Here is a list of 10 essential items that should be included as a minimum in any survival kit, be it a small kit or large. Start with these items, and build from there depending on your survival kit purpose.
‘Strike Anywhere’ matches, NOT the type that you must strike on the box (if the box gets wet, or if you lose the box, you’re in trouble). Store the Strike-Anywhere matches in a water-tight case (sold at most Sporting Goods stores). Include a ‘Striker’ (wet rocks don’t work so well…). An emery board or women’s nail file works well. Keeping a lighter in addition to matches is a good idea.
There are all sorts of fire-starter materials available. Magnesium fire-starters are popular (know how to use one).
A multi-purpose tool with a knife is ideal.
Simply having a good map of the region you’re in, could get you out of trouble. Know how to read and navigate with maps. The basics are simple.
A compass is ideal for establishing bearings while used in conjunction with a map. A GPS isn’t so good for that.
Flashlight, extra batteries
A LED flashlight, preferably a head-mounted style, is an ideal choice. Even though LED flashlight batteries last a considerable time, keep extras.
Quantity and type of food and packaging depends on kit purpose (day-pack, overnight backpacking, vehicle kit, etc.)
Even if it’s warm outside, if you get in trouble without extra clothes, hypothermia becomes a risk. A stocking hat, a rain jacket, and avoid cotton which is worthless when wet.
First Aid Kit
Keep at least the basics, bandaids, sterile gauze, etc.
Good vision is essential. There are some great sunglasses out there that will enhance your vision, provide polarization for water or snow, and will prevent eye fatigue – especially during winter – snow.
This top-ten list of survival kit items is a great starting point for putting together your own kit. These items will not take up much space, and are easily integrated onto your person or in your pack.
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