Updated: Oct 11, 2021

First off, I'd like to start with a generic statement of this is not information intended to save your life, do research and go with what best fits your individual needs. This is more of a guide or recommendations than rock solid information.

Well, let's start with what the titled bags are. They're all variations of purpose built packs or bags designed to do a variety of things. The GHB, Get Home Bag, is more along the lines of a 24-36 hour bag designed to get you home, as the title says. The BOB, Bug Out Bag, really shines and is designed for the 72 hour range; but I personally push this out to almost a weeks worth of supplies. The INCH, I'm Never Coming Home, is for the end all be all get the hell out of dodge bag. This is by far more extensive of a bag designed to carry everything you'll need to survive out in the wild and is generally saved for the most catastrophic events such as a complete over-run of your location.

Let's dig into the GHB first. Primarily in these bags, which are smaller in nature; you will find a variety of goods in these. As for myself, I carry a fanny pack with a water filter, fire starting supplies, meal replacement bars, a poncho, compass, laminated map of the area, flashlight, multi-tool, 550 cord, toilet paper coins, basic first aid kit, and a fixed blade knife. All of this is in addition to my EDC and tucks nicely into a fanny pack like the ones listed in the website. This pack is thrown in the back seat of my vehicle and ready to go whenever the need should arise.

These bags are generally made to support a person for the 12-36 hour range, providing the ability to come up with food and water as well as protection from the elements, to get them home. The items included are pretty self-explanatory.

For the next bag in this discussion, the BOB, this gets a little more in depth. The BOB is a good example of a 2-5 day bag but mostly focuses in the 3 day range, or 72 hours. These bags normally include all of the above in the GHB, with slight differences, and some other items not listed or generally used in a GHB.

Some differences in GHB and BOB are with a BOB, more extensive meals are included as well as a way to cook these meals. Freeze dried foods are extremely popular, as are MRE's. Thats where the difference between the GHB and BOB start. A BOB will have a stove of some sort in it. There's a metric ton of different options but they can be mostly broken down into solid, liquid, or gas stoves. The type of stove mostly depends on the preference of the person that built the bag, but for me, I'm partial solid fuel stoves like the Esbit cookers or the small folding stoves. That being said, I carry both a folding stove and a multi-fuel MSR stove. This redundancy note is pretty common in the "Prepping" community. You'll see this trend again.

Another set of items typically found in a BOB vs a GHB is clothing. A lot fo sources recommend 2 spare sets of socks, 2 pairs of under garments, and 2 spare base layer shirts. I carry all of the above and a small bar of soap just in case I can't make it back in the 3 days allotted with the supplies at hand. Now, keep in mind that the time of year will greatly effect what type of clothing items you will want to carry. Winter packs should include an extra set of base layer pants such as long John or thermal pants. Its also recommended that you make the appropriate adjustments to the types of base layers carried. Thermal socks would be way more beneficial that lightweight summer socks as well as a thermal top as opposed to a t-shirt.

A shelter is also a consideration to keep in mind when looking into a BOB. Emergency type shelters, made of thin reflective material work great short term, but they're prone to tearing and generally are reflective or high visibility, which is another consideration that I'll address later. A compact tent is always a good option or ultralight sleeping bag with a bevy cover. Both would suffice. I carry a wobble (quilted poncho liner) and a bevy cover in my pack. YMMV* Just keep in mind that you may not want to advertise your presence, so high visibility materials may want to be avoided.

While meal replacement bars may be lightweight and cheap, freeze dried meals are also lightweight and carry a good mix of proteins and carbs that you will need to make a trek home. There's also a good variety out there, ranging from breakfast meals to ice cream. These meals require water to rehydrate them, so that's a big consideration which we will address soon. I carry 3 meals. That's just the number that I go with because I hope to be able to RTB* within 36 hours. They're high protein and high carb meals that I have tried beforehand, which I believe is important that you get foods that you will like and enjoy rather than not wanting to eat them and getting weak.

I also recommend carrying some sort or fixed blade knife in this kit, as well as a sharpener. Something strong and durable that can be used as a general purpose knife as well as a baton for splitting smaller logs for firewood or whatever the need may be. Along these lines, I also recommend some sort of saw, be it a folding saw or the hand chain saws. The little wire ones are junk unless you're cutting twigs not much bigger than your index finger, been there and done that with epic failure. Having a fire is paramount and without a way to get wood to a suitable condition for a fire, things could go sideways. Another good option along these lines, a person could carry a small hatchet of decent quality. A flat file would be great to throw in as well simply because of the light weight and also all the uses for said file.

Fire is super important for multiple reasons. It deters animals, useful for cooking or boiling water, and also for keeping warm... think winter. A good fire starter is a must have. Again, YMMV. Mag bars, matches, ferro rods... whatever works for you and you're practiced with, pack it and a backup. In my experience, the best has been a big lighter. Think about it, chances are you'll have some sort of tinder, be it natural like leaves or bark shavings to whatever you have on hand like paper from a notebook or the compressed toilet paper coins I HIGHLY recommend everyone to carry in their EDC.

The final bag is the scariest concept to look into. This is the INCH kit, or the I'm Never Coming Home kit. This kit is a last resort in most cases. This is the kit that you grab when you're about to be over run from your home/base or if you have to leave because of resources or external threats.

This kit could potentially have the same items as the BOB, but upgraded, and other items that are intended for longer term use. A decent quality and quantity cook pot vs a 20oz cup. A camp axe vs a hatchet. A full sleeping bag vs a bivy cover. Some other items that I would recommend carry would be a way to hunt ie. Archery tackle or a rifle or PCC with spare mags and ammo; a snare kit, a pocket fishing kit, and a good quality tarp or ground cover or tent.

The logic behind these items is that you're not coming home. What you carry is all that you have unless you're able to scavenge other goods or equipment. That means that this pack will probably be heavy and bulky unless you have forethought and have cachéd items along a preplanned route of evacuation, but that's a different subject and blog all together.

This breakdown of the different types of bags and kits as well as the different gear included is meant to be a set of recommendations, not a must have list. What you need or want to carry may be different and I encourage research and field testing.

I hope you enjoyed this article and consider these recommendations for potential gear. A lot of these items can be found on this website for sale, but don't forget to do some research and find the gear that best suits your needs. Also become proficient with your gear before you rely on it.

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