We all have those projects that we know we should begin, but manage to keep putting off. Building a go-bag has been that kind of project for me. However, a few months ago I decided that the procrastination had to come to an end! And so the go-bag building adventure officially began!
My initial plan was to complete my go-bag before publishing anything about it on ArmsVault. However, it didn’t take long to realize that this was a much bigger project than I had expected. Consequently, I decided that writing a series of articles about the process, while the go-bag is being built, might help me to stay more organized.
At the time of this post, I would guess that my go-bag is approximately 50% complete. While I think I am on the right track now, things got off to a rough start. My biggest mistake was that I initially didn’t take the time to define the goals of my go-bag. I know, I know… it is so fun and easy to go online and begin ordering cool gadgets for your go-bag. But trust me… without the proper planning, there is a good chance that you will waste a lot of time and money.
Before I get into the goals I have set for my go-bag, I want to explain why I refer to it as a go-bag in the first place. Quite often you will see phrases such as go-bag and bug-out bag used interchangeably. But, I view them as two very different things. By my definition, a go-bag should provide survival supplies for a short period of time (1 – 3 days). A bug-out bag provides supplies for a more extended period.
Below are some of the questions I answered to help define my go-bag goals:
- How many people should your go-bag support, and for how long?
- Supports 1 person for 1 – 3 days. My plan is for each member of my family to eventually have their own go-bag.
- What is the maximum size and weight of your go-bag?
- I’ll get into this more when I discuss the backpack I selected. However, my goal is for my go-bag to have a small footprint and be as light weight as possible. My family takes a lot of road trips and it is unrealistic to think that we can fill our trunk up with go-bags. If they aren’t reasonable in size, they won’t be used.
- What weather conditions do you need to be prepared for?
- Freezing to hot. Dry to rainy. My travels take me to areas with a wide range of weather conditions.
- What types of emergencies do you want to be prepared for?
- I know… the list of possible emergencies you might face is endless. But, taking some time to think this through will help to determine what kind of survival supplies you might need.
- How will my go-bag be organized?
- I chose to take a modular approach. I am building multiple packs (e.g. Tools, Food/Water, Medical, Clothing, Personal Care, Shelter) that go into the go-bag. These packs can be easily switched out if necessary.
- What is your budget for the go-bag?
- The cost of a fully-stocked go-bag can vary greatly, depending on your tastes in gear. I know it can be a bit painful to pay for top-of-the-line equipment when you know it is going to be packed away in a bag that you hope to never use. But, there is certainly something to say about having good equipment that you know will work when it is needed most.
- My advice… buy the best gear you can afford. Start with a high-quality bag since that is the backbone of your go-bag. You don’t have to build your go-bag all at once. If anything, stocking your go-bag will give you tons of gift ideas to share with your loved ones.
I would highly recommend keeping a log of all the items you have acquired for your go-bag, as well as all the items you still need. Because I have some nerdy tendencies, I have created a spreadsheet that helps me keep track of my go-bag’s inventory.
Be sure to check back often for go-bag updates: Building a Go-Bag
Items Shown in Photo
- Caliber: 9×19
- System: Safe Action
- G17: 204 mm / 8.03
- G17 Gen4: 202 mm / 7.95 in
- Height: 138 mm / 5.43 in
- Width: 30.00 mm / 1.18 in
- Barrel Height: 32 mm / 1.26 in
- Length Between Sights: 165 mm / 6.49 in
- Barrel Length: 114 mm / 4.48 in
- Unloaded: 625 g / 22.05 oz
- Loaded: 905 g / 32.12 oz
- Trigger Pull: ~2.5 kg / ~5.5 lbs
- Trigger Travel: ~12.5 mm / 0.49 in
- Barrel Rifling: right hand, hexagonal
- Length of Twist: 250 mm / 9.84 in
- Magazine Capacity:
- Standard: 17
- Optional: 33
- More Info: Glock
Bravo Concealment OWB Kydex Gun Holster – BCA:
- Designed for outside the waistband carry, but can easily be converted to inside the waistband by switching out the belt loops.
- Solid locking retention of weapon.
- BCA holster comes in two options: with or without pistol light.
- 10° can’t enhances concealment under loose garments.
- Robust 1.5” or 1.75” injection molded belt loops prevent breakage even under rigorous use.
- Belt loops can be replaced with Belt Clips for inside the waistband carry.
- The BCA creates adequate room for a positive grip thus enabling a smooth draw with solid weapon retention.
