The 72 Hour Kit Ideas: List of Important Items That Can Save Your Life

The 72-hour kit is just a collection of critical, fundamental items that will enable you to survive for at least 72 hours (or three days) in challenging situations. Authorities and governments encourage residents to stock up on this sort of kit as part of their natural disaster preparedness program. It is critical to assemble this kit and keep it in an easily accessible location so that you will be prepared if and when the forces of nature release in your region.

You must be prepared for three days, as this is the projected average duration of panic and insanity during which you will have to survive on your own or in a shelter until rescue teams arrive. In the aftermath of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, extreme meteorological phenomena, wildfires, or zombie apocalypse, assistance is not always immediately available.

If you are new to survival preparedness or have never experienced a natural catastrophe, all of this fuss about the emergency bag may appear to be old-fashioned paranoia. True, some people take readiness to an extreme, but the most of us just strive to make it through hell unscathed.

Typically, when calamities happen, incomprehensible forces wreak havoc on our globe. To maintain our composure and behave appropriately when something occurs, we must prepare in advance. There are also exercises for various sorts of catastrophes where you can learn what to include in your pack, how it should look and feel, and how to avoid getting surprised.

We mentioned many of the most deadly natural events in the opening paragraph, but there are more, and being prepared involves being knowledgeable. This is why, before relocating to a new region, it is prudent to contact the authorities and ascertain the major hazards. Authorities can provide crucial advice on preparing and how to keep safe. After determining the primary hazards, attempt to study and learn as much as possible about avoiding them.

What should be included in your 72-hour kit?

Making lists is always preferable. With the list in front of you, it’s simple to check off goods you currently own and determine what more you need to get. Not to worry; this will not make you appear elderly or as if you are losing your memory; rather, it will demonstrate how adept you are at planning for a disaster. Prepare your list in advance so that you may review it periodically and add new items. A list will assist you in remaining organized, which will come in handy during the chaos and disorientation that characterize a disaster.

If you begin reading various sites and documents discussing what should be included in a 72-hour kit, you may wind up with a kilometric list filled with unnecessary stuff. This is why you must take a rational approach to the problem. The first question you should address is: What items do I require to meet my basic needs for three days? The natural solution to this subject is to categorize everything, so let’s examine how our list would appear with only the categories.

You will require the following items:

  • Provisions for food and drink; Provisions for clothing and footwear; Provisions for sanitation; Provisions for personal hygiene; Provisions for tools; Provisions for bedding; Provisions for equipment; Provisions for medication and first aid;
  • Luminance and fuel; Personal papers and money;
  • Entertainment; Pet-related merchandise; Other unique products;
  • Special backpacks and containers; Personal protective equipment.

The list appears to be lengthy already, correct? Thus, these are the categories from which you will want stuff in order to survive three days on your own. Now it’s time to dissect the list and determine which things should be removed from each category. Take care! When compiling the final list, there are two significant traps to avoid:

  • Packing too little in order to conserve room in your backpack, assuming that you won’t need anything. This may be true, but you do not want to be stuck in a shelter or a collapsed structure without access to water or food while waiting for rescue crews. Always, preparedness triumphs over chance.
  • Packing excessively in case you require this or thing. If an item is not required, leave it at home. There is no reason to include family photographs in an emergency bag, for instance. You may package things up in zip lock bags and store them safely in your home.
  • Food and water supply

This is a critical category, and without sufficient goods from it, you will be unable to live three days on your own. Consider little products with a high calorie content (natural catastrophes are not an opportunity to stay active and concerned about your shape!). Stressful conditions, such as fleeing a storm or tornado, cause your body to eat more calories than normal, depleting your energy. Your daily meal should contain around 2000 calories as an adult.

Another factor to consider while selecting food for the emergency pack is the shelf life. Choose items with a minimum shelf life of one year; otherwise, you will need to inspect and rotate things rather frequently.

Survival Kit

When keeping food, ensure that each item is packaged separately. Certain meals have extremely persistent odors and can contaminate other foods, making them extremely difficult to eat. Additionally, consider foods that your family can and will consume.

Several 72-hour kit suggestions for things in this category include the following: Foods in cans such as beans, fruits, vegetables, and prepared meals; energy bars and chocolate for an energy boost; nuts and seeds; dried fruits; noodles, soups, and dehydrated veggies; peanut butter; salt, sugar, and other seasonings.

Additionally, it is critical to evaluate sensitivities and probable adverse responses. As you can see, none of the items described previously are in their natural condition; they have been dried, dehydrated, or canned for long-term storage. The best thing is that you can cook the majority of them at home provided you have the proper tools. For example, home canning is fairly straightforward and does not require a great deal of equipment, so you can get started right away—we have an excellent article on how to get started creating your own meat and vegetable cans. If, on the other hand, you’re interested in more sophisticated ways of food preservation, such as dehydration, you’ll want to check out our top food dehydrator reviews.

