Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Prepping Up With NatSprat

This week I've been working on finishing up our 72 hour kits. I call it my bug out bag. Basically, it's a 72 hour kit, which if necessary, can be thrown on and carried if there is some sort of emergency. We live in Colorado, so I have packed this bag according to things I might need in Colorado. If you live in, say, Florida or Hawaii you might pack differently. Also, if you have babies, you'll need to pack accordingly for that: diapers, baby food, etc. However, I think most things I have will apply to pretty much anywhere. So, what do I have in my Bug Out Bag? Let's take a peek, shall we?

First, let's go over some of the basic tools that I have in my bag.


1. Binoculars so you can see over the river and through the woods, of course...

2. Gerber Multi-tool. Basically...a pocket knife which also folds into pliers and has other "accessories" such as screw drivers, mini saw, various other blades, etc. I made sure it was a good brand, because if my life depended on this knife, I sure as heck wouldn't want it to break on me.

3. A knife sharpener...don't want a dull blade!

4. A compass with magnifying glass (also included with this but not pictured is a Colorado map, so include one from wherever you live!) Um...and know how to read a map. ;)

5. Extra Batteries (for the walkie talkie and flash light)

6. LED Flashlight: I recommend LED flashlights because the bulbs last about 100,000 hours, whereas an incandescent bulb will burn out around 40 hours. LED flashlights are also more rugged and drain batteries 3 to 5 times slower than regular incandescent flashlights. They cost more, but it's worth it. I know I sure as heck don't want my flashlight going out in the middle of the night while trying to find camp. We all know that this is when Bigfoot attacks. *shudder*

7. Walkie talkie. My husband has the other one in his bag, so we will be able to communicate with each other in case we get separated. Make sure you have your stations set right and you know how to use them."Marco!"....."Polo!".....

8. Waterproof/windproof matches

9. Flint firestarter...just in case the matches don't work or I run out.

More camp basics:

1. Roll of toilet paper and Germ-ex wipes: Because...well...when you gotta go, you gotta go.

2. Camp cookware and utensils

3. Folding camp stove

4. Portable cooking fuel (Sterno). So, basically, you unfold the stove, light the fuel, put it in the stove, and cook on top of it. And you don't have to worry about building a fire or anything.

*Here's a link to a folding camp stove with cooking fuel on Amazon.

See? Easy Peasy.

5. Work gloves.

6. Gerber camp axe: because the mini saw in my multi-tool just isn't going to cut it. Literally.

7. Tarp: can be made into a shelter (I'm still searching for a good tube tent that isn't the same thickness of Saran Wrap!!!)

8. Rope: a necessity!

9. Winter hat because as much as 45% of your body heat is lost through your head!

Personal Care Items

1. Mascara. Because even if I'm in the woods, I at least have to have mascara on to feel like a human being.

2. Travel size shampoo, conditioner and lotion.

3. Travel size soap. Because I don't want to stink.

4. Kleenex

5. Body powder: also helps if you are chafing!

6. Diaper wipes: These are for if you need to freshen up and no water is available.

7. Feminine products. Because Mother Nature doesn't care where the heck you are.

8. Chapstick because I would die without it.

9. Bug Spray

10. Sunscreen

11. Travel size deodorant

12. Travel toothbrush and toothpaste.

13. Mini sewing kit. You know one of your kids is going to get their shirt ripped on a tree. It is inevitable.

14. Folding hairbrush/mirror and hair ties.

Keeping Warm and Dry

1. Emergency blankets...I got the more durable kind. Hopefully they will hold up to wiggly little kids better!

2. Hooded poncho: never know when it may rain.

3. Marker, paper and tape: leave notes to help people find you, etc. And duct tape is just flipping awesome and you should ALWAYS have some with you. ;)

4. Trash bags: these are all kinds of useful. Use them as back up ponchos, use them to keep your stuff dry, use them as extra liner to sleep on. You can even use them to collect rain water or make a solar still.

*What's a solar still? It's a great way to collect water in emergencies. Click HERE to learn more!

Drinking Water
*Just because most people can live from 3-5 days without water doesn't mean we should!

1. Actual ready to drink water bottles. Can you believe it!?! Now, remember that a gallon of water weighs about 8 pounds. While water is very important in a survival situation, so is being able to actually stand up and walk.

2. Flavored drink packets just in case I have to use the water purification tablets and the water tastes funky.

3. Water bottle with built in water filter. This water bottle filters out 99.9 % of Giardia Lamblia and Cryptosporidium cysts. VERY IMPORTANT!!! Never drink out of rivers, lakes or streams. Unless you want to be vomiting out of one end and more unpleasant things coming out of the other end.

