Lifestyle

A Go Bag: How To Build One Cheaply

a go bag

This past week parts of eastern Alabama and western Georgia suffered deadly tornadoes. As a native Georgia resident this is normal for Spring. Thus, Southerners prepare for these emergencies in various ways. One of those ways is by building a go bag. Even if you don’t live in the South you should have one of these kits because if you have to leave your home in hurry, you can grab this pack and go!

What Is A Go Bag?

A go bag is a backpack containing various emergency supplies, some cash, a change of clothing, and whatever else a person needs if he or she has to leave their home in a hurry.

You should keep your go pack either in a centralized location or some place in your home that you can access in a rush. This could be a closet by a door or sitting on a shelf in a garage.

Finally, each member in your family needs their own go backpack. While it may be easier to buy a bigger bag and stuff it with goods, a heavy bag will be cumbersome to carry during a rush.

Can You Buy A Pre-filled Go Bag?

Yes, although you will pay more for the gear inside it. Most of these kits are huge because the manufactures include supplies for a specific number of days (usually 72 hours) for two people.

Also, the supplies within the knapsack may not be the best quality. And you may not need most of the supplies included in the sack. These pre-filled bags on sale at various stores contain more bandages and gauze then anyone would ever use.

In my opinion, I would steer clear of these go bags and just build you own. That’s what I did and here how:

How To Build A Go Bag Cheaply

The first item you need a backpack. You can buy one or grab one you have sitting in your house. Your backpack doesn’t need to be fancy. You don’t have to buy a tactical one or one rated for camping. Yet, if you want one of those you can buy it, but they just cost more. My backpack is one rated for office work. It’s large enough to carry my supplies and is comfortable to wear.

Now that you have your pack you can fill it with supplies. To do this cheaply you can gather the following from your local discount store like a Dollar Tree or Dollar General.

  • First aid kit
  • Personal hygiene supplies
  • Disinfectant materials (like hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes)
  • Gloves (non-latex and regular)
  • Food storage bags
  • Can/bottle opener
  • Tape (packaging and duct)
  • Batteries
  • Paper goods (like toilet paper or face tissue)

You can go to Walmart or Target to grab these items too. Yet, you may pay more depending on what the item is.

Another important item to keep in a go bag is cash. This way you can pay for food or other goods if a store can’t accept a debit or credit card. And this is common during an emergency, especially if the power is out or if there is a disruption in Internet access. Finally, it’s best to keep cash in small denominations.

Finally, go to your closet or your dresser and pull out a change of clothes to put in your backpack. If you have to leave your house in a hurry you probably will only have the clothes on your body at the time. So it would be great to have a change of underwear, socks, bra, shirt, and pants.

Other Items To Consider Including

There are other items you need to consider including in your kit depending on the needs of your family.

If you have a baby or toddler, then you need you need to include baby supplies in your bag. If you have children you should add into their sack toys or books or other forms of entertainment that doesn’t eat up batteries or require power. A coloring book and crayons are as they don’t take up much room in the bag and are pretty inexpensive to buy.

Now if you have anyone with a chronic disease or special needs, you need to make sure those bags contain extra medication or supplies to assist those members.


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Naomi P Lane
12 days ago

This is excellent advice that can’t be overstated. Everyone living in a cyclone or tornado zone should make one of these for sure. Great message Brittany!

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5 days ago

[…] week I wrote about how everyone needs a go bag for emergency situations. To go along with dealing with emergencies I want to discuss food preparedness for beginners. Why? […]