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Go Bag - contents and rationale

This is a discussion on Go Bag - contents and rationale within the Self Defense forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; To avoid going OT and polluting the EDC thread, a new Go Bag specific thread has been created. Speaking generally, ...


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Old April 3rd, 2013   #1
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Go Bag - contents and rationale

To avoid going OT and polluting the EDC thread, a new Go Bag specific thread has been created.

Speaking generally, a Go Bag is a bag containing pieces of kit which are helpful or potentially necessary for some to have, in the event that do not have access to their regular places of residence, work, etc. in the event of an incident or disaster of some sort. They are most often intended to be grabbed quickly in the event a rapid exit is required.

As has been demonstrated in the last few years, the potential causes which can temporarily force someone out of their home wor workplace are myriad. These range from natural disasters like a tropical cyclone/typhoon/hurricane, tornado, blizzard, earthquake, wildfire, sinkhole and more, to manmade events or causes, like a bomb threat, hostage situation/LEO standoff, structure fire or damage, or a HazMat incident.

In many of the above cases, people can still safely remain inside their work or home. For times when people cannot, and have to leave rapidly, a Go Bag can be invaluable.

Now, as I offered before, I will list an inventory of my Go Bag(s). My Go Bag(s) itself/themselves are actually two different bags. They are a 5.11 RUSH72 pack and 5.11 RUSH MOAB10 bag respectively, which can be strapped together using the 5.11 RUSH Tier system.

Contents of the MOAB10 will go up first. The RUSH72 contents might be a few days.

-Cheers

EDIT: I have included links to some of the more specific and 'high-end' pieces of kit which I have and like/prefer to use so that people can see what items looks like. I have no stake in either company, so there is not advantage or disadvantage to me in what people might select, I just happen to personally like using 5.11 and AMK products, but others might have different preferences. People should use whatever works for them.
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Last edited by Todjaeger; April 4th, 2013 at 12:46 AM. Reason: Additional disclaimer comment
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Old April 4th, 2013   #2
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RUSH MOAB10 bag contents

Here are the current contents of my RUSH MOAB10 (1,062 cu. in./17.4L) Go Bag

Suunto MC-2 orienteering compass
2 5.11 H2O MOLLE bottle carriers
2 32-oz Nalgene water bottles
2 steel cups
50 oz. Camelbak bladder with insulated hose and bite guard
20 Potable Aqua chlorine dioxide water purification tablets
a 5.11 C5 MOLLE pouch
a Yaesu VX-8GR 2-m/70-cm radio
6 glowsticks
orange surival bandana
emergency rain poncho
emergency survival blanket
utilty knife/boxcutter
compact toothbrush
travel size toothpaste tube
travel soap packet
Orion orange smoke SAR signal
compact toilet paper roll
5-in-1 compass/whistle/mirror/flint/waterproof matchcase
AMK SOL Scout kit
compact fishing/snare kit
Bison orange paracord survival keyfob
waterproof pill keyfob
a 5.11 ATAC A1 flashlight
10 toilet seat covers
Compressed pack towel
P-51 can opener
AAA powered LED flashlight
3 spare AAA batteries
pack of Storm matches
2 tea candles
packet of tissues
roll of duct tape
a AMK Emegency Bivy
3 Mil heavy duty contractor plastic bag
100 ft yellow paracord with reflective tracer
a Mayday 2400 cal. Emergency ration bar
a AMK Mountain series Comprehensive Medical Kit

To the Comprehensive Medical Kit I have added the below contents
2 5" x 5" Quikclot clotting sponges
2 2-gram Celox hemostatic agent packets
Vexor OC cleansing wipe
pair of trauma shears
bandage scissors
Rite in the Rain pad
Fisher space pen
Wind/water proof matches
2 extra oral rehydration salts
2 Emergen-C energy packets

-Cheers
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Last edited by Todjaeger; April 4th, 2013 at 12:47 AM. Reason: Added MOAB10 volume
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Old April 4th, 2013   #3
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Wow, you are a bit prepared.

Mine is a simple 60 pound capacity backpack normally used to haul a laptop around. I picked it up for about $60 from Swiss Gear.

I primarily have

1 roll toilet paper
4 bottles, 20oz, water
2 Unscented sanitary napkins (for the ladies or bandages)
1 pack quick-clot
1 Small first aid kit

4 Campbell's 'Soup to Go' - Non condensed soup in a bag, or other non dehydrated, no refrigeration meals

1 roll ace bandage
Pocket knife
Multi-tool
2 Rain poncho's
1 roll electrical tape
2 small flashlights
batteries for flashlights
6' * 8' tarp
2 road flares
1 can 'Fix a flat'
cigarette lighter power adapter charger. Turns car cigarette lighter into 110 outlet.
20 strike anywhere matches in water proof tube
metal fork / spoon
2 five hour energy bottles.


