72 Hour Kit Ideas Week #25: The List

Welcome! Week #25 in a step by step 72 hour kit series.  Makes building a robust, personalized 72 hour kit affordable and do-able!

Welcome to week #25 in the “72 Hour Kit Ideas: A week by week approach” series.

This series is all about making it simple and do-able to get a 72 hour kit put together for you and your family.

Creating such a kit can be overwhelming and financially difficult to do all at once. But through this series, I’ve broken it down for you into 26 small steps! You can see all the steps here. Just take one small baby step each week and in 6 months you will have a well stocked, personalized kit!

You can even go through the series a few times over a year or two adding just the most basic supplies the first six months and then a few more “extra” supplies each time you cycle through it again.

Want even more help?Build a robust, personalized 72 hour kit one week at a time over 26 weeks

This series is also available as an e-book. Purchasing the e-book gives you a few additional benefits over just reading the free series:

  • Additional details and tips
  • The ability to print the entire book!
  • Pictures of my own kit showing just how I pack each week.
Download “Your Own 72 Hour Kit Plan” E-Book Now!

* Some links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Some links (those to Thrive Life) actually provide you with a discounted price. Thanks for your support in this way!

Last Week:

I hope all of you were able to organize and pack your kit last week.

Week #25: The List

So you now have three days’ worth of STUFF in a relatively small pack / bag. You likely will only open this pack occasionally to rotate through stuff. This will make it difficult to remember everything that is in it and just where you put it.

In the event that you actually need to use your survival kit in an emergency situation, it is likely that time will be of the essence. You may need to locate a certain first aid supply quickly or get a clean diaper or wipe for your child. Your family will be hungry and you don’t want to dig through / remove everything in your kit looking for the oatmeal packets you think you included!

So this week’s challenge is simple: make a list of everything in your kit!

Create an overall “master” list and note where each category is in your pack (front pocket? At the bottom? Near the top?). Then, put that list either at the very top of your pack or with your important documents folder.

How About You?

What thoughts do you have about creating a list for all the items in your kit?

Skip to:

Week #24: Organize and pack Week #26: The List Week #1: Packaging Your Kit Series Into: Survival Kit Series, A Week




    It’s Your Turn:

    What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and encourage you to share your experience and insights in the comments box below.


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  1. house clearance says:

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  2. Tiffany W says:

    Made a list of everything we have and there is a ton of things on our wish list. Will keep following for another 6 months and upgrade where we can. Our first round was mostly just basics. Thanks for all the work you do on this blog!!!

  3. Melanie Rasmussen says:

    So I haven’t read through all the post for your blog, but plan on it. However I read the documents one; and was thinking for the bags I am going to put together for my children, I am going to put some of those information pages in their bags. If my husband and I become unconscious or separated from them, I would want them to be able to help themselves and to have all the information they would need to find me or our extended family members at least. If you already had that idea in a post sorry, if not hope it is helpful. Great Blog with a great subject. Hope I really never have to apply the info, but if I do I feel a bit more prepared for it. Thanks!

  4. jennifer says:

    I’m loving this Blog. Husband and I are finally on the same page with planning. Only took 10 years, but better late than never. I unfortunatley found this on week 25 so I was feeling way way behind, but was still glad that I could have an actual plan. I was starting to feel overwhelmed trying to figure out how to get it all done as I’m one of those that wants it done NOW. So 26 weeks I can hopefully deal with. Was very excited when I read you keep posting this series over and over. So I’m in for the next 26 weeks.
    I do find myself coming back to your blog site every day several times a day. I’m afraid I’ll miss some wonderful idea.

  5. Stacy says:

    Thank you for this series. I have a lot left to do, but we have the basic supplies. I plan to work on my documents and list this summer when my son is gone to camp.

  6. Cath says:

    I just found your website and since I haven’t done anything with my 72 hour kit since before I got married…in 2009…no, I haven’t rotated anything lately!

  7. Rebecca says:

    ( i think my last comment got deleted) Thanks for all you do Misty!

  8. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for all your hard work in helping others. It is VERY overwhelming to start putting our kits together and the way e broken it down makes the task so much easier to manage. Thank yoy!

