A Bug Out Bag Guide for kids may come in handy to help you prepare for your children an emergency bag in the instance you are forced to evacuate from your home and move to a safer location.
This can ultimately occur at a moments notice. Almost all experts agree, you need to pack kid essentials for at least three days. This is typically the duration needed to deal with most emergencies.
Besides your Bug Out Bag, what else would you need to pack for your children? Let’s face it, the needs of a toddler may be a bit different then say those of a teenager.
Below are some suggestions and tips from experts in the field of emergency preparedness. After you read it over, I hope you find urgency to act and prepare for your little ones before it is too late!
Bug Out Bag Guide for Kids: Prepper Gear
First, you should know a little about the equipment that should go in the child’s bug out bag.
If you have an infant these are some of the must have emergency items:
Diapers – This item is crucial and don’t even think of not taking it with you, reusable diapers might be a better choice, they take less room and can be used for a number of different things, not just for the infant.
The combination of child carrier and backpack – It’s obvious, you’ll have to have the room for both carrying your child and packing enough survival gear.
Formula – it takes a small amount of space and it can be very handy, especially if you’re planning a relatively long trip.
Cleansing Wipes – To use for potty clean up and messy faces.
First Aid – Carry basic medicines like cough and fever medicines may come in handy if your baby feels under the weather. Also ointments and creams should be carried to prevent chapping and irritations.
For a more thorough list of items, I provide a link to help you figure out what you might want to add to your toddler bug out bag.
For adolescent children, you should have:
A couple of toys or games – It can calm down your kid and make him more occupied, especially when you’re doing something that leaves you unavailable to watch out for your child for some time.
Emergency whistle – It’s obvious, kids can easily get lost and this item can save you a lot of troubles when a child disappears from your sight.
Other Equipment that Should Go in the Bug Out Bag
Here’s an equipment bug out bag list for kids with some regular equipment that should be in your child’s bug out bag:
Flashlight – Very important, this is really a must have, the night can be really stressful for kids and always having a source of light can aid them greatly.
The best kind of flashlight for kids to have is probably a headlamp. It stays firmly in place, your kid will not have to look for it every time he/she wants to use it, and having a headlamp keeps both hands free at all times.
Mess kit – another must have item, everyone should have their own mess kit because of hygienic purposes, and kids will love to eat from their own mess kit, it will be like eating a family lunch, only in the wild. Mil-Spec Camper’s Mess Kit is made especially for children and can be a great choice.
Raincoat – This item will take little space in the backpack but will provide protection from the wet conditions that you and your kid might encounter. And having your child’s clothes dry is very important to keep him from being ill.
Extra socks and gloves – Kids are more sensitive to low temperature and you must provide them with the extra items to keep them warm at all times.
Mosquito net – this item will provide a perfect protection from the annoying insects for your child.
Pocketknife – Only equip it if your child is old enough to handle it. It can be a very helpful piece of equipment.
Here is another top notch article with more details on more essential items your kids will want.
First, you should note that the bug out bag that fits you probably won’t fit your kid. Second, kids can’t take very much equipment; you should equip their bag with only the most important items.
When you’re buying a bag for your kid always take the kid with you, because he must be comfortable wearing it and there’s no better way of finding that than letting him try out the backpack.
It’s very important that the backpack has enough room for the most important items, like sleeping bag, extra clothes, basic survival equipment and some food.
There are some general rules about size of the backpack in comparison to the child’s age:
If a child is 4-7 years old, the backpack should be somewhere between 11″ and 13″ and width should be between 6″ and 7″.
For kids that are 8-12 years, the height should be between 14″ and 15 – 1/2″ and width should be between 7-1/2″ and 8-1/2″.
For ages 13-15, height is between 16-1/2″ and 17-1/2″ and width should be 9″
Finally for ages 16-18, height should be between 18″ and 19″ and width can go from 9″ to 9-1/2″
One last tip regarding the size: Amazon has a special section of the site completely centered on bug out bags for kids.
As for bag weight and realistic walking expectations, the following should be a guide to make sure your child does not develop any health issues down the road:
Age 3 – 4
Pack weight: None
Realistic Daily Travel Distance (No Bug Out Bag): 1 mile or so
Age 5 – 6
Packing Weight: 5 lbs.
Realistic Daily Travel Distance with Bug Out Bag: 2 – 4 miles
Age 7 – 11
Pack weight: 10 – 20% of body weight
Realistic Daily Travel Distance with Bug Out Bag: 5 – 7 miles
Age 12 & older
Pack weight: 20 -25% of body weight
Realistic Daily Travel Distance with Bug Out Bag: 7 miles & up
How to Choose a Quality “Enough” Bag for Your Child
This can be problematic. You can look for reviews on the sites that are dealing with backpacks, Amazon, eBay or some similar site. Or you can go to the store and have a chat with the seller. You can just go shopping with your child and see which backpack he likes the most. The only important rule is that backpack should have enough room for the most necessary child bug out equipment.
What Food is the Best to Carry in a Kids Bug Out Bag?
You should take the food your child likes because they will not so easily be coaxed into eating the food you think is good for a camping trip or hiking.
Just take with you the food that is both nutritious and easy to carry. Aside from the food your child likes you should take:
Energy bars: they are both tasty and nutritious, and they are easy to carry.
Powdered milk – a great source of nutrients, easy to make and it’s not going to spill like the regular milk.
Ready-made food packets – Usually the kids love them, they are easy to make and will last you for a very long time.
Under these potentially dire circumstances, you and your family might face, keeping your children comfortable becomes extremely important. To minimize their possible sense of anxiety and stress, parents should do all they can to make the situation for their children, no matter the age, as comfortable and bearable as possible.