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GHB significantly different from BOB? Contents?

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Bolster, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    (1) Do you think a GHB (get home bag) is significantly different from a BOB, or do you think they're pretty much the same, and use one bag for both purposes?

    (2) If you have a separate GHB, and think the GHB requires different content (or amount), how's your GHB different from your BOB? What are the contents of your GHB?

    The reason I'm asking: I'm trying to assemble a GHB, because my BOB is just too big for daily schlepping in my vehicle. I'm trying hard to keep the GHB to a reasonable size and weight, so I'm starting to think of my new GHB as a minimalist BOB.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  2. ratf51


    Aug 6, 2010
    NW GA
    I keep a Get Home Bag in my car. Its purpose: provide me what I might need in order to get home. At worst, I am a days walk away from home. Food is minimal in my bag, I have the ability to purify water (lots of water sources in my area), a first aid kit, the ability to start a fire, a multi-tool (Leatherman Wave), and a few other nik-naks that I think might be useful.

    I do not have a Bug Out Bag because I have no place to bug too. The BOB would be set up for providing for more needs for more days.

    I change what type of bag I use seasonally. Spring/Summer I go to a smaller bag (Hawkepak Civil Defense Survival Kit), Fall/Winter I use an REI daypack because I keep some additions to clothing for colder weather.

    My worst case would be a 40 mile hike; but where I am that would be mostly rural travel. How long would it take to work your way across the metro LA area? And based on that, you would probably have need of a few things I would not.

    List those things that you think you would need, compare to others' lists (which you are trying to do here), and continue to think "minimalist". To my mind the objective is to get home as quickly as possible, too much stuff can slow you down, but not enough could possibly prevent you from completing the trip. The hard part is trying to find the happy medium (the Amazing Kreskin having a good day.)

  3. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Good reply that helps me find my target. I have a Jansport school-type pack, but I may not be thinking minimalist enough yet.

    Contents dump: Atwood tool, Bags large plastic x3, Band aid assortment, Bandage ace, Bandage triangular, Bandana x2, Batteries lithium 5AA, Blanket emergency, Bottle 16 oz, Can opener, Carabiner, Compass, Crayons x2, Croakies, Earplugs, Flashlight L2D 2AA, Flashlight diffuser, Flashlight Icon II 1AA headlamp, Flint & Striker, Floss, Food: dry fruit & bar, Fork & Spoon, Gatorade powder, Gauze pads, Glasses spare, Goggles, Gloves nitrile & work, Hat, Kleenex, Knee pads, Knife folding, Leash, Line 6lb x 10yd, Liq: Bleach, Liq: Hand sterilizer, Liq: Sunblock 15, Maps, Mask N95 x2, Matches, Moleskin, Multitool Leatherman, Paper pad, Pen Sharpie, Pencil, Pipette, Pins safety, Poncho, Pouch, Pry bar 10", Radio 2AA, Razor safety, Rope 1/4x50, Rubber bands, Ruler 3”, Saw (wire style), Scissors, Soap, Socks x3, Sticks popsicle, Swivel for line, Tape caution, Tape duct, Tape medical, Tinder, Thread & needle, Tweezers, Water Bottle, Wipes, Wire copper, Wrench adj., Whistle. In the car to be added last minute: Water, cash, cell phone, OC spray, boots.

    Listed like that, it seems too much. It's 11 lbs without the water added.
  4. Aceman


    Nov 30, 2008
    My bags are my bags. I select the combo appropriate for the task.

    I have more load out options if I'm starting at home.

    Otherwise, all the same.

    Belt pack
    Back Pack

    Each layer let's me do more/easier and stay out longer. depending on a situation, there might be more/less food/ammo.

    I always go minimal, and never leave them static - fill & forget. I keep them changing all the time. Always thinking about what I need at THIS moment for THIS situation. They really are basics.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  5. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    It depends. In my previous work location, the distance home was significantly further than what it is today. I carried 1 of the 2 BOBs in my vehicle, which included more supplies (including more water, more food, etc) than my GHB today.

    My company moved and my commute is relatively short. I no longer need or want the 35-40 lbs BOB. I now have a Max Jumbo Versipak that has just what I need (or think I need) to get me home in an emergency. It's much lighter, easier to carry, and less obvious than the huge BOB.

