Packing a Survival Kit

When you plan camping or hiking or fly fishing bringing a survival kit is vital. A typical survival kit represents a package of basic tools and supplies you might need in case of an emergency. All types of craft, including civil and military ones, lifeboats, and spaceships are equipped with survival kits.

Survival kits are prepared in advance and include supplies and tools that will help provide shelter against the elements, keep warm, meet first aid needs, provide food and water, signaling equipment, and other gear that will help find the way back. The following supplies are usually included in a survival kit: a knife, a flashlight, first aid kit, sewing kit, matches, tinder, bandana and fish hooks.

Packing a Survival Kit Kent-Klewein

Shelter and warmth

To ensure shelter and stay warm these items are often included in most survival kits: emergency sleeping bag, reflective "aluminized" space blanket or survival blanket, catalytic heater and bottled gas fuel, "tube tent" or bivvy bag, lightweight poncho, tarp with grommets or tie-tapes, ferrocerium rod and fire striker for fire-starting, cotton balls or pads smeared with petroleum jelly for fire starting, waterproof matches or lighter, large plastic trash bag to make a shelter roof.

Health and first aid

First aid kits should contain: bandages, disinfectant pads, adhesive tape, gauze tape, sterile combine dressing, gauze pads, antibiotic cream, burn cream, rubbing alcohol, sunscreen if necessary, 100% UV protective sunglasses, aspirin, personal prescription medicines.

Food and Water

Most survival kits contain: water in sealed containers for arid areas, or water purification tablets in areas where water can be contaminated, canteen with water along with a filter if needed, heavy duty aluminum foil to be used for removing salt from salt water, canned food, fishing line and gear, snare wire.

Signaling, Navigation and Reference

The key items of a survival kit for lost or injured persons must include: a compass, a map, high power LED light, whistle, signal mirror, distress radiobeacon, flare (three fires in a triangle is the international distress signal), laser pointer with lithium batteries, surveyor's tape to mark location for rescuers, pen and paper to write a note to rescuers, glow stick.

Miscellaneous Tools

The following tools are recommended to include in a survival kit: a fixed-blade knife, a can opener, a small portable stove running on MSR gas, sturdy cord or "550" parachute cord, a helmet, hatchet with sheath for cold weather or machete for hot weather, a needle and thread for fixing clothing and equipment, a solar charger, plastic bags or trash bags, a compact saw.
For a more detailed list of items that should be included in a survival kit check out