GHB (Get Home Bag) vs. BOB (Bug Out Bag)

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A True Doomsday Prepper
Aug 15, 2013
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This actually came up in another thread, but Colt suggested the topic, as often, we tend to lump these two together, but really, they are for completely different purposes.

For the purpose of this thread:

A GHB is designed to get you to your BOL (Bug Out Location) in approximately 72hrs or less (generally speaking). So, it needs to provide what you need for 3 days.

A BOB is designed to give you the basics to live out in the wild indefinitely (in other words, the woods or unknown locales are your BOL choices).

Because of these different purposes, while they both will have some common gear, there are some MAJOR differences.

GHB - For this, you'll want ready to drink water that you can drink on the move. A bottle of water, for example. Once this is out, a good filter straw is the next best option.
BOB - For this, purification is the key, as you'll be stuck using natural sources of water. Ways to boil it, purification tabs, filters, etc. is more the focus, as is the ability to store a good amount of water.

GHB - You want something ready to eat (requires no heating or cooking), that you can munch on while moving. Multi-vitamins are also a good idea as a supplement. I like ration bars for this, as they'll give you the basics of what you need. At some point, you may have to sleep, so for this, may want one good hot meal. If so, freeze-dried or MRE is an option, or just a can of stew that you can heat right in the can. Other treats like dried fruit, jerky, hard candy, etc. are nice to have. You won't be hunting or foraging or're on the move.
BOB - This is more about the tools to catch and prepare fish and game, or even seeds to grow things. You don't really need a fishing kit in a GHB, but in a BOB, it is pretty useful, for example. You'll also want info on what plants to eat, what are poisonous, etc.

GHB - A pistol is great for this, along with a decent amount of ammo. Anything over 50 rounds is probably way more than you'd need or want to carry weight-wise, unless small like .22 ammo. Presumably, you'd have a long-gun at your BOL. A good knife (full tang) is essential for both a GHB and a BOB.
BOB - A pistol is great here too, but you'll really want a long-gun with you as well. Also, quite a bit more ammunition (as much as you can carry without overloading yourself with gear).

GHB - A good poncho to keep you dry, and seasonal clothes pretty much suffice here. You'll likely look for shelter along the way, but a quick tent isn't out of the question. Dome-style tents go up and break down in minutes, and can stand up to some pretty nasty storms. Extra pair of socks and underwear is nice (for if you get wet).
BOB - For a BOB, it's more about having the tools to MAKE shelter, such as paracord, a machete, tarp, wire or twine, etc. Though of course, you also want the poncho and seasonal clothes. Here though, you'll want a change or two of clothes.

GHB - A good lighter and some spare matches are fine. Also, a decent flashlight.
BOB - Numerous fire-making sources like strikers, matches, lighters, and shake-powered flashlights and candles. While the GHB user can use a battery-powered flashlight for the duration, the BOB user will need to use fire for light eventually. Small solar-powered flashlights (they charge while in the sun, then can be used at night) that clip to your bag are useful for either.

GHB - A few OTC meds, any needed prescription meds (3 days worth), and a basic first aid kit (under $10) will suffice.
BOB - Need a really good first aid kit with some more professional additions for self surgery or stitching, and lots of OTC meds, and if prescription meds, will need as much as you can get (and space them out more). Also, need a knowledge of natural remedies using local flora.

OTHER (the above are the basics)
GHB - Information on where you are going (though not all the way to the end, just to familiar territory, so if found, doesn't rat your BOL out), and a means of communicating (like a two-way radio) is nice. Also, an MP3 player with a good audio book or two can help the miles pass.
BOB - Other supplies are going to be based on giving you a quality of life. Things that will make living in the wild a bit easier or more pleasant. This will vary for the individual, but living off a BOB will require a LOT more woodscraft than just a guy using a GHB to get home.

Feel free to add to this.


Dec 29, 2012
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Houston Texas
i like this list since it is very accurate. i agree with it a lot, and is a basis for my bags.

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