What Is In Our 72 Hour Kits and Why You Need One

This week in Utah we experienced the aftershock of a 5.7 Earthquake about an hour away from us. Luckily, it wasn’t anything too extreme but between that, and everything going on with the coronavirus, we have definitely been wanting to do everything we can to prepare for any sort of emergency that might come our way next!

No need to freak out and do anything crazy, but with all of this down time it may be a good time to put a few things together for a 72 hour kit. The idea behind a 72 hour kit (also known as a go bag) is to have all the necessities you would need for 72 hours in one bag. This way, in the middle of an emergency you don’t have to go running through the house throwing everything together in a panic.

There are SO many lists online that sometimes it can feel overwhelming. The main advice I have for you is that every family is different. I would suggest creating your own rather than buying a pre-made one because there may be a lot of stuff in there you don’t need and not enough of the things you actually need. (ie. your size clothes, food you actually eat, deodorant etc.)

I have separated our list into essentials and add ons. Our in-laws bought us a bunch of fancy things to put in ours as a Christmas gift one year (we are so grateful!) but if you are just starting out or don’t have money for freeze dried meals, a handheld stove and a fancy water filter cup– don’t worry! Something is better than nothing. Just find a few essentials around your house and put it in a backpack. You can always add more to it later.

Here is what we have in ours:


Water (1 gallon per person per day): We actually don’t store this in our backpack but right next to it. This way we can carry the gallons of water (one in each hand) if walking and still have water portable. We also have this filter water bottle for extra water.

Non Perishable Food: We have a few different kind of nonperishable foods. We have these Mountain House freeze dried meals from a wedding gift that we keep in Dan’s pack but we also wanted some food that didn’t require water in case we can’t find any or run out of what we bring. So, we keep a few canned meals in Kay’s pack (canned ravioli, soup, chili etc.) Then we also try to have a few non perishable snack items (RX bars, protein bars, trail mix, apple sauce packs) to eat during the day and especially for our daughter.

Eating Utensils: You can get a whole set like this. We just plan to eat out of the can or package to save on space but we do have these cups and a fork and spoon.

Backpack: Just make sure it is sturdy and has enough pockets. This one works great.

Can opener: They recommend not buying the flip top lids because they could explode in your bag. This one is only $5.

Knife: Super useful for almost any survival incident. This is the one we got.

Flashlight: We actually have these headlamps but any flashlight will work great. Just make sure you have extra batteries for it!

Lighter: Extra bonus if it is waterproof.

Tent or Waterproof Canvas with Duct Tape: A tent would be ideal but remember we are trying to fit this all in one backpack so even just a piece of water proof canvas and duct tape will be useful for many scenarios not just for sleeping.

Ponchos: We just got some cheap ones similar to these.

Blankets/Sleeping Bags: We want this to be different then our camping gear. You may not have time to grab your sturdy, heavy duty camping sleeping bags out of storage. My mother-in-law got us these waterproof camping blankets and then we have emergency blankets as well and they fit great in our packs!

First Aid Kit: We have these ones that we already had in our house which probably won’t help a lot so we are looking to upgrade to one like this.

Change of Clothes: We got this sweatshirt and jogger sweatpants recently for Lucy so we can pass it down to the next kid when she grows out of it but we just found a sweatshirt and sweatpants we already had for our packs.

Cash: Never know when you might need that! Small bills are best ($1 $5 $10 $20 etc)

If that is all you have you are already so much more prepared then the majority of people and you will feel that much more confident in an emergency situation! That is only 14 things and I bet you already have a lot of those things around your house! Not so bad right? Here are a few other things we have in ours that may be something to consider.

Add Ons:

Toilet Paper: May be hard to find right now but if you can spare a roll for your pack– I am sure your future self will thank you!

Toiletries: Deoderant, toothpaste, toothbrush, hand towel, feminine hygiene products, baby wipes (for self cleaning)

Face Mask: May be hard to find right now but in the future this might be something you want to add!


Paper and Pen

Copies of legal documents

Portable Stove: This was one of those luxury items I was telling you about. It will be nice though to be able to boil the water for the Mountain House meals we have.


Diapers for 3 Days


Change of Clothes

Small board books and toys

Kid Friendly Snacks/Formula

So hopefully that helps and you don’t feel too overwhelmed. Like I said, just start with those first 14 essential items! You will be so grateful you did!

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