How to Pack a Survival Kit

How to Pack a Survival Kit
A survival kit protects you and your family in case of an emergency. A basic survival kit works on many different levels, including keeping you alive if your car gets caught in the snow or you find yourself stuck without gas in a remote area. Packing a survival kit involves finding something to store all your items inside.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Metal container
  • Candle
  • Waterproof matches
  • Wax paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Bright plastic poncho
  • Garbage bags
  • Emergency blanket
  • Candy bars
  • Dehydrated foods
  • Instant soup
  • Granola bars
  • Trail mix
  • Beef jerky
  • Iodine tables
  • Fishing hooks
  • Fishing line
  • Waterproof backpack
  • Knife
  • First aid kit
  • Rope
  • Whistle
Step 1
Look for some type of metal container that's large enough to hold all of your items or at least a large portion, such as a coffee pot. The metal works as a pot for boiling water or cooking food and it also serves as a vessel for holding water or transporting snow back to your car.
Step 2
Pack items needed for starting a fire. Add a candle to your kit, waterproof matches, wax paper and a piece of aluminum foil. Wrap aluminum foil around the candle and place inside your metal container to give off more heat. The wax paper also works as tinder for creating a fire, though newspaper also works well.
Step 3
Bring items that serve two purposes such as a bright plastic poncho. The bright color may attract help, but it also keeps your body dry and will work as a tarp for covering your shelter. Garbage bags and an emergency blanket also keep your body dry and warm, but when waved in the air, also signal passing air traffic.
Step 4
Add food items that weigh little but provide nutrition, such as candy bars, dehydrated foods, instant soup, granola bars, trail mix and beef jerky. Also add iodine tablets to your survival kit, which purify any water found, including dirty water in puddles. Fishing hooks and a fishing line are worthwhile for catching food if you run out.
Step 5
Place everything in a waterproof backpack and add a knife, first aid kit, rope and whistle to the survival kit. The knife will come in handy for cutting down pieces of wood for a fire and the whistle helps signal passing vehicles if you're far back from the road. If you regularly take any medications, add a supply to your first aid kit.

Tips & Warnings

Look for backpacks with additional pockets on the front and sides, which hold some of the smaller items.
Add an extra set of clothing and thick socks if you have room in your kit.
Periodically check your survival kit and remove any outdated foods or medications.

Article Written By Jennifer Eblin

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.