My big concern is when traveling and being broke down alongside the highway, but also what something useful if I am at work and need to get home during an emergency and the roads are not open, car doesn't work, etc. I keep this bag in my car at all times. I also go to the firing range a lot and wanted something for when some idiot shoots himself or someone else. Its a public range and you sometimes get the clueless out there.
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Old April 4th, 2013   #4
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Wow, you are a bit prepared.
That is just my little bag, which attaches to another bag which is more than twice as large...


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4 Campbell's 'Soup to Go' - Non condensed soup in a bag, or other non dehydrated, no refrigeration meals
One consideration if keeping/carrying canned/packaged soups as a food source (apart from the fact that they are heavy...) is that one needs to be careful of the sodium content. While there is liquid in the soup, often there is so much sodium that they can dehydrate a person.

Over the weekend I should be able to break apart my RUSH72 for an inventory.

-Cheers
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Old April 4th, 2013   #5
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I'd recommend getting a fire steel, waterproof matches are great and everything, but for a decent price you can get something which lasts for over 10,000 strikes. The Royal Marines pack tampons too, packed with cotton wool, you can even go as far as to buy tinned natural tinder packed full of resin if you wanted.

Course, from my perspective it's all academic because I don't have a setup, but i'd certainly think about buying a couple of 24 hour ration packs and at least sift through the more crucial items and packing them in.
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Old April 4th, 2013   #6
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That's a good point about the Sodium as the Campbell soup to go has about 700 mg of sodium in it. I packed it because they were lite, did not require cooking or water, and I had a coupon for them

I forgot to mention I have a web belt with two 1 quart canteens on it which I usually throw in the car if I know I am going on a long trip. Having broken down on the interstate and having to walk 8 miles to find civilization at 2:00am has taught me a lesson about carrying water and being prepared.
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Old April 4th, 2013   #7
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I'd recommend getting a fire steel, waterproof matches are great and everything, but for a decent price you can get something which lasts for over 10,000 strikes. The Royal Marines pack tampons too, packed with cotton wool, you can even go as far as to buy tinned natural tinder packed full of resin if you wanted.
Some of the stuff that is missing from my Go Bag is because they are already in my pockets...

Also, the RUSH72 expands the type and numbers available.

-Cheers
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Old April 4th, 2013   #8
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Here are the current contents of my RUSH MOAB10 (1,062 cu. in./17.4L) Go Bag

Suunto MC-2 orienteering compass
2 5.11 H2O MOLLE bottle carriers
2 32-oz Nalgene water bottles
2 steel cups
50 oz. Camelbak bladder with insulated hose and bite guard
20 Potable Aqua chlorine dioxide water purification tablets
a 5.11 C5 MOLLE pouch
a Yaesu VX-8GR 2-m/70-cm radio
6 glowsticks
orange surival bandana
emergency rain poncho
emergency survival blanket
utilty knife/boxcutter
compact toothbrush
travel size toothpaste tube
travel soap packet
Orion orange smoke SAR signal
compact toilet paper roll
5-in-1 compass/whistle/mirror/flint/waterproof matchcase
AMK SOL Scout kit
compact fishing/snare kit
Bison orange paracord survival keyfob
waterproof pill keyfob
a 5.11 ATAC A1 flashlight
10 toilet seat covers
Compressed pack towel
P-51 can opener
AAA powered LED flashlight
3 spare AAA batteries
pack of Storm matches
2 tea candles
packet of tissues
roll of duct tape
a AMK Emegency Bivy
3 Mil heavy duty contractor plastic bag
100 ft yellow paracord with reflective tracer
a Mayday 2400 cal. Emergency ration bar
a AMK Mountain series Comprehensive Medical Kit

To the Comprehensive Medical Kit I have added the below contents
2 5" x 5" Quikclot clotting sponges
2 2-gram Celox hemostatic agent packets
Vexor OC cleansing wipe
pair of trauma shears
bandage scissors
Rite in the Rain pad
Fisher space pen
Wind/water proof matches
2 extra oral rehydration salts
2 Emergen-C energy packets

-Cheers
First Up.... totally commend you on preparedness there. Great work. Only thing that probably strikes me is that you may be missing some of the more mundane less survival aspects of a GO Bag. Things like the spare set of clothes so when you arive at the local evac center you can get changed. And naturally important documents and contact numbers etc, oh and hard cash, you cant beat cold hard cash ready to go (it could be the difference between a 3 hour hike or a taxi ride, or sleeping on a gym floor with errate randoms or a secure motel).

