There is a lot of debate on whether we should be teaching our kids survival skills, or talking to them about what’s happening in the world. Should our kids be aware of the state our country is in, and the direction it is headed? Should they have an EDC kit or a bug out bag? Should you even consider bugging out with them, or just figure out how to bug in with them?
Those are just a few questions that have come up when talking about prepping and kids. When it comes down to it, we do what we have to, to protect our children. In some cases that is teaching them prepping and survival skills, and helping them build a bug out bag.
There is a huge difference between what a 2 year old needs and is capable of and what an 8 year old needs and can do; so I have broken down children into age appropriate sections. Each section has needs and abilities in them; according to what I think is appropriate. Your child might not fall into said section, this is just a suggestion.
- 0 to 2 years old: children in this age group are not going to be able to do much for themselves. When packing a BOB for them, it will have to be included into YOUR BOB. Warm clothes, shoes, hats, mittens, wipes, diapers, rash cream, sippy cup for water, and even a carrier for the child itself. Make sure you have everything your child will need for the 3 days, if not longer. Also pack small toys. It is going to be stressful enough, bring things to keep baby happy. Food is going to be really hard to pack for a child in this age range. One month is a big difference between what a child can and can’t eat. Breast milk is the best for a child in this range. One can survive on breast milk alone, as long as mom is getting enough nutrients. The last thing to consider is having aN95 mask for the child that will help with 95% of airborne particles, including dust. Make sure to check clothing items monthly, as the child can outgrow things fast.
- 3 to 5 years old: This age group can carry a light weight backpack of their own. Make sure the back pack is a child size one that fits your child. Have them help pick out what to put in it. Include items such as warm clothes, 3 pair socks, 3 pair underwear, extra pair of shoes, hat, gloves, hand warmers, tooth brush, bar of soap, wipes, glow sticks, flash light, emergency blanket, refillable water bottle, and some food. A child in this age group needs about 1.3 liters a day of water and 6 small meals, including snacks. Each normal water bottle pictured here is around .5 liters of water, so a child in this age range would need around 3 of these a day. (Not in their backpack)
- Your child should also have their own N95 mask, some small toys, a deck of cards, dice, and a pen and paper. The last thing that your child should have is identification. An updated family picture, his/her name, parents name, address, phone number, emergency contact info other than parents. I put this all on one index card and laminate it. This card then goes INSIDE of a pocket of the backpack and should only be used if you and your child are separated. TEACH your children how to use this info. Also TEACH them about strangers. My children know if they are separated from my-self or my husband to look for another mother, a female with other kids, NOT a man. NOT a policeman/fireman. (Anyone can get a uniform).
- 6 to 12 years old: This age is great to start teaching your kids about HOW to be a prepper. Involve them in packing their BOB. Teach them why each item is in their bag and how it can be used. Also make sure to check that the extra clothes still fit every few months, we just outgrew out extra sets again. 6 to 12 year olds need to have 2.4 liters a day of water and eat 4 meals. Include water filtration supplies and fire starting supplies in their kits. A knife might be handy as well. For kids this age, a map of your area might be a very good tool to include as well. Don’t forget to include identification and an updated family picture for them as well. They might have to prove that you belong to each other. String is also a great item to include and don’t forget to include “toys” to keep them occupied. See full list of supplies below. We also have a place to meet if we get separated. Somewhere we all can get to easily. The cross at a church, a certain water tower, the park, or a landmark.
Suggestions for the BOB for kids:
- Extra clothes
- 3 pairs socks
- 3 pairs underwear
- Extra pair shoes
- Bar of soap in plastic bag
- Tooth brush/toothpaste
- Wet wipes (can be used for TP or for washing)
- Map of the area
- Identification papers/ family picture
- Refillable water bottle that is filled
- Water filtration supplies (be sure your kids know how to use them properly)
- Food/snacks such as crackers, nuts, fruit snacks, raisins, beef jerky, granola bars, MRE’s, gum, hard candy
- Glow sticks
- Flashlight with extra set of batteries
- Emergency blanket
- Small First Aid Kit
- N95 mask that fits per child
- Paper and pen
- Cards and dice
- Bag of dryer lint and lighter (practice how to make a fire)
Are you prepping with your kids? Do they have a bug out bag? What tips and advice can you offer the Freedom Prepper community about teaching our kids to prep and be always ready?