How to Make Survival Kit

Survival Kit

Survival Kit Components

Survival Kit


Survival Kits

© copyright 2003, by Gary Benton

One aspect of survival that many forget is being prepared . Once you are forced to spend the night in the woods is not when you should discover you don't have matches. Or, that you don't know basic first aid or how to use some of your survival gear. Prepare . Be a scout and remember the scout motto, always be prepared .

You can construct a survival kit and make it as big or small as you like. The more experience you have, of course, the smaller the kit can safely be. The area you are going to also plays a factor in the type of survival kit you carry. If I am in the states, I often just carry a small minimum kit. But, if hunting in Alaska, I use a survival vest.

The vest can be made using a fishing vest or by purchasing a surplus military aviation vest. I use the aviator's vest because I still have the one the military gave me more than twenty-five years ago. It is light and works well. The key to using a vest is to be able to put all of your stuff in the pockets. If you use a fishing vest, you may have to sew a few more pockets on it. At any rate, a vest is a great way to carry your survival gear. For the sake of clarity, I will concentrate on the kit now, not the vest. The vest is only a container with allows you to carry more.

I never go out into the field without my survival kit with me. No, it is not very big and it does not weigh much, but it could prove to be a life saver. I actually carry most of it in a small plastic box about three inches wide and about five inches long (about the size of a band aid box). I have it in my right pants cargo pocket at all times. What do I have in it?

1. A quality penknife or jack knife.

2. Condoms for water storage, unlubricated.

3. Water proof matches or storm proof matches.

4. Flint and steel, or a metal match.

5. Water purification tablets.

6. A long strip of aluminum foil folded up to cook with.

7. Fishing kit, i.e., hooks, sinkers, and some line. Nothing fancy.

8. Commercial back packing first aid kit (with instructions). I carry a very small one.

9. One small pack of gum and one of hard candy (energy).

Also, I carry four other things on my person. I carry a good quality space blanket, a ripstop poncho, dry socks, and about twenty feet of 550 cord (parachute line). I have found I can survive with the above items. And, all of this stuff weighs almost nothing. I carry it all in one cargo pocket and still have lots of room left. It is my insurance policy.

One other area I need to discuss is how you dress when you are in the woods, since it affects your chances for survival. I usually wear military cargo pocket styled pants and shirts. These can be picked up in surplus stores at a good price. I also have good boots, warm socks, and always have a belt. I wear a wide brimmed hat to shade my eyes from the elements.

Of course you know I also have a poncho in my kit, but not much else is really needed. If you want to get a fanny pack and wear jeans, all of the equipment I have listed will easily fit into the container. Once you are in a survival situation is not the time to decide you need the gear. You must have it with you, or you will do without

Often, what you have with you will be all you have to use for survival. Remember, your mind is your best tool. Your determination to survive driving force, and your best motivation is the will to survive. With a survival kit, your mind, and strong determination, you too can survive until rescued.

Making Survival Kits


Gary Benton has over 45 years of outdoor experience in camping, hiking, fishing, and other activities. He's no armchair survival man, he's walked the walk from the arctic to the desert and all the area in between. Gary has an associates degree in Search and Rescue, Survival Operations, a B.S. in Industrial Occupational safety, and all but his thesis completed for a M.S. in Counseling Psychology.
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