Monday, June 20, 2016

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - How Are 72 Hour Kits Like Underwear?

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Its kinda snug....

You would never share somebody else's underwear would you? That is just unheard of? Your undies fit you, and know...they're personal. 

72 Hour kits are known by many names...Bug Out Bags, GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) Bags, DPHTF (Doggie Poopie Hits the Fan) Bags, etc...basically if you need to get out of town at a moments notice, you've got something ready to go. 

Getting a generic list for 72 hour kits is pretty much the same thing. Lame. They typically aren't "personal" and will have little value if you pack glow sticks when you would be better served to pack matches. Or if you have no kids that are currently in diapers but you pack them because the list says so...that's a waste of space. Do you know how to use a compass? A 72 hour kit can be as big or as small as you like. If it is really big (like a duffle bag) it will be hard to haul it around if your shoulders are the ones that might have to do the hauling. If it is too small, it may be of "little" use to you. If you get one of those ready made kits (though incredibly convenient...maybe) they might have food that is a) nasty or b) you or your children have allergies to it (or it is loaded with MSG...just sayin'). 

Ok, there ARE basics that every kit should have. They should things that light fires, a way to cook your food (like a mess kit), portable water filters, portable pottable water, and things like that. Your basics. 

Speaking of is really important to have meals that your family is familiar with and they will eat. My family loves Mountain House, but it can be expensive. However, it is something they like and will eat. Add boiled water and BAM you have dinner!! We eat them sometimes for special treats :). Wisefoods has some MRE type foods that you heat up and put over rice. Some I have liked, and some I have not. 

I have found a new MRE company who has no MSG, they are NON-GMO, AND they have gluten free options. They are called Legacy Premium (this is their site if you'd like to call for samples too . If they are as good as they sound, we might be looking into getting more of those. I called them to see if they have free samples. They do and it is being shipped to me. I'll let you know how I like them next week. You can always get crackers, tuna and stuff like that, but you do have to rotate them more often and if it isn't done say every General Conference, you can have rancid food when you need it the most and that is what you need the least...rancid food that is. 

Beyond the basics, the 72 hour kits need to be more personal. This is where the super convenient "ready made" 72 hour kits veer from "one size fits all". You need to have your own personal medicines. A change of clothes (especially a long sleeved shirt and socks). Here are some ideas and where I have gotten them that helps to make your 72 hour kit more of your own: 

  • Emergency drinking water packets (they are smaller than water bottles - Amazon)
  • MRE complete meals (I have found some Mountain House at Walmart in the camping isle or on their website)
  • Emergency candles (I made some of my own - beeswax :) )
  • Emergency Poncho (found on
  • Emergency Blanket (found on
  • Water purification tablets (Wal-Mart)
  • Compass (Wal-Mart)
  • Disposable Hand Warmer (Wal-Mart)
  • Canteen (Wal-Mart and
  • Pair of Work gloves (Home Depot)
  • Eating Utensils (check these out...they are like pocket knife style
  • First Aid Kit ( Army surplus store in Sierra Vista)
  • Nylon cord (Walmart)
  • Wind and Waterproof matches (Walmart)
  • Tissue (in a waterproof bag) (Walmart)
  • Roll toilet tissue (also waterproof bag) (Walmart)
  • Can opener (GI type - on my utensil set)
  • Whistle (Wal-Mart)
  • Magnesium fire starter (Walmart & Big 5)
  • Knife (swiss army type - Walmart)
  • Butane lighter (Walmart & Thriftee)
  • FM 21-76 US Army Survival Manual
  • Pocket soap (made it :) )
  • Small stove and fuel (NOT Sterno) (Walmart) ...we have an Emberlit stove ( or Gasone butane stove (Big 5)
  • An off brand diva cup (for a washable option to "Auntie Flow" that uses very little water) (Amazon)
  • Folding scissors (Walmart)
  • Light sticks (Walmart)
  • Roll Duck tape (Walmart)
  • Waste bags (Walmart)
  • Stainless Steel Mess Kit (Big 5)
  • Water Bottle Filter (I have Life straw and Sawyer)
  • A change of clothes (you'll need to change these every once in a while because kids grow and Thanksgiving can mess with our waistlines...)
  • A jump drive with important scanned documents and pictures
I keep gloves and long sleeved shirts for everyone in my family in my car 72 hour kit all the time. They have come in handy more than I realized they might. I also carry 2 gallons all the time in my vehicle. These have also come in handy a great many times (none of which were emergencies, but every day life requires a little water). Because we use these items we find out what works for us and what doesn't. 

You may never meet an emergency...but then again you may need to evacuate at a moments the people in Forestdale AZ. 

And don't forget to pack an extra pair of "funderwear", because if the need arises you're gonna need 'em. Because you have done your homework and planned ahead, there will be less anxiety and fear.

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