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Top 10 Mistakes
Found in Most 72-Hour Kits

I’ve tested and reviewed dozens of 72 hour kits and go bags for myself, friends, families, and clients and it amazes me how most of them have the same basic problems.

Fortunately, most of them are easy and inexpensive to fix and I’m going to tell you how you can identify and fix 10 of them. Here are the first 5…

1. Medications. If you have medications that you have to take on a regular basis, you need to keep at least 3 days worth in your 72 hour kit. Many drugs break down in the extreme heat of a car, so ask your pharmacist how long they’ll stay safe in your car and how long they’ll stay effective.

As an example, if your pharmacist tells you that a certain drug will last for 3 years at room temperature, but only 2 months if you keep it in your car, then you should use the drugs that are in your car every month or two and replace them with fresh drugs.

The life expectancy of your drugs will, of course, be different depending on where you live and the season of the year.

2. Footwear/clothes. If you ever wear flip flops, heels, or dress shoes, then consider carrying a pair of quality shoes/boots in your car.

Stick in at least one pair of quality socks and underwear as well.

Remember the pictures and videos after 9/11 of people running barefoot, holding their $500 shoes? Imagine how your body would feel after doing that for a few miles.

3. Clothes for the wrong season. You should either carry clothes for both summer and winter, carry convertable clothes, or change the clothing contents of your kit every spring/fall. Shorts won’t help much in the winter and insulated cover-alls won’t help much in the summer.

4. Young children. If you have young children, they add a HUGE level of complexity to any survival situation. Can/will they eat your survival food? Do you have spare clothes/diapers/wipes for them? Do you have a way to manage their pain from teething/injuries?

Do you have a way to transport them? It might be worth learning how to use a regular bedsheet to create a wearable baby sling. If you have a stroller with inflatable tires, do you carry spare tires and/or a tire repair kit?

5. Pain. If you aren’t good at handling pain, learn proven techniques from someone you know who has done natural child-birthing, a midwife, birthing coach, or doula.

In addition, consider carrying ibuprofen, anbesol, or even prescription pain medications. If you are concerned about a hurt pet, consider getting livestock lidocaine. (It requires a vetrenarian’s prescription, but costs a fraction of human lidocaine.)

I’ll be back with the next 5 items tomorrow, along with a simple trick for fixing all of these items quickly and easily.

Until tomorrow,

David Morris

P.S. If you haven’t signed up for the Survive In Place 12 week online Urban Survival course, now is a great time. Learn more by going to In addition to a full lesson on 72 hour kits, we cover how to fortify your house, build up supplies without your neighbors knowing, training your mind for survival, and forming a team of like-minded people without giving up operational security. Click on the link above to learn more.    Send article as PDF   

101 Responses to “Top 10 72-hour kit mistakes [part 1 of 2]”

  • David says:

    Great article and comments. I always get good ideas from you folks. Query: Whose bright idea was it to call it “72 hours”? I bet it came from the guvment. This phrase is used so repeatedly that everyone starts to think inside a 72 hour box. 72 hours is about when the unprepared are running out of food. I realize that weight is a big issue, but a lot of emergencies last a lot longer. I.e. Katrina, Joplin tornado, ’93 Flood, Winter storms closing highways. So, you need a destination that has a stream or pond, wild game, and be able to replenish basic supplies. I would not limit myself to just 72 hours of vital meds or anything else that cannot be replaced.

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