Simple 72 Hour Kits and Checklists

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!

We’ll help you find the BEST prices on your simple 72 hour kit gear on our new Simply Preparing Deals Group!

Simple 72 Hour Kits

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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*Protein/Granola Bar

*Trail Mix

*Peanut Butter and Crackers

*Canned Meals, Stews, Tuna

*Soups

*MREs

*Freeze Dried Meals

*Hot Chocolate or other water flavorings.

I like the 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!

*Good Shoes

*Undergarments, unless going commando is your thing.

*Wool Hiking,  Socks because dry, warm feet are essential.

*Rain Coat/Poncho

*Emergency Sleeping Bag or Bivy

*Yoga Mat to go under an emergency sleeping bag

*Hot Hands Hand Warmers

*Emergency Tube Tent (can also be used as an emergency tarp)

72 Hour Kit Essentials

Fuel and Light for Simple 72 Hour Kits

*Battery Powered Flashlights, Lamps, etc.

*Extra Batteries!

*Solar Powered Lightening Flashlights, Lamps, etc.  I highly suggest the Luci Inflatable Solar Lights. 

*Water Proof Matches

*Lighter

*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)

*Feminine supplies

*Soap

*Shampoo

*Hand Sanitizer

*Baby/Wet Wipes

*Tooth Brush and Paste

*OTC Medications

*Prescriptions

*Burn Cream/Spray

*Bug Spray

*Sunscreen

Prepper Gear

*Multi Function Knife

*Handheld AM/FM Radio

*50ft Rope/Paracord

*Sillcock Key  (what is this?)

*Emergency Whistle

*Personal Protection Device

*Map

*Compass

*Duct Tape (Or, as we like to call it:  ‘Magical Miracle Tape’)

*Black Contractor Bags  (Why?)

*Sewing Kit

*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)

*Vaccination Papers

*Insurance Policies

*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.

Boredom Busters

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.

*Books

*Coloring Books and Crayons

*Small Toys

*Card Games

*iPads and Solar Chargers

*Handwork

*Small Puzzles

*Fidget Spinners

*Whatever relaxes you and can get your mind off the worry.

What’s Next?

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.

How To Choose The Best Emergency Backpack

I am often asked how to choose the best emergency backpack.  The bag you choose to carry your items in, is every bit as important as the actual items it will be carrying.  The best emergency backpack  for you is the one that meets your individual needs.

Tips For Choosing The Best Emergency Backpack

 

What Size of Emergency Backpack Should You Choose?

The size of your bag depends on what you’ll be carrying.

New Preppers often believe the best emergency backpack needs to carry everything plus the kitchen sink.  Nope. A 72 hour backpack is needed to keep you alive until help arrives, which usually takes three days.  You can make due without the kitchen sink for those three days, promise.

Will you be carrying items just for yourself, or will you need to add items for a child, an elderly or disabled loved one?   All of this will help determine the size of emergency backpack you need.

Your emergency backpack should be light enough to carry for a long period of time.  You need to be able to quickly grab it and go.

Shoulder Straps and Bug Out Bags

Look for wide, padded straps.  This will make wearing your Bug Out Bag much easier for longer periods of time.

Hip Straps

Hip straps and hip padding will help to redistributes the load of your emergency backpack to your larger and stronger thigh muscles, and improving your balance. At the end of the day, your back and shoulders won’t be aching either.

 

Look For Sternum Clips On The Best Emergency Backpacks

Sternum clips  allow you to adjust the shoulder straps just where you want them, and then keep them in place.  It’s important that your prepper’s backpack fits comfortably and it’s weight is well distributed.

Organization of Your Emergency Backpack

The best emergency backpack will have lots of compartments to help with organization.  The last thing you want is to have to rifle around the bottom of a backpack trying to find something.

MOLLE bags take organization to an even higher level.  Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment compatible bags allow you to attach things like first aid kits right to the outside of your bag.  This way you know your emergency kit is within easy reach!

Hydration and 72 Hour Kits

Backpacks with space for hydration bladders solves the problem of  how to carry water.    You must stay hydrated, especially in an emergency situation.

How To Choose The Best Emergency Backpack

An Affordable Emergency Backpack

Reebow Gear puts out an affordable Molle backpack that is an excellent option.


34L
Hydration Compatible for a 2.5L Hydration Bladder
Comfortable Padding in Back.
Padded Shoulder Straps
Sternum Straps
Water Resistant
Organizational Compartments

The VERY Best 72 Hour Backpack


Looking for something a little more?  Take a look at the 5.11 Tactical RUSH72 Backpack. The leading tactical bag, that has everything you’re looking for, plus a few unexpected extras!   You can fit a metal plate into the space for a water bladder, making this bag bullet proof.

A little more money, but worth every single penny.

Now Is The Time To Create Your Emergency Kits

Earthquakes.  Hurricanes.  Volcanoes.  The evidence is clear, it is time to take the steps necessary to help our families make it through what ever life has in store for us.  Questions?  Feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

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