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72 Hour Kits: Child Version

This is just a quick list of everything I've added to my little boy's 72-hour kit, because it differs slightly from our adult kits. Be sure to check out my comprehensive list for everything in my and my husband's kits as well. It has all the reasoning behind my choices, how I keep the kits rotated, and all sorts of other tips.

I purchased this kit from Emergency Essentials for each of my children. At the time it was only 25 bucks, and seemed like a great deal for everything plus the backpack. For the next one, I think I'll get this backpack and add my own items. I store each grouping of items (clothing, entertainment, etc.) in a separate gallon sized Ziploc bag. This makes the pack virtually waterproof, it's much easier to find an item, and the bags can be used for all sorts of things (think garbage or water storage) in an emergency.

On the outside of the backpack, I've attached an ID card for Harvey. On one side, it has his name and our family's contact information. There are also 2 locations of where our family would meet after an emergency (one in our neighborhood, and another one out of it - if our neighborhood was unsafe), an out-of-state contact and a place for allergy information. On the other side, I've included a recent family picture so the hopefully-nice-and-helpful-adult that finds Harvey would know who to look for if he was lost. I plan on updating it at least once per year to keep the photos current (it's new). For now, I store everything in a small ziplock bag, so everything stays waterproof yet I can still easily slide a new photo in each year. I'm debating if that is sturdy enough; laminating might be a better option.

Food & Water:

  • 3 water bottles (see this post for my thoughts about water)
  • lightweight foldable bowl (to eat food given at an evacuation shelter)
  • Little Spork
  • Emergency Food bars - enough for 9 meals. Actually, that is the same amount of food that we have in our kits, but they are good for 5 years, so I bought for his future appetite... (Seriously, they taste like Girl Scout shortbread cookies. Go to Emergency Essentials for a taste test. Harvey has tasted this and likes eating "cookies". If your children are more picky, you'll need to choose other foods that are high-calorie and light weight. Check out  this site and this site for ideas.)

I packed 9-10 snack/comfort foods, so he could eat one at each "meal". I buy whatever is on sale when I rotate the kits. Here are some ideas:
  • ready-to-mix Koolaid packets so we can stand the taste of the water.
  • tuna pouches (not cans) & snack pack of Ritz crackers
  • raisins (plain or yogurt covered)
  • beef jerky
  • dry fruit
  • boxed (shelf stable) milk
  • sunflower seeds
  • nuts
  • granola bars
  • fruit pouches (found in the baby food section)
  • trail mix
  • fruit snacks
  • gum (put in it's own ziplock before adding it with the other food, or all of your food will taste minty!)
  • hard candy

  • sweatshirt & sweatpants (one size bigger than they are currently wearing)
  • thermal underwear (can layer, use for pjs, or use as a separate change of clothing if needed)
  • 1 change of underwear and 2 pairs of socks (cold, wet feet can cause lots of problems)
  • hat, gloves, and sunglasses
  • 4-5 pull-ups (Not pictured... Harvey has been potty-trained for 3-4 months now, but in a stressful situation I would probably feel more comfortable with him wearing pull-ups at least at night.)
My favorite tip for buying clothing for my childrens' 72 Hour Kits, is to buy a sweat outfit a size or two bigger to put in the kit, then when it actually fits, pull it out (replacing it it of course) and let them wear it as normal. Kids grow so fast, it's a waste to keep buying outfits (even cheap ones) for the kits. We love camping as a family, so I usually buy sweat pants and shirts for those trips anyway. I just "store" the larger ones in the kids' kits before they wear them! One size bigger wouldn't be a big deal for the kids to wear in an emergency, and it saves having to buy a lot of extra clothes that likely won't get worn.

Personal Care Kit:
I found these little bags at IKEA, and filled them with everything we might need for our personal care.

  • Washcloth
  • Wet Ones 
  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Aquaphor
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Cotton Swabs (not pictured - I forgot to take them out of the front zippered pocket)
  • Comb
  • Kleenex
Tools & Supplies:

  • Whistle (he knows - and loves to practice - blowing this whistle over and over if he gets lost will help another adult find him and help reunite our family)
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries (taped together so the ends wont touch and deplete power)
  • Lightstick
  • Toilet paper stuffed in a ziplock bag (remove the cardboard center to help flatten the roll)
  • Emergency mylar blanket
  • Poncho
  • 3 Hotties (hand warmers)
Entertainment/Comfort Items:

  • 2-3 file folder games (I made them half-size so when folded they are about 5.5in x 9in)
  • bubbles
  • mini coloring book / crayons (if you live in an area that gets really hot, consider color pencils)
  • blankie (I made a mini version out of the extra fabric I had when I made Avery's..)
  • small car
  • note pad and pencil (uhh, need to sharpen that thing..)
Other ideas: 
  • pipe cleaners
  • dry erase board / marker
  • jump rope
Grab List:
  • coats & sturdy walking shoes (we keep our kits in the hall closet where both of these are stored)
  • sleeping bag (zero rated) 
  • couple of extra toys (if time)
Is there anything I missed?? Leave a comment and let me know!

Check back tomorrow for the contents in my baby's kit...


  1. Where did you find that cool folding bowl??

    1. I got them at REI, but I went back this summer to buy more for my baby and they have discontinued them. Orikaso is the brand of the items I bought, and you could buy them separately; a cup, a bowl, and a plate. (I just found the cup on Amazon here.)

      The closest thing I have found is made by a company "Fozzils" (although they don't fold, they snap) and can be purchased in a kit containing all three items. Here is the link to Amazon.

  2. I’ve been thinking about writing a very comparable post over the last couple of weeks,
    meals ready to eat

  3. This was very helpful. Thank you! I was thinking of getting one of those child size backpacks that also have roller wheels on them so they could roll them if they get tired, but we could use the backpack if we are in rugged terrain. What do you think? It's a big pack for a little kid to carry, which means of course we adults would end up caring it, so that's why I was thinking the wheels might be a good idea.

    1. Great idea! I am going to co.sider switching mine out because my son (now 7) would be able to help with more weight if he was wheeling his pack. Thanks for the suggestion. :)

  4. Where did you find those file folder games??? Thanks for the great lists and ideas!!

    1. Hey Angela, They are made by a company called Finch Family Games. If you go to their website: and do a search for "lds file folder games" a bunch will come up and you can download them for a dollar each. :)


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  6. Thank you so much for this. With the hurricanes, I'm aware so need to put this together for our son. Thoughts on shoes? Do I buy a new pair for the kit? Do I buy a used pair? A cheap pair? We typically buy and use good shoes - a pair of sandals and a pair of closed shoes - and that's it. I can't see letting a perfectly new pair just sit in the kit and my boy's foot grows fast. You were so helpful on rotating clothes and sizing up, figured I'd ask about shoes.

    1. Sorry it took me so long to respond!

      I don't have one perfect solution, but here are some ideas:
      - store shoes close to an exit for easy access and add them to the "grab list"
      - store off season shoes (winter boots during the summer) with the kits
      - buy a size up - just like with clothing, and store the bigger shoes with the kit
      - buy inexpensive shoes from a thrift store

      Hope that helps!!

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