Today, there’s so many pre-packed survival kit solutions on the market. Some are great, some are not even worth looking at, but nothing beats a DIY survival kit! Doing it yourself gives you full control of what goes in your kit and you can also select quality items instead of the cheap and nasty ones that often come with some of the pre-made ones out there. So, today we are going to talk about how to put together your very own personal survival kit. This kit is small enough in fact that it can be carried in your pockets, purse, daypack or handbag. Many of these items are inexpensive and can be found around your house. Ok, so let’s get started. First of all you’ll need a suitable container or pouch to carry your kit’s contents in. We recommend using:

  • Tobacco tin (grab an old one; can be pretty hard to find these days)
  • Ziplock Plastic Pouch (cheaper yet waterproof option; can also be used as a water carrier; keep a silica gel pack inside as this will remove any moisture in the bag)
  • Ammo Pouch (such as the ones used in the military; can be found at most army surplus stores)
  • Adventurer Aluminium Survival Kit Box by BestGlide ASE (great survival kit box; can also be used as a mess tin and for boiling water; the lid of this can be polished and can be used as a signalling mirror in a pinch)

Next we will discuss the essential components of a survival kit. Ensure that you cover the absolute basic essentials: fire, water, shelter, food, protection and first aid. After that, if you have space, you can add extra items and maybe a few redundancies. While many people and particularly survival experts have differing options on what to carry in a survival kit, we believe the following components are necessary for a diverse, survival kit capable of getting you through the severest of conditions.

  • Matches: Preferably waterproof but you can do this yourself. Click here to find out more on how to waterproof standard matches yourself.
  • Small candle: Excellent light source and increases burn time of fire.
  • Lighter: A cheap BiC brand lighter available from most supermarkets will do.
  • Magnesium or ferro fire starter: They work even when wet and will continue striking long after you’ve run out of matches. These are relatively inexpensive and an invaluable component of your survival kit. Its great to have one of these in your kit and should be only used as a backup.
  • Cotton balls: With a dab of petroleum jelly or Vaseline on each.
  • Micro flashlight/torch: See the Bear Grylls Micro Torch/Flashlight.
  • Magnifying glass: Can be used to start a fire using sunlight – believe it or not. Also great for searching for splinters and stings etc.
  • Signalling mirror: Personal hygiene; signalling aircraft.
  • Aluminium foil: Signalling mirror, also great for cooking food, can be used as an improvised cup or bowl with some creativity.
  • Fishing kit: An assortment of hooks, split lead weights and a spool with as much line as you can possibly carry(i.e 60m). Carry this in a smaller ziplock bag or tin.
  • Compass: Button compass makes a great compact navigation tool.
  • Snare wire: Preferably brass; 2-3 ft of this should do. Great for setting snares/traps for hunting and a multitude of other uses.
  • Flexible saw: Believe it or not this can come in handy for processing even large trees.
  • Paracord: A multitude of different uses (e.g. shoe laces, lashing, fishing line etc).
  • Water purification tablets: Keep at least a dozen of these in your kit. Should last you a week.
  • Notepad/stainless steel pen: For writing your ‘Last Will & Testament’ – nah just kidding… recording important information etc
  • Pocket New Testament with Psalms/Proverbs – spiritual refreshment; the most important survival guide for life; can get this from Gideon Bibles.
  • Mylar Thermal Emergency Blanket: Ground sheet, reflecting heat, emergency signal mirror, emergency blanket.
  • Trash/garbage bag: Rain poncho, water collection, solar still, tarp, waterproof bag etc.
  • Bear Grylls Priorities of Survival: Top-notch pocket sized survival guide with the essentials of wilderness survival; free with any Bear Grylls product purchase.
  • Small folding knife: See the Swiss Army Pocket Knife
  • Cable ties: Great for building shelters; securing stuff; handcuffs etc.
  • Duct tape: Can be used for patching tent, clothing etc.
  • Small first aid kit: Get a pre-made one; putting your own together is way too costly; ensure that it has at minimum assorted bandages, alcohol prep pads, wash ‘n dry packs, gauze pads, antibiotic salve and a small roll of medical tape; add a few extra items such as tweezers, several safety pins, tylenol, ibuprofen and paracetamol.
  • Toilet paper: Carry at least a dozen sheets of this folded small or check out the Coleman Camper’s Toilet Tissue; you’ll be really glad to have it in the event you need it; can also be used as tinder.
  • Small sewing kit: Save this at your next hotel stay; can also assemble your own.
  • Bandanna: First aid, head wrap, sanitary/cleansing cloth etc

And there you have it – a practical, useful, pocket-sized personal survival kit! Until next time, “Be Prepared. Stay Alive.”

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