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Do I need a "Get Home Bag"?
I've never thought much about prepping beyond maintaining a pantry at the house. Lately there have been some things in the news that have me wanting to get a bit more prepared. One of the things I was thinking about first was a "Get Home Bag". I work in Center City Phila and live in southern Delco. I use the regional rail lines to get to work so I will not have a vehicle with me which means I'd have to make the trek on foot. The way home takes me though South-West Phila and Chester City. My plan would be to stick to the Amtrak rail right-of-ways which is the most direct route and would keep me off of surface streets. Total distance door to door is about 22 miles which I think would take about 6-8 hours to walk in good weather conditions.

The scenario I was thinking about is where there is a regional power outage, roads are completely snarled with traffic and possibly some sort of civil unrest like looting or rioting thrown in for good measure. This may seem far-fetched to some people but I see it as an increasingly likely occurrence.

Off the top of my head this is what I would put in the bag. I probably forgot some things and listed a few things that are unnecessary. Trouble could come during any time of year, in any weather and at the beginning or end of my work day so I tied to take that into account. Let me know what you think.

Backpack w/ water bladder

-- Hiking boots (I'll be in dress shoes)
-- 2 pairs of socks
-- Cargo Pants/Shorts
-- Rain gear (poncho)

-- Camp Axe/Mechete/Woodsman's Pal
-- Multitool
-- Flashlight
-- Paracord
-- Compass
-- Lighter
-- Duct Tape

-- Tarp (10 mil or better)
-- Emergency Blanket

-- Bottled Water
-- Cliff bars
-- Packaged trail mix
-- Jerky

-- Cash (~$50 include some change)
-- First Aid Kit
-- Map
-- Deet/Bug repellent
-- Small pack of Baby Wipes
-- Handwarmers
-- Zip Ties
Ammunition, it's the new lead bullion. Buy it cheap and stack it deep.
Add some matches, whatcha gonna do when your lighter breaks?
Can you get a firearm in there or is that a no no at work?
das, proud to be a member of since Sep 2012.
das;148763 Wrote:Can you get a firearm in there or is that a no no at work?

Work prohibits firearms so I left it off the list.
Ammunition, it's the new lead bullion. Buy it cheap and stack it deep.
streaker69;148762 Wrote:Add some matches, whatcha gonna do when your lighter breaks?

I almost left out a way to start a fire completely because I just didn't think I'd be travelling long enough to need one. However if I got started late in the day with bad weather I may end up outside long enough to want a way to warm up. Some good matches and a few firestarters will go in the kit too. Thanks.
Ammunition, it's the new lead bullion. Buy it cheap and stack it deep.
I would pack everything in ziplock bags. Keeps your SHTF stuff dry/bug free. You compress the air out, maybe throw in some silica packs. The bags themselves can be useful on their own, too, and take up almost no space.

One thing I could just throw out there? If civil unrest is brewing and you are in the hot zone, you will likely see it coming far enough out to decide to call off work, or... if that is not an option, then add firearms and ammo and keep quiet about it.

Last year while the whole Zimmerman trial was going on and things were getting edgy, I added my 5.7 with 3 30rd mags and survival knife to my medical bag, and my Surefire light plus extra water and protein bars in my lunch bag (it's an Igloo soft backpack).

The thing is, where I need to go, those who see me regularly always see me rolling along with the same bags, regardless of what may or may not be in it.
tolerance for failure meter... LOW
Skip the matches, get yourself one of those 4 inch long flares from the boating/automobile sections at walmart. Can be used for signaling or starting fires(even when you have to start wet wood). Just make sure you can keep it dry. I found that they fit nicely in those mini m&m tube although they are a little long. Put the striking end in the tube and seal the other with duct tape or electrical tape or something.
[Image: picsay-1358258813.jpg]
Everyone needs a GHB. Here's mine, hope it helps.

I recommend packing and planning for where you spend most of your time when not at home base.

[Image: pafoasig.png]
Yikes! There is a whole lot of bad between your work and home. If I were you I would find someone like minded to go with if something happens. Assuming there would be a mass riot or something of that nature unless it happened within the first few hours of or so of getting to work (assuming you're a 9 to 5'er) you would be walking through some really shifty areas at night...and without a firearm even without an unrest situation that isn't something I would seriously consider doing alone unless I knew for a fact that a family member or something was in grave danger because I can't think of a safe route on foot between those general areas and I know all of Philly and it's suburbs very well. If there is an emergency of some kind that run is going to be twice as dangerous. I would put a heavy amount of thought into the path you would be taking home and mark it on your map then familiarize yourself with that route even if it is just following your intended path from afar if you can't directly access it just so you can spot the general landmarks you should see on your way. I'd be looking for abandoned and live railroads to follow to stay off the street. I would also try to find a spot to lay low for a couple hours if proceeding further at night is too dangerous. I think it might be safer otherwise to shelter in place and barricade yourself in at work with co-workers than to risk doing that walk without a gun, mace, or a tazer of some kind. If there were an LA riot type event happening you'd be fucked to try to make that trip on foot without having someone pull a Reginald Denny on you.

I'm interested to know what events have spurred this kind of thinking for you?
The forum poster formerly known as Emoticon...
Also, you want to add a folding utility razor knife to your list, I have a Dewalt folder in my gear that I've used quite a bit that never can extend it's blade by accident and fuck up your bag, it also doesn't require a screwdriver to change blades and the built in line cutter is a plus... ( Add to that 2 or 3 55 gallon 4 mil contractor bags. They can easily double as a poncho in addition to endless other uses. To top it off they take up very little space when folded, and their weight is negligible in addition to being very durable compared to a regular trash bag. I would also add one of these to your bag:

[Image: 153250_K_L.jpg]

It's a key for opening water valves and hatches like you would see out front of most commercial buildings. Normally, they have a few hatches on the exterior walls to hook hoses to in order to wash the sidewalks off and stuff, learn to identify them in your daily life and you'll notice them everywhere. With one of those you will stand a much better chance of having abundant access to fresh clean water, even if it's just to cool down or wash the grime off. You can find them at Home Depot or Lowes, they're cheap.
The forum poster formerly known as Emoticon...

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