The Go-Bag: Escape from the City

Go-Bag Contents
Go-Bag Contents

It is as the name suggests. The bag you grab when the whole shelter-in-place thing goes to shit. This is not your EDC gear; this is the bag that supports 48 hours of survival as you put some distance between yourself and whatever hell hole area you’re saying adios too.

My go-bag usually stays at the house as I don’t live in a congested city. The pack only gets chucked into the back seat of my pickup when I’m taking off on a road trip. It’s my passport to get home if I’m 4 states away and civil unrest erupts en masse. But that never happens, right?

Just about everyone I know with a law enforcement or military background has a go-bag or bug-out bag. It’s because we’ve seen what it looks like when people turn on each other and every man for himself becomes the theme. With the current climate in the US, there are many go-bags already packed and ready. This one is mine:

The Pack: Mystery Ranch

During the last stop in my law enforcement career, I covered multiple states out of an unmarked 4WD SUV. If my phone rang at 3am and I had to head out, I usually didn’t even have time to shower first. Because of this I always kept a pack in my vehicle with a change of clothes, food, extra ammo and a few other pieces of kit…until it was stolen. That’s when one of my best friends of over 34 years gave me my first Mystery Ranch backpack. He owns an outfitter shop and he insisted on giving me, “the best pack you can get, bro.” He was right.

For my go-bag, I use the Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault. It’s an incredibly durable American made pack that has a 3 zipper system for the main compartment which allows for easy packing and rapid unpacking. Loads of interior and exterior pockets allow me to separate gear into clusters. For the record, I also use a non-American made Mystery Ranch pack for standard EDC. It too is very well made. Don’t be afraid of their imported packs.

The Tools: Sig. Only Sig.

Weapons wise I focus on standardization. Both my sidearm and sub gun are chambered in 9MM so ammo can be shared between the two. If I run out, I’ll get more the easy way or the hard way and it won’t be too hard to find.

The guns themselves are professional grade. My sidearm is a Sig Sauer P229 Legion RX. My sub gun is a Sig Sauer MPX-K. Both of these firearms are very reliable, very accurate and very heavy-duty. I carry 3 mags for 229 and 2 mags for the MPX-K bringing my round count to 105. I have a spare box of 50 rounds in the pack for good measure.

My knife is a Winkler Blue Ridge Hunter. It’s pretty basic but it’s very heavy-duty and it’s been on 3 continents with me. It’s the best knife I’ve ever owned.

Support: Water, Medical, Etc..

I always carry an Adventure Medical Kit. Years ago, I bought an old Land Cruiser from a friend and he left one of their kits in the backseat for me. I’ve patched myself and my kids up with it a little more than is probably normal and I’ve come to rely on it. I carry the Sportsman 300 in my go-bag.

There’s always bottled water in my truck, but my go-bag takes it one step further. I keep a Rapid Pure filtration bottle in the pack in the event that I need to drink some sketchy water in a pinch.

I keep a black rain jacket in the pack for rain and/or concealment in the dark. For this I’m using a Black Diamond Stormline Stretch.

When it’s time to get some rest, I have an Eagles Nest Outfitters hammock system with their rain fly in the pack. I’ve spent many a night in one of these hammocks and I always wake up feeling recharged. You can hang them almost anywhere and the rain fly can be used whenever you need shelter from the elements. The whole system is lightweight and is very packable.

I love Old Bay seasoning but that’s not why it made it in my pack. That little tin box holds matches, wet wipes, granola bars, a lighter, Tylenol and B12 gummies, and a pen.

For flashlights I carry a Streamlight pen light and I have a light mounted on the MPX that can be removed if needed.

Lastly, I carry a battery backup for my phone that will support multiple full charge cycles. If you keep your phone turned off and only power it on for scheduled check-ins, the battery backup will allow you a month of communications. It better not take me that long to get home.

So there you have it, that’s my BREAK IN CASE OF EMERGENCY bag. Hopefully it remains as an insurance only type of thing but I find myself thinking about it more and more these days.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at Don and Davis’ packs. Don is a very experienced back country hunter and Davis is a SEAL so it should be informative to compare the contents of our packs.