How to Pick Items for a Go Bag

Is your “go bag” ready? Could you get to it, grab it and go in under a minute if you determined quickly that it was safest to leave the area you were in?

Make A Go Bag Now

Do not let the pursuit of go bag perfection stop you from having something ready right now! Go find any kind of bag, and put some energy bars, cans of food and a canopener, a spare blanket and a botttle of water in it and put it where you can grab it quickly. This is something almost everyone can manage to scrape together to start. Do it now, then come back and, over time, work on improving your go bag status with the tips in this and other articles.

What to Choose for a Better Go Bag?

What criteria should be used when picking items for a go bag? It depends on several things, and some of the things, such as what type of emergency you might face, are probably unknown up until the time you need the bag. Here are some thoughts.

1. Essential Items: The go bag should contain items that are essential for
survival such as food, water, shelter, and first aid supplies.

2. Duration: The duration of the emergency situation should be taken into
consideration when selecting items for the go bag. For an extended period, items
such as clothing, personal hygiene items, and medication should be included.

3. Weather Conditions: The climate and weather conditions of the area where you
are will determine the type of clothing and shelter materials to be included.

4. Mobility: Go bags should be lightweight and easily accessible, so it’s better
to choose items that are lighter and can be carried easily.

5. Frequency of Use: The items that you frequently use should also be included
in the go bag such as a phone charger, flashlight, and other electronics.

6. Skillset: The skills and expertise of the person carrying the bag should also
be a consideration when packing for the go bag. Some people may require items
such as tools, maps or specialized equipment.

7. Location: The location of the emergency should also be taken into
consideration when selecting items for the go bag. Items such as bug repellent,
trail map, or heating and cooling products should be taken into account for
different types of emergency situations.

Go Bag Items, General Examples

Below are some top basic tems people keep in a Go Bag to consider, with a few notes for each.

  • Water – Fresh water, frequently tested and refreshed. Pack at least 1 liter per day per person and consider a water filtration device in case you run out.
  • Non-Perishable Food – choose items that are high in calories and protein, such as nuts and energy bars, and don’t forget a can opener if needed. Try living and feeling healthy using only the food in your bag for three days. If you can do this, you are doing it right. You may notice, for example, that “energy bars” will make you sick after a few days.
  • First Aid Kit – include items such as bandages, antiseptic, pain relievers, and any necessary prescription medications. In addition to the basics, keep track of what you most needed over the course of a year and have some of that in your kit.
  • Multitool and Knife – choose a versatile tool with multiple functions for various situations.
  • Map and Compass – plan your route ahead of time and have a way to navigate off-grid.
  • Flashlight or Headlamp – include extra batteries and consider a hands-free option. LED flashlights last a long time. Also, consider dynamo light sources that work without batteries.
  • Extra Clothing – pack layers and consider weather conditions, including rain gear. Sturdy shoes, gloves, and a hat.
  • Emergency Shelter / Blanket – a lightweight, waterproof option for warmth and shelter such as a tent or tarp.
  • Duct Tape – a versatile tool for quick fixes, such as repairing gear and securing shelter.
  • Hygiene Items – include items such as wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper.
  • Cash – stash some extra cash in small denominations in case of a power outage or lost cards.
  • Phone / Battery Charger – choose a portable, high-capacity charger to keep your devices charged.
  • Emergency Whistle – use to signal for help or deter animals
  • Rope or Paracord – use for shelter building, gear hanging, or emergency repairs.
  • Fire Starter – pack matches, lighter, or firestarter with tinder for warmth and cooking.
  • Personal Documents – keep copies of driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, and insurance information in a waterproof container.
  • Radio – pack a battery or solar-powered radio for emergency broadcasts.
  • Gloves – protective gloves for handling objects or warmth.
  • Glasses / Sunglasses – For people with glasses, an extra pair. Protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays
  • Pen and paper – for taking notes, leaving messages, or leaving directions
  • Medications – Important medication and prescriptions.

Go Bag Testing

Be sure to test the utility of your go bag from time to time by hiking and or camping out with the items in it. You will likely find that extra weight really matters once you have to lug it around. Update your items once in a while, and especially refresh your go bag food and water supplies.

Go Bag – Ready!

In conclusion, a go bag is an essential emergency preparedness kit that contains all the necessary items you need to survive for at least 72 hours in the event of an emergency or disaster. It can include food, water, clothing, medicine, first aid kit, lighting sources, communication devices, cash, and important documents. By having a go bag prepared, you can help ensure that you are ready to face any unexpected circumstances that may arise, which can help you stay safe and survive until help arrives.

You Might Like ...