The Survival Backpack – Section #4: Important Contents for Children’s Backpacks

How & What To Pack In Your Child’s Bug Out Bag

The best thing about a bug out bag that looks like it’s a school backpack is that it’s roomy enough to fit the essentials and yet not too big.

Kids can’t carry as much as adults, so the bugout bag that fits your kid best is a school backpack. Be prepared for your child with a bugout bag.

To give children a sense of security, is involving them in your preparedness planning as much as possible. That means talking to them in an age appropriate way about what you expect of them, what they should expect during a disaster, and also involving them in preparedness drills and training.

Age Range (years)Contents Of Backpack
4-7 yrs.Food
As mentioned earlier, children love to eat, and they will eat more when they are bored and concerned. 
Strange isn’t it? 
I am sure that you have never eaten out of stress or boredom. 

Be sure that at this age they are snacks that you can easily open and consume yourself. 
Here are some groceries you could pack in your backpack:
Granola bar
Survival rations (see our article: 
Emergency rations NRG-5, BP WR )
Freeze-dried fruits

Children can get dirty very quickly, so they should pack an extra shirt, pants and even a pair of socks in their backpack. 
You should also add a few toiletries:
Wet wipes
Simple hand sanitizer
Child-specific hygiene articles.

Nothing holds back like a child is thirsty. 
“I’M DYING OF THIRST AND WANT TO DRINK!” Such sentences can be heard / said just an hour after leaving your house. 
Seriously, thirst makes your escape a lot worse than it needs to be. 
Keep it simple.
Water bottle*****
possibly an easy-to-use water filter

Sleep system
Most escape backpacks do not pay enough attention to the sleep system. 
A child of any age can carry a hammock. 
A bivvy sack will keep them warm and dry in most cases, but it won’t be enough to get them a good night’s sleep.
Emergency blanket or small wool blanket
Bivvy sack.

More equipment?
Your 6 year old won’t be carrying a lot of equipment. 
You will find it difficult to carry much of anything. 
Depending on your age, some of the items listed above may need to fit in your emergency bag.
However, there are some pieces of equipment that you can take with you :
– Emergency whistle
– child-friendly knife
– Respirator mask FFP3
– Shemagh*
– Entertainment (e.g. books or toys, …)
8-12 yrs.Food
Not much changes here from the foods mentioned above. 
The amount of food and weight may increase as the strength of the wearer is greater. 
The only other things we would include could be some emergency rations.

Most of the hygiene requirements on the way to the escape location are met by damp travel towels. 
These are very practical for on the go, you feel refreshed and clean after use, the pack is small and light.
Body cleaning wipes
Hand sanitizer
Travel toothbrush and paste

At this age it is important that your children understand water filtration and pathogens that cause diseases. 
It allows children to take a more active role in things like cleaning and filtering water.
The use of a water filter such as the Lifestraw, Sawyer water filter, .. should be explained to the children and of course, also practiced.
– Nalgene water bottle
– small water filter
– small camping saucepan

Sleep system
At this age, there will be a little more desires when it comes to the sleep system. 
I would recommend sticking to hammocks and tarps as they work best. 
Choosing a campsite before an emergency and setting it up for the night is a huge learning opportunity.
Ropes (paracord, …)
Bivy, emergency blanket, sleeping bag

First Aid
Simple first aid and dealing with simple wounds and sprains should be something your kids at this age should be able to handle. 
A simple first aid kit will enable you to treat small wounds yourself.
Elastic bandages
band Aid
Wound disinfection
Antiseptic wipes
possibly allergy medication
Burn ointment
Insect repellents.

Survival gear
The use of real survival equipment is quite possible from this age. 
It will be supervised, but the children should be able to handle it by now. 
However, a big consideration is weight. 
You don’t want to overload your escape backpack with too much equipment, otherwise they won’t be able to keep up.
Small folding knife
Fire steel
Fire lighter (tinder material)

The only change here is the possible introduction of a cooking facility. 
At this age, your child should have their own stove, if only for practice.
Hobo stove
Esbit stove
small pot set.

The ability to filter and disinfect water should be something that children of this age should be able to do right away. 
It is very common all over the world for children to use this skill. 
Indeed, in many parts of the world it is necessary to survive.
With a few pieces of equipment, water treatment will be very easy.
Water filters (Lifestraw, Sawyer, Katadyn – are all great).
Water disinfection tablets (e.g. Micropur)
Water bottle

Hygiene is much more important at this age, and you need to be sure that you can handle the special needs of both boys and girls. 
I would add a few more things to the list above for preschoolers.
Sanitary towels or tampons for girls

We would recommend the same items here as for the 8-12 year old kids. 
An emergency blanket costs nothing, weighs nothing and can save your life in an emergency. 
The increase would be a bivy bag and the knowledge of how to build a night camp.

At this point in their life you should start upgrading the Bug Out Bag to the 10 C’s of survivability :
Survival Equipment – The 10 Most Important Things You Need ) cf. below
Fire start set (fire steel, lighter, matches, tinder)
Fixed blade knife
Navigation (map and compass)
Emergency radio
Ropes, paracord
* The Shemagh, also known as the keffiyeh or Arab scarf, is a simple yet efficient way to protect your face and neck from sun, wind and sand. … Styles of wearing the shemagh vary, but wrapping the scarf around the head and face provides optimal protection from the elements.

REMEMBER ! More details about any of the items previously described can be found by referring to the main menus.

***** Recommended Kids Water Bottle :

YETI Rambler Jr. 12 oz Kids Bottle, with Straw Cap
Widely regarded as the best insulated water bottle on the market for kids ! Perfect for forest-schoolers and packed lunch takers, these insulated, bullet-proof kids' bottles will keep water or juice chilled all day long. Tough enough to withstand neglect from the most energetic children,

- Dimensions: 8.3 cm x 21 cm ;
- Capacity: 355 ml ;
- Empty Weight: 454 g ;
- Material : 18/8 Stainless steel ;

> Rugged and ready for adventures.
> Double-Wall Vacuum Insulation - Keeps drinks ice cold.
> Dishwasher Safe ;
> DuraCoat™ Colour - Won't crack or peel.
> BPA Free - So they can safely sip without a worry in the world.
> No Sweat™ Design - Keep their hands dry - critical when summiting the jungle gym.

+ Includes backup straw and stickers. For children aged 3 years and over ;
+ but the leak-resistant lid in this model remains so key for most kids, along with the straw-sipping style and the wide mouth for adding ice cubes ;
+ these insulated, bullet-proof kids' bottles will keep water or juice chilled all day long.
+ YETI kids' drink bottles are available in a range of gorgeous child-friendly colours.

< The only downside of these water bottles is the price. They’re definitely more expensive than your average kiddie water bottle ;
< It’s also not made for hot beverages (straw!), nor for pulpy smoothies or carbonated drinks.

Details and recommendations about the equipment / items mentioned above can be read in the respective menus and sub-sections of this website.

NB :

What to add/include to your Child’s Bug Out Bag as a parent

Hunger. Babies are always hungry! When kids are out and about or bored or whatever, they can be quickly fed with a snack. Snacks are of great help. Pack a bag or section of your Bug out backpack with small meals.

Here are a few other great things to pack in your bug out bag when you have kids.

Children’s medicine for issues like cough and fever

These drugs are lifesaving when you have to flee and the children are not doing well. Or if they feel bad along the way. You don’t want your whole plan to fail because of a sick child.

Solar system for charging devices

At some point during your bug out, you will likely need a break. You will likely gather information and plan your next steps. If you need time to plan in peace, having a device for your kids will give you that quiet time. Make sure you can charge things like cell phones, kindles, and tablets.

These solar chargers are not very expensive and can be charged while walking.

Kids will love to get involved with your prepping. Work with them to build their own bug out bag so they know what’s inside. Show them how to use the kit contents. Also, be sure to print instructions for kids who can read, in case they get separated from you during a crisis.

Now let’s discuss Survival Backpacks for Women in the next sub-section of the Kits & Devices menu SECTION #5.




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