Survival Kit List
There are two very important things to remember about
survival kits: they must be SMALL and they must be carried in your pocket
or on your person, NOT in your pack! The whole idea behind a survival
kit is to have something with you in case you manage to lose your pack and all
your regular gear. I once heard a story about two canoeists who got dumped
in a set of rapids and their canoe was totalled. The only reason they survived
to be rescued was because they had survival kits sewn into their lifejackets,
which of course they were wearing. Many a would-be camper hasn't been so lucky.
Here is a list of what I have in mine, and reasons for
- METAL CONTAINER:
- those Maxwell House gourmet coffee tins, the little
ones, are perfect. The container should be metal so it can be used to heat
water over a campfire.
SMALL LENGTH OF DUCT TAPE:
- I use this to hold the top of my kit on firmly, plus
it's a great waterproofer. Duct tape also works great when you don't have a
triangular bandage: it holds on dressings, works well for fastening a
EMERGENCY (SPACE) BLANKET:
- these are those little aluminium- looking blankets
you can buy at any camping store. They are good for making into an emergency
shelter, keeps you warm, and is reflective (i.e. can be spotted from
- makes a great fire starter, and can keep you warm in
an enclosed space if you can't light a fire.
- always have one or two (or three or four...)
CHOCOLATE SQUARE, HERBAL TEA BAG, OXO CUBE:
- you can use any or all of the above. Each will give
you much-needed energy and in the case of tea or stock cube, something warm
to drink. Please note!! Regular tea has caffeine which will act as a
dehydrator, herbal teas don't.
- for starting fires, of course!
LARGE SAFETY PIN OR FISH HOOK:
- for fishing, if you're hungry.
SMALL SAFETY PINS:
- good for holding slings together, etc.
PIECE OF CRAYON:
- will act as a fire starter; you can also mark trees
if you're on the move in the woods to let searchers know you've been there.
Of course, in most cases, if you're lost in the woods it's better to stay
where you are, i.e. hug a tree!
- a little of this mixed with water will help
rehydrate a dehydrated person; mixed into a thick paste it helps on mosquito
bites and bee stings.
- anytime you're administering first aid to someone,
you should wear gloves!!
- to clean out cuts etc.
FIRST AID GAUZE:
- for any larger cuts.
- can be used in lieu of a mirror to signal planes or
boats, and takes up less space. Can also be modified into a water carrier if
- a blade always comes in handy!
FISHING LINE OR DENTAL FLOSS:
- to use with fish hook for fishing, or to make into
snares for animals.
- again, when you're dehydrated, your body needs to
regain salt as well as water. Mix with water and drink.
- these will help purify your drinking water... check
their expiry date before leaving on a trip! Most tablets are only good for a
year or so once the bottle's been opened.
I also have a little piece of paper with all the
recognized ground-to-air signal codes on it, which fits in my kit. On its
flip side are directions for making a simple lean-to.
Of course the most important aspect of any survival
kit is making sure your girls know how to use it! A couple of years ago, my
old Pathfinder unit made up
two games to test their survival skills in summer
conditions. Check 'em out!
:-) Thanks to Lisa Sykes for
this great tip! Instead of chocolate in your survival kit, why not
substitute a Milk Bone dog biscuit? They are edible and full of energy. And
if you're lost in the woods with the munchies, you're less likely to eat your Milk Bone
when you don't really need it yet!
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