Evacuation Kits – 72 Hour Kits/BOBs/G.O.O.D. Bag Management

72 Hour Kits - Serenity

This is the sixth installment of the Evacuation Preparedness Kit Series.  The first post, on Evac Prep Basics is here, and the second post, which introduces the Evac Prep Master List is here.  The third post, and the first post on the list review is here.  This post will cover 72 Hour Kit management.

It seems that every time I inventory my preps I find things that are missing.  It’s usually something like that one time when my wife needed to send a couple water bottles to school and the easiest thing to grab was a couple out of a 72 Hour Kit, then we forgot to replace it.  Or you needed some batteries, or a flashlight, or whatever.  When something can’t be found, it’s hard to not say “Oh, there’s one in the preps somewhere”.   Every time it happens there is always good intent to replace the removed item right away – and invariably it is forgotten about.

Or there are times like this weekend when a huge storm rolled through and knocked the power out for several hours.  My kids being fairly well trained through drills and so on, immediately decided they need to get their “safety backpacks” (as the younger kids call them).  My wife and I were happy that they were thinking this way and it gave us a good chance to do some practical applications.  So the kids all got their safety backpacks out and took them upstairs with them.  Of course, they immediately wanted to dump them out and get to the cool stuff – like flashlights, games and their own food.  We told them to please keep everything in one room, which they did.  However, they ended up ‘accidentaly’ having everything spread out and mixed up.  By the time the power came back on and they packed their bags back up there were several left over oddities.  3 packages of N95 masks, 2 card games, 2 metal bowels and so on.  All the extras got dumped into one pack instead of trying to sort it all out.

In addition to that, as seasons change we need to keep different things in our preps – winter gear vs. summer gear, etc.  Especially for those of us who live in areas where the season differences are quite extreme.

So, for all these reasons and more, it’s very important that two or more times a year we crack open our preps and inventory them.  Spring and Fall are perfect times to do this, and it’s easier to make sure it gets done if you do it in conjunction with a regular event.  Easter and Halloween – or something else important to you that falls around  this times like a birthday or anniversary – are excellent holidays to do this on – just make a habit of Easter and Halloween weekend  breaking out all your preps and going through them.

There are lots of ways to store your preps – my favorites are large plastic bins for Evac Gear and backpacks for 72 Hour Kits.  The kids can barely carry their kits of course, but I don’t expect them to be actually hiking much with them.

Here are some pictures of our 72 Hour Kits and our last inventory (this spring) of them:

72 Hour Kit rack

Here’s all of our 72 Hour Kits mixed in their rack in our Food Storage room.

72 Hour Kits stacked up

Ready to be inventoried

72 hour Kits Laid out

When we do our inventory, we empty all the bags out and lay everything out in front of them.  We have inventory lists for 3 different pack organizations: Adult, Teenager and Young Child.

72 Hour Kid Pack

Here are the contents of a Young Child Pack.

72 Hour Teen Pack

A teenager Pack

72 Hour AdultPack

And an adult’s pack.  As the packs are targeted to older children, they start having other tools based on responsibilities, such as knives, lighters, etc.

In the next post in this series, we’ll go through my BOB and discuss Combat Readiness.

11 Replies to “Evacuation Kits – 72 Hour Kits/BOBs/G.O.O.D. Bag Management”

  1. I see that you do what I do — hit up the Walmart health and beauty aisle for all the travel-size items. These work great for bugout bags, and you can find all sorts of hygiene-related projects in small sizes.

    (Other than the fact that since the swine flu scare started up, my local Walmart has not had any mini size hand sanitizer. Heh.)

  2. I see that you do what I do — hit up the Walmart health and beauty aisle for all the travel-size items. These work great for bugout bags, and you can find all sorts of hygiene-related projects in small sizes.

    (Other than the fact that since the swine flu scare started up, my local Walmart has not had any mini size hand sanitizer. Heh.)

  3. Absolutely! The Wal-Mart Travel section is a prepper’s best friend! :) My Wal-Mart got the small bottles back in stock a week ago, I bought a several of them as soon as they were back in. I’m making my own sanitizer but wanted all the bottles so that once they run empty I can just refill them.

  4. Absolutely! The Wal-Mart Travel section is a prepper’s best friend! :) My Wal-Mart got the small bottles back in stock a week ago, I bought a several of them as soon as they were back in. I’m making my own sanitizer but wanted all the bottles so that once they run empty I can just refill them.

  5. These look like really good helpful items and tips. I wish more people would prepare like this. One handy item is a wheel-barrow. If you're traveling maybe with a car battery, or heavier items it can come in handy.. Not to mention they are quiet wheeled, most are. Thanks for the post!

  6. List!! I keep an excel spreadsheet inventory of contents in the front pocket of my bag with special attention to the food and anything else that expires (sunscreen, meds, batteries, etc.) I list all expiration dates then for the food, I list exp, calories, fat, protein. So in the fall and spring, instead of unpacking the bag to see what I need, I pull out the list, see what will expire and buy replacements before I break into the bag. I can buy equivalent nutritional items (replace protein with protein). Also in any emergency (big or small) if I need something quickly and don't know where it is, I don't have to dump out my pack to remember if I have a styptic pencil squirrelled away in there. I like to become familiar with my BOB, but don't always remember the level of detail I'd like to. I'm very specific with the list – '3-inch lock blade serrated knife' or '4 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer in ziploc', '3-AAA LED flashlight', etc.

  7. Thank you so much for the list, this is a great site. We’re trying to get our 72 hr kits put together for our little family. I have a question though, I know you’re supposed to keep a 72 hr kit at home and in the car. So does that mean that you have to make 2 for each person, one for each place? Or in our case 3, one for home one for each car? Is it the same things in each kit? Thanks,

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