Of all the large survival kits I’ve come across recently, I have to say I like this one the best. It is robust and fairly complete. Echo-Sigma has been making quite the name for themselves lately, and for good reason. They are putting out high-quality kits.
One of Echo-Sigma’s claims to fame, as it were, is that when their kits arrive at your door, they are ready for action immediately. All products have been removed from the packaging and stowed within the pack. While you’ll still want to go through each and every pocket so you are familiar with the kit contents, at least you won’t be fighting blister packs and tough to cut plastic in order to do so.
The Get Home Bag is a great kit for keeping in your vehicle or in the closet. Let’s break it down.
First, we have a good quality pack that is comfortable to wear and durable enough to last. It has several pockets and pouches so organizing your gear is easy.
Affixed to the outside of the pack (not shown) is a Fenix E25 LED flashlight. Opening up the top pouch of the pack, we have a small first aid kit.
In the lower pouch on the front of the pack, we have a pair of work gloves and a rain poncho.
The first interior pouch contains:
A guidebook for emergencies, a 6 pack of brand name batteries, a signal mirror, goggles, 2 N95 emergency masks, an Echo-Sigma Compact Survival Kit, a Thermal Sleeping Bag Cocoon, 2 chemical hand warmers, and a Gerber Dime multi-tool.
Let’s take a closer look at that Compact Survival Kit for a moment.
It is a zippered pouch that contains a fair amount of gear inside.
On the left side of the pouch, we have:
A small compass, a Rite in the Rain notebook, two pens, and an emergency blanket.
On the right side, we have two sections. The upper section:
Two light sticks, a butane lighter, a magnesium block with attached ferro rod, and water purification tablets.
And the lower section:
Ear plugs, duct tape, Live Fire fire starter, and waterproof matches.
I could easily see shifting some of the gear around, adding a few of your own items, and turning that Compact Survival Kit into a full-fledged kit worthy of keeping separate in your pocket.
Back to the pack, here’s what we find in the last compartment:
We have a tube tent, some long zip ties, garbage bags, and 50′ of military grade paracord. What’s in that cardboard box, you may ask?
Datrex emergency rations and a ton of small water pouches.
All told, the kit weighs in at about 17 pounds. Not too bad, light enough for most people to carry for long distances while still providing a ton of useful gear.
Now, here’s another aspect of Echo-Sigma I really like. When you order the Get Home Bag, which retails for $249.99, you can upgrade or downgrade several components, customizing the kit to your budget and your needs. You can add a more robust multi-tool or just remove it completely if you already have one. Same with the flashlight. You can add a knife, if you’d like, choosing from one of three SOG models. You could add a SOG Fasthawk or entrenching tool. Add a Midland crank radio, too, if you’d like. I think this is a great way to help folks get the kit they want and need with a minimum of hassle.
Obviously, you’ll still need to add a few things to the kit, no matter which options you choose. A container for water, such as the Aqua Pouch, would be great, as would another means of purifying water. (Through September 2014, Echo-Sigma is including a free LifeStraw with every kit purchase, just an FYI.). The pack does have a hydration bladder but I personally prefer an external container, preferably a stainless steel one so it can be used to boil water as well.
If you choose not to order a knife with the kit, you’ll need to provide one yourself.
The Get Home Bag is rather pricey at $250 but you’re getting a decent amount of high-quality gear, too. Just about everything in the kit is name brand, not dollar store crap.
As I said at the outset, the Echo-Sigma Get Home Bag is my favorite of the large commercial kits on the market today. Easily customized, it comes ready to use right out of the box.