“In fair weather, prepare for foul.” – Thomas Fuller
My family is kind of into this prepping thing; not super hard core like we have bunkers and stuff (wish list item…) but I’d like to think we’d make it a few days if there was an emergency and we had to temporarily go without modern conveniences. Part of this prepping is having a “go bag” or a BOB. So what’s a BOB you ask? A bug out bag (BOB) is basically a backpack that is loaded and ready to go on a moment’s notice in the event that an emergency situation forces you to leave your home with nothing more than what you are able to carry on your back. A BOB is the basic and first prep that most survivalists or “preppers” put together, before the food stockpiling, the water storage and filtration systems, generators, and long before bunkers are built. It is suggested that you put in your bug out bag the items that are essential to survival for a 72 hour period. A great place to begin is to read the Kindle eBook Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit available to download on Amazon for $9.99.Once you’ve figured out the basics though, I think for those with families, there have to be a few things that are “tweaked” in the list of essentials – small children require items that grown men probably do not and grown men are generally what these “how to” books and tutorials are geared toward. So I’ve made a list of a few of the items that I have added to my BOB so that it’s more family friendly if we have to cut and run.
- A couple of cloth diapers. I have a toddler who is not quite two and not yet potty trained so diapers are a must. We use disposable for convenience under normal circumstances when the world hasn’t gone crazy, but how would we replenish the supply if something truly serious were to happen? So cloth it is – even just 2 or 3 packed in your bag could be enough to get you through because even without the convenience of bleach and a washing machine, these could be washed and dried to the point where they can be used and re-used.
- Medicine. Medication is suggested even for adults, but I think when kids are in your group, this is even more important. Even just the basics, Benadryl in case of an allergic reaction, and Tylenol or ibuprofen in case of fever, and something to combat diarrhea, is better than nothing at all and may be the difference between dealing with a seriously ill child in the middle of an emergency or not. Anti-diarrheal meds are important because a bout of that can cause a small child (or adult) to become severely dehydrated very quickly. Nobody wants to be fighting a fever or suffering from stomach cramps at the same time they’re trying to fight the zombies.
- Sun Block & Bug Repellent. These are two pretty important items even for adults, but I think it’s especially important for families with small children to remember these items. Most families use sun block and bug repellent regularly when camping and even just hanging out in their own backyards, but these items are so common that I think they are often overlooked when preparing for emergencies. Adult skin can take a little more abuse than that perfect, fragile, baby skin. If all it takes is a small bottle or stick of sunscreen to prevent the pain of a burn for my child, I consider it an essential item. In addition to helping to prevent contracting disease like West Nile from mosquito bites, bug spray also reduces or eliminates the basic irritation from the itching and other reactions to those pesky bug bites.
- Comfort Items. While this may not initially seem essential, for those with small children it very well may be. If it hits the fan, the whole situation will already seem scary so you’ll want your children to have a least a few items that make them feel as safe and comfortable as possible. This may mean making then their own smaller BOB that includes a soft blanket or stuffed animal, small toys, or special snack that feels “normal” to them. As the child gets older the size of the bag and what’s in it can change with them so keeping these updated is just as important as preparing them to begin with.
While there are many more possibilities, many of which are dependent on the age and needs of your specific child(ren), these are just a few of the items that I find are often left out of “what to pack” survival guides and could make all the difference when you actually have to bug out.
What would you do: What items do you have or think you would definitely need in your BOB? What is one item that your child would not be able to leave home without? Share your ideas, questions, and helpful hints in the comments below. Thanks for reading!!