We’ll continue this week (and next–it’s a big list, so I’m going to post a little more frequently for a short while) with the Family Survival Planning complete book of lists. This time around, it’s the “Bug-Out-Bag,” or 72-hour kit. This is absolutely a good place to start “serious” preps, beyond the basics of putting aside a few extra cans of food and some bottled water in the pantry.
We call them “72-hour kits” because they contain everything one person needs to get by for 72 hours, even if they have pretty much nothing else. In the prepping/survival world at large, folks call them “Bug-Out-Bags,” or BoBs, indicating that these are their packed, ready-to-go bags that they can grab and go if they need to, well, “bug out,” for whatever reason. They’ll either keep you alive until help comes, or help you reach a “Bug-Out-Location,” depending on your plan. (You do have a plan, right?)
Where to begin with the BoB? As mentioned in the last installment, first consider the most likely scenarios that would require a BoB. (“House fire” is pretty universal; start there, and build out.) Think about what you’d need for those emergencies. Second, “shop your home.” You’ve probably already got the makings of a BoB–the “big stuff,” any way–around your house or apartment. (The publication mentions wanting a “BoB” in the car–I consider that a “GHB,” or “Get-Home-Bag,” plus an in-vehicle emergency kit. That’ll be another week.)
As I go through what’s on the list and my recommendations, I’ll be linking to products on Amazon. If you click the link and make the purchase, you help support my site (and preps) at no additional cost to you. Don’t just purchase there, though–shop around. If you find a better price on an item elsewhere, please buy it there, and save yourself the money.
First on the list of things, but fairly low on the priority list, is a container–the “bag” part of the BoB. Why “lower in priority”? Well, you’d most likely be better off having your preps, but having to carry them in a sheet tied into a makeshift sack, than having the best bag money can buy, but nothing in it… For starters, you can use a run-of-the-mill backpack, or a suitcase, or even a plastic bin. Over time, as you realize just how much room you need, and how much things weigh, you can adjust. (For what it’s worth, my wife and I both have military-surplus large Alice Packs with frames. They’re water resistant, have plenty of room, lots of pouches/pockets, and are easy to expand.)
The remainder of the checklist covers a “2-person 72-hour bag;” I’ll be comparing its contents with those of mine and my wife’s combined:
- Warmth and Shelter
- 1 – two-person 8′ tube tent. (We’re content enough to sleep under the stars, or rig a poncho, or build a lean-to.)
- 1 – Wool Emergency Blanket. (We use fleece sleeping bag liners; they’re compact and warm.)
- 2 – Survival Sleeping Bags. (Liners, as above.)
- 1 – Emergency Rescue Blanket, yellow. (I assume to double as a signal? We don’t have one of these.)
- 2 – Compact Emergency Space Blankets. (These we have, two per pack. If you want more, here’s a link to a 12-pack.)
- 2 – Emergency Ponchos. (We also have these; they keep the rain off, and can double as a makeshift tent. That’s a link to a 4-pack; if you can find and fit heavier-weight ones, that’s probably for the better.)
- Cooking, Heating, and Light
- 1 – 36-hour Emergency Candle. (I prefer the 115-hour liquid paraffin varieties; you get more hours of light for the money, and they won’t melt if left in a hot car.)
- 1 – Deluxe Quality Flashlight. (Not certain what makes for “Deluxe Quality.” I’ve got a small LED flashlight, with white and red light; you can get brighter or otherwise “fancier” ones, though. ‘Headlights’ are also useful for providing hands-free light.)
- 2 – Flashlight batteries. (No link here; this will depend on your flashlight. For a variety of reasons, I recommend having a full set of rechargeables for all of your stuff, in addition to your “basic” batteries.)
- 2 – twelve-hour Instant Light Sticks. (“Chem-lights” to most of the world. They’re inexpensive, I guess; I like these solar-charging things. They give more light, and appeal to my inner technophile.)
- 1 – Adjustable Heat/Cooking Stove, with fuel. (I assume they mean something like these. We’ve got similar, plus extra fuel tablets.)
- 2 – Sierra Cups for Drinking & Heating Water. (Those are good; I’ve got this one, though, which fits over/around a 1L Nalgene bottle.)
- 48 – Waterproof Matches. (Or a simple Bic lighter, or flint-and-steel, or fire-striker. Up to you, and your desire/ability to get a fire started.)
- 4 – Emergency 18hr Body Heat-Packs. (We don’t have any of these, but they’re a good idea, and are going on my list…)
That’s all I want to tackle for today, to keep this from getting too unwieldy. Coming up: Hygiene, Water, Food, and “Miscellaneous,” plus a bit more commentary about my BoBs, and a few things I have that aren’t on the list. Comments, questions, and such are welcome! Do please stick around!