You Can Put Together a 72 Hour Survival Kit Like a Prepping Pro!

Every new prepper has to start somewhere and putting together a 72 hour survival kit is a great first step.

When I talk to friends and family that are non-preppers about prepping, I don’t suggest that they stockpile a five year supply of survival food and another $20,000 on firearms and other stuff, that would scare them and just about every non-prepper away for good.

No the first thing that I suggest is that they put together a 72 hour kit, it’s simple, cheap and best of all it’s not scary and once they start prepping… well as we know you can’t stop.

This infographic makes it as easy and simple as possible – well get to it new preppers, no one is going to do it for you…

72 hour survival kit

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Great place to start, although every “survival whistle” i have found is worthless. I hit the dog section of Cabelas and got a dog training whistle. Very loud, very shrill and small size. There is even one that’s called thunder or something along that line and is extremely loud. Not talking about the silent ones, but very like a coaches or refs whistle. Sporting goods stores carry them.

    • JP in MT says:

      Another whistle I like is the referee’s one. Metal with a plastic “pea”. Usually with a neck chain.

      • The “Fox” brand is even louder. No pea inside. I think the two holes on the top create a venturi effect to increase the air speed and multiply the sound level. The first time I used one was to referee a soccer game at a tournament. At the first infraction of the rules, I blew as loudly as I normally would have with the “pea” type whistle, and all action stopped on four fields. A little embarrassing, but still interesting. It is the only whistle I ever had that made me want to cover my own ears before blowing it.

        • GomeznSA says:

          +1 for the Fox – it was developed by Brazilian soccer referees to do exactly what you experienced. I have half a dozen or so scattered between various go/carry bags.

    • Leonard says:

      Back in the ’80’s and 90’s, I did a lot of wildlife photography. I discovered that when I had camo clothing and “Spandoflage” masks over my face and camera lens (300mm), a “silent” dog whistle caused all warm-blooded animals to stop walking and turn toward me, and due to the face mask, they’d remain studying me as I tripped the shutter. I think this would work for hunting, especially if you were already sighting in on a moving animal when you used the whistle, then squeezed the trigger…

  2. Mike in TN says:

    M.D. by the look of the comments section over the past few weeks, it looks like most of the readers have there head up their ass and not commenting anymore…

    • Mike in TN,

      During the summer traffic always drops some and comments level off, readers are outside more, but while they play the collapse gets closer…

      • 3rdgen4wars says:

        Interesting comment. Glad Im not the only one who thinks that way…so true.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      It’s really hard to garden, take care of the animals, do outdoor work, BBQ, and enjoy the sunshine and stay on the computer. Of course comments decrease during the summer. If you are working on being self-reliant and off the grid, you gotta make hay while the sun shines!

      • Hunker-Down says:

        In the spring and summer I bust my butt working with garden and yard chores, then collapse in front of the computer and read this blog. Usually my mind is too spaced out to offer anything worth while in response to others comments, like you do, but I rest and read. Again this year my weight is down to where it was when I gradiated hiskool.

        The winter is different; we are snowbound and M.D.’s ‘miscellaneous’ topics usually hit my hot buttons and I explode and reveal my ignorance, and tick off a few cubbies.

    • Ozarkana says:

      Some people are extremely busy at this time of year; and, don’t have the time to sit around making inane comments on everything that is posted. If they have nothing constructive to add to the conversation, they don’t waste everyone’s time just so they can see their name in print.

      • LittleAnniePrepper says:

        Thank you, Ozarkana. While I’ve been prepping for a while, I just don’t have the knowledge most people here do. I’m grateful they’re willing to share, but I just don’t have constructive things to add most of the time. The weather has broken here and we’re outside most of the time.

        Think this is a great, simple graphic for someone who is a beginner. Thanks for sharing!

      • mom of three says:

        I agree I don’t always have anything to add to a certain topic if I know nothing about it.

    • D in MN says:

      Now why would we want to put our heads in a stinky place?

      I know a lot of us are prepping because it is planting season, and like for me I am done planting and now splitting twice as much firewood for next winter as I had last year. Besides that, some of us have regular jobs. I and many don’t belong to the addiction of the twitter-verse sitting around all day and writing stuff, we are hard workers who don’t have much time to post comments on every subject…..There are lots of articles in the archives to read here while we spend most our time doing important things now.. So don’t assume we parked our heads up our dark smelly a-hole or I’ll wonder where yours has been.

  3. David Knight says:

    As usual an excellent post, and you’re correct this is the best way to get non-preppers to prepping…

    Keep up the good work, you’re the best and we all owe you for what you do and the time that you spend doing it.

