There are many debates about what makes a survival kit. Below is a list of useful items to have with you. Remember to there is more to being prepared than a survival kit. Each person has their own personal needs, which can drastically change the following suggestions.
Items in bold can easily be carried in a small back pack whenever you go into the outdoors even for just part of a day. The other items should be brought on any trips longer than a day.
- Water is an absolute must! Your body can not survive without fresh, clean water!!!
- cell phone with a charged battery (charge it once a month to make sure that it does not lose its charge over a few months. Also note that you may not be able to get a signal if you are in the wild.) or
- Portable CB radio (handheld CB radios have very limited range)
- A container that should be something in which you can boil water and cook. Stainless steel is best. If you have to, remember you can boil water in almost anything, even straight in the water bottle.
- Knife with a solid blade and a tang that goes down into the handle (a good knife is very important). A knife that has the blade and handle made of one solid piece of metal (like a dive knife) is even better. There are many uses for a knife, such as carving, safety, marking, etc.
- Knife sharpener (a dull knife is dangerous)
- Flint and steel striker (in case matches fail)
- Waterproof / Windproof matches (get good ones)
- Disposable lighter, such as a Bic™
- Water purification tablets or pump (Tablets may be more practical, as pumps can be expensive, and take up a lot of space.)
- Water tight container (a heavy duty zip lock freezer bag will do)
- High calorie food light and non perishable. (Nuts, energy bars, and peanut butter work well). When out in the wild, you will need a larger calorie intake.
- sighting mirror to use for signaling or fire starting
- Beanie to keep you warm you lose lots of heat from your head in hot environments a wide brimmed hat.
- sunscreen and lip balm
- Bug repellent
- Bright plastic marking tape (to leave a trail for others to follow)
- waterproof nylon tarp
- Poncho, big plastic bag will do
- Emergency "space bag, blanket" sleeping bag made of mylar (it's only about a 2" cube and works by reflecting your body heat). If you have room in your kit for two, that's even better. Put one on the ground then put a layer of leaves then the second blanket and then wrap yourself up in the layers. Or use one as a tent and the other as a blanket.
- Parachute cord (at least 20 feet)
- Folding portable cooking stove and solid fuel tablets (it is also small and inexpensive)
- Map of the area, the best one being a topographic
- Compass Remember you can tell direction using the sun to some degree of accuracy: Sun rises in the East sets in the West.
- Money and Spare change for phone calls
- Anti-diarrheal medicine (as drinking from a potentially unsafe water source carries the risk of sometimes-fatal dehydration)
- Aspirin or similar medicine with anti-inflammatory, fever-reducing and pain-relieving qualities. (Acetaminophen, brand name Tylenol™, Ibuprofen, brand name Advil™)
- Self-adhesive bandages & Cotton balls (such as Band-Aids™ brand) Cotton balls work well for swabs as well as tinder for starting a fire.
- Watch to keep track of the time
- Survival or First Aid Book provides fire starting materials( paper), helps relax by reading may tell you what you need to survive.
- Flash Light The led kind are very light and last a long time. Make sure to have extra batteries or a shake recharge flash light.
- Collapsible camp-cup and 4-foot square of clear, flexible, thin-gauge plastic sheeting like the kind used as paint drop-clothes The plastic sheeting is used to make water. This is done by digging a small hole about two feet in diameter and six inches deep. The dimensions are not critical. Once the hole is ready, place any water-bearing organic matter such as grass or leaves in the hole in a thin layer along the bottom. Place the cup in the center of the hole. Place the plastic sheet over the hole and weight it down around the edges with dirt and/or rocks. Take a small rock and place it above the cup, so that the plastic dimples down directly over the cup. As the sun begins to heat the contents of the hole, the water vapor steams out of the organic matter, condenses on the plastic, and drips down the dimple and into the cup. This works, but it takes time. Remember, any organic, water-bearing matter will work - including waste products. The water produced will be pure since it is distilled.
- And finally, Confidence
The important thing here is that you make your survival kit small and light enough that you bring it with you if you travel in rural areas leave it in your car.
Another important aspect of the survival kit is the container in which it is carried. The kit above in bold should not have to be that big or heavy but a good backpack of some sort is important for ease of carrying, energy savings, and for the comfort of the survivalist.
The other items you should have on longer trips may be heavier and need to be carried in a pack meant for back packing or kept in your car.
You can also keep a survival kit where you live for general emergencies.