Monday, May 21, 2012

Survival Kit

I'm pleased to welcome Kahuna "Two Bears" to the blog as a contributor!  She's sent several exellent posts which I'll begin uploading now, starting with her great column on making a Survival Kit! 

This branches out some from the Food Storage and how to store & cook it, but is valuable information.   You can scroll through all the posts and read the ones that interest you. 

Thank you, Tow Bears!

Survival Kit
A lot of people think "I need a survival kit" but have no idea what should go in it; so they end up doing nothing.

Now your survival kit and mine may look nothing alike. So before I tell you what is in my survival kit; I am going to tell you some things that belongs in every survival kit. If you hike the back country you are going to need a much more thorough survival kit than someone who hikes in local state parks.

Just remember the rule of three.

1. You can live for three minutes or so without air.

2. You can live for three days or so without water.

3. You can live for three weeks without food.

4 if you panic and lose your head you may die in as little as three seconds.

Basics for a survival kit.

1. Matches. If you are lost a fire and the smoke from a wood fire can be seen for miles from the air. Now matches will not last forever. You should replace them every six months. You can make matches last longer by putting them in a tightly closed container with a desiccant pack that often comes in vitamins, etc. This desiccant will absorb the moisture before your matches will. You can melt parafin wax on the stove or in the microwave and dip the match sticks in the paraffin. Tea light candles are made of paraffin. Just be sure the wax is unscented.

2. You are going to need a sharp edge to cut things. This could be a hunting knife, a pocket knife, etc. I used to carry a survival kit that fit into a 35 mm film canister. I also carried N eye dropper bottle full of Clorox. The sharp
Edge I carried in that survival kit was a Shick single edged razor blade taped onto card board.

3. You are going to need some cordage to tie things together to build a shelter even if it is only a tarp tied between two trees or tying a rope between two trees and turning a tarp or emergency blanket into a pup tent. Now you can buