What Makes A Good Survival Kit?

Imagine finding yourself in a situation where you’re stranded in the wilderness or faced with a natural disaster. In times of hardship and uncertainty, having a good survival kit by your side becomes crucial. But what exactly does it take for a survival kit to be considered good? Well, it’s all about being prepared for the unexpected, having the essentials readily available, and ensuring that your kit is durable and reliable. Join us as we explore the key components that make up a truly remarkable survival kit.

What Makes A Good Survival Kit?

Water and Food


When it comes to survival, water is an absolute necessity. Your body can only survive a few days without water, so it’s crucial to have a reliable source. In your survival kit, make sure to include water bottles or a water bladder that can be easily filled from any available source. It’s also wise to include water purification tablets or a portable water filter. These tools can help you purify water from natural sources, such as rivers or streams, ensuring that it’s safe for consumption.

Non-perishable Food

Another essential item to include in your survival kit is non-perishable food. Look for lightweight options that are high in calories and nutrients. Canned goods, energy bars, and dehydrated meals are all great choices. It’s important to choose foods that have a long shelf life to ensure they won’t spoil over time. Consider the dietary needs and preferences of everyone in your group to make sure you have an adequate supply of food for the duration of your survival situation.

Food Preparation

While non-perishable food is convenient, it’s always a good idea to include some means of food preparation in your survival kit. This can include a portable stove, fuel canisters, and lightweight cookware. Having the ability to cook food can provide comfort and greatly expand your food options. Additionally, including utensils, like a spork, can make eating easier and more sanitary.

Shelter and Clothing

Tent or Tarp

Having a shelter is crucial for protection from the elements. A lightweight tent or tarp should be a part of your survival kit. Look for a tent that is easy to set up and tear down, as you may need to move quickly in an emergency situation. A tarp is a versatile option that can be used for various purposes, such as creating a makeshift shelter or providing extra protection from rain or wind.

Sleeping Bag

A good sleeping bag is essential for a comfortable and restful sleep during a survival situation. Look for a lightweight bag that is suitable for the climate you’ll be in. Consider the temperature rating of the sleeping bag to ensure it will keep you warm in colder conditions. It’s also a good idea to choose a sleeping bag that is water-resistant, as this can provide added protection from moisture.


Having the right clothing can greatly impact your comfort and safety during a survival situation. Include clothing suitable for the climate and season you’ll be in. This may include thermal layers, moisture-wicking clothing, and waterproof outerwear. Don’t forget to pack extra socks, as they can help prevent blisters and keep your feet dry. It’s also important to include sturdy footwear that can withstand rough terrain and provide adequate support for long periods of walking or hiking.

What Makes A Good Survival Kit?

Fire and Light


Fire is a valuable tool in survival situations. It provides warmth, a means of cooking food, and can even signal for help. Including a reliable firestarter in your survival kit is essential. Options can range from waterproof matches, lighters, or fire starters made with flint and steel. It’s also a good idea to include tinder, such as cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly or dry fire-starting material, to help ignite a fire more easily.

Light Source

Having a reliable light source is crucial, especially during the night or in dark areas. Flashlights, headlamps, or lanterns are all great choices for illuminating your surroundings. Make sure to include extra batteries to ensure your light source doesn’t run out of power. LED lights are a popular choice due to their energy efficiency, long battery life, and durability.


Apart from spare batteries for your light source, it’s wise to include extras for any other electronic devices you may have in your survival kit. This can include a portable radio for receiving emergency broadcasts, a GPS device, or a cell phone. Keeping these devices powered can provide valuable information and communication capabilities during a survival situation.

First Aid and Medical Supplies

First Aid Kit

A comprehensive first aid kit is a vital component of any survival kit. It should include a variety of bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, adhesive tape, and over-the-counter medications for pain relief and common ailments. It’s also essential to include personal protective equipment, such as gloves and a CPR mask, to protect yourself and others when administering aid.

Prescription Medications

If you or anyone in your group relies on prescription medications, it is crucial to include a supply in your survival kit. Make sure to rotate these medications regularly to ensure they don’t expire. Additionally, consider including a copy of each person’s prescription or a list of their medications, in case you need to seek medical assistance during your survival situation.

Personal Care Items

Maintaining personal hygiene is important for both physical and mental well-being. Include essential personal care items in your survival kit, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and hand sanitizer. Don’t forget to pack feminine hygiene products if they are necessary for anyone in your group. These items will help ensure you stay clean and reduce the risk of infection.

What Makes A Good Survival Kit?

Tools and Equipment


A multi-tool is a versatile tool that combines several functions into one compact device. It often includes pliers, knives, screwdrivers, and other essential tools. Having a multi-tool in your survival kit can provide solutions for a wide range of tasks, from repairing gear to opening cans or food packaging.


A reliable knife is a must-have tool for any survival kit. It can be used for various tasks, such as preparing food, building shelter, or self-defense. Look for a high-quality, fixed-blade knife with a sheath for safe storage. It should be sharp, durable, and comfortable to handle. Consider your specific needs and preferences when selecting a knife that suits you best.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is often referred to as “the handyman’s secret weapon,” and for a good reason. Its versatility and strength make it an indispensable item in any survival kit. It can be used for quick repairs, securing shelter, or even creating makeshift tools. Including a roll of duct tape in your survival kit will undoubtedly come in handy in a wide range of situations.

