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Confessions, Part V
72 Hour Emergency Preparedness
72 HOUR KIT, John Jackman
This is a requested
add on to my Emergency
Preparedness and Food Storage instruction
manual. I was not going to do this part for several
reasons. But here it is anyway. I will tell you that
I have looked at many kits available for sale at various
locations. None of them seem to address what a three
day emergency is all about. Each have a different
theme. One deals only with food, another with signaling
and so on. All look more like something just to sell,
If you are serious about what you
really need to survive for three days, then the best
thing I can do is give you what we did. And, like
other things you have read about, it will cost you.
And it will be more than you were expecting. Just
be ready for that so you are not surprised. First
the reasons for it and what matters.
Understand that you need to look
at priorities. You need enough things to survive under
adverse circumstances. Food IS NOT the most important
thing. You can make it for three days without food
so just forget that as the most important prospect.
If you like those little kits with a power bar in
it and some water, go for it. Won't hurt. Not really
expensive. But not made for real survival.
What you really need to prepare
for are the elements. If you have to pick up and run,
it will most likely be away from your safe house.
In order, I will dictate what matters to you the most
in three days, and few of those commercial kits look
at these issues. They are listed by priority:
A place to sleep and get out
of the weather. Sunstroke and or freezing will kill
you faster than starvation. It also includes safety
from insects and other harmful dangers.
Water. You cannot let yourself
dehydrate. But there are limits. You need balance.
But find a place to live first, consider water second.
Nourishment. Ok, if you
are covered and have something to drink, eating
will keep you strong. Balance and calories are the
Comforts. If you are reasonably
comfortable you will have a better attitude and
that will keep you from panic which usually follows
It is very true that the why of
every item could take up several pages. But you would
not read all that would you? Let it stand that there
is a purpose for everything that there is not room
to write about, so I won't. But here is an example:
I will tell you to get a wool blanket.
Why not one of another weave like cotton? Rot and
wet is the reason. Everything else will not dry out,
and will cause other problems. You have a good chance
to get wet because you will be outside. Stay wet and
hypothermia is a dangerous, life threatening problem.
I will say again, there is reason for everything.
Here is the list for each person older than twelve.
For younger children, each can have a small back pack
with personal items. This list also considers weight.
Avoid the temptation to put in more. It will be too
heavy. [DWC note of December 3, 2006: I just called
John to ask him if all the items listed below actually
fit in a medium backpack and what the weight is. John
said "Yes, everything fits and the weight is
forty-five lbs., so don't keep adding more stuff."]
Here is your checklist:
Medium cloth back pack to hold
it all, and walk with.
A lightweight long sleeve
nylon wind breaker with lining.
Two Synthetic, Canvas, nylon
or plastic ponchos. (one large and one small cheap
Synthetic cloth stretch gloves.
A small batteryless LED flashlight.
(crank or coil) Put a climbers D-ring with it on
a string or shoelace.
Two, 2 oz bottles of waterless
Seven, 4oz mylar bags of preloaded
Two small plastic sealed packet
of pocket tissues
A small portable water filtration kit.
A 4oz size medicine bottle with
$25 in big coins.
Wrap the bottle with 8' of
duct tape. (You can make a tent with ponchos, wrap
things together, or make an emergency pack)
An 8oz porcelain coated metal
A washcloth in a sandwich size
zip lock plastic bag.
1 ½ cups of dry soup
mix in a small zip lock bag. You should have vegetables,
pasta and grains in it. (Lewis and Clark paid $1.00
per lb of "portable soup" for their expedition.
- A small sponge to soak up water.
- A 4oz bag of a good freeze dried
- A bag of Jerky. (about 3.6oz)
- Small plastic sealed travel pack
of "wet ones" (etc.)
- A 3' X 4' soft synthetic material
- One mylar survival blanket folded
up in a packet.
- One mylar survival sleeping bag
in a folded packet.
- Three tall kitchen garbage bags.
One 33 gallon bag.
- One tuna can size cardboard candle
- One army style aluminum canteen
cover cup w/handles.
- One small box of waterproof matches.
- One small tube of bug stuff. Must
have "deet" in it.
- One small tube of sun block.
- Small zip bag of powered orange
drink like Tang
- Any light fold up hat.
- Pocket first aid kit with swabs
- Small ziplock bag with six cubes
of chicken or beef bullion. One to a cup of water.
- Set of stainless steel knife,
fork, spoon. The scout set is the best.
- Synthetic rope or cord. 25ft,
100 lb. test.
- Two main menu bags from an MRE
- One snack size zip lock bag full
of instant rice.
- One big survival hunting type
knife in sheath. 10" blade, with a saw on back.
Compass, matches and fish hooks in handle. (harbor
freight has them)
- One synthetic chamois. (works
like a towel but small)
- One ordinary cotton bandana, any
- A bag with a whistle, tweezers,
safety pins and multiple tool Swiss type pocket knife.
- A one quart wide mouth plastic
bottle with lid. Put inside the following with lid
- Two stainless steel spoons
[DWC: silver if you have them]
- Two wrapped granola bars.
- Three small real dried fruit
- Two emergency power bars
- One jam bag from military
- One quart size zip lock bag.
- A hand full of multivitamins
sealed in a bag
- 4' X 4' Mosquito netting.
- [DWC add ons: miniature but legible
copies of important documents, personal medical
supplies, phone card, secure vial of consecrated oil,
at least two ounce bottle of colloidal silver. Small
emergency radio receiver for updates. I also
recommend having a small fanny pack to sort some of
the above items into, and /or perhaps a military or
fisherman's type vest to put small, essential items
into, in case you are deprived of your back pack for
- The last item is a wool blanket.
Not big. Barely enough to cover you. Too big and it
becomes a problem to carry. You will not be putting
this blanket in your back pack. At some army/navy
stores, they have military blankets with handles to
swing over your shoulder. Or, roll it up and tie onto
your back pack. These are called "Soldier Blankets"
for a very good reason.
Now, if you are not sure what some
of these items are for, read the book, Emergency
Preparedness and Food Storage, again for an
explanation. A three day kit like this will find you
on foot without any chance to think. Just time to
throw it on your back and go.
There is another kind of 72 hr.
kit that you could throw in a car. Put it in a 5 gallon
poly bucket. Think in terms of what is in the back
pack list. But this time put in more and include a
roll of toilet paper and a can stove. (See the book
again to see what a can stove is). This time get the
round cookie cooler grate. It fits right in and last.
Use it to cook on with coals.
Perhaps you can make three buckets
plus to put in a car if you are several. That is what
we did. One bucket is all cooking equipment with aluminum
pans, stoves, spatulas, big
spoons, spices and dish washing stuff with that wire
rack on top. In this bucket include plates and utensils
for your family. The best plates are those heavy aluminum
ones that come under commercial ready made pies like
The second is full of a variety
of food. You should consider who is in your group
and add for one more. You can store some food in a
good size plastic picture to mix orange drink in.
Be sure to consider the matter [no pun intended] of
weight. Find freeze dried or camp meals.
The third bucket is for camp protection.
Tarps, ropes, stakes, small hatchet, duct tape, and
any other sanitary consideration such as plastic bags,
toilet paper, towels and similar items will go here.
Take the time to think through what you put in them
then put all where they can be reached when you go
to drive away.
You will note that the above said
three plus. The plus is a tent and sleeping bags for
each in your household. Many people keep all their
camping stuff in one place. We keep our drive away
buckets there too with notes on them telling what
If we had to go in a hurry, two
things would happen. First, we grab the back pack
kits. Second we each grab a sleeping bag and the family
tent. Then each will pick up one each of the
three poly buckets. Take some blankets and all goes
to the car or truck. We are out the door in one motion,
and no return trips. Then, just inside the garage
door we grab two gas cans we have always full of gas.
If we have to drive a ways, we will need it.
We have tried this only once, and
we left the house in under three minutes from go.
One of the minutes was putting on shoes and coat.
(We are not always fully dressed all the time.) Anything
under ten minutes is good. If you have time to drive,
there is at least that much time. Anything faster
is back pack mode.
A few years ago, we challenged
ourselves to see if we really knew what we were doing.
The dare is to just blindly pick it up with no warning
and see what works. It was an education. We went to
a national park for two days. What a wake up call!!
You will really teach yourself a ton and have some
fun if you try a dry run like that. Everybody learns.
Now we know what to expect and are more realistic
about all of it. And if the real emergency happens,
we go with confidence and no surprises or regrets.
There is one item that you might
consider. A Boy Scout Handbook. In it, you will see
things like stripping a tree of leaves to make a pile
to sleep on. Comfortable, soft and warm when we are
used to a mattress and not the hard ground. You may
not have known about those things but they are there
to read about. It also has so many other survival
ideas inside. And, in that book will be better explanations
about what can be done with the list I just gave you.
It is not always obvious.
I promise, the day will come that
you need this. So, everybody be a scout and "Be
prepared". I wish you well.
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