Bug Out Bag, Get Home Bag, Everyday Carry Bag, what’s the difference?

Hello my friend and welcome back!  I had a new reader who confessed that she was confused, about all of the different types of bags and what each was needed for.  While I think most Veteran Preppers know, I doubt they could agree on them and that in itself can be confusing.  I’m going to try to answer this question the best I can in today’s post, so grab a cup of coffee and have a seat while we visit.

Prepping can be very confusing to most new Preppers and this is just one of those parts that they need to understand.  Now, granted that many people will have their own definition for each of these as well as what should be in them, but here are mine.  If yours doesn’t match, don’t worry because there is no wrong answer here, because opinions and situations differ.

Let’s start with the one that most people are aware of and that is the BOB (Bug Out Bag).  A lot of people seem to have varying opinions about that and as such,view it in different ways.  For an example, I have a friend who is convinced that this is the only bag you should ever need and there are a lot of people out there that would agree.

Unfortunately I don’t. I do agree that if you can only have one, then that is the one to have, but because you need it to contain everything you could possibly need, it tends to be pretty heavy.  Its size and weight is what makes it impractical in some situations.

Then there is the “Get Home Bag”, which is smaller and more compact with supplies for roughly 72 hours of food and water as well as a minimum of other items. This bag is just to last until you can get home and get back to your BOB and supplies.   While people work different distances from work, what they keep in them varies as well.  The rule of thumb that I use is:  if you are lucky, the average person can walk about 25 miles in a day, given that they are in reasonably good shape and have good shoes on.  A good pair of walking shoes or hiking boots is an essential item in a get home bag, as well as several pairs of good, dry hiking sock.

The “Get Home Bag” is used for just what the name implies and that is to get home, if you become stuck are trapped out away from your home.  Just consider what items you might need to get there.  Try to keep it light as possible because even a light bag ,will become very heavy after a few minutes of waking, if you’re not used to it.  This is one reason I like to have a separate bag for getting home, as opposed to having only one big bag.  It’s a personal choice and like I said, there is no wrong answer other than not having a bag with you at all.

Now let’s look at the EDC Bag (Every Day Carry Bag), which seems to be the one that raises the most questions. The reason it is so misunderstood is that people just rely but don’t understand what it is meant for. Now again, some people may have a different opinion of this, but this is what I was taught and it actually makes a lot of sense.

The EDC Bag is a very small bag that you can take with you, into your office or place of work and keep it with you at all time.  Its sole purpose is to allow you to keep on you a few simple items, which you may need to escape from a building if you become trapped. Situations like a tornado, earthquake or even a terrorist attack.  The way things are going nowadays you just never know when you will need it. You will want things like a small flashlight and batteries, a few of those small pouches of drinking water you can buy on-line. A good pocket knife with a folding blade is another necessity. I also keep a key ring in mine with several of those small pocket tool items on it. A good multi-tool is also a good alternative as well. And last but not least, is a good Bic lighter just in case you need it.

Here is the breakdown then:

  • Bug Out Bag – These should contain as much as you can carry and are based on the assumption that you will not be returning home or at least not in the foreseeable future. These are usually large Bags or backpacks and are kept somewhere close to the door of your home so they can be grabbed at a moment’s notice.
  • The Get Home Bag – This is a bag that you usually keep in your car while traveling to and from work. It is usually a medium-sized bag with just what you will need to return home if you had to walk.
  • The Everyday Bag – is a very small bag that you can carry with you into you place of work just for in case you become trapped. The one I use fits nicely on my belt and I carry it everywhere I go at all times.  It’s comforting to know that in an emergency you have a fighting chance to make it safely out.

However you see it, it’s a personal choice, as well as what you put in them.  I hope that in some way this may have clarified what each bag is and as well as what it is used for.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.  Well, that is it for today and until next time, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared.  God Save America!



6 thoughts on “Bug Out Bag, Get Home Bag, Everyday Carry Bag, what’s the difference?”

  1. Great topic sarge. I’m not being critical, but for me a GHB is very different. I travel for a living – up to 375 miles from home. My GHB must contain shelter/sleep arrangements and everything I’d need to walk for 5 – 6 weeks.
    – My number 1 prep which I’m never without is my G21 (.45 ACP). I’d give up everything else before that.
    – I carry a Katadyn water filter and a LifeStraw, so I don’t worry about water, but food is my greatest concern. There’s just no way I can carry that much food. I do have about 10 Mountain House freeze-dried meals, so that’s a start, but they take up a lot of room so I can’t fit anymore in.
    My answer appears to be hunt/fish/forage, barter or even beg if it comes to that. I carry 20 silver ounces in case I have to barter.
    – I try to keep a close watch on the news and if things look dicey I throw my .22 rifle in the van before I leave. I’d hate to try to make that walk without it, but that’s a lot of weight to add to my preps.
    – My fire prep is two small containers of cotton balls smeared in Vaseline along with a couple of Bic lighters. You don’t even need an entire cotton ball, just tear a little piece off one and that’s enough to hold a flame to get some tinder going.
    – I keep lots of other stuff in my GHB. Knives, mess kit, poncho, first-aid. I think I’m up to about 30 lbs including the Glock. I know that seems heavy, but 375 miles is a long way to walk, camping out every night.

    • I certainly understand and it sounds like you have it pretty well thought out. There is a lot of difference between having to walk 350 miles rather than the 15 – 20 most people commute. The thing is to pack based on how far you may need to walk. It’s good to know that you are well prepared my friend. 🙂

    • I’m in the same boat as Silver. My GHB is more like a BOB. I too carry my g23 along with my 10/22. Food is the main issue and I have a separate bag with additional food. It still won’t be enough. It’s all too heavy to carry though so I bought a collapsible game cart with very large wheels. Hopefully this will help me manage at least the beginning of the trek home. I’m planning on at least 3 weeks and think it unlikely to make it in that time. Biggest fear is people!

  2. Good morning sarge. I seem to be on my second cup of joe, every time you post a new article. I keep a bag in my truck along with water, filter and Datrex bars. I don’t call it a bug out bag because I am at my bugout location and because if heath issues, neither I or my wife will be able to bugout unless it’s a tornado flood or fire. I mainly keep the bag because if I break down or for some reason gas isn’t available or an emp strike incapacitated my vehicle, I will have no choice but to walk home. My hope is that when the balloon goes up, I’m at home, but I am capable of walking home albeit very slowly.


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