Bug Out Bag for a Toddler

We’re slowly starting to get things in place for boy #2.  I’ll spare you the details about the furniture rearranging and marathon sessions of spring cleaning meets nesting. But, I thought y’all might be interested in our Bug Out Bag plans for boy #1.  He’ll be transitioning out of his diaper bag (which was always considered his BOB) and into something more closely resembling the adult BOBs.  The diaper bag will be reassembled for the newborn, and will serve as his BOB.

Fewer Diapers, More Calories – There are differences between what a newborn needs for emergencies and what a little boy needs.  For boy #1, we knew the first things we wanted to tackle were the food items.  Ration Bars and MRE’s are easy solutions for adults, but I’m pretty sure they’d make for one unhappy young lad.  I’m in the camp that thinks BOBs should be assembled with the goal of making a bad situation better, not just survivable.   So, I turn to things like dry soups and noodles.  In familiar flavors like creamy wild rice and chicken noodle. Also in the line up are a couple servings of our favorite snack mix, full of dried fruit and peanuts and choc chips.  We make a ton of snack mix around here, and I’ll just make sure that a cup or two of it ends up rotating through his BOB.  He gets oatmeal packets just like hubby and I have in our BOBs. Again it’s DIY, just baggies full of regular oats and raisins and some cinnamon/nutmeg, already premixed.  Rounding things out are some crackers and peanut butter, whole packages of both, just to keep things easy.

Familiar, Healthy,  Storage Friendly –  With the younger (and the really old) crowd, the more familiar you can keep things like food, the happier they stay, and the better they fare during disruptions.  The middle of a flood, while trying to get through a 3 day stay in an emergency shelter is not the time to find out whether your toddler likes the dried pineapple you packed for him.  If it’s not a normal every-day type food, either find a way to make it so, or don’t pack it in their BOB.  Equally, you don’t want a hype-up, fueled on Snickers and Pepsi toddler. The blood sugar crashes that accompany processed foods and sugars will only be amplified when the toddler is trying to deal with the emotions and trials of relocation due to emergency.  Whole grains, whole fruits (dried is fine), and some vegetables (again dried into soup mixes is fine) will really help keep him stable and happy. I don’t want to have to worry over much about the food that goes into the BOBs, so everything needs to be dried and securely packaged, or like the peanut butter, sealed in original packaging.

Keep it light – Dried also helps with the weight issue. Even more so than the adult BOBs, the toddler BOB MUST BE LIGHT.   When it gets too heavy for the toddler, it’ll just end up on your shoulders, so it’s in your best interest to keep it as light as possible.  To that end, his water quotient, which was already divided between hubby and I, will remain so, even as we increase it a little.  He has his own little water bottles, and I imagine he can handle carrying that, but carrying a full two day’s worth is a bit much to ask of a 3 year old.

Age Appropriate Gear – He’ll get a whistle, just like Mom and Dad’s, but he’s not going to get a compass or firestarter or fishing kit.  He has an emergency blanket, change of clothes and light sources, but instead of a knife and first aid kit, he gets some toys and a book or two. As he ages and 1) gains interest in and 2) becomes safe with it, we’ll swap out toys for bigger boy survival gear. What we’re putting together now will just serve as the base and we’ll individualize it as he grows. Speaking  of growth, we’ll need to swap out his clothing more often than we do ours, as he’ll be changing sizes more often than we do.  Not a big deal, but it would suck to forget.

My little boy is growin’ up. It’s a good thing there’s a baby on the way to keep me properly supplied with toothless grins and contented snuggles. :-D Anybody else got BOBs for a youngster, any hard learned lessons about what to put in it?

– Calamity Jane

5 comments… add one
  • London Prepper April 3, 2012, 8:50 am

    Great post, have really focused some thoughts I’ve had on children, babies and pregnant women. However, I am still having trouble with Bugging out on Foot (I really really hope that will never happen). If you have a Toddler and Pregnant Wife/Baby to move what is the best strategy, best stuff. Carrying a BOB and Toddler, with pregnant wife in tow with a BOB is just not going to work effectively. Anyone with their ideas? (Sorry for the hijack)

    London Prepper

    • Calamity Jane April 3, 2012, 9:50 am

      Yea, that’s pretty much my nightmare scenario there. The problem is there’s no good solution. If you can’t shove everyone in a car, you’re just not going to get far.
      IF you could build something like a chinese wheelbarrow, I think you could get some good BO distance. (Picture here: http://globalpostcardsales.com/productDetail.php?id_prd=470) Some sort of bike and trailer might work, there are recumbent bikes that a pregnant woman could ride with less discomfort than walking would entail.
      The best thing you can do I think is to aim for bugging in. Any bugging out without fossil fueled assistance is just going to be slow and hazardous.

  • Alexia April 3, 2012, 8:56 pm

    We have 4 kids. (10, 7, 4 and 10 months)

    I have a sling, and a lighter bag (the same weight as the 7 year old); the hubby has to carry the most weight. The 4 year old’s bag just has extra socks for everyone, and toys…

  • izzy April 6, 2012, 5:20 am

    I remember my little legs not being able to keep up with my parents when they walked all over the city… probably nowadays children walk even less and are not prepared. It is good for a child to be used to walking and carrying, but perhaps a lightweight 70’s-style tripod stroller could save you from carrying physically exhausted children?

    Jane, what stuff would you parents carry specifically for the kids (that you might not carry otherwise)? I’m curious…
    I have heard that the parents should also carry medicine for cold/flu/etc – pain, decongestant, diarrhea, etc – as well as rehydration packets (homemade or Pediasure).

  • vicki April 22, 2012, 4:20 pm

    We plan to use a game cart to carry our grandkids and gear in case of a BO situation. They are built to carry up to 500 lbs and I can easily handle one by myself. Check them out at sporting goods shops.


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