Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

So many of us think of bugging out of our homes to get to a safe predetermined location.

But how many people have a bug-out bag to get out of the workplace? In today’s world, this has become a very realistic problem, especially with so many people who commute to work over a greater distance from their home to their place of employment.

What we are going to talk about is putting together a “Get Home Bag” that will help you in an emergency and allow you to get back home to your loved ones in a time of emergency and possible chaos. I have lived through several hurricanes as well as the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. In all these cases it was not a total grid down situation. Many areas had electricity, cell service and internet. 

I am also more concerned with riots and social upheaval like we have been witnessing in these past few years. The lone shooter is also another concern shooting up a business or establishment is also very realistic.

I say that because you can always add to this bag for total grid down zombie apocalypses. But in my experience, a partial grid down / social upheaval situation has been more realistic and what I have experienced personally.

So with that said, let’s get rolling.

Clothing, Shoes, Hat & Gloves

First and foremost, extra socks and underwear, if you have to wear more “business attire” that is not made to withstand the elements, you may want to put a change of clothes in your bag as well as a good pair of hiking boots. You can tie the boots to the outside of your bag to save space.

A good pair of jeans and several shirts is a smart idea.  Think layers, starting with a “T-Shirt,” then a long sleeve shirt,  and then even a long sleeve wool shirt or light jacket, depending on where you are located. If you are in a colder region, you may want to pack some Thermasilk long underwear. Yes, they are more expensive, but they keep you warmer.   They are also lighter to carry instead of the bulky cotton ones you normally find.

It is always good to have some sort of head covering, like a good baseball hat, stocking cap, or both. You lose the most amount of your body heat from your head. If you keep it covered, it helps keep in the heat. A hat also protects your head from the elements and will provide a bit of a cushion if you bump your head against some low-hanging branch, or some sort of obstacle under which you may be crawling/ducking.

Finally, carry a good pair of gloves that allow your hands to breathe as well as protect them.  I like the “Mechanic” brand of gloves. They are meant to take a beating, but they are thin enough to maintain your finger dexterity.

You want to wear gloves on this hike home. You may fall, need to climb walls or fences, crawl on the ground, or move debris. There are a number of things you may encounter where you may need to clear obstacles with your hands.  Doing something like that when your hands are not used to it, and without gloves, will chew your hands up.  You will need your hands to get you home, so make sure you protect them with a good pair of gloves that you can really work and maneuver in.

Upping Your Game with Covert Body Armor

We need to start taking precautions. As much as I hate to say this and it is painting with a broad brush but if you have some of these radical left groups in your area, then there might be a risk.

Something that you may consider is start wearing a covert form of body armor. With today’s technology there is level 2 and level 3 Kevlar motorcycle clothing that will help protect against a lot of the dangers that motorcycle riders have to avoid.

Here is what one rider had to say about the Kevlar pants he was wearing…

“After a 35mph crash into rocks, I can attest to the strength of the Kevlar. The foot peg caught on inner thigh, tore thru the denim and just left a deep bruise on my inner thigh. With after market pegs using replaceable studs I can assure you without Kevlar it may have been a life threatening result.”

In other words, the Kevlar stopped the foot peg from going through the pants and into his leg all while doing 35 MPH. Note that he did not have any rock or debris penetrating the skin either.

Many Police wear the same clothing to help protect them as well against knife attacks, being cut and other dangers that they face on the street.

I am showing this sort of example because if you are in the area of an IED, this sort of clothing might protect you from any shrapnel or flying debris from the explosion.

Is this perfect and is this what this clothing was made for?

NO… not at all, BUT I would be willing to wear cloths like this and if I am in some sort of situation, odds are that the Kevlar panels that are part of this type of clothing “might” stop shrapnel and debris.

I want to state again that this sort of clothing is also cut resistant, and many police wear this sort of clothing to stop knife attacks.

