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Discussion Starter #1
I wasn't sure if there were posts on bug out bags for children. I have 3 kids and just ordered some bags for them to prep for emergency bags. I've never prepared a bag for child or adult so this is a new thing for me. I wanted to ask y'all what would be best to pack in the kids' bags.

We have some old backpacks that'll be fine for my husband and I until next pay period. I figured I wanted to get the kids new bags and get them involved in preparing their own bags so that they would be excited about it.

Obviously an extra set of appropriately sized clothing for each of them. A flashlight. Maybe a small first aid kit with band-aids and cleaning wipes. My youngest has already asked if there will be room for Sheepie (his stuffed sheep). We may have to tie Sheepie to the outside of the pack. He'll be tickled, I'm sure. It sounds strange, but I'm planning on putting magnifying glasses from the dollar store in each bag for each kid. Daddy taught them how to start a fire using magnifying glasses and sunlight. That is something I know they are capable of doing and we plan on teaching them other useful skills and how to be safe about said skills.

What else could I put in their bags? Food wise? For kids probably granola, or trail mix?

I know I am missing other stuff, I just can't think of what else we could put in their bags.
 

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Extra pair of shoes. A hat. A cheap plastic poncho. A water bottle [often in outside holder]. A whistle. Another whistle if that one gets lost. Those lance crackers in the type they like. Raisins. Those horrible fruit strip things. Write their name, address, your phone number in permanent marker in the inside of the bag. Maybe a grandparent’s number too. A silicon plastic bowl/cup? Tissues for runny noses and bathroom behind a bush trips.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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Wet wipes, water bottle, dust mask, info card with emergency numbers and any allergies, medical conditions, blood type, physician name and phone.
Med kit with a couple Benedryl, bandaids, neosporin packet, benzoalkonium chloride wound wipes, alcohol wipes, bandana and safety pins. hat, gloves, socks. Lance Peanut butter crackers, granola bars, M&Ms, whistle, headlamp, chewing gum, cell phone with tracker.
 

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1. Laminated card with emergency contact info (child's full name, DOB, family member's names, tel #, e-mail, home address, next of kin contact numbers, reliable neighbor/friend phone number, etc.). Even for older kids or teens who can remember much of that info, but especially for younger ones who can't.

2. Whistle. $.99 each; https://countycomm.com/products/itw-survival-whistle?variant=27819307846

3. Plastic sports water bottle; 1/2 to 1 quart. Just a generic inexpensive one with a screw top. A little bit more "bump/leak" resistant than a standard soda or disposable water bottle

4. Mini-tote umbrella (for rain or hot sun)

5. Seasonal hat/gloves/jacket or sweater

6. Heavy duty contractor trash bag (for emergency shelter; show them how to use as an improvised rain suit or as a bag to crawl into); alternatively a cheap vinyl pocket poncho

7. Bag of generic store bought trail mix (with whatever ingredients they seem to prefer). Swap it out once a year. Walmart sells several flavors of such mix in larger sizes. Add a pack of gum to that.

8. Pocket sized travel-container of baby wipes (for emergency toilet calls or just general cleaning up before applying those band aids)

9. BIC mini-lighter and legally small pocketknife (3" blade) for those old enough to responsibly use them

10. For the oldest (or any younger ones who can read)... Your Family Plan for what you expect them to do in most likely cases (if they become lost, separated, missing sibling, etc.); just something printed on one laminated card. When to stay in place, when to go for help from an adult, how to call 911, where to gather and wait for Mom or Dad to pick them up during an emergency, etc.

11. For self-marking and general psychological boost... perhaps one of these:
https://countycomm.com/collections/view-all-light-products/products/ugm-universal-glow-marker

$10 each, but it gives each child a way to mark themselves (or their survival bag) in the dark. Plus they're fun, require no batteries, and give a child something in addition to the flashlight.

12. Their own emergency money. Enough for a fast food meal, cold drink, or bus/taxi/subway fare. Stuff it into a small plastic airline travel bottle/tube.