Its certainly more exciting to think about preparing to grab a go bag and building a camp in the mountains for a week but I would guess the vast majority of fast evac cases you may face (fire/flood/eathquake/terror attack/hazmat/gunman in street etc) would see you siting in a evac centre, motel room or friends floor so having a couple extra things to make life a lot more barable in that circumstance would certainly be a winner. i.e Minimum extra full set of clothing for each member of the family *perhaps in a water proof garbage bag/maybe double bagged just to keep them bone dry*. Anyway I dont mean to pick I just find myself thinking instantly at wilderness survival stuff too when I think of a GO/Get Home Bag so I also need to correct myself back toward more likely scenario's.
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Old April 4th, 2013   #9
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First Up.... totally commend you on preparedness there. Great work. Only thing that probably strikes me is that you may be missing some of the more mundane less survival aspects of a GO Bag. Things like the spare set of clothes so when you arive at the local evac center you can get changed. And naturally important documents and contact numbers etc, oh and hard cash, you cant beat cold hard cash ready to go (it could be the difference between a 3 hour hike or a taxi ride, or sleeping on a gym floor with errate randoms or a secure motel).

Its certainly more exciting to think about preparing to grab a go bag and building a camp in the mountains for a week but I would guess the vast majority of fast evac cases you may face (fire/flood/eathquake/terror attack/hazmat/gunman in street etc) would see you siting in a evac centre, motel room or friends floor so having a couple extra things to make life a lot more barable in that circumstance would certainly be a winner. i.e Minimum extra full set of clothing for each member of the family *perhaps in a water proof garbage bag/maybe double bagged just to keep them bone dry*. Anyway I dont mean to pick I just find myself thinking instantly at wilderness survival stuff too when I think of a GO/Get Home Bag so I also need to correct myself back toward more likely scenario's.
Couple of key points. The most important one is that I have only gone over the smaller of the two bags. My RUSH72 is a 2,639 cu. in. or 43L bag which has extras of some of the stuff in my MOAB10, and it also has other things which are bulkier and do not fit into a 17L bag.

I specifically have the two bags organized so that I can carry and use them in tandem. The one I have gone over so far has mostly real basic emergency supplies and my packable medical kit. The idea is that if I need to hike out of an area for some reason (area impassable to cars, etc) I can strap my Go Bag to my back and do so. If some some reason I need to move more quickly or I can setup a base camp, then I can drop the RUSH72 and just have the MOAB10 strapped to my back and I will still have some things just in case.

Things which are in the RUSH72 are an Esbit stove with hexamine fuel tablets, more water purification tablets, a tube tent, complete set of clothes, titanium spork, solar/crank NOAA weather radio with flashlight and USB charging socket, camp cook set, and more...

As for spending time at emegency shelters... I have a jump kit with me (medical kit used by EMT's) along with my daypack so I have things to keep myself occupied with during downtime, since I am one of the people who run/staff area emergency shelters as well as respond to EMS calls.

-Cheers
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Old April 4th, 2013   #10
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Couple of key points. The most important one is that I have only gone over the smaller of the two bags. My RUSH72 is a 2,639 cu. in. or 43L bag which has extras of some of the stuff in my MOAB10, and it also has other things which are bulkier and do not fit into a 17L bag.

I specifically have the two bags organized so that I can carry and use them in tandem. The one I have gone over so far has mostly real basic emergency supplies and my packable medical kit. The idea is that if I need to hike out of an area for some reason (area impassable to cars, etc) I can strap my Go Bag to my back and do so. If some some reason I need to move more quickly or I can setup a base camp, then I can drop the RUSH72 and just have the MOAB10 strapped to my back and I will still have some things just in case.

Things which are in the RUSH72 are an Esbit stove with hexamine fuel tablets, more water purification tablets, a tube tent, complete set of clothes, titanium spork, solar/crank NOAA weather radio with flashlight and USB charging socket, camp cook set, and more...

As for spending time at emegency shelters... I have a jump kit with me (medical kit used by EMT's) along with my daypack so I have things to keep myself occupied with during downtime, since I am one of the people who run/staff area emergency shelters as well as respond to EMS calls.