Just look at recent knife attack on Salman Rushdie being violently stabbed while giving a talk on stage. The attacker was brazen and it is that sort of brazen attitude that we are seeing more and more in society today. Think if he was  wearing some sort of Kevlar clothing; would he have sustained the critical knife wounds that the attacker inflicted?

I have a pair of Kevlar sleeves that I wear when I am conducting special security tasks. I have personally tested them out to see if they are in fact they cut and puncture resistant and I was impressed, they do what they say they do.

The great thing about Kevlar is that it is also heat / fire resistant. Maybe you have seen waitresses wearing these sort of Kevlar sleeves in dinners. Particularly where they stack 4-5 plates of food on one arm. Those sleeves they are wearing are the same type that many police ear to help guard against knife attacks.

These will also possibly help protect you against fragments and debris if you are in the vicinity of an IED.

Here is a list of clothing and such that I have conducted research on…

Thermasilk Pants –

Thermasilk Shirt –

Mechanic Wear Gloves –



Scorpion Covert Flannel Reinforced/Kevlar Lined Protective Shirt –

Jackets – Vest- Hoodies – Neck Protector – Sleeves

Bikers Gear Motorcycle Gray Jacket Berlin Hoodie Armor & Full Kevlar Liner –

Motorcycle Hoodie Hoody Full Kevlar Armoured Lined Fleece Ultimate Protection –

Hatch Centurion Kevlar Neck Protection, One Size, Black –

Mechanix Wear Heat Sleeves –    <<< I own these, they work, I tested them with my knife


Newfacelook Mens Motorcycle Urban Jeans Pants Reinforced with Aramid Protection –

ScorpionExo Covert Pro Jeans Men’s Reinforced Motorcycle Pants –


I could not find much in Kevlar for women, and it might be because I am not using the proper terminology. But I found a few things

Drayko Women’s Drift Riding Jeans – 16/Indigo  –

Sequoia Speed Euphoria Ladies Jacket Motorcycle Armor Level 3 Kevlar Black W Pink  –

Food & Water

If you have been a reader of mine, you know that I am a fan of the ER 3600 Calorie Bar. These bars taste great and are pre-scored into smaller bars that you can break off or easily cut off with a knife.

Here is a video review I made talking about the ER Bar.


Another item that you need to have in your Office Bug-Out Bag / Get-Home Bag is a means to contain and filter water.

I am a HUGE fan of Berkey water filters. We use them ourselves, and we even own a Royal Berkey Water Filter. These are the best water filters in the world. One of the best things you can put in your bag is a Berkey Sport bottle. This will filter 125 gallons of treated water or 75 gallons of swamp/muddy water. They are a great thing to have on hand to not only keep in your Office Bug-Out Bag/Get-Home Bag but also to keep a few in the car and other places. You never know when you are going to need to get some water.  They are inexpensive enough that you can purchase multiple bottles.

Here is a video of me when we lived in Texas drinking out of a skanky pool that our dogs and chickens used to drink out of and even bathe in.


Finally, you want to have water in your bag just in case you cannot supply it yourself before you leave your work area.

Emergency water pouches/boxes are a great way to go. The negative aspect is that they will weigh down your pack. Therefore, you need to really assess how much you will put in your pack to get you going until you can find some sort of water that you can use your Berkey Sport Bottle.

NOTE – if you have to seek out water, find your water source and make sure you hydrate yourself by drinking as much as you can at your water source.  Then fill up your bottle on top of that.

Throw in a few salt packets or Gatorade packets in your bag so that you can put some in your mouth and then drink some water.

DO NOT ADD SALT OR GATORADE TO THE SPORTS BOTTLE.  It will filter those things out as well. But you need to replenish your electrolytes. So putting a little bit of powdered Gatorade in your mouth and then taking a swig of water will help you build those electrolytes back up again.

Another good thing is adding a bottle of salt pills. These will help you replenish your electrolytes as well. Keeping hydrated and the electrolytes up will help you in your trek home.