13. A mini-sharpie (or carpenters grease pencil) so that they can write a weatherproof note to anyone looking for them... on a rock, a wall, a sidewalk, etc.

14. A generic nylon stuff sack or laundry mesh bag (with a locking clip) for external carry of Sheepie

15. An inexpensive compass for those old enough to understand use. Gives them a sense of direction to home or major landmarks. Small folding road map if age appropriate.

16. Something else to consider is what's called a "Sitzpad" in alpine climbing/ski touring circles. A small piece of closed cell foam that you can pull out to kneel or sit your butt on when the ground is wet, cold, snowy, or uncomfortably hard. Otherwise known as a stadium seat cushion. For kids, you don't need much size-wise. They can be trimmed down to whatever size is appropriate for a little one. It gives them a place to rest when they get tired and keeps butts from getting chilled or damp. Generic gardener kneeling pads make great ones... and they fit into small bags/packs; here's a set of 4 for $12:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Kneeling...shions-School-Gardening-Home-Garden/123129758
 

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Easy to overload kids. ID with contacts. Comfort toys/food items. Bug dope, sunscreen any required meds with copy of script. Hygiene items. Some money. Rechargeable flashlight with extra batts/charger, leather gloves and wool mittens, bandannas, extra socks, underwear hat, sunglasses. Canteen with water purification pills. FRS radio
 

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Discussion Starter #7
1. Laminated card with emergency contact info (child's full name, DOB, family member's names, tel #, e-mail, home address, next of kin contact numbers, reliable neighbor/friend phone number, etc.). Even for older kids or teens who can remember much of that info, but especially for younger ones who can't.
This would be good to have on them even when we are just hiking. Maybe we should get in the habit of them bringing their bags on hikes or whenever we go anywhere, just in case.

2. Whistle. $.99 each; https://countycomm.com/products/itw-survival-whistle?variant=27819307846

3. Plastic sports water bottle; 1/2 to 1 quart. Just a generic inexpensive one with a screw top. A little bit more "bump/leak" resistant than a standard soda or disposable water bottle
They have contigo water bottles that we are in the habit of making sure they take everywhere with them. I need to get/create a sleeve to be able to attach them to their bags.

4. Mini-tote umbrella (for rain or hot sun)

5. Seasonal hat/gloves/jacket or sweater

6. Heavy duty contractor trash bag (for emergency shelter; show them how to use as an improvised rain suit or as a bag to crawl into); alternatively a cheap vinyl pocket poncho
We are STILL trying to get used to how much it rains here. We need to improve our wet weather gear for sure.

9. BIC mini-lighter and legally small pocketknife (3" blade) for those old enough to responsibly use them
I literally just texted my daddy about this two days ago!! I asked him what age he thought would be good for the boys to start using a knife. He said he was 7 when he got his first one. He said he also cut himself on that first day. lol. My husband said he was about our youngest sons age when he started learning how to properly handle a knife. My middle one is a little pyro and I'm constantly telling him to stop playing with the matches. lol. I think it'll be a good lesson this summer to teach them more in depth lessons on fire safety and how to properly contain a fire and how to safely put out a campfire. I've finally just gotten them to understand the importance of a clean room in preventing a WORSE home fire, should one ever happen. It helped that their uncle is a firefighter. He told them how unsafe it is for firefighters and anyone to have an untidy house. Causes the fire to spread more easily...lol.

10. For the oldest (or any younger ones who can read)... Your Family Plan for what you expect them to do in most likely cases (if they become lost, separated, missing sibling, etc.); just something printed on one laminated card. When to stay in place, when to go for help from an adult, how to call 911, where to gather and wait for Mom or Dad to pick them up during an emergency, etc.
This is a wonderful idea!!!



14. A generic nylon stuff sack or laundry mesh bag (with a locking clip) for external carry of Sheepie
This is my favorite tip!! LOL! Sheepie (Mr. Froggie, and Babo...each boy has one major favorite stuffed animal) has been a beloved part of the family for YEARS. They would probably be the first things the kids grabbed in an emergency. I could probably also pack their small blankets in said bag and have it not be too cumbersome. [/QUOTE]

15. An inexpensive compass for those old enough to understand use. Gives them a sense of direction to home or major landmarks. Small folding road map if age appropriate.