-Cheers
Awesome to hear. Sounds like you've seen first hand what not being prepared looks like when people rock up at those shelters? I'll be the first to raise my hand and say I don't have a GO bag. I do have a get home bag in my car and it does contain a lot of essentials but really I'd want a hell of a lot more if I had to evac my home for even a single night. Seeing as I've got a wife and 2 young kids I'd have to load the car fast. Even a single night away ideally needs a lot of gear. Kinda leaves me unsure where to start, in the end I just went for the basic essentials that I keep in both cars. Anything more serious I'd have to prep on the spot and hope that I'd have the luxury of a spare 5 minutes and a car to load up.
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Old April 5th, 2013   #11
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I'll be the first to raise my hand and say I don't have a GO bag. I do have a get home bag in my car and it does contain a lot of essentials.
Essentially, that is what my pack is for. To get me home where the main supplies are. Those are in two plastic drums so they can be quickly loaded into the car to get outta dodge if needed. No clothes though, so that was a great tip.
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Old April 6th, 2013   #12
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A few things I like to carry around:
* I like small waterproof LED torches with AAA batteries and I use Lithium non rechargeable AAA in them. 10 year shelf life, and last over a month frequent use
* Solar panel with USB output for phone recharging. I even use this when in hotels in countries I don't have an adapter.
* Pastic bic Cig lighter in addition to striker.
* Two emergency blankets (you really need two IMO).
* Lip Balm and sunscreen (great if you are ever de-hydrated or outside a lot)
* Basic Medical grade disinfectant (Betadine), needle, thread, tweezers.This and gaffa tape is my entire medical kit.
* Gym stuff (socks, shorts, shirt) as pj's or something comfy and light to cover ground in or get dirty.
* baseball cap (great in rain or sun)
* Chewing gum (fix fuel tanks, reduce moistureloss, adhesive, etc)
* I carry a small saw and a trowel and a small adjustable spanner

I have like a 20L backpack. Mostly for bad weather. My mums place is accessible only by water, and my place is rural in the forest. So downed trees/road collapses usually mean a few hours in the rain moving branches/trees with a small hand saw. Ezbit stove is a good idea, but I had a bad experience where I tried to take one in my check in luggage on a flight (apparently they look and smell like bombs?!).
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Old April 6th, 2013   #13
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Essentially, that is what my pack is for. To get me home where the main supplies are. Those are in two plastic drums so they can be quickly loaded into the car to get outta dodge if needed. No clothes though, so that was a great tip.
Having some of the liquid multi-purpose camp soap and a mesh bag would also be good. It can allow for taking 'birdbath' type washups which are good for health and comfort reasons, as well as allowing to clean and change clothes. Soak, wash and rinse the original set of clothing worn, then stuff them into the mesh bag and allow it to hang from somewhere or from the pack itself to dry out. For prolonged situations where access to washing facilities can be limited, having this sort of rig can make things both more comfortable and healthy.

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* Solar panel with USB output for phone recharging. I even use this when in hotels in countries I don't have an adapter.
* Two emergency blankets (you really need two IMO).

I have like a 20L backpack. Mostly for bad weather. My mums place is accessible only by water, and my place is rural in the forest. So downed trees/road collapses usually mean a few hours in the rain moving branches/trees with a small hand saw. Ezbit stove is a good idea, but I had a bad experience where I tried to take one in my check in luggage on a flight (apparently they look and smell like bombs?!).
Depending on where one is, some solar panels do not perform all that well if there are regular breaks in direct sunlight to the panel. What can happen is that the panel could spend five minutes recharging a battery, have a cloud break the direct sunlight, then have the panel stop the recharge until told to resume. Just something to keep in mind for people who intend on having a significant amount of electronics with them.

As for emergency blankets, I myself usually have a couple since they are generally one use. When I have the space and weight available though I also like and use a Grabber All Weather Blanket, since that is a heavy duty resusable space blanket. The construction is such that it makes a good ground clothe to prevent moisture from rising up and soaking someone sleeping on damp ground, while the heat/radar reflecting aluminum backing on one side will help keep one warm. With the grommets, it is also possible to use the space blanket as a shelter top to keep off rain, while again reflecting back the body heat of those underneath.

As for issues taking an Esbit stove aboard a plane... The fuel tablets would be one of the things a chemical sniffer would try and detect, since their presence could suggest a manufactured HE charge like what was used in the London bombings in 2005.

-Cheers
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Old April 7th, 2013   #14
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I'd recommend getting a fire steel, waterproof matches are great and everything, but for a decent price you can get something which lasts for over 10,000 strikes.
I've got a bag of magnesium shavings which I bought in the UK

you only need a pinch to start a major fire, a handful would make it a thermobaric device /grin
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Old April 7th, 2013   #15
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I've got a bag of magnesium shavings which I bought in the UK

you only need a pinch to start a major fire, a handful would make it a thermobaric device /grin
Mixting some magnesium shavings into gel like alcohol-impregnated hand sanitizer or petroleum jelly can also help by being additional combustable material and allowing the magnesium to 'stick' to whatever one is trying to ignite. This can come in handy in windy conditions or on unstable ground. Not something I would recommend trying to get through a security check point though, since it would likely cause unpleasant questions to be asked.

-Cheers
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