Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What's In Your 72-Hour Kit?

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Last month, as I was making kid-backpacks for the children in Japan, I made them thinking, if my kids ever get stranded in a natural disaster, this is what I'd want them to have:  a backpack full of everything they'd need to get by and some items to bring them comfort...especially if I was no longer around to see to their needs.  Lightning bolt, Jocelyn:  You'd better update those 72-hour kits!! 


The last time that I updated them, Guy was in 18-month-old clothing and diapers.  So I bought each kid their own backpack, printed off a list of items to include in children's 72-hour kits, and went to work.  Luckily, my mom really did me a favor when she gave me my own 72-hour kit for Christmas about 10 years ago.  Most of the stuff in there was still usable and in good shape.  I just replaced the expired medicines and food, and added clothing for each family member.

I distributed everything evenly between the three backpacks, and I had the children try them on during FHE last night and try to walk in them.  Autumn, my 2-year-old, looked like Ralphie's younger brother in A Christmas Story.  She took two arduous steps forward and then fell flat on her back.  Little bit of a weight issue there, but the other two packs were more evenly distributed, so they worked fine.  She'll grow into it, right?

Without further ado...here's:


This is pretty much everything, minus the food and sleeping bags.

Everything gets it's own plastic bag to protect it in case anything gets wet.

The items still in their original packaging (like the flashlights) will eventually come out of the store packaging to save space.

If there is an emergency, and we have to leave our home, this is what we'll be eating.

I know, YUM, right?

I'll be adding some Power Bars to the mix, since every adult requires 2,000 calories per day.

Of note in this photo:  duct tape, TP, chapstick, water bottles, sterno cans, light sources, waterproof matches, paper and pencil for leaving messages, a Kid-identification notebook with a recent photo of the child and contact info, utensils, pocket knives, lighters, water filter, hand-warmers, a lock, and is that mace?  
Why, yes it is.

Each child will be stepping out--into the wilderness--in style:  
in these shorts, pants, tees, long-sleeve sweatshirt, socks/underwear.

A tarp for cover or to make a tent.  We do have a small tent not shown here.

The yellow things are kid-sized ponchos.

The backpacks were a splurge, but I don't mind.  They are packs supposedly made to fit the "shape of a women's back"  (ha), so I figured it was a good choice for a kid pack.  It fits what they need, but is not bulky.  Also, it accommodates a 2-liter camel back.

If we get bored while we're trying to survive, we'll learn to play Parcheesi or five other games included in this magnetic travel game kits!  (Thanks again, Mom!)

First-aid kits, collapsible cup, sewing kit, water purification tablets, medicine, soap, rubber gloves, bug spray, bug bite ointment, sunscreen, hand sanitizer.

Note the sample-sized hair-spray bottle in this personal hygiene kit.
(Being on the run is no excuse for a bad hair day, that's what I always say.)
No excuse for bad breath either!
Thanks again, Mom.

Mess kit, rope, adult poncho, flint, steel wool, and a waxy candle thingy that I'm not sure about.

And it all pretty much fits inside these three packs.

I added a little light reading material and the children's songbook (pocket-sized).

Other important items we've included in our kits:

Birth certificates, passwords, copies of other vital records for each family member, a recent family photo, contact information for both sides of the family, a map of the local area, house keys, cash, sunglasses, hats.

If you are looking for a pretty good list to get started or make sure you've got everything you might need, you can find the list that I used here.

The kids are sooooo proud of their 72-hour packs.

Steve has decided that when the kids get older he'll have "surprise" 72-hour camp-outs where we'll have to use only what's in our packs.  Children (in the future who might be reading this)...consider yourselves warned.

Our bishop and his family eat their 72 hour kit food twice a year at General Conference.
A good way to keep things rotated...but kind of a gross menu for conference! :)



  1. Having lived through two hurricanes, we've become pretty efficient at the 72 hour kit thing. Our stake presidency has encouraged us to have a way to have each member of our family 'wear' contact information, in case we get separated or incapacitated. For us that meant laminating vital info (phone numbers,family member names, allergies etc.) and stringing it on necklaces for each of us to wear. We also have a version that we pin to the inside of our children's clothing in addition to the necklace. When a hurricane is on the way - on goes our necklaces until the danger has passed. Also - when our kiddos were little and couldn't carry what they needed in a backpack, we filled a rolling cooler. That way we could pull the cooler and the little ones would have a place to ride if needs be. We try and rotate our food Conference weekend, but it certainly isn't our menu! :)

  2. this is great!!!! i don't know if you saw but we just re-did our backpacks but you will be eating better than us! i put in some random stuff along with leftover running gels and gu's of flavors i don't like that much!!

  3. I am impressed! And MacGyver would be impressed, too! Don't think he wouldn't put that hairspray to use both for its intended use and for something else as well ;)

    I think the 72-hour camp out idea is so smart! Good practice for using what's in the kits and a good test run to see if you can/will eat what's in there too!

  4. Great reminder for me to update ours!

  5. Will you come to my house and make eight of those please? I so need to get this done again ! ! !

    I'm showing your post to hubby this week and we're going to work on it.

  6. Wow, that was an awesome post. I am going to email your link to my 6 children. This is so important and I would love my children to get this completed.
    Blessings to you! LeAnn

  7. I have mine posted on my blog as well. It is great to have a record of what is in your packs. I was getting pretty carried away with the "stuff" that we "needed" so I now have Datrex food bars instead of all the food...more room for stuff! :)

    Love the rolls of duct tape, I will have to add that to mine. You can do anything with duct tape right?! :D

  8. hmmm, second post about 72 hour kits within a few weeks...guess I better get mine in gear! Great post, great ideas - mace, I will have to add that to my pack.

  9. Check the dollar section in your local Target. They have cute little waterproof Beach Banks for $1 that are perfect for making little first aid kits for each pack. We stuffed ours with a whistle, tweezers, nail clippers, gauze pads, bandaids, plastic gloves and chapstick. We plan to add a small unbreakable mirror and pencil and paper when we find them. Also will be great for sending to girls camp or scout campouts.

  10. we update ours every six months (the weekend of conference). We also put a picture in each backpack with characteristics of each one of us, phone numbers, etc.

  11. Our packs look a lot like yours but I'm afraid to say ours are MUCH bigger because I want us to be prepared. My 3 yr. old put his on and promptly fell right over. We were thinking of having a wagon accesssible to carry ours. I want to be prepared but I'm wondering if I overdid it. (crap!)

  12. Oh wow, my 72 hr kits are so behind...

    Do you know that since January, this is the 4th reminder I've had to get ours up to date! You are inspired! And I think Somebody is trying to tell me something...:)

  13. Another great idea! Thanks for the nudge!

  14. Great stuff! You gave me some more ideas for ours, too. Especially duct tape. Duh! Here's the post I did on our kid's 72-hour kits. We just had a family home evening to plan who is in charge of what for different types of emergencies and made a list of things to tape in the closet door where we house our Emergency Kits.

    Thanks for the info!

  15. Oops, forgot to add the link. I shouldn't comment on blogs in the middle of the night...