For quite some time now, I, along with many other preppers, have been talking about the importance of Bug Out Bags (BOBs). Quite often, assembling a BOB is one of the first recommendations we give folks who are new to disaster readiness. And for me at least, that hasn’t changed.
It is the philosophy behind putting together these portable kits that has changed, at least to a degree.
See, words have power. I don’t necessarily mean that is some weird, esoteric or mystical sense. What I mean is, the words and phrases you use often convey specific meanings, right? A dining room table, for example, isn’t just a random table but one that is specifically used for meals. Sure, you might use it for other tasks but dining is the intended purpose.
When you use the term bug out bag, what is the conveyed meaning? Well, bugging out is generally accepted to mean leaving the area, usually rather quickly. So, it seems that a BOB is assembled so if you need to evacuate your home immediately, you have enough supplies to last you a few days. Makes sense, at least on the surface, right?
Ok, but think about this for a second. What kinds of disasters might happen that would require you to vacate your home at the drop of a hat, possibly never to return? Let’s walk through this. Weather related disasters rarely occur without warning, particularly ones that would entail evacuation. Trail derailments or other immediate emergencies of that nature are usually very temporary situations. A few hours, perhaps a day, and you’re back home.
A far more common scenario would be you are somewhere other than home when disaster strikes. You’re stranded in your car due to a blizzard. Or your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Or something happens at work, requiring you to evacuate the building and possibly hoof it at least part of the way home (think 9/11).
In other words, it is far more likely that you are trying to get home than you are looking to leave your home for somewhere else, right?
Instead of assembling a BOB, put together a Get Home Bag (GHB). Change your way of thinking from living off the contents of a BOB for days on end to focusing on getting you from work (or elsewhere) to home.
What’s the difference? Well, for starters, look at the amount of food you’d need in your kit. A week or more of high-calorie food takes up a lot of space and adds a fair amount of weight. Instead, look at how long it would reasonably take you to get home from work if you were on foot. Most folks live within an hour’s drive from home, so let’s say 50 miles on the high end. At a walking pace of even two miles an hour, you’re home in a couple days. You’re not looking at a week or two living in the rough.
Give some serious thought to changing your mindset from BOB to GHB and you’ll quickly see how different the kits will be.