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What Should I Consider When Preparing a Survival Kit?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 17, 2024
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There is a lot to consider when preparing a survival kit, but some basic elements that imperative. You can purchase a complete survival kit or create a customized one that is appropriate for your needs and the needs of your family. Every survival kit should contain basic fist aid items such as a disinfectant like peroxide or iodine, antibiotic ointment, bandages, gauze, medical tape, and a small pair of scissors. Your kit should also include topical and oral pain relievers, a few doses of prescribed medications, wound closure liquid or strips, and something to use as a tourniquet.

Other items usually considered essential for a survival kit include an extra pair of glasses or contacts and solution, a radio, a flashlight, and extra batteries. A personal siren or rescue alarm is also advisable. Also, include waterproof matches with a striker and an accurate compass. Don't forget to include a few tools such as a sharp knife, hand size hacksaw, razor blades, a small pry bar, and work gloves. These are important, if for some reason you become trapped.

In case you are displaced from your home, lodging, or vehicle by an emergency, your survival kit should include items that will protect you from exposure to the weather. Include at least one emergency blanket, a pocket tent or a tarp, pocket-sized plastic rain ponchos, or at the very least, large, heavy-duty trash bags to use as cover. Sun block and insect repellent packets are also good ideas.

You will need to include some food and water in your survival kit. Water is heavy, but pack a few small bottles into your survival kit and save the bottles when empty. Also, include water disinfecting tablets and a lightweight container to use for filtering water.

Keep hard candy and sugar cubes in your survival kit too. They are small and light and they will help keep your mouth moist and your blood sugar levels from dropping. In addition, other small, non-perishable, securely packaged foods with a high concentration of carbohydrates are necessary to keep up your strength. These include things like foil wrapped candy bars, granola bars, dried fruits, and nuts. Bullion cubes and other instant foods, such as envelopes of soup mix, hot chocolate, coffee, tea, and powdered sports drink mixes to boost electrolytes, are also easy to carry and will help keep you going.

As far as toiletries go, limit these to only the essentials like toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, and moistened wipes. This may seem like a lot to pack into a survival kit, but you can place all the flexible items into a storage bag that allows you to remove excess air with your vacuum hose. This will make your items compact and easier to carry, and it will also protect your emergency items from dust, moisture, and pests.

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