What's Usually Forgotten in Kid's Survival Kits

child-932369_960_720Believe it or not, some of the simplest things are ignored when building survival kits for kids. Just like adults, they still need the basic necessities like food, water, clothing, shelter and other hygienic items. However, their survival kits require more of a personal touch that’ll psychologically help them through what some may consider a traumatic experience. Survival kits are great to have at home, school or while camping. To help those parents who have questions, we’ve compiled a list of items to include in your kids survival kit.

Building Your Kids Survival Kit

Bare Necessities

  • Non-Perishable Food - When preparing your kids survival kit, make sure to include food that requires little to no preparation. Whether they are 5 or 10, do what you can to make their situation less stressful.
  • Clean Water - Make sure to have at least 1 - 2 gallons of clean water stored in their pack at all times.
  • Yummy Snackies - This could be chips, granola bars, freeze dried fruits or candy. Make sure to include snacks that they like and will bring them comfort.
  • Warm Clothes - Make sure to include long sleeve shirts, jacket, gloves, warm hat, poncho, 2 pairs of socks and 3 pairs of underwear. Rotate the clothing every 6 months depending on the seasons and how fast they grow.

Emergency Supplies

Survival Whistle

      • First Aid Kit - A great lesson to teach your kids is how to properly use items in a first aid kit. Practicing how to clean cuts or wrap an injured area are both great places to start.
      • Emergency Blanket
      • Hand Warmers
      • Pocket Knife - Before including a knife in your kids survival kit, teach them how to handle and properly use it.
      • 7-In-1 Survival Whistle - This multi-functioning survival whistle also includes a whistle, compass, thermometer, mirror, small internal compartment, magnifier and bright LED light.

2 Person Tube Tent

  • Face Mask
  • Tube Tent - In the case that you're child is separated from you, always make sure to include some type of shelter to protect them from other elements. The goal is to keep them safe, comfortable and warm.
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Rechargeable Flashlight
  • Glow Sticks
  • Money - Whether they are at school or somewhere else, keep anywhere from $15 - $20 in their backpack at all times.


  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Chapstick
  • Soap
  • Washcloth
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Shampoo

Psychological NecessitiesWhat's Forgotten in Kids Survival Kits
What sets kids survival kits apart from adults are items to psychologically keep them occupied during an emergency situation. Your number one goal is to keep them as calm and comfortable as you can. Include things that they will enjoy.

  • Notepad
  • Pencils (or pens)
  • Crayons
  • Pencil
  • Card Game
  • Photo Album
  • Books

Teaching your kid how to use all of the items in their survival kit is just as important as filling it up. We recommend that you talk at least twice a year and go over every items function in an emergency (earthquake, tornado, flood, etc.). But don't stop there, use everyday opportunities to share your knowledge of preparing. Especially when you're camping. Try and include fun activities where they are required to test their new found survival skills.

What advice do you have for parents who are building survival kits for their kids? 

6 thoughts on “What's Usually Forgotten in Kid's Survival Kits”

  • edwina

    I have found some great children's books about kids surviving disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti. My grandchild and I have read the story together and then talked about it. What would you do? How do you think that felt to be trapped after the earthquake. Wasn't he brave and stayed calm. Where the safest place at Nana house in an emergency. Where do I keep the flashlights, etc. It is a great way to discuss possibilities and get them thinking about themselves without making it too scary.

  • Sheila Orr

    I have crayons, several small coloring books from Dollar Tree and Hot Wheel cars. I also collect kids meal toys. Also, Dollar Tree carries bracket and necklace glow sticks in small packages to fit in little bug out bags. Kids love them and it keeps them in sight during the dark. Sorry about the name dropping, but it makes it easier to locate items.

  • Erika

    Make that washcloth a dark color. Kids fall down and get hurt in the best of times--and I'm sure a disaster will be no different. Having a dark washcloth means you can minimize the trauma by not having them see the amount of blood. White or light colored means it is emphasized and so is the reaction!
    Also the idea of a kid's backpack with 1-2 gallons of water seems a bit extreme. that would have to be a strong kid. Maybe a few juice boxes, a bottle of water and one of the filter straws? I live in the northeast, so water is everywhere--it just needs cleaning.

  • Carla

    This is for traveling as well - toss in a mini soft stuffed toy that they can hold (i.e. beanie baby type), something small enough to not take up space but something to snuggle with and to keep "scary things" away.. Also a very small soft blanket (or even a part of one that they grew up with. The little things can be the best in making life more normal. This actually works for adults as well since it gives a lot of stress relief.
    I actually would take my favorite pillow which I do travel with and I am in the advanced aged category.
    Just adding one more idea.

  • Cheryl Olson

    Whatever you decide to include in the child's kit, have them carry the pack around the block a few times (obviously go with them) to be sure they can handle it. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds, so that could be a serious problem for even 10-12 year old's to haul along with all the other things they'll need in the pack.

  • Don

    If the emergency backpack is being taken to school, do not add the knife. Most school systems today think of a knife as a weapon. We do not want a child to suffer the consequences of caring a knife to school.
    By all means teach them how to use a knife and include it in an back pack not going to school.

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