Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sample 72 Hour Kit (with Pictures)

This is my families 72 hour kits. The kids have rolling backpacks and we have rolling duffel bags to hold more items. You can buy ready made kits, but I wanted to make our own so that I could personalize each one. Here are the things that we have in our 72 hour kits.

All of our 72 hour kits have a photo luggage tag, which contains a photo of them.

Food & Water

I decided to only buy food that doesn't need to be cooked. These food bars are from I also supplement these food bars with our "comfort" foods, such as beef jerky, granola bars & candy. I also let the kids eat these every 6 months when I rotate certain perishable items. If you do buy items that need to be cooked, don't forget the camp stove, Sterno, can opener, pans for cooking, plates, bowls, cups, spoon, knifes, forks, etc for these items!

For our water I decided to purchase Water Pouches from They also sell Aqua Blox, which is water in a juice box like container. I chose the pouches because of the size issue. The disadvantage to pouches is that they might puncture easier (thus they are in a Ziploc) and they are a little harder to drink from. I also have some water purification tables (not pictured) just in case we need water for more than 72 hours.


  • Emergency Sleeping Bag
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Poncho
  • Hot Hands or Hotties
  • I also have a full size sleeping bag (rated zero degrees) for all of us. These will NOT fit in our kits, but can slip over the handle and be pulled along with our backpacks & duffel bags.

I keep all our clothing items in the 2 duffel bag kits. The rolling backpacks are not large enough to hold these. I don't have a full change of clothes yet, so our clothing items consist of:

  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Hats & Gloves
  • PJ's
  • Undergarments
  • Diapers (if applicable)

First Aid Items

I bought our 1st Aid kits premade from Wal-Mart. The small one (top picture) is in our children's backpacks, and the larger one and the Bite/Stink kit are in our kits. Some other things to add to this (if not already in your kit) might be:

  • Surgical Masks
  • Surgical Gloves
  • Cough Drops
  • Vitamins
  • Medicine (Cold/Pain)
  • Burn Gel & Dressing
  • Antiseptic
  • Inhalers or Prescription Medication (If you can't keep these in your kit, KNOW where they are so you can grab them quickly!)

Fuel, Heat & Lighting
  • Fire Sticks
  • Wind/Waterproof Matches
  • Emergency Candles
  • Flashlight
  • Lightsticks
  • Headlight
  • Fire Starter
  • Hand Crank Flashlight (I don't have one yet)

Make sure that you don't store your batteries in your flashlights or radios. Wrap them with tape so that the ends don't touch. This was they will be fresh when you need them.

Personal Documents (not pictured)
  • Immunization Records
  • Birth Certificates
  • Pictures
  • Phone Number/Addresses
  • Insurance Information (Life, Car, House)
  • Family Emergency Plan
  • CD's with Photos/Genealogy
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Family & Individual Photos
  • Fingerprints
  • Health Information
  • Credit Card Information with Phone Numbers
  • Cash in small bills
Personal Care Kit
I bought these small bags at Wal-Mart and filled them with everything we might need for our personal care. For deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, and other things that have an expiration date, I bought each persons favorite brand. That way, if there is no emergency we can still use it here at home before it expires. Then I don't feel like I am wasting things, since I don't need to throw them away when they expire.

  • Germ X
  • Flushable Wipes
  • Chapstick
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Sunscreen
  • Washcloth
  • Toothbrush
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Comb
  • Kleenex
  • Toilet Seat Covers
  • Nail Brush
  • Tweezers
  • Finger Nail Clippers
  • Compact Mirror
  • Sewing Kit
  • Aloe Vera
  • Vaseline
  • Feminine Products
  • Mosquito Spray

Miscellaneous/Survival Items

  • Camp Towel
  • Toilet Paper (with roll removed)
  • Duck Tape
  • Handy Sacks (or trash bags)

  • Rope
  • Multipurpose Knife (Swiss Army, Leatherman, or Generic)
  • Heavy Duty Scissors
  • Survival Whistle (with compass)
  • Umbrella (don't have yet)
  • Maps (for neighboring states as well)

  • Camp Ax (adult kit)
  • Camp Shovel (adult kit)
  • Hand Crank Radio (don't have yet)
  • Work Gloves (don't have yet)

  • Corded Phone

This phone was about $5.78 at Wal-Mart and is a great buy. Phone lines have their own power source so if your power were to go out, you could still use this in case of emergency. Every home has a telephone interface box which is usually mounted on an outside wall where the phone lines runs into your house. You can plug your corded phone into this box (even if it's not your own home) and have a working phone line. Of course this is for EMERGENCIES ONLY!! Consider keeping a phone like this in your car, just in case!

Entertainment Items

Here is the special little section I have in each kit. It contains:
  • Small Notebook (in our favorite colors)
  • Pen & Pencil
  • Scriptures
  • Card Game (type varies per person)
  • Crayons/Coloring Book or other fun item


These are items that you probably can't store all the time in your 72 hour kit, and will have to grab at the last minute.

  • Medications
  • Cell Phones
  • Chargers
  • Special Blanket or Stuffed Animal that your child can't be without.

Large Item

These are things that would be great to have near your 72 hour kit, but are too big to fit inside a backpack.

  • Portable Toilet
  • Porta Privy
  • Family Size Tent (Such as one you use to go camping every summer)
  • Camp Stove
  • Sleeping Mats


Melonie said...

