What To Include In Your School Backpack or Daypack

This article is intended to provide some ideas of things that can be included in any backpack or daypack that may help the owner increase their odds of survival in an emergency. We will primarily focus on schools since they are primarily Gun Free Zones (Gun Free School Zone Act) but broadly speaking this can apply to many of us.

A large number of us leave the house with a bag of some sort each day. Be it your backpack, purse, briefcase, portfolio bag, etc. It is growing increasingly common for us to transport a laptop to and from school/work and it makes sense to have a bag to protect it. Millions of children and college enrolled young adults use a backpack every day to transport books and other school supplies.

It makes sense to include some simple things in those bags that increase our odds of surviving any sort of disaster or crime. While this article is focused on school backpacks I would encourage you to not tune out if you are not a student because:

  1. You probably have family members who are students. Kids, grandkids, nieces/nephews, etc.
  2. A lot of the below ideas very easily apply to whatever bag you use regularly in your vocation or daily activity.
  3. Since the things you are allowed to take on a plane are comparable to things kids can take to school these days you could at very least apply this to your carry-on next time you fly.

The Two Things I Think Are Most Paramount

First Aid and Trauma Kit

In life, there are a lot of things we want to be prepared for. Crime, natural disaster, etc but of all the things that I can think of the most likely to occur is some sort of medical emergency. Every day people get cuts, get into car accidents, have heart attacks, and need medical attention. Having a first aid kit of some form makes complete sense. In my 8-year-old kid's backpack that first aid kit is going to be fairly simple mostly made up of band-aids.

In my own daypack, my kit is more comprehensive and includes chest seals and a tourniquet. Decide what is appropriate for you! (Shop: Amazon | Our Store)

[hr]Ballistic Soft Panel Insert

There are a lot of places where my children and I may not be able to have a firearm but something I can take anywhere is a ballistic “bulletproof” panel. There is a large market for these things these days because it is such an easy way to add a layer of protection. Just insert the panel into a backpack and you now have something that will stop all handgun ammunition. Add a textbook or 2 to the bag and you may be able to stop rifle rounds also.

These are not inexpensive, with quality inserts running close to $100 each but it is a one time purchase that will last many years (and arguably forever). My young children can very easily understand the concept and practice of hiding behind their backpack or putting it between them and the shooter should they ever be involved in an Active Shooter situation. For me, it is an easy and effective solution that can be universally applied anywhere.

Recently I took ballistic soft panel inserts from 6 different competitors to the range and did some testing. While we sell several of them in our online store the one I personally recommend, based both on performance, convenience, and cost, is from Citizen Armor (Click Here to see it). (Shop All Body Armor Products)

Here are Other Things to Consider:

Things that are TSA Approved and Would Be Allowed in Any School

Things that May or May Not Be Allowed Depending on the School or Local Laws

  1. Pepper Spray / Mace / Stun-gun
  2. Knife / Multi-Tool

What are other things you put into your child's backpack or you find are useful or valuable in being prepared for a worst case scenario? Let us know in the comments below.

About Mitch Goerdt

Mitch Goerdt is the Director of Marketing and Events at ConcealedCarry.com. Born and raised amongst the Northeastern woods and waters of Minnesota, Mitch's childhood was filled with adventure, sports, and a deep appreciation for the outdoor lifestyle. His early career saw him don the hat of a mechanic and welder in the taconite mines. However, the call of distant horizons was too strong to resist. Mitch embarked on a journey across the country, soaking in diverse cultures and landscapes. This quest for knowledge also led him back to school, where he secured a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing Communications. Today, at ConcealedCarry.com, Mitch spends his days crafting content and using his imagination and skills to leave an impression on his audience. Outside the professional realm, he is a lifelong learner who finds solace in outdoor adventures and satisfies his love of athletics and competition in the world of competitive slowpitch softball.


  1. christopher on August 20, 2018 at 2:21 am

    Emergency food and baby wipes

  2. James on August 25, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Beanie cap for warmth or disguise. Yard size garbage bag for rain coat or multipurpose.

  3. Mikial on August 25, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Good article. Always teach your family how to be prepared and then set the example yourself.

    It’s too bad that schools are such snake pits and that kids have to be so careful about everything they do and say. You really have to be careful what you let them take to school, but as the author points out there are things you can equip them with. But the most important thing you can do is to train them to have a plan in the event of an emergency and how to carry it out. That’s something no school rule can take away from them.

  4. Charlie Liberto on August 26, 2018 at 6:02 am

    In Louisiana it is illegal to wear body armor on school property!!

  5. Scott on August 26, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Spare your child the extremes and dangers of every day life SIMPLY by learning school ONLINE, like a K-12 school

  6. Scott Quick on August 28, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Great article. I have all of the items listed in my edc carry bag. Keep up all the great work.

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