  4. Good post. A 72 hour kit is the way I started prepping.

  5. JP in MT says:

    We are putting together something along this line to use on our 4-wheeler trips. Most are only a couple hours long, but if you break down, 25 miles in rough terrain can be a long way home.

  6. A get home/72 hr bag is what got me into preparing. I now can food,keep a ghb with me in my truck all the time. Have 6 month stock of food for family of four.Even changed my key ring( now have small sparker, para cord, mini leatherman, and compass on keys). All because I got concerned about being able to get home to family when something happens. Wifes still not totally on board but doesn’t mind stock of food in basement.

  7. PrepperLabGirl says:

    MD, you are right. That is a good first step. I put together a GHB when I started. I drive a 15 year-old Grand Prix. Good car but old so need to be prepared. I refuse to pay the big bucks for a new vehicle. If anyone asks me why I am prepping, I tell them I am preparing for my own personal financial disaster. That will be retirement!

    • LittleAnniePrepper says:

      My husband and I would agree that retirement (mine was due to medical reasons and happened 5 years earlier than planned) has been a financial disaster, to some degree. With having 2 teens to raise and the cost of everything sky rocketing, it just gets more and more difficult to get by. As my husband says, we’re not trying to get ahead any more, we’re just trying to keep from getting behind! We happen to be in one of the states that will be significantly impacted by the attack on coal burning plants. Just another bill that will get higher.

      • D in MN says:

        I too will be affected with the 6,000 new regs of BO, some will raise our electric costs 75% since we are dependent on coal plants in my area. This will hurt many people with fixed incomes and some may not be able to air condition their homes this summer or heat their homes this winter.

        When Chicago had a heat wave in 1995, 750 people died as result in a week from not affording airconditioning, most of them elderly. Knowing this, this admin will kill people, and they don’t care. This is why I moved where I did, I always have lakes to cool off, and use wood heat mostly to heat in winter. I seen it comin’.

  8. mom of three says:

    We have a 72 hour kit, in fact it’s time to recheck it and restock it.
    It’s good to check and double check, and see what new things to add or old stuff to take out.

  9. AZ Camper says:

    I like to buy the box of little Ji* peanut butter individual cups. That with a pack of crackers makes a great snack to have on hand. I also keep the applesauce that comes in small cups. Another food that is convenient is the little bumble b** chicken salad kits packed with a few crackers in a small box that easily fits in a purse or bag. I buy a lot of those when they are on sale. Sometimes spending a few pennies more for something is worth the convenience. I also keep small packs of the Clorox wipes and baby wipes in my bag. Saving the plastic grocery store bags and keeping several of those in my car is something I do…I am sure most of you have already thought of these things…

  10. Geeze. Taking care of garden then will be canning….

  11. We have neighbors who believe in being self reliant, but with his work schedule he does not always work full time. So I used a plastic shoe box to make a emergency kit for him(she stays at home). It is to assist him should something happen, it not a 72 hour kit, if it were he most likely would not accept it. I must think out side the box, so he gets home to his DW an my friend.
    This was brought about(kit) due a car accident that he came across on his way home. He was lucky to have cell service in this area so he could let her know he would be late. The auto accident was in an area that took the responders 30+minutes, no telling how long for the helicopter.

  12. We are fairly new to prepping. Started late last year when my wife who cleans houses started pt cleaning for a fema inspector who has a contract for HUD houses. He’s big into prepping and got us started. We have an apt. just west of Charlotte NC so our issue is space. I’m retired from construction, work pt as a security guard and am a combat vet served in Nam. We have a couple rifles, a 590 A1 and a XD-40 and a good bit of ammo for each. We’ve been doing alot of canning and storing of water. Its just the two of us and our golden retriever, but, our daughter and her family of 4 live about 40 miles from us and will be on our doorstep (if possible) when SHTF. They refuse to listen of whats coming so we prepare for them also. If possible we’ll bug in, but we each have our bog just in case. This is first time posting but I read the blogs every day and am thankful for all the info everyone contributes

    • oldod
      Welcome to the pack. My dh is a vet from Nam, you will find many of those who post served or are spouses of those who served.
      Since you dd would come to you, have you and your dw along with dd thought about finding a couple of acres in between your two places of residence that you could purchase as a family for a ‘camping area’ that you could work on as a family and a place you could go to if it was not safe at either place. One in which you could put special touches on, just a thought.

    • 3rdgen4wars says:

      I remember watching a show about survivalists in the early 80’s with my dad. Many on the show were Nam Vets. I remember asking my dad what he thought about “survivalists”? (He spent 68-69 in quang tri province). He told me the only ones probly to “survive” would be the Nam Vets, as they were use to doing without and covering their asses….oorah, Semper Fi and welcome home.

  13. Curley Bull says:

    As always MD, great post. Basicly the same approach I use to get people started. Good info on the whisles also.
    Mike, careful about making assumptions about people without knowing the facts.

