Everywhere you look there is another natural disaster. Could your family survive for the typical three days it takes for help to arrive after a disaster? It’s time to pack the supplies for Simple 72 hour kits for each family member. Let’s keep it simple and geared to each person’s specific needs!
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What To Pack In Simple 72 Hour Kits
Pack items that are unique to your family’s needs. Consider your individual circumstances, environment and situation. You will most likely be carrying this kit, so the items you can pack that will serve double duty, the better. This emergency kit is intended to keep you alive for 3-5 days, not for prolonged periods of time.
Pro Tip: Individual kids’ 72 hour kits should reflect their ages and what they are able to carry. You’ll need to carry the rest. Do you have an infant? Don’t forget formula, diapers, wipes, etc. A family member with special needs? What equipment will they need to make it through a period of emergency?
72 Hour Kit Food Ideas
Each kit needs a three-day supply of food and water, per person, remembering you may not have access to food and water. Do any of your family members have special dietary needs? Picky eaters? You’ll want to choose foods that meet their needs.
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*Peanut Butter and Crackers
*Canned Meals, Stews, Tuna
*Freeze Dried Meals
*Hot Chocolate or other water flavorings.
I like the *this post contains affiliate links freeze dried meals that require you to only add hot water to the bag for them to be ready to eat. They are lightweight, and easy to pack. If you choose to go with the freeze dried meals, you’ll need to make sure you have the water for them, as well as the ability to boil that water.
Make sure everyone has a light weight mess kit, along with at least one pot to boil water in.
Perhaps your family would enjoy a mix of the above to complete their 72 hour menus? Don’t forget to add a few comfort foods too! Set up a 6 month schedule where you rotate out the old stuff in your simple 72 hour kits with shorter expiration dates, and add new stuff back in.
PRO TIP: To cut down on the cost of freeze dried meals, purchase them by the bucket, and ration the contents of that bucket between your 72 Hour Emergency Kits.
72 Hour Kit Water
Each person needs their own canteen, collapsible water container or a couple of water bottles. Your family will need a way to filter or obtain more water. You can choose a personal water filter like the Life Straw or Life Straw Family Water Filter to meet this need. In addition, I like to add a few Datrex Emergency Water Packets to my bag.
Remember, 1 gallon of water per day is needed just for drinking. You’ll want to make sure you store a few larger containers of water where you store your 72 Hour Emergency Kits or Bug Out Bags. The 7 Gallon Aqua-Tainer is an excellent choice.
Pro Tip: Not sure what you need in a backpack to use for a simple 72 hour kit? You can learn about that by reading our post discussing what you should look for.
Remember! You don’t have to pick your back pack before you’ve decided on what to put in it. You can absolutely gather what you need FIRST, and then choose the pack that best fits your stuff. Heck, you may not even choose a backpack. I chose a tool chest on wheels for my medically complex son’s needs!
Bedding and Clothing
*Change of Clothing
*Warm Coat, Cap, Gloves depending on the weather. Change out clothing every six months!
*Undergarments, unless going commando is your thing.
*Wool Hiking, Socks because dry, warm feet are essential.
*Yoga Mat to go under an emergency sleeping bag
*Hot Hands Hand Warmers
*Emergency Tube Tent (can also be used as an emergency tarp)
Fuel and Light for Simple 72 Hour Kits
*Battery Powered Flashlights, Lamps, etc.
*Solar Powered Lightening Flashlights, Lamps, etc. I highly suggest the Luci Inflatable Solar Lights.
*Water Proof Matches
*Cell phone charging blocks like the Mophie Powerstation Plus.
*12 Hour Light Sticks
Personal 72 Hour Kit Supplies and Medication
*First Aid Kit
*Face Mask ( What kind do you need?)
*Toilet Paper (remove the center tube and the roll will easily flatten and fit into a zip lock bag)
*Tooth Brush and Paste
*Multi Function Knife
*Personal Protection Device
*Duct Tape (Or, as we like to call it: ‘Magical Miracle Tape’)
*Black Contractor Bags (Why?)
*CASH in Small Bills
*Paper and Pen
*Can Opener These military can openers work great, are light weight and don’t take up space.
*Hatchet (1 per family)
*Emergency Toilet (1 per family)
*Foldable Shovel (1 per family)
*Camping Stove (1 per family)
*One light weight cook set (1 per family)
*Family Water Filter (1 per family)
Pro Tip: Take all the items marked ‘1 per family and put them into their own container to grab as you grab your individual kits. I also keep a case of 50 year canned water by my 72 hour kits for my medically complex son.
Copies of Family Records
Place these items in a waterproof container:
*Legal Documents (Birth/Marriage Certificates, Wills, Passports, Contracts, etc)
*Credit Card Information
*Pre-Paid Phone Cards
Pro Tip: Date every single item that could expire. Mark you calendar for six months out, and rotate any expired items. Inspect individual 72 hour kits twice a year.
Seriously, the last thing you want to do during an emergency is keep anxious kids (and adults) busy. Make sure you add some activities to their simple 72 kits to help make the hours pass quicker.
*Coloring Books and Crayons
*iPads and Solar Chargers
*Whatever relaxes you and can get your mind off the worry.
Whew. You’ve got your simple 72 hour kits packed for each family member. Way to go!
Next we’ll get to work on Family Emergency Kits. These kits are meant to build on the base of your individual 72 hour kits to see your family through a longer term emergency.