This is PART 3 of 72-hour kits (AKA bug out bags). If you haven’t yet, go read Part 1 and Part 2:
Part 1 – 72-Hour Kits for Beginners – this has all the general tips, tricks, and things to think about before beginning to put
Part 2 – 72-Hour Kits for ADULTS – this has a printable list of things to include in your 72-hour emergency kit (bug out bag).
I am going to direct you to the previous post (Part 2 of 72-Hour Kits) for the links to the items that were already covered for an adult pack for 2 reasons.
#1 – Depending on the age of the child(ren) you are packing for, most of the items that I have listed for an adult pack might apply for a kid pack as well. Even if not, I prefer to get as much as done as possible, regardless of age. I mentioned that in Part 1 when I was giving general tips. Even my baby had a survival bag with things like work gloves and utility rope. I did this because I was buying things in bulk to update my entire family’s kits, and it made sense to just get it all done at once. It has been really nice as he has grown, to not have to worry about updating the basics, because they are already taken care of. The only thing I would not recommend purchasing that far ahead would be things that would expire (so most toiletries).
#2 – This would be a highly redundant post if I repeated all the things you might want to pack in a kid’s pack that are also covered in an adult pack. If you are packing a kit for a child or baby, that means you should also have one for yourself, and should have already gone through Part 2 for you.
So with that, let’s get started on kid-specific and baby-specific items to put in 72-hour kits
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KIDS – Backpacks
I like the idea of backpacks because they are hands-free. This frees up kids’ hands to hold hands with each other when evacuating, or to help hold a last-minute item. It is also easier to hold more weight in a backpack than a bag on one shoulder or a hand-held bag.
**Money-saving tip: OLD school backpacks are PERFECT for this. And the best part is, they are FREE!!**
If your kids are really little and can’t carry much weight on their backs quite yet, I would recommend a rolling backpack. That way you can still pack what you need to and not worry as much about weight, but
BABIES – Diaper Bags
This is a tough call. If you are in the thick of the baby days, I would say your diaper bag will be at the top of your GRAB LIST. And this baby will be walking and be able to roll a rolling backpack soon. So if it were me, I’d probably start out the baby with a rolling backpack. Regardless of what you pack the baby in, you are going to need to carry it for the baby anyway, and a rolling backpack is just as convenient as a diaper
Things to Add/Tweak on the Adult List That May Need a Little Tweaking or Deserve a Note About Kids
If you look at the packing list for adults, there are a few things that I would add a note to, so here they are.
- Disposable pads/placemats – a great way for a toddler to eat on the floor of a shelter, or even just a clean surface to put toys on, etc.
- Infants’/Children’s Tylenol/Ibuprofen (don’t forget the little medicine measuring cup or syringe)
- Hair Bag – I would add ribbons if you have girls. They are simple, cheap, take up virtually no space, and might brighten your daughter’s day in a stressful situation.
- Aquaphor/diaper rash cream
- Booger Sucker (that’s what I’ve always called them…I’m sure there is a more technical name for it)
- Compass/Whistle/Mirror/Waterproof Match Holder/Fire Starter/Necklace Thing – my kids think these things are pretty awesome. So if you are putting these kits together, let your kids play with these and wear them around the house for the day before packing them away in their survival bag. Maybe get yourself a set of earplugs first though…they would also be a fun stocking stuffer!
- Flashlight – this can be a fun way to get your kids involved. I took my kids to Target and let them pick out their own flashlights. This made it exciting for them, and then we came home and they were able to put them in their individual kits. Involving your kids in this process is so important, and that is a simple way to make it fun for them!
- If there is something your kids never wear, pack that! You don’t need to buy new clothes –
hopefullyyou’ll never have to use these.
- If you are going to purchase clothes, one idea is to get matching bright-colored shirts/sweatshirts so you can easily spot your children in a crowd.
- If you only have room for either pants or shorts, or either long sleeve or short sleeve shirts, go with the long. You can always cut off jeans and make them shorts and cut off long sleeves to make them short sleeves.
- Consider packing a size up for kids so you don’t have to rotate clothes as often.
- Remember to include a Cuddly/Blankie/Plush for your child to cling to in a probably chaotic and very new environment
FUN BAG Ideas
- Baby Rattle
- Baby Book
- Teething Ring
- Beaded necklace
- Coloring book/activity book
- Crayons/markers – I always pack the markers tip-down, so the ink doesn’t settle in the back end over the years. I have no idea if the tips would eventually be dried out if stored
rightsideup, but it makes me feel better.
