Get Me Home Bags, INCH Bags, and Bugout Bags
I was playing the Conflicted card game with our daughter and son-in-law (almost had to wrestle the deck back from Brea, she loved it) and one of the questions asked what you would do if you were 1,200 mile away from home on vacation when the SHTF and you had darn few supplies in your car. The question asked if you would just stay put, since you were so far away and were lacking gear, or would you embark on the very lengthy and likely dangerous, trek home.
Well, I snickered a bit at the question, I would never find myself 1,200 miles away from home without essential emergency gear. Ammo, long term storage food, and first aid items would definitely take precedence over a few extra pairs of cute wedge heels and funky headbands, in my suitcases.
Brea and James readily agreed with both the preparedness disclaimer I uttered before answering the Conflicted game question, and my decision to start the long hard journey home on foot immediately – a proud prepper momma moment right there!
The Conflicted card game questions are very good discussion starters to use with your family and your tribe (AKA mutual assistance group) this particular one would be an eye-opener for a newbie prepper or a non-prepper you are attempting to educate, it just made me utter a chuckle of superiority because “me and mine” would never find ourselves in such dire straits due to a lack of gear on board.
Although prepping is now second nature to me and I consider it a form of insurance that brings peace and reassurance to my life, once upon a time I did not keep a get me home bag in my SUV and did not possess a concealed carry permit. Thinking back to the time when I left myself so vulnerable makes me cringe and leaves me grateful that I was never left huddling along the side of the road in fear after disaster struck.
Bugout bags, INCH bags, and get me home bags, should be compiled for everyone in the family. The bugout bags should contain enough food, sheltering items, water filtration equipment, fire starters, and a first aid kit for the carrier to survive for 72 hours after leaving the home. An INCH bag is a more serious version of a bugout bag. These will be heavier and contain more in-depth survival gear, since the carrier does not expect to ever return.
A get me home bag is a version of the bugout bag that is packed with items designed to get the carrier back home from about an hour or two away on foot. Disasters both regional and national can strike at any time. The get me home bag in your trunk will come in quite handy when hoofing it home from an evening out to do dinner and a movie 35 miles away from home.
Although determining every item that should be included in a get-home bag will differ from person to person, the basic tools and gear needed are the same. When planning a bag supply list, carefully consider the types of natural disasters which are common in your region and address those needs first when budgeting for bag contents. A power grid down scenario, terrorist attack, or civil unrest can occur everywhere, but severe winter storms, tornados, and earthquakes are more prone to specific regions of the country and should be among the primary concerns when determining how preparedness funds will be spent.
If you do not homeschool your children, include a basic first aid kit, a map with the route home highlighted, directions to survival caches along the route, several nutritional bars and a survival straw in their school backpack. The child, regardless of age, must be taught how to respond if at school or on a field trip when disaster strikes. A teacher will not allow a student to simply ignore the shelter in place and wait for help rules that the district likely has in place.
Children cannot even take toy guns to play with at recess like we could as youngsters, so placing any type of self-defense item in a backpack is not an option. Survival caches buried between home and school offer not only additional food, water, and first aid supplies, but age appropriate self-defense items as well. Several bottles of mace and a knife will not offer much help when faced with an armed individual, but possessing such items would at least give your child some small way to defend himself.