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EU-friendly City-Dweller Get-Home-Bag Help plz

Discussion in 'General EDC Discussion' started by Twitchy, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. Twitchy

    Twitchy Loaded Pockets

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    Hi!

    I need some help rationalising the contents for a Get-Home-Bag. I ask because almost all resources on the web centre around firearms (a big no-go in the EU), and cater to those that have dozens of kilometres to cover to get home.

    The average city dweller in an EU city has maybe 5-10 kilometres to get home, but often relies on public transport (which would in a worst-case-scenario not be available).

    Basically I think the contents could be simplified considerably, and I would break it down to:

    Food
    • Water - 1 litre should be plenty considering the short distance to be covered, plus we need to keep the weight to a minimum.
    • Snacks such as musli bars - just simple things to help stave off hunger and keep energy and morale up.
    Survival
    • Being stranded and having to survive off the land isn’t really a concern, so this will be very truncated.
    • Fire - a lighter or some matches would suffice.
    • FAK - the contents of which are a toughy, I doubt a tourniquet would be necessary, so I think it would be sufficient to basically go with an FAK intended for a car.
    • Some paracord is always handy.
    • A mini-sewing kit
    • Goggles and dust-mask - sounds stupid, but chances are you’ll be going through smoke or tear-gas / pepper-spray as a result of whatever disaster or civil unrest results.
    • Paper map.

    Comfort
    • A compact poncho, single-use would be fine.
    • A shmemagh.
    • Work-gloves.
    • Tissues.
    • Wet-wipes.

    Tools
    • A knife, nothing special but needs to be legal.
    • A pry-bar, preferably with a glass-breaker tip.
    • Torch.
    • Powerbank.
    • Cash.

    I think that should cover it, but I’m certain I forgot something, so I would be very happy for any input.
     
    #1 Twitchy, Sep 15, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  2. Tallboyjim

    Tallboyjim Loaded Pockets

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    Flashlight. Nowhere safe from power cuts!
     
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  3. jemhouston

    jemhouston Loaded Pockets

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    Extra socks or some plastic bags you can put over your shoes.

    City map in case you need to find an alternate route.

    Extra batteries.

    AM/FM radio. Is there something like a weather radio? If so, get a radio that covers that band.
     
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  4. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    • Cash, multiple denominations, multiple pockets
      ATMs and card payments may be down, you might need a taxi, or even a hotel room
    • Comfortable shoes - these may already be part of your wear, or they may not
    • +1 Extra socks
      walking socks would be best, especially if you're walking further than you're used to
    • USB battery bank and cable
      Any emergency will (obviously) only start when your phone's battery is nearly empty
    • Pen and paper
    • Might be overkill but, depending on what you wear to work, possibly "grey man" clothing
      Walking through a riot in a sharp suit might be less than ideal
     
    #4 PragmaticMurphyist, Sep 15, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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  5. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    No wonder you are the 'Pragmatic Murphyist' ;) ! Kudos.

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
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  6. Tallboyjim

    Tallboyjim Loaded Pockets

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    A Sharpie!

    I’m not sure on the paracord personally, spare set of shoe laces might be worth thinking about.

    +1 on the plastic bags, if just for shopping!
     
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  7. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    @Twitchy:

    I was going to say a light or maybe two, but others above beat me to it! Same thought re: some money in various denominations.

    You might want to consider a small headlamp also; at least here in US many are not very costly and are pretty lightweight and compact. A hand's free arrangement can be highly useful!

    I don't know how large a bag you're thinking of. I'd assume not too large both for ease of carry and for the 'gray-man' effect. If you have room in said bag, you might want to consider a reflective vest of the sort worn by road workers or cyclists in the event of a major power shortage and having to walk after dark. If not that, then at least some sort of reflective bracelets.

    I'm a fan of having a hat of some sort. For this situation some sort of roll-up hat would be in my pack.

    And here's hope you never need any of it!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
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  8. flux

    flux Loaded Pockets

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    My pack is usually filled with stuff I might need anyway for work, bike or impromptu overnighter.. Poncho, FAK, toothbrush, multitool, flashlight, headlamp, plastic bags, cordage, duct tape, zip ties, bike tools and pump, needle and thread, pen and paper, ear plugs, earphone for radio on the mobile, stainless water bottle, handkerchief, socks, woolen hat, scarf, work gloves, instant coffee, city map, chocolate and other snacks, powerbank with 2 spare 18650s.. Most has been covered here.

