72 Hour Kit Series Week #1: Water to Carry


Welcome to week #1 in the “72 Hour Kit Ideas: A week by week approach” series.


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Week #1: Water to Carry

Water is to essential life. You cannot survive without water. For that reason, water should be the first thing you add to your 72 hour supplies. But there is one problem: water is heavy! The recommended 3 gallons per person (for a 3 day period) weighs 25 pounds (8.33 gallons per pound)!

water storage



You will not be able to carry 25 pounds of water plus all your other supplies. Instead, I recommend packing just enough drinking water for the first day. So this week, add 1/2 gallon of water per person to your pack.  (The other 1/2 gallon of water that is recommended by FEMA is for cleaning etc).

This purpose of this 1/2 gallon is to get you through until you can find an alternate water source.  Next week, we will talk about how to make that alternate source safe to drink.

Ideas / Options:

Consider the following as you decide which will work best for your family.

  • Water BottlesBuild a robust, personalized 72 hour kit one week at a time over 26 weeks
  • Water Boxes
  • Water Pouches

What We Have Done In Our Family:

I like the ease of rotating and purchasing water bottles. We have eight 16.9

ounce bottles and 3 water boxes in each of our large adult kits. We also have 3 water boxes in each of our 6 year old boy’s kits.

How About You?

Leave me a comment and tell what type of water you will be adding to your kit supplies


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Week #26: Rotate, Update, Test and Review Week #2: Making Water Safe Series Intro: 72 Hour Kit Series, A Week by week approach


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Water is HEAVY! It is impossible to carry 3 gallons of water in a 72 hour kit. Come read what the solution is.


Becky is a wildlife enthusiast and pet and livestock care expert with a diploma in canine nutrition. With over a decade of experience in animal welfare, Becky lends her expertise to Simple Family Preparedness through insightful info about pets, livestock, bee keeping, and the practicalities of homesteading.

219 thoughts on “72 Hour Kit Series Week #1: Water to Carry”

  1. My bug out bag/evacuation bag is actually a Camelbak backpack with a 2 liter water bladder. If I need to leave, I just have to fill it up with one 2 liter soda bottle’s worth of water (I have plenty of them treated, filled, and stashed away). There are also two 20 oz water bottles in the bag’s side pockets. I keep more water in each of the family cars.

    I also have water in the animal’s bug out bag. Dogs need 0.5 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day (cats need less). I live in a hot and humid area, so I go with 1 ounce per pound. Since I have two big dogs and a cat, even one day of water for them is 1.5 gallons. That weight adds up fast. I’ll have to figure out some way to wrangle 2 dogs, a cat, and everyone’s stuff if I ever had to leave home on foot (unlikely, but possible).

  2. I keep at least one full case of water in my car. I have boxes of water in my freezer to help keep stuff frozen if power goes out and then it can be used when it thaws. I have 3gallon water bottles that I rotate every month or so with the fresh water I have delivered for my water dispenser and als a couple of the five gallon ones. I am taking a class thru our local utility company in August to build and learn to use a water retention barrel. The class includes all materials and instruction for only $40! I am hoping to take the class more than once as the price is less than buying the materials! There is only one of me so I keep a well stocked bug out bag and a car emergency bag in my van. I have three bug outs in my home as there used to be more people here. I have converted one to just cooking supplies with a propane stove plate, a stereo stove and a little stove that uses disk fuel in it. I figure it is best to be prepared if I have to go somewhere for shelter to have differing types of cooking fuel as they may have different rules on what may be used. I have my freeze dried meal pouches from Thrive and some of the meal bars in each kit along with stuff to make safe water. I also have water bottles with the heavy duty filters in them. Guess I have close to enough water. My home bags are in pilot bags with wheels so I can hook them together to pull. I have tested them out and I can hook smaller bags on top and pull two pilots behind me!

  3. We’ve been storing water bottles and recently revamped our kits….I have a bunch of water bottles that are probably a couple years old at best. What would you do with the old water? I don’t really want to drink it, I’m sure it doesn’t taste very good…and we live in a townhome so I don’t really have any plants to water….should I just dump it?

    • “But there is one problem: water is heavy! The recommended 3 gallons per person (for a 3 day period) weighs 25 pounds (8.33 gallons per pound)! You will not be able to carry 25 pounds of water plus all your other supplies. ”

      Next week, we will talk about ways you can make water that you FIND safe to drink!

  4. I like the idea of longer shelf life water, but honestly, I don’t understand how water has a “shelf-life”. I need to google this! I have rolling luggage that I don’t use anymore, I can certainly pull that out and fill it up!

    • Water doesn’t have a shelf life as such. It can go stagnant if exposed to bacteria.

      The main ‘shelf life’ is caused by the degredation of the packaging.

  5. Starbucks coffee receives several products in 120-oz. plastic bottles with handles. These bottles are thrown away, unless you ask for them. There are four bottles in a 10-inch cubical cardboard box. One box (four bottles) holds enough water for one person for two days.

  6. ok so i have a dumb question, but how long can water be stored in a opened container, say a soda 2 liter bottle that you filled yourself? forever? a few years/months? Would it go bad or just not taste good?

    • Not a dumb question! I actually get it often!

      And it depends. Water stored in sunlight can start to grow algae pretty quickly (within months) and become unsafe to drink. If you are storing it in a cool dark place, it will last much longer. You can add a drop of bleach to each container to help, but it will change the taste of the water. I actually prefer stabilized chlorine dioxide (something like this yourownhomestore.thrivelife.com/aquamira-water-treatment-2-oz.html) because it leaves no aftertaste.

  7. We have several cases of water bottles; I buy them almost every time I buy groceries. We rotate through them on a regular basis. I keep some in each vehicle and put some in our bags as well. I think I will start adding gallon jugs too, just for convenience if we shelter in or have to leave by car. I also think the gallon jugs would be more convenient for things like personal hygiene and cooking. I may look into pouches too, due to their shelf life and lighter weight.


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