This is actually an interesting question about store bought 72 hour kits-one I’ve pondered myself. They are EVERYWHERE-Costco, Wal-Mart, and pretty much any big food storage company sells one. It seems like such an easy way out of making your own-who wouldn’t want to just buy one and have it all done? Well considering all the questions I got, I bought one (from a company that shall remain nameless), consulted my expert on emergency preparedness friend (Debbie Kent from www.peaceofpreparedness.com) and now have an educated opinion….so buckle up…you know me, I’ll give it to you straight and this may be a bumpy ride!
This is what I’ve learned about store bought 72 hour kits…
- They are EXTREMELY pricey-you could definitely make your own for less money.
- I got a “deluxe” model to try out, thinking well if it has that much stuff and costs so much it must be great….and you know…have all the items fit in the backpack and not weigh a million pounds (I exaggerate, of course) because of course they put this together for people like you and me so we wouldn’t have the headache of putting together our own. NOT TRUE! The items DID NOT all fit nor was the backpack anywhere as light as it should be for a regular person to carry it.
- I also loved that it came with a red backpack-what else screams emergency better than a RED backpack? Unfortunately, the backpack was so cheap the zippers barely work. So, I’m also hoping that if I have to hike in this thing it will actually stay together weighing as much as it does.
- I also noticed that a majority of the items in the kit could easily be found at your dollar store for a fraction of what I paid through the “deluxe” home 72 hour kit from a store. (Debbie Kent agrees with me on this fact-which is one of the major reasons she says to make your own!) In fact, I’d say you could find BETTER items at your dollar store, I know I just found liquid skin at my dollar store and stocked up for all of our 72 hour kits and first-aid kits.
- It comes with stuff you don’t need. Somebody explain to me why I need a wing stove and a mess kit if I’m going to be eating 3,000 calorie bars (also included in the kit). When I asked Debbie Kent about it-she said that is the number one mistake in those store bought kits-the wing stoves. Because you don’t need it if you’ve got the 3,000 calorie bars, you’re just taking up needed space and weight with it.
- Buying one of these pre-made kits doesn’t mean you’re in the free and clear! You still need to add personal to you items (clothes, feminine hygiene products, baby items, etc.) plus you have to put it all in the backpack anyway.
BLAST! I wish there was an easy way out of the 72 hour kits…but at least you didn’t just spend hundreds of dollars to test it out like I just did! If you want to know what SHOULD be in your 72 hour kit so that you can make ones for your family download Debbie’s 72 Hour Check List. Also, make sure and look through Debbie’s other great information HERE.