    I posted a picture of the GHB and contents some time ago. I'd have to try & dig it up. Off the top of my head -
    2 bottles of water
    2 energy bars
    n95 mask
    first aid supplies
    flashlight with extra batteries
    extra 100 rds of 9mm in a sealed bag
    compass, mag, and my handheld GPS is in the vehicle
    radio with small hand crank for power
    wire cutters
    magnesium firestarter
    ...probably more that I'm forgetting

    I always have a pocket knife on me, firearms, etc.
  6. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Fwiw (and not at all meaning to sound sarcastic) the search function does dig up quite a bit. Quick search for "ghb" dredged these up; may be worth looking at:

    {eta - my take on it, from one of those threads}:

    To me, a ghb is a very different animal from a bob. My ghb kit is to get me home (or to my secondary residence or my place of work) in the event that I must abandon my vehicle and find myself suddenly on foot. BOB kit imo is very different - while a ghb kit is carried in the vehicle and used to get home if the vehicle is abandoned, a bob kit is at home and grabbed if home has to be suddenly abandoned. Chemical spill by a rail car, incident at a nuke plant or whatever the cause; if you have to leave home suddenly, without a known return date, that's what a bob is for.

    Boiled down, I guess it comes down to this (for me at least):
    - ghb is for getting home when abandoning my vehicle
    - bob is for when abandoning home

    Lots of overlap in requirements, but not completely the same; in function or scale either one. A bob-required incident could mean a week at a red cross shelter, it could mean driving (or hoofing it) to a family member's house out of your immediate area, anything up to & including a full-on, no-end-date-known incident where there's a LOT of people affected and it's just plain old get-out-of-dodge time in order to survive whatever is behind you.

    A ghb imo doesn't need to be nearly as extensive or expansive as a bob. Personally, I hate the idea of needing a bob; to the point of having more than one preset safe haven in three different towns. Could still need to and am prepared to if necessary, but not what I want if I can at all prevent it. I don't want my wife to have to go thru that, and believe it's my responsibility to prevent her having to if at all possible.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  7. How far away from home do you usually find yourself?
    For me it's never more than 20 miles on a normal day so getting home should only be a hard day walking. Maybe two days if there is some kind of big disaster and bridges are out ect.
    My GHB is fairly minimalist.


    Couple food bars, multitool, flashlight with batteries, FAK, pocket waterfilter and firestarting stuff.
    I keep water and extra warm clothes in both my cars so I can grab that if need be.
    My BOB on the other hand is WAY overpacked. I figure if I'm grabbing that I might not be coming back.
  8. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    Found the old thread/post...contents have changed some since then and have been updated below


    FoxLabs Pepper Spray (still carry, but no longer in the bag)
    Coastal LED tactical flashlight
    pack of AAA batteries (for the flashlight)
    Grundig radio with it's own built-in generator (little hand crank)
    snake kit
    first aid kit
    small Deep Woods Off (mainly because we take the same bag on short hikes)
    lensatic compass (now have handheld GPS in car too)
    local map (in a large ziplock bag)
    100 rds of 9mm
    2 energy bars
    wire cutters
    gerber multi-tool
    magnesium firestarter
    light sticks (2)

    Along with the bag, I have a wire folder AK-47 with 6x 30 rd magazines, a G19, Kershaw Whirlwind knife, and Ruger LCP.[/QUOTE]
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  9. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Never have a place to bug out too?! Irrelevant if you are forced to bug out due to a nuke or bio or chem attack. You will bug out to SOMEWHERE.
  10. ratf51


    Aug 6, 2010
    NW GA
    Yow! You listed everything alphabetically! Aren't you glad I noticed?

    Actually, 11 pounds doesn't sound too bad. You know your terrain better than I do and on the basis of that knowledge you project what you might need. The list looks pretty good; just some questions-- 10" pry bar? OK, I can envision it. (I keep a Becker Tac-Tool in my car, it is not in the GHB per se but it will definitely come along if I have to ditch the vehicle.) Scissors-- your Leatherman should have scissors, does it not? Rope-- can't picture the size, but I would recommend paracord instead. Tweezers-- good job! Tweezers are actually one of the more useful items to have around in my experience (YMMV). What you have sounds pretty good to me.
  11. LongGun1

    LongGun1 StraightShooter

    #1....My GHB (actually multiple bags of gear) is significantly different from my family's BOBs.

