72 Hour Kit Ideas Week #23: Packaging Your Kit


Welcome to week #23 in the “72 Hour Kit Ideas: A week by week approach” series.

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72 hour series #23

Last Week

I hope all of you were able to add some cash to your kit last week.

Week #23: Packaging Your Kit

Now that you have gathered all the supplies for your kit, you have an idea of the amount of space you will need to package it.  Remember, this pack of supplies will be used on the go if you have to evacuate.  However you choose to package it, keep the following in mind:

  • It needs to be something you can carry relatively easily.
  • It needs to be durable.
  • It should be as lightweight as possible.

If you’ve already got your kit and will just be updating it, then take a week off!

Here are a few ideas I’ve seen (and my opinions on them).  Feel free to share your ideas and opinions if you’ve got them in the comments below.  There is a great one from reader, Don about a pull / push golf cart here!

Option #1: A cooler or suitcase on wheels
  • Easy to drag behind you, meaning you don’t have to actually carry it.
  • May be difficult to use over tough terrain.
  • Would be heavy / difficult if you ever DID have to carry it.
  • Durable.
 Option #2: A large tupperware type tub.
  • Relatively durable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Can easily see & find what is inside.
  • Very difficult to carry.
Option #3: Duffel Bag
  • Relatively durable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Could put them in a wagon / wheeled golf cart and pull them unless / until forced to carry them.
  • You must carry it at all times…typically more difficult to carry for a long period of time than a backpack.
  • Not a lot of separate compartments for making things easier to organize / find.
Option #4: Backpacks
  • Very lightweight, but must be on your back at all times.
  • Will be heavy once packed.
  • Could put them in a wagon and pull them unless / until forced to carry them.
Option #5: Wheeled Backpack
  • Could be carried if needed, but can also be pulled behind you to make things easier unless covering rough terrain.
  • Heavier than a traditional backpack would be.

What We Have Done in Our Family:

Right now, we have 2 adult backpacks* and 2 children’s backpacks.  Only two of our four children would be able to carry a pack  (the 5 yr old twins); and one (a 1 yr old) would need to be carried.  Both my husband and I will need to have both hands free in order to be able to carry a child and manage another.  We do have a moby wrap for the 1 yr old so we can carry her and still have both hands free.  But I still want both hands free to be able to manage the other 3 kids.  So, we went with backpacks.   However, we will likely switch to wheeled backpacks eventually.


How About You?

Leave me a comment and tell how you plan to (or how you already) package your kit.


Skip to:

Week #22: Cash Week #2: Water Part I Week #1: Packaging Your Kit Series Into: Survival Kit Series, A Week



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291 Responses to 72 Hour Kit Ideas Week #23: Packaging Your Kit

  1. Melissa Rampy April 26, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    My children are 4, 3, 2, and 1. None of them are quite big enough to carry a backpack. Our situation is somewhat unique, but surely we can’t be the only people with multiple young children! How would you suggest packing since my husband and I are the only one able to carry all the items for all 6 of, plus we’ll have to be able to carry the baby and manage the other 3?

    • Misty April 28, 2014 at 11:09 am #

      Hi Melissa!

      When I very first wrote this series, my kids were 3, 3, 20 months and 2 months. (-: So, no you are not the only one! Even now, the supplies my twin boys can carry (6 years old now) are minimal. My book actually shows pictures of how I pack everything and what I put in the kids pack.

      But when they were younger, I had a baby sling for the infant and a front carrier (like a bjorn) for our toddler next to our supplies. Our plan was to strap the kids on and then each pick up a pack. We kept everything in two large backpack style packs so that we’d still have both hands free to keep track of the twins. And then we prayed we’d never have to walk very far like that! (-:

  2. Landon Fuqua February 24, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    I think it is a good thing to talk about survival. Because I am one of those “Doomsday Prepper”.
    When you get this email, please email me back
    Sincerely, Landon Fuqua

  3. Brandi February 13, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    Hello. I just found your blog today(several years after the original post). I hope you haven’t had to use your emergency kit during that time. I saw where you posted that you will have to carry your youngest child, perhaps he/she is old enough to have an emergency kit of her own now. Anyhow, for individuals that have children that they need to carry and also pull supplies, I would recommend the www.Rideoncarryon.com. However. I am not sure how well it would do in rough terrain, but are so functional otherwise!!
    You safely strap your child into the seat that is attached to the luggage and off you go. BRILLIANT.

