Welcome to Jercol's Back to the Basics. This is where I will post useful information, tips, and gear reviews about what I learn about Outdoor Survival, Activities, and Disaster Preparation. My only goal is to be informative, realistic, and at least a little entertaining.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Get Home Bag

It'd been a while since I'd gone through my GHB and I figured this was a good opportunity to do an in depth post on GHBs.  Being in Hawaii the contents of my bag are probably quite different than what people would need in other places.  Most of the basics would be the same; clothes, water, food, fire starters... but depending on the local climate there can be a lot of variation.  Keep in mind your own environment when making a GHB.

This is the kit that I keep in my car.  Pretty much everything fits in the Swiss Army day pack that I picked up at Ross for $20.  The the top and side, a fleece sweat shirt and pair of shoes.  This being Hawaii, I'm typically wearing shorts, t-shirt, and flip flops.  Those three things aren't any good in a disaster scenario.  That's why a sweat shirt and shoes (socks are in the bag) are so important here.

While temperature isn't a huge concern in Hawaii, hypothermia is still a concern if conditions are wet and windy.  Tropical storms, earthquakes, and flooding are all possibilities here.  That's why you'll see my 'get home' bag prioritizes rain clothes, water purification, and fire starting. 

Here's everything pulled out.  I'll go through the contents in detail.  

From the left side toward the center: the sweat shirt, adidas workout pants (light, packs tight, some protection from the elements), Columbia rain jacket , socks.

Here's the water supplies.  Three water bottles, two are kept full.  I've got the stainless steel bottle and the GSI cup (reviewed in an earlier post) for cooking and water purification.  I keep the Dasani bottle so I can use it for UV purification.  There's also the purification tablets to the left.  Just above the bottles are Camelbak Elixer tablets, they dissolve in water like alka seltzer, they taste pleasant and provide electrolytes.

These are fairly self explanatory.  Sunscreen, 550 cord, Gerber multi-tool, Gerber sheath knife, two LED flash lights, Leatherman folding knife, and a compass on top.

In the middle: boonie cap, work gloves, bandana, watch cap, scarf.  Food: couple nutri-grain bars, trail mix, jerkey.  Just below the shoes on the right side is my fire starting kit: two sets of matches, lighter, flint and steel, hand sanitizer (very flammable, just be careful because the flame it creates is almost invisible in day light), and the cotton ball/vaseline kits I previously posted about.

I go a little overboard when it comes to my first aid kit.  For purely "get home" purposes you could probably halve this kit and still have plenty to go.   However, because I keep this bag in my car all the time, I tend to use this kit for any and all day-to-day first aid needs.  That's why there is so much more in here than the bare minimum.  I can't tell you how many times I've pulled this out and used it.

Here's the contents from the top left: benedryl, anti-diarrhea meds, alcohol wipes, moleskin, medical tape, triple antibiotic neosporin, tums, tylenol, carmex, and a wide variety of bandaids.  The whole kit except for the medical tape fits in a pint sized Ziploc bag.

A few more things that weren't really in the pictures: emergency poncho, emergency blanket (I hopefully won't need those two, but they're small, light, and could be life savers), baby wipes, bug spray, goggles, dust mask, and ear plugs.

I think that's everything.

After reviewing the kit I swapped a few things out, added more cordage, extra batteries for the flash lights, underwear, and another pair of socks.

A GHB is a very personal thing, it's all about what you need and what you're comfortable with.  My pack is a pretty good example of "over kill", I have way more than the bare minimum and a lot redundancies.  As is, the size and weight are comfortable and I'm very confident with the contents.

No comments:

Post a Comment