The list author says: "Not sure where to start? First, to get a sense of what you would need in an emergency I recommend that you start with a 72 hour bag or bug out bag. This bag could be useful during natural disasters or for other emergencies such as the prolonged loss of electricity.
Resist the urge to rush out and spend $200 for a fancy 72 hour bag from a flashy website. Chances are you have most of the basics on hand to get a good head start on your 72 hour bag.
First, you will need a basic, comfortable backpack. Don't go overboard by buying a $200 hiking backpack. A 72 hour bag is not meant to be a hiking bag.
At minimum, here is what I recommend you start with if you are unsure where to begin, in no particular order:
- Flashlight and extra batteries - Matches, FireSteel, 6 hour candles, bic lighter - Tinder for fire (Other options: Cotton balls, Dryer lint, etc) - Nalgene water bottle, water filter - Ponchos - Emergency blanket - A good survival knife - Knife sharpener - Multi-tool, like a leatherman - Two way radios - Rope, 550lb. Type III Paracord (has a million uses) - Thermos or titanium cup, small mess kit - Camping utensil set - Travel size bottle of purell - Toiletries (collapse the inner tube to save space) - Emergency First Aid kit - Trash bags (Buy a small roll) - Wind-up emergency radio - PowerBars - A small journal and pencil or pen (to keep track of activities/days/thoughts) - A deck of playing cards (entertainment) - Map of your surrounding area (Travel map, topography map, etc)
Remember "Two is one and one is none", which basically means that you need redundancy in the gear that you use often.
Below is a basic list of items or gear that the average consumer may want to consider purchasing to augment your 72 hour bag. Do your own research though and find what works for you as this is only a starting place. Most of this will also assist you in other outdoor adventures like camping, trekking, hiking, and hunting."
"A good three-season tent is imperative for backpacking or trekking not to mention camping and everything else. Being prepared includes having access to shelter at all times. Also, consider the footprint to protect your tent floor."
"Clean drinking water is a must. An inexpensive alternative to an expensive water filter. Store this in a sealed zip lock when not in use to prevent any accidentally leaks. Iodine is not friendly to clothes or some gear."
"Ultimate water filtration system for traveling, hiking, or emergency use. Period. It eliminates bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi and all other microbiological waterborne pathogens without using chemicals. Each filter lasts for 4,000 liters of water."
"A good oil lamp for when the power goes out or when you don't have other means of light. Make sure you buy oil and extra wicks. Ace Hardware has the Ultra Pure lamp oil. It's colorless, odorless, 99% pure paraffin made by lamplight."
"A must have for camping and out door excursions not to mention during snow storms. Multiple uses, extremely durable, it folds down and stores compactly. Keep it in the garage, with your survival/camping gear, or store it in the trunk of your car for emergencies."
"A good leatherman multitool is indispensable. Choose the one that fits your needs as you can spend as little or as much as you want on a leatherman. Gerber makes multitools too so look at their brand if you need to compare to something else."
"One of the top external frame backpacks. This one has a capacity of 4900 cu inches or 80 liters. Supports addition of rolls, bags, and extras to be lashed to the frame. If you want a cheaper internal frame alternative compare it to the Teton series internal frame backpacks such as the Sports Fox 75+10L Internal frame backpack or the smaller ones. Whichever fits your needs better."
"Invaluable outdoor cooking tool. Comes in three sizes. Use anything that burns as fuel unlike almost all other camp stoves which require a specific fuel source, namely propane. With this you don't need to bring heavy cooking fuel with you ever again. Boils water rapidly and serves as a cooking surface when you also buy the pot support."
"A good cheap compass to help you know your direction. Nice addition to a 72hr bag or useful when trekking. Works comparable to more expensive units although the ability to read it in the dark is not as good."
"Cheap, mostly single use blankets for retaining heat during cold or wet conditions. Takes up very little space in your bag. There are much better ways to stay warm but these can work in certain situations and they are pretty cheap."
"Super compact personal GPS locator. Store up to 3 locations. This will return you exactly to where you want to go. Fits in your pocket or your bag. Never get lost again. Use this trekking, camping, hunting, in emergencies or even to mark the location of your car while at the stadium or the mall."
"You have to take care of your hands. These are lined with Kevlar and are cut resistant. Use them for outdoor excursions, yardwork, cutting and stacking fire wood, or anything else where you need good protection for your hands."
"This moleskine notebook is pocket sized, durable and fits perfectly in a bag. Small enough to carry with you but useful for journaling, saving loose notes, receipts, business cards or for just recording important information."
"Fatwood is 100% all natural pine wood rich with pine resin. Fatwood can start a fire wet or dry and stores a long time. No chemicals or additives. Fatwood comes from the stumps of harvested pine trees in sustainable forests.
Walmart has a 5lb box for $5. That's the cheapest I found. Stock up on this. You don't want to go looking for usable, dry kindling when you need to start a fire."