Thinking about SHTF is bad enough, but when you add your children to the equation it gets that much more serious. Prepping When You Have Children can feel overwhelming, while we can’t reduce the seriousness we can prepare for it.
Prepping When You Have Children
Has your family modified your preparedness and bug out gear to include the extra requirements for children. In addition to your bug out bags, you will want to include some games or coloring books and other kid specific gear. Maybe even a small dedicated tote, stashed with your other bug out gear, that you can toss in the car when it’s time to get the heck out of Dodge!
If you have to bug out on foot, just toss a coloring book, some crayons or some small travel games into your bug out bag. If you can head out via car, then you can go with a larger Tote-based bug out kit. Everyone should have Multiple Bug Out load outs to cover different scenarios.
Here is my current automotive size family “bug out” kit, the second Tote is clothing and toiletries.
- Family size tent, Something like a Coleman Red Canyon 17-Foot by 10-Foot 8-Person Modified Dome Tent. Cover today’s bright colored tents with a very large camouflage tarp to help you lay low.
- Sleeping bags for every member of the family
- Sleeping Mat or Camp mattress
- Heavy Duty Space Blanket (or Emergency blanket) for under our sleeping bags or to wrap around our sleeping bags.
- Regular style Space blankets – buy the 10 packs and stick a pack in each of your cars and in each bug out bag!
- Extreme weather gear for each member of family
- Rain gear – Rain Ponchos and boots
- Cold Weather gear
- Large/Family size first aid kit
- Tons of matches in a gallon size ziplock bag ( grab a couple book of matches when you are anyplace that gives them away).
- Small shovel or Etool
- clear campsite
- dig trenches to prevent flooding
- bury human waste
- bury food waste
- Camp cookware
- Food acquisition tools – Everyone is going to try to hunt so keep in mind that your woods or forest will likely be full of city people stomping around, animals are likely to be hiding or already been hunted out.
- Paracord, lots of it!
- Duct Tape
- Zip Ties
- Tarps, camouflage if available, a few or many, they have tons of uses, especially when you have paracord.
- Some type of survival manual
- Binoculars (scouting and camp awareness)
- Camp defense (whatever you are comfortable with: gun, knife, bat, shovel, bow and arrow or sling)
Tote #2 is food and clothing, and paper products.
- Rain Gear
- Cold weather Gear, jackets, boots, gloves, sweatshirts, etc
- Toilet paper, lots of it
- Feminine hygiene (another item to bury with the shovel), also good for medical supplies!
Kids and/or baby Tote
- diapers and supporting toiletries (wipes, lotions, powder, ointment for rashes)
- an excess of trash bags for waste management
- A way to bury diapers. You don’t want someone following your trail of litter to find you!
- Preferred foods like water, basic grains/cereals plus dry milk, juices, fruit
- Sleeping mats (further comfort and insulation for child)
- A method of baby proofing the area
- Some way to keep child from exiting tent while everyone is sleeping (paracord loop around ankle perhaps? Man that sounds weird, but it it’s a valid concern)
- Fun Activities
- Crayons and Coloring books. Even better Activity Pads (we used to call them “Fun Pads”). If you have kids, Please, please, please don’t forget the crayons and coloring pages ;-)
- Small travel games
- Copies of favorite books
- Copy of favorite stuffed animal or doll (Trust me if the original one goes missing, this will be a life saver!)
If it’s a grid down and you want to Bug In (at home) then inventory your supplies at home:
- Flashlight and Headlamps
- LED Lantern(s)
- Child safe lighting (avoid candles, flames and anything that creates fumes or depletes oxygen. A solar powered inflatable LED Lantern, might be a good idea.
- Don’t overlook other areas, like bathrooms, where you might want to have a dedicated light.
- Fun Activities
- Battery powered radio
- Music calms the savage beast, and you’ll want to hear news from the outside world.
If your family has to travel on foot and you have an infant or toddler, then you’ll want to invest in one of the Backpack child carriers. They could be the difference between you and your child making it to safety or being stuck someplace!
Prepping When You Have Children can be a monumental stress, but any preparations you make can only make your situation better.