ER Emergency Ration 3600+ Calorie, 5-Year Emergency Food Bar –

Berkey 22-Ounce Water Filter Sports Bottle –

Emergency Water Packets –

Electrolyte salt pills –

Gatorade packs –

Gun Shot Kit / First Aid Kit / Blow Out Kit

Another item that you want to have in your bug-out bag is medical supplies like an Israeli Compression bandage, Tourniquet, or quick clot blood clotter. These are needed just in case one sustains a gunshot or bad a knife cut. If there is a terror event taking place, there could be a chance that you could get cut or shot. You will need to have the items on hand to stop the bleeding.

Something else that a number of military vets who have been in the thick of things have told me about is having a small tampon in your gunshot kit. A small tampon can be pushed into the bullet hole and then deployed into the wound. The small size tampon is about the size of a 9 mm to .45 caliber bullet. These are made to stop the bleeding, and that is what you have to do. Having a few sanitary pads also is also good for knife wounds, bad cuts, and scrapes. Again, these are made to hold blood and can help stop the bleeding. You can use some Gorilla Duct Tape to keep these things in place. I talk about that later on.

Another thing to have in your first aid/blowout kit is super glue. You would be amazed at the first aid uses super glue has. It is great at closing up a cut quickly. This is why I always keep it on hand.

Having a basic first aid kit in your bag is also a good idea. I created my own and have multiple zip lock bags already to go depending on what I need them for.

For example, I have a “blowout” kit. This is for gun and knife wounds, and I have all I need in that Ziplock bag ready to go.

I then have my basic first aid Ziplock bag with all I would need to treat basic wounds, sore muscles, burns, stings, and other injuries.

My final bag is my own odd assortment of stomach meds, allergy meds, headache, nausea, and whatever else I can think of.

But if you want to keep things simple, then I like a common easy to carry first aid kit. It has 100-Pieces.  It is slim in a neoprene sort of case. This will fit well in your middle or front compartment. What is nice is there is enough room to add to this kit some items that you want, for example, a “blowout” kit, some stomach meds, or something for sore muscles.

Israeli Compression Bandage –

Military Issue Combat Application Tourniquet –

Quick Clot Blood Clotting Agent –

Neoprene First Aid Kit –

Just a Note on Sore Muscles

This is something a lot of people do not think about putting in their bug-out bags/get-home bags. You are probably going to have to walk home. That may be 10, 20, or 30 plus miles. You will be sore.  Muscles will hurt.  So it is a great idea to keep something for sore muscles such as pain relievers. Personally, I LOVE tiger balm, and in fact, we use it all the time. It comes in a really small jar that you can keep in the first aid kit.  A little bit goes a long way.

As I mentioned above, keeping a few pairs of extra socks and a few pairs of extra underwear also in your bag is a very good idea. You do not need clean pants or shirts, but clean socks and underwear are not only a pick-me-up motivator, but they will help prevent blisters, chafing, and fungal infections. Putting a small bottle of Gold Bond Medicated Powder in your bag is also a good idea. This will help prevent any fungal infections from taking root.

Believe me, I speak from experience. When I was in Spec Ops and out in the field, we easily walked 20+ miles a day with a heavy rucksack on our backs. Having fresh socks, underwear, and some body powder was like a blessing from heaven. If you have to walk home, you will be glad for the little comforts as well.

There is an old saying, ”Take care of your feet, and they will take care of you.” Believe me, this is gospel truth there, friend.

Tiger Balm –

Gold Bond Medicated Powder –

Tomahawk / Map & Compass

Other much-needed tools to have in your Bug-Out Bag/Get-Home Bag are a tomahawk, map, and compass.  I personally recommend United Cutlery’s  M48 Ranger Hawk Axe with Compass. I have this tomahawk, and I have put it through its paces. It is a GREAT cutter, and you can put a really good edge on it. The compass is a military-type compass that, paired with a map of your local area, will help you get home.

I recommend having a tomahawk in your bag because it will double as a weapon or tool to cut open a door, break a window, chop wood, or chop up a wooden pallet to make a fire.

The Tomahawk is a great all-around tool, and that is the reason many of the frontiersmen carried them.

The compass is needed to help you get home, especially if you have to go navigate areas you may not know or know as well. You do not know what sort of situation may be taking place, so you may have to avoid areas that have riots, fires, or other dangers. So having a map and compass in your Bug-Out Bag/Get-Home Bag is critical.

Tactical Tomahawk and Military Compass –

Poncho, Poncho Liner & Space Blanket

You must think about how long it may take you to walk home. Many people commute and live far from where their home is located. So there is the possibility you might have to spend the night someplace.

Forget those “survival blankets” made out of mylar. They rip easily.  They are shiny like a mirror, and they are very noisy. Plus, they really do not do a good job of keeping you warm. They cost what, a few dollars, or so? Well, you get what you pay for.

You need something that will help you get home that you can use multiple nights if necessary.

When I was in Spec Ops, we did not have the luxury of sleeping bags. What we used was a wet weather poncho, and a blanket-type item called a poncho liner.

When you tie the poncho and liner together, you have a pretty good weatherproof blanket you can use to cover up and get a good night’s sleep. The newer wet weather poncho also comes in a digital camo pattern. Covering up with this item will also camouflage you and not draw attention to yourself. Being digital camo, the pattern does well in both a city and urban and wooded environment. You need to remember that things may not be going well, and you will not want to draw attention to yourself. So, remaining camouflaged may be something you want to do, and having a digital pattern poncho could help you with that.

NOW… to kick this up a notch, and this is what I personally carried, was an all-weather space blanket the same size as a military poncho. These blankets do not have holes or hood cutouts in the middle. I tied my poncho liner into a space blanket and had a great warm blanket. If you have a wife who likes to sew, have her sew the two together, but keep the seam on the edge, so there are no holes in the middle. That will prevent rain from seeping in. Just so you know, I have slept in mine in below 30-degree weather, and it kept me toasty warm.

How I used all these items together is explained below:

I would gather up a pile of leaves or pine needles. Once I had a good pile, I would cover that with my poncho. Then I lay on top of the soft pile covered with the poncho and then cover up with my space blanket and poncho liner.  Let’s just say that I started a trend with my team, and we all slept well… that is, when we were able to get some sleep.

A good military poncho and poncho liner will also help protect you from the elements, keeping you dry as well as warm as you are walking home.

Pairing the poncho with some 550 paracords, you can also make a shelter out of the poncho and still have the poncho liner to keep you warm.

Here are some examples…

A military poncho is a versatile tool.  Couple that with a space blanket and poncho liner, and you are able to handle just about any inhospitable weather Mother Nature wants to throw at you. These items fold/roll up tightly.  They are light and easy to stuff in your small backpack Bug Out Bag/Get Home Bag.

Military Poncho Digital Camo –

Poncho Liner –

All-Weather Space Blanket –

1000 Ft of Black 550 Paracord –

Sturdy Computer Backpack

So, what do you carry all this stuff in?

I have a Samsonite Tectonic Large Backpack. This backpack has been with me when I speak at conferences; it has traveled with me to Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama. I have literally abused this bag, but it just keeps going.  As you can see in the picture, I always keep it somewhat packed and ready to go. All I need to do is slip my laptop, Kindle, a few other items like my tomahawk/survival knife in it, and it is ready to go.

Some attractive features are that some of the more critical zippers are “self-healing,” with also it has nice back comfort pads in the right places. The back pads also have channels so that if you are wearing them for a long time, your back still gets some ventilation.

This is one tough bag, and I have worn out a few of my other backpacks, but this one just keeps going. The quality is great, and none of the seams have given out or torn. This has easily weighed at times, over 50 pounds when I had it stuffed full with just about everything I need. The zippers did not pop, and the strap seams held up even when I am swinging it up on my back fully loaded.

ONE negative aspect is that there are so many zippered pockets that you will lose stuff in this backpack. Over the years, I have learned to compartmentalize the backpack.

