Building your own pocket survival kit from scratch is one most satisfying, yet intimidating projects you'll ever attempt. Heck, you're putting together a kit that could save your life, and the lives of those with you, if the poop hits the fan. But build your kit wrong and you could be in an awful mess. Recently, my friend Dr. Joe (a Black Belt, Biologist, Medical Doctor and Former Army Captain) and I broke out our pocket survival kits and turned the cameras on.
Our kits were very different in some aspects, but both covered the essential basics. Which brings up a good point. EVERYONE is different, and one kit will not perfectly suit every situation!!!
Review and Update Your Kit Often... If fact, I have revised and updated my kit since Joe and I shot the video. You should, too. Once you have the basics covered... fire, water, shelter, food, protection and first aid... you can modify your kit to suit your changing needs. Here is a list of the stuff we packed into our kits (You'll notice I am quite a bit more of a pack rat than Joe):
DAVID'S SURVIVAL KIT:
GENERAL SURVIVAL STUFF: Trash Bag
- Scavenge Home - Poncho, shelter, ground tarp, flotation device, pillow, water carrier, solar still, waterproof sack. Stainless Steel Pen
- Writing implement, straw, weapon, hole punch. Bandana
- First aid, head wrap, sanitation & cleansing tool. Pocket New Testament
- Spiritual refreshment, morale booster, practical life guide. Paracord
- Snares and traps, shoe lace, various survival tasks including: shelter building, lashing, fishing line, etc. Snare Wire
- Snares and traps, binding and fixing things.
- Shelter top, ground tarp, emergency signal, heat reflector, blanket. Zip / Cable Ties
- 8 inches - shelter building, general repair, quick lashing, handcuffs. 6"x4" Plastic Milk Jug Side
- Cut from milk jug - Use as a cutting board. Will keep food clean, give you a firm surface to cut on and prevent your knife from getting dull while preparing food. Victorinox Swiss Card
- Credit Card-Sized Multi-Purpose Tool - Various survival uses.
- Stitching clothes and wounds, fishing. Pro Knot Cards
- Knots are important, and using the proper knot can help you keep safe and make cool stuff in an emergency. Duct Tape
- 20' Rolled Small - Shelter building, waterproofing, first aid, general repair. Signal Mirror
- Personal hygiene, signaling for help, cutting tool. Fishing Kit
- Fishing, trip wire, line can be used for stitching wounds and clothes.
Bear Grylls Priorities of Survival Pocket Guide - Free with any Gerber Bear Grylls Gear Purchase - Compact Guide with LOTS of good basic instruction on how to stay alive in the wilderness. Bar of Soap - Save from hotel on your next stay - Personal hygiene.
Magnesium Fire Starter Tinder Quick
(Cotton balls with a dab of petroleum jelly will do) Matches and Striker 12" x 12" Aluminum Foil Square
- Scavenge from home - Form a cup, bowl, cook on it and use as an emergency signal. FIRST AID
- This kit has about everything you need. Buying individual items is TOO expensive.
- Assorted Bandages
- Alcohol Prep Pads
- Wash n Dri Packs
- Gauze Pads
- Antibiotic Salve
- Medical Tape - Small Roll
- Tweezers - Scavenge from Home
- Safety Pins - Scavenge from Home
BAGS Quart Size Freezer Bags - Scavenge from home - Put your kit in this. Being able to see through it is very helpful when you need to find something quick and don't want to dump your whole kit out. Small Pint-Sized, Zip Seal Bags - Scavenge from home. LAST but not least... Silica Gel Pack - I save the ones that come with new products but you can purchase them also... Silica Gel is a desiccant - and absorbs moisture from condensation and changes in humidity, so it will keep things bone dry in a small sealed container - like a quart sized zip lock bag.
DR. JOE'S SURVIVAL KIT
Orange Flagging Tape - Marking trail, binding wounds, shelter building, general lashing. Black Electrical Tape - Use like duct tape.
WATER Water Purification Straw - Filters nasty stuff from water without boiling or tablets. Long life span.
FIRE Lighter Magnesium Fire Starter Wax Firestarter Rods Extra Fine Steel Wool
GENERAL SURVIVAL Compass Compact Mirror - Personal Hygiene, Signaling Knife - Food preparation, self-defense, personal hygiene, bushcraft. Survival Whistle, Compass, cordage and "aspirin" container Survival Cards - Lee Nading - OUT of PRINT - BIG Bummer!!!! Survival Blanket
Build Your Own Kit... Start Today!
Okay... there you have it. The basic components of a pocket survival kit. Now it's your turn. Don't wait. Just start with what you have around the house and starting building you kit today. One day, you'll be glad you did.