Get Home Bag vs Bug Out Bag – duplicate items?

I’ve been working on rounding out our bug out bags and I’m finding that a lot of items would be duplicates from those in our get home bags. For instance, I have compasses in the get home bags stored in the cars. What is everyone’s opinion on getting additional compasses (or other replicated items) for my bug out bag?


  • Comments (3)

    • 2

      Similar discussion from March: https://theprepared.com/forum/thread/do-you-duplicate-your-every-day-carry-in-bags/

      The main issue is that some items are quite expensive, so it’s probably worth the extra complexity of grabbing both the get home bag and the bug out bag when you need to bug out.

      Also check out this article about a priority bag system. Consider the get home bag to be priority 1 and your bug out bag to be priority 2.


    • 2

      I am generally of the “don’t buy expensive duplicates” school, so I totally endorse other folks having a plan to grab things that might not live in the BOB because they need to be used for other purposes, but I also have a (small) monthly prepping budget and part of how I use that is to distinguish “good enough” prepping from what I might ideally like to have longer term. You might want to do what’s “good enough” now and plan to buy a second compass for your car in July, a third compass for your partner’s car in August, and so on. (That said, I don’t have a compass in my GHB, so I’m just using that example because you did. Maybe you never buy a second compass, but you do buy a second headlamp.)

      I also think the best answers to these kinds of questions tend to vary a lot based on people’s individual/household use cases. Right now, my GHB is pretty bare bones because I live 4 miles from my office, and since I have multiple commute modes (transit, car, my feet) it has to stay there. I can’t count on being able to grab anything from it in a bug out situation (i.e., if I’m at home!), but I believe I’ll be able to get home in most cases so I want to keep the GHB bag light. Given these circumstances, the answer for me is that I had to spend some money on duplicates (e.g., a second battery operated radio), but my GHB is not, and will never be, a duplicate of my 27-pound BOB. (Sidebar: Writing this has reminded me that I don’t have a comprehensive of list of what’s in my GHB… and have kind of forgotten, since I didn’t go to my office for like a year and a half! Thanks for the nudge to re-familiarize myself with it.)

      I would also think about where you keep your car and what you’re prepping for. If you live in earthquake country and you park in a lower level garage in a non seismically reinforced building… maybe you want some duplication! When I lived in a super safe, very rural area and had no garage or any trees around my house, but was traveling a lot (typically 1-3 hours away, always by car) for work, my GHB and my BOB were one and the same bag in the trunk of the car, which I figured would be accessible to me in the wake of any survivable disaster.

      I hope that is somewhat helpful!

    • 2

      I decided this based on the threat scenarios I found most likely to drive a GHB need and worked out from there.   Is there a scenario where you may need to get home but not have your GHB and thus, not have it for your Bug Out?  If you use the item to get home, is it possibly no longer available or diminished for the Bug Out? 

      My personal thinking:  In an earthquake, I may not get to my GHB if the car is inaccessible (in a garage that I won’t be permitted to enter) or compromised (something fell on it) or I may be on public transport or other rare situation without my car (like at a World Series game – see 1989 SF quake).  If I do need to use my GHB, I may have jettisoned some items to keep weight light for the hike – items I may want in a BOB for the longer haul.   Keeping the BOB fully self-contained, I can grab it for other situations (not that I have yet) like when taking a road trip in a rental car since the distance is much further than my GHB supports.  Plus, my GHB items are not in a single grab and go bag like my BOB.  But also, this means my GHB has the smaller amount and lesser quality version for most of the duplicates.