Essential Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

by Todd Walker

Don’t leave home without it!

Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

What did you forget?

My bud over at For Tomorrow We... shared with me his article on building an office emergency kit. It reminded me that I should update my kit – and plan. Tip ‘o the hat, my friend!

If you’re fortunate enough have a job in today’s shrinking economy, it’s likely that you spend over a third of your life commuting to and from work. Whether your ‘office’ is a construction site, hospital, toll booth, boardroom, or classroom like mine, you must leave the house to get there.

Having a few preparedness tools stacks the deck in favor of you getting home.

It all starts…

Before Stepping Over Your Doorsill

I give Dirt Road Girl a hard time about how long it takes her to get ready when we’re leaving the house. She returns the good-natured ribbing *hands on those beautiful hips and eyes rolling* as I start my ritual of loading my pockets and belt with stuff I carry everyday.

I just smile and say, “Ya never know!”

Pockets Full of Preps

The stuff you carry on your person is known in the prepper community as EDC (Everyday Carry). If you work in a victim zone (Weapons Free Zone) as I do, you’ll have to get creative with preparedness and self-defense items.

Ask a prepper if he has a knife on him. You’re likely to hear what my daddy’s says…

“I’ve got my pants on, don’t I!”

But wait! There’s more room for other useful stuff besides a knife.

Wallet (some conventional and unconventional items)

  • Money (stash some so the spouse and kids don’t find it)
  • Duct tape – wrap 3 feet around an expired store card
  • I.D. to prove your residency when local law enforcement have blocked off your neighborhood after a natural disaster
  • Emergency contact numbers on a card. If your smart phone is lost, stolen, or dead, it’s no longer real smart. I personally don’t have my adult children’s phone numbers memorized. That’s why an old-fashioned paper card is important.
  • Pre-paid phone card. They work if you find a pay phone at a truck stop.
  • Condom. Of the extra-large, un-lubricated variety. Settle down, now! Condoms have more than one use. Creek Stewart shows 11 redundantly resilient ways a condom could save your life – with pictures and videos!


  • Sidearm – This item, along with a spare magazine, is on my person everywhere I go. The only exceptions are places my government permission slip won’t allow me to exercise my natural rights – like my victim zone classroom!
  • Flashlight – I carry a Streamlight ProTac 2L clipped inside my pocket.
  • Reading glasses – LightSpecs go where I go. I use the two LED lights on these glasses far more than any other flashlights I own. DRG can tell you about my flashlight fetish.
  • Cell phone – smart phones are pocket-size, survival super-computers.
  • Swiss Army Knife – tool of my trade as the resident handyman at school
  • Tooth picks – it’s a personal thing.
  • Chap stick
  • Lighter
  • Keychain ferro rod
  • Metal mechanical pencil – for school.

Here’s a place for the rest of your stuff…

Get Home Bag

Guys ~ time to swallow your pride and invest in a good man purse. One peek into the bottomless pit the ladies call a purse will convince you of its utility.

Manly men and only a few metro-sexuals correctly refer to their Man Purse as Get Home Bags (GHB). A book bag, shoulder bag, brief case, or small duffel bag will serve the purpose. Keep in mind that a well stocked GHB isn’t built to get you through a sudden zombie apocalypse or end of the world scenario. GHB’s are simply a stopgap measure to get you home safely.

Your family is depending on you – prepare accordingly.

Here’s a look at my GHB ‘man purse’:

Maxpedition Jumbo™ E.D.C. Versipack® – (I have no affiliation with this company).

Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

My Maxpedition GHB

I’ve owned this pack for a few years and absolutely love its utility! Your ‘office’ environment will determine the type of GHB you carry and it’s contents. If you wear suits and ties to the office, the Maxpedition line of bags will stick out like a man wearing a speedo to a lady-preachers convention. Choose a GHB that blends in naturally.

What to Pack in a GHB

Personalize your bag to meet your needs (meds, contact numbers, etc.). Outside those personalized items, I recommend these items for every GHB:

Essential Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

Your packing list

  • Container: I carry a stainless steel water bottle full of agua. The metal container also allows you to kill nasties in drinking water via boiling method.
  • Fire: A couple of ways to make fire – lighter, storm matches, ferro rod, and sure-fire tinder. Fire is even useful in an urban jungle. My fire kit is in a self-contained Altoids tin.
  • Self-defense Weapons: If legal at your ‘office’, pack heat. There are many compact handguns on the market to choose from. Less lethal pepper spray should also be included.
  • Flashlight: Ever change a flat tire with a mini Maglite between your teeth? Not fun! Invest in a good headlamp for hands-free operation. Don’t forget extra batteries. I wrap 3 AAA batteries in yellow electrical tape with the packing date written on the tape. This does two things – 1.) keeps them in one unit and 2.) reveals their freshness date.
  • Cordage: 50 feet of 550 paracord.
  • Knife: A fixed blade knife and a multitool.
  • Calories: Energy bars, pemmican, jerky, nuts, trail mix, and sardines. Be sure to rotate/eat any nuts in your GHB periodically to prevent spoilage. If your GHB is exposed to extreme heat inside your vehicle, spoilage can be a major concern.
  • Cover: Lightweight poncho, tarp or contractor garbage bags. I also pack an emergency space blanket. A tarp is in my vehicle emergency kit.
  • Compass and Map: Navigational instruments that don’t depend on electronics. Detours happen in disasters. A map of your city and state (states if you’re a traveling salesman) is an essential tool. Practice and be familiar with several routes home before a crisis. Reminder: Keep your fuel tank at least half full.
  • Pencil and Paper: A small note pad for taking notes, leaving messages, and notes when using a map and compass.
  • Paper Money: Cache some cash of different denominations in different places in your GHB. I can roll about 5 bills and stuff them into a metal pill container.
  • Band-Aids: I pack Moleskin, a few Band-Aids, moist wipes, Advil packets, hand sanitizer, and a partial roll of flexible equine bandage wrap. I also pack duct tape and a 100% cotton bandana.
  • Dust Mask: A N95 mask allows you to breathe without inhaling harmful dust particles. They’re cheap, lightweight, and can be MacGyvered for other uses. Remember the scenes from 911 of people running through the streets of NY enveloped by dust and disaster debris.
  • Bandana: Speaking of MacGyvered items, pack a 100% cotton bandana in your GHB.
  • Whistle: A simple signaling device to alert rescuers – if you want to be found.
  • Bug Spray: A small pen-style container fits easily in my kit.

