72 Hour Kit

What do you need when an emergency happens and you need supplies quickly? You prepare a 72-hour kit ahead of time and take it with you. It will keep you alive and in relative comfort for three days of operations. Keep this in mind when you assemble your kit.

This list of recommended items is not necessarily comprehensive or required. Use it as a guideline to create your own kit. You might add items you feel important and / or delete items you feel are of no use to you. Please feel free to do so.

For yourself


  • Warm jacket in bright colors
  • Sturdy work shoes or boots
  • Sox and underwear
  • Rain suit
  • Hat
  • Work Gloves


  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Plastic tarp for ground cover


  • Water, at least 2 quarts per day
  • Canned food and high energy snacks
  • Can opener
  • Spoon
  • Cup

First aid / medication / toilet kit

  • 3 day supply of personal medications!
  • First Aid kit
  • Sun screen
  • Deodorant (no guarantee of shower available)
  • Toilet paper or Kleenex tissue
  • Moist Towelettes or Purell (waterless hand wash)

Miscellaneous Items

  • Spare eyeglasses or contacts and solutions
  • Cash, including small bills and coins for public phones, etc.
  • Fanny-pack/Back-pack
  • Space Blanket
  • Small refillable water bottle
  • Large trash bags
  • Flashlight w/extra batteries (white LED type preferred)
  • Whistle


  • Swiss army knife and/or Leatherman-type tool
  • Screwdrivers, Phillips and flat
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Vise Grip
  • Diagonal cutter
  • Crescent adjustable wrench
  • Hammer
  • Electrical tape
  • VOM
  • Duct tape
  • Crimper and wire stripper
  • Soldering Iron w/solder
  • Assorted adapters, connectors, nails, screws

Radio Equipment

  • Amateur radio license (small copy OK)
  • VHF / UHF radio
    • HandiTalkie (dual band if possible)
    • Spare battery packs (charged) or AA-cell battery adapter
    • Speaker-mic
  • or
    • Mobile Radio (dual band if possible)
    • Switching power supply (A/C)
    • 50 feet extension cord
    • Multi-outlet power strip
  • Headset
  • Vertical 1/4 wave or larger mag-mount / ground plane antenna, dual band 2M / 440
  • 50 ft RG8X coax with UHF connectors
  • BNC or SMA to PL259 adapters if needed
  • UHF-UHF barrel adapters

Operating Station

  • Notebook or paper pad
  • Pens and pencils, including a larger marker pen
  • Clip board
  • Watch
  • Maps (BRYAN’S Sectional Map)
  • Blank message forms

Laptop for digital and email (optional)

  • Laptop computer pre-loaded with ham programs, etc
  • Laptop power supply and cord
  • Power strip (surge protected)
  • optional (UPS)
  • USB or desk lamp
  • Connection cables from laptop to rig
  • Interface unit (ex: Signalink, RadioBoss, RigBlaster, etc.)

Optional items

  • 2M Beam Antenna w/Tripod, mast, guy rope and pegs
  • Nut Driver set
  • Folding set of Allen/Torx wrenches
  • Zip Cord
  • Transistor radio
  • Binoculars
  • Scanner

HF Unique

  • HF rig (12V dc preferred) with:
  • Microphone
  • Key or paddle
  • Head phones
  • Headset adapter (Heil)
  • Footswitch
  • External speaker

Antennas, Tuner and Coax

  • 50 ft RG8X or better
  • NVIS antenna: (NOT a mobile vertical!)
  • 75m dipole w/ ladder line or 130 ft of wire or equivalent
  • Antenna tuner with built-in SWR meter
  • Insulators
  • 3 Masts, 8 ft or more, preferably non-conductive
  • Guy rope
  • Pegs for guys
  • Lead weight and 50 ft light line for tossing over tree branches
  • Bright marking tape to warn passers-by of guys and lines.

Power Source

  • 12V gel cell 75 A/H with charger
  • Vehicle with 12V battery and gas
  • 20-30 amp switching power supply
  • 50 ft extension cord
  • Multi-outlet power strip

Portable shack:

  • Canopy or shelter tent
  • Table and chair
  • Portable light

For public service events

  • Cooler with snacks and drinks
  • Folding chair
  • Umbrella (sun or rain)