Are You Ready Series: 72 Hour Kits
by Tess Pennington
by Tess Pennington: Teaching
Kids How to Survive in the Forest
websites have multiple articles on 72 hours bags (aka: evac packs,
bug-out-bags, blow out bags or survival kits). Every family should
have a 72 hour bag ready, not because we should all run for the
hills, but because there may be an unforeseen disaster where your
family will have to make a swift evacuation. Certain disasters can
occur very quickly such as fires, hurricanes and flooding. Having
things in order as well as a plan in place will expedite the process
of leaving as well as keeping things running as smoothly as possible.
The main goal of having a 72 hour bag is to be equipped to survive.
In this case, survival is dependent upon you. Therefore, the 72
hour bag should be pre-assembled and ready
to go as well as have a 72 hour bag seperately for
speaking, when I assembled my family's bug out bags it took a few
hours to run through the house getting all the supplies in order.
If I was in a time sensitive situation, I would have forgotten half
of the items I packed. It's essential that your B.O.Bs (Bug Out
Bags) are ready to go.
What To Put
Into a 72 Hour Bag?
your family need for 3 days? Better yet, what items would you take
out of your house that would save your life for 3 days? It does
not really matter what type of bag is used to place your items in.
Many people use duffel bags, backpacks and suitcases to store their
gear in. However, many experts advise that the bag or container
should be waterproof. For those with multiple people in their family,
each person in the family should have their own 72 hour bag that
is placed into a large plastic container. A bag or container with
a carrying handle would be advisable if the container holds many
items or is for a family. Some thoughts to keep in mind when preparing
your 72 hour bag are:
- Have a
in place (choosing the location, let family members know where
your destination is, the contact information, a secondary destination,
- Keep the
basic needs in mind: food, water, shelter, clothing, safety and
- Try and
find items that are light weight, functional and versatile so
that carrying them in a container will not be a strain.
- Take your
bag out and use it a few times to test that nothing is forgotten.
food can go a long way if you are creative enough. Find a stove
to cook food in, and boil water. Try and find foods that are light
weight an high in calories and have lots of energy. Have enough
food for a 3 day period. Some possible food suggestions would
- Hard Candy
Fruits and Nuts
suggestions for meals would be:
Freeze Dried Foods
Drink Mixes (Tang, Crystal Light)
Plates, Cups and Eating Ware
good water supply is more important than food. A person cannot
go without 3 days of water so have a plentiful amount. At a minimum,
each person should have one gallon of water per day. In an emergency
situation, such as a natural disaster, water is one of the first
items to disappear off of a store shelf. If you can pack more
water, then go for it. Many feel that due to the bulky nature
of water bottles, it would add too much weight for the 72 hour
kits. Therefore, many carry 1-2 liters of water and have water
purification tablets or a water filter on hand. Here are some
ideas for carrying water:
water bottles in the pack, gallon jugs of water, etc.
the 72 hour bag should be rotated every season and be appropriate
to the environment you are in. Having items in your bag that can
is a great option.
- If it
is the winter season: Pack all cold weather essentials in maintaining
body heat: Layered clothing, warm hat preferably with flaps
over the ears, waterproof pants, mittens, etc.
- Work Gloves
at least one change of clothing in your bag and two extra pairs
- A good
pair of boots
(hiking or combat boots) with a deep trench in the sole.
- Rain Suit
- Hat to
keep the sun off your face.
is to keep out the natural elements at bay as well as provide
a warm place to sleep to maintain body temperature.
long lasting emergency blankets
- Tube tent
bags can even be used for a shelter.
lighting gear will help maintain proper body temperature, assist
in cooking food, and boiling water. If an emergency arises and
you have to leave, you want to be able to have items on hand to
make a fire to stay warm.
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