by Craig Caudill
When we consider a 72 hour survival kit, we like to think of it as a “get-home” kit. We prepare for this with the mindset that one of two eventualities after those 72 hours are over.
1. That we make it back home to where our long-term supplies can be utilized.
2. Government services offering support will be available (Federal, or State Emergency Management).
For many of us storing a bulky long-term kit is not necessarily practical for where we work and play (i.e. going to the soccer field or gym). However the following is a list of some non-bulky items that will assist us if we have a need to get back home, with or without a vehicle.
- First Aid Kit – Here you need to include the basics such as gauze, H bandage, iodine, duct tape and super glue. Use these items to make your own large and small bandages. Super glue serves as a wound closer.
- Proper Clothing – This is climate dependent obviously, so make sure you have clothes that reflect the weather outside. Include some garbage bags to be used as rain coverings. They pack easily and weigh very little. In cold weather wool or fleece blankets are a nice addition, particularly if you need to shelter in place.
- Walking/Hiking Shoes – If you usually wear dress shoes/high heels to work you will definitely need something better to your destination in.
- Lighter and ferro rod – This is for starting fires if you need to stay in your location (shelter in place). Fires can help maintain body core as well as to signal others.
- Hydration – You will need something to drink such as bottles of water and another method for cleaning other sources that can be found (i.e filter straw, pump, or tablets)
- Energy – There are lots of choices here. Particularly if you are walking to your destination you will need energy, this can be as simple as some commercially available power bars or energy shots.
- Map and direction finder – A GPS is great, but keep in mind they are battery dependent so make sure you have a compass and know how to use it. Maps are the same way, make sure you have a paper map in your kit rather than just electronic means.
- Flashlight – This is very useful for seeing as well as being seen by rescue personnel.
- Knife – A knife is a most useful tool in any given crisis situation.
- Paracord – This cordage is incredibly strong for its size and weight and can also be used for a multitude of uses.
Those are our basics for a 72 hour kit. We certainly hope it helps you put one together. A few considerations not mentioned are having head knowledge of both survival and self-defense. Depending upon the situation, you may be in need of using both.