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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Food Storage Ideas for Urban Survival

Most grocery stores have approximately three days worth of food on their shelves; and as experience has shown, when a known emergency event is coming, these shelves will be depleted rapidly within a matter of minutes. So, to prepare and secure your families survival a food storage plan should be part of your overall emergency preparedness planning. Living in an urban area presents unique challenges to preparing for these events; one of these is growing your own food for food storage in the event of a long term emergency.

Growing your own food takes several components to be successful including using heirloom seeds, having plenty of fertile land, large amounts of clean water, the knowledge and the time to grow the foods. You also have to control pests and diseases that can wipe out your crops, plus your growing season needs to be right in order to have success. Some advantages to growing your own food include: it’s typically healthier, taste better, fresher, offers a wide variety, great source of natural nutrients and can be fun and rewarding. However, the shelf life of fresh food is measured in days, unless proper storing and preservation methods are used. Even then the shelf life is relatively short and requires knowledge, the right materials and time to successfully complete.

A major concern of having a garden in your yard in a long term survival event is that it can make you a target to thieves as it’s hard to hide fresh growing plants, especially in an urban area.

This could be similar to placing a sign outside your house saying “we are prepared, come take our stuff”. People, who would rather take from others, than to prepare for themselves, will look for these types of signs as easy victims for their own selfish needs. So what should we do?

Growing your own food can be accomplished on a smaller scale by growing plants inside your dwelling in planters and pots. This will not provide enough food in itself, but will provide variety and fresh nutrients in your diet. Unfortunately, this will also limit what you can successfully grow; for example corn, grains and other sun loving plants will not do well inside. But, herbs, lettuces, and other delicates should do well.

With this in mind, we recommend a large portion of your food storage supplies come from prepared long term food storage products. The range of prepared foods should included grocery supplies of canned vegetables, fruits, meats, fish and meals. Dried foods such as noodles, rice, legumes, seasonings, spices and dried herbs should be well accounted for and acquired as well. All of these items can be purchased in small quantities as part of your regular trips to your local grocery store and should be well stored and rotated as part of your regular meal preparations.

Another source of prepared meals is freeze dried and dehydrated foods from manufactures that specialize in long term food storage. These manufacturers typically offer a wide variety of meals including breakfast and other entrée meals that are better tasting than what you would finds years ago and provide well balanced nutrients. I personally prefer the smaller packages of complete meals as they are easy to prepare and reduce the amount of waste from preparing too large of a quantity when refrigeration is not available. These meals are easy to prepare using hot water, can be ready in minutes, are typically easy to store, are very light and have an extended shelf life of as much as twenty-five years. Plus they are a quick way to get started as they can be purchased in small quantities and will rapidly start to increase your food stores. They do require space to store and should be rotated and used first in, first out as with other food products to account for their expiration. However, the advantages of prepared food storage far outweigh the negatives and should be a major portion for effective long term urban survival.

Many urban dwelling individuals can help prepare and secure their family by adopting a balanced food storage plan of small growing operations, adequate grocery items and by acquiring prepared food for storage that includes freeze dried and dehydrated foods. All of these items can be purchased in smaller quantities on a regular basis to rapidly build your food stores. One other item to start acquiring is water filtration systems and water storage items, but this will have to be another message at another time.

About Off The Grid Ready:

Off The Grid Ready is your premier source for Emergency Preparedness, Survival Packs and Survival Kits you’ll need when emergencies occur and we go off the grid. We also carry Emergency Kits, Disaster Preparedness, Food for Storage, Water Filtration, Water Purification and Camping Equipment to help prepare you and your family for most disasters you will face.

Part 1: Sometimes the city is a bad place to be. But millions find themselves linked to the city, living, working, or recreating. Cessation of services, terrorists attacks, economic or governmental collapse, rioting (for a variety of reasons), and devastating NATURAL disasters can transform a usually-bustling and mostly safe urbanscape into a wasteland where emergency services are either overwhelmed or just unavailable. You may quickly find your survival (and those around you) will be up to you. Go prepared, both with a calm, can-do mindset that will allow you to overcome, adapt, and survive bad situations (and help others to do the same). In this series of vids, I introduce my “Concept USK” or Urban Survival Kit and its philosophy as requested by many TNPrs. A possible motto as you work your way through urban chaos: “Prepare, Survive, Render Aid, Lead.” Some Nutnfancy foundations of the review: most kits will evolve according to need and technology, a kit will have to be personalized for your situation, adherence to legalities of some contents is your responsibility, it’s impossible to prepare for every contingency and SAWC (Space/Size And Weight Constraints) will dictate your level of preparation and kit “depth,” preparations for self-defense are wise, the necessity to blend in and not draw attention to yourself, the concepts of “write-off,” re-stocking, pre-postioning, and redundancy in kit preparation, and guidelines for use. In Part 1 these foundations are discussed

Freeze Dried Food – 5 Reasons Why It’s A Great Choice For Emergency Food Storage

Wondering about freeze dried food? Freeze dry foods are used by many people for their emergency food storage. They’re also used by campers, hikers, hunters and other outdoor adventurists.

This is because freeze dried meals give you several advantages over other survival foods. Before we get to that however what exactly is freeze dried food?

Basically meals are prepared as you normally would make them. Then the food is placed in special machines that gently remove 98-99% of the moisture from the food.

This process is so gentle that most of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients in the food are maintained. All you have to do to prepare the meal is to add water.

While your options used to be much more limited, the good news is that you have a lot of variety to choose from these days.

