I don't commute as far as many here but I do have a GHB packed in the car. I travel occasionally to further locations than just my daily commute and I would certainly forget the bag for those outings if it weren't there on a daily basis.
It contains pretty much all the basics others have listed so I won't belabor that point. I do also carry a couple of axes in the car... a full-sized axe, and a lighter "boy" axe which is a scaled down version of the full-size. I need a good place to mount it (the boy axe) on the bag for hands-free carry.
The bag also contains a folded Kel-Tec Sub 2000 which takes the same ammo and mags as one of my carry guns. It's a small, light bag like the E-S above, and the KT2K just barely fits - but it does fit. If I have a 3 day walk home through a chaotic situation (with plenty of desperate people or just people taking advantage of the lawless environment for a little "fun") I'll be glad to have both a long gun capable of accurate fire at further distance than my pistol and also a back-up piece in case my carry gun goes down on me. I really do not want to be spotted carrying a long gun if I can avoid it, but really like having it available upon demand if I need it. So the folding KTS2k really works for me in this context. Sharing mags with my carry gun is a HUGE plus.
I don't think it's warranted packing a tent, sleeping bag, etc in a GHB. For one or two nights, I can huddle up somewhere for a few hours z's. You can't live like that long term, but a couple of nights won't kill me. A tent isn't secure anyway. The GHB should be built for speed, a BOB more for depth. Keep light, keep fast.
Not sure if it was mentioned but some small bills in cash and some change should be kept. Anything you can buy along the way is something you won't have to carry. Sometimes pay phones work when cell service is offline. Sometimes vendors will take cash even when power is out and charge-cards aren't working. Change works for vending machines if they're working.
Maps? GPS is a godsend if it is working for you but there are a lot of things that can go wrong with technology. Paper backup maps (laminated can be made or bought) are important. You might be re-routing around your familiar trek home due to collapsed infrastructure or other local hazard. Better to see the squggly lines on the paper than to try to guess it by "dead reckonning", because if you're dead wrong, you might end up just plain dead.
Don't forget to take advantage of transport when available. Sure, we're assuming at some point you may have to abandon your vehicle. That doesn't mean you might not be able to walk out to an area where transport is still working. Sometimes a good Samaritan will help you out with a lift. Public transportation may also be an option once you're outside the immediate affected area. Bus, train, ferry - these are other reasons you don't want to be seen openly carrying a long-gun. You likely wouldn't be allowed on public transport with an openly displayed firearm. Every mile you can ride, is a mile you don't have to walk. More importantly, every hour you can ride is an hour you are not exposed to the hazards faced by a lone walker out in the miles between outposts of safety.
Lastly, how is your bag secured? It's nice if you can keep it on you at all times. In reality, that's not always practical for everyone. I don't like taking a bag to and from a vehicle because that's how things get forgotten on the one day you finally actually need it. If the bag lives in the car full time, how do you secure it? I have an SUV so there's no trunk or compartment for it. You can use luggage locks to secure the zippers. And you can use a bicycle cable lock to run through all the straps on the pack, where someone would have to destroy the pack to get it out of the car. No, that won't stop every thief, but it will thwart the casual snatch artist who wants to grab and go, rather than figure out what is holding up the bag and where to cut it etc... don't forget to cover the bag... a blanket or even plastic trash bag will protect it from dust and from view. Keep the cable and lock with you if you actually have to GH... you probably can't wear the bag while sleeping and it would be a disaster to wake up and find it gone. Secure that bag.
Just a few thoughts...
The one thing worse than defeat is surrender.
Last edited by bruss01; 02-20-2013 at 1:41 PM..