Assembling Your
72 Hour Survival Kits



Basic 72 hour survival kits are the foundation to all emergency preparedness plans. Unfortunately, a 72 hour kit is also the one thing that most of us don't want to take the time to assemble.

Sadly, you more than likely already own 80%-90% of the items required...they just aren't all in one easy-to-get-to location.

At this point, you have two options. You can take the easy route and purchase a complete 72 hour emergency preparedness kit. You can find great deals on 72 hour kits in our online store. There you'll find many varieties to choose from. You can also find 72 hour kits at Nitro-Pak.com and HurricaneStore.com. Be sure to compare to ensure you are getting the best deal. The one drawback to purchasing a kit is that there is no single 72 hour emergency kit that has every single item you may want to have during a time of need.

The less expensive and more comfortable route is to simply assemble your own kit. In assembling your kit, the first thing to consider is to put everything in a waterproof or airtight container . A large rubber tote or 5 gallon sealable buckets work well. A good 72 hour kit should include the following items:

WATER

A person can go without food for several days, but since our bodies are 40%-50% water, we must have water daily in order to survive. This makes water storage a number one priority to get into your emergency preparedness inventory and your 72 hour kit. Water may be stored in canteens, 5 gallon collapsible bags, 6 gallon Mylar water storage bags, or in barrels. Plan on storing 1 gallon of water per person per day. For your 72 hour survival kit, this equates to 3 gallons per person. Place your water in a cool, dry and dark place. You should plan on rotating your water supply every 6 months.

Water should be purified prior to drinking. This can be done by ONE of the following ways:

  • Boil it for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add 10 drops of household bleach or iodine per gallon, mix well and allow it to sit for half-an-hour.
  • Use purification tablets.

FOOD

First and foremost, you have to like eating the food you are storing. Some of your food should be ready-to-eat. If you can afford them, the easiest foods to keep in your 72 hour survival kit are MRE's (Meal Ready to Eat). These may be found online or at army surplus stores. For a 72 hour survival kit, you will need 6-8 meals per person.

If assembling your own food, store foods that are light and easy to carry if you need to be on the move. It goes without saying that these are foods that do not require refrigeration. Energy bars a great addition to any food storage plan. Candy also is good for a 72 hour kit as it can give a quick energy boost and makes uplifts one's spirits. For the purpose of a 72 hour survival kit, you will not require much in terms of food since you can theoretically survive without food for longer than three days.

EATING

  • CAN OPENER
  • SMALL PAN OR POT for cooking
  • COLLAPSIBLE CAMPSTOVE or PROPANE STOVE
  • MESS KIT(S) including cup, plate, knife, fork and spoon
  • CANTEEN with cup for every family member.
  • HEAT TABS for starting a fire. They are small but generate a lot of heat.

LIGHT & HEAT

  • FLASHLIGHT with batteries or PROPANE LANTERN
  • EXTRA BATTERIES (be sure to check the batteries in your flashlights every 6 months).
  • QUICKSTART CANDLES
  • MOISTURE RESISTANT MATCHES or LIGHTER

SHELTER & CLOTHING

  • 8' x 8' PIECE OF PLASTIC (may be used as a tent or shelter from wind and rain). A SMALL TENT may also be found inexpensively at your local store or online.
  • RAIN COAT (large trash bag or inexpensive poncho)
  • ROPE (12-15 feet long, parachute cord is the most preferred and can be purchased at any ARMY/NAVY Surplus Store or online).
  • BLANKET (Store an extra one from home or purchase a space blanket, which is small and lightweight). Use a SLEEPING BAG if you have one.
  • CHANGE OF CLOTHES (including under clothes).
  • EXTRA PAIR OF WALKING SHOES AND SOCKS

CLEANLINESS

  • FOUR LARGE HANKERCHIEFS (for various usage: wash, dry off, sweatband, tourniquet, etc.)
  • TOWEL
  • SOAP
  • SHAMPOO
  • DEODORANT
  • RAZOR
  • SHAVING CREAM
  • WASHCLOTH
  • TOOTHPASTE
  • HAIRBRUSH
  • COMB
  • LADIES PERSONAL ITEMS
  • TOILET PAPER.

TOOLS

  • SMALL CAMP SHOVEL OR HAND SHOVEL
  • SMALL AXE
  • WIRE SAW
  • LEATHERMAN'S TOOL KIT (a handy pocket set that allows you to have many tools at the tip of your fingers. It is also light and can fit into a pocket or purse).

FIRST AID

  • FIRST AID KIT (Again, the choice is yours. You may purchase a first aid kit or assemble one yourself).
  • SPECIAL MEDICATIONS (for special needs).
  • FIRST AID BOOK

TRAVEL

  • STREET MAP OF YOUR AREA
  • COMPASS (everyone in your family should be proficient in using a compass and a terrain map).

OTHER IMPORTANT ITEMS

  • A SMALL TOY OR GAME (for those with children)
  • PLASTIC BAGS (handy for many occasions).
  • IMPORTANT PAPERS (store in a safe, dry place).
  • MONEY (carry only one dollar bills and change so that others don't think you have a lot of money on you. Keep about $50 in cash on you in an emergency situation. That way, you won't be tempted to spend it, and if someone takes your money - not much is lost).
  • RADIO (best are the kind that crank by hand and can even charge a cell phone. Battery operated radios work well too as long as the batteries last).
  • SURVIVAL BOOK

Keep in mind, you are only trying to assemble items that will allow you to survive for 3 days. Don't overwhelm yourself with trying to put everything in your 72 hour survival kit. Keep it simple, keep it light and keep it all in one place.



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