Building a Get-Home Bag and Action Plan

M.D. Creekmore

I've been interested in self-reliance topics for over 25 years. I’m the author of four books that you can find here. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about prepping, homesteading, and self-reliance topics through first-hand experience and now I want to share what I’ve learned with you.

11 Responses

  1. Frank Vazquez says:

    Good article. You are being very logical in your approach learning from your experience and making changes or adjustments. That’s the way to do it, not just following a list of items, usually someone else’s list, and trying to follow what others say or do, but to work it out for yourself. All the discomforts you experience will make you really try to do better. That would have the greatest impact and the most lasting impression on any of us. A test run or a drill is a great teaching tool.

    On the issue of water, I feel there is nothing wrong with canteens or bottles as the water is clean and in your hand, ready to drink. As you stated, you won’t expend time or energy looking for water or risk an encounter with other people.
    Since it will be consumed as you travel, the load will get lighter and as you eat and drink to keep up your energy, you’ll have an increasingly lighter load as you get to your destination. Once you figure how much food and water is enough, you’re set.

  2. Lorenzo Poe says:

    The EIB standard is 12 miles in under 3 hours. I laughed when I read the part about ‘good shape’ , ’25 miles’ , ‘5 hours’.
    A quart of water per hour is the minimum. But you could down two bottles before starting and carry at least 6.
    If its raining, add time.
    If its dark, add time.
    If there is lightening you may be forced to stop and shelter someplace. This could require a ‘multitool’.
    If a curfew has been put in place you may have to take evasive actions to get around police chck points.
    Foot powder and fresh socks go a long way to reviving worn spirits.

  3. Moe says:

    Thanks for writing the detailed article. I remember your original post on this test hike. You may recall I hiked at altitude at a similar time and it took me over 10 hours to go 22 miles. I think many people over-estimate how quickly they can cover a distance. Maybe you could throw in a life straw type filter, but I would definitely need the bottles of water since I live in a semi-arid part of the country.
    For your February test you might consider a couple of instant hand warmers, just in case. They don’t weigh much and if your feet get cold they might come in handy.

  4. Jack says:

    Mr Creekmore, you sir have obviously been a very busy man with the myriad of helpful posting the past few months. You began when my family was in Cambodia and honestly, I am having difficulty catching up! Bravo. This article is no exception and certainly reiterates what I have always preached, your untested gear may be a useless waste of space and slow you down. One of the very first major modifications we made to our children’s get home bags (kept at school) was to separate the important items for travel on foot (bottles of water, spare socks, map to navigate around any road obstructions, energy snacks) they will need if forced to find their own way to home or Grandmothers home in the opposite direction. We actually condensed these items down into a much smaller and lighter bag for the hike they may one day need to make. The small “walking bag” is part of the larger kit. They have way more gear in their 72-hour kits than small Asian kids could comfortably carry any distance. Our plan is for the “crew” to hunker down at school with everything they need to be comfortable until a parent (or our school transportation service) can get to them. Only when there is no other way, the three siblings will take the smaller “walking bags” and find their own way. Naturally, we have done multiple practice hikes with each individual child as well as following the group of three as they do the route with parents far behind and observing. Maria and I both work home based so we are in a great place if something goes down. A camping trip away from home in our bugout vehicle (to practice skills?) may, in fact, be the most vulnerable time for us as we will be away from the bulk of our supplies. Good post and seriously something we all need to think long and hard about.

    • M.D. Creekmore says:


      Thank you… I’m trying to get as much information out as fast as possible because I think the window left to prepare for what’s coming is short…

  5. Garmo says:

    In the Army they said,on average you walk 3 miles an hour. I am almost 80 years old and am sure I can’t walk that at my age. If I had to I would make it as I was taught “Don’t give up and stay on course.” I know my bag is to heave and plan on making it lighter. As in any action the “Mind” is what will get you thru.. Wishing all of you well.

    • M.D. Creekmore says:

      Much better to be living at your bug out location than to bug out, however, that’s not always possible. But that should be the goal that everyone should work towards…

    • To the Right of Attila the Hun says:

      Garmo, It’s good to hear from you and know that all is well. I too am lightening up my GHB and have taken up walking to and from the grocery store. It’s about a 4 mile round trip and it gives a good work out on the way home with the food. And it sure cuts down on the impulse purchases.. This article is really good and when I drive anywhere I think about how hard it would be to climb the hills and cross the streams if you had to “Hand Rail” the trail in order to stay out of sight. I turned 70 today and cannot carry anywhere near what I used to be able to do. Adjust to your limitations because it’s far better to at least have a plan and do something…

  6. George in Winnipeg says:

    Thanks for the great article. I’ve been playing around with the contents of my GHB as well and have taken a similar approach to yours. I work in an office but fortunately I live fairly close to work and walk to work often. I have stashed a change of “grey man” clothes at work and rotate out clothes depending on the season. I’ve also left a previously enjoyed pair of hiking boots at the office along with water and energy bars. Each day when I leave for work I think about what I would need to wear if walking home that day in an emergency. The first part of my route home traverses a fairly sketchy part of the city so I have included some dog spray, folding knife and a small baton in my bag. Being in Canada we cannot carrying a firearm such as a pistol in our EDC so I’ve had to adjust. If conditions were worsening and I was still making the trek or drive to work, depending on the circumstance I may consider taking a chance and bring one of my pistols and a couple mags well concealed in my bag. For me weather is the biggest concern, especially in the winter so ensuring I have sufficient clothing is the big necessity. For first aid I’ve stripped down my kit to ibuprofen, an isreali bandage, 4X4 gauze pads, assorted band aids, and some glucose tablets as I can get hypoglyemic. I also included wrap around safety glasses, a N95 mask and leather work gloves (the recurring video of people fleeing the Twin Towers in all that dust and airborne debris scared the day lights out of me) . I am still playing around with bringing a hand held ham radio (my baofeng UV 5R) but I am not convinced of its utility for the short distance home. I have my Ham shack at home with secondary power so my plan is to strike home fast and adapt from my base. Thanks again for a great article.

  7. Axelsteve says:

    I live 3 or 4 miles from work depending on rout taken. I can walk that without too much trouble,the hard part would be crossing the freeway on foot.I hope that does not happen it being a 4 lane hi
    way..I keep misc tools and supplies. In the back of my truck I keep a trucker chain . It is covered up by leaves so I doubt that anyone knows that I have it. I keep a bunch of water and a tire repair kit. I plan on putting spare socks and more comfortable shoes. Since I work at a school district I can`t have fire arms in my vehicle.