Note to the ladies: Jane over at Mom With a Prep reviewed her GHB, or Day Bag, just for you. Just so you know, she’s not your typical soccer mom. So don’t call it a purse to her face!

A good GHB doesn’t take into account your vehicle or office kit. You’ve prepared your car and office emergency supplies, right?

Whether you love your job or not, the fact is that you spend a lot of time away from your safe place called home. The important people in your life are counting on you to get home in one piece. Your GHB is another prep to help you step back over your doorsill after work.

I need to make a point here about all the stuff in your GHB. It’s not too effective if you don’t practice and learn to use the items.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


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Categories: Doing the Stuff, Preparedness, Survival | Tags: , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Essential Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

  1. That’s right, Mister, it’s NOT a purse 😛

    Great article!


  2. Phil

    Depending on what season it is, I always keep a change of clothes so I don’t burn up or freeze if I have to hoof it home. And a pair of socks.


    • I’d need to increase the size of my GHB to get clothes packed – I’ve actually considered that option. I do have spare shocks and hiking boots in my vehicle just in case. I keep a rain suit in my classroom for outside duty on nasty days which would serve double duty if I had to walk home.

      Smart to include extra clothing for the seasons in our kits. Thanks for adding to the convo, Phil!


      • Mike

        Good idea, I’ve got a car bag with glove, beanie, tshirt, jumper and socks.
        Must think about extra boots – cheers for that.
        Ive just bought a Samsonite, High Sierra for my trips.
        That will now become my manbag as it’s bigger than my satchel and it takes the laptop.
        good post.


  3. drR

    If you are diabetic or need meds have 5 days in your man bag.


  4. Can’t wait to see article on office bag. Never thought of it. Smart to have one though


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  6. Chewylouie

    Do you have a dedicated pocket survival kit, or just the stuff you put in your pockets?


    • I don’t have a dedicated kit on my person when I’m going to work. When I’m hunting or outdoors, I carry a kit. Most of my supplies are in my GHB.

      How bout you? You carry a small survival kit?


      • Chewylouie

        I do actually. I don’t have a “Get Home Bag” and don’t really need it. I am not away much. I always carry a knife (sometimes this is all I have, but that is normally just around the house) I have a bandana on me most of the time, If I have my wallet, I have bandaid duct tape and matches (and cash obviously) then lots of times I will have a my multi tool, then I have my pocket survival kit. It has some fish hooks, string matches coffee filters, safety pins, paper clips, and other stuff I am still adding. You don’t just put these things together, it is a long term project. It is still adapting :).


      • You’re right. If you actually use the kit/bag, it’s always evolving. Doing the stuff with it exposes the strengths and weaknesses so you can add or subtract.


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  10. My ghb is larger as my hike home if I need it is 30 miles. If a have to leave the car I’ll need to survive at least three days in what would be deteriorating conditions. My ghb is really a bob and could do double duty if need be.


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  19. Mike

    Hi Todd
    My need is for an earthquake and to get home, 5-20 kms depending on where I am in the region. so 1-5 hrs depending on terrain and transport. My plan is to drive as far as I can, then walk.

    We don’t carry firearms here so I’m limited and blades are no more than 6cms (but that’s better than the UK!).

    CQB I’m fine but that’s a risk element I’m happy with in our environment. (though what people will be like in a disaster I’m hoping will be as stoic as they are normally). Kiwis come to others aid, it’s not like LONDON New York or other cities…..

    In the car boot (trunk) I have a rucksack with folding wood saw, blade, multitool, prybar, rope 20m, 550 cord 30′, 1 lit water in plastic bottles, 4X Garbage bags, lighter with duct tape, medical Kit, fire starting Kit, one square meal x 3, plastic bags, whistle, torch both head and tactical, bright vizo vest, beanie, gloves, Tshirt, thick shirt, socks, trainers. sleeping bag, tarp 6×6, small solar charger for electronics and cables.

    I also have a hollow stove with 3 lit water, a newspaper folded up, bic lighter with duct tape, tea, coffee, sugar, soup, 2 steel cups, a small pot and enough sticks & tinder to cook with all in a wine box in the boot.

    I carry with me in my work satchel a small med kit with medicines for 1 day and pain killers imodium, voltaren etc for basic needs. A altoid with lighter and duct tape with pins, needles, foil, stitches, razor blade, tactical torch, teabags, one square meal.

    I wear a leatherman wingman multi, and carry in my pockets a folding knife, small winding torch and small swiss army knife 3″, with blade, scissors, toothpick and tweezers forget it’s name but have had 20yrs.

    I’m going to review it all again with this post and walk through


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