10 Essentials For Your Go Bag in 2023

Go Bag Essentials

A “go bag” is a pre-packed emergency kit that contains essential items you might need in the event of an emergency, such as a natural disaster, power outage, or evacuation. In 2023, with the ever-changing world, it’s important to update your go bag with items that reflect the current needs and challenges of the times.

Here are 10 things you need in your go bag in 2023:

  1. Masks and hand sanitizers: If we learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that you never know when you’ll need a mask. If you want to be ultra-prepared grab a Gas Mask like this one here. Growing up, we had multiple chemical explosions while I was in grade school, we would have to be trapped in our classroom with wet towels under the door. The last thing you want in a situation like this is to be trapped. At the least, make sure you have a couple of N95s and bandanas you can layer up on in case of an airborne illness or chemical explosions. Make sure to include a sufficient number of masks and a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. In addition, goggles or safety glasses are something to consider, too if you have room. 

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  1. Portable water filter: Access to clean drinking water may be limited in an emergency situation. A portable water filter can help you turn any water source, such as a river or lake, into safe drinking water. I travel with a portable Berkey straw I took from the bottle linked. Other portable filters like a Life Straw are just as great, I am just Berkey-biased. 

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  1. Solar-powered charger: Power outages can last for days or even weeks, so having a solar-powered charger for your phone and other devices can be a lifesaver. Look for one that can be charged via solar power or USB. You can get relatively cheap ones on Amazon such as the GOODaaa. If you’re looking for a reliable charger, I recommend anything by Goal Zero. Grab one of their YETI Power Banks and companion solar chargers. Goal Zero is popular amongst Van Lifers. Personally, I’ve used these to power 400+ person conferences in powerless fields – Goal Zero is first class. 

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  1. Emergency radio: In an emergency situation, access to information can be critical. An emergency radio can keep you updated on weather alerts, news, and other important information. No need to go crazy on an expensive radio, grab one with good reviews and a hand crank option to this here. 
  1. First-aid kit: A well-stocked first-aid kit can help you treat minor injuries, such as cuts, burns, and sprains. Make sure your kit includes items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers. You can grab this 350 piece kit here for under $40. 
  1. Cash: ATMs and banks may not be available during an emergency, so it’s important to have cash on hand. Keep small denominations of bills in a waterproof container. Check out these waterproof cash and document holders. Speaking of documents, it’s not a bad idea to have copies of your passport, birth certificate, social security card and other important documents in here as well. Keep them separate from cash for ease. 
  1. Non-perishable food: In an emergency situation, access to food may be limited. Pack non-perishable food items, such as energy bars, canned goods, and dried fruits, that have a long shelf life. I am currently obsessed with The New Primal Meat Sticks, survival or not, they are delicious. As you’re creating your Go Bag Pantry, it’s a smart idea to reach for high calorie items like dried dates. 

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  1. Warm clothing: In case of an evacuation or power outage during colder months, pack warm clothing such as a fleece jacket or a waterproof coat. Additionally, include extra socks and gloves to keep you warm. And of course the infamous Space Blanket – they’re super compact to pack a few. They can also be helpful to insulate your car or create a makeshift shelter. 
  1. Whistle: A whistle can be used to alert others in an emergency situation. Keep a whistle with your go bag, and make sure it’s loud enough to be heard from a distance.
  1. Important documents: We’re circling back to this again, because it’s that important. Keep important documents, such as passports, IDs, and insurance papers, in a waterproof container. In case of an evacuation, these documents can help you get to safety and rebuild after the disaster. Click here to check out those waterproof document bags

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These are just a few essential items to include in your go bag in 2023. Make sure to customize your go bag based on your specific needs and the potential emergencies in your area. Stay safe and prepared!