Forget your 72-hour bug-out bag you need more. It’s quite simple, what we used to think was acceptable in a 72-hour bug-out bag or kit was okay. It’s not. Before anyone gets too excited let me explain my thinking.
In the last 15-20 years, I think a 72-hour bug-out bag or kit was the thing we all did. Well, we need to up our game, my friends. I have been looking online at some groups that have a list of maybe 20 items and it all fits in a gallon container. No water. WHAT? They called this little unit a 72-hour kit! Crazy, huh?
Yep, that’s what I said. I looked at some of the items on the list that filled the gallon jug with a handle, I would not eat 99% of the food items on the list. If I was starving, of course, I would have to eat it, right? But I would be so thirsty from all the sodium!
Okay, let’s get real here. If we have a disaster we will for sure need more than 72 hours’ worth of food, water, etc. I used to laugh when I would pass out my suggested list of emergency items for a 72-hour bug-out bag to classes I would teach.
I would joke that my list required a semi-truck. Just kidding, of course. By the way, we need to give a HUGE shout-out to our truckers who work 24/7 and work almost all holidays to bring us food, paper products, gasoline, and everything we see in our fabulous supermarkets. Thank you!! Our current lifestyles would take a real hit if the truckers didn’t do their part to make our economy what it is today.
Here’s my list, pick and choose the items you can’t do without in say 30 days. We need to step out of the 72-96 hour bug-out bag or kit right now. That amount of time is no longer realistic. Trust me, look at the news and you will see for yourself.
People are stranded a lot longer than that amount of time from different situations we see all over the country. Please do not count on the government, they may not reach you for days, weeks, or maybe even months.
You must be prepared for the unexpected today, not tomorrow. Please remember my book: Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation
Bug Out Bag (you need a trailer or you can bug in):
Every emergency agency in the country recommends having a 72-hour kit available to grab and go in an emergency. Be sure to update your kit every six months to a year, depending on the items you have in it.
Include the food you know you will eat and items that can keep you busy during times of inactivity. Be mindful of storing items that might leak, melt, or affect other items in your bag if they leak or break open (Ziploc bags might help with this problem).
Attach a tag to the kit or bag with your name, phone number(s), a tag to remind you to grab your prescriptions/medicines, and a tag to grab your emergency binder. Depending on the needs of you and/or your family, items you could include in your kit are:
1. Water for at least three days (1-4 gallons per day per person), water purifiers, and water purifier bottles (like a Berkey Sports Portable Water Purifier) to last for at least three months.
2. MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat); hot and cold ready-to-eat food packages; freeze-dried fruits and vegetables; and candy, gum, jerky, fruit snacks, raisins, fruit leather, granola bars, peanuts, crackers, etc.
3. Aspirin, Aleve, Ibuprofen, Vitamin C, cold remedies, Essential Oils, etc., antacids (for upset stomachs) Don’t forget Tylenol PM or something similar to use as a sleeping aid.
4. Ax/shovel combo
5. Baggies (all sizes)
6. Batteries (all sizes-rotate yearly)
8. Bee sting & bite kit
9. Blanket–solar is thinner
11. Bleach (household chlorine–nonscented)
13. Bung wrench/Gas shut off wrench
14. CASH-small bills/coins (if we lose power, ATMs won’t work; credit/debit cards won’t work)
15. Can opener (non-electric)
16. Canned stove
17. Candles/glow sticks
18. Cards or small games to play
19. Chapstick/lip balm
20. Chargers, in case we have electricity
21. Coats/Jackets/Sweaters/Extra Clothes & Shoes
22. Coffee Pot, pitcher, container
23. Cooking pot, griddle, or frying pan
24. A cooking stove of some kind/fuel/firestarter/striker
26. Contact lenses & supplies
27. Cotton Swabs/Kleenex Tissues
29. Duct tape
30. Emergency sewing kit
31. Fingernail clippers/nail file
32. Fire extinguisher
33. First Aid Kit
34. Hand Warmers
35. Flashlights (preferably solar or crank); don’t forget batteries (store batteries outside the flashlights to keep them fresh)
36. Garbage Bags
37. Glasses (extra pair of eyeglasses)
38. Gloves/latex or non-latex
39. Hair brushes/combs
40. Hats, gloves/scarves
42. Hearing Aid, plus batteries
43. Imodium/Anti-Diarrhea medicine
44. Instant milk (chocolate milk would be good as well)
45. Ipecac (check with poison control if possible)
46. A few hot pads, dish towels/rags/dish soap
47. Lanterns/compact lights
48. Latex/Non-latex gloves
49. Masks N-95 minimum
50. Matches (waterproofed)
51. Mess Kits
54. All-Purpose Knife
55. Mosquito Spray
56. Personal Hygiene (tampons, pads, feminine supplies, etc.)
57. Post-It Notes/pencils/pens/crayons
58. Radio/crank and or battery type (pack batteries)
59. Rain Poncho
61. Safety pins, several sizes
62. Shaving cream, shavers (disposable)
63. Solar lights
65. Temporary toilet and bags
66. Thermal Underwear
68. Toilet Paper, shampoo, hand soap, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, tweezers
72. Utensils, plates, cups, silverware to cook and eat with
74. Wet wipes-lots…they might be your only shower
75. Whistles, Walkie Talkies, (test before you need them for distance) like Motorola Talkabout 2-Way Radios #MR350R/ FRS/GMRS Radio (22 channels, 121 privacy codes, 2662 Combinations)
76. NOAA Weather Radio
77. Work Gloves/Jose reminded me to grab socks, shoes, boots, and dryable clothing
REMEMBER, you would need a truck to “haul” all of these items, so check off one item at a time and pick the items that meet you and/or your family’s needs. These are IDEAS, just start collecting a little at a time.
Put all the things that need to be rotated together in baggies. This way you just GRAB a bag and switch out the outdated items.
Printable: FSM 72-hour kit adults
Please remember my book is available: Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation