The Preppers Universe Guide to 72-Hour Kits

Guide to 72-Hour Kits By Preppers Universe

72-hour-kitWhen a disaster strikes the normal services we take for granted will not be available, such as telephones, running water, and refrigeration to name a few.  Additionally, first responders will most likely will be overwhelmed with the magnitude of the situation.

It is recommended that you have enough supplies to last you’re family (at a minimum) 72 hours.  Basically, you must be self-sufficient until help arrives.  It may be a while – so, having a plan and the necessary supplies to sustain your family is the key to surviving.

A 72-Hour Kit is essential for any short-term emergency or disaster. It very well could mean survival when the need arrives.  There are numerous types of disasters: Floods, Hurricanes, Tsunami’s, Tornadoes and Earthquakes.  And, don’t forget about the man-made disasters such as terror attacks and the looming global financial crisis either.  Being prepared is not an option if you want to protect your family.

A basic 72-hour kit should include the following items:

  • Food & Water (Include Pets as well)
  • Shelter
  • First Aid
  • Tools & Cookware
  • Hygiene Clothing & Medicine Items
  • Important Documents & Cash
  • Personal Protection
  • Entertainment (Most people forget about this one)
  • Bug Out Bag (Backpack or Plastic Bin)

Most people have enough food in their pantries to last three days in case of emergencies.  However, if there is a major disaster such as an earthquake, you may not be able to get to that food easily.  This is why a 72-hour kit is ideal in these situations.  You will want store your kit in a safe area that would be easily accessible during a disaster.  I personally store my kits in a cabinet in the garage near the roll up door.  It would be fairly easy to get to even if the house is inaccessible.

 Food & Water

Preppers Universe - Mountain House 72-Hour Kit

I personally use the Mountain House 72-Hour Emergency Meal Kit.  I recommend buying one of these for each member of the household.  In reality, one of these could support two people if you wanted to skimp by and not spend too much money building your kit.  Each of these kits cost roughly $55.00.  For more info read this article on Survival Emergency Food Packages.


pers Universe - Reliance Lifeguard 7

Sport Berkey Portable Water Purifier

For water storage, I highly recommend at least a gallon or more of water per day per person.  I personally use the Reliance Lifeguard – 7 Gallon Water Container with built-in Filter.  I store at least one of these for each family member in my kit.  The cost is about $35.00 for the Reliance.  Additionally, each family member should use a Sport Berkey Portable Water Purifier Water Bottle or something similar.  The cost is about $22.00 for the Berkey.



Let’s face it, if there is a disaster – you’re home may not be safe to live in.  Where do you stay?  When things go south, I don’t want to leave my house unattended, I plan on putting up shelter (Good Size Tent) in my backyard.  I personally have a Wenzel Klondike 16 X 11′ Eight Person Family Tent.   Wenzel Klondike 16 X 11-Feet Eight-Person Family Cabin Dome Tent (Light Grey/Taupe/Red)I additionally have a couple zero-degree weather sleeping bags and blankets for the tent as well.  I also have spare crates for my pets.

You need to make sure you’re back yard is big enough for the tent you use.  I have a huge backyard and I know that this tent will work just fine.  The price of this tent is around $212.00.

Other options are available:  Tent Options

First Aid

American Red Cross Disaster & Emergency Kit by First Aid OnlyAny medium sized first aid kit will work well.  Don’t buy any kit that says it will meet any emergency situation.  Do you’re homework when shopping for first aid kits.

The reason is simple, during a disaster (god forbid) you may be treating broken limbs, large gashes from falls or even gun shot wounds.

You will want a decent quality kit, the ones I like are from the American Red Cross.  A decent first aid kit will cost around $50.00.  Don’t forget bug repellent and sun screen for your kit as well.

