Monday, June 8, 2015

72 Hour Emergency Kits

Recently Willie and I went out on an excursion in our side by side ATV. We decided to sort of take an inventory of what we had, what we needed, and what we didn't need for each trip. One of the things that was somewhat worrisome to me was that we hadn't packed any emergency food supplies. Although we were on fairly well-marked trails, you never know what might happen. I had seen an idea for a very simple 72 hour kit on Facebook a while back and thought that I could adapt it somewhat. So, I set out to Wal-Mart with my list in hand!
Based loosely on the original idea I picked up gallon-sized plastic canisters and stuffed them full of food. Willie suggested that packing canned goods or "wet" goods might not be ideal, so all the items I picked up are dry goods, freeze dried items, and items that only require water to be added. I was also careful to select items that would not readily melt in the heat (i.e. chocolate dipped cookies or chocolate chip granola bars.)

Each kit got:
2 packs of granola bars (they come two to a pack, so four bars total)
2 individual drink mixes
2 envelopes Lipton soup
3 packages of sandwich crackers
4 beef sticks
3 fruit rolls
24 hard candies
2 packages hot chocolate
1 package freeze dried fruit
1 package ramen noodles
2 packages nuts (they were small, so I put two)
1 package Bel-Vita biscuits

No, these items are not the healthiest foods for you to eat, but they will keep you alive for three days, and should give you enough energy to be able to get yourself out of whatever emergency situation you may find yourself in.

Once all of those items were packed in, I said "There's more room, so maybe we'll put in..." Willie finished my sentence "Coffee and gum!" He wanted our kits to be sort of like MRE's. He also suggested matches and toilet paper. We put the toilet paper, matches and gum in ziploc bags. This would prevent the paper from getting ruined, and all our other foods from tasting like mint or sulfur. I found some little blue sporks in our camp trailer that I had forgotten about, and in they went too!

So here's what we added:

1 package Trident gum
3 packages instant coffee
strike anywhere matches
toilet paper
plastic spork

In total I paid about $35 for all the supplies, including the canisters. Since we didn't use everything I bought in the kits, I worked out how much I paid just for the supplies used in each canister. It worked out to be $12.23 per kit, not including the spork, toilet paper or matches, since I already had them lying around. Since I pack a lunch to take to work every day, the leftover snacks can go in my lunch! Now the only things that are missing are water, a cup, a pan, and a knife. Whenever we go out we are sure to always pack plenty of water, so that's no problem. Willie always brings a knife with him when we go out, so that works out well too. In my day pack I have a mess kit with a pan and cup, and a good knife. I hadn't looked in my pack for a while, so I got it out of my car and dumped it onto the living room floor to take inventory. That will probably be a future post.