Trail MixesTrail mixes can be made of ingredients such as granola, raisins, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or chocolate chips. They are very tasty and full of energy and nutrition. You can make your own trail mix to accommodate your family’s taste, but be aware that it could become rancid if you try to store it for a long period of time. Storing trail mix in your refrigerator or freezer is a good way to preserve its shelf life. Dried Foods Dried foods, such as fruit and meat (jerky) are excellent additions to your 72 hour kit. They are tasty, nutritious and satisfying, and they can make up a part of a meal. Freeze-Dried Foods Freeze dried foods are probably the best tasting, most “normal” things you can pack in your 72 hour kit to supply you and your family with a “real” meal. They are lightweight and easy to prepare, but require extra water and some cooking. Plan ahead by storing the water that you need and a way to heat it.
Instant Soups, Meals, & MilkInstant soups and meals, (such as cup of noodles, cup of soup, and instant mashed potatoes) are a great way to supplement meals for three days. They are lightweight and easy to pack in your 72 hour kit. Instant milk is a good way to make sure you get the calcium you need. These items also require additional water to use. MRE’s (Meals ready to eat) MRE’s, designed for the military, are the easiest meals you can put in your 72 hour kit. They have an incredibly long shelf life (up to 10 years when stored at temperatures below 70 deg. F) which makes them an easy solution for a 72 hour kit. MRE’s also do not require cooking, water, or any preparation. For more information on MRE’s see the Insight article entitled MRE- Meals Ready to Eat. Snack Foods Snack foods are an essential part of a 72 hour kit. If you eat snacks during normal times, you will want snacks during emergencies too. Plus snacks are a good way to help relieve the stress of emergency situations. You can store snack-packs of cheese and crackers, packages of crackers or nuts, or peanut butter snacks. MRE snacks are a good way to store snacks because they can be stored for 5 or more years and they taste good. For Babies or Toddlers If you have a nursing baby, you should pack formula in case you aren’t able to nurse because of shock or stress. Include both powdered formula and liquid formula in case water is not available to mix the powdered formula. Include baby food for an older baby or toddler. Instant cereal, fruits, and vegetables are a good choice. Remember to store extra water to reconstitute these items, and to update your 72 hour kit as your baby grows. Equipment and Utensils Sometimes when you are planning your food menu, you forget that you need certain utensils to cook and eat with. Essential cooking items include: • small cooking pots • spoons, forks, knives, (plastic or metal) • Sierra cups (metal camping/backpacking cups that you can heat food in or drink from) • mess kits or camp plates • napkins or paper towels • small, trial size of dish soap • hot pad or wash cloth • can opener • waterproof matches or matches in waterproof container • canned solid fuel and folding stove • zip lock bags As you plan your 72 hour kit, you must also remember the little extras that make life more comfortable, such as: toilet paper, diapers, wipes, first aid kit, toothpaste, soap, razors, reading material, stress relieving games, and so forth. If you put a little planning into your 72 hour kit, you and your family won’t need to panic when an emergency occurs.