  9. Brigette says:

    Great post, Misty. You know how I love list and more list! Deb C. offered a great tip.

  10. Thomas P. says:

    If I might make a suggestion (or three):

    A notebook page is cheap — it’s, what, 33 cents for 100 loose-leaf pages — but time saved later is priceless, and so is peace of mind. In addition to a master list on top (and I’d suggest either a sheet protector or laminating it, just as a precaution), I’m doing smaller, individual lists in each compartment. Also, double-checking (and writing it down) will allow me to catch any previous errors.

    Can’t wait to catch the series from the beginning again!

  11. Anne Turnage says:

    Thanks to your weekly series, I’ve completed kits for my family of 3 – and in half the time! I am blessed to have the resources and budget to have been able to tackle 2 weeks of the series at a time, getting our kits together in 13 weeks or less. Now I’m going to move on to longer term emergency planning, and have my husband building me shelves in my garage this weekend!
    Thanks for the guides Misty!

  12. Vicki says:

    I need to make a master list with expiration dates and what I still need to purchase. I did get a big item today that I am so excited about. It is a jetboil “Sumo” http://www.amazon.com/Jetboil-Personal-Cooking-System-Orange/dp/B005EM37S6/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1366244916&sr=8-9&keywords=jetboil . Yeah!!!

  13. Heather says:

    I am lagging behind but summer is coming soon so hopefully I can catch up!

  14. Becky says:

    I use sample products in my 72 hour kit and when I get BOGO one goes in my pantry and one goes to my stock pile, hardest part is putting the dollar bills aside I put the $10.00 in quarter fine it’s just the bills gets borroorowed all the time.

  15. JOELLYN A says:

    My kit is a work in progress…it’s gets a little better a little at a time. I have a list of wants and yeah rights but maybe someday :) Are you going to do your series again? It helps!!

  16. Angie @ Crazy Country Momma says:

    My kit is nearly finished. There are just a few things I still need to add. Thank you so much for this series! It has been such a wonderful help!!!

  17. Greg says:

    I’m still working on a master list of all the stuff with columns for the house, both cars, and both Go-bags. I may add one for work. The challenge is deciding which items to duplicate and have in multiple places and where to put things you only have one. With one master list I can prioritize future purchases and make sure at least the essentials are covered in each location.

  18. Rachel says:

    I’m glad you included this post in the weekly line-up, I was thinking about making a list of contents just because my kits are slightly different than any of the suggested kits I’ve seen, but it will also help to know what food items we need to replace every 6 mths or year. I like the idea of knowing exactly what is in there and where (what pocket) it’s located in! After 6 months it’s sure to be a guessing game! Thanks again!

    BTW I loved Andrea’s comment about keeping 2 copies of lists and including

  19. Gertrude E. says:

    (I’m jumping back into the swing here) I do not have lists in the bags per se, but I have lists that I laminated in my grab & go binder. I also have the bags color coded for each child too.

    Also, with a recent cast requirement, do you have a place to add some plastic wrap and grocery product bags to the first aid kit? I’ve found them to be great for covering a cast for bathing (wrapping in plastic wrap, adding some tape then bag and tape again.)

  20. Vanessa says:

    I LOVE lists! Excel is my favorite program on the computer :)
    I just got started with my emergency kits, so I’m a little behind. Can’t wait to start at week 1 again!
    I had the same idea as Deb C when I started this process. I’ve got an excel sheet that I printed out that I listed the things I need, quantity, and a box to check it off. :)

  21. Karrie Cook says:

    I have a master list, but need to break it down for each pack now that I’ve completed one whole series. Looking forward to starting all over again next week!

