I looked in the corner of my room and saw a bright orange backpack. It was my childhood 72 hour kit. It resided in the hall closet of my old home from the time I was barely out of diapers to when we moved. When we moved, my parents saw fit to pass these kits on to us as they had no use for them. Well, as I am now an adult, the 72 hour kit of a toddler is not something I can find a whole lot of use in either. But I took it, and it has sat in my room for the past year or so.. I guess in case I need an 18-19 year old 72 hour kit.
I've been toying with personal preparedness lately. Though I have no home, no family to take care of and food storage isn't really plausible, I have taken some steps in preparedness. Some of them are things that some might deem crazy like collecting guns and ammunition (these things don't really go bad, so it's an easy step to take). But more recently I've toyed with making a 72 hour kit (The modern term for this is "Bug Out Bag" in conspiratorial and paranoid preparedness circles... Of which I am a fringe member). I got a bag in the mail (realizing later that a backpack really is better suited. Oh well.) and now I'm thinking about what to put in it. So I grabbed the old orange backpack.
Some of the contents are mostly useless to me now. Things such as pants, sock, and underwear. I suppose they could be useful for things other than their intended purpose, but that's not likely.
Some things MIGHT still be okay. Things such as first aid supplies (Other than the Children's Chewable Tylenol that expired in 06/90). Also, does anyone know how long MRE meals last? I'm a little doubtful they are still good.
But some things will absolutely make their way into my new kit. Things such as dust masks, waterproof matches (I tested one), emergency blankets, notepad and mechanical pencil, metal cup/bowl thing (though I might replace it with a lighter one), emergency poncho... etc.
There were a few things I didn't know whether or not they would work or not. Such as chemical hand warmers and glow sticks.
The hand warmer had an expiration date of 1990. I opened the package and shook it up. It did get a little warmer, but not in any significant fashion. I thought it weird that it would go bad, as it's just a simple chemical reaction. I read the ingredients and found that one was water. I figured that after all these years it could have dried out completely. So I ran it under COLD water (for sake of the test), and shook it up some more. Sure enough, it was a little warmer than before, but not in any significant fashion. So hand warmers 18 years past expiration, no good.
But what about the glow stick? It had a date of 1991. I cracked it, shook it, and sure enough:
I guess I'll keep the other one around, even though I don't see a whole lot of use, other than making yourself visible. I can imagine my mom intended to put one on me if we were moving around at night so I wouldn't get lost. Makes sense to me. As far as it creating light? Not really good at that. I'll probably grab one of those flashlights that you power by shaking, or cranking.
Perhaps I'll post more when I decide on exactly what makes it into my bag and put it all together. Until then, adios.