- Bouncy balls
- Teeny Princess (Polly Pocket size)
- Travel Chinese Checkers
- Glow Sticks
- Phase 10
- Dice/Yahtzee – click here for free printable Yahtzee Scorecards
Giving your kids some options and letting them choose what they want in their packs is a great way to include them. However, be aware that most snack-type foods will need to be rotated every 6 months to a year.
I decided to go with freeze-dried snacks from THIS COMPANY. The Snackies are great, as well as pantry cans of freeze-dried fruits, yogurt bites, etc. Most of these items have a shelf life of 25 years, so they require very little rotating. And they taste AMAZING! Each member of our family got to pick one freeze-dried fruit/snack to put in their pack. I love this option because I don’t have to rotate them!
**NOTE: the Snackies Pouches and Snackies Singles have a much shorter shelf life than the pantry cans (most of the Snackies are more like 2 years as opposed to 25 years for
To give you an idea, the ones we got were:
- Pomegranate Yogurt Bites
- Vanilla Yogurt Bites
- Strawberry Yogurt Bites
- Freeze-Dried Bananas
- Freeze-Dried Blueberries
- Freeze-Dried Sweet Corn – I know this might sound weird. But it is SO DANG GOOD! Seriously!
- Freeze-Dried Peas – I just liked the idea of having a green veggie in there to throw in the mix. Just like
the corn, these are fun to eat as snacks!
While the bulk of the food for our family is in a separate food bag, each kid’s pack has one meal ready-to-eat in it. It is very simple…one can of Spaghettios with Meatballs, one can of Mandarin Oranges, a plastic spoon and fork, and a few packs of Smarties. The cans are pop-top, so no can opener is required. I wrapped the cans with a couple of paper towels to give them padding, to prevent denting of the cans.
It makes me feel better knowing that each kid has one meal they can manage to eat by themselves, as I would imagine if we ever need to use these kits, those first few hours will likely be chaotic.
Kid-Friendly Food to Add to the Family Food
- Meatsticks (the Gerber Vienna Sausage looking things – I used to have these in there when my kids were young – they loved them and it was straight protein!)
- Fruit snacks
Extra Items for Kids/Babies
Emergency Information Card for Kids
This is perhaps the worst thought about preparing for the unknown: the possibility of being separated from your kids. While I just can’t imagine ever being faced with this, IT HAPPENS. And I have made it as easy as possible for you to prepare for that.
Print out this Emergency Information Card (cardstock is preferable) and fill it out.
1 – Write the child’s name and age at the top. If you don’t want to have to update the card every year, just write their birthday with the year. But you will need to update the picture every year, so I just write the age and switch out the whole card every year.
2 – Fill out allergies/dietary restrictions. If you need more room, write it on the back.
3 – Fill out medical concerns. Just write NONE if there are none, and direct people to the back of the card if there are concerns to explain
4 – Fill out BOTH parents’ names, phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses. If there are stepparents, you should have enough room to squeeze it all in if you need to double up.
5 – Fill out siblings (I put names and ages in parentheses)
6 – Fill out a local contact who is NOT a parent. Whether it be a family member or close friend, put someone that your child is most comfortable with if neither parent can be found/reached.
7 – Tape a picture of the child to the front.
8 – Tape a family picture to the back
9 – Laminate this card or stick it in a Ziploc bag to keep it safe and dry.
Here are the printables for this post. The packing list below is only an addendum to the ADULT LIST. You will want to print out the Adult List PLUS the Kids/Babies List to pack a 72-hour kit for a baby or a child. Print them both out, cross anything out you DON’T want to include, and then get to work.
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If you haven’t already, go check out:
Part 1 – 72-Hour Emergency Kits For Beginners for tips, tricks, and things to think about before starting to build your 72-hour emergency kits!
Part 2 – 72-Hour Kits for ADULTS – this has a free printable list of things to include in your 72-hour emergency kit (bug out bag).
Part 3 – 72-hour kits for KIDS / BABIES – this is the page you are on right now.
Part 4 – 72-Hour Emergency Kits for Pets – This post has a free printable checklist for pets.
Part 5 – 72-Hour Emergency Kit GRAB LIST – This has a free printable GRAB LIST, which are the items that wouldn’t be pre-packed, but you would really regret not grabbing if given the chance.
To see other topics under the category of Emergency Preparedness, click here.