When we designed the VLES GO-bag we lived in New York, having just moved into the city after living forty miles outside where we were emergency responders. The combined experience caused us to ask ourselves what the use cases would be for a go bag. There wasn't a simple solution where you need one thing if you lived in suburbia, another for the country, and another for a densely packed urban environment. Every lifestyle needs all options because evacuations are unpredictable:
- People packed like sardines (backpack mode)
- Long treks on pavement (wheelie mode)
- Evacuation by mass transit (luggage mode)
- Evacuation off pavement (backpack mode)
The flexibility of the VLES GO-bag wasn't just a "nice" to have, but was simply "required." To us, it had to be like a Swiss Army knife.
So many times we see images of people evacuating by car who throw everything they can think of in the trunk. It's understandable. But then they're ordered out of their car to evacuate on foot. What are you going to grab? Maybe all key items are in a rolling suitcase, which is good planning...until there's no room on the pavement, or there just is no pavement.
Sometimes you may end up in a bus, or even on a plane getting out of dodge. That's when the GO-bag becomes a piece of luggage. There are no doodads or important items hanging off the GO-bag so nothing to get caught. And, the GO-bag is semi soft so it can be smushed into a luggage compartment or elsewhere, and it meets the size requirement of airline overheads in the event you need to fly somewhere.
When we see knapsacks, duffle bags, buckets and other items packed with stuff we scratch our heads. Each are useful in limited scenarios, unfortunately we live in a world of unlimited possibilities.