Go Bag

Every ARES® member should have a go-bag ready for an emergency.

You can’t carry everything and everyone has a different opinion about what is important. Unfortunately, you have to guess what kind of emergency you’ll be dealing with and which tools will be most helpful before you get there so below are just a few suggestions.

Duty Bag 1—Basic Quick Kit

  • Club Shirt, ARRL ID, Vest, Copy of FCC ID
  • Water bottle (2 quarts)
  • Snacks: Granola bars, Power Bars, trail mix
  • Sun Screen, Chapstick, Bug Spray
  • First-aid kit (Motrin, Imodium, Dramamine, Tylenol, Benadryl, earplugs, whistle)
  • Toilet paper in aZiploc bag (compress the air out), Kleenex, cups
  • Towel (small)
  • Pocket knife (multifunction)
  • Flashlights (Maglites, large and small)
  • Digital Camera
  • Pens, pencils, markers, note pad, small calculator, miniature office set
  • Clipboard: with paper
  • Repeater directory (local and national)
  • Maps (AAA area or Thomas Guides) and compass (in car)
  • Wicked Weather gear – Ski hat and gloves, leather gloves with liners, rain poncho, collapsible umbrella, TRO ball cap
  • Space blanket
  • Waterproof matches, butane lighters
  • Parachute cord (two 50-foot lengths)
  • Power cord (9 foot, 110 Vac)
  • Roll of black electrical tape
  • Garbage bags (two 55 gallon, four large ziplock)
  • AM/FM radio and batteries
  • Binoculars
  • Four Cyalume light sticks (12-hour, green)
  • Strobe-marker light
  • Dust and wind goggles
  • Batteries for above devices

Duty Bag 2 – Radio Kit

  • Coax: 25 ft RG-58/U, 100 ft RG-8X, 10 ft RG-58/U, 6 ft RG-58/U
  • Connectors and adapters: PL-259 TO BNC, N, SO-239, barrel connectors, etc.
  • HT accessories, speaker mic, earphone, earphone with tie-clip mic, dc power plug, dc nicad charger, AA battery pack, cigarette-lighter power adapter
  • Magnetic-mount antenna for HT
  • Extended gain antenna for HT
  • Electrical tape and duct tape
  • Small tools; larger tool case in car
  • Spare D cell and AA batteries

Extended Support Kit

  • Cooking stove & Fuel
  • Cooking kit: small pot, dish, eating utensils, 2-qt plastic measuring cup
  • Water: 3 gallons (depending on duration of event); have at least one case of 1-gallon bottles ready to go, in the house
  • Lantern & Fuel
  • Extra matches, lighters, fire-starter stick
  • Plastic trash bags
  • Grooming kit: shaver, soap, etc. extra TP, Moist Towellettes
  • Extra clothing, socks, warm clothing, parkas 3 day supply)
  • 50-ft rope (5/16-inch diameter)
  • 50-ft 110-Vac extension cord
  • 110-Vac outlet strip
  • Food: three-day supply; MRE, freeze-dried, etc.
  • Hiking boots, work boots
  • Small folding shovel
  • Not in bag, but bring if necessary:
    • Two-man tent, Ground cloth
    • Sleeping bag with foam pad
    • Real Pillow
    • Portable reflector lamp (110 Vac)
    • Personal medication (seven-day supply)
    • Small folding chair

First Aid Kit Add Ons

  • Antacid (Mylanta)
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Benadryl / Decongestant
  • Motrin or aspirin / Tylenol
  • Q-tips


  • Plan for 1 gal water/day per person