The 72 Hour Kit – Get Home Bag

Most preppers, whether they are just starting out or have been living the preparedness lifestyle for years have a bugout bag; a bag they plan on strapping on when the S hits the fan to take off to a bugout location. This is different from a get home bag. As the name suggests a get home bag is simply designed to get you from your current location, back to your home, as long as it is within a 72 hour (100 miles) window.

There are a lot of reasons why you would have to use a 72 hour kit or get home bag. Any of the big SHTF type of scenarios (although unlikely) could happen at any time. Unfortunately disasters don’t always happen at the most opportune time (they seem to happen at the worst time!) so it’s very likely that if one of these disasters were to happen, you aren’t going to be hunkering down in your house ready for it. In addition to SHTF disasters, even basic car troubles could mean having to walk home on foot. Depending on where you are, you may not run into help and it will be up to you to get back to civilization on your own.


What foods to put in your 72 hour Kit

For a 72 hour bag, you should stick to foods that do not need cooking or water. Cooking utensils, ingredients, water and fuel all take up space and weight and you should try to reduce weight wherever you can with this bag. Here are a few examples of some great ready-to-eat foods that would be good in a 72 hour bag.

·         Peanut Butter – Ounce for ounce, peanut butter has one of the highest calorie counts of any survival food.

·         Chocolate – Another high-fat food that packs a lot of calories into a small space – just be careful keeping these in your vehicles on a hot day

·         Emergency Ration Bars – These bars are specifically made to pack in as many calories as possible into a shelf-stable ration. For more information on Emergency Food ration bars, check out our sponsor Camping  

·         Trail Mix – The backpacker’s favorite – Mix up your own blend of cereals, nuts and dehydrated fruits.

·         Ready to eat canned foods – Most canned foods are completely safe to eat right out of the can without cooking or even heating up…just don’t forget a can opener!

How much water to put in your 72 hour kit

This is a tough question because we’re working with a fairly small amount of space and we also need to keep the weight down as much as possible. However, water is one of, if not the most important survival item there is. Try to shoot for as close to 1 gallon of water per person if possible to use over 3 days. It’s a lot of weight and space for a backpack, but sometimes even with water purification methods, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to always have a source of water on your route. Again, this is a tough choice…you will have to make a judgment call depending on the weather, your route and how much weight you’re willing to add to your bag. 1 gallon may be way too much for you or it may not be enough.

Supplemental 72 hour kit items

·         Fire-starting kit (lighter, matches, tinder)

·         Extra socks

·         Hat

·         Jacket

·         Multi-tool

·         Fixed blade knife

·         Map and compass

·         A tarp

·         Paracord

·         Blanket

·         First aid kit

·         Headlamp and extra batteries

·         Fork or spoon (depending on your food choices)

·         Defensive tool – Firearm (and additional ammunition), Pepper spray, Stun Gun

The most important part of your 72 kit and get home bag is the weight. Although that pack might not seem THAT heavy once everything is in there, remember, you could be walking with that pack for the next 72 hours. You’re going to get tired and it’s going to get heavy. However you also need to keep in mind that you will need food, water, shelter and protection. It’s definitely a balancing act.

Before doing anything it would be a good idea to ask yourself how likely it would be that you’d actually be 2-3 days away from your home. If you commute more than an hour for work, then it would probably be a good idea to have a full bag ready to go. If you’re rarely more than 20 miles away from home, you’re not going to need 3 days of food and water and can adjust accordingly. If you do plan on going somewhere farther, you can always had to your bag for that one trip.

However you decide to set up your 72 hour kit and get home bag, the important thing is that you actually do it. It’s easy to get sidetracked and put preps like these off but as we all know, disaster can strike at any time so do it now, throw that pack in the car so that it will be there when you need it.

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