What is A Go Bag?
What Equipment Do I Need In My GoBag?
When it comes to prepping and surviving a disaster or emergency situation, us preppers have got it covered.
At least when it comes to survival equipment anyway.
We have a good number of pre-packed, ready to go, fully equipped rucksacks just waiting for their time to shine and save you from oblivion..!
From a simple utility belt, key chain gearset, right up to full on Bug Out bags loaded and equipped for a long term survival situation where you are forced to bug out to who knows where and survive. We have it all..!
To make things even more confusing there's a host of other levels of disasters we prep for, and thus a host of different kit required.
If your new to prepping and survival this can be a tad confusing. But don't worry, I am hoping to clear up the confusion right here in this article
Here's the low down on Bug Out Belts to Bug Out Bags, and very specifically on the GO Bag, and what, actually is a Go Bag, and what equipment do I need in my GoBag?
*you may have notice I spell it: Go Bag or GoBag - it's such a relatively made up name that no one really knows how your supposed to spell it.!
* A Go Bag Is An In-between Survival Bag
It's in-between an EDC (every day carry) bag and Get Home Bag, in so much as an EDC is designed around specific scenarios: for example, if you work in areas where you may need to escape through a window, you would carry a window punch to smash the window.
Whereas the get home bag is designed for use after the disaster has happened and transport is either down or gridlocked.
More specifically, the Go Bag is equipped with kit that will both help you escape and make your way to a defined point of safety: ie, a friend or relatives house a safe distance away.
It is also normally kept at the family home, where all members of the family have their own specific to their needs.
Personal medication being one of those personal needs.
My personal go bag is a pack that means I can move fast, weighing in at just 10 kg. I could reduce that weight, but so far it is OK for me to carry and move fast.
It does not stand out as anything unusual or any different to the common rucksack everyone uses these days.
*Off The Shelf, Pre-Made Packs Are Useless
Apologies to all those manufacturers out there trying to make money out of unsuspecting people, but all they have done is jumped on the survival and prepping bandwagon, mostly throwing together a mediocre miss match of stuff that looks all well and good, but in real life makes no sense at all..!
In this photo you can see a generic, off the shelf GoBag that's sold as a 72 hour survival bag.
As a general rule, it's going to be pretty useless, packed with very little gear, as well being so generic it probably wont apply to you anyway.
It's just far too basic, and these sort of of the shelf kits will set you back £70 plus, and that's just for a very basic kit like the one shown here.
I'm really not trying to knock these kits, but for anyone serious about survival and having a decent Go Bag I would not recommend them.
* Always Make Your Own Go Bag
Here's the scenario:
You have to leave your home within minutes, no faffing around, you barely have time to put your coat.
Your Go Bag is sitting there by the door, packed and ready for you to simply grab and go.
The plan is to make your way to a friends house and everything you need is right there, with you in your go bag.
OR IS IT.??
If you were one of those who bought a generic, over priced, pre made bag, is there actually anything personal and specif to you that's in it?
No of course there isn't. So please, please, make your own kit up. To suit your needs.
This is my own personal gobag kit. In it I have enough gear to survive for several days, maybe more should I need to just get away fast.
Below is a video I made explaining my kit that I recently took with me on a few days wild camp - this is exactly the same type of kit That I use for a Go Bag.
* My Go Bag Explained - Video
Remember, this is my kit, that suits me and works for me.
I will not suit everyone and I could easily reduce many items - do I need a hammock and tarp? Probably not, I could kip on the floor under a tree! Do I even need a sleep bag? Again, probably not, I keep my clothes on, and if I have a coat even better.
So think exactly what suits you and pack your gear accordingly.
* Top Go Bag Items To Carry
Firstly , remember there are thousands of scenarios you are trying to cover - you can't cover then all!
But always cover the important survival requirements first:
* Shelter & Sleeping Gear:
If your planned escape involves overnight sleeping rough, then prepare for this by adding equipment that will make things a bit more conformable.
There's a few things you can choose, from the very simple, which may mean packing a warm blanket to wrap up in and find yourself somewhere dry to kip for a few hours.
Right up to packing a tent, with sleeping pad and bag, and even a small pillow - it's your shout.
But remember, there's a good chance that you will be carrying this gear, and be in a hurry to escape an area fast.
If you are out in the wilds, across country, then you'll need to have some form of shelter with you, especially if it's in the depths of winter time.
A simple tarp to help protect from the rain and wind is a good start.
A tent is a lot of peoples first choice, but not always the right choice. It's bulky, heavy and will mean you stick out and make yourself very obvious to everyone.
You are trying to simply protect yourself for a short while, and to help keep dry and warm, and this will give you an opportunity to sleep and rest up.
* Water: Carry / Storage / Filtration:
Essentially this could be top of your list regardless of many disaster or SHTF scenarios. It is proven that we all perform far better when our body is fully hydrated. It's a simple fact. Your whole body will be in full on survival mode and as such will be depleting your own water store like mad. It needs to do this to keep you alive.
Constant re-hydration will keep you going. More so than eating.
You certainly do not want to be carrying bottles of water with you to weigh you down and slow you down along the way.
Fortunately there is a very simple answer to the water question: Pack a water filtration bottle. One that will filter out as much of the bad stuff as possible from just about any water source.
That way you can be constantly topping up your water water and drinking safe water along the way,
See associated article: Water Filter Bottle
* Medication & Emergency First Aid:
An absolute essential consideration when planning a Go Bag: If you need any form of personal medication to keep you alive, then some serious planning must take place.
You have to ensure you carry enough personal medication as well as ensuring there is more set aside when you are heading.
As for emergency first aid - this is essential.
You do not know what conditions you are getting into, this could easily mean you get injured in some way - so an emergency first aid kit is a must have in your go bag.
You cannot expect to carry a full emergency first aid kit with you, but there are some essential emergency items you must have with you.
see associated article: Safety First Aid For Preppers
* Additional Items To Consider
I think the secret here is not to go mad and try and cover every eventuality. We all do it, trying to cover the 'what ifs'... But there are so many you'll never do it.
So try and keep it simple, straightforward and specific to your needs.
But remember the whole idea of the Go Bag is to help you keep safe, under the radar and be able to remove yourself from potential danger, getting successfully from A to B unharmed.
Also, to some point it doesn't matter if this takes you one day or a week. You have kit with you that will give you a fighting chance.
It's probably easier to just list some of the more important items when considering " What Do I need In My Go Bag"?
Make your Go Bag kit personal to your needs.
There will always be something you have not included, because you can't cover every eventuality. But think of the posible scenarios that might effect you specifically.
Where you live or work. Transport system, terrain, possible threats etc.
Just do your best....
Finally, always have your gobag to hand. It's no good packed away in the loft!
It's designed for immediate use, for you to get out and away from any threat or danger as quick as you can.