September is National Preparedness Month. This means it’s time to check the expiration dates on your beans, count up your bullets and make sure you’ve got all other bases covered. Given the numerous natural disasters and large-scale
riots protests across the country, it’s as good a time as any to cover (or discover) what considerations should go into building a “Go-Bag”.
First, let’s differentiate between a Go-Bag and a Bug-Out-Bag (B.O.B). A Go-Bag is synonymous with a Get-Home-Bag. This is a small to medium pack containing just what you need to get back to your castle. A B.O.B is a much larger bag, packed with all the essentials for surviving multiple days on the move to a different location.
When building a Go-Bag, one should consider the season (weather), likely distance you may have to travel, what type of terrain you will likely cover and what style of dress will blend in.
We’re heading into Fall so the rainy season is here. I don’t usually go to Portland unless I have to so I’m usually less than 30 miles from home with urban, rural and wooded tracts of land to cover. In the Pacific Northwest, overtly tactical gear stands out but generic looking outdoors gear is common. For my pack, I went with the ’90’s stylings of the Mountainsmith Divide pack. Despite being some shade of tan and having a few Molle strips, it has a distinctively non-tactical look. Comfortable and spacious enough as well.
Here’s what I’ve got packed in:
- Remington R1 1911, with 1 spare mag. Need a spare holster!
- Kershaw Westin pocketknife, a trusty little spare I keep around just in case.
- Streamlight Microstream flashlight. Very bright, tiny package.
- 1 Bottle of vitamin B12, significant energy booster.
- 1 Meal Kit Supply MRE (2 course), the smaller variant of MRE. You can go days without food but perform far better with a little. Doesn’t add much weight.
- 32oz water, usually in my Vanquest stainless, insulated bottle. It’s what I pack everywhere with me. Heavier than plastic, but won’t crush or leak.
- First-aid supplies from the Solkoa S3 Survival kit. Tiny, light, basic- sufficient. Not a trauma kit, but a get-you-home-despite-bumps-and-cuts kit.
- Fire starting supplies from the Solkoa S3 survival kit. Same as above.
- Old running shoes. Destined for the trash can, these have one last ride on them. If it turns out they’re dead weight, there’s little lost in dumping them. These are there in case I’m caught in an emergency while wearing dress shoes, a wedding or similar event.
- Crye soft armor plate. A Crate Club pickup, turns your bag into a shield if needed. Slides right into the padded laptop pocket.
Besides the fact its National Preparedness Month, the change of seasons is always a good time to check out your Go-bag. Going through this, I’m realizing I need to add shelter of a sort (rainproof poncho), a red LED light and backup communications (handheld radio). I also need to add 550 cord to everything and maybe a couple of feet of duct tape. It’s time to take a look at your kit and see what’s expired, what’s packed for the wrong season and what’s missing.
Get home safe, no matter the circumstance.