A very good article that hit on the essential categories without too much focus on the product advertising angle. While I agree with all twelve, my #13 would include items such as hatchets and machetes. There are simply too many instances where a fixed blade knife, regardless of its size, is not an effective survival tool. My personal preference tends toward the machete because it works so well on clearing brush. Both are (or can be) effective defensive weapons as well, if you know how to use them.
While you might find certain items in your survival kit more useful than others, this will largely depend on the exact nature of your emergency. Generally, food and water are going to be the most vital items when facing any prolonged disaster. After that, items like Mylar blankets and tube tents provide shelter from the elements and fire starters can help you provide critical warmth and ability to cook food or boil water.
Eventually everything will be gone if you wait long enough, but if you look at actual events such as a major hurricane here in the USA, the Greece financial meltdown, the collapse of USSR, the war in Syria, the situation in Venezuela, or any poor country that has been hit by a major disaster you’ll quickly see a pattern of items that disappear at the very beginning of a panic buying rush.
Webb's includes an aspirin- and ibuprofen-filled pill bottle wrapped in duct tape and medical tape, a couple of gauze pads bound in a rubber band, and a standard gauze roll and a Kerlix gauze roll. It's enough gear to "stop a bleed and wrap it tight with the tape, or wrap a sprain and take the pain meds," he says. Webb packs it all in a Norelco shaver case.
The kits provided for Soviet and Russian Cosmonauts are optimised for survival in the temperate and sub-arctic mountains, forests and grasslands in the east of the country. Soyuz spacecraft kits include "food rations, water bottles, warm clothing, rope for making a shelter using the capsule’s parachute, fish hooks and miscellaneous other survival gear". The TP-82 Cosmonaut survival pistol, was provided to defend against predators such as wolves or bears. It was able to fire conventional bullets, shotgun cartridges and flares; the folding stock could be used as a shovel and it also had a fold-out machete.[8]

Selecting the right kit requires an understanding of the situations you’re most likely to need it for. A helpful exercise can be to create a list of 10 items you’d absolutely need in the event of a natural disaster or extended period without power and access to food and water. Then make a list of another 20 to 3o supplies you’d also like to have handy in this situation. This will give you a great baseline to help you narrow down your options.
Freshwater may get contaminated. If it is, it requires purifying or desalinating water to satisfy hydration needs. Humans can survive only a few days without fresh water. When SHTF, your water tap will dry up fast. You need to find a new solution. There is a variety of water filtration gear available online that you can reuse hundreds or even thousands of times. It is highly recommended that your survival kit includes several backups.
Unfortunately that doesn’t translate well to larger scale disasters. Opportunistic looters and thugs come out to do what they do best, and if things are bad enough that society breaks down totally the normal people will go to extreme lengths to protect themselves and their families. That’s what we usually talk about when we say you should be prepared.
"Mini survival kits" or "Altoids tin" survival kits are small kits that contain a few basic survival tools. These kits often include a small compass, waterproof matches, minimum fishing tackle, large plastic bag, small candle, jigsaw blade, craft knife or scalpel blade, and/or a safety pin/s. Pre-packaged survival kits may also include instructions in survival techniques, including fire-starting or first aid methods. In addition, parachute cord can be wrapped around the tin. The parachute cord can be used for setting up an emergency shelter or snaring small animals. They are designed to fit within a container roughly the size of a mint tin.
If you have enough room for a fishing rod and reel, that’s great. However, only the basics are really necessary: lures, fish eggs, and fishing line work. You can always organize and cast the fishing line using a tin can, bottle, or stick. If you can dig up worms with a flat stone, or even your ax or knife, that helps, too. Grubs, caterpillars and other bugs also make great bait. Check out the Paracord Pod Fishing Kit ultra light and like a tackle box in your pocket.
This item needs to be of a substantial size to accommodate cutting or chopping down trees for cooking, warmth and even shelter. A hatchet or large survival knife, complete with a honing stone and sheath or carrying case is preferred. A hatchet can double as a hammer. Some survival knives even have tools in the handle, things like a compass, string saw, light fishing tackle and a small sewing kit. When SHTF, you’ll be glad you have a chopping and cutting tool on your side.
Every survival kit and emergency preparedness plan should include emergency blankets and lights. Mylar blankets effectively reflect body heat, and can keep you warm throughout a cold night. Their extreme lightweight and compact size make them an ideal part of a survival kit. To ensure you have adequate light in the event of a power failure, chemical snap lights are a convenient solution that doesn’t rely on batteries. Many snap lights last for 12 hours or more, and have a five year shelf life, so you know they’ll be there for you when you need them.
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