I wanted to throw this public service announcement out there for any newbies: pre-made 72-hour kits and bug out bags are, almost universally, complete and utter crap.
They are a bundle of cheap, made in the least-skilled factories in China stuff, with a huge markup slapped onto 'em. Photos might look ok, but trust me -- flimsy materials, shoddy construction and all around crappiness abound. Contents will be broken on arrival, break after their first use and just generally fall apart on you.
Really, you say?
Really. The makers of these kits find the absolute lowest costs junk, bundle it together and call it some variety of survival kit. We're talking stuff that's so crappy they'd have a hard time selling it in a dollar store. It's a borderline scam.
These kits prey on two traits that most of us have: laziness and cheapness.
Laziness because, hey, you buy 'em once and you're done, right?
Cheapness because, hey, you can get a kit for under $100. You'll probably never use any of this stuff, so why invest a big chunk of change into this stuff.
Don't do it.
We're talking about equipment that you would be relying on in an emergency, a crisis, a potential life-or-death situation. That's not a role you want to trust this extra-low quality of stuff to fill. Because very of little of it works worth a darn off the shelf, let alone in an actual, real world, big, bad scary scenario. And it's not like you can pick out a quality item or two from the bunch. It will all end up thrown in your trash at some point.
Once upon a time, many moons ago, I worked for a company that, amongst
other things, sold a bunch of pre-made in China 72 hour kits. I was
happy to help people out with the company's other products--food
storage, MREs, camping gear and such--but never sold one of these
survival kits. I'd seen 'em, handled the contents and could not in good
conscience let someone buy one. People came in and asked about them
often, and I would tell them straight up, it's junk, don't waste your
money on it and certainly don't think to depend on it in a bad situation. I think I was able to stand working at that job for about a month before quitting.
You don't have to go broke preparing for an emergency, the end of civilization or whatever is concerning you. Take your time. Make a budget. Spend your money wisely, on quality stuff that will last years or a lifetime, not fall apart right away.
This has been your public service announcement.