*want one? Here's a link to them!

4. Water purification tablets: another good thing to always have with you, just in case.


Food seemed to be the most stressful part of packing my Bug Out Bag. Especially because I have 3 little kids. I wanted foods that were portable, had a long shelf life, and actually EDIBLE. I found that there were actually a lot of options for food. Here are a few!

Mountain House Freeze Dried Food

One bag of these runs around $6 and has 2 servings. They last a looong time. If water isn't an issue, these are great. They are super light weight and don't take up a whole lot of space. But if you aren't planning on having much water with you, I'd look at the other options. You have to add 2 cups of boiling water to these pouches. I think these sound pretty yummy!

Another very popular option is MRE's, or Meals Ready to Eat. These have a shelf life of about 5-7 years. (or longer, depending on the temperature they are stored at). I have a Brother-In-Law who was a Marine, and he said that these are actually pretty good. These run about $2.50 each, and each meal is 1 serving. You don't have to add water, just heat up the pouch, open it up and chow down. There are lots of different meals to chose from, as well as snacks, side dishes, and desserts! I got mine from
(I seriously love that place.)

Another option is just finding things at your local grocery store! This is an example of breakfast: Instant oatmeal, cereal bars, and hot chocolate. I got all of these things from Walmart! Keep an eye on the expiration dates, though.

These are more grocery store foods. (One of my lunches, to be exact!)
Tuna salad with crackers, granola bar, applesauce, fruit snack, and a crystal light energy water pack.

These Compleats are good, too! The shelf life is about a year, and they have lots of really yummy flavors! I'm planning on just dumping mine into my cookware and heating it up. I can only imagine how wonderful this would taste after a long day of surviving in the woods. :)

This is one of Kate's lunches. Mac & Cheese, applesauce and fruit snacks. Things I know she'll actually eat! And again, no water needed, and the Chef Boyardee things have a pretty good shelf life.

Medical Supplies

1. General First Aid Kit:
* Band-aids of various sizes
* antibiotic ointment
* thermometer
* triangular bandage
* eye rinse
*antiseptic wipes
*Calamine lotion (anti itch cream)
* medical tape
* Sterile gauze bandages various sizes
*Sterile gauze wrap
* acetaminophen and ibuprofen
*antacid tabs
* non-latex gloves (2 pairs)
* burn cream

2. Snake bite kit (sure hope we don't have to use it...)

3. Blister Care Band-aids

4. Masks

5. Various commonly used OTC medicines at our house: children's Tylenol, Mucinex packets, my Zoloft (yes...I need my happy pills!) and Whitney's inhaler. Ohhh...it would be such a bad thing if we didn't have it with us!

6. ACE elastic bandage

7. First Aid Guide: In case I freak out and can't remember how to put on a Band-aid.

A few other things to put in your bag (I didn't take pictures of these...sorry!)

*an extra change of clothing
*important documents
*a portable handheld radio (the kind you can wind up by hand)
*folding camp shovel
* fun things for the kids: coloring books, card games, etc.
*scriptures and journal

Annnnnd, that just about covers it! Can you believe that all of those things are crammed into that backpack? ROCK ON. If I forget anything or add things I'll update as I go. Also, my kids each have their own Bug Out Bags, and they just carry the very basics. Otherwise, they would fall over and cry and we would never get anywhere. The end.

If you have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment and let me know! Hopefully you found this helpful. You don't have to get everything all at once, just little by little! I made a goal to get at least ONE thing for my pack every time I went to the store. Baby steps, my friends, baby steps. Baby steps to Walmart....baby steps to the back pack isle....baby steps to the camping section....hahah. :)

Oh! And be sure to check out my NEW blog Prepping With NatSprat! It's all about emergency preparedness, but I keep it fun. :)

Linked up to:

17 people leaving some love!:

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I love reading your blog for the home decor inspiration and have been praying for little Stephen for weeks. However, I must admit that the past two "prepping posts" are turning me off a bit. I think they seem a little alarmist for those readers who may not be members of the same religious group as you, especially the first one talking about the collapse and being scared for the future. I truly love reading your blog but please consider your audience when writing these posts. Thank you!

Donna Leavitt said...

One thing we never thought of is the walkie talkies. Great idea. We need to check over out 72 hour kits again. It's been a while...

Kristen said...

I just saw your post that said you might not do one of these again for a while because of negative feedback.

How could someone have negative feedback about being prepared for emergencies? That's ridiculous. We were in Houston during hurricane Ike. (Although I don't know you personally.) We had some food, but we were scrounging up random stuff to eat. We were not prepared. We were out of power for 8 days. It was rough. Fortunately, friends who were more prepared were able to help us charge electronics, wash clothes, etc. If everyone we knew had been without power, we might have been worse off.

