How to build a get home bag (G.H.B.)
Step 1: 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
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
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)
-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
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
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.