A Mom’s Guide to Packing a Bug-Out Bag

If you’re a mom putting together a bug-out bag that covers you and your children, then you need to factor in quite a few things when getting ready for any possible evacuation. Having younger people in your potential bug-out group means serious limitations in terms of your bug-out plan and bag, but of course, you can’t ignore them. So be prepared. The tips below can help.

survival kit bug out bag
Source: Pexels

About Bug-Out Bags in General

Many packing lists for bug-out bags focus on dealing with a solo person. Worse yet, they assume the person bugging out is a man. Still, the main intention of mobile kits is being able to help the person carrying it survive if they need to drop everything they’re doing, grab one bag, and head out the door.

Obviously, bug-out bags are going to typically involve essentials like food, clothing, toiletries, water, emergency communications, a flashlight, sleeping bag, and the like. However, when you’re getting one ready for your family, you not only need to pack more but also the right things for you and your children.

Infants to Toddlers

A combination child-carrier and survival pack will let you carry your gear and your kid. You’ll move more comfortably and cover more ground with speed.

Diapers are a must, and reusable diapers are the best choice. An eyedropper or medicinal syringe is also a good choice for giving medicine to your kid. Sterilization agents can serve many purposes for hygiene and cleanliness for your little one.

Be sure to pack formula, even if you’re breastfeeding. Powdered formula weighs less but still gives you an option for feeding if you’re not able to do it yourself. 

A pacifier can be a lifesaver for both your sanity and avoiding unnecessary noise, whether you’re trying to keep the peace in a crowded shelter or avoid attracting attention in the wild.

Make sure your young one has extra clothes and even a waterproof baby suit. In fact, pack two additional sets of clothes for your kid for what you put in for yourself. Being able to regulate temperature with layers is very useful. It’s also insurance against diaper accidents.

Elementary School Kids

Children aged 5 to 10 might need to be carried at times, although the older they are, the more likely it is you just can’t pick them up anymore. One of the biggest need they might have is just avoiding boredom. Comfort items like toys or stuffed animals might minimize their stress. Toys that don’t need batteries can keep them occupied until you get back to a normal life.

Kids in this age range can even help carry some of your family bug-out gear. However, just keep it to 5 pounds or less. Also, be sure they’re only carrying some of the more nonessential items or things everyone is carrying in case they lose them.

Tweens to Teens

You still need to be a parent to children in these age ranges and watch over them, but you also don’t have to do it all the time. Strike a balance between keeping them mentally level during a crisis but also having them help out.

Many tweens and teens are physically capable of handling more gear so you can spread the load around. As they mature, you can also trust them with knives and tools. Teach them basic survival skills so they can help with the group tasks as much as they do in carrying the bug-out load.

One Final Suggestion

On top of everything else to include in your bug-out bag, be sure there are non-perishable snacks in there. Planning out minimal nutritional needs for a set number of people for a certain length of time is crucial to any bug-out bag. But if you’re bringing kids along, then you need extra snacks in between the meals.

You might even need those snacks yourself just to keep moving until you’re somewhere safe enough to sit down and prep a meal. Even if you’re in a shelter, long waits or supply line disruptions can mean it’s useful to have snacks to fill in the gaps.

Non-perishable snacks are great choices because you can store them in your bag months or even years in advance. Protein bars are great choices given how much nutrition they pack into a small, lightweight package that you can eat on the go.

Tips contributed by Anne Davis.

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