Runaway Bags

I am pleased to report that we are officially prepped for almost any 72-hour disaster.

It only took me four months.

You’d think that putting together a few bug out bags would be a fairly simple, inexpensive procedure. How much do you really need? A little food, something to stay warm, a handful of candy…done. When I first started getting down to the nitty gritty I decided to begin with what we had on hand.

It didn’t get me very far.

Here’s your warning. If you haven’t started assembling individual kits for your family (and I’m not talking about an oversized can of vacuum packed food, I’m talking about a for real Runaway Bag) you’d better find a dedicated place to park them because this process is not fast. Unfortunately our current residence is the size of a postage stamp so my assembly area was right in the middle of the family room–for three months.

I did so much research and started out with a head full of too-much information. In order to simplify this for someone else, I’m going to itemize our Runaway Kid Bug-out Bags. The kid versions differ from mine and Super Dad’s, but I think we’ve mostly nailed them. My best advice? Keep it real and applicable to your own family.

Ours include: 1. Smallish backpack 2. Socks 3 pair 3. Undies 2 pair (because changing our underwear is obviously going to be a top priority) 4. Set of clothing  5. Sweatshirt 6. Hiking shoes tied to pack 7. Mylar sleeping bag and tent 8. Crayons and paper or playing cards (in Runaway Bin) 9. Life Straw (boys packs) 10. Water bottles 3 11. Food packet (just stuff my kids will eat) 12. Candy 13. Hand crank flash light 14. Whistle 15. Matches 16. Copy of passport and personal info 17. Full set of Scriptures (military size) 18. First Aid kit 19. Hygiene kit with hand warmers…

I ran out of space in the girls’ packs and still need to put their passport and personal info in plus life straws. Not putting in whistles or matches because I want them to survive in case something happens and 72 with a whistle…they might not make it.

I pulled part of June’s pack out as proof, pics. below. You can see how tiny the packs are…Harry’s is larger and I think I’m going to move Rex into a bigger shell as well.

photo 1 photo 2

In our Parent Packs we’ve included a small camping stove and a large water filter for the family plus a ton of Jason’s uber special survival gear he’s acquired over the years. His pack is insane. That’s a post in and of itself and I don’t think I’m even supposed to say what all he’s got in there.

My pack? Probably the most poorly put together. I haven’t even put any extra clothing in because I can’t decide what to wear. I’m trying to narrow down a shade of lipstick to put in my emergency makeup kit but it’s giving me anxiety. I wish they just made a “wilderness” lipstick, something along the lines of Beautiful Disaster. Waterproof mascara for sure, that’s a no-brainer. Oh, food and Excedrin.

The cool and irritating thing about this project is how many things we’ve come up with that don’t fit in our packs but would be seriously nice to have on hand. You give yourself a few months to think on it and let me tell you, stuff that you never thought you might need suddenly sounds so essential. I finally pulled out a big rubbermaid bin and started randomly dropping things into it, everything from rubber bands and zip ties to a ream of paper and extra crayons. Again, another post for another time.

Then one afternoon I started thinking about the weather, what if it’s crazy cold and we have to run away form Las Vegas in the middle of a snow storm? I immediately organized everyone’s cold weather gear into a large separate duffel to make sure no one dies of hypothermia.

This year our goal is to finish up our preparedness in case the dam quits working or Jason loses his job, or our neighborhood catches on fire and we have to evacuate, or maybe the zombies all wake up and man, no one wants that to happen.


If it does, we will be prepared. We’re finishing up our year’s supply of food right now (all the wheat/rice/oats/beans are done) and then a few wish list items, then we can sit back and wait for a natural disaster to never, ever, EVER happen.

Because if I have to pick, I really hope all this stuff gets dusty and old and my kids grow up and prep out their own households because it’s what their parents taught them. Then their kids can learn and so on and so forth, so that someday when it all turns upside down my future babies and grand babies and greats will all know how to have a family evacuation plan and can grab their packs and their snow boots and do what they have to do.

It feels good to have it together.