16. Something else to consider is what's called a "Sitzpad" in alpine climbing/ski touring circles. A small piece of closed cell foam that you can pull out to kneel or sit your butt on when the ground is wet, cold, snowy, or uncomfortably hard. Otherwise known as a stadium seat cushion. For kids, you don't need much size-wise. They can be trimmed down to whatever size is appropriate for a little one. It gives them a place to rest when they get tired and keeps butts from getting chilled or damp. Generic gardener kneeling pads make great ones... and they fit into small bags/packs; here's a set of 4 for $12:
Reading a compass is going to be one of the lessons we plan on teaching each child in the near future. I need to compile a list of skills to teach the kids in the importance of their survival. I pray we are never separated, but I'd rather them have some knowledge of skills that could save their lives rather than not being prepared and panic.

This reply has been so helpful! I love that you explained why such things were needed or suggested. I cannot wait for their bags to arrive so we can take them to help pick out what will go in their bags.

Do you think it would be wise to have to start carrying these bags on hikes?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Once you put the bag together, go over the use of each item with the child so they know what is in the kit and have some idea what to do with it.
We are planning on having them help pack their own bags. I'm thinking we are going to be making "practice" runs. We haven't established fire escapes in this current house. We usually preform "fire drills" in whatever house we are living in. We've done this since they were able to walk and talk.
 

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I'm finishing off a case of peanut butter crackers but the peanut butter, like many jars of non natural peanut butter, replaces the peanut oil with trans fat. Non stir peanut butter is one of the last places to use a lot of trans fat. Also for me the little packs of crackers or cookies turn into crumbs pretty fast in my backpack or shoulder bag.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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I'm finishing off a case of peanut butter crackers but the peanut butter, like many jars of non natural peanut butter, replaces the peanut oil with trans fat. Non stir peanut butter is one of the last places to use a lot of trans fat. Also for me the little packs of crackers or cookies turn into crumbs pretty fast in my backpack or shoulder bag.
Good call sir.

Please replace the peanut butter crackers with a few pop top cans of beenie
weenies and spaghettios. :)
 

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I wrote an article on my site about including kids with links to resources to involve kids.

http://leveledsurvival.com/2018/07/11/including-your-kids-in-your-plan/

Just like the stuffed animals you mentioned, it is important to have stuff to keep kids occupied. It can be as simple as colored pencils and a folder of printed out pages for younger ones. Or a deck of cards for older ones. In lots of emergency situations you spend lots of time waiting. Something to do helps kids cope and avoid acting up. Any parent knows stress, tired, bored kids can be a handful.

Any other supplies you pack are only as good as how well they know how to use them. There are some good suggestions above. For older ones, you might also look at a map printed with routes to safety. That can be local family, police stations, fire stations. etc. This would alternates in case the core plan falls through and you are separated.

I applaud you for proactively planning with your kids. So many get wrapped up and.leave them out.
 

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Do you think it would be wise to have to start carrying these bags on hikes?
ABSOLUTELY!!! For a couple of reasons:

1. It gets them used to carrying their bags, and if the bags are too heavy for them, you will find out NOW, rather than when it REALLY matters! Also, you might find that there's something needed that you don't have in there. Find out NOW, rather than later.

2. You can use some of the things in the bags (map/compass), etc. while on your hikes to turn them into an outdoor education experience, and teach them how to USE the items in their bags.

3. Hats, sweaters/jackets, sunblock, bug repellent, etc. should be carried on your hikes anyway. Having them already ready to go saves time when you're ready to go on your hike (they don't have to spend time looking for them, since they're already in their bags) and it gives them someplace to stash sweaters/jackets, etc. when things warm up to the point they don't want to wear them.

4. "Stuff" happens. Carrying their packs, they should already have first aid items, food, water, emergency shelter, flashlight, etc. on hands "just in case".

I refer to my hiking backpack as my "Day hike gone horribly wrong" bag. Because, you know, "stuff" happens.
 