- Belt loops are adjustable to create a desired cant for greater concealment.
- All edges on holster are rounded for comfort.
- All holsters are curved to fit the contours of your body.
- Available in Black, Grey, Flat Dark Earth (FDE)
- All Quick Ship Gun Holsters allow for “Suppressor Sights” or “Tall Sights”
- More Info: Bravo Concealment
Pathfinder GEN2 Canteen Cooking Set:
- 9oz Wide-mouth Stainless Steel Canteen with new thread and cap design.
- 25oz Stainless Steel Nesting Cup
- Stainless Steel Canteen Nesting Stove
- Lightweight Canteen Bag
- Pathfinder Canteen Cup Lid (effective 10-12-15)
- 304 Stainless Steel (.5mm-.6mm thick)
- 39oz Wide-mouth Canteen (the ONLY wide-mouth stainless steel military canteen available)
- New and improved ABS lid with stainless steel insert and silcone ring seal
- 25oz Nesting Cup
- Made in China
- Designed in the USA
- Canteen Stove:
- Set nested together dimensions: 5 ¼“ long, 3 ½“ wide, 8 ¼“ tall
- Canteen w/cap on dimensions: 5 ¼ ” long, 3 ½”wide, 8 ¼” tall
- Nesting Cup dimensions: 5 ¼” long, 3 ½ wide, 4 ¼” tall, width with handle extended 7”
- Nesting Cup graduations: 16oz, 20oz, 25oz and 400ml, 500ml, 600ml, 700ml
- Stove: 5 ¼” long, 3 ½” wide, 3 ¼” tall
- More Info: Self Reliance Outfitters
Datrex Emergency Food Ration – 3600 kcal:
- Total Servings: 18
- Total Calories: 3,600
- Shelf Life: 5 Years
- Food Type: Full Meal
- Preservation: Vacuum Stabilized
- Serving Size: 1 Bar (Approx. 42g)
- More Info: The Ready Store
Bear & Son Cutlery Bear Edge Compact Bowie:
- SKU: 61108
- Blade Material: 440 Stainless Steel
- Handle Material: Black G10
- Open Length: 9-5/8″
- Blade Length: 5″
- Weight: 5.8 oz.
- Origin: Built in America
- Extras: Black Blade and Stainless Bolsters, Ballistic Sheath & Taper Ground Blade
- More Info: Bear & Son Cutlery
Vanquest SKITCH-15 Messenger Bag:
- Net Weight: 2.40 pounds | 1089 grams
- “SHORT carry mode: 15″ (W) x 12.5″ (H) x 4.5″ (D), 18-liter capacity
- “MEDIUM carry mode: 15″ (W) x 15″ (H) x 4.5″ (D), 22-liter capacity
- “TALL” carry mode: 15″ (W) x 19.5″ (H) x 4.5″ (D), 31-liter capacity
- Padded TSA-friendly compartment fits tablets and laptops up to 15”
- Pass-through zipper on flap for accessing interior compartments
- Rear compartment with loop lining for CCW holsters and accessories
- 5 zippered compartments and 7 hook-and-loop closed pockets
- Ambidextrous design with 3-Liter hydration bladder compatibility
- Luggage handle pass-through (7” wide) on backside
- Adjustable shoulder strap with shoulder pad and stabilizer strap
- MOLLE/PALS webbing on front and sides for expansion/attachment
- Flag/morale patch holder on front
- *Optional Drop In Organizer (Part# 050640) available
- **Optional GT-Cobra Sling Strap (Part# 018020) available
- 1,000-D Mil-grade Cordura® fabric with water-repellent Teflon® fabric protector by DuPont® (500-D Cordura® on MultiCam-Black model)
- Genuine MADE-IN-USA MultiCam-Black® Cordura® by Crye Precision™
- High-visibility, lightweight & moisture resistant 210-D Ripstop nylon interior.
- Durable & abrasion resistant RC-Class YKK® zippers, reversed for protection.
- MOLLE/PALS compatible attachment system with high tensile strength nylon webbing.
- Mil-grade ITW® and UTX-DURAFLEX® hardware made from high tensile strength Acetal (Delrin®) polymer.
- Circular user-friendly zipper loops made of GLADDING’s 550 lb. tensile strength paracord (MADE-IN-USA)
- Neoprene rubber padded grab handles for extra comfort
- High tensile strength nylon webbings and binding tapes
- Finished with high tensile strength bonded nylon thread
- More Info: Vanquest Gear