Emergency Kit / GO-Bag for Both Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place

New GO-Bags are needed for this changing era and new threats.

Two-weeks of food, water, and other emergency supplies is now considered to be the absolute minimum for every household and workplace. But having the new generation GO-Bag for each adult, is also crucial. With the help of a number of experts who have extensive real-world experience, we have assembled a list of GO-Bag gear and supplies. It was developed to meet the new challenges we face in our changing world, as well as to face traditional natural disasters. We encourage you to use it to either assemble a new bag, or to help you evaluate what you already have.

At the bottom of this page is a link to download the list. It’s a PDF document, and we encourage you to use it and to distribute it. It’s time for us to reconsider our own situation, whether it be to evaluate the completeness of what we already have, or to use this list to create a new, modern-era GO-Bag designed to face for the threats of this changing world.

Of course, everyone has different needs and situation. This is only a place to start.

With our research, we assembled a GO-Bag containing all of the recommended items. It weighed 21-pounds (9 kg) including the knapsack, but this became nearly 30-pounds when we added the one-gallon of water we recommend storing with the bag. This is the maximum recommended limit for GO-Bag weight.

Your specific situation may dictate a heavier or a lighter bag, but if you don’t have the real-word experience of our contributors, don’t be quick to assume that a heavier or lighter bag is a good idea. Your GO-Bag should not be so heavy that you can’t carry it on an all-day hike, and you should be able to run when it’s strapped to your back. But, it shouldn’t be so light that you don’t have sufficient food, water, and gear to operate for three days in an assortment of environments and emergency situations.

In an emergency, added weight will slow you down and a larger bag will make you less nimble. Conversely, if your situation suggests that a lighter bag is a better choice because you will need to be able to move quickly, or you may need to make your way through rough terrain, keep in mind that a lightweight bag will require the sacrifice of supplies that you might need.

Store water and clothing in a duffle bag (or similar), and keep it with your GO-Bag. Do not store clothing inside your GO-Bag, except perhaps a change of socks. Keep water and clothing in a separate bag, such as a duffle bag with a strap, as your GO-Bag needs to contain essentials, not extra clothes that you might not need.

In an emergency, it is highly unlikely that you will change clothes unless they become wet, or you need to put on something warmer. For your duffle bag that you will store with your GO-Bag, select clothing suitable for evacuation. Each clothing item should be durable and nondescript. Your duffle should also include stout boots and heavy socks made for hiking. If that isn’t possible, keep a sturdy pair of sport shoes in your duffle.

By storing these items in a duffle with a carry strap, you have the option to carry your GO-Bag on your back, and the duffle slung over your shoulder, discarding or stashing it once you have had the opportunity to change clothes. You don’t know what situations you will encounter, so you need to keep your hands empty, in case you need to use them. A suitcase or hand-carried bag isn’t adequate.

If you drive to work, keep your GO-Bag and this duffle bag containing water and emergency clothing, in the trunk of your vehicle. If you use public transportation or ride-share, keep these emergency supplies at your workplace.

The clothing stored in your duffle bag should be changed-out according to season. Replace the drinking water seasonally as well, to make sure it is fresh. Store batteries in an outside pocket of your GO-Bag, and inspect them when you rotate out your clothing and stored water.

Seal both of these bags, individually or together, in a paper leaf-and-lawn-waste bag. Use packing tape to seal it closed. This will let you take a quick look at your emergency supplies regularly, to make sure they have not been tampered with, and it will also minimize the possibility of mold, a problem that can develop if you use a plastic bag.

There is a natural tendency to add too much gear or food to your GO-Bag. This common mistake can make it too heavy and thereby cause early fatigue, or unwieldy and hard to get through crowds or tight places. A larger bag will also make you a target for theft. Therefore, as you review the attached list, don’t be quick to add to it unless your situation truly warrants it. Your GO-Bag is not a comfort-kit, it should be a collection of emergency supplies.

On this website you will find many article that will help you select the best products for your GO-Bag. In addition, included in the attached list, you will also find page references that can be used to help you with selection of food and gear, and planning. These page references correspond to the book, “Prepared, Ready to Roll: Book 2-3,” by SIG Swanstrom. If you are serious about this topic and emergency preparations, reading it can help you immensely.

Click below to download the PDF check-list of recommended GO-Bag contents.