How much does your Get Home Bag weigh?

How much does your GHB or BOB weigh? Or, perhaps more importantly, can you handle carrying that weight for long periods of time?

For the United States Armed Forces, our men and women routinely carry 45-65lbs of gear when deployed. Most of these folks are in pretty damn good physical condition though and have been trained to carry that much weight on a regular basis.

When was the last time you strapped on your kit and walked around for a while?

One of the biggest mistakes I see regularly is when people have too much gear in their kits, without any real experience carrying it for any length of time. Yes, there are folks who will read this and say, I carry mine all the time, camping and hiking, so I know exactly how much I can easily handle. That’s truly wonderful and a sign that this post isn’t directed at you. No offense.


No, I’m talking to the newbies who see these incredibly long lists for GHB or BOB contents, amass everything together, then toss it into the trunk without thinking twice. When it comes to traveling on foot for extended periods, it won’t take long before you truly feel each and every ounce of weight on your back.

If you haven’t done so recently, I highly suggest you test things out. Grab your pack, strap it on, and leave it there as you go about your day at home. I’m serious. Wear it for a few hours at least. The ideal, of course, would be to take it to a park and go for a hike. But, absent that, just wear it as you walk around in the yard and the house. See how it rides, ensure you can handle the weight for an extended period.

Better to find out now, and make necessary adjustments, while you’re not in the middle of a real bug out.

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 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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