Survival Kits – Build Your Own

By Woody Woodruff

A survival kit is just what it sounds like: a kit or duffel bag or pack, a fanny pack, a purse, maybe just a Sucrets tin, but basically what a survival kit comes down to is a container holding items that will help you survive.

This can be anything from surviving a Saturday morning after partying ’till the wee hours, to living through a hurricane. Or, how about a pack with enough gear in it to survive for 3 days after a massive flood like Katrina?

I’d be willing to bet my AK-47 that there were a bunch of people stranded on rooftops by the rising water that could have used a couple gallons of safe drinking water.

Or for that matter, ever been caught in a blizzard and couldn’t drive out of it? I have, no fun, don’t want to do that again. The big difference is I am here writing this now, but without the survival kit in my truck I might not be.

I spent almost 2 days freezing my ass off, shoveling out when I could and waiting for the blizzard to end. Without the food in my kit and sleeping bag, not to mention the shovel and axe the two of us probably wouldn’t have lived, four other folks down the road didn’t.

Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes so emergency kits should be just as diverse. The basic Grab-N-Go kit for an earthquake evacuation in California is going to be way different than a Blizzard Auto-Kit like I had. But they all perform the same way in that they make it a lot easier to stay alive!

For just a basic Grab-N-Go survival kit that would be pretty much universal in scope, here’s a short list of necessaries. Of course this is configured from my perspective here in North Idaho and if you live in L.A. yours would contain things mine doesn’t and vice-versa.

Let’s say an evacuation order was being broadcast on TV and radio maybe even cops with bullhorns, but the deal is you have to go and go now! No time to pack, just grab what you can and run for it, what would you grab? Your laptop? Your aquarium? Your Christmas presents? Your golf clubs? None of the above, right?

Although I could make an argument for the laptop, these other things are not necessary for survival and would only slow you down.

If you are prepared for this scenario you would have a pack with food and water for at least 3 days, an emergency blanket or two, a small first aid kit, some extra clothing (socks, jeans, light jacket) a flashlight and batteries, fire starting tools, a knife, and any medication that is necessary.

Everybody has their own “necessary” survival equipment. I personally have 7 Grab-N-Go kits scattered in strategic places in my home, office and vehicles. Hidden, but close to hand if I have to run for it with little warning. These kits all contain the emergency survival items and tools that one person would need to live for at least 3 days. In case of marshal law or marauders, even irate citizens, 3 of the kits have pistols and ammo as well as an extra knife, road flares, and para-cord.

I have included in all the kits a basic first-aid-hygiene mini-kit that could double as a water container or coffee mug. There are also fishing hooks, mono-filament line, a compass and magnesium fire-starters. A plastic tarp and 2 mylar-space blankets for sleeping, an emergency water filter unit and iodine crystals that are supposed to handle 2 hundred gallons of drinkable water, some plastic garbage bags, a whetstone, some extra socks and that’s it.

Remember, these Grab-N-Go kits aren’t supposed to be anything fancy, just to help you survive until the emergency is over or you find a safe place. My kits, with everything, including 3 liters of water, weigh just over 20 lbs. Adding the weapons and ammo could be as much as 5 more lbs. I think I could hike to my safe zone(about 10 miles) without too much difficulty packing 25 lbs.

That is the ultimate test of a survival kit, can you carry it for a ways if you have to? Will the supplies last until you find relative safety? If your survival kit can be easily accessed, contains relevant, life-saving equipment, and is compact and light enough for hiking, you have a winner!

Emergency and Disaster Survival

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