What is a 72 hour kit and when will I need it?

A 72 hour kit often referred to as a bug out bag is a bag or a survival kit that has everything you need to survive 72 hours if for some reason your house wasn’t available to you.

72 hour kit - 3 day survival

The idea behind a 72 hour kit is that you have 3 days worth of items you might need available to you at any time. Items like clothes, toiletries, food, medications, flashlights, etc. Giving you 3 days to figure out a plan. Whether that time is spent getting to a safer location, digging out the rest of your preparedness gear, or find help.

when do you need a 72 hour kit

When will you need one? Truly, you will only need one when your house isn’t available to you. If you have your house available to you then you have a roof over your head, beds, bedding, clothing, food, etc. You really only need a 72 hour kit if your house is uninhabitable. Most commonly you would need one for an evacuation situation like a hurricane, flooding, wildfires, house fires and hazmat situations to name a few. Having a 72 hour kit in a spot where it can be easily found or dug out in the event of an earthquake or tornado is another situation where having a 72 hour kit would be useful. An example of a less common, but equally as important, reason that you may need a 72 hour kit, I had a follower on Instagram tell me she used her 72 hour kits to escape an abusive situation where she needed to quickly sneak her and her kids out of the house without being noticed.

The problem with 72 hour kits is that most people feel like if they have their kit then they believe their job is done and they’re fully prepared. Unfortunately, in most scenarios when you might need a 72 hour kit you’re going to need those items for a lot longer than 72 hours. In the case of evacuations, you might be evacuated for days to weeks and unable to make it home (especially if there isn’t a home to come home to). In the case of a something like an earthquake you could be weeks, likely months, without a home with nowhere else to go. If your house catches on fire it can take up to a year or more before you can return to your home. Of course, there are friends, family, and government assistance to help in the case of disasters, but that can get messy if the disaster is widespread and hundreds to hundreds of thousands of people need help.

The truth is, a 72 hour kit is a great start, but chances are you are going to need to be able to support and help yourself for as long as you can. Don’t let that get you down, just like everything with prepping, start with a 72 hour supply of everything you need and then build up from there! You’ve got this!!

Hi I'm JaNae!

I consider myself a practical prepper. I am not about zombies and bunkers. I believe in preparing for personal disasters — job loss, medical problems, financial problems, and natural disasters.



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