Here is what I have done…

The first small pocket – at the very bottom, holds Swiss fire steel & some cotton balls with Vaseline, clippers, ChapStick, and any meds that I need quickly.

The netted pocket –  I do not put much in that I do not want to lose. So I mainly keep wet wipes in that so I can get to them in a hurry if I need them.

Samsonite Computer Backpack –

First Main Compartment

The first main zippered compartment is all my first aid gear,  and I tend to carry a lot of that. Every time we have run into a situation where I did not have the proper meds, I adjust my med carry. As I mentioned before, I separate the first aid items based on their use and keep them in heavy-duty freezer Ziplock bags. This way, I can grab that certain bag, and it has everything I need.

This compartment also has two main pockets and a divider to keep pens, pencils, and other small items. This is where I keep my note-making items, a small folder knife, and my Luxpro Flashlight. There is a built-in snap-link cord I hook to my flashlight, so I do not lose it. I also might hook my keys to that as well. In the second pocket, I will keep a battery backup power source to power my cell phone or whatever may need charging. I also will keep my Kindle in this pocket for quick access.

Luxpro 800 Lumen –

Second Main Zippered Compartment

This is where I keep all my electronic items, cameras, cables, and extra batteries. I have other items like some extra clothes, my ER bars, and an empty water bottle. This area is divided into two main compartments with pockets on the dividers. There is also a pocket on the front wall of the compartment. This is why I say you can lose stuff in this backpack because of all the pockets. In that front wall pocket, I keep more batteries and smaller items along with my cell phone wall charger, so I know where it is. All I need to do is reach in, run my hand down the front wall, and it will go into that pocket.  Then I can feel my wall charger quickly.

If you have not gathered it by now, this is my catch-all pocket for food, clothes, electronic gear, and whatever else I want to throw in here. This is the largest of the compartments. The second pocket in this main area is where I keep my tomahawk.

Third Zippered Compartment

This is the one meant to hold your computer. I have an HP laptop,  and it fits mine perfectly. I do not worry about it getting damaged or banged around. One drawback is that you may want to put a little padding at the bottom to give it some extra cushion to protect your laptop.  I am always looking out for my laptop because without it…. there goes my livelihood. So, I may be a little overprotective…therefore the little extra padding.

As this compartment is not that wide,  it really is meant for your computer, mouse, power cord, and mouse pad. You can also put your iPad or Kindle in here as well with some spare room so that they are not plastered next to each other.

Other Gear You May Want

I have other odds and ends gear I like to keep in my bag, some of which you may be interested in having also.

A Survival Whistle – I can whistle loudly, but it is good to have a real survival whistle that can be heard from a good distance. It is best to get a marine survival whistle. This has a higher pitch and is meant to be heard over lower-decibel sounds like waves, wind, and splashing. People hear that high tone, and it just does not blend into the natural sounds.

Marine Survival Whistle –

Leatherman SkeleTool CX Multitool –  I LOVE THIS MULTITOOL AND HAVE OWNED ONE FOR YEARS. This is a great multi-tool, but it is on the expensive side because it is made with carbon fiber, which makes the weight about 5 ounces. This has all the basic tools that you really need, which are the following:

  • A lock blade knife
  • Screwdriver with Philips and flat-head bits
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Regular and hard wire cutters
  • Bottle opener/Carabiner

Truly, those are all the tools you will really need in your day-to-day life. I have used my Leatherman for a million and one things. I got it when they first came out, and I have loved it ever since. You can carry it on your belt loop, which is what I often do, or slip it into your pocket. There is a belt holster you can get for them, but I don’t like those, so I don’t use them. Clipping it on my right-side belt loop and then my cell phone can also help hold it in place, which I do clip to my belt.

WATCH NOW >> Here is a video review I did several years ago –

Leatherman SkeleTool CX –

Uzi Tactical Pen – I know that I have talked about this already, but I LOVE my Uzi Tactical Pen. I have had my Uzi pen now for about 4 years. I love this pen,  and it writes great. I like that I can get refills for it,  and it keeps writing. I keep this in the pen area of the backpack.

