The President has designated this month as National Preparedness Month and so with that in mind…let’s talk about Go Bags.

Most people outside of the military, law enforcement and weary world travelers don’t know what a go bag is so I guess defining what it is should be our first order of business. Your Go Bag, or what we used to refer to as our Go-To-Hell-Bag is what you’re going to need to sustain you until you either make it home or to a safe location in the event of a natural disaster or in some cases a terrorist incident overseas.

So your bag’s contents can vary depending on whether you’re at home or overseas, the climate you are in and how far you may have to travel. So start from scratch, put together a baseline of your needs, then tailor it to your specific situation. When I was a Security Advisor for the film industry overseas, I always instructed the crew to have a go-bag ready in case of anything happening that would force us to get out of Dodge. So, in that case, it would include having your passport, at least $200-300 in cash among your other needs.

Here’s what I start with and in the case of being in the US, a pistol (a smaller one, is sometimes advisable) You don’t need a cannon, but if someone decides to take your vehicle, your money or valuables from you it can be a necessity.


  • Water bottle – Don’t put Gatorade in your Camelbak (note to self)
  • Gerber Center-Drive multi-tool
  • Penlight, (preferably two, because your wife will want yours)
  • Gorilla Duct tape
  • Black Diamond carabiner
  • Rain shell jacket (this one is a Columbia rain jacket)
  • Compass (lensatic not shown) or Silva
  • Knife folding (in this case Smith and Wesson Special Ops) Swiss Army
  • Extra t-shirts, underwear, socks
  • Communications, I-phone, charger and a zoom device
  • Notebook and pen
  • Boots, hiking (Merrell Sawtooth)
  • Paracord, fire starter kit
  • Gore-Tex Bivvy Sack
  • Individual survival kit (Air Force aircrew issue)

The key here is to keep it simple.And tailor it to your needs. And you’ll notice there are a few items from the SOFREP Crate Club in there. If you find you need any items our Crate Club will always be there to supply you with what the pros use.

Photos Courtesy: Author SOFREP