Are you worried about sending your grown-up kids off to college without all the necessary “emergency” preps? I got my son set up for living on his own but didn’t really leave him with a good 72 hour kit. We also didn’t have much discussion about evacuation plans while in the dorms. When he came home for Christmas I decided to give him a fun 12 Days of Christmas surprise. I wanted to make him a complete College Student Disaster Kit! When googling “72 hour kits for college students” nothing very helpful came up. So I decided to create a guide myself!
I asked for some ideas in my Facebook Group of how I could theme the 12 days to make it fit the song. I compiled all the ideas and here is what I came up with.
72 Hour Kits for College Students: 12 Days of Christmas-Style
- A compass and map that lead to Grandma Lori (my mom lives 45 minutes from him)
- 2 Face Masks
- 3 Thrive Meals
- 4 Water Items
- 5 PAIRS OF SOCKS!!!
- 6 Things to Stay Warm
- 7 Emergency Items
- 8 Piece Cooking Kit
- 9 Protein Bars
- 10 Multi-Tool
- 11 Hygiene Items
- 12+ Piece First Aid Kit
Watch my video overview to see all of the items I included in each section. After he opened it up, we definitely bulked up a few of the categories. We discussed what he would actually be using these items for and added accordingly. He was super excited to use some things for camping. I quickly clarified that he needs to put them BACK in the disaster kit when he is finished the camping session.
Where to Buy 72 Hour Kit Contents
WATER PRODUCTS – You can often find Lifestraws on sale for under $10! So keep an eye out. I included some actual water to last until he can find a water source. Mylar pouches, boxes, or just plastic water bottles are all suitable options for 72 hour kits for college students. The pouches and boxes have a better shelf life, have less chance of freezing, and avoid chemicals leaching into the plastic in extreme heat.
CRANK RADIO/FLASHLIGHT – I love all-in-one emergency tools and this little crank radio can also serve as a flashlight so I thought it was pretty handy. I have seen a lot of these but I liked this one because it has a solar panel in the top. Always helpful to recharge and avoid cranking away.
CUBE STOVE / FIREBOX – Any portable stove will be handy. The Firebox folds flatter but is quite a bit more expensive. I opted to give him a Cube Stove which is still handy for burning multiple types of fuels and doesn’t take up TOO much space! I included a few fuel pellets to 🙂
COOKING KIT – This was by far my favorite addition to his kit. I will have to do a full review on this little set later. It includes silverware, two cooking pots, a cup, and even a tiny propane stove … that all compacts into a small carrying bag. I am going to be buying a few more of these cooking kits for our family 72 hour kits in the future!
MULTI-TOOL – The world is your oyster with all the little tools, multi-tools, pocket knives, etc. that you can add to a kit. I went for this 10-tool set to make it fit with the song but you can do almost anything for this one. When putting together 72 hour kits for college students MORE tools is probably better 😉 My son was playing with his like a new toy for Christmas haha.
FIRST AID KITS – I first went with this 12-piece first aid kit to fit the song. However, I actually swapped it out with a 58 piece set that I had on hand that was the same size box! You can grab these from any store but there are also lots of options online if you hate shopping like me…
Need a Complete Emergency Preparedness Plan?
After putting together his 72 hour kit, we realized he had quite a few holes in his preps. So I grabbed a copy of my emergency preparedness plan that I use for our family. We had a good chat talking about what some potential disasters could be, and how he would react. We made a plan for a few more items he can add to his supplies when he gets back to school. Overall it was a great learning experience.
Maybe it’s time to go through an in depth plan with your college kid or just with your family! Make sure to download my FREE RESOURCE by clicking the link below.
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-Jodi Weiss Schroeder