We’ve all seen them…. Broke down on the side of the road, stuck in a ditch, power goes out and everyone is running everywhere like the planet is going to explode! I’m pretty sure we know of people that are also surprised by Mother Nature when it comes to tornados, mud slides, freezing temperatures or severe heat waves.
Maybe we’ve seen some of these folks on TV or on the news. Some of these things happen when we least expect it.
The big question is if any of these were to happen to you in the next 5 minutes, how will you react?
Do you have a game plan?
Do you have a ‘pick up and go’ pack?
Most people don’t.
Honestly, we didn’t….
We did our research and started putting a pack together little by little and it all added up to now what is a healthy pack.
I have to thank my son Denali, who was born in December of 2012. I’ve always wanted to take him along with me on my many trips. We had to create a game plan and prepare for him.
My wife, Anita, knew where we were going to be at on certain days and certain times. She would know when I was going to check in again.
I’ve been taking Denali camping and photographing since he was about 5 months old. Hanging out with him is truly one of the highlights of my trips.
So don’t look at this as a complete list with an ending. There are certain things you or a family member of yours may need.
This is also not professional advice so don’t hold me to it. I guess you can say, I’ve seen my fair share of where the kit has helped other people more than our family. Wild isn’t it….
Another thing that inspired us to have a kit was an experience we had in Alaska. IF you’ve ever been there, it is a HUGE place and some locations are far from nowhere.
You could really be ‘off the grid’!
Here’s the story about Alaska then we’ll get into everything that goes into building your own kit.
We were quite a few hours from Fairbanks and we literally passed a car every hour or two. Anita and I saw two gentlemen broke down on the side of the road and they had a really nasty flat tire.
We were newlyweds on our second honeymoon and I didn’t want to stop and pull over. My wife and I pray often and we asked if the scene was safe to turn around and help these two guys out.
They were in their mid-40’s and looked rugged.
So we turned around and I parked about 50 yards from them and slowly approached the car. Their tire was demolished and they were coming back from some conference with their Church.
They had a spare tire and everything else BUT a jack! So out of our rental car, I pulled out our jack and proceeded to help them.
Now here’s where it gets wild. After we helped them get on their way, we drove for 5 hours and did not see another single car!
The story behind the front cover image is actually another wild story with a cool cat. A guy was broke down near Moab and was constantly getting passed by cars and trucks.
It was 3 degrees outside! 3 degrees and he was waiting for over 3 hours for help. In fact, you can watch a short video on YouTube – Click here.
I could tell you story after story to prove that having a kit could help you or others. Or even a cat!
So without further time spent on stories, here is what I have in my 72 Hour Power Kit.
Again, if you don’t have one, please don’t freak out and feel overwhelmed by all that is in what I have.
I started with just a few things and it continued to grow as time moved on. Anything is always going to be better than nothing.
You’ll never know when you or someone else may need something from the kit. You’ll be better prepared should something come out of left field.
Here are some top things to consider when starting your own kit or improving what you may have.
#1) Have a durable bag that will hold the weight of the kit is important. I would recommend something you can put on your back. IF you have children, maybe something with wheels as another resort. Get a good pack.
#2) When you’ve assembled your kit, have a quarterly, half year or annual review with everything you have in there. By doing this, you’ll be more up to date on what needs replacing and by changing needs as family life changes.
#3) Is about the clothes. If you lost or added some weight, make sure the clothes in the kit will fit you. You wouldn’t want to have something to big or too small when you really need it most.
#4) Food. Add, change or replace perishables. In the example of the cover photo, the guy had a cat. He was really low on cat food so I dove into my bag and pulled out some tuna. The cat ate 2 cans and I had to replace them. Refill what you use, especially food.
#5) Depending on where you live or what your needs are, customize the kit to you and your family. An example. You may not see snakes. I often hike and photograph around rattlesnake territory. I’ve seen some big nasty snakes deep in the desert!
If you have health needs like medications, inhalers, insulin and other things, make sure to keep these current and that things are not expired.