    #2....Our BOBs are basically 72 hour kits.. GHB(s) much more involved..

    .. & are essentially shells (ie sheeple camouflage) for the layers of SHTF wearable and/or carry gear inside...

    ..covering personal protection, nutrition, radiological detection & abatement, SHTF clothing/boots, medical kit, hydration bladders, fluids, etc..

    ..most everything I may need to get back home (on foot) from hundreds of miles away during most types of WCS I can envision!

    How much of the GBH gear I decide to transport really depends on the situation presented..

    (would much rather discard what is not needed, than not have the necessary gear for a specific scenario)

    ..and if needed..all of it can be strapped in the shells/bags/cases to a 'rugged use' expandable dolly..

    You may ask why a dolly..

    ..even though I can wear all of the gear...(I'm 6' 7" & 295lb)

    ..I would rather save energy (and be a little less conspicuous :whistling:) & drag it behind me..

    ...and besides....all of the tactical wheelbarrows were sold out! :rofl:

    Here is an older pic of my gear..

    ..but it has changed some since then!

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  12. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot OIF 04-05

    Sep 10, 2008
    Nowhereville, USA
    I have a GHB in my vehicle,and a BOB at home. My GHB enables me to get home from about a 20 mile hike with about a 3 day supply for a rural area. My BOB is a more intense setup to include survival in the bush.
  13. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Yeah... that's gonna happen.

    I can hear it now: "Mommy, isn't that the guy from Harry & the Hendersons?" :tongueout:
  14. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    I think by definition a GHB and BOB are different. One allows you the basic essentials to make it home in a disaster. The other allows you to leave home and survive for an extended period of time. The GHB is for the short term, the BOB for longer term survival at least in my view.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  15. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    What a righteous forum this is. Great answers, very helpful.

    To field a few questions & comments:

    (1) So there does appear to be a significant difference between BOB and GHB packing for most people. Like most people who responded, my GHB is stashed in an automobile for the walk home.

    (2) I am considering a dry-run of walking home from work. It would be 25 miles of walking through some ghetto-y areas, so is not a “risk free” enterprise. That’s 6-8 hours of walking. I can carry no firearms, am not a SD expert, and am 50 years old (literally a “gray man”). Part of the mapping exercise would be to locate the safer neighborhoods to walk in.

    (3) Good ideas that I don’t have in my bag (thank you): Wire cutter. Sweatshirt. OC spray. Bug spray. Paracord. A few redundancies you find in my list, are because my bag has to do double-duty as a CERT bag, which has a few unique requirements (marking tape, medical style scissors, pry bar, etc).
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  16. LongGun1

    LongGun1 StraightShooter

    Each may have different requirements for GHB & BOB..

    ..rural vs. urban...

    ..short commute to work vs. those having to work hundreds of miles from home..


    As for 2 homes are separated by almost 400 miles..

    ..and my logic is predicated on that.

    Also..and consider this carefully if you are interested in contingency planning.. home you will likely have access to most or even all of your preps.. if the SHTF & it is a for example a 'Nuclear Emergency'.. may quickly make some modifications to your BOB & "bug out" if the situation called for it.

    But on the road a few hours drive, but a day or 2 walk away from home.. will not have access to those extensive preps..

    ..& if you are a minimalist...

    ..a bag containing a leatherman, some liquids & a Glock.. not going to allow you the nuclear detection capability necessary to keep you alive.

    Like I stated, each person has different needs, different prep budgets..

    .. & vary in willingness to address very real, but statistically unlikely threats. the Fire Extinguishers, Smoke Alarms, Fire Insurance, etc.. in my homes..

    ..I hope my more extensive preps are never needed..

    ..but that being said...

    ..I will not part with them simply due to the slim likelihood they will ever be employed!

    But if you are going to the trouble of preparing a GHB & BOB..

    .. then carefully consider the reasons you would absolutely need one..

    ..& choose wisely! :whistling:

    As Quake pointed out years back..

    "It is not about the odds, it is about the stakes!"

