The List

A colleague at work was asking for my list of items I recommend for a well equipped 72 Hour Bag. I pointed her to my blog and began going back through my posts and realized it’s actually been a while since I’ve published the list. So here it is. Remember, these are only recommended items, you have to think about what’s best for you and what environment you live in. There are some items in my wife’s 72 Hour Bag which aren’t in mine and vice versa. She rarely ventures out in her car further than 10 miles from our home so she doesn’t need some of the things I carry. None the less here is the list:




  1. Backpack (I like the LA Police gear bag for $49)Operator Backpack
  2. Hydration Insert (Platypus Big Zip Recommended)
  3. Dust Masks in 1 gal ziplock baggie
  4. MSR Micro Rocket StoveONECOL
  5. Fuel for stove
  6. Fire starter: Magnesium & Steel, Matches, steel wool (Know at least 3 ways of making fire).
  7. Potable Aqua iodine pills or a filtration system. I prefer the Sawyer Mini Filter, it’s $25 and tiny:5846d3ab-3fb1-4f4e-9a48-63456d0840e4
  8. 9 Volt light + spare batteries (ebay 9 volt light, mine cost $1)
  9. Compass + Map of area you live in.
  10. Small notepad w/pencil, pen & Sharpie
  11. 100’ 550 Cord (Para or Mason line)
  12. Toiletries & Medications (personally as needed)
  13. Hand Sanitizer
  14. Moist Towelettes
  15. Small First Aid Kit (Adventure Med Kit .7 Recommended)
  16. Condoms (non lubricated)
  17. SOL Bivy Sack
  18. Some type of edged tool
  19. Wind/Rain Jacket preferably lined for warmth
  20. Wind/Rain pants, (Frog Togs or heavier if you routinely wear shorts to work)
  21. Wide Mouth H2O Bottle (the narrow mouth ones are hard to fill in shallow water, if you don’t use it for water think of it as a waterproof vault.)
  22. Bandanna (30 uses, one major use is primary water filter)
  23. Food, enough for 72 hours at 2000 cal per day
  24. Datrex 2400 Calorie pack (this is a good on the go snack for 3 days, taste like shortbread)
  25. Datrex Emergency Water Packets (As many as you can fit, I pack 6 but always have a case of bottled H2O in my trunk that I rotate)
  26. Gloves
  27. Spoon
  28. Multiplier
  29. Spare pair of thin wool socks (they’re good in any weather, hot or cold)
  30. Spare Batteries for flashlight (I carry a flashlight on set daily so these are for that. If you can get a light that uses lithium batteries, they have a shelf life of 10 years)
  31. Cup (large enough to boil water for the size of meals you get, 2.5 cups)
  32. Poncho that can be used as a tarp tent
  33. 2” Spare Velcro male & female 6”-1’ (It’s unbelievable what you can do with it)
  34. Starbuck Singles or Tea Bags (really who wants to start the day without coffee?)
  35. Duct Tape (Wrap 5-10’ around the Sharpie)
  36. Whistle
  37. Signal Mirror
  38. Zip Ties
  39. 2 Large Trash Bags
  40. Cyalume Light Sticks


  1. Dan

    Your kit is much better than the one the Feds are wanting. As a “survival kit” I wonder exactly WHAT they expect to have to survive, it seems to have been made up by someone not experienced in survival conditions.

  2. Jim Goin

    I would like to comment on the Sawyer mini. It has served me well on many backcountry backpacking trips. I use a Coleman camp shower and a few worm screw clamps to make a 5 gallon water filter. When using the sawyer it is imperative to keep it “cleared” for optimal flow. I have never filtered visibly soiled or brackish water but in the dolly sods wilderness area there is a high iron content in the rivers and creeks (so much it spawned the name of Red creek) To “clear” the mini you can simply reverse flow with filtered water but there is little to no pressure there so if you have a cap from a smart water bottle it fits perfectly on the outflow (nub?) It is great for providing serious pressure and extending the use of these filters by backflusing the contaminants out of the tiny tubes. Another note for people in freezing climates, it’s pretty but brutal, shake out the filter and throw it in the foot of your sleeping bag to protect it. If it freezes its useless for filtering even though water will flow the tubes have been busted, think busted water pipes in a house from freezing and expanded water. I just happened upon your tumblr and it lead me to this list and wanted to give you a little of my experience with this pretty indispensable piece of equipment. Kind regards.

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