Make Mine To Go

October 27, 2008 at 3:30 pm 1 comment

Food Storage Quick Tip #9 – 72 Hour Kits

I’m back from a weekend with the family with observations, of course.  My girls, (the three-pack), take half the household when we go on an overnight trip by car.  They bring their pillow and a couple of bags each.  We have electronics and quilts.  I pack some extra shoes, even boots if it will be chilly.  I can’t decide what the weather will be, so I gather up both coat and jacket for myself.  And each one of us, excepting my mister, lug our own blow dryers, curling irons, shampoos, etc.

In contrast, if we travel by plane, sensibility kicks in.  Each of us pares down to take only basic items onto the aircraft.  One blow dryer is selected.  A medium weight jacket for all occasions.  Small condiments to fit in a quart-sized Ziploc bag.  And, we all desire that the whole shebang be small enough to fit in an overhead bin.  It is what we call, carry-on luggage. 

A 72 hour kit is like the carry-on.

I did confess last time that I didn’t have a 72 hour kit.  But I did watch a documentary on Katrina in the meantime.  It opened my eyes a little, and I realized that many of those people who hadn’t eaten for 2 days, could have ridden out the storm with just a little sustenance.  (Even a stick of gum would be better than nothing!)

To be honest, I think that my big problem with the 72 hour kit is the actual presence of the thing.  Here are some of my innermost (guilty) thoughts that move on a looping tract in my head:  Where do I store this stuff?  It is just one more thing to take up space under the stairs.  How can I be expected to have everything on the list and still be able to carry it?  It seems impossible.  With small children, if they each have a small backpack, who is really going to carry it?  Me!  What if my husband is out of town when the disaster hits?  How much time, then, would it take me to simply get everyone in the car?  I’d say more than a couple of minutes.  That’s discouraging.  So personally, it is more of an “Obedience” 72 hour kit.  Maybe it is the same for you.

We know a 72 hour (4 day) kit is a critical component for your emergency plan.  You will need food, water, and warmth.  I like the idea of making your own, as it is more cost effective and you can use real food (aka: food that will fly with your family tastes).  Still, there are complete kits that you may purchase online or at emergency supply stores.  Regardless, how about we start today.

Putting it together should be practical.  A backpack works well.  A duffel or drawstring bag is fine.  A bucket with a lid is also fine (easy to move and may be used as a potty if necessary).  It remains unknown whether you are leaving on foot or by automobile, so consider both.  Don’t stress yourself.  The point is, have SOMETHING ready.  And in one place.

Water is the heaviest item, and most vital, so let’s start with that.  Small bottles of water are easy for kids to handle.  However, a liter bottle or gallon  provides more volume of water for a sharing situation (wipe the lip between the sip).  While you are at it, fruit juice boxes may also be added for a pick me up.  There are also milk products in different flavors that don’t need refrigeration that may provide nutrition, expecially for a small child.  Both of these items have a relatively long shelf life so rotation is not a major deal.  Dehydration may be your main obstacle if you have to migrate.  It is recommended that each person is allowed 1 gallon/4 liters.  If you have an itsy bitsy baby, it is essential that you allow extra water for formula or yourself if you are breastfeeding.

Here’s a link with very basic suggestions for a 72 hour kit.

Assignment A:  Find a transportable bag, box, bucket or container that will accommodate your family’s needs for your obedience 72 hour kit.  B:  Start with water, adding some boxed drinks for variety and nutritional content.  C:  Time to check and fill your gas cans if you have stopped mowing for the year.  A few gallons may save the day if asked to vacate your property.


Entry filed under: Common Sense, Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage, Home Storage, Self Reliance, Self Sufficiency, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

Shelf Confidence In A Nut Shell

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Chris R  |  October 29, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Terrific 72 hour kit observation. I started putting 72 hr kits in the cars after we were traveling through the desert on I15 and the Freeway shut down due to an accident. My 1 year old was screaming and it was so hot. We couldnt let the engine idol with the A/C on. We didnt have any water or food for the long trip. O swore to never put my family in that situation again. So we carry a 72 hr kit in each car. You never know. It doesnt have to be a huge disaster to need one.

    I have a great resource for back pack kits at if anyone is interested. The kits contain all the basics in a compact back pack. Yes, the water is the hardest. Mine come in little “juice Pouch” type containers like the capri sun juices. They are compact and sealed good.



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