  22. Daniel Fisher says:

    As unpleasant as it may sound to address, especially in this environment we are in now, I think one thing that should be included in every adult’s kit, and only adult, is a firearm. While usually expensive, you can find decent revolvers cheaper than, say, a glock, or even a hi-point for a couple hundred would work, though I personally would be skeptical of them. Reason being, if you find yourself out for more than 72 hours, you may need more food. A firearm could get you that (a bolt action rifle for hunting can go over 1000 dollars, but can be as cheap as 125-150 sometimes). And people aren’t always nice. If you find yourself in a survival scenario, there are probably others in that same scenario, and they may not be as prepared for it as you. Of those people, it is almost certain that a small percent of them is willing to take what you have by force or intimidation. A gun would at least provide a chance at preventing that. Of course with the gun goes responsibility, to take safety courses if available, to lock it when it is not on your person, etc. If my family were surviving in the wild with me for 72 hours, I would not want all our supplies to go to a few thugs who outnumber us or who may be a lot stronger than me. I have enough rifles that my wife and I can both have one, and will soon have 2 pistols, same reason. Of course, a desirable scenario is that you never have to use it. My pistols never leave their holster/lockbox, and we do not have to survive long enough to run out of food and need to hunt to live. The possibility, however, is always there.

  23. Lori Anderson says:

    This series is brilliant. Thank you for all the time it took to put it together. I’ve shared your site with the important people in my life!

  24. Stephie Simpson says:

    Just out of curiosity have you thought about a map of your local area? For instance you could be camping or hiking and get lost. Having a map with your compass would surely help. I’m meaning one of the paper ones in a plastic envelope. We always got told to have them when we went orienteering. Which was part of P.E in England. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series. Yesterday our town flooded and our area is in between the sales and the moors so can be quite dangerous if your out on them.

    • Misty says:

      Yes Stephie. I think it is in the week about “random tools” I know it is somewhere, I’ll have to go double check!

  25. Laura says:

    I have a list (in a plastic sleeve) in my front zippered pocket that lists what should be in each pocket. I also have a laminated card and dry erase marker of items that “would be nice to get” if time allowed. These are things that I personally cannot keep next to our bags, and are not necessary for survival. For example, photo albums… if we needed to permanently leave our home for whatever reason, and we could leave by car this is something I personally would like to have. I have other things on it like our propane stove, and portable toilet (I have heat cells and fire cookware in my emergency pack). Again I just use it for things that would be nice, but are not necessary. In an emergency, the dry erase marker would help me to keep track of what I put in the car, in a stressful situation I may be forgetful.

  26. GDS says:

    This site has come in handy since Hurricane Sandy has wrecked havoc on our East Coast. I will be trying to create a binder over the next few months for my family in case of a bad winter or another storm like Sandy ever hits us again. Misty, I didnt see the purse list from Deb C. When are you going to post that? If it is already posted can you send the link to where I may find it. Thanks!

    • Misty says:

      I’m glad it has been helpful! My heart goes out to those on the East Coast right now.

      As for the list from Deb C, it talk about it in the post above. She just keeps a prioritized list of things she still needs in her purse instead of just leaving the list at home. That way, if she is out and sees things on sale, she has her list with her.

  27. Willow says:

    Love how everything is broken down! It is very overwhelming knowing that you need everything, and this is a great way to get it all! Especially being a young student on a tight budget.
    Thank you!

  28. brandon says:

    I keep an ongoing list in my phone under the notes section of things I think of that I want to put in my bag, or even the things I want to upgrade. This allows me to easily see what i need when I happen across sales or some extra money.

  29. meredith says:

    We actually typed up a list and laminated it then tied it to the top of the packs. We also keep our packs in the front closet with another list posted on the inside of that door with the contents and expiration dates listed on it.

  30. inSANEmom says:

    Just found you via Pinterest. Love all the information and advice… especially the emergency binder printables and suggestions. Thank you! I’m a fan and will be back regularly!

  31. Barbara says:

    I just discovered your site and am excited to have found it right before you start week 1 again! Though I have food storage, my 72-hour kit is sadly lacking. It will be our family FHE project for the coming months.

  32. gee bred says:

    slowly but surely putting together a survival kit. Added a couple of items this weekend, and planning on updating my list tomorrow.

  33. Lyn B. says:

    I did not start at week #1. I am making a list of things that I missed and also everything that I already have. Hoping the next go around I will have everything! Have started making my Christmas wish list also from the blog of things we need for our kits. Again, thank you for this blog, it really makes this simple!

  34. Leigh says:

    I need to reorganize as well as rotate and make a list. I think perhaps I need to find a different bag.

  35. Labbie1 says:

    I just finished rotating the items from my kit. I found that a few of the small cans were crushed when in a bad spot in my car. I will definitely be changing where they are stashed! So glad that you reminded me to rotate! That could have been really nasty!

  36. Sarah says:

    So happy to have stumbled upon your blog and just in time. I was searching for a way to organize my emergency supplies. At the moment I have piles of stuff here and there in my basement. I can’t wait to make some sense of it. I signed up to receive email and was quite pleasantly surprised to find Week #1 just around the corner! Thank you.

  37. Lyndsay says:

    My kit is coming along great thanks to some helpful tips from your blog. I need to look through my first aid kit and re-stock things that are missing. I also need another first aid kit for my car… I’ll have to make a note for my next Target run!

  38. Janna says:

    This is my first time here. What a great site! I’m so glad that you are about to start over so I can catch up! I have been wanting to have a 3-day pack for our family for a long time. My husband is kind of a skeptic, but I want to be prepared for any emergency. I look forward to following your blog!

  39. deb c. says:

    Oooh, great idea on the list to put in the kit! I’m definitely doing that! I’m always digging through luggage when I travel, that will be so much help!

    Like Valerie, I always check the clearance when I shop. Working in retail, I know things get changed out quite often & items get marked down due to only so much shelf space, or products being discontinued. Our local chain grocery regularly marks things down & the expiration dates on these products are usually way in the future. They’re not allowed to sell outdated food. I recently bought a bunch of those organic baby food pouches that have the straw mouthpiece for less than half the retail price and they don’t expire until 2014. I don’t have babies or grandkids, and it’s not on my list, but in case TSHTF, I’m sure someone can use it.

    I love reading all the other posts…it seems I learn tips from all of your readers as well as you & your blog posts. Thanks again!

  40. Erin S says:

    Ooh, I am such a list person so I wonder why I never thought of this one? This is a great idea that I’ll try to get implemented this week.

  41. Vicki S says:

    I went through everyones pack packs and changed out their old snack for new ones and made sure all the clothes in them still fit or replaced with a larger size. Thank you so much for this series. I am looking forward to going through it again :)

  42. Ashley Lowder says:

    I actually just discovered your awesome blog! I can’t wait to get started. I’ve read this post and love the idea. I make lists all the time. I am going to keep reading as you send your emails out but I’m going to try to start form the beginning. This is an awesome thing for you to be doing! Props! :)

  43. Valerie says:

    Too funny! I actually did this last week since! The other day I made a similar shopping list as well. But not just for the 72 hour kit, I included things for my all around preps. So, when I am out shopping I can browse the clearance aisles and know exactly what I need.

  44. josh says:

    so i just discovered your week by week survival kit series and i have to say very good information. i love the survival notebook and will be making one for my family. This has been a passion of mine for many years now (it all started with a jungle survival class when i was in the Marine Corps) and once i had my home kit made i then created a vehicle kit and a E.D.C. (Every Day Cary). I was just wondering if your family has any of these other kits in place because we have a saying in the military 2 is 1 and 1 is none, if so will you be going over these things. I giving advice on this subject and also learning new things so just wanted ti say keep up the great work and love you stuff

    • Misty says:

      I do have a smaller vehicle kit Josh and I do plan to post on it next month. My EDC is a bit too basic for my liking though. So, yes, I will likely touch on it at some point…most likely as a motivation to update mine! (-:

  45. Tylinna Maracle says:

    My husband and I are beginer preppers. I just discovered your website and IM IN HEAVEN!!!!! How can I enter drawing and such?

    • Misty says:

      Just leave a comment each week on the current post before Wed at 9:00 am PST and you will automatically be entered. (-:

  46. Jenny says:

    I just discovered your blog from pinterest (a friend pinned your “documents” week) and I am so grateful! We had a close call with a tornado a month or 2 ago and I realized how ill prepared we were for any disaster. I printed a Red Cross disaster kit checklist and it was very overwhelming. I’m happy to use your blog as a guide in putting my kit together without feeling overwhelmed. Thank you!