Clothing and footwear supplies, as well as bedding

When you’re in a difficult situation and away from home and your own closet, you’ll need additional clothing to adjust your body temperature according to the weather circumstances. Bring garments that will keep you warm, don’t take up a lot of storage room, and are light to carry. Include short- and long-sleeved shirts and pants, socks, undergarments, caps, gloves, and coats in this category. Additionally, layers allow you to adjust your clothes to the surroundings – if you’re not sure what this means, check our article on layers clothing to learn more.

The same is true for footwear: bring an additional pair of strong shoes that will keep you dry and protect you from falling items and rain. As an added precaution, including a raincoat and body warmers in your kit.

You will also require sleep over these 72 hours, which is why it is critical to have the necessary bedding. Begin with a sleeping mat, which will keep you off the chilly ground or floor, then progress to sleeping bags and warm blankets. Additionally, you can add a tent large enough to accommodate everyone in case you are unable to make it to the shelter in time.

Sanitary supplies & personal hygiene products

Here, you must use caution and choose just the objects that you want to employ. Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, detergent, disinfectant, plastic rubbish bag, and home chlorine bleach are all included in the sanitary supplies category. These materials will be used to clean and disinfect wounds, as well as the area in which you will sleep and eat.

Personal Items

Personal hygiene items must also be viewed objectively. Take just what is absolutely essential, such as toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, feminine hygiene products, damp towels, folding brush, and hair ties. Makeup, nail paint, perfume, and other cosmetics are not essential and should be omitted from your pack.

Medication and first aid kit

Items in this category are extremely sensitive to external environmental influences, which means they require additional care when storing. Include any prescription medication for family members and pets in your emergency pack (if any). Additionally, include OTC pain medicines, Ibuprofen, glasses, and any additional medication you see essential. The first aid kit should be comprehensive, and you may get it at any medicine shop, but not all have the necessary supplies. That is why we conducted an evaluation of several popular goods, which you can read about in our post on the best first aid kit.

Tools, equipment, light and fuel categories

These categories are equally critical for survival, but they must be packed sensibly, since they may add considerable weight to your bag.

You’re going to need a folding shovel (great for digging sanitation holes and digging up stuff), pliers, a can opener, a multi-tool Swiss army knife (or any other multi-tool knife) that’s useful in a variety of situations, thread and needle (you never know when something tears and you need to repair it), duct tape, a battery-operated radio, a fire extinguisher, rope, and so on.

Multi-tool knife

The categories of light and fuel is significant since you will require light to see where you are going and fuel to cook and stay warm. Consider bringing a flashlight and extra batteries, a signal flare, an emergency candle and water-resistant matches, a travel stove, and an additional tank of petrol for your car.

Personal belongings, documentation, and money

You must always have your personal documentation with you during an evacuation to ensure that authorities can identify you during periodic examinations. Additionally, bring critical papers such as confirmation of residence, bank records, and others. Ensure that you have additional cash on hand, as credit cards will be useless during a crisis. ATM’s are typically emptied first, followed by bank closures.

Even if you are a pacifist who believes no one will benefit from a natural calamity, such creatures exist. That is why you must possess a firearm or another form of weapon capable of defending yourself and your family. Don’t forget to include a whistle in your pack in case of an emergency. It’s quite beneficial to alert others to your danger or to assist rescue services in locating you.

Other classifications

Here you may find products such as pet supplies, containers, and other miscellaneous items. These are the ones that you must figure out on your own and put in your safety pack. Begin the list early and read it several times before beginning to pack your emergency supplies. This is the only way to ensure that you do not overlook anything critical.

Keep your backpack compact and ready to travel, and don’t forget to bring a compass and a map.

Common mistakes to avoid in the preparing process

There are a few common errors that you might make when assembling the 72-hour emergency pack, especially if you are inexperienced. Not to worry, there is nothing significant about them, but it is best to be aware and avoid them.

Footwear blunders – ensure that the shoes you put in your emergency kit are durable and waterproof. You require them to safeguard your feet, not to seem fashionable! If officials issue a hazardous weather warning, avoid wearing heels and other high-priced, showy shoes wherever possible. Additionally, have a pair of clean boots in your car, stuffed with clean socks and underwear. You never know where you’ll be when the storm begins.

Clothing that is inappropriate for the season – if you do not maintain your emergency kit updated according to the season, you may find yourself wearing jackets in the middle of summer.