Since then, I have tried much harder to have food storage, but I really appreciated this post as I still need lots of help with my 72 hour kit stuff. Thanks, Natalie, for this post.

It's your blog. I know you want to make everyone happy, but that's never going to happen. Write what you want to write and let people be offended if that's what they want to do.

*hugs your way*

sdjhae said...

I like your blog and if people don't like it they don't have to read. Keep your chin up and I think they are great tips.

sdjhae said...

I like your blog and if people don't like it they don't need to read it. I think you have some good tips. Keep your chin up.

Elizabeth said...

This is a great post! Thank you for all the ideas. I've been trying to put together 72 hour kits for my family, but I'm feeling overwhelmed by it. This makes it seem like I can actually do it! Thanks again! :)

Nicole@Thrifty Decorating said...

And of course....they didn't sign their name...must be the same person complaining about Jen's grammar at Craft-o-maniac! :)

Christine said...

Great list!!!!!

Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality!!

Rach H @ FamilyEverAfter said...

Um.... that first comment is a little odd. I think you should post whatever is on your heart! This is YOUR blog! People can take it or leave it, but I really do not think you should have to cater to those who you think *might* be reading it. If someone doesn't like this post, they should just skip it. I am sure a lot of people- like me- enjoy reading this type of post! Rock on girl!!!

Anonymous said...

I have to applaud you for your hard work and effort in putting these lists together. It's great to be prepared...and I LOVE these lists. My family has been in several situations where we were in horrible storm situations and having a 72 hour back up was a life saver. I've learned not to ever be caught off guard again! We keep a back stock of non perishable food, water, batteries and propane gas among other things to get us through. I used to think my husband was crazy talking about the "zombie apocalypse" but that was his funny way of saying that when things go bad....so do some people.
On April 27, 2011 the state of Alabama was hit with MANY killer tornadoes and a lot of lives were lost....along with no power for weeks, food shortages, gas shortages, etc. That made for a lot of looting and people getting shot for protecting what property they had left. SO....seriously, the "zombie apocalypse" theory is not at all unheard of. The best thing is to BE PREPARED to take care of you and your own family...THANK YOU!

The Mursets said...

Loved this! I have lots of stuff for a 72 hour kit....I just need to get it put into backpacks...I can't believe it all fit! Way to go!

In Parents magazine the lady put index cards or sticky notes on the containers she used to package her kit. On those she wrote things that would need to be rotated out or had expiration dates. Then she knew when the food in the kit would have to be swapped and what sizes the extra clothes and shoes were....love that idea!

Ashley said...

I love this post! I live in Missouri near where all the hurricanes hit last year and so many people had everything taken form them. I also have a young child and have plans to start a kit for us just incase anything were to happen we would have enough to get us through at least for a few days. Love you blog and I would love for you to come by and visit my new little blog.

Kathy said...

The fact is that natural distasters happen and there's nothing "alarmist" about that, and nother religious, either. You can get a list of basic supplies for a 72 hour kit fromthe Red Cross, so Mormons definitely down own the market on them. I think your post is fantastic and there are so many things on there that I would never have though of needing, but would be glad to have. Great job, and I hope you'll keep the prepping posts coming. Love ya!

Emily said...

Natalie - PLEASE don't beat yourself up about the anonymous comment on this post. I thought it was a GREAT post and you wrote it well--not shoving it down anyone's throat, not fearing an apocalypse--just great information for a potential real-life need!

If anonymous doesn't at least have the courage to put his/her name to the comment, you shouldn't worry at all about it. If it were by an actual person, you could apologize to them if you felt to, but don't beat yourself up!

I get negative comments almost weekly, also usually from anonymous commenters. You have an awesome blog, and there is NO need to apologize for blogging about this project. It's PERFECT!

Debbie said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and I can not believe someone would actually ask you to consider what you post!! Having said that, I have lived through many hurricanes (was living in Florida the year 5 hurricanes hit our state) and I now live in KY where just about 2 months ago tornadoes touched down not a half hour from where I live and the very next weekend severe flooding occurred an hour in another direction. So very many were unprepared!! I think there is nothing "a little alarming" about the natural disasters we have seen the past years!!! What's wrong with being prepared??
Keep posting what the Spirit prompts you to post Natalie!!!

ShandiceB said...

Thanks for this post! I have been really wanting to be more prepared but I find it so overwhelming to make on my own but expensive to buy prepared kits! This is a great breakdown! I am going to start using this to build up my preparedness. I saw you made a new blog for preparedness! Heading over to check it out!

ShandiceB said...

P.S I think the link to your blog is broken. I found it through Google though!