January 12, 2013

Make a 72-Hour Kit in 12 Steps: Step 1 - Bedding

To simplify making a 72-hour kit, I divided "the big list" into 12 steps. I am not an expert on 72-Hour kits, but I get the highest number of hits on my blog about this topic, so I'm taking it seriously. I want to help you succeed and get the job done. Breaking this down into the following steps will hopefully  make the task less daunting.

It may surprise you to see that I put the container towards the end of the process. Most people want to get that item first. But you could end up with the wrong size or container, so I suggest waiting. Don't "put the cart before the horse." For now, put your items in a box, bag or tote. Keep items small, lightweight and compact. Let's get moving.

Step 1: Bedding
  • blanket 
  • emergency reflective blanket 
  • sleeping bag
Blanket - I like fleece blankets because they are warm, cheap and available everywhere after Christmas. But some people recommend wool blankets. Find one you would imagine using on a camping trip as you sit around a campfire. Make sure it fits around your body and feet. You probably have one in your house right now. Even though it won't fit in a backpack, it could be rolled up in your sleeping bag.

Emergency Reflective Blanket
- These are lightweight, compact and cheap, and fit perfectly inside a kit. They use your own body heat to keep you warm and are waterproof. They can be found at Walmart, hardware stores or emergency supply stores.

Sleeping bag
- Consider the cold temperatures in your area before purchasing, as most bags have a temperature rating. If you are lucky, yours will come with a nylon stuff bag. If not, you can put it in a kitchen trash bag or a Ziploc Big Bag. If you already own a sleeping bag, don't worry about finding a perfect one. Just add it to your pile. I store our sleeping bags in our emergency closet near our 72-hour kits. If you can't afford one right now for everyone in your family, you can always gather them one-at-a-time this year as they come on sale.

Go get Step 1 done today!

72-Hour Kit in 12 Steps


  1. I'm your newest follower. I also signed up to get your updates via email. Hope you'll return the favor and follow my blog and/or FB fan page!

  2. Yea! A current one I can follow! I find these a lot on Pinterest but they are usually from a year or two ago. I have sleeping bags for each of my kids but not for hubby and I ( we use king size comforters and an air mattress when we camp he's a wuss about sleeping on the ground lol)
    I did want to add that if you have a baby you need a safe place to put them to sleep as well. Since pack n plays are bulky I suggest a bouncinette or an inflatable baby bed. I do keep inflatable swim rafts with the kids sleeping bags ( just the plain lay down kind) uniflated they aren't too heavy and could be very helpful depending on where you have to use that sleeping bag and for how long. I figure if we have an issue that involves crossing water. It could help my kids who aren't the strongest swimmers to stay afloat. Love double duty items!

  3. I was wondering if anyone new a way to keep your sugar and powdered milk from going hard. I got them at the church cannery. They are both about 4 years old. Thank you.

  4. Re the sugar going hard ... dampen a paper towel, damp not dripping, lay it on top of the sugar and close up the container. After a day or two, the sugar should be moistened enough to be more workable. Re the powdered milke, I'm sorry I've never faced that ... maybe put it in a Ziploc and crush on it with a rolling pin?

  5. Why do you need both the blanket and the emergency reflective blanket?

    1. I use both for comfort. I would want the blanket in an emergency shelter and the reflective blanket for extra heat.

  6. Hey that was awesome!! I've just finished reading your blog and I think you've suggested some really practical and reliable tips for a perfect 72 hour kit . My dad had given me one last year that he made himself but it didn't have much space so I don't think I can rely on it so that's why I had been looking for an alternative. Thanks God I came across your blog.

  7. Thank you for doing this series. I have been overwhelmed every time I look at lists for 72 hour kits. This breaks it down so well and helps me pace myself. I have a question about young children. Do you recommend getting them a child sized sleeping bag, or just going for a full size since they will eventually grow into it?

    1. Hi Lu, I personally would get whatever size sleeping bag is made for the coldest temperatures in my area. Sometimes children's sleeping bags are not the warmest ones. Also, if you don't camp much, I would for sure get adult bags. Good luck on that!

  8. I'm trying to decide between buying an under freezing sleeping bag since it can be freezing in the winter, but not great for the summer. Do I get a sleeping bag with a higher number but then wouldn't work well for the winter. Any suggestions? I don't know what I'm doing???

    1. I don't have the best sleeping bags, but if I had a choice I'd rather have a warmer sleeping bag. No one wants to be cold. Good luck!


Thanks for your comments and suggestions!


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