Our 72-Hour kits have been on my mind lately. We had a storm pass through recently. We didn’t need our 72-Hour kits. We didn’t even get them out, although we did ask each other if we needed them. Last month, we knew of some people (and their neighbors) who lost their home to a wildfire. When I was told of their loss, the person telling me said that they didn’t even have a toothbrush. If only they had prepared 72-Hour kits! Thus, I wanted to make sure that our 72-Hour kits would have enough things to keep us somewhat “comfortable” if we ever needed them. I knew that they wouldn’t put us in the lap of luxury, but at least they would satisfy some basic needs (toothbrush, clean clothes, food).
We have two backpacks for our 72-Hour kits. Each backpack had bottled water, but one had food and the other had everything else (matches, ponchos, first aid kit, etc.). I really wanted to add a change of clothes for each of us, because it would be helpful to have dry clothes if you got soaking wet or muddy (or just plain stinky after wearing the same clothes for a few days).
First, I emptied the backbacks and sorted everything into two piles. I split the food and water evenly, included a set of clothes, and tried to split everything else as best as I could. One backpack has the flashlight, matches, batteries, radio, work gloves, etc.. The other backpack has the toothpaste, first aid kit, mess kit, etc. Both have a poncho, an emergency blanket, a toothbrush, Kleenex, toilet paper, etc. I made a list of contents for each backpack and put that in the front pocket. I used a piece of duck tape to label our names on the outside of each backpack, along with, “Always take both packs.” That way, you wouldn’t just take the one with your name on it and be without a pocketknife (because it was in the other backpack).
Dust masks, mess kit, toothbrushes, clothes, AM/FM radio, etc. This is a pic from before I split everything into two groups, one for each backpack.
I sorted the food into each day's meals and then put them in 3 baggies.
These are the 3 days worth of food for one person. I’m tempted to add more chocolate… I’ve got a bowl of instant oatmeal for the first day. After that, I have instant oatmeal packets, assuming that you would reuse the bowl from the first day. These meals can either be eaten cold or put in the microwave, with or without water added. I’ll check the food in about 6 months to replace anything that will be expiring soon. Today, I replaced the granola bars with fresh ones. I’ll eat the ones I took from the kit this week.
The water bottles are in zip bags to keep them from falling all over the place.
To see the post from when I first made my 72-Hour and Emergency Car Kits, please click here. After originally making my Emergency Car Kit (with the backpack in the post listed in the previous sentence), I found a carry-on suitcase (small and cute) to use instead. That way, I was able to use the backpack for one of our 72-Hour kits.
I’ve definitely been replacing the water bottles in my car kit on a regular basis, because I often take them out to drink! There was a time recently when my friend M. and I needed a flashlight. We were going to go hiking and wanted to take it with us, in case we were still out hiking past sunset. We searched the car, including the emergency car kit, but couldn’t find a flashlight. I told myself either my husband or I must have taken it out of the car at some point. A few days later, I found it in the glove compartment. Oops. When I later added water to my car kit, I found that I had written, on my car kit’s inventory list (which I put in the small pocket of the car kit bag), that the flashlight was kept in the glove box. Oops.
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