When dressing for activities in the out of doors we often use layering so that we can add or remove layers as needed to meet our needs in changing temperatures or climates. This same approach can be used when making our many different “KITS”. Everyone has their EDC (Every Day Carry) items that they have on them at all times, so that one is hopefully a given. On top of those items we usually consider having our “72 hour kit” ready to grab and go in an emergency, but that is where we start to see so many questions regarding what to put in them and the INNUMERABLE lists that are available online. I would like to offer some very Basic Guidelines to help people create a kit that is perfect for THEM, not someone who lives in the Antarctic or the Sahara.
First of all let’s take a look at your EDC. Consider everything you have in your pockets or on your belt at all times. These items would be your Every Day Carry items, and while some duplication can be great, when you have to carry a lot of stuff, weight matters. So write down what your EDC is, and put that aside.
Next look at what you believe would be appropriate and applicable for you to include in your CORE Kit. This kit would be your bug out bag (BOB) / “72 Hour Kit”. It would have things you may need to survive outside of your home for a short period of time. The term “72 Hour Kit” is a bit of a misnomer since even FEMA recommends 4 days of emergency supplies. I always remember that it took FEMA 5 days to get water to the Superdome after Katrina, and they knew it was coming. This kit would be able to be easily carried and would include the basic items you would need to live for 4-5 days. Things like, basic clothes, personal hygiene, a small personal first aid kit, limited tools, and a few days your prescriptions as well as food and water.
Lastly we come to the more extensive layers of our kit. These would be specialty items that each person could have to fill their roll in a family / team setting. These layers would include things like: Cold / Hot weather, Trauma / Medical, Personal Protection, and Extended duration or distance. These layers are things that could be easily added, or attached, to your CORE layer and still allow you to be mobile. They may be due to seasonal requirements, personal / medical needs, or based upon your education / training and things that you are proficient in the use of. I know many people who spend over $1000.00 on a professional Trauma kit from one of the plethora of online stores, but they are neither trained, nor capable of using some of the specialized equipment in them. I have seen people at the counter of the local gun store being sold the latest piece of civilianized military weaponry (sarcasm intended) that they will take home, and put in the safe with its 10rd magazine (that they will call a clip) and have no idea how to operate. These things can make them dangerous. Even someone who has never stayed overnight in a snowy winter environment can be a danger to themselves and others if they don’t know what they don’t know.
So to finish up, I have not supplied another “LIST” for you to read through, because your needs are different from my needs, and you don’t live where I live. If you are not willing to think out and investigate what you will need, then might I suggest that you go check on the latest lineup of arm chairs at the furniture store to be more comfortable watching reality shows.
IF you are willing to do the work then here are the basic layers: