What’s in your car to help deal with the everyday unexpected? If stranded on the side of the road and you need to abandon your car do you have what you need to get home or at least to safety? After thinking through multiple scenarios and reading a collection of articles from other sites I understood the need for a Get Home Bag.
I have always kept random supplies and tools in my car but about two years ago I went through the exercise of putting together a get home bag that could live in my car. The bag contains a collection of tools and supplies designed to help me deal anything from basic first aid to getting home in a situation where I might need to abandon my car.
Since building the bag I have added things to it occasionally but have not taken the time to tear it down and do a full inventory review. As you would expect, I discovered several things that I had forgotten were in the kit as well as a number of important things that need to be added.
Get Home Bag
For the bag, I am currently using an Explorer 72 Hour Rucksack. The bag has plenty of room for what I need and does not take up a lot of space in the back of the car. Different pockets or sections have been dedicated for specific items. The top outer pocket is very easy to access and stores commonly used first aid supplies.
For all of my bags and supplies that do not see everyday use, I like to include an inventory list. For this bag, I have a printed list that I keep folded up in the outer molle straps. As I add or remove items I update the list. As part of this inventory exercise, I will update and print off a new copy.
I have found myself going to my bag most often to grab first aid supplies when away from home. Currently, I have set up one of the main outside pockets to keep the most commonly used supplies and have a small removal bag that I can quickly pull out as needed. Below is a list of what I like to keep on hand
- Assorted band aids and antiseptic wipes
- Small lighter
- Single use super glue
- Assorted itch and burn creams
- Surgical gloves and mask
- R.A.T.S. Rapid Application Tourniquet System
- Israeli Bandage
- Quick Clot
- Small Multi-tool with scissors
Not knowing exactly what I am preparing for it is sometimes hard to make sure I have the right tool for the job. My choices in tools are mainly based on situations I have experienced and personal preference.
- Socket set
- Fisher Space Pen
- Kershaw Personal Axe
- M&P Assisted Open – Larger Pocket Knife
- Multi-blade pocket knife
- Gerber Fire Starter Set
- Sabre 3-in1 Pepper Spray
- Small flashlight
- Gerber Multi-tool
- CRKT fixed blade knife
Also, include in my bag are what I would consider consumable supplies. Most of these are items that I commonly use and have multiple applications.
- Partial roll of duck tape
- 100ft of paracord
- Hand warmers
- 3×1 gal zip lock bags
- 2×50 gal construction grade trash bags
- Hand sanitizer & Wet wipes
- 3 Space blankets
- Tie wraps
- Fishing set
- Glow stick
- LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Protective & Comfort Gear
The best way to save first aid supplies is to not need to use them. This next list is made up of items intended to help prevent injuries.
- Heavy leather gloves
- Safety glasses
- Ear plugs
- Change of underwear and socks
Things to Change
After reviewing the content of my get home bag, below are a couple of things that I need to change or address differently. First off I realized that there is no food or the ability to transport water currently accounted for. I will be adding some meal bars, at least one MRE, and a water bladder. On the first aid kit, I will move my first aid trauma supplies to a small
On the first aid kit, I am planning to move my trauma supplies to a small detachable bag that easy to grab and go if needed. While the bag only weighs 15 lbs. most of that weight is in the socket set. I will plan to move the socket set to my car and maybe added an adjustable wrench and multi-bit screwdriver instead. Here are a couple more items I plan to add:
Here are a couple more items I plan to add:
- Bandana or Shemagh
- Winter clothes/boots (at least in the car)
- Larger flashlight
- Spare batteries
- Medical scissors
- Mess kit & silver wear
In addition to the list above, I will be looking for a new bag. While the one I have is very functional and tacti-cool. If I really did find myself in an emergency situation this bag may draw more attention than I want. A basic school backpack or drawstring bag might help go more unnoticed.
What would you do to help improve my bag?
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