The bugout bag or “72-hour bag” is a great way to get the kids involved with the family prepping. Choose one Saturday to layout everything that you think you are going to pack into your bugout bag. This is a great way to see how big the bag needs to be. Once that has been determined, you can be able to buy the correct bag for the job. You should keep in mind that all bags are not the same; there are different sizes for different body sizes, there are different styles for different events. Make sure that you are getting the correct bag for the correct person.
My personal bug out bag is a military tactical bag. This bag does not have a lot of equipment but only the bare items that I feel I need to live for 72 hours. My son’s bag is an old school book bag that he loves. My bag can hold everything I got but I decided to get a better bag for my son. We both have items that suit us for the time being. For instance, we packed food but only enough to stay comfortable. We did not over-pack in the food area because we needed the room in the bag for other items. Following this example, we are able to get everything that we felt can sustain us for the 72 hours. Another great piece of information that you need to know is the weight of the bugout bag. I recommend that you pack everything that you feel you need, and then put the bag on your back and walk around the house. If the bag is too heavy, you are not going to be moving as fast as you can in the right situation. The bag becomes a hindrance to carry and you do not want that.
Items that you may want to pack:
Sealed, purified water pouches
Water filtration device
Any high protein food like nuts and trail mix is good
Deck of playing cards
A long pair of pants
A coat to stay warm/stay dry from rain
A hat and/or bandana
Pair of sturdy boots
Extra pairs of socks, preferably long ones
Extra shirts for layering
Two tarps, one to string over top of you and one to lay on ground
First Aid Kit
Notice that I did not place anything in the bag that wasn’t a necessity for me. You may want to pack medicine that you take daily. What I am saying is that you do not have to pack everything that is on these lists from the internet. Your bugout bag is going to be too heavy and very difficult for you to carry and move around. The aim here is to make it easier to carry the things you need at a very short notice and move as fast as you could without being hindered by the weight of your load.
Now, enough about your bugout bag, let’s talk about the children’s bugout bag. Depending on the age of the child, you may want to help pack theirs as well. Remember you are the parent and you know what they need more than them. I would not pack a buck knife in a bugout bag for a child of 7 years or younger. However, that’s just my own opinion, maybe your child has a great respect for knives and you are ok with it. Use your best judgment when it comes to packing their bags. Remember one tiny detail; they need to have something that can occupy them during the downtime because they are just kids.
You routinely need to make sure that items in the bugout bag get replaced with fresh items. Place a calendar item in Outlook; this will help you to check on the items in your bag. I will recommend that you pull out the bugout bag at least four times a year and go through it. You may find that the trail mix needs to be consumed and/or replaced after six months. It also goes for the equipment you have packed. Look at the rope to make sure there are no furies. As for the extra clothes in the bag, make sure they are not damp from spills. Make sure the flashlight is in good working order and the batteries still good. By making this a routine, you and your children are going to benefit more than you’ll ever know. They are going to know exactly what is in the bug out bag so when they need it, they get it!