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WHAT IS A GO-BAG?

AND WHY DO YOU NEED ONE?

THE COMMON ANSWER TO THAT IS: A GO-BAG IS THE KIND OF BAG ALWAYS PACKED AND READY TO GRAB WHEN THE SHTF. BUT THE CONCEPT OF THE GO-BAG APPLIES TO MANY DIFFERENT FIELDS AND ENVIRONMENTS. 

Apart from the emergency Go-Bag, we find people in various professions that use Go-Bags in their everyday work. Photographers, emergency personnel, military, Search & Rescue teams... The list of occupations that demand a Go-Bag goes on. There are also many sports (professional or amateur), leisure and adventure activities where you benefit from having a Go-Bag packed and ready.

Go-Bag 5.11 Tactical BackpacksGo-Bag 5.11 Tactical Backpacks

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR GO-BAG

When choosing a Go-Bag you must start by defining when you expect to use it. What kind of scenarios will cause you to grab your bag and leave your home? Is it for that when-the-SHTF-scenario, or do you need it for a specific recurring reason connected to your occupation or hobby?

Keeping your Go-Bag organized is a key factor for success, you need to be able to access your gear quickly, even in poor light conditions. Find a backpack with multiple compartments and the possibility to add pouches, this will help you to keep it organized. Durability, comfort and packing capacity are also important factors to consider.

Having a Go-Bag ready with essentials can be a life saver, but what passes as “essentials” is highly individual. Keep reading to learn more about some of the situations where you can benefit from having a bag packed and ready to go.

THE EMERGENCY GO-BAG

The Emergency Go-Bag sits in an easy to grab area of your home, or in your car. It is the kind of bag everyone should keep in case of an emergency that demands a quick exit, but you hope you will never have to use. In this bag you keep water, food, clothes, medical equipment, power banks, flashlights and tools that will help keep you safe for the next 72 hours.

Remember to pack your emergency Go-Bag with your needs and surroundings taken into consideration and have a Go-Bag packed for each family member. Climate, survival skills and family members specific needs are all things you need to think through. The little one will probably be very happy if they find a teddy bear in their Go-Bag, and you want to pack clothes both for warm and cold weather. Look through and update your Go-Bag every 6 months to be sure both water, food and medicine stay fresh.

The AMP72TM and RUSH72TM (featured in the image) are both perfect 72 hour Go-Bag.

Emergency Go-Bag 5.11 Tactical BackpacksEmergency Go-Bag 5.11 Tactical Backpacks
Professional Go-Bag Police Law Enforcement PhotographersProfessional Go-Bag Police Law Enforcement Photographers

GO-BAGS FOR PROFESSIONALS

As mentioned above there are lots of occupations that demand a Go-Bag. This kind of bag is also more frequently used than the emergency Go-Bag. Surveillance Agents and SWAT Units all have their specific needs, and go-bags to help them perform in every situation. They need be able to blend in with their surrondings, be it people or nature, and at the same time have all their gear close at hand for quick changes in their assignments. 

5.11 ambassadors Sandra Vidrequin, International Combat & Press Photographer, and Andrew Eaton, Photographer Dakar Press Team Australia, know all about what to pack in the photographer Go-Bag. Apart from the obvious camera gear, the photographer in extreme environments need their press cards, basic survival gear, food, water, medical kit, and let us not forget the snacks to keep your energy up.

Sandra prefers the RUSH12TM, while Andrew has an AMP10.

THE ADVENTURE GO-BAG

The Adventure Go-Bag is not for a life-or-death emergency. It is more a constant companion to the frequent hiker and outdoors person. I mean, what would you do if you got an unexpected invitation on a Friday afternoon to leave for the mountains straight after work? Say no because you don’t have your gear in order? The -Adventure Go-Bag needs to #ABR (Always Be Ready). Bushcraft Alli knows everything about keeping her RUSH100TM organized to make her bushcrafting adventures a pure pleasure.

Less is definitely more in this case. If it is not essential for your 48-hour survival – leave it, because thinking about weight is essential for the hiker. This goes both for your choice of backpack and the contents of it. Keep sleeping gear and tent as lightweight as possible.

Adventure Go-Bag Hiking BushcraftingAdventure Go-Bag Hiking Bushcrafting
Search & Rescue Go-Bag for SAR TeamsSearch & Rescue Go-Bag for SAR Teams

SEARCH & RESCUE GO-BAGS

Independent of if the Search & Rescue (SAR) team is active in rescue missions in the mountains, at sea, in the forests or other hard to reach areas, they all need to be prepared for anything they might face. Harsh weather conditions, difficult terrain and victims with serious injuries, the Search & Rescue Go-Bag needs to be packed and prepped for it all. At the same time, it also needs to be adapted to the rescuer carrying the bag. With a too heavy bag, you will not be able to carry out your mission in an effective way.

SAR Teams have specific demands for what the team members need to bring, a kind of minimum gear required. You would need protection gear for yourself, like helmets, gloves, good hiking boots, sunglasses, and rain wear. Supplies like food for 24 hours, water, whistle, knives, ropes, flashlights, map and compass are going to be your best friends on a search mission.

And then you have all the gear and tools you need for the actual rescue mission. Gear like a space blanket, binoculars, emergency kit, a folding saw and 40’ nylon webbing. 

When choosing a Go-Bag for Search & Rescue missions, we recommend getting a backpack with Molle webbing or Hexgrid® platform so you can add pouches and keep essential gear on the pack for easy and fast access.

THE SHOOTING RANGE GO-BAG

Many athletes have Go-Bags to always be well prepared for training and competition. For the competitive shooter, firearms and ammunition are far from the only equipment they need to bring to the range. Most equipment is always packed and ready to be used, like ear and eye protection, cleaning kit, key tools to disassemble the guns, or spare parts in case anything breaks. If you do not have these necessities murphy’s law dictates that you will need it, and so the competitive shooter tends to be very well prepared. With whole days on the range, often walking long distances in any kind of weather, the shooter requires food and liquids to stay on top of their game and a raincoat and a second pair of range shoes is often going to be a must as well.

A competitive shooter needs a durable Go-Bag to handle the weight from the ammo and enough space for everything else. Some prefer backpacks, others prefer range bags like the 5.11 Range Ready Bag. The latter often carried on a trolley. Smaller pouches inside the bag or attached to the external Molle/Hexgrid system will help the shooter stay organized.

Shooting Range Go-Bag Competitive Shooter Shooting Range Go-Bag Competitive Shooter

THE SHOOTING RANGE GO-BAG

Many athletes have Go-Bags to always be well prepared for training and competition. For the competitive shooter, firearms and ammunition are far from the only equipment they need to bring to the range. Most equipment is always packed and ready to be used, like ear and eye protection, cleaning kit, key tools to disassemble the guns, or spare parts in case anything breaks. If you do not have these necessities murphy’s law dictates that you will need it, and so the competitive shooter tends to be very well prepared. With whole days on the range, often walking long distances in any kind of weather, the shooter requires food and liquids to stay on top of their game and a raincoat and a second pair of range shoes is often going to be a must as well.

A competitive shooter needs a durable Go-Bag to handle the weight from the ammo and enough space for everything else. Some prefer backpacks, others prefer range bags like the 5.11 Range Ready Bag. The latter often carried on a trolley. Smaller pouches inside the bag or attached to the external Molle/Hexgrid system will help the shooter stay organized.

5.11 OFFERS WELL-CONSTRUCTED AND STURDY TACTICAL PACKS & BAGS, PERFECT AS GO-BAGS TO EVERYONE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND MILITARY TO PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES AND OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS. 

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