Last March we went and visited my parents. Even though they live in San Antonio, Texas we chose to drive there. It is simply too expensive to fly our entire family these days (there are six of us). We had a lovely visit with them and really enjoyed getting to know San Antonio better. It is a truly beautiful city with a rich history (the Alamo is neat but the Missions of San Antonio are way better).
As we were packing up our minivan for the trip home my dad asked me to bring back the Christmas present he had put together for us and for my sister and her husband (they live near our home). When he brought out two large, black duffel bags I remembered what our Christmas presents were (and had to completely rethink my packing strategy): 72 hour kits.
I am sorry to say that it took me forever to open up the 72 hour kit that he gave us and go through it but when I did I was pleasantly surprised at the great job that he did. The kit had almost everything.
It had a basic first aid kit.
Toilet paper is always handy not only for when nature calls but you can use it to start fires too. Duct tape, a poncho, hand warmers, and solar blankets were some other great things to have that I would not have thought of.
Baby wipes are a necessity for my family because we have two children in diapers. Also, they are great for cleaning and would help us keep the little ones from getting too dirty. More solar blankets, some glow sticks (which would not only give us light but keep the kids entertained!), and a couple more whistles. Why more than one whistle? There are six people in my family and each group should have one (myself and the kids I am with, my wife and the kids she’s with, and our older sons) in case we get split up or need to split up.
The gloves made sense to me to protect my hands. The tarp too because we could use it as shelter. The duffle bag was a stretch but after some thought I can see why it would be helpful to be able to split the kit up and make it easier to carry. The safety vest, however, I’m still not sure about. Maybe because it is bright and would be easy for rescuers to see?
Meals-ready-to-eat (MRE’s) are good too. There weren’t enough for the whole family to have each have three square meals but there was enough to get us through a 72 hour ordeal. We may add some later but for now it would tide us over.
There is more in the kit but these are pictures of some of the highlights. I have put together a list of everything (Google Doc) that we have in our main 72 hour kit. It is specific to our family but gives you a starting point. Download a copy and delete the things that you do not need and add things that you do. Because our family is not on any medications at present you will notice that there are not any listed. You may need to add them in your case.
I have to say thank you to my Dad (and Mom) for giving us this great gift. If you are looking for a gift to give someone you love consider giving them a good 72 hour kit. It is a gift that may save their life.
By the way, all of the things in the 72 hour kit that my parents gave us can be purchased at Amazon.com. If you found this or other information on this site helpful please consider purchasing through this link. If you do, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. And you will receive my gratitude.