Since I’ve been updating our survival pack, I’ve been doing a lot of reading online about 72 hour packs. From what I can tell, there are basically two sources of information. Government emergency management agencies, such as San Francsico’s, and survivalist / “prepper” websites. The professional sites suggest you purchase different items, but if you want a review and comparison of the different choices, you’re stuck with the survivalist sites, or at least that what shows up when you google “survival packs” and “72 hour bags”.
Reading survivalism formus is like taking a trip to a parallel world, that is both strange and familiar at the same time. One minute they’re reviewing pocket water filters and reading topgraphical maps, the next minute it’s secret DHS armies.
Several years ago, I went out and bought a 2 person 72 hour bag at OSH. I augmented the pack with a few items (marked in italics below). At the time, I thought it wasn’t bad, but now that I look at it, it seems woefully under stocked.
- 12 125 ml Bags of Water. 5 year shelf life. Expires April 2015. 4 per day per person.
- 12 400 cal Food Bars. 5 year shelf life. Expires April 2015. 2 per day per person.
- 1 Whistle
- 1 pkg of 10 facial tissues
- 2 Emergency Blankets 84 in x 52 in
- 2 Ponchos Red
- 2 Chemical Light Sticks. 6 inches long. 12 hour duration.
- 2 pairs of Latex Gloves
- 2 Dust Masks
- 1 First Aid Kit. Contents below.
- 1 Multitool (Leatherman Surge) with extra screwdriver bits.
- 1 Flashlight (Mini Maglite). Requires 2 AA batteries.
- 4 AA batteries. Shelf Stable until December 2023
First Aid Kit
- First Aid Guide
- 2 500 mg Acetaminophen Tablets
- 2 200 mg Ibuprofen Tablets
- 2 325 mg Aspirin Tablets
- 1 pkg “Antibiotic Ointment”
- 3 Antiseptic Wipes
- 3 Alcohol Wipes
- 6 0.75 inch x 3 inch Adhesive Bandages
- 1 0.375 inch x 1.5 inch Adhesive Bandages
- 1 Butterfly Closure Bandage
We also have an Eton FR-500 emergency radio.
So what’s wrong with this pack? First, its for two people, and there is three of us. Second, the water packets urge 4 packets per day per person. That means there’s only enough water for 1 person for 72 hours. That’s a major flaw in this pack. If worse came to worst, you are going to end up dehydrated. Third, the pack doesn’t contain toiletries for Maximilian, which is a concern for a kid his have. Finally, there’s not enough medicine, and not enough of the right kinds of medicine. This first aid packet is set up for headaches and scratches. It seems like a disaster first aid pack should at least contain gauze and tape to bandage wounds.
So what do we need? Well, without getting very exotic.
- Toiletries for Maximilian, along with a change of clothes for Maximilian.
- Food for 3 for 72 hours, including food that can be chewed by Maximilian.
- Different medicine
- More detailed first aid kit
Our baby bag typically already contains most of the toiletries, but its usually only set up for a few hours. For 72 hours, we’d probably need 9 to 12 diapers, a box of wipes, and a tube of balm. It’s not that big of a deal; and over the months, we’ve learned to keep it stocked, if for no other reason than convenience.
But what about the other things? The first aid kit and the food? I don’t know what we need just yet. I do know that we need a different backpack though. There isn’t any more room in the bag we have.