#6) It is better to have and not need, than to need and not have. Don’t pack a store full of stuff but pack a little more than you may expect.
#7) Use Ziplock bags or plastic containers. Metal containers can add up.
#8) Have a main pack for the family and smaller packs should other people in your party or family need to split up or carry their own gear.
I’ve gathered my resources from multiple areas online, YouTube, my dad, the local automobile shop and taking into account where I usually go.
Here is the bullet point list of everything:
* Water for 3 days. (I’ve found many experts recommend 1 gallon per day per person.)
* Food for 72 hours per person. The food should be nonperishable items that you can eat without fire. (You may want to pack an all in one tool that has a fork, knife, can opener and such. All my personal and survival tools come from Gerber Gear.)
* Clothes and shoes for each person. Clothes for warmer environments can always be cut down or ripped if needed. You may want to consider sweats, t-shirt, heavy sweat pants, 1 pair of undies, socks and shoes.
* Change like quarters, nickels and dimes. I pack about $5 in the car if I need them. You may still find payphones out there…..
Keep the following dry in a container or Ziplock bags:
– Cash. About $20 to $50.
– A first aid manual.
– Small books as good reading material. Inspirational books, scriptures, cartoon or comic books. Entertainment for the kids.
– A deck of cards is not a bad idea too! Some card games to keep the spirit of the young ones up!
– A list of phone numbers. This is the reason you want to make sure these things are in a water proof container or baggie. Important cell and landline phone numbers. WRITE THESE DOWN.
– Cell phone charger.
– Photocopies of Passport, Birth Certificates, Medical History, Health/Home/Car Insurance info.
– NOAA Weather Alert Radio. Click here to see what they look like.
– Writing tools. Pen, pencils or small permanent markers.
– Waterproof matches.
– Work gloves.
– Hand powered flash lights. Like a mini generator on a flash light.
– Plastic sheeting or duct tape to make shelter.
– Pepper Spray/Bear Spray.
– Ear Plugs
– Lip Balm
– Heat blanket
– Hand warmers
– Real Blanket- we put this on top of our 72 hour kit in the car.
– Baby wipes/moist towelettes
– Dust masks
– Water sanitation drops or bleach
– Feminine supplies
– Bayer aspirin
– Rain poncho
– Candles (long lasting ones)
– Bug repellent
– Toilet paper
– Hygiene needs: small shampoo, soap, hand sanitizer, toothbrush and toothpaste
First Aid Kit with the following:
– Two pairs of Latex or other sterile gloves if you are allergic to Latex
– Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
– Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes
– Antibiotic ointment
– Burn ointment
– Anti-itch cream
– Rubbing alcohol
– Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
– Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminate
– Cotton balls and/or Q-tips
– Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
– Hot/cold packs
* For Babies:
– Extra Diapers for both day and night.
– Powered milk/formula
– Moist towelettes
– Diaper rash ointment
– Extra baby clothes
– Comfort toys, books or teddy bears.
– Denture Cream
– Extra eyeglasses
– I’m not sure what else you may want to add here.
Emergency Car Kit:
– JUMPER CABLES!
– Heavy Duty Tow Straps
– A shovel that can collapse
– Zip ties
– Duct Tape
– IF you have a key for your lug nuts, know where it is.
– Wrench to loosen and tighten your lug nuts.
– Car Jack.
– Orange Triangle with reflectors.
– Reflective tape, vest or bright colored shirts.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, I have a solar powered system to recharge nearly anything anywhere. Visit GoalZero.com by clicking here to see what they have. Goal Zero has and still is leading the industry and has helped thousands of people in the Philippines, Navajoland, Haiti and other locations where Nature strikes with typhoons, earthquakes, sever cold and hot weather.
THAT IS THE LIST!!!
Again, with time and changes of your needs or even the seasons, you may want to check on your 72 Hour Power Kit and see what else you may need to add.
IF you don’t have a kit yet, start one and slowly add to it. You don’t need to get everything overnight. Just as long as you have one, you will be better off than most people.