Is Your Go-Bag Good-to-Go?

By Craig Pedersen

If you haven’t head of a “go bag” I’d be surprised. Most who have been around EDC circles for some time are quite familiar with the concept.

Anyone who has worked standby shifts or reaction units will immediately appreciate the importance of a go-bag. For years I’ve lived with a go-bag within easy reach. My girlfriend and even my kids know what it is and where to find it. Often enough they’ve had to pick it up from the study and bring it out to me as I’ve done a drive past to collect it.

While everyone has their own unique requirements of what they put into a go-bag and it’s largely meant to be personalised. So I won’t dictate what should be in yours. Mine is packed to sustain me for 2-3 days away from the house with the bare essentials. Sure it has a shaving kit, warm top and a handful of energy bars – but what else is in there?

I’m a big believer in having one tool of the highest quality with multiple uses to conserve space and reduce weight. As such, I prefer a day pack that has multiple pockets and straps for separating gear. I keep a plug and press kit and basic medical in the external pockets for easy access. An Xt11 tactical torch with map reading filter and USB charging cable, cell phone battery bank, Leatherman and an asp baton, are all externally accessible.

Inside I have a North Pole jacket, socks, underwear, spare wallet with some cash, spare magazines and a box of defensive ammo, cyalume sticks, binoculars, two rat-packs, handful of energy supplement sachets, cable ties, spare cellphone, notepad and pencil.

It’s probably not going to last me tremendously long during a zombie apocalypse, however it’s come in handy a number of times when I’ve deployed for a few days without the convenience of being close to home base or the time to pack properly.

Everyone has their own scenario for which they’d need a go-bag and should obviously pack according to their own needs. Golden rules around mine aside from what’s above are simple – keep it tidy, packed consistently, checked regularly and accessible. Yes, there are issues around keeping a few mags and a box of rounds in a bag that isn’t in a safe – I’ll leave you to work the logistics of that one out on your own.

The old adage “Chance favours the prepared mind” could never hold more true in a country where the unexpected happens more than we’d ideally like. Whether you live in the suburbs and may be called to assist your neighbours or live on a farm and are part of a plot watch – if you’re prone to dashing out for an emergency, then it becomes prudent to have a go-bag at hand.

The question of the day is – what’s in YOUR go-bag?


Craig Pedersen has over 25 years security industry experience ranging from Close Protection and policing to corportate security, commercial intelligence and digital forensics. He is an avid shooter and former SAPS Reservist Instructor with a passion for equipment testing and reviews.

Photo: Rodales Organic Life www.rodalesorganiclife.com

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