In my opinion, the single most important survival tool a person can carry into the wilderness other than knowledge is a properly stocked survival kit.
With the items I carry in my survival kit, I can create a shelter to protect myself from exposure to the elements and I can obtain much needed food; both of which will enable me to either survive until someone finds me, or until I can find my way out on my own.
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So, what items do you need to carry in survival kit, and what type of pouch or pack should you use to contain it all?
One very popular option is fanny packs made from Cordura nylon. They are specifically designed to ride low on a person's waist where they are out of the way. The nylon canvas material they are made from is both water resistant and extremely tough. Plus, they have integral belt and buckle systems which makes them easy to attach and detach.
I personally prefer to use a military surplus pouch made from either cotton canvas with a rubber coating inside, or heavy denier nylon. I mount it on a nylon, military surplus utility belt along with two canteens and my fixed blade survival knives.
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That way, the wide belt does a good job of distributing the weight and the nylon material absorbs very little moisture and resists rot.
Once you have chosen a container for your survival gear, you then need to know what items to stock it with. Here are some good basics to start with.
- Butane Cigarette Lighter
- Waterproof matches
- Magnesium fire starter with striking insert
- Fiber or wax fire starter blocks
- Magnifying glass (for starting fires in the day time)
- Emergency space blankets (2)
- Emergency rain poncho
- 2 Heavy duty garbage bags (for waterproofing a survival shelter)
- Wire survival saw
- Pocket Chainsaw
- Swiss Army Knife
- Diamond coated knife sharpener
- Binding materials such as cord, string, and wire
- Sewing needle kit (with assorted sizes and types of needles for large jobs)
- Waxed thread (dental floss works well)
- Small sewing kit (for clothing repairs)
- Small piece of cardboard wrapped with lightweight, monofilament, fishing line
- Small plastic container with fish hooks and lead split shot
- Stainless steel snare wire
- Metal spear point and/or frog gig
- Metal points for atlatl darts or arrows
- Water purification tablets
- Snake bite kit
- A first aid kit containing: band aids, bandages, adhesive tape, moleskin, Poison Oak and Poison Ivy treatment, insect and bee sting treatment, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, Echinacea, Chapstick, sunscreen, ect.
- Coach's whistle
- Metal signal mirror
- Orange trail marker tape
So, if you don't already have a properly stocked survival kit, then I urge you to assemble one before your next wilderness excursion because it can very well make the difference between surviving your adventure and not.