What’s in an Adventurer’s Get Home Bag?

I’ve blogged quite a lot recently about encumbrance. One of the first comments on my Fallacy of the Adventurer’s Backpack post referenced a Get Home Bag. I was fascinated by the concept and did some research. A Get Home Bag is a bag of stuff you keep near to your person that holds the bare essentials required to get you home.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)
By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Would an adventurer maintain such a kit?

Imagine the situation: an adventurer cut off from his fellows finds himself alone in the wilderness (or dungeon). What would be need to return to camp or get home? Obviously, a lot of the items required will be situational. An adventure set in the deep arctic is going to present radically different challenges to the exploration of a deep cave system. However, some items are going to be universally useful. Such items could include:

  • Signal whistle
  • Stripped down healer’s kit or first aid kit
  • Flint and steel and/or tindertwig
  • Candle
  • Waterskin (not necessarily full)
  • Three-days hard tack, iron rations (or whatever)
  • 20 ft. of rope
  • A small amount of coinage (useful for bribes)
  • Dagger

Depending on the desired bulk and the means by which the kit is stored, you could add to the list:

  • Bedroll
  • Spare clothes
  • Small mirror

Ideally, the adventurer should be able to carry these item in a couple of pouches or a small backpack that does not encumber him. He should always have them about his person.

Of course, added to this are the adventurer’s weapons, armour and any magic items he might possess. The list of equipment is unlikely to allow an adventurer to overcome any challenge, but it should give him a fighting chance to overcome any reasonable set of short-term problems.

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What Do You Think?

Do you maintain a Get Home Bag or some kind of stripped down adventuring kit for your character? If you do, what’s in it? Let me know in the comments below.

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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

3 thoughts on “What’s in an Adventurer’s Get Home Bag?”

  1. A family crest or letter of recommendation would be good too; or a holy symbol (to get shelter in a temple).

  2. I’d add a small iron pot for boiling water to purify it and also to make broth from animal bones. And a wooden cup or beaker. For rope I’d always pay to upgrade to silk rope.

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