  14. Becky,
    Thanks. DW and I thought about it and our problem is that we hate it here in NC. Not a tax friendly state. Can’t afford to move back out west (they’re runnin out of h2o anyway). We’ve tried to “bloom where we’re planted”, but its not working for us. I’m 66 now, told my dw I have one more move in me so we’re looking towards Myrtle Beach area. We may find some property down close to there……

    • oldog
      To answer you question on h2o in CA, some areas are hit harder than others. As I just found out from worrisome, the area she described is in really bad shape.
      Where we are water is low, but I have seen it a {whole} lot worse. When the water table was down due to bureau of land management stupidity we gave one lake the term bathtub ring, from being low and dirty.
      CA needs more reservoirs for water storage, but I doubt it will happen in my life time due to the the tree huggers, EPA, and ever other brain dead idiot that they let cry to the courts. Time to get off my soap box :-).

  15. Becky
    Stay on your soapbox!! I grew up in East LA. Spent 30 years of construction in Sac/Roseville area. I remember a drought of about 7 years around 1977. I was a carpenter then. We loved it as we got to work year round. I agree 110% with you on the water storage problem. Too many environmentalists and……lawyers! Don’t have to worry about water here in NC, last summer in rained (cloudburst) almost every friggin day. Couldn’t plan anything. We’d love to move back to Roseville area, can’t afford Ca anymore, DW loves Arizona, but another water issue. When was DH in Nam? I was there in 67-68. I’m KINDA off the topic here.

    • oldog
      Your reply went via MD’s mail. I forgot and shipped it the wrong way. So It is coming. sorry.

    • oldog
      If you did not receive this via the link here is what I know.
      1967 entire year…….1968 (half due to being medivac home)
      late 69 into 70 medivaced home once again.

      He was in the 7 mountains area, his base of operation with SF

  16. Chuck Findlay says:

    Why a 72-hour kit? And why does the government endorse a 72-hour kit and then call preppers domestic terrorist?

    A few reasons.
    First the government doesn’t like an informed, self reliant public that does’n need the government. This is why they don’t like preppers.

    Second point is that it takes FEMA about 72-hours to get mobilized and on location. The government wants to take care of all your needs, bur it could be 72-hours before they are ready to do that.

    So while a 72-hour kit is a good thing, you need to plan for much more and make sure you don’t have any association with FEMA.

    No one will be allowed a firearm, knife or even extra food when FEMA gets on location and sets up camp to save you.

    Much better to make sure you are anyplace but where FEMA is. Use a 72-hour kit to get home, to a new location or just out of the path of whatever you are running from.

    The most fearsome words ever spoken “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you”.

    • Curley Bull says:

      Don’t forget, it took FEMA a week to get water to the Superdome after Katrina!

      • Curley Bull
        We had a neighbor who’s company was sent to New Orleans. He said he would never go back, and yes he was in the area of the Super Dome. What was reported was……… lets us say under stated! He told his boss he would go anywhere but not if there was another hurricane down in that “AREA”. His boss could fire him…..but he would not go.

  17. Chuck Findlay says:

    I prepare so I don’t have to go to the Superdome…

    Just wondering does anyone here know if people that did go to the Superdome were allowed to come and go as they wanted, or were they restricted in movement in any way?

  18. Chuck
    My dw and I were in New Orleans during Katrina, our anniversary present. Lived in Nevada at the time. We were stuck in the airport ( along with about 250 others) from Saturday afternoon until Wednesday. I think those stuck at the superdome were restricted there. Maybe after the hurricane they were allowed to go out and about as we were at the airport. There was about a dozen police and emt’s at the airport. When the hurricane hit some of us were allowed to go into the foyer and film it, but the police took shifts at the doors so nobody could get out. Couldn’t anyway as they had padlocked safety chains on both entrances.

  19. After Katrina, FEMA got to the airport on Tuesday afternoon. They took over many of the outside offices and brought plenty of water of which nobody in the airport was given any until around Wednesday afternoon that I remember. Most people there hadn’t had anything to drink for a couple days. We heard the horror stories of the “Superdome with the gangs, shootings, filthy conditions those there had to deal with.

  20. Texas Gunslinger says:

    Where can I get a bigger copy that can be read? I’d like to give this to some folks but can’t read the little bubbles! Any ideas?

  21. MD
    Where can one obtain a copy of this poster large enough for those who have short sightedness(polite way of stating head up the kazoo)?

  22. Go military all the way , and you will have a 72 hour kit in no time flat . They figured that shit out long ago .

  23. The words on the infographic are unreadable. They are blurry. Can you type out what each picture on the ionfographic says?
    Thank you

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