    • Misty says:

      I’m SO glad that you’ve found it helpful Jenny! And even happier that your encounter with a tornado was only a “close call” and not something worse!

  47. Heather A says:

    HI! I LOVE your blog! I’m a fairly new prepper – learning so much and trying to get my husband as excited about prepping as I am lol :) (congrats Andrea!!)

  48. Melanie says:

    These lists are so important! We are working hard to get our lists up to date. It is so easy to get behind on them. Thanks to eveyone for the extra tips : )

  49. Sarah says:

    Kelly, thanks so much for such informational posts. I just discovered your blog today and am already hooked! I am only a college student, but I’m a “planner” by nature and look forward to utilizing as many of these tips as possible in the future.

  50. Kristy says:

    Thanks for the great series! It has been very helpful. Hope you have fun at convention.

  51. Sharon Woike says:

    I was wondering if you have a hard copy of your checklist that we could print off. I made one myself but not sure if Im missing anything. I thought if you happen to have one I could just print off a bunch and also see what I might be missing… Thanks again.

    • Misty says:

      To be honest Sharon, it is just a simple hand written list. I’ve decide to upgrade though based on the great comments left here. I’m going to Shelf Reliance’s convention this week, so it will be a while, but I will create a excel list of my kit w/ expiration dates etc. I will then upload it here so everyone can use it. Great idea, it will just take me a few weeks to implement it! (-:

  52. Katie P says:

    Thanks! I’m working on my lists during my kids’ spring break. I have loved this series, it’s been so helpful and inspiring!

  53. Kate says:

    Thanks for the great post! I really need to start compiling a list like this…I know that I have certain things, I just need to remember where!

  54. Marcia says:

    Easter vacation means no babysitting my grandchildren for 2 weeks. AND that means I have no excuse not to make lists of all my my “stuff”. Making lists have been on my “to do list”, but I have managed to procrastinate doing it. My excuse was that I needed to set up a spreadsheet, which I have yet to do. No more excuses. I got the closet in the Jungle Room inventoried, now onto the pantry and cupboards in the kitchen. Thanks for prompting me to get it done, Misty.

  55. Tiffany Ray says:

    I love lists, so getting this part done is easy for me. My plan is to have a master list with EVERY item on it. Then break down that list for each pack, so when rotation time comes up I can do it pack by pack. Thanks for this series. I’m looking forward to going through it all over and making sure I have every detail ready.

  56. Amber says:

    I made my list and then added the expiration date for each item so I keep track of everything.

  57. Sharon Woike says:

    So, I just got my shipment in today and put it all away in ORDER!! :) I was so excited!!! Then I Updated my inventory checklist and Im very pround to say it looks amazing. I feel so organized and prepared.
    Thank You so much Misty for All you help over these last 26 weeks. I couldn’t have done it without YOU :)

  58. Shauna H says:

    Yeah! I have actually already done this – and yes, it is even on my computer! And yes, someday I will place an order!

  59. Andrea says:

    Thanks for picking me! I’m so excited, especially after inventorying my kit last week and realizing just how old and worn my current sleeping bags are. If I were to need them during winter, I might just die of exposure since they are so inadequate for the area I live in.

    During my rotation and inventory, I used openoffice word to make a list of what items I had, how many of each item I had, when/if they expired, and where they were located. I made two copies: one that was kept with my actual kit, and one that was kept in the emergency document binder for quick reference. I also did this for my car kit while I was going through that as well. While the actual recording process was just shy of overwhelming in my pregnant and hormonal state, I’m hoping that it will help next rotation run smoother.

    Since I jumped in late in the week-by-week game, I can’t wait start again from the beginning with you! Thanks for all the great information!

    • Misty says:

      Wow, Andrea! I’m impressed with your organization! I’m sure your list will make life much easier in the future!

  60. Kelly says:

    Thanks for this week’s reminder. It is truly hard to remember what is in the backpack! I love your list and your ideas too. Thankyou for your research and inspiration!