How to Make Survival Kits

How to Make Survival KitsBeing practical, manageable and accessible are the keys to a good survival kit. There is no such thing as the all-around kit. If it is not suited for the environment, it probably won't be used. Also, a survival kit that's not easy to use or is bulky and heavy will become a nuisance and probably be left behind more often than carried. Keeping your kit in an easily accessed place and organized in a suitable container are very important. A suitable container may be as simple as a cardboard box, or it may need to be waterproof, insulated and buoyant. It depends upon the circumstances.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Determine the kit's purpose. Decide on exactly what the kit will be used for. Is it for a car, house, extended backpacking trip, day trip or an offshore boat ride?
Step 2
Determine the region and environment the kit will be used in. Will it be used in a wilderness, urban, desert, mountainous, winter, coastal or rain-forest environment?
Step 3
Based on steps 1 and 2, form a list of possible survival scenarios you may encounter. Determine what your primary needs will be. Will they be warmth, shelter, food and water, medical, navigation, signaling or emergency repair? Use this list to guide you in constructing your survival kit.
Step 4
Pack appropriate clothing. The lightweight, airy clothing needed for a desert environment would not be suitable for the cold and snow of winter. Select extra clothing based upon the planned activity, region and time of year.
Step 5
Pack food and water in amounts appropriate for your activity. A simple day hike requires no more than a quart of water and a couple of energy bars. However, for an off-shore boat ride, it would be prudent to pack a couple of gallons of water and an entire box of energy bars.
Step 6
Determine your first aid needs. Begin with a basic first aid kit and add to it accordingly. For example, if the situation threatens the possibility of an anaphylactic reaction, you might consider obtaining a prescription for an EpiPen and adding it to your kit.
Step 7
Pack basic survival items. Typically, any survival kit will include a flashlight, extra batteries, matches in a waterproof container, lighter, candle, emergency tarp or space blanket, 100 feet of parachute cord, two large black garbage bags, duct tape, metal cup, knife or multitool, map, compass, water purification tablets, signal mirror and a whistle.
Step 8
Looking back at your list from Step 3, determine any special items needed. For a winter car kit, you may include a shovel, wool blanket and a tow strap. For a boat, you may include a marine signal kit, extra life preservers, tool kit, spare parts and a bailing bucket.

Tips & Warnings

Organize related items into small compact compression sacks and label each sack with a permanent marker.
Pack your survival kit in a brightly colored container.


Article Written By Isaac Billings

Residing in northern Michigan, Isaac Billings began writing in 2009, with articles appearing on eHow, Trails and A wilderness EMT-paramedic and wilderness instructor, Billings enjoys writing about the outdoors, running, health and nutrition. He holds an Associates of Applied Science in emergency medicine from North Central Michigan College.

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