    I might add..

    I always have a very cheap lightweight bike lock.. Can be used to secure doors, vehicles, or connect or hang stuff from it. I find it most useful for locking bikes usually of course. A heavier U lock is not as light and versatile but stronger and can be used for SD.

    Something unusual.. I have a light and thin bright colored plastic cutting board. Useful for food, but also to sit on, kneel on, write on, help starting a fire, hang on vehicles when transporting very long stuff, to have a flat clean surface.. I added this once for a camping trip but it still sits in the laptop compartment and does not bother me at all.

    And at least one pack of simple paper tissue.

    Maybe add a small tealight or candle. Maybe a small water filter like the sawyer filter. But I dont usually carry this in the city. But very handy when camping.

    And I always have some extra nitril gloves outside the FAK for gross and messy stuff. Take up no space and add no weight. I dont need them to be sterile, so they just are in my backpocket.
     
  9. Twitchy

    Twitchy Loaded Pockets

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    Unfortunately we don't have weather radio in the EU, or at least not in Germany, and AM/FM will probably be turned off in the long run too in favour of DAB+ (although that's still debatable).

    But thanks for the other tips.

    Thanks, the vest is a good tip. For the head-covering, that's what the Shemagh is there for - chances are you'll need it to keep you warm and not just to shade your eyes, so a Shemagh makes more sense IMO as you can also use it as a sling, flag, to carry small items etc. etc.
     
    Last edited by Twitchy, Sep 16, 2019
    #9 Twitchy, Sep 16, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  10. Twitchy

    Twitchy Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the great feedback - the idea here is to create a generic bag that I can give to friends / family (as almost everyone lives in a larger city). It therefore has to be small so that it's easy to carry with you at all times (my brother works as a freelancer and so he's rarely ever in the same place twice) or easy to stash, as open-plan offices are taking over, but they ignore the ability for you to be able to put personal stuff anywhere except on a table or a coat-hook.

    No joke, it's getting so bad that I only needed to spend 4-5 minutes to clear out all the personal possessions of my 16 co-workers when I had to set up new standing-desk for the whole office. That's scary - in the time it takes to smoke a cigarette, I managed to "erase" all traces of 18 people from the room they spend 40 hours a week in. But that's another topic.

    This will be my new weekend project once I get the media-centre I need to build done, so I will post more details here as things develop.
     
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  11. Tallboyjim

    Tallboyjim Loaded Pockets

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    That’s a good point, the old wet wipes and/or antibac gel because, let’s face it, people are disgusting. Good shout on the toothbrush (I’ve got one myself in my work away pack). Stuff like that is handy for staying put in the office rather than running through riots/strikes/terror attacks/bad weather/zombie hoards.
     
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  12. flux

    flux Loaded Pockets

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    If it has to be very small and you want to pack and give away several..

    Gerber dime.. Currently 10 euros on amazon.de for the purple+black version. Not the sturdiest multitool but it is small and way better than nothing. Has tweezers, which is nice. Else I would add an opinel 7 or 8 or a basic SAK if you think a real knife is needed.

    Single use rainponcho or a large folded trashbag for raincover or to sit on. Small ziplock bag for important stuff.

    Folding waterbottle.

    Lighter.. Bic or clipper. Wrap them with cut up bike inner tubes.

    Small, cheap but good flashlight.. Sofirn c01s or Astrolux A01 for AAA or sf14 or sf10 for AA. Put lithium primaries or eneloops in it. Alkalines will leak. Even smaller and with USB charging but less capable and no good runtimes..Nitecore tube. But I would always pick AA. More output and better runtimes. Will also take AAA in a pinch.

    Dustmask

    Cordage because you always want cordage. Long enough to at least improvise a belt. It sucks to have no belt. Maybe weave it into a fob for another item.

    Small first aid kit. I have a simple one from a dollarstore.

    Small pencil, sharpie, paper, minimal sewing kit.

    You could fit all this easily in a 10 euro Tatonka Funnypack (sic) which is a very good one because it carries very flat, can be used like a sling bag, can fit a 0.5l water bottle if neccessary, disappears under clothing when not stuffed fullto the brim and is really well made. Much more versatile than a pocket organizer. If you want to keep things neatly packed, put small items in a small box or tin.

    A Tin box could be used as a alcohol burner in a pinch, too. So maybe add a small amount of pure alcohol that can actually burn to prepare hot water or food, also can be used for desinfecting wounds or hands or be used watered down to even make a drink. You can get this at pharmacies.

    Maybe add a cheap folding backpack or folding tote bag for more carrying capacity.

    Fill the remaining space with energy bars and chewing gum and throw in a pack or two of aspirin compact.

    Maybe consider a spoon, spork for eating with dignity and something that can open a can. A SAK will have this. Or a cheap can opener like the good old p51.

    If you want to add a small prybar with glassbreaker tip.. You can find stuff like this for 1 to 3 euros on aliexpress.
     
    Last edited by flux, Sep 16, 2019
    #12 flux, Sep 16, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  13. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    My only relevant competance with regards to your topic is being a fellow European.
    And thats not really worth much either, since allthough European contries are generally stringent and have similar regulations, Europe is large and there is significantly different habits, traditions, customs and climates across the European countries.

    I’m very pragmatic when it comes to planning for «whatever» might happen and the distances you are talking about is no challenge for a healthy person. I live about 14km from my office, and under normal circumstances I can easily cover that distance in about 2 hours. I don’t have a get home bag or kit, so I’m not an authority on this, but always carry things that I could realisticly need, and some of that could in a given situation assist me in getting home. My number one priority is to keep a minimal set of things that could be useful at any moment, not just in a far fetched EOW scenario. Keep things simple.

    «Whatever» could happen when you least expect it, so have your basic needs covered. Do not underestimate the importance of food and water, as well as a caffeine source or other substance to keep you awake. Things could just as well go south at 10.30 pm, after 6 hours of overtime. Outside it’s dark, rainy and cold, you are already dead tired and starving after a long day and can’t think of anything else than getting home to a good meal and a warm bed.

    I always have a gore-tex set in my backpack, but a superlight poncho is a great option to protect against rain, sleet and any other variation of cold and wet weather for a limited time.
    Be aware that these things burns like crazy, so use wisely according to the scenario you are facing.
    On that note, I have made it a habit to make sure most of my other clothes are natural fibers (wool and cotton) that are inherently flame retardant.
    If fancy shoes is part of the office outfit, I would definitely bring some good shoes to get home. 10km in dress shoes is very doable, but it’s going to be painful. Happy feets can make you more aware and able to make better decisions.

    Other need to haves: Some is covered by on body EDC items like a wallet with money and cards, phone, knife, flashlight,earplugs, watch and pen. In addition you might want work gloves or similar, power bank, bandage or minimalist FAK (I don’t carry any first aid items atm, but I think a proper GHB probably should have some means to treat wounds), wool buff (I don’t go the shemag route, as it is not a common garment around here and could attract unwanted attention) A wool hat is part of my clothing when appropriate for the season, so it’s not really a part of my EDC kit.

    Nice to haves: even more food and more water. You might not be in imminent danger, areas could be closed off or you could be delayed or prevented from moving for so many reasons.
    If your regular flashlight isn’t a headlamp it could be a nice addition to the kit.
    A rated dustmask is probably a whole lot better and more confidence inspiring than a buff or shemag if you must protect that air intake from less than ideal conditions.
    I also have a seatbelt cutter thing and nitrile gloves in my bag, but mostly because like the idea of being able to help others, I don’t think it’s something you would likely need for yourself.
    A BIC lighter or similar. I don’t really see what I might use it for in an emergency, but it’s very small and light and sometimes convenient in “peacetime” at least.

    Don't haves: Anything resembling shelter or cocking equipment. I do not consider it realistic, based on distance to travel and the expected topology, that I in any conceivable scenario would stop to :censored: food or boil water. Speed is your friend. You probably wanna get to safety rather than going camping.

    YMMV: It’s very difficult to design a bag thats suitable for anyone in any situation. For instance I have access to a lot of stuff at my workplace, so if something should happen before I leave work, I could stack up on relevant supplies or even stay put if that seems like the better option. If something happens on my way, I’ll just have to make due with what I have in my EDC.
     
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