Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from PAD Commander and in it he discusses how he built his Get Home Bag, rather creatively from a lot of underutilized resources. If you are trying to build your own get home bag, check out some of the ideas below for inspiration.
There are a lot of articles out there about building “budget” bug out, GOOD or get home bags, but this one actually provides some alternate sources that anyone can tap into, and builds the complete bag (less EDC items) for under $50.
I was out roaming around the neighborhood, stopping at garage sales a couple of Saturdays ago, and ran across a US Army medium Alice pack with frame for $5. Courtesy of Uncle Sam, I have many miles carrying and quite a few days and nights of experience in the field with Alice packs. While I don’t think they work as well as higher end commercial packs that I use backpacking, they are still decent bags, especially if you keep your load down to 35 pounds or (preferably) less.
The Alice pack was introduced right at the end of the Vietnam War. It is made of heavy nylon, with a divided main compartment, three exterior pockets and a cover flap that has a flat pocket for copies of orders, maps, etc. It also has external attachment points for other Alice gear or for the older style gear with the wire bails that dates back to WWI and for strapping on a sleeping bag at the bottom. It can be carried with or without a frame. With the frame, it has a quick release shoulder strap so you can drop the pack in a hurry in a combat situation or if you get into trouble crossing a stream.
At $5, this was a great buy, the problem was that I already have a couple of them as well as a large Alice pack, and that’s after I gave away two other packs to my son. I am trying to be a bit pickier when it comes to bargains, and was going to pass on this one until I thought it might make a good starting point for an article on putting together a budget Get Home Bag for The Prepper Journal, at least that was my excuse for buying it. In addition to the Alice pack, I picked up two US surplus canteens with carriers at the same sale for $1 each, one of them was a WWII vintage 1943 Stainless canteen. They also came with one canteen cup, stove for the cup, and an unopened bottle of water purification tablets.
I decided to sit down and make some “rules” for my challenge.
Places I would try first to look for bargains are:
First, I took stock of my EDC (Every Day Carry) items, so I would know what I had and what I needed to supplement.
My edc includes:
I gave myself a month to put this kit together and decided to try to keep it under $50 all told, less than some preppers pay for a knife. Here is what I picked up from each source:
So excluding the food, total cost for the Get Home Bag was $47.94. It is well within the abilities of almost anyone to put together a bag like this.
Although beyond the scope of this “challenge”, I also checkout out some local pawn shops, a gun show and some Facebook firearms buy sell trade pages to see how cheap I could pick up guns to leave in the car. The best deals I picked up in each category during this time frame were:
What bargains have you found for your Get Home Bag and how far were you willing to go to save some money?
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