Tools & Cookware

Denali 115-Piece Home Repair Tool KitWhen a disaster happens you will need a decent tool kit that is easy to pack up and take with you.  I personally like the Denali 115-piece Home Repair Tool Kit.  It comes with a decent carry bag and you can add other small items into it like a sewing kit, mini-flashlights, candles, multipurpose tool, paracord and a decent knife etc…

Another important item to Ambient Weather WR-111B Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Digital Radio, Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger with NOAA Certified Weather Alert & Cableshave in your tool kit is a decent radio.  I recommend one that is solar or hand-cranked and battery operated.  I highly recommend the Ambient Weather WR-111B Solar Hand Crank Radio.  It even has the ability to charge you’re cell phone and has a built in flashlight.  This will keep you informed with what is happening in you’re area.  When the power goes out you’re TV will not work unless you have a generator.

Ultralight Backpacking Canister Camp Stove Burner with Piezo Ignition 3.9oz

Having a small camp stove is a must to eat and boil water.  Coleman Speckled Enamelware Dining Kit (Red)

I highly recommend a Ultralight Backpacking Canister Camp Stove as they are small, compact and easy to pack away. 

Additionally, I would recommend getting a small camping kit that includes Spoons, Forks, Knifes, Cups and a small pot.  If you don’t mind the extra weight in your kit, I highly Wenzel Deluxe Mess Kitrecommend the Coleman Speckled Enamelware Dining Kit. Additionally, you will need a decent mess kit (Pots/Pans).  I recommend the Wenzel Deluxe Mess Kit.

Hygiene, Clothing & Medicine Items

There will not have running water in your house during a disaster.  Even if you do you may not want to use it or bath in it.  An important fact most people don’t know about, you’re local water plant needs electricity to filter the water and if there is no power then you’re water supply is contaminated.  You may not be able to take a shower but you can take a sponge bath and at the very least brush you’re teeth using the emergency water you stored above.  You will want to pack away Razors, Toothbrushes, Feminine items etc.

If you take prescription items you need at least a week supply (at a minimum) stored in you’re kit.  I would put Aspirin, Motrin, Sinus Medication or anything else you may occasionally use in the kit as well.  It is extremely important to store prescription items in you’re kit as the drug stores will most likely be shut down and looted after a disaster.

A change of clothes is highly important.  Most people think they can just grab something on the way out.  No, you will not have the time during an emergency to get extra clothing.  The trick is to have the items stored away in your kit.  Make sure you pack items for the climate you live.  If you live in cold areas pack accordingly.

Documents, Cash & Entertainment

It goes without saying that you need to store important documents such as your wedding license, birth certificates, Photos, Mortgage/Title/Deed, Bank information, Insurance papers, passports, etc. in a fire safe lock box near or in you’re 72-hour kit.  Most people forget about this and these items are very important.  Additionally, I would put a couple of survival books and manuals for reference in the kit as well.

Don’t forget about entertainment during disaster relief.  It may be days before things get back to normal.  I personally have a few board games, a couple deck of cards and my favorite game Yahtzee in my kit.

Personal Protection

A lot of people are afraid or don’t like Guns/Knives or any other weapons and believe they can survive without them.  I’m definitely not one of those people. When the SHTF (S@#$ hits the fan) you will need personal protection.  A decent firearm and survival knife is a must in any disaster situation. 

When a man cannot feed his family, he will do anything to get to you’re food supply.  The social norms are out the window in times of disaster.  Just look at the recent disaster such as Hurricane Katrina.  People were looting, raping, and pillaging.  It was not pretty, and if you are relying on the government to protect you.  You are in for a world of hurt…

The active survivalistI highly recommend either having a shotgun, rifle, and/or a pistol.  I’m not going to recommend a particular brand or model.  You will have to do some research and find out what works best for you.  I also highly recommend you take a firearm safety class before purchasing a firearm.  Most gun ranges have gun rentals for you to try before you buy.Firearms are not for everyone.  There are other options available if you are not comfortable shooting a weapon.

Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent with Hip Holster


The absolute best NON-LETHAL form of personal protection is Bear Repellent Pepper Spray.  Bear Repellent has a greater range than most pepper spray and is more potent.  If it can stop a bear in it’s tracks then it can stop any human instantly.  The best part, it has a 30-foot deploy range keeping you’re attackers at a distance.  I highly recommend Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent with holster.

KA-BAR  Fighting/Utility Serrated Edge Knife with Hard Sheath, Black

A really good survival knife is important for personal protection and for general survival needs.  such as cutting down tree limbs for firewood, skin/clean wild game, cut para-cord and a thousand other uses.  My absolute favorite Survival Knife is the KA-BAR Fighting/Utility Serrated Edge Knife.

