)jerry.ericsson22015-09-27


You may find that 7mm Mag rife, is about the same, and a lot easier to acquire.

244 Jake

Willemd1 (author)2015-09-21

Hello, I find it very interesting to read but it all depends where you live, doen't it. I used to live in the city in Holland and wasn't allowed many of the items like guns or larger knives. may I ask where you live having a need for such equipment. Alaska, Nothern Canada or far in the country of one of the mountainous states of America.

SamuraiBobX26 (author)Willemd12015-09-21

I live in the South and I work for a security contractor as an armed security officer. I also have a CCW permit and shoot competitively.

CorgiCritter (author)2015-09-21

This is interesting. I have never heard of one of these before. Good work, I will vote!

incywebb (author)2015-09-21

perhaps I'n not sufficiently low-tech, but what about a spare battery/powerpack for your phone? Even a solar panel recharger? Being able to call for help because you phone is charged might outweigh all the water purification tablets in the world...

SamuraiBobX26 (author)incywebb2015-09-21

In my E.D.C. I carry a cell phone charger and cable. I also have a few AA batteries and a MP3 player that has a FM tuner built in. I also carry a USB drive that has copies of documents on there that I need.

Again, this is just an idea to get people started as the contents will be different for each bag based on geographic area and season.

Aaaecm (author)2015-09-20

Great Article. I live in Urban Alaska and would not consider driving anywhere without a Get Home Bag in the car. It has served me well on more than one occasion. The contents change. Most of the year there is cold weather gear. You never know when there will be a heavy snow storm or you may go ditch diving. The only thing I would consider that you didn't mention is some sort of reflectorized gear. In some situations it is better to be seen. Thanks.

ShayS7 (author)2015-09-20

Don't forget to set up a tickler file -- an Excel spreadsheet works -- to remind you to replace expired items. Heckuva note if you reach into your go kit (what we call them at work) and your flashlight batteries, like the sword of Charlemagne the Just*, turned to ferric oxide 2 years ago.

*According to Arthur Guiterman

Verga (author)2015-09-20

My wife and I assembled the Cody Lundin 98.6 degree packs and are keeping them in our vehicles. I am in the process of building our GHB's and B.O.B.'s. Since I al ready have the Cody' packs basically I am adding food, Clothing More first aid, some tools and shelter for the GHB's. Thank you for a well written ible with great suggestions.

gizmologist (author)2015-09-20

I call mine the "Car trunk survival kit," and it includes the items mentioned, plus a compact AM/FM/Shortwave radio (with extra batteries), plus a 2-meter (Amateur band) walkie-talkie, plus a signaling mirror and flasher for nightime use. In a survival situation, low-tech is better than depending on your cellphone.

KronoNaut (author)2015-09-20

This is a great idea, thanks for sharing. The only thing I would add is a hand generator to keep your cellphone charged. Sometimes that is your only line of communication and you can also get news on it.

DIY-Guy (author)KronoNaut2015-09-20

Maybe it's easier/lighter/cheaper to get a set of alkaline batteries with an adapter?
What are your thoughts KronoNaut?

geppetto425 (author)2015-09-20

Nothing new, its just a basic 72 Hr kit which EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE!!!!!


paul dito (author)2015-09-17

I like your bag. Any pointers where I find it? In any case, I like your instructable...

mrmadison (author)paul dito2015-09-20

That bag is a Drago Gear bag called the Tracker. They make a bigger
version called the Scout. I've had the Tracker for a few years now and
love it for daily use, but sometimes it's a tad small.

jbollinger2 (author)paul dito2015-09-20

I got a similar bag off the app geek for pretty cheap, but the shipping is from China so it takes a while.

kd0zom (author)paul dito2015-09-20

I have that same pack, except mine is black. It's called the Condor Medium Assault Pack, and is available on amazon for about $40.

SamuraiBobX26 (author)paul dito2015-09-18

I got mine at a surplus store. If I remember correctly maxpedition makes a similar bag as well.

i got my bob at a army base from my dad

Minecraft12345 (author)2015-09-18

does anybody know where i can get a ar-15 55.6

Any gun store. And the caliber is 5.56. Go with that over a model chambered in. 233 Remington. The 5.56 can shoot both and handle the higher pressure cartridge.

217Rhome (author)2015-09-19

Mine is ready for use!

NoelM3 (author)2015-09-17

Because I live in Michigan the add on items should include boots. I would add a pair of long johns for layered warmth. While a map is critical if you dont know how to use it well extra toilet paper is needed. because many people drive over twenty miles it would be good to know the shortest way home while walking. Knowing how far you can walk in the snow is important for hypothermia kills quickly. Just because you are not in the woods doesn't say you can survive. A couple days of medication if you use them. I am limited to about thirty minutes drive on a good day because of a back injury so I look for ways that takes little effort, Will you be able to start a fire? What if you had the use of only one hand? In extreme cold it is hard to start a fire with a match with one hand. Could you do it? Knowledge weighs nothing so the more you know about your problem the better your chances of getting home. Just some food for thought.


kjpyatt (author)2015-09-17

I saw this and laughed, because I have one, and I call it the same, get home bag. I am planning on adding a $50 blowup raft to my truck too, maybe an Intex Seahawk. I work in the neighboring county, divided by the Missouri river (no creek, mind you).

You might have some like items, but I have, in addition to missy things on your list, an e-tool, 6" pry bar with gorilla duct tape around the tip of the curved end to prevent wear on my pack, gorilla duct tape wrapped around a sample credit card, zip ties, tarp (which you mentioned), hatchet (you never know), long blade knife and sheath.

The goal, get home to family in a SHTF scenario, prepared for both ROL and WROL. I don't really deal with B.O.B. anymore... I spent a lot of time with a group of guys planning for bugout... We had no land/place prepared and weren't getting close to having any. I am pretty much as suburban gets out from neighboring St. Louis, so given no bugout place prepared, odds are better to stay home and defend with neighbors. If you're urban, go more suburban. If you go rural... so well many others and you'll probably die if you don't have a place already. So for most, bugout is pointless compared to "relocate" more rural, not to the sticks with no shelter or prepared place - 90% won't make it past a week without a real place to be.

About This Instructable




Bio: I like the outdoors. I like reading and helping people. I have figured out several things over the years and I feel. I should pass ... More »
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