I love your idea of the photo tags for each bag! That is great thinking! My 18 month old is starting to really point out people in pictures, including himself - even he could tell whose bag was whose. Smart!

RE: the portable privy - I've seen some where folks use a bucket (with sturdy handle and lid) and stock it with their toilet supplies as well as basic sanitary needs. It frees up a little room in the 72 hour kits and is still easy to grab if your kit is on your back in backpack mode. Also handy to crack open if you're sheltering in place, not evac'ing, but don't want to flush the toilets as much to save the water in the tanks.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for the great info and photos. I think you have done a great job in narrowing down the immense amount of items on traditional 72 hour kit lists and I tototally agree with you about the food issue. It is amazing to me the amount of salty foods people put in their 72 hour kits and also putting in freeze-dried foods that require water or foods that have to be cooked. Just more stuff. I didn't see cash on your list, did I miss it? Great job!

Lisa said...

The cash is listed under "Personal Documents". I know it's not really a personal documents, but that is where we keep our cash in our 72 hour kits. I also keep our cash in small bills. I figure people won't have the ability (or won't want to) make change when purchasing something.

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm not in your ward but my friend that is in the highland hills stake told me about your website. Thank you so much for all the information you have on here I was wondering where you bought your rolling duffels and backpacks and if you didnt mind sharing how much you paid for them? Thanks SO much for all you do!

Lisa said...

I bought all my things from Emergency Essentials and Walmart.

All my bags were bought from Walart. Here are the prices (from 2007)

Rolling Duffel Bags - $28.74
Orange Rolling Backpacks - $24.88
Small Black Bag for my "personal care kit" - $4.78

I LOVE these bags. They all hold a lot and roll very easily. This is very important because the bags are HEAVY.

Oh, and my sleeping bags (not pictured) were from Sam's Club at$28.44 each. They are mummy style bags and are rated for 0 degree weather.

Meagan said...

Love this post! I found your blog while searching for 72 Hour Kit information. I am doing one for my family right now. So great, keep it up!

Jen said...

My rotation tip: I change out expired 72 hour kit items and add a couple things every General Conference weekend. My kids eat the trail mix with conference Bingo while we watch. Your site was a good source for visualizing what I was missing.

Annie said...

We had a lesson on emergency preparedness at church recently. We are blessed to have a women who is an emergency preparation expert. She has worked with all kinds of labs and companies for twenty years, mainly in earthquake zones. She has worked directly with Clorox labs and other labs and they found that normal untreated water from the tap, stored in an old 7Up bottle for TEN YEARS, very little bacteria forming units in it. It was tested and had 23 bacteria forming units. To give you an idea of how safe that is, the milk you buy can have over 20,000 bacteria forming units. If you want to be extra safe though, all you need to do is put a little bit of bleach in your water and then it will 100% safe. I like to share this with whoever I can because people are wasting money on expensive water and then rotating it, which isn't even necessary. I hope this helps! I know it sure helped me, and thank you for sharing your kits, they are very well thought out!

Stephanie said...

Hey Lisa, did you also find the luggage tags at Walmart? I can't find any like yours with different colors and the little flap that covers the info/picture.

Lisa said...

I found them at Walmart, I found a similar one on their website, because I didn't see them in their store.

The Heki Family said...

Thanks for all your ideas and pics. I had never thought of duck tape before. Did you put, all the paper items like birth certificates in something special?

Lisa said...

I just put them in a sturdy zip lock bag, just so that it's waterproof.

Unknown said...

At what age did you start making packs for your kids. I have a pre-schooler and a grade schooler and I'm worried about them. I want to start a pack for them, but I'm afraid they wouldn't be able to carry enough stuff.

Lisa said...

My daughter wasn't even in school when I made hers. I would say if they can walk, then make them a pack. Use a small backpack with wheels and just have food and water in it for them. That is something that they can roll/drag behind them even if they are little. As they get older then start adding more things.

Kim said...

Sorry - that last deleted comment was me. It wouldn't let me login, and I wanted to make sure to check the email button.

Anyway, I know I am coming super late to this. I hope you don't mind. I got your info from Pinterest. I love your kits! I was about to purchase ready made kits when I saw these, and decided against it. You make it seem much less scary. :)

I was wondering, what size are the rolling duffel bags and the rolling backpacks? There are so many online and I have no idea which is best. Thanks so much!!!

Lisa said...

@Kim, it's never too late to email :)

The orange backpacks are approximately:

19" tall
12" deep (when full)
13-14" across

The black duffle type bags are approximately:

30" tall
16" deep (when full)
15" across

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions :)

Unknown said...

Do you by chance remember when you bought your backpacks and duffle bags?

Lisa said...

I bought them probably in December of 2008 at Walmart

Unknown said...

Love your list but do you not have pets? What about them? Food, water leashes for them too and maybe their favorite blanket.... We have 2 Schnauzer puppies that go where ever we go.... so I would want to pack up some things for them too. Just a thought.
Great page....

Lisa said...

Thanks Debra Booth!

rusty_r said...

Hi Lisa
Are you able to tell me how many litres the back packs hold? In Australia and I have no idea on which size I will need.

Lisa said...

Hi Rusty_r,

It doesn't say on the packs, but from looking on the internet I would say the orange backpacks are probably 40-50 and the larger one is 75 liters. Here's what I used to base it on:
I hope that helps!