Navigation and Communication


A compass is a basic yet essential tool for navigation. It can help you find your bearings and determine directions, especially when in unfamiliar terrain. Learning how to use a compass properly is crucial, so take the time to familiarize yourself with its functions and how to interpret the information it provides. Including a reliable compass in your survival kit can greatly increase your chances of finding your way to safety.


Having a map of the area you’re in or plan to travel through is vital for effective navigation. Choose a map that is detailed and up to date, preferably waterproof or laminated to withstand the elements. Mark important landmarks, points of interest, and potential hazard zones on the map. Combine the use of a compass and a map to navigate accurately and efficiently.


A whistle may seem like a simple item, but it can be a lifesaver in an emergency situation. Its loud, piercing sound can carry over long distances and attract attention, aiding in search and rescue efforts. Including a whistle in your survival kit is lightweight, compact, and an easy way to signal for help if you find yourself in distress.

Personal Protection

Pepper Spray

In potentially dangerous situations, personal protection becomes paramount. Pepper spray is a non-lethal option that can temporarily incapacitate an attacker, allowing you to escape or seek help. Make sure to familiarize yourself with local laws regarding the possession and use of pepper spray before including it in your survival kit. Always prioritize safety and use such items responsibly.

Emergency Blanket

An emergency blanket, also known as a space blanket, is a lightweight and compact item that provides insulation and protection against the elements. It reflects back body heat, helping to prevent hypothermia in colder conditions. Emergency blankets are designed to be compact and can easily fit in your survival kit. They can also be used as a makeshift shelter or a signaling device.

Face Mask

In recent times, face masks have become essential for personal and public health. Including face masks in your survival kit can help protect you from airborne contaminants, dust, or smoke during a survival situation. Make sure to select masks that are of good quality and provide a proper fit to ensure maximum protection. Consider including multiple masks to accommodate the needs of everyone in your group.

Emergency Cash and Documents


Having emergency cash in your survival kit is essential for various reasons. In case of a natural disaster or other emergencies, ATMs and credit card machines may not be accessible. Cash can be used to purchase essential supplies, pay for transportation, or cover unexpected expenses that may arise during a survival situation. Include a mix of smaller bills to ensure you have appropriate change and avoid drawing attention to larger amounts.

Identification Documents

Important identification documents should be included in your survival kit. This includes items such as passports, driver’s licenses, and any other forms of identification that are essential for personal identification, legal matters, or travel. Make sure to store these documents in a waterproof container or bag to protect them from damage.

Emergency Contact Information

Including a list of emergency contact information is vital in any survival kit. This should include the phone numbers of family members, friends, and local emergency services. In case of separation from your group or if someone needs immediate assistance, having this information readily available can help facilitate communication and increase the chances of receiving the necessary help.

Entertainment and Comfort

Playing Cards

During a survival situation, it’s important to maintain mental well-being and find moments of relaxation. Playing cards can provide entertainment, help pass the time, and even strengthen relationships within your group. Whether it’s a competitive game of poker or a calming solitaire session, including a deck of playing cards in your survival kit can provide a much-needed escape from the stresses of the situation.


Books offer an immersive escape and can be a source of knowledge or inspiration during a survival situation. Choose lightweight, compact options that cater to different interests. Whether it’s a gripping novel, a survival guide, or a how-to manual, having a couple of books in your survival kit can provide both entertainment and valuable information when you need it the most.

Comfort Items

In a challenging situation, having comfort items from home can provide a sense of familiarity and emotional support. This can include items such as a favorite stuffed animal, a family photo, or a travel-sized pillow. Including comfort items in your survival kit is entirely personal and can greatly contribute to your mental well-being and overall resilience.

Additional Essentials

Extra Batteries

Having extra batteries for your electronic devices is crucial, especially when it comes to safety and communication. Make sure to include additional batteries that are compatible with your devices, such as flashlights, radios, or GPS devices. Having a reliable power source can ensure you have access to important information and maintain communication capabilities.

Water Purification Tablets

In addition to a water filter or other water purification methods, including water purification tablets in your survival kit can provide an extra layer of safety. These tablets are lightweight and easy to use. They can effectively kill bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms, making water safe for consumption. Remember to follow the instructions provided with the tablets for the best results.

Emergency Radio

An emergency radio is an invaluable tool for staying connected and informed during a survival situation. Look for a portable, battery-powered radio that can receive weather alerts and emergency broadcasts. This will provide valuable information about potential dangers, evacuation orders, and updates on the situation. Including an emergency radio in your survival kit can greatly increase your situational awareness and help you make informed decisions.

In conclusion, a good survival kit should cover the essential categories of water and food, shelter and clothing, fire and light, first aid and medical supplies, tools and equipment, navigation and communication, personal protection, emergency cash and documents, and entertainment and comfort. It’s important to carefully consider your specific needs, local environment, and potential risks when assembling your survival kit. By ensuring you have the necessary items and knowledge, you can greatly increase your chances of staying safe and comfortable during a survival situation. Remember to regularly check and update your kit to maintain its effectiveness and be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. Stay safe and be prepared!


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