What is a “Go Bag?”

Also known as a “Bug Out Bag,” it is the essential items that you would grab and go in case of an emergency. If you had to leave your home because it was no longer safe, and you wanted to have the supplies you needed to survive. It can also be that bag that you have in your vehicle that would provide you with the proper survival gear to get back home in case of a civil disturbance scenario.

In the Army as an infantry soldier with the 101st Airborne our survival and combat items were packed and ready to go in case we were called into action. When I transferred to the Air Force as an Aeromedical Technician assigned to a C-130 aircraft, we always had that Go Bag ready in case our aircraft was downed, and we had to survive beyond the crash site and in enemy territory.

As a police officer I always had a backpack that I could grab when I had to leave my vehicle and pursue a suspect in a remote area. In all these positions I had items in my “Go Bag” that I needed to survive in case I was alone for several hours. Water, medical supplies, extra ammunition, compass, means of communication, Garmin……etc.

But what about you? The civilian going to your everyday job. Don’t just read this article and picture a civil disturbance type of situation that might leave you in need of a Go Bag, think of any incident that you just might have to “Go.”

When a large brush fire came very close to my home in June 2020, my wife and I realized how ill equipped we were in evacuating our home/horses/dogs….. It really woke us up to thinking about the many types of situations where we would have to “Bug Out.” We started prepping for many different scenarios. This is what inspired us to start our firearms training business, because having a weapon and knowing how to use it is a crucial stage of self-defense. Having a weapon could be helpful in many “Bug Out” scenarios and we wanted to help train and prepare individuals in that one aspect of protection.

I am by no means an expert when it comes to preparing or being a prepper, however I am aware that these preparations need to be done and thought of before the “bug out” scenario occurs.

Do you have the necessary documents in one location? Do you have the means and the mindset to protect yourself and your family? Do you have a secondary location already determined where you would go, and have you planned your route there? Would you stay home, and have you prepared to defend or protect your property? Have you communicated with neighbors and devised a plan to defend your neighborhood or evacuate? Do you have a circle of friends who would come together and work as a team? Do you have means of communicating with others if there is no cell phone service?

Have you thought about what everyday luxuries would go away if a catastrophe were to occur? If the incident is of a large scale, many people would do nothing but stay near their families to defend them and assist them with survival. That means that no one would be staffing the power plants, the police stations, keeping the electrical grid going, keeping the water flowing or police patrolling the streets.

Very few people think about these potential scenarios, but it has happened in this country. Think about hurricane Katrina. People had to fend for themselves for quite some time. No running water, no power and no first responders patrolling through the streets looking to help.

I write these things not to give you all the answers, but more to get you thinking on what steps you can take now to prepare yourself for later.

As an Official Partner with USCCA we would like to provide you with a FREE Guide on “The Essentials of Home Defense: 3 Easy Steps” call or send us an email and we will get to you right away.


For any questions regarding my article, email me at
Oz Johnson/Lead Instructor, NRA Certified
602-448-8283 / 602-410-7355