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I will suggest that the knife that you get for the age appropriate is a lock blade folding knife or a knife and sheath. Maybe a cheap mora or an opinal. Both good brands. The non locking folding knife can fold back onto inexperienced fingers. A recipe for things to go from bad to worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good call sir.

Please replace the peanut butter crackers with a few pop top cans of beenie
weenies and spaghettios. :)
I think in their bags I might include a small jar of peanut butter and spoon instead of crackers of some kind. They love peanut butter and if it came down to it, they could use it as a "bait" to attract small animals to trap. I've been looking into learning how to make deadfalls and plan on teaching the boys as well. I wish we still lived out in the country in Indiana. It would be so much easier to teach them this stuff since we could just go out to my uncle's farm or visit a friend's farm. *sigh*

We also need to polish up our fishing skills and teach the kids to gut a fish. We have so much we need to work on. I grew up hunting. Had my first gun at the age of 11. My boys have never seen a gun be shot. They've only gone fishing a handful of times and tend to panic when it comes to emergencies. I need to get them enrolled in a first aide class for kids. They are more independent than some kids their ages but I know for a fact they freak out at the sight of blood. I need to figure out how to keep them calm enough to get help should the need ever arise. We've had "emergency" drills with them on old disposable phones (off and unable to make calls). But maybe I need to incorporate some fake blood and up my acting skills. They'd know it was a drill going in so it would probably dissolve to laughter, but at least their brains would be trained in the steps to take. Maybe I'm overthinking it all, but maybe overthinking it may be what keep my family safe in a true emergency.

Ugh! My list is growing longer and longer by the day.
 

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Lot's of good advice in this thread. I have age appropriate bags prepped for the little youngsters. Which now also include a mini 1st aid kit, face masks, exam gloves, disinfectant & hand sanitizers for covid-19 prevention..
 

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Haha!! So our drills paid off tonight. Somehow one of the knobs on the gas stove got bumped. My husband and I had been sitting outside, while the kids watched our favorite YouTuber. We came in, and I sat down at my "office/school" table to see if there were anymore replies on this thread. I was just getting ready to finish watching a video from Prepper Princess (someone suggested her on another thread and I've been watching some of her videos). I caught a whiff of gas and ran into the kitchen. Sure enough, the knob was ever so slightly on. My son had grabbed a piece of meat that was left over from dinner still sitting on the stove and must have bumped it. As soon as I realized what had happened, I told the boys to get to the end of the drive (we hadn't had a chance to tell them our meeting place for emergencies). So without panic, without trying to go grab anything, they got to the end of the drive as quickly as their little legs could carry them. As they exited the house, I ran around opening all the windows and doors and turned the vent on as well as a box fan I had already sitting in front of our window. Faced it out and turned it on and left. I texted a friend asking for the local non emergency number and her husband called mine right away and started peppering him with questions. Husband went back in and the gas smell had already dissipated. I still haven't turned off the fan or closed the windows yet. And don't plan on doing so for a while. lol. The first question she asked was if the carbon monoxide detector went off. It had not. I have the nose of a hound dog to be honest so I caught it before the detector did. (if it even picks stuff like that up...I'm not sure).

I gotta say, I'm super proud that no one freaked out and instructions were followed right away with no fuss about being bare foot (2 of the 3 didn't have socks...daddy and I happened to be wearing slippers and gave them up to the little ones...had we needed to stay out longer I'd have called my friend to come get us). It gave us a chance to tell them where to go in case of a house fire or some other emergency where crews needed to be called. Sheepie was only mentioned after the fact when we were back inside. I'll be super glad to get their bags prepped and staged so we can make practice runs.
 

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So glad to hear you all are OK and that things went smooth. When mine were smaller I allways had the fear that precious time would be lost due to them pitching a fit at the exact worst moment. Of course now mine are teens... might be even more likely to argue. lol

One addition on my earlier post. If you are looking at knives, I have been a big fan of the larger version of this Gerber folder. This smaller would be legal most places and better than my goto Mora for smaller kids

Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife

https://amzn.to/3daMqTT
 
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