Kids Backpack Emergency Kit

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We (wee, little children mostly) are pilferers of the supplies in our 72 hour kits, and back packs.  The kids especially love to borrow the light sticks, and granola bars.  Every once in a while I need to go through all of our supplies and evaluate and replace items.  Since we have a backpacking trip coming up soon, today I’m focusing on the kids’ packs.

We’ve previously had a few comfort and safety items such as light sticks, whistles and a few band-aids in the front pocket of their packs, but it is too easy to shuffle these items about when they are loose in a pocket.  Instead I’ll make a kit in a quart sized zipper bag.  Slide top freezer bags are both sturdy, and easy enough for a kid to open.

What I’m Including:

  • A small first aid kit  –  purchased at the dollar store, it includes antiseptic wipes, adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment
  • 3 power bars –  I choose these because they are edible but not delicious.  I don’t want them looked on as a treat to be sneaked out and enjoyed at the first hint of an appetite.
  • 3 mini light sticks – Each glows for  several hours providing a night-light like glow.  More for comfort than function.
  • Moist Towelettes – For cleaning up before/after eating.
  • A Mylar Blanket- We already have these, so I’m including them, but don’t really know how they hold up to handling by kids.  I’ve heard they tear easily.  We still have a lot of receiving blankets around so I may place one loose in the backpacks too.
  • An N95 mask – I keep these around for cleaning the chicken coop, because chicken poop lung mud grosses me out, but we’ve had “real world” use of these when wild fires made our outdoor air hazardous for the better part of a month.

You’ll notice that most of these items are very non-technical, and not for any kind of serious event. Little ones really just need a mom or dad to help with the serious stuff.  I’m not saying I don’t think children can be taught to use serious tools, just that my children are a little young to be alone with knives and lighters just yet.  They have used both under supervision.

I also didn’t add water, but I always make sure everyone has her own bottle for each hike/day trip, and I carry a lightweight filter.

It seems like I’m always thinking and re-thinking the items in their kits, mainly because they are growing, changing, and able to handle more all the time.

I should also mention that these are in their hiking/day packs, NOT their school backpacks. I do think there is a place for a kit such as this in a school pack, but I’ve seen public school from the inside, and between shared lockers, and kids always wanting to show off their cool stuff, the most useful items would just land my kids in trouble. I could also see my kid pulling out a granola bar during a lock-down and being told she can’t eat it because she didn’t bring one for everyone.  Some might consider these good reasons to home-school, but that topic deserves an entire series of posts all it’s own.

Do you keep a small emergency kit in your kid’s pack?  What do you include?

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