    Works for me! :thumbsup:

    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  17. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Yeah. I'm thinking in a nuclear event, the most important tools suddenly become mass (to put over and around you) and a radio (to tell you where the fallout is...if it still works); and if you're on the road, then a full gas tank (if your car still runs. If, if, if). We like to think of guns and knives being prime prep items, but in many situations they're virtually useless.

    I don't suppose there's any credible source for learning the statistical probability of various threats for various locations, is there? If you were going to take a completely logical approach to prep, you'd first learn of the most likely disasters to be encountered in a particular area, and put most of your prep time & money into those that are the most probable.

    In my "neck of the city," our disaster preparedness groups worry about three main things: (1) terror, because of nearby Los Angeles Harbor and its many easy targets (large ships, large gas tanks and such); (2) earthquake; and (3) water supply. We don't, for example, spend any time on hurricane, tornado, or tsunami threats (that third one seems a big omission to me!) But I learned all this through hearsay and working my way into the prep community in my neighborhood. It would be nice if there were a "prep clearinghouse" of information about which disasters are most likely. That would even help with BOB and GHB packing.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  18. LongGun1

    LongGun1 StraightShooter

    Since you cannot wear enough gamma defeating mass..

    (some here may not know that)

    .. in that case some type of improvised shelter would be

    Even IF... there are local stations still transmitting after this emergency..

    ..especially if a EMP or HEMP was part of the emergency.. not depend on them for accurate fallout patterns & levels of different types of radiation..

    ..doubtful the average broadcaster knows the difference between rad, rem & sievert.. :whistling:

    ..nor the equipment to remote detect any type of radiation...LOL!!

    Even if available...& than would be a very unlikely IF...

    ..waiting for this type of information is a good way to soak up a lethal or debilitating dose....IMO! need an accurate way of detecting 'real time' doses of radiation exactly where you are located..

    ..and type of radiation!

    Alpha & problem...good full coverage rainsuit/surgical suit/Tyvek PPE with booties/gloves/hood/N100 mask & basically you are ready to roll! need radiation defeating mass....ASAP!!

    There are many discussions of this nature (both official & unofficial)..

    ..mostly academic...IMO!

    I have been on both sides of this discussion..

    ..and during my last with a leading local member of Homeland Security/FEMA..

    ..not reassuring to put it mildly!

    Keep in mind.... our expensive & decades to build infrastructure for Nuclear Civil Defense (except for 2 states...IIRC) was gutted & scrapped during the Clinton Administration.

    Now...Stocked shelters for high level Politicians & some Federal Bureaucrats...

    ..basically none for the general populace.

    IIRC...Russia & China have continued to build a large CD infrastructure for their 'at risk' populations.. obviously the thought of MAD is not in their 'total war' playbook!

    I am of the opinion that the inevitability of a Nuclear Device(s) detonated on US soil has increased since the breakup of the USSR...

    ..not lessoned.

    Iran, North Korea, non-state actors & orgs simply are 'odds enhancers' of that happening...IMO

    But only you can prep for you & determine the odds of a given situation occurring in your lifetime..

    ..kind of like a worst nightmare game of musical chairs..

    ..except (many orders of magnitude) fewer chairs & much greater stakes!


    The 3rd one (Tsunami) is a VERY big omission....IMO

    ..hopefully will not be a very regrettable one! :shocked:

    Besides the previously mentioned & a large Tsunami..

    ..I would add EMP/HEMP, widespread civil unrest & accompanying violence..

    ..and the possibility of a sudden financial collapse combined with the latter.

    It helps to have a network of local friends/family with the situational awareness, willingness & capability to cover each others back!

    A head start could be a lifesaver...

    ..and a good reliable form of communications is key to that end!

    Hope this little insight into my preparedness philosophy helps! :supergrin:
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  19. ratf51


    Aug 6, 2010
    NW GA
    Sit down with a city map of L.A. and hi-lite the areas to avoid and then keep that map with you. I can only imagine that circumventing those areas is going to add mileage to your walk. And I agree, being the "gray man" is the way to go-- do and have nothing that draws attention to yourself.
  20. ratf51


    Aug 6, 2010
    NW GA
    There was a very short thread a couple of months ago that had a link to a natural disaster probability map. I am basically GT forum incompetent so I am clueless re: linking the post, but the thread title is "Natural Disaster Risk Map of U.S.". Might not be exactly what you're looking for but it's a start.