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Survival Gear

What Makes A Good Survival Kit?

 In a perfect world, everyone would have the right survival wilderness gear at the ready at all times. There are a variety of styles and sizes for survival kits and you can store them strategically throughout your home. You'd have one in your car, one in your office, one in your backpack and anywhere else that you may require a survival kit. Here are some basic survival kits to help get you started on creating and designing your own survival kit. These kits are as unique and as diverse as the people that hold them. These will give you a good starting point to design yours. Always personalize and tailor your kit to your specific needs and lifestyle. The contents in these kits aren't an exhaustive list but they are a basic ballpark starting list to help get you started.

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  •  Fire Proof Container

You'll want a large backpacking pot that has a folding handle and a very tight fitting lid. If you can't find an exact container, put in a metal coffee can with a lid, this will work in a pinch. The idea is that you want something that you can use to melt snow, dip water, cook in and use for other purposes to hold items.

  •  Fire Starter

 You'll want to have waterproof matches, a disposable butane lighter, some kind of tinder for kindling your fire, gel fire starter packs, and magnesium if you have it. Include a variety of ways including a flint striker to ignite your fire as you never know what your circumstances will be.

  •  Saw

 Every survival kit should have a commando wire saw. These are small and very portable. They have 2 rings that are connected via a flexible cutting wire. The saw will be very useful for you to cut dry limbs for fire starters, to build a shelter, to use as a splint if you're injured and other similar reasons.

  •  First Aid

 Always include a basic first aid kit. Your first aid kit should have some small bandages, ibuprofen, Sudafed, Imodium, and Benadryl. Hit the travel size section in your store and stock up on some travel sized units for your survival kits. You'll also want to have some Neosporin or three in one ointment. Iodine, cream for burns, lots of band aids in all sizes, an ace bandage or two, super glue (works great to close smaller sized wounds without sutures, razor blade, moleskin, and a sawyer extractor and some latex gloves. Oh, an irrigating syringe is nice to have as well. Tailor your first aid kit to your family's specific needs.

  •  Flash Light

 Small waterproof flashlights are an ideal item to have in all of your survival kits. They help you find your way if you're lost, they are ideal to find out what that sound is outside of your shelter in the dark, they can be used to signal someone and more. Small headlamps also work well and kids will love having their own headlamps (it's the little things that count remember this).

  •  Signaling Device

 Bring along a small mirror to use with your flashlight as a signaling device. The more multiple uses ou can find for such items, the better. You may also want to find a small booklet that can remind you of the Morse code signals if you want to send Morse code to others. Brightly colored surveyors tape works well as do other bright signal type materials. consider a strobing light as well.

  •  Parachute Cord

 There are many great ways to include parachute cord in your survival kit. They come in bracelets, necklaces, paracord koozie bag and as spools. Pack several as you'll find many great uses for these. You can use them to stow and secure your gear, build your shelter, repair damaged tents, clothing or broken shoe laces and many other beneficial uses.

  •  Energy Bars

 You can't pack enough of these. When you're hungry and lose your way, you'll have an energizing snack. consider Old school Clif Bars, Power Bars and other items that are nutritious. Avoid chocolate bars as these can melt in your pack and cause a huge mess.

  •  Space Blankets

 These take up little space in your pack and can provide you with plenty of warmth in an emergency. They are also reflective of heat and in an emergency, can be used for a signal device due to their reflective abilities.

  •  Water Purification Tablets Or System

 You never know if the water in a stream or creek is pure or not so you'll want plenty of these along to ensure that you have safe drinking water. You want to avoid dehydrating (your worst enemy in the woods or desert) and you never know if a stream or creek is contaminated with Giardia. Diarrhea from Giardia will make any situation far worse. The portable mini water filter pump would be a good item to have to filter water and make it suitable for drinking.

  •  Garbage Bags

 Garbage bags have a myriad of uses. You can use them to collect water, waterproof your tent or shelter, as a rain coat (they're actually thicker than most raincoats) and for many other great purposes.

  •  Knife

 You'll appreciate a survival knife or a good knife that is sharp for lots of reasons. Always buy the best quality knife that you can afford. There is a huge debate of whether or not a folding knife or a sheath knife is best but that is up to your personal preferences and what you'll be using it for in your survival situation.

  •  Tin Foil

 You can use this for cooking, to signal for help, as a protective covering for your matches etc. Always pack several squares of tin foil in your kits. These can easily be folded down into a portable size.

  •  Toilet Paper

 Whether you need it for the original purpose, Kleenex or to start a fire, this is an indispensable item to have in your survival kits. If you're packing smaller sized kits, use a portable package of Kleenex in each kit for dual purposes.

  •  Hand Sanitizer

 Keep several small sized bottles of hand sanitizer on hand in your survival kits. You can use it to keep your hands clean (see above item) to avoid illness, prevent Giardia and for many other purposes. It's also ideal to use as a fire starter. It is a gel alcohol and lanolin both of which will give you a lovely blue flame in a fire if you just use a dime sized amount.

  •  Duct Tape

 Every survival kit needs to have this. It is a life saver! You can use it to repair clothing, tents, equipment, improvised as a splint or to help carry your gear, to keep things together, to secure lids and prevent moisture in your gear. Write important information on it such as your next of kin or someone to call for search and rescue. Your medical issues or medications etc. Include all vital information such as allergies, blood type and more. Tape this to your inside lid of your survival kit.

 In addition to your basic survival kit, it's wise to pack the following in a fanny pack:

  •  Leatherman Multi-Tool

 Keep one of these or a multi-function survival business card on your person at all times, it's invaluable.

  •  Water

 Pack a water bottle that is easy to carry or will strap to your pack or your belt.

  •  Food

 Jerky and sandwiches are important as are survival bars, energy bars, nuts, peanut butter snacks, honey and peanut butter sandwiches etc.

  •  Rain Coat

 Be sure to bring a raincoat or pack plenty of garbage bags to use for this purpose. They take up little room and are handy to have if you're caught in the rain.

  •  Duct Tape

 Bring a small sized roll to carry on your person or in your fanny pack. You can never pack enough of this staple.

  •  Lighter

 Again, the more ways that you can start a fire, the better of you'll be. No need to break the seal on your survival kit if you have a lighter in your pocket.

  •  Cell Phone

 Don't leave it at the camp or in the vehicle, keep it with you. Even if you have to climb a tree to use it you'll have it. Just be sure it's not turned on so that you're not wasting the battery. Turn it on if you need it to call for help.

  •  Wool Gloves, Liners And Stocking Caps

 You can find all of these for under $10 at any surplus store. You'll use these often even if you don't think you will so pack several sets if you can get them.

  •  Bug Spray

 Mosquitoes are annoying, they also carry diseases such as West Nile. You can also pack a box of scented fabric softener sheets to use for this purpose. Just put a softener sheet in your pocket and they should repel bugs.

  •  Extra Socks

 There is nothing worse than cold or wet feet. Stow these in a Ziploc bag along with the glove liners, stocking cap and such. They'll be clean and dry and you can tuck your cell phone in there for padding.

 These are versatile and helpful to have on hand.

 Know how to use all of the items in you have survival wilderness gear kit. They're not any good to you if you don't know how to use them. Check on them at least twice per year and replace anything that needs replacing (medications, food items etc.).

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