Friday, October 5, 2012

Prepping: The 72-Hour Bag

Making a 72-Hour bag is one of the first stages of being a prepper. The idea is to make a kit that can sustain you for three days in an emergency, and is usually kept in your car. Some preppers see these kits as the resource that will help them to survive while they hike to their "bug-out location" - the place they will go when society, the government, the economy, whatever collapses.

We have 72-hour bags in case we need to evacuate our house or are away from home and cannot return, or have to squat in our woods, most notably in case of a major fire or a tornado. I am also comforted by the idea that Son of Caveman has one in his car in case he is out driving on icy roads with steep drop-offs at night in winter, as he often has. It's also allows some impromptu hiking and camping.

All-in-all, I think most of the things in a 72-hour kit are rather alarmist, but in the bag's defense, we have actually used things from our bags for emergencies already. Many websites have suggestions for 72-hour bags, so I'm just going to tell you what's in my bag. It weighs, in total, about 8 pounds, and has tons of extra space for clothes or food or whatever.

  • Multi-tool
  • 30 feet snare wire
  • 30 feet fishing line, 4 hooks, 4 weights, 2 bobbers, 2 lures
  • 30 feet nylon cord
  • Spool dental thread
  • Various rubber bands, safety pins 
  • Carabiner
  • Metal cup and canteen, dining utensils
  • Water purifier bottle
  • 5 plastic Ziplock bags
  • Windup flashlight and radio
  • Magnesium flint and standard lighter
  • Small container with cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly to start fires
  • 6'X8' tarp
  • Sleeping bag(tied onto the backpack straps)
  • Poncho 
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant, extra pair prescription glasses 
  • 1 large roll duct tape
  • 5 large T-shirt cloth squares, 1 bandana
  • Leather work gloves
  • Oklahoma map
  • Compass
  • Whistle
  • Mirror
  • Sewing kit - two needles, one bobbin of white standard thread, one bobbin heavy-duty thread
  • First aid kit - alcohol wipes, antibiotic wipes, gauze, sterile pads/tape, band-aids, Ace bandage  
  • ID card with important names and numbers, allergies. We should also carry pictures of each other.

SOC's bag also has:

  • Small survival guide 
  • Hatchet
  • Wind-up watch
  • Hand-heater packs
  • Mini-camp stove
  • Soap
  • Folding knife
  • He also has a bivvy, but makes his pack cumbersome, and it's too much to fit behind the seat of his truck.

I carried (and have had to use) a clothes bag in case I got stranded long before I started prepping which contains:

  • 2 pairs warm socks
  • Hat with earflaps
  • Scarf
  • 1 pair long underpants
  • 1 pair warm gloves
  • Sweater
  • Umbrella

And of course, a food and water bin that contains 1-2 gallons of water and some foods we like so we will rotate them often. We choose a couple of things from the following food list:

  • Dried fruit 
  • Nuts 
  • Granola/breakfast/cereal-type bars 
  • Sandwich crackers 
  • Vienna sausage 
  • Beef jerky 
  • Sesame snacks

And of course, I carry my phone, bank card, photo ID and bits of cash wherever I go because they are in my satchel.

This is fine for us, because we have our own cars, but I find it hard to imagine a family cramming and storing all this malarkey in the family car. And I know that it's hard to stop yourself from grabbing useful things in the pack, but you mustn't. You know and I know that you won't put it back.

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