How to Make the Best 72 Hour Kit

Are you wanting to put together a 72 hour kit but aren’t quite sure where to even start?  Trust us, we have definitely been there.  Which is why we made sure that our app covered everything you would need to acquire and do to put together and maximize your use of your 72 hour kit.  Have you downloaded the Para app yet?  If not, download it HERE if you have an iPhone, and HERE if you have an Android.  Aside from having a downloadable 72 hour kit preparedness lis, we also have over 50 other downloadable lists that help you prepare for everything from car maintenance to earthquakes.  So you will definitely want to get that today!

Alright, now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on to reason you’re all reading this post today.

Putting together a 72 hour kit can seem like a challenging, even impossible thing to do.  But, if you break things down in to smaller tasks, what once seemed impossible now seems very easy and fun to do.  Wondering exactly how you do that?  Let us show you!


The Best Way to put Together a 72 Hour Kit

There are lots of different ways to put together a 72 hour kit.  But, the following guidelines are definitely the best methods to follow.

Step 1: Get a 72 hour kit supply list

As was mentioned above, you can get this list directly from the Para app.  But here are a few essentials you should make sure are always in your 72 hour kit.

  • Water (one gallon of water per person for three days)
  • 3 day supply of non-perishable food per person (need some ideas on what to get?  Check out THIS post.)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio with extra batteries
  • NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency whistle
  • Personal papers (social security cards, birth certificates, etc.)
  • Dust mask
  • Wrench or pliers and work gloves to use if you need to turn off utilities
  • Pocket knife
  • Cell phone with chargers as well as an inverter or solar charger
  • Local maps
  • $20 in small bills and change
  • Clothing for three days
  • Jacket, coat, and/or poncho
  • Sanitation items (i.e. toilet paper, tampons, etc.)

Note: Printing off your supply list and storing a copy in each 72 hour kit is a great way to keep track of what’s in there.  Plus, if you remember to include expiration dates for your food items, you will be able to easily keep track of when you need to replace something.

Featured by Para: Image of a bug out bag layout, which includes an Eberlestock backpack, Goal Zero solar panel, Sawyer water filter, first-aid kit, Zippo lighter, local maps, water purification tablets, Zero Tolerance knife, Saw, Bic lighter.

Step 2: Decide where your supplies will go

Once you have gotten all of your supplies, you will then want to decide how you are going to carry them.  With so many carrying options to choose from, it really just comes down to your personal preference.  Basically, you should focus on getting something that you and your loved ones can easily carry.  So here’s a few options for you to consider…

  • Regular backpack
  • Metal frame backpack
  • Rolling suitcase
  • 5 gallon bucket

Step 3: Put together your kit

When you find yourself in an emergency situation that requires you to evacuate your house immediately, you will want to have your kits in an easily accessible location.  Here are some great places to store your 72 hour kits…

  • Coat closet
  • Garage
  • Pantry
  • Car (only if the car is in a garage)

Basically, you want to keep all of your 72 hour kits together and in an easily accessible place that allows you to grab them and get out with ease.

Featured by Para: How to put together and maintain the best 72 hour kit from Includes a woman backpacking in the forest.

Step 4: Keep your kit up-to-date

After you have put together your 72 hour kit, the only thing left to do is maintain it.  This is generally referred to as rotating.  Meaning that every 6-12 months you spend some time going over everything that’s in your 72 hour kit and rotating things like food, batteries, medication, and clothing to avoid ending up with food you can’t eat, medicine that doesn’t work, or clothing items that no longer fits.  If you have children, you will want to rotate their bags every 3-6 months because they are constantly growing and will need their clothing sizes updated more frequently.

Step 5: Test your kit

The last and one of the most important things to do when putting together a 72 hour kit, is to actually test it out.  Making sure that everything in it actually works and meets your various needs.  There are lots of different ways to do this, but here are some of our favorites…

  • Campout in your backyard and use only the items in your 72 hour kit to get you through the night
  • Go on an actually camping trip and only bring your 72 hour kits with you
  • Go on a 3 day (72 hour) backpacking trip and test out your 72 hour kit on your journey

Featured by Para: How to put together and maintain the best 72 hour kit from

That’s it!  Now that you’ve read how to put together the best 72 hour kit, it’s time for you to actually do it.  Remember, the best thing you can do is to not get overwhelmed.  So try accomplishing just one step every week.  This way, you you can avoid getting stressed out and actually enjoy putting together your 72 hour kit; and once your 72 hour kit is assembled, make sure to revisit this post and let us know in the comments below how your experience went!

Happy prepping!