Ka-Bar Black Kukri MacheteAnother item to throw into you’re arsenal is a really good machete for chopping weeds or clearing campsites.  I personally like the KA-BAR Black Kukri Machete.

Bug out Bags & Survival Bins

Maxpedition Doppelduffel Adventure Bag, Black You need a really good bag or survival bin to store all the items for your 72-hour kit.  There are many options available.  I personally like the Maxpedition Doppelduffel Adventure Bag.  It is large enough to hold most of you’re gear and it can be worn as a back pack if the need arrives.

Maxpedition Condor-Il Backpack

Additionally, you may want a smaller back pack to go along with the Doppelduffel.  Something you’re children or a spouse can carry easily.  I really like the Maxpedition Condor II Backpack.  These bags are durable and very well made.  In my opinion they are the best bags for survival needs.

I plan on Bugging “IN” not “OUT” in a disaster.  My back yard is big enough to setup camp if needed.  Because of this I have a really big tent that will not fit in my 72-hour kit or Bug Out Bag.  I store these big items in plastic storage bins available almost anywhere.  Wal-Mart, Target, and have them available at decent prices.


In this violent and unpredictable world we live in – being prepared is no longer an option.  Being prepared can reduce anxiety, fear and panic should you find yourself in a precarious situation.  Most disasters either man-made or natural doesn’t allow time for people to assemble even the most basic needs for our society.  This is why preparedness planning is so important.  Having a 72-hour kit on hand and ready to use at a moments notice could me the difference between life and death.

If you have any suggestions please leave a comment on this post.  The article will provide you with the absolute minimum supply of gear you should have for you’re 72-hour kit.  Like I said, this is a bare minimum from my point of view.  You should adjust the recommendations to meet you’re needs.  This is a great starting point for newbie preppers.

Preppers Universe has teamed up with to provide a wide variety of survival, camping and outdoor gear to help with you’re prepping needs.  Please visit our online store for huge discounts.  Click here for our Disaster Preparation Super Store!

Rodney Butler



By Rodney Butler


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The Survival Blog Guide to Prepping for Newbies

Preppers Universe Emergency CyclePrepping for Newbies

Prepping unfortunately is one the least focused aspects in most families.  We have become all too comfortable having things given to us on silver platters.  Over the past few years, there have been many natural and man-made disasters that left many families in dire circumstances.

Being prepared is the key to surviving and thriving when things go south.

There are many resources on the internet that range from the budget conscience to those who can afford to hire consultants and build underground bunkers with a year supply of food.   Such as those on the hit TV show “Doomsday Preppers”.  Preppers range from one extreme to another. Prepping begins with a level of awareness of possible threats and having the necessary provisions (Basic Needs) such as food, water and shelter to survive the situation.

Getting Started With the Basics

Preppers Universe Disaster ChecklistLet’s face it, not everyone can afford to purchase a years supply of emergency provisions for their family and/or hire a consultant to help.  Actually, in my opinion a years supply of food is nice but not necessary for the common prepper and there is no need to hire a consultant.  The key is to not overwhelm yourself and use common sense and practicality.

  1. Be patient and start slowly.

First things first… Start building a emergency 72-hour kit immediately.  It’s not expensive and you can probably assemble the kit from items laying around your house.  Compare prices when shopping around for food and gear.  Prepping does not have to be expensive.

In many instances, a 72-hour kit could mean the difference between life and death.  After a major disaster, it may take up to three days for relief workers to reach certain areas.  Most likely the relief workers will be overwhelmed with the magnitude of the situation.  In such a case, a 72-hour kit is the absolute minimum you should have available.

      • Here’s a checklist of items to include in your kit. Checklist: 72-hour kit (pdf)Emergency Food Supplies
      • I personally store my 72-hour kit in a plastic bin in the garage.
      • There are many pre-made 72-hour kits on the market.  Some are better than others.
      • Sample pre-made emergency 72-hour kits can be seen here.  SAMPLES
      • Don’t forget about your Pets when building your kit.
      • Each family member should have their own kit with food, water and clothing.  Distribute heavy items between the kits.
      • Keep a light source (flashlight, candles) in the top of the kit.  Don’t bury it on the bottom.  This will most likely be the first item you grab.
      • Inspect the kit twice a year and replace old items when necessary.
      • Read The Preppers Universe Guide to 72-hour Kits for more info.

