Get Home Bag (GHB)

Now here is the thing about 72 hour kits. They are bulky, heavier and therefore a bit more difficult to move them around.

A get home bag (GHB) should be similar to that of a 72 hour kit, however the bag is usually for up to a day or two, enough to get you home.

Of course if you think for your situation you need more, adjust your kit accordingly.

Get home bags (GHB) are used to get from your place of employment, school or other place that you spend much time at, to your home (or if need be somewhere else).

It is more streamlined for increased ease of transport and mobility. At least that is the way I see it. If you travel by bus and/or metro you should take into account other factors to tailor your kit. SEE the list below for ideas.

For one thing, in the metro system (called tube in London) you are in an enclosed area, even if it is a large underground area some areas are more localized and a terrorist may choose to attack people in that environment utilizing any of several different methods. It can be a chemical or biological attack, or explosives among other things.

It might not be a terrorist attack. It could be a natural disaster that struck and you are trapped in the metro system. It can be a system wide power failure, or even a fire underground.

If you travel by bus there may be a traffic accident that either the bus you are traveling on was implicated, or it may be other vehicles and that the traffic situation will cause a re-routing of your normal routine. The bus may suffer a mechanical failure which may alter your travel plans as well. Perhaps you'll be directed to take the metro, or even to an above ground passenger train. It all of course depends on where you go and how you travel. It is only you that can know that. All I can do is throw examples for you to look at.

Traveling by car is another thing as well, and a get home bag can be useful there too. Place one in the trunk of your car as part of your car emergency kit.

I'll make a list to give you an example of what you may want to put in a GHB.

  • A poncho
  • Gloves
  • A quality whistle.
  • A good multi-tool.
  • Toilet paper with hand sanitizer.
  • First aid kit with a mask with non latex gloves like nitrile gloves. Beware that if someone has inhaled chemicals you place yourself at risk performing CPR if you do mouth to mouth. Masks with one way valves exist. Get first aid trained.
  • Emergency blanket such as the Heat Sheet from AMK.
  • A knife. Not a fixed blade and nothing that screams tactical. Know your knife laws wherever you live. In some places a knife may be considered a weapon if it carried concealed, or has a blade length beyond X number of inches etc.
  • Chapstick. Use it for its intended purpose if your lips are cracked (even elsewhere like your hands) and there is an airborne threat that seeks an entry through the skin. Simply put it helps to put a small seal over a small crack in your skin. This is not a guarantee it'll work here, so proceed at your own risk. Other means exist to reduce exposure such as duct taping if necessary the area at risk. Again, no guarantees.
  • A means to make fire, such as a lighter and two other methods if you can, such as a firesteel and also some waterproof matches. Use a match safe if you want to but try and look 'normal' given you'll be in an urban area, not in the forest. So perhaps the match safe should be left out and find another way to protect the matches.
  • Cotton balls for tinder (100% cotton, not synthetic ones. I have seen those and they don't burn but melt). Use chapstick or prepare the cotton balls with petroleum jelly such as Vaseline)
  • Duct tape
  • Food and water rations with a water filter and/or purification tablets.
  • Stainless steel container (preferable over aluminum) to boil water. It can be a cup or bottle (preferable).
  • Emergency respirator mask to protect from smoke. There are some compact ones like Avon (not makeup :) makes. A CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) model you can find here at Amazon. Other models from other companies exist to protect from smoke, and will be better than nothing and may be sufficient for what you'll face. The decision is yours to make.
  • A ham radio or FRS/GMRS radio for emergency communications.
  • DEET for insect repellent. Mosquitoes aren't fun :). Perhaps a bug jacket or head net as well. This will help you keep your sanity.

At this point I'll ask to to read this article entitled About the Law that I have written. This just may be what you need to avoid some potential problems when it comes to kits.


My URBAN Survival Kit (Get Home Bag)

Somethings to Keep in Mind

"Remember that if you carry a knife to first know what your local laws are. If you want to carry a fixed blade knife be certain it is legal to and that it is clear how to answer the police should they ever know about your knife and ask you about it.

A knife must be a tool, not a weapon of self defense. If you can get that in your mind you'll be able to answer honestly. If you carry some tactical, 7 inch blade with a skull tattooed on the side of the handle as an example, you won't be fooling anyone into thinking it is a tool to open boxes or to cut paper."

The above paragraphs you'll find on the About the Law page on my site. Please have a look for some other important things to consider when making a kit.