Differences Between Survival Kits

Maybe it is because I make at least part of my living with words but it drives me nuts when people misuse survival terms. Perhaps it is just a mild form of OCD, I don’t know. Either way, I thought I’d talk a bit today about the different terms we use for survival kits.

Get Home Bag
This is a kit designed to meet your needs while you travel back home or to another safe location if you’re out in the world when disaster strikes. It is not meant to sustain you indefinitely but just to keep you fed and warm until you can get home. I’ve also heard of these being called Just In Case (JIC) kits.

Evacuation Kit
This kit is kept at home and is grabbed on your way out the door if you should need to bail immediately (fire, toxic spill, that sort of thing). Not only should it have what you’d need to survive away from home for a few days, but also copies of important papers and such. The idea here isn’t to live forever on the contents of the kit but just to give you what you need for a couple nights in a hotel or at a relative’s home.

Bug Out Bag
Sometimes called a Get Out of Dodge (G.O.O.D.) bag or I’m Never Coming Home (INCH) kit, this one is your “live by your wits for as long as possible” survival kit. The S has definitely HTF and you’re headed for the hills, possibly never to return.

Now, some folks may only ever need the Get Home Bag. Others may only ever assemble the Bug Out Bag and figure that will cover pretty much anything that could happen. To each their own. Everyone’s personal situation is different and only you can make the best determination of what’s right for your individual circumstance.

My suggestion is this. Assemble a kit to keep in your car, another to keep at home, and a third to keep at work (if you have a secure place to store it). This way, you should have all your bases covered, just in case.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for SurvivalWeekly.com. He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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