2. Make an Emergency Plan.

Being prepared is the key to survival.  Having emergency food and water is nice but if you don’t have a plan then it’s all for nothing.  Planning is probably the most effective strategy when prepping.  The skills of survival planning is knowing what to do and when to do it.  Strategically storing emergency provisions is just the start of your prepping journey.  Prepping involves learning new skills and testing your abilities to see what works in real world disaster situations.

But where do you start?  What needs to be included in my survival plan?  What skills do I need to learn?  These are all common questions you need to be asking yourself when devising your emergency plan.  Bottom line, you need a plan and the best thing to do is write it down.  Set realistic goals within your budget as your budget will dictate the depth and content of your emergency plan. 

Practice, practice, practice!  Once you have your emergency plan written down and your goals set.  It is important to test the plan and make sure it’s going to work.  Sit down with your family and do mock up tests at least every six months.

Read my post on emergency planning here: Be Prepared: Emergency Preparedness!

Here is a good place to start: Family Emergency Plan (PDF)

3.  Personal Protection.

When the SHTF the normal day to day rules change.  For example, you get a family of four who have been without food and water for three days, what happens?  The man of the household will most likely do anything to feed his family.  This includes but not limited to breaking into your home and stealing the provisions you have saved for your family.  There will be no police or emergency personnel who are able to respond.  What do you do? It’s easy! Protect yourself and you’re loved ones at all costs.  You will have to handle you own.

Most folks are genuinely good; they would never hurt anyone under normal circumstances.  Desperate times calls for desperate people.  There is an old saying that in our modern privileged society we are only nine meals away from anarchy and chaos.  The personalities of the the people around you will change in only three days.  Behavior that is traditionally forbidden will now be rational.

What type of personal protection you go with is totally up to you.  You must be comfortable with the items you decide to use.  A lot of folks will go out and buy tons of firearms and ammo to protect themselves.  However, they lack the discipline and training to be effective at using it.  If you decide to use a firearm for personal protection then you must get safety training and learn to use it. 

At the very least, if you are new to prepping I would stick to pepper spray in your 72-hour kit.  Go out and buy Bear Repellent – Pepper Spray.  Bottom line, Bear repellent is stronger than normal pepper spray and has a longer range.  If it can stop a bear in it’s tracks then it can stop any HUMAN instantly.  Just saying…

4.  Research.

There is a ton of information on the web and at your local library that deals with prepping.  Research is the key to being a successful prepper.  I recommend reading a few books on prepping and survival to gain more knowledge.

Here are a few recommendations:

The Preppers Pocket GuidePreppers Instruction ManualEmergency Food Storage


This article is geared toward getting a newbie up to speed with the absolute basics of prepping.  This includes having a plan and at least a 72-hour kit with provisions to provide food, water, shelter and some type of personal protection to protect your family when the SHTF (Sh@& hits the fan).

New preppers should always start with these items.  When you have mastered steps 1 – 3 then you can research further and get more training.  Prepping will take time and money.  I recommend you slowly build up your preps over time.  During the journey train and learn as much as possible.  How much you put into prepping is totally up to you.  Here is a sample progression of preps you can start with and you can adjust it to reach your own goals.

First 3 Months:

  1. 72-Hour Kit
  2. Emergency Plan
  3. Personal Protection

Next 3 Months:

  1. Build 3 month Supply of Provisions
  2. Long Term Water Storage
  3. Invest in a Firearm and get training
  4. Practice Your Emergency Plan

Next 3 Months:

  1. Build 6 Months of Provisions
  2. More Long Term Water Storage
  3. Take a Survival Training Class

Next 3 Months:

  1. Build 12 Months of Provisions
  2. More Long Term Water Storage
  3. Practice Your Emergency Plan

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Rodney Butler


By Rodney Butler