Emergency Preparedness Kit Recommendations Compare Survival Kits

72 Hour Bug Out Bag

A 72 hour bug out bag is designed for a person to get through the aftermath of a major disaster. It should contain items that will help you survive the most traumatic time immediately after a disaster, and each member of your family should have one ready to grab and go.

That disaster could be an earthquake, getting lost in the woods, having your car break down in the middle of nowhere, or even a disaster that causes you to be confined to your place of work or school. For this reason, it is wise to have a bag in several locations so you are ready for anything.

Each bag should have things you can use for shelter, fire, covering, light, hygiene and first aid. And of course, each bag should have food and water for three days.


At the very least, your bag should have a tarp that you can construct into a tent. You can also find small backpacker tents that will fit the bill nicely.


Have several ways to build a fire. This can include a lighter, matches, kindling and a fire steel, or any number of other things. Practice making a fire so you know what to do in an emergency. A disaster situation is not the time to be learning new skills, so make sure your skills are already sharp when you need them.


Have extra clothing, including shoes. Also, pack a blanket. An emergency blanket is compact enough to carry anywhere but can be a lifesaver if you get chilled in an emergency.


Pack a durable flashlight with extra batteries. Even better, pack two, just in case. Some flashlights have the ability for emergency signaling to let possible rescuers know where you are and that you need help. Consider getting a small emergency radio with a built in light as well as a flashlight.

Hygiene and First Aid

Pack various hygiene items including toilet paper, sanitary pads and hand sanitizer. Also pack at least a basic first aid kit. Make sure you are familiar with the items in the kit and know how to use them. Consider taking a basic first aid course.

Food and Water

Food and water is essential but you don’t have to try to pack full meals into your 72 hour bag. Meal bars are compact and provide the calories you need to survive. You can also pack sterilized water that will stay good for years so you won’t have to replace it often. Just pack it and know you will have what you need in an emergency.

Your Pack

Ideally, you will keep these items in a backpack that you can easily grab and carry. To simplify your preparations, you can purchase a survival backpack that already contains most of the items you need. Then you can customize as needed.

What would you include in your 72 hour bag?

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