In the latest in my Prepping UK series, I am discussing the concept of the go-bag. You will also see this referred as a grab-bag or a hotel bag.


You may need to leave…..

Whilst here in the UK, we may not need to be prepping for a hurricane to come blasting through our neighborhood, nor an earthquake to literally shake us from our homes.  We do have potential, however, for major incidents to require us to evacuate our home at short notice. Your list of potential emergencies will depend on your local and personal circumstances but may include:

  • Flood
  • Fire
  • Power Outage
  • Police incident (local crime, terrorism etc.)
  • Medical emergency
  • Traffic accident (e.g. vehicle hitting your home)
  • Industrial accident (local factory fire, chemical leak etc.)

When you think about the incidents you see on the news on a daily basis, it is easy to see how something similar could affect your local area and mean you have to leave your home at short notice.  Where you go will depend on the circumstances. The police may set up a centre for people to stay. You may go and stay with family or friends.  You could end up in a hotel if nothing else is available or if it is more suitable for you.  A medical emergency might mean you or a member of your family being taken to hospital and someone needing to stay nearby.


So be ready…..

In order to be prepared for these eventualities it makes sense to keep together some critical, essential and desirable items together so that when the need arises you just grab them and go.  This is the essence of the go-bag.  As the name suggests, it’s a bag with these items in ready to go.

I have two rucksacks, one for me and one for my wife, stocked and stored in the wardrobe.  You might prefer a single bag with everyone’s gear in and obviously the choice of bag is down to personal taste.  Some of what you put it your bag will be personal to you as well but there are some basic items you should consider:


What’s in the Go-Bag?


Enough for three days for everyone. I have underwear, T-shirts, trousers, a good belt and a fleece.  A coat can be grabbed and worn when you go.  I chose Craghopper Kiwi Classic trousers for both bags as they are comfortable and lightweight.


Wash Bags

We both have a stocked washbag in the go-bags so that nothing basic needs to be fetched from the bathroom.  I use airless pump bottles to hold some basic toiletries like shampoo, shower gel and shaving gel. A 50ml bottle holds enough of each for over a week.  There is a razor in mine with a new blade and a travel toothbrush and toothpaste.  My wife’s has conditioner and moisturizer etc.


Extras and useful items

I also have one or both bags kitted out with some extra items as needed including:

  • Water (2 x 500ml bottles)
  • Snack bars
  • Small first aid kit
  • Sewing kit
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Headlamp torch with spare batteries
  • Dual USB Charger
  • Mobile power bank (in case mains charging is unavailable for any reason)


Final Grabs

In the top of both bags, just so it doesn’t get missed is a list of final grab items which I don’t have duplicates or spares for but are either essential or useful to grab when we go (over and above the obvious coats and shoes!):

  • My wallet (with ID)
  • My wife’s purse (with ID)
  • Medications
  • Keys
  • Glasses
  • EDC pouch from my work bag. This has a variety of useful tools and other items in it.


I have never needed the go-bags but at least I am prepared should the need ever arise and even if I don’t have everything I need I will at least have a head start.  Also, like all things prepping, tweaks and changes are ongoing!