72 Hour Kits in Bug Out Bags for Kids and Families

Here’s how to make a 72 hour kit and bug out bag for your family, especially if you have young kids. Emergency preparedness is important!

Hey y’all, Tiffany here with some ideas for 72 hour kits for kids and families that double as bug out bags.

Several years ago, we moved to Houston a few months before Hurricane Harvey it. That was our first experience with a hurricane, having come from Colorado, and it was an eye-opening experience for us.

We had another large storm barely miss us last year, and then we had a freeze that knocked the power out for several days.

See where I’m going with this?

Over the last year with COVID, I’ve become a bit of an addict for end-of-the-world book series (my favorite ones being written by Mike Kraus). And it’s made me slightly paranoid.

We’re actively working on building up our food storage, but we also needed to put together some bug-out bags that have 72 hour kits in them that work with our family.

As we put them together, I thought it might be useful for y’all to know what we decided to put in them. I also have some free printables at the end of the post, too.

72 hour kit bug out bag

72 Hour Kit Bag

The first thing we needed to do what decide what to put all of things into. I wanted each person in the family to have their own bag with a lot of the same items in it.

I did a bunch of research on prepper websites to find what they recommmend. No, I’m not a prepper, but since they tend to take these things very seriously, I know I can trust their recommendations!

What to Put in a 72 Hour Kit

Now that we had our bags, I started doing research into what should go into our bags. Obviously, food and clothing are important. These bags are in case we ever have to leave our home in hurry and don’t have time to pack. I also chose items that would help us in any situation.


Since my children are still growing, I purchased clothing a size larger than what they currently wear. That way I don’t have to change out the bags as frequently. I also chose simple, lightweight clothing and underpants. One-piece outfits are the easiest!

You also never know if you’re going to have to be outdoors. Just watch any end-of-the world movie! So a few extra things like ponchos are good to keep on hand.


The types of food you put in a 72 hour kit are going to be extremely individual. However, there are some universal supplies you should have on hand.

Personal Hygiene

You don’t want to be in an emergency situation without a toothbrush! You can bring trial size shampoo and conditioner, but I personally like these environment-friendly suds. Also, Dawn dish soap has a ton of alternative uses and is good for the environment as well.


It’s important to stay on top of your health in an emergency. If you or your children have any medications you take on a regular basis, you should store them all in one place to grab easily.

It’s also a good idea to have common over-the-counter medications for allergies, headaches, etc. You should also bring along a first aid kit.

Also, due to the COVID pandemic, some face masks are a good idea as well.


You never know if you will be stranded at a hotel for a few days, or even on the road in a traffic jam. I put a few small games and toys in each kit. I got most of these for only a few dollars; I use this Facebook group to keep an eye out for discounted items.

Other Supplies

Now, I may be a bit over-the-top on some of these other supplies. But it is much better safe than sorry! Odds are, you won’t end up completely off-the-grid because of an EMP or an asteroid hitting the earth. But we also never thought that we’d have a pandemic that would shut down entire countries.

I decided I would never regret having these and not needing them, but I would regret not having them if they were needed!

Free 72 Hour Kit Printables

I have two free printables for you!

The first is a list of things you should have in your 72 hour kit for you to check off as you get them. We actually purchased our items over several months so we could stay in our budget.

The second printable is a list of things you can’t keep in your bug out bag but should grab if you have 5-10 minutes. I keep this list on the bag itself so I don’t forget anything. When it’s an emergency, high adrenalin levels and panic makes it easy to forget.

You can either right-click on the images and save them, or you can download both as a PDF.

Free 72 Hour Kit Printable

Make sure you also include baby items if you have a baby!

72 hour kit bug out bag printable checklist

Last-Minute Necessities

Your emergency papers binder for your 72 hour kit last minute additions should include photocopies of the following:

  • Passports and driver’s licenses
  • Medical history including any drug allergies
  • A written summary of any medical conditions you have
  • Deed to your home
  • Social security cards
  • Health, car and homeowners insurance documents
  • Recent utility bills

I put the originals of many of these in the lockbox/safe.

72 hour kit last minute additions checklist

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