It is very exciting to watch the TV shows where there is someone out in the wilderness surviving with very little if any gear. This is very dangerous and can make it very difficult if not impossible to survive. Many people think that this could never happen to them, but the problem is that normally when you are in one of these situations it is not by choice. Every adventure you go on involves some risk and this post is going to be about creating a survival kit to help you survive should things ever go bad.
The biggest consideration in a survival kit is making sure that every item in your kit has at least some kind of purpose. Because of this I chose to use a kit that is all contained inside of a water bottle. The small size also makes it very easy to keep on you at all times. This kit should always be able to be accessed because if you can’t get to it there is no point in having it. I am going to go over every item contained in the kit so that you can create your own. I will also provide links to items on amazon so that you can easily access the items to get started.
The very first item you will need for the kit is a water bottle which can easily be purchased for around $9.99 on amazon. You need to find one with a large enough opening to be able to get your items in and out of it. This bottle is going to be used as both the container for your kit and in an emergency can be used to hold water. You will want a bottle that is sturdy so that it protects the contents inside and also does not get any holes in it. Both Nalgene and Nathan make bottles that work very well for this purpose.
For the next item we will discuss a good lock blade knife. There are many great brands that will all work for this. The knife is a very important item and you will want to make sure you don’t skimp on quality here. I normally always carry a knife on me which is a Kershaw Clash, but I always have a backup in my survival kit which is a Schrade X Timer. I have been very happy with both of these knives but keep the Schrade in my survival kit since it has 2 separate blades. One is serrated and the other is not.
Along with a lock blade knife I also carry a multitool. This is very helpful since these tend to have other tools such as pliers and sometimes even a small saw. The multitool I have in my kit is a Leatherman Pulse which has several tools that can come in very handy in a survival situation. This particular tool does not have a saw although many others may.
My next item is a magnesium flint and steel that I have removed the steel from since I can easily use my knife to shave the magnesium and to strike the flint. This makes an amazing fire starter since magnesium burns around 2,500ºF. This can take some practice to be efficient at starting a fire but I would never leave it at home. You will want to practice quite regularly though so you can become efficient at using it to create a fire in different conditions. The kit also contains a regular Bic lighter and waterproof matches since they tend to be very reliable but you will not want to count on them alone.
I have two tea light candles which can easily be bought at the dollar store. You will want the candles to be unscented and to wrap them in a small plastic bag so the hot weather does not melt them throughout your survival kit. These candles can be used as a fire starter or for light. They are very small and light weight which makes them very easy to fit into your survival kit.
My next two items are an emergency blanket and emergency poncho. These two items have multiple uses which I wont be able to cover all of them in this blog, but remember that you can use them to stay dry in poor weather by wearing the poncho or wrapping yourself in the blanket. They also can both be used when building a shelter to help you stay dry and warm. The emergency blanket especially is designed to reflect your body heat back to you to keep you warm even in colder conditions.
For first aid I carry a few bandages, butterfly bandages, alcohol wipes, and medical tape. These can help with keeping minor wounds clean and covered in the event that you end up with any minor injuries. Emergency First Aid is very important to know but these few items are a start for minor cuts and scrapes. For more serious injuries you may have to improvise with some other items but these items will be a good start.
My next items are water purification tablets and single serving drink packets. These can be used to sanitize water and also to give you a bit of energy since the drink packets have sugar in them. You already have the water bottle that your kit is held in so you would fill it with water then fallow the directions on the purification tabs to sanitize it. The water can then be drank or you can add one of the drink packets to either improve the taste or to give yourself a small sugar boost. Water is very important and your body needs it to survive. You can die very quickly without water so these items can easily save your life.
With water covered food would be another concern. I have a small Advil bottle that is empty that I repurposed to hold my fishing hooks, line, and sinkers. When you don’t have food to replenish calories burned you want to get the easiest food possible to replenish those calories. Fishing, scavenging, and trapping are some of the best ways to produce food and don’t burn as many calories as trying to hunt. The less calories burned the less you have to replenish. The bottle is then wrapped in tape. Tape can also have many uses such as making repairs to your gear or even for making tools.
In my kit I also carry two small flashlights that can have the batteries replaced if needed. Both of them take a small button cell battery so the light or batteries do not take up much space. One of these lights also contains a whistle and button compass on it. The compass can be used to help find direction and the whistle can be used for signaling for help since the sound can travel further with minimal effort. Both of these lights are small and will give off minimal light but can still be used to see what you are doing in your immediate area.
I carry a small sewing kit. This can be used for many thing but the most likely one would be for repairing clothing or gear. This seams very basic but can help for many things. You could even use the items in it to help make a quick compass for navigation. An important part of survival is to be able to use the item you have to keep yourself alive so a needle and thread will never hurt.
My kit contains a small can opener. If you had any food on you this could come in handy or you could even use it to strike the flint on your flint and steel. This item is very light and could be repurposed if needed so it is something I keep in the kit even without necessarily having food on me. The kit also contains a small container of hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is mostly Ethyl Alcohol and can be used for sanitizing other items besides your hands. It can also be used to help start a fire or as an antiseptic so again the uses out weigh the weight of having it in the survival kit.
The kit contains a carabiner and paracord. The carabiner is what I use to attach the kit to things such as a belt or my backpack. The paracord is again another item with a crazy amount of uses so for this post we will just say you can never have too much cordage when you are trying to survive. From making snares to building shelter or tools it can come in extremely handy in a survival situation so I recommend having serveral things of it on you when you go on an adventure.
The last item in my survival kit is a draw string backpack. The point of this item is to be able to carry all of the supplies in your kit on you once your water bottle is being used. Being able to easily carry all of your survival gear will be very helpful and this can also be used to help carry things that you find along the way.
I hope that you find something that you can use from this post if you are ever dropped into a survival situation. Having the right gear on you drastically increases your chances of making it out alive if you were to get lost or stranded outdoors. Please use your head and create a survival kit and take it with you on every trip. You never know when you might need it to make sure that you could survive. Survival kits are always an ongoing project and is something you should always work to improve. Let me know what kind of kit you carry or what items you carry in your kit in the comments.