Survival of the prepared

The film 127 Hours tells us a true story about canyoneer Aron Ralston who had been trapped by a boulder in Blue John Canyon (South-eastern Utah) in April 2003. Aron’s arm had been wedged between the wall and a boulder. He spent 127 hours alone in the canyon. He was forced to drink his own urine after his water had finished and cut into his arm with his knife to free himself. One of the main reasons he managed to escape the canyon alive was because he had a bag stocked with water, food and some basic items such as a multi-tool set, rope and a headlamp. The importance of a “get home bag” is often underestimated and this valuable asset could make the difference in a “life and death situation”

What are the basic items that every GHB should have?

Water: The average man will survive roughly 72 hours without water before he dehydrates and dies. The need for water intensifies further in emergency scenarios as the physical activity increases. This makes water a must have resource. Along with a water bottle and a mini water filtration system can be of immense importance.

Protective Gear: Water proof ponchos and tarps can protect you especially when you need to rest to regain some energy. Gloves can prevent injury especially when trapped in the wilderness where one must hunt and use the surrounding elements to survive.

Food: Many people would name food as one of the most important things to have with you in your GHB but surprisingly we can go three weeks without little or no food before it seriously affects our body. However, it is always beneficial to keep protein bars, chocolates and other such high energy foods capable of energizing you even when consumed in small quantities.

Utility Items

  • Multi-Tool: Screwdrivers, Pliers, Blades and other such tools can easily be used to one’s advantage in a long list of emergency situations. Many Multi Tools set can be customized according to a person’s preferences.
  • Headlamp: Most emergency situations are characterized by low-visibility. Here a headlamp with an easily available source of power such as AAA batteries can prove to be invaluable.
  • First Aid-Kit: This is one of the most common items found in a GHB. It is very important that you find the suitable first aid kit with items such as bandages, gauze, antiseptics etc.
  • Maps and Compass: You will never find a person that does not want to be rescued from an emergency situation. However, in order to be rescued knowing where you are and where you have to get to makes the difference between rescue and death.


The Bag Itself: Apart from the above stated and other items, the quality of the bag holding the items can be very important. A waterproof bag will protect all the valuable items stored within the bag. Numerous compartments in the bag ensure easier access, and increase the storage capacity.

The exact composition of the ideal GHB depends on a person’s specific needs. Always keep a GHB ready because it could very well decide whether you survive or not.

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