Sunday, May 18, 2014

Defining the 72 Hour Kit

Example of a 72 hour kit that only weighs 15 lbs
Building a 72 hour kit can become somewhat of a burden. Trying to find the perfect piece of gear that may save your life or at least make it a little easier when facing a disaster. Too often I see kits that contain many non-essential items. Things that would only make sense in a wilderness/long-term survival scenario. While that could happen, I'd like to think it won't (or at least pray none of us face having to survive off the land long-term).

Let me first say what the 72 hour kit is not. It's not a bag that you will go off into the wilderness to live off the land indefinitely  Its typically for a localized disaster and will aid you moving to your safe zone. Events such as hurricane, earthquake, civil unrest, and so on. Don't kid yourself with thinking that you can carry enough stuff on your back to sustain yourself long term. That would require more skill than most of us have.

You should have a tiered system and I'll discuss this in the future. Basically you should have different kits and systems to aid in certain situations. The Bug Out Bag should be able to sustain you for 3-5 days while moving out of the disaster area. Getting you from point A to B while providing you with your basic physiological needs (as explained in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs). Some of these items may not be needed during a disaster. However its better to have and not need than need and not have.

Your gear doesn't have to be the absolute best on the market. Its better to have sub-par gear than none at all. Fill in the blanks with whatever you can get until you can afford to purchase a dedicated piece of gear for each area.

Focus on these elements:
  1. Hydration-water and a way to carry and disinfect it
  2. Food-high caloric foods that doesn't need to be cooked 
  3. Shelter/Proper Clothing (you should be wearing this before walking ou the door)- items that can withstand your area's lowest temp
  4. First Aid/Hygiene
  5. Illumination
  6. Self-Defense
  7. Communication
  8. Fire making
  9. Tools- knives, multi-tools, maps/compass (in case you have to head on an unfamiliar alternate route)
  10. Misc. Items- work gloves, duct tape, 550 cord, items that will make life easier
If you can cover these ten elements you will most likely have what you need in a disaster. Of course you can never plan for every disaster; this should help you get from point A to B while meeting your basic human needs. This kit should be kept in the trunk of your car (or with you in my case) in case you can't make it home when disaster strikes. Remember to not over pack your kit (3-5 days worth of gear). Keep it simple and keep it nearby. 




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