Water. Water should be #1 on the list for every 72-hour kit; it is the most basic and most important thing you need to survive. However, storing enough water for you and your family quickly becomes a problem. The recommended of amount of drinking water is one gallon per day per person. One gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds, so if you’re like me and packing for a family of three, 72 hours worth of water becomes 75 pounds of water—not exactly realistic to carry.
One of the interesting findings from the survey was that the majority of Americans believe that a major catastrophe will occur within in the next 20 years. When asked how prepared they feel compared to their neighbors, half (53%) said they were “about as prepared” as those around them. Nearly ¼ (23%) said they were “more prepared” and another ¼ (24%) said they were “less prepared” than the rest of the country.
I am in the process of finishing up the first book in a new survival fiction series that I think readers of this blog and my other novels will relate to. Set in America in the near future, this series of stories will deal with a collapse scenario caused by coordinated terror attacks, riots and widespread civil unrest. Considering the situation that is unfolding in Europe now and potentially spreading, I think this type of SHTF scenario is more likely than the solar EMP collapse I have written about in my previous novels.
I really like the top quality contents of this bag. For this reason its our #1 Winner. For the most part its the best of the best with the exception of the two flashlights- they could be better quality. The food pouches have a 30 year shelf life and actually taste good. Keep in mind that this bug out bag doesn’t include many hygiene supplies. Its awesome that all this gear fits in one bag. This is a Great bug out bag overall!
Overall this a great kit which includes so many useful items. Since this kit doesn’t come with full meals and only with food bars, we recommend using this kit in conjunction with separate food rations that we list at the end of this report. Luckily theres a lot of extra room in these bags for you to add more stuff. Keep in mind that this kit doesn’t come with a portable stove.
Tip: Like with eating new weird food that you got from the internet, don’t assume you’ll know how to make a shelter with your tarp and rope. Take a night to camp in the backyard and use these supplies to build your shelters so that you’ll have a basic understanding of what you need to do. Trying to set up for the first time in a harsh weather event will make things even worse.
Tent: In many emergency situations, shelter may be hard to find. While packing a traditional tent may not be a viable option, a good bug out bag should always include a waterproof survival tent. The best survival tents are made of Mylar, which can retain heat and repel water. Pro-tip: Be sure to stack leaves, grass or anything else from around the campsite against the tent for added protection from the elements.
Viral pathogens most often found in water are typically Hepatitis A, Norwalk and Rotovirus, all of which are smaller than most filters are incapable of trapping. They’re species specific which means human to human transmission, and all 3 are associated most often with fecal contamination, thus the further you get from population centers, the lower the risk becomes. For viral coverage, water purification is needed to kill the virus. Chlorine base chemicals are the best treatment next to boiling. UV pens and filter add-ons work good, but are not as effective as heat/chemical treatment. If you know the area you’re heading to, has a previous reputation of human traffic (like campgrounds), then avoid the UV treatment. If the area you’re in is not a high traffic area, UV is alright for use, but personally, I’d rather heat or chemically treat to be sure, and just bypass the expense and extra weight of a UV purifier.

For someone new to being a Survivalist building your first Bug Out Bag can seem like a big task. Everybody you read about has been tweaking theirs for months or even years and has a pile of gear built up. It’s hard to know where to start, but if you cover all of the basics in a survival situation you will still be much better off that 99% of the people.
We keep the plastic storage totes safe in our home, full of food and water, and rotate them out often. The backpacks serve as our Get Home Bags (the ones we travel with all the time) and are a portion of our 72-hour kit. We have a suitcase for family clothes and blankets. We keep a camping kit handy with two 2-person tents and some supplies in another tote not seen in this photo. You can easily transfer the items if needed, but they’re created for quick and easy storage, gathering, and use for us if we need to leave. We understand that if we had to trek for many miles, we wouldn’t be able to drag those plastic totes, but we’d do some quick rearranging and make things work better for the situation at hand. We also keep a first aid kit (the bottom-most tote) handy.
Water for washing, drinking and cooking. Canada recommends 2 litres (0.53 US gal) per person per day for drinking and an additional 2 litres (0.53 US gal) per person per day for cleaning and hygiene if possible.[18] New Zealand recommends 3 litres (0.79 US gal) per person per day for drinking.[19] The US recommends 1 US gallon (3.8 L) per person per day.[20]
When asked what were the major reasons that they were not prepared for a potential catastrophe, 40% of Americans said they “couldn’t afford to buy or stock up on certain supplies.” More than ¼ (27%) said they didn’t know what they should be doing in order to prepare. About ¼ of respondents (24%) said they didn’t need to prepare because they “didn’t think any catastrophes will happen.”

If you have kids you know getting out the door on time is a challenge on the best of days. In an emergency, it is not going to be pretty. Let’s look at survival in a disaster from the same standpoint of taking a car trip. Loading the car is a pain! Getting everyone and their stuff in the car and on the road is stressful! Now imagine having to do this in 15 minutes or less with only the essentials. You need to be able to get everyone and thing into the car in as few trips as possible.

Best: The most important part of making your 72-hour kits is not that you (the parent) hurry and put them together. It is very important for your children and spouse to help with this process. Include them in purchasing items, planning food, and packing their kits. Complete as much as you can and schedule out the rest along with making a “due date” and family reward for when they’re finished.

Great read & outstanding list of items. Extremely helpful & very much appreciated. While I’ve found over the decades that there are usually several ways to accomplish most things, focusing on the core items/goal while adapting to the situations & environment an individual(s) find themselves in is crucial. You can have everything known to man & still have limited skills/experience leaving you vulnerable. You can have all the skills but arrogance & overconfidence can do you in. Applicable intelligence, balance in actions/approach to problem solving on the fly & practice with skills/preps can make the difference in most cases. So one has a 35 year supply of beans and rice, great to have no doubt, but who wouldn’t trade some of it for a coke and some M&Ms for normalcy occasionally? That may be just enough encouragement to get the companions/family through to safety. Again, it’s all a wag for the most part…do what preps you can, develop usable skills…plan, persevere & prevail. Fantastic prep checklist & ideas…thanks! Proverbs 27-17…As iron sharpens iron, so on man sharpens another!
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