Uzi Tactical Pen –

Spyderco Resilience G-10 Plain Edge Knife/Cold Steel Voyager Clip Point XL – This is one of my “EDC” knives. I like big folders,  and I swap out between this and my Cold Steel Voyager Clip Point XL folder. Right now, this is the one that I am carrying. I love it. What is great about the Spyderco knives is that you can do a red-neck fix on them by putting a zip tie on the ring. This procedure allows the blade to be deployed as you are pulling it out of your pocket.

This is a great all-around carry knife that you can keep in your Office Bug-Out Bag/Get-Home Bag or do what I do and swap out knives from time to time. So right now, my Cold Steel Voyager XL is in my bag, but I will probably want to start carrying that again and put the Spyderco back in.

Both of these knives are big folders, or what some people call “pocket swords.” What I like about these sorts of knives is that I am able to “flick” them open with some practice, thus speeding up the deployment.  If you need your knife in a hurry, then this is a great move to learn how to do it. Once you learn how to flick it open, it is a noise that people just know that raises the hair on the back of their necks.

NOTE – on my Spiderco I have put a zip tie on it which helps open the blade as I pull it out of my pocket. It is something that you have to practice, but it might help you in your situation as well.

Here is a video review that I did a while back on the Cold Steel Voyager Large and the XL knife.


Spyderco Resilience Lock Blade Knife –

Cold Steel Voyager XL Clip Point –

Gorilla Duct Tape – Yep, every guy needs duct tape.  It is what holds the world together. But I really love Gorilla Duct Tape. This stuff really sticks, and the cloth tape itself is heavy-duty. Odds are that if you are a guy reading this, you have already worked with Gorilla Duct Tape, and you love it as much as I do. Either you can keep the whole roll in your bag or do like what I do and roll up about 20 feet on your own. It is easy to do…just start unrolling it and roll it back up on itself. I used a wooden dowel to roll it back onto itself just to give it some rigidity. You can also fold it back on itself and accomplish the same thing.

Gorilla Duct Tape –


I hope that this article has given you some good ideas on putting together your own get home bag. This is just a basic list that I personally carry. You can adapt to your needs and add to the list or eliminate some of the items I have talked about. All I know is that this is what I carrry and have carried for some time now and as I have mentioned I have taken my bag just about everywhere and to this day, and I still have the same bag.

If you have any questions or I can help with any advise, please reach out and contact me.

If you have any questions, please reach out to me – [email protected]

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Items I Recommended in This Article

ER Emergency Ration 3600+ Calorie, 5-Year Emergency Food Bar –

Berkey 22-Ounce Water Filter Sports Bottle –

Emergency Water Packets –

Electrolyte salt pills –

Gatorade packs –

Israeli Compression Bandage –

Military Issue Combat Application Tourniquet –

Quick Clot Blood Clotting Agent –

Neoprene First Aid Kit –

Tiger Balm –

Gold Bond Medicated Powder –

Thermasilk Pants –

Thermasilk Shirt –

Mechanic Wear Gloves –

Tactical Tomahawk and Military Compass –

Military Poncho Digital Camo –

Poncho Liner –

All-Weather Space Blanket –

1000 Ft of Black 550 Paracord –

Samsonite Computer Backpack –

Luxpro 800 Lumen –

Marine Survival Whistle –

Leatherman SkeleTool CX –

Uzi Tactical Pen –

Spyderco Resilience Lock Blade Knife –

Cold Steel Voyager XL Clip Point –

Gorilla Duct Tape –


GRATUITOUS DISCLAIMER – Amazon, The FTC and any other shopping website that you might see here on my website wants me to remind you that this website does in fact contain affiliate links. That means if you buy something by clicking on a link., I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price that you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the value of the item. Keep Pushing Forward ! – Raymond Mhor