How Much Should A Get Home Bag Weigh? Survival 101

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By Bryan Lynch •  3 min read

A get home bag’s purpose is meant to get you from point A which is usually work, to point B which is your home. 

get home bag

Now, there is no specific magic number that this type of bag should weigh. That is because everyone’s situation is different. Some people work very close to their home while others work hundreds of miles or more away. 

So when trying to estimate what a get home bag is going weigh there are several questions you need to answer for yourself.

What is your mode of transportation?

If you are traveling via a vehicle, I always recommend packing more gear than you think you need because the vehicle is doing all of the work.

Note that there is a difference between the gear that is in your pack versus extra gear that is in the vehicle.

If the vehicle becomes unusable, gear can always be left behind to make the load easier to carry. This leads me to my next question.

How physically fit are you are? 

This is an important question, to be honest with yourself about. When a vehicle must be ditched or traveling by foot, the only way gear is going to be moved is by you carrying it.

It does not make sense to depend on a fifty-pound bag if you become winded after a half-mile of carrying it. The poundage of a bag should reflect your physical abilities  

How far do you have to travel?

The type of gear and how much should be loaded into a get home bag is also going to depend on how far you anticipate traveling.

The items inside are going to be drastically different if you work two miles from home versus three hundred miles from home.

Always plan for it to take longer to get home than normal. This could be due to a vehicle breaking down, normal routes being unavailable or a vehicle having to be ditched. Plan ahead for possible overnight stays. 

What type of environment are you traveling through?

Do you operate mainly in an urban environment, rural, wilderness, or a mixture of all? 

It may be better to have a lighter bag in an urban environment where you must move quickly through crowds, different structures, and not as much gear is needed.

Whereas a larger pack with more gear may be needed in a wilderness setting when travel could be slower and longer in duration. 

Also are there weather extremes such as heat, cold, snow, rain in your region? This can determine the type of clothing, shelter material, and tools that you carry. These are things that you will have to contend with that can change what goes into a get home bag. 

Wrapping It Up

I know that I did not fully or specifically answer the question of this article but as you can see there several things to consider with this topic. 

However, if you would like a little more guidance than I will offer this.

It makes sense that a get home bag being used in an urban environment where the distance between you and home is minimal will be on the lighter side. This will allow for a high level of mobility and faster travel. 

On the other hand, if the distance between you and home is great and different environments must be dealt with, then a heavier pack with more tools may be more suitable.

Pack for your abilities, your region, and what you think you will need. Thanks for reading and stay prepared!

Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land, and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually, he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. His goal was to spread positive information about this field. In 2019, Bryan authored the book Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. His second book, Paracord Projects For Camping and Outdoor Survival, is scheduled to be released on March 2, 2021.