  4. Kristy November 9, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    I know this is an older post but wanted to add something that I haven’t saw mentioned. For the main bag, I suggest getting a backpacker pack. These are basically backpacks but built with sturdy frames so they are easier to carry heavy loads. They are made for backpackers carrying supplies for days which is perfect for a bug out bag. They can be expensive but this is one thing you may not want to go cheap on. Nothing worse than having your backpack break after a few days. Then how are you gonna carry everything? I’ve read of people buyng regular school backpacks and they are a great temporary cheap solution but I always end up having to buy my kids another backpack sometime in the school year as they just aren’t very durable. So I don’t know how they would do with heavy use and heavy loads. I came across this link that may help anyone who is looking at purchasing a pack: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpack.html.

  5. Caitlin August 23, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    A while back (around huricane Sandy I think) to start stock piling some basics (water, shelf stable food, tp) in case of emergency or financial crisis and now I’ve just started out putting together 72 hour kits for my family. To me, the two go hand-in-hand as there is no way to know what kind of situation you may be in. I’m so glad I came across your site! What a wealth of information! I’ve got a good start already on my kits, but I’m looking forward to working through your links to fill-in gaps and modify over time. Thank you for all the information!

    Personally, when it comes to packaging, I have bins but my new project is going to be packing a bug-out backpack in each one. The bin is really for if we can take a car or if we need to go to some kind of a shelter (like the Astrodome). It’s got more comforts because we would’t have to carry it far but the bag is ready to hoof it.

  6. Barb Savage June 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    Hi Misty – I’ve finally made some headway in getting our kits together, but I’m having trouble figuring out what to use for a “waterproof, portable file” for all of the documentation. I have it all in a binder, in sheet protectors, and bought a waterproof, fireproof safe, but that’s not exactly portable. What have you seen being used?

    The other thing that’s stumping me, is what supplies (tools, sanitation, OTC medications) should be added to our two Red Cross backpacks, and what should remain in our wheeled tote. I’m assuming that if we were to evacute we’d only be able to take the backpacks.

    Thank you so much – you’re blog has been invaluable! I’m making my way through it for the second time to add on!

    • Barb Savage June 9, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      Just a clarification, Misty. I have all of the supplies – just confused about whether you would recommend keeping the items in our backpacks or in the wheeled tote. Thank you!

  7. Jessica corbet May 29, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    We live in Texas. I really enjoyed all the information and plan to start immediately! Thank you.

    • Misty June 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      You are welcome Jessica!

  8. Ashley Lowder May 26, 2013 at 1:08 am #

    I am SO proud to say that after following your blog for some time I FINALLY started your series. I got my family all our new backpacks today and I’m so excited to keep going! I recommend your blog every time I can. Keep being awesome ;).

    • Misty May 27, 2013 at 8:41 am #

      Yay! I’m so glad Ashley! Thanks for the support and good luck with the series!

  9. Lisa May 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Just getting started – so glad to find you!


  10. Katie P April 30, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    We have two adult backpacks and two child’s backpacks. I’m going to add a third, small one for my smallest child. It should be able to hold a lovey and some coloring books and some water.

    So excited to be restarting! This gets me so motivated. 🙂

  11. Jessica April 29, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    This is really cool. I’m excited to start preparations on my kit.

  12. Annie Holscher April 29, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    We use the Green Deluxe backpacks shown above. They’re light and sturdy, and have plenty of room for all our supplies. I also have a separate box/container of extra stuff that would be nice to have in an emergency, but I don’t want to carry on my back.