You omit the testing process — each item in your kit must be thoroughly examined before to packing. If your flashlight does not function or if your fire starter does not work, they are of no use to you.

You lack order when packing the gear – avoid cramming everything into one large suitcase. When you require something, you will be unsure where to look and will be forced to unpack the entire thing. Consider how you would accomplish this in the midst of a storm while searching for a flashlight.

You underestimate your water requirements — even if you’re not a big water drinker, your body will request that gallon of water every day during stressful conditions. Ascertain that you either own it or have the capacity to get it.

Which emergency kits are available in-store?

To make things easier, you may purchase emergency kits. These are pre-packaged with the majority of the goods discussed previously and are really beneficial if your family is not the do-it-yourself kind. Everything is already arranged; all you need to do is add anything else you believe will be beneficial.

Our top three suggestions are as follows:

  • The Ready America 70080 Grab-n-Go Emergency Kit, 1-Person 3-Day Bag provides all of a person’s food, water, and light needs. You will undoubtedly need to supplement this, but the large backpack is quite handy and convenient to carry;
  • The Ready America 70280 Grab-and-Go Emergency Kit, 2-Person, 3-Day Backpack includes food, drink, and blankets for two people, as well as a comprehensive first aid kit and two safety light sticks. The kit is reasonably priced and is available on Amazon.
  • 4 Person Deluxe Perfect Survival Kit for Earthquake, Evacuation, and Preparedness for Emergency Disasters 72-Hour Kits for the Home, Workplace, and Automobile — ideal for families with two children. The Deluxe model is one of the most comprehensive kits available, and you can literally pick it up and go without adding anything extra. This model and others are available on Amazon.

As you can see, there are several 72-hour kit options available, making emergency planning easier and less frightening.

While the list of materials to include in the emergency kit may appear lengthy at first glance, with a little time and some organizing skills, you will easily be able to fill your ready-to-grab backpack. The trick is to understand how to pack each thing separately and how to locate little places for each one. You may practice packing your emergency bag several times until it is perfect.

Remember to inspect the pack every six months and rotate items that are no longer helpful, such as expired meals, bottled water, and out-of-season clothing.

Other things to consider for your 72-hour kit

There are no justifications for disregarding the potential of calamity and skipping the preparatory process. As a responsible adult, you must anticipate this possibility and make appropriate preparations. While purchasing an emergency pack today may seem unnecessary, you will grow to realize its worth when the time comes. Consider how difficult it would be to clean your hands in the absence of soap or hand sanitizer.

When forced to escape on your own, there is no way to obtain the necessary items. It will be exceedingly difficult to resist without food or water for a few hours, and nearly impossible for days.


Each youngster should have their own backpack. Ascertain that it is something that your youngster is capable of carrying if necessary.

  • Tennis Ball – Versatile! It’s both a toy and a tool (watch the video for ideas on how to use it as a tool)!
  • Sanitizer for Hands
  • Emergency Poncho – Can be used to protect both you and your bag from the elements!
  • Glowsticks — Essentially an emergency flashlight to assist in locating items, but they’re also useful if you’re lost or trapped in order for people to locate YOU!
  • Kit de premiers soins
  • Life Straw – Filters all types of water. So cool, isn’t it?
  • Warming Hands
  • Pen/Sharpie
  • Blanket for Emergencies
  • A Change of Attire
  • Gloves, Beanie, Sweatshirt, and Underwear – It is preferable to be prepared for the elements. If it’s too hot, you can always take off your clothing!
  • Socks
  • Flip Flopping
  • Wipes moistened with water and/or antibacterial wipes
  • Snacks — Protein bars, beef jerky, and other non-perishable snacks are available.
  • Bottle of Water
  • Toothpaste and Toothbrush in a Miniature
  • Diapers & Baby Wipes
  • Formula, Bottle, and Binkie
  • Additional Requirements


Include anything above that is appropriate for teenagers and adults!

  • Solar- or crank-powered flashlights
  • Radio with Hand-Crank
  • Knife
  • Paracord
  • Headlamps
  • Cash
  • Copies of Driver’s License that Have Been Laminated
  • Copies of Birth Certificates that Have Been Laminated
  • Charger for Cell Phones


Along with our 72-hour bags, we have a container of goods in our van in case the need arises. It contains additional useful products that are not always necessary for a 72-hour pack. Including…

  • Miniature Cooking Oven
  • Solar Powered Charger
  • Extinguisher de incendio
  • Tape Duct
  • Supplemental Diapers and Wipes
  • Bags for Sleeping

Additionally, we store 7 gallons of water in the garage next to our 72 hour kits so that we can simply load everything in the trunk in an emergency and be ready to leave!