You can get meals like Beef Stroganoff, Lasagna with meat sauce, Chicken Teriyaki and scrambled eggs with bacon. You can even get freeze dried fruit like strawberries, blueberries and desserts like ice cream and blueberry cheesecake.

So why choose this food for your emergency food storage? Well, it offers some great advantages including:

#1 Long Shelf Life – If you get them in #10 cans, most freeze dry meals will last you up to 25 years. This means you can store it and forget about it until you need it. There’s no rotating it out and replacing it every couple of years. This means not only less worry for you but it can also save you money over the long run.

#2 Better Tasting Food – These meals have a much better taste and texture when reconstituted than dehydrated meals. This means your kids are much more likely to eat them. Plus, it always helps to have good food if you have to deal with an emergency situation.

#3 Easy To Carry – Because almost all of the water is removed, these meals are much ligher and easier to carry than cans, MREs, dehydrated foods or other survival foods. It also means a child could carry their own stache in a backpack if they needed to.

#4 Easy To Make – All you do with these meals is add water, stir and wait 10 minutes. Even a cooking idiot like me (toast and eggs are as gourmet as I get) can do this.

This also means that a small child could prepare their own meal if they needed to. Unlike other emergency foods which require heating packages (which could burn a small child), these meals are easy and safe to prepare.

#5 High Nutrition Factor – Because most of the vitamins and minerals are preserved, these meals are great if you’re concerned about getting the best nutrition from your emergency food.

You can even find freeze dried fruit like strawberries and blueberries to munch on or vegetables. So you don’t have to worry about your kids getting their proper nutrition in an emergency situation.

So those are some of the main advantages of freeze dried foods over other emergency types of food. The good news is that you can often get a deal on these foods if you buy in bulk (like a long term food storage package) which makes them even more affordable. And the prices are relatively stable right now (unlike other food items which are rising due to inflation).

So if you’re looking for a great source of emergency or outdoor food, freeze dried meals may be right for you.

Want more information on where to buy freeze dried meals? Visit Freeze Dried Foods for more information.

Or visit Survival Foods Tips for more information on how to prepare your emergency food storage.

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Freeze-drying: It Improves Food Storage

The storing of food is common among mankind. It is a wise pursuit to put a little extra away when it is possible.

It may be that a person wishes to have vegetables or fruits available for consumption that do not grow during a certain time of the year. Keeping a supply of these fruits and vegetables allows them to maintain a healthy diet throughout the year.

Storing food is also a means of preventing it from being eaten by wild animals. In this manner the food is kept safe until it is consumed.

Some people store food to prepare in case there is a dearth in the future. Storing the necessary foodstuffs will allow them and their family members to survive in case of an emergency.

Another reason might be for use in a time of personal difficulty. Losing one’s job may decrease the amount of income that can be used to purchase groceries.

Having food on hand to use in such times becomes a matter of survival. When food storage is so vital it is important that it is properly protected.

Grains are most often put into cans or any kind of airtight container. This prevents any water or creature from causing damage to the grain.

Meats of any kind have a much shorter storage life than grains. These items should be consumed very shortly after they are harvested.

The issue of meat storage life makes clear the need for rotation of food storage stocks. You should be aware of how long the items you are storing have been on the shelf.

Items can go bad quite easily if not properly stored. Furthermore, any item stored for too long goes bad.

If an item has not been used after some time, use it, and replace it with a fresh item. This process of replacement ensures that your food storage is always ready in case of emergency.

New technologies, such as freeze-drying, have greatly improved the possibilities of food storage. Freeze-drying increases the shelf life of the item, and also decreases its relative volume and density, making storage of the item easier.

The process of freeze-drying is an interesting one. There are several steps involved.

First, an item is pretreated, but only if the theory of freeze-drying deems it necessary. The pretreatment phase usually is required only if the item needs to prepared so as to ensure its ability to withstand the rest of the process successfully.

The next step is freezing the item. The item is frozen by means of mechanisms which use dry ice or liquid nitrogen.

Items are frozen quite rapidly so that large ice crystals do not form in the items. If the formation of these crystals is not prevented, the crystals will damage the cells of the item.

Maintaining the cell structure is important. Destruction of cells causes the item to lose its nutritional value.

The next phase is the first phase of drying. In this phase the pressure around the item is decreased and just enough heat is applied so that sublimation occurs.

Sublimation is the process by which the ice crystals are removed from the item. The moisture collected from the food item is then collected and disposed of.

Another phase of drying is the final step in freeze-drying an item. This phase is necessary in order to remove any molecules of water that have not crystallized as part of the ice.

The benefits of this process are many. For instance, freeze-dried items, if properly protected from moisture, can be stored for many years.

The item does not even have to be stored in a refrigerator or below room temperature. Without the help of moisture, various parasites are unable to destroy the food.

Also, if properly executed, the freeze-drying process does not cause as much damage to the item. As a result the item retains many of its original properties.

One problem in regards to the freeze-drying process is the possibility of substances other than water during the sublimation process. This may negatively impact the results.

The process of sublimation does, however, allow for re-hydration of the item. The areas where the ice crystals were in the item can be infused with water.

In general freeze-drying is the best method for preserving food over the long term. With the help of technology, humans can maintain what is so vital to their survival for a long time.

Jack R. Landry is an accomplished expert in family preparedness and has been giving seminars for over 15 years. He recommends that everyone have on hand an Food Storage in case of any emergency or disaster.

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Jack R. Landry

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