Bug out plan with kids.

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Kids packs are hard, first of all contents will very depending on the kids age. Most kids 3 and over will need nothing more than an adult, though you will want to put some of their things in your bag to lighten their load. I would also add a small notebook and pencil or crayons. These can provide endless activities to calm and entertain a child. (My favorite when camping is to have them keep a list or color pictures of all the new things they see - this keeps them from wanting to "collect" along the way.) Also, when packing their food remember to keep their tastes in mind. If your kid can't get enough of peanut butter crackers, pack packaged peanut butter crackers. (But if you do, pack some raisins too to prevent constipation.) Many of the store bought snacks have shelf lives that boggle the imagination! I may have already mentioned packing band-aids with cartoon characters on them, I would pack one box of assorted sizes for each child 2 and older. This way you can cover not only disturbing cuts and scrapes but insect bites as well to prevent them scratching. Other than that I don't have many tips for kids 3 and older. If it makes them happy, and it's not too heavy, pack it. The most important thing to remember with young kids is that you will most likely have to carry them and their stuff at least part of the time. Look for lightweight and compact alternatives to the things you use everyday. Cloth rather than disposable diapers, (remember that stress can make a potty trained child "forget" his training) reuse wet bandannas rather than carrying wipes. The First Years makes a great compact food grinder for infants eating solids, pack some dried foods for grinding rather than carrying heavy, bulky jars of baby food. (Potatoes, carrots, yams, squash - it can all be dehydrated but remember you'll have to rehydrate and cook it before you can grind it.) If you're breastfeeding you've got it made, just remember that stress can cause your milk to dry up so pack some bottles and formula just in case. They now sell little disposable packets of premeasured formula. I would suggest feeding an infant on solids bottles or breast during the day and ground baby food in the evening. My kids are 22 months and 3 months old. We're not really sure how we're going to carry the both of them and all the stuff. We'll either each carry a child in a front pack and attach their packs to our back packs or construct a "pull cart" with a tarp and two poles. It will depend on where we are and where we're going. I'm in charge of the 3 month old. His pack attaches to mine but is still seperate, it contains: 4 diaper wraps - the kind that velcro closed. 10 cloth diapers 10 clothes pins - to attach rinsed diapers to the pack to dry. You can find a hundred other uses as well. 2 Playtex bottles 1 roll of disposeable bottle liners 12 premeasured packets of formula - he's breastfed, I carry these just in case I can't feed him for some reason. Plus if something were to happen to me it would be nice if he still got to eat! 2 footed sleepers 2 one piece outfits 4 pairs of socks 2 pairs of shoes 2 hats 2 warm blankets - when he's in the front pack I wrap these around him and secure them with clothes pins. Infant coats are too bulky for the front pack. 2 pairs long johns. The 22 month old's pack contains: 2 cups dried apples 2 cups raisins 4 packages store bought peanut butter crackers. 4 meal replacement bars 5 packages sweetened Kool-aid - you can mix this by the bottle or cup then fold over the package and secure with a clothes pin. I pack 5 because she enjoys having a choice. 4 dehydrated "dinners" 2 Playtex bottles - In case she reverts to wanting a bottle due to stress. 1 roll of bottle liners 2 pairs of diaper wraps 10 cloth diapers 10 clothes pins Several bandannas 4 pairs of socks 1 pair of tennis shoes 1 pair of hiking boots 2 pairs of jeans or canvas pants 4 T-shirts 2 long sleeve button up shirts 2 hats 1 pair of gloves 1 jacket 1 heavy coat 2 pairs of long johns 1 notebook 1 small box of crayons 1 "lovey" - stuffed monkey, comfort items are important. 1 good fork, spoon, tin cup and tin bowl

To our packs I added: 2 gallons of water - we have a filtration kit, and plenty of places to refil. Remember that nursing women need more water. 12 Hershey's bars - a good idea even if you don't have kids. Morale is important. 1 large bottle of Purell hand sanitizer

To the first aid kit I added: 1 bottle of infant Tylenol 1 tube of infant Orajell - Or other teething aid. 1 box of cartoon band-aids, assorted sizes Infant sunscreen Infant bug repellant - adult varieties can contain chemicals that are harmful to infants. 1 ear scope 1 can of Bag Balm - can be used for diaper rash, prickly heat and under all those baby skin folds to prevent chaffing. Theys are dy.Tanya.

-- HD (home_dad@yahoo.com), July 24, 1999

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