For public transit commuters or even car commuters, do you have the supplies you would need to get home if your transportation failed you? Do your have a get home bag?
For example, during the attacks on 9/11 all public transportation was shut down. Subways and buses stopped running, the roads became gridlocked with traffic and abandoned cars. People were forced to walk from their offices to their homes, often through ash and dust and debris on the sidewalk.
Define: Get Home Bag
A backpack that is easy to carry and has only the supplies you think you will need to get home or to a place with more supplies. It should be extremely lightweight, comfortable and blend in with panicking mobs. Perhaps this bag will be kept at the office or maybe in your car. For some people their 72-hr bag and their get home bag may look similar. For some who live too far to walk, the get home bag will be of little use, and they will need their 72-hr bag.
Consider my example:
I live 8 miles from my work, and drive my own car. The average person walks 3 miles per hour, therefore it would take me 2.6 hours to walk home. If I first discovered my lack of transportation when I got out of work at 5pm, I would reach home at about 7:45pm. September through March the sun will set before I reach home; making this walk mostly, if not completely, in the dark.
Route is an important consideration. How do you plan to walk home? Try to avoid major congestion areas with many stranded or gridlocked cars. As people panic, they will look around for help and you don’t want to be caught in a mob. If your commute includes major highway, you will have to plan for walking friendly roads. Avoid major shopping and transportation centers where people may gather.
When choosing, a backpack be sure to pick on that fits and is comfortable for walking long distances. Also, pick on that blends in, this is not the time to find a military bag from surplus. Likewise, a red backpack would imply medical supplies which will draw the attention of injured folks along the road. Choose a bag that fits your personality so you can blend in naturally.
So what to pack for an extended urban hiking trip across town?
- glow sticks (the Halloween kind)
- flashlight (my favorite)
- headlamp (LED or rechargeable one)
- Mylar blankets (cheap 10 pack)
- hand warmers (can never have too many)
- whistle and lanyard
- dust masks (N95 ones)
- knife (my favorite all-purpose knife)
- Change of clothes
- Hiking boots (I LOVE these)
- info card w. #s, copy license, passport, insurance
- bug spray
- chap stick
- moleskin (for blisters)
Keep your bag light.
Keep your bag efficient.
Keep your bag with you always when commuting.
Is there something you keep in your Get Home Bag I should consider adding to this list? Thanks for stopping by!