This article was adapted from the book Disaster Preparedness for Women. The book covers the fundamentals of prepping in 52 clear-cut steps. Whether you are new to prepping or a more experienced prepper, you will find the info, guides, and checklists in the book valuable. Get it here.
Building a Go Bag for just yourself is challenging enough. When you have to calculate family members into the plan – especially babies or toddlers – things can get really complicated.
There's no one perfect solution. You have to think about what makes sense for your family and what disasters you are preparing for. Here are some insights and things to think about when making Bug Out Bags for babies and small children.
Planning a BOB Bag for Babies or Toddlers
If you have small children, it's even more important you make a solid evacuation plan which includes a safe bug out location. You need to be prepared to leave quickly and early so you can avoid crowds and worsening weather and travel conditions. Hopefully you have your own vehicle so you can keep it packed and get on the road quickly.
But even the best-laid plans can go to hell.
Always keep Bug Out Bags ready to go. Pack them with the idea you might have to ditch your vehicle and walk, potentially through rain, deep water, at night, or in other really terrible conditions.
Bug Out Gear for Babies and Toddlers
Ideally, a Bug Out Bag should weigh no more than 20% of your body weight. Otherwise the bag will be too heavy to carry, especially if you have to go over tough terrain or run. However, there's really not a good way to travel light with a baby in tow. They need supplies like diapers, wipes, creams, bottles, and formula.
I personally found it easier to travel with infants than toddlers. Infants might cry a lot and use up more diapers, but they are content to cuddle in a front carrier. By contrast, my toddler wants to constantly run around. I worry about losing her in crowds as well as keeping her clean when she decides to run through a giant puddle.
If you aren't sure what items you really need for evacuating with your small kids, I recommend going on a family camping trip. Even better, go on a backpacking trip. You'll get a crash course in what it's like to get by with minimal supplies as well as what's essential versus what's nice to have.
Below are some of the key Bug Out gear you need for babies and small children. At the end of the article, you can find a complete list of baby BOB items.
Strollers and Carriers
My younger daughter is currently 18 months old. She's already over 20lbs. Combined with the weight of my Bug Out Bag, it's a lot to carry! Luckily I've got a pretty tough stroller I could use to push her as well as haul her supplies. But strollers aren't exactly the ideal solution for evacuating.