Contribution by Rich M.
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, you need a survival kit. Situations can arise suddenly in life which put any of us in extreme danger, taking us out of our normal day-to-day activities and thrusting us into a survival situation. Most of these situations are caused by natural disasters, but not all; there are man-made dangers that we can face as well as the normal vagrancies of life.
A survival kit is merely a collection of tools and gadgets that give you something to work with in such a situation. While all survival kits are intended to accomplish this basic purpose, not all survival kits are created equal. You can find a considerable amount of variety in the size, makeup and contents of different survival kits.
Even so, all survival kits need to provide you with a way of meeting your basic survival needs. Normally that’s considered to be shelter, heat, clean water and food. But you may not need to worry about all of those. Food isn’t really an issue if you’re only talking a day or two. Water may not be much or a problem if you are in the city, where there is clean water available. On the other hand, you may need to add things like first-aid, self-defense and some basic tools like a flashlight and a knife.
No survival kit is perfect. It’s just not possible to put everything you need into a small space. The closest I have come to a perfect survival kit is my bug out bag; but it weighs 30 pounds and fills a backpack. Not the kind of thing I’d want to carry while hunting, fishing or going for a day hike in the woods.
So, how do you decide what you need for you?
That depends a lot on the situations you might find yourself in. While your basic survival needs will always be the same, different environments will provide you with different things that you can use to survive. This could mean that you will need different survival kits, for different environments. Personally, I have several, some of which are designed for an urban environment and others which are designed for various types of wilderness environments.
Another important factor to consider is how large and heavy the survival kit is. I prefer a larger kit, with more gear in it, but most people don’t. They want as small a kit as they can get away with, for the situation. A kit that is larger than you are going to be comfortable carrying isn’t going to do you the least bit of good, because you will probably end up leaving it behind.
Since space and weight are factors to consider, Rather than trying to come up with a perfect kit, you’re better off coming up with something that will help you in a time of need. Pretty much anything you have with you is going to help you in some way, even if that’s only a pocket knife. So, the idea is to have a kit which will give you key equipment that you think you’ll need, so that you can increase your chances of survival.
Let’s look at a few basic kits:
This is the sort of survival kit you could carry with you anywhere. The compact size and light weight means that there really is no situation where it wouldn’t make any sense to have it on you. Whether you are going fishing or shopping, you can find an empty pocket to put it in or a belt loop to clip it to.
For its size, this kit has an amazing amount of stuff in it. While I wouldn’t want to try and live for a week in the woods with just this, if I was lost in the woods, this would actually provide me with a lot of what I’d need to survive. So I’d carry this sort of kit with me, when I thought I didn’t need a kit, but wanted to be prepared anyway.
I’m grouping these two kits together, because they are similar. Both could be considered survival tool kits. They have similar tools sets, although the tools in the 10-in-1 kit are better than in the SOS Emergency Kit. In either case, the idea is to have tools which will be useful in a survival situation. They don’t have many of the small things that the Survival Grenade has, but rather, focus on giving you useful tools.
Tools are important in a survival situation, because it is those tools that you are going to use to take care of your needs. A pack filled with food and water may help you survive, but only as long as it lasts. Without tools, once you use the food and water, you’re basically sunk.
The other nice thing about carrying a kit like one of these, is that it gives you tools that you can use for a variety of other, less critical, but just as necessary tasks. I use the survival tools that I carry on a regular basis, especially things like my knife, multitool and flashlight. These are handy to have for much more than just emergency survival situations.
Both of these kits come packed in waterproof containers, ensuring that the tools inside don’t get ruined by soaking in water. The cases, which are about the size of a paperback book, also make them extremely convenient to carry, whether in a day pack, coat pocket, or the glove compartment of your car.
Going a Step Further
As I said earlier, there is no such thing as a perfect survival kit. So you may want to start out with a kit like one of these, and then build upon it to make yourself a more complete survival kit. That would require some sort of portable case to put the kit into, like:
What would you add, if you were going to use something like this to build yourself a more complete survival kit? That would depend on your needs. But I would start by going back to the basic survival needs and ensuring that I had things that would meet those needs, such as:
- Portable Survival Water Purifying Straw – so that you can ensure that the water you drink is safe
- Double Arc Windproof Electronic Lighter – to make sure you can start a fire
- Camouflaged Emergency Survival Sleeping Bag – for shelter
I’d also throw a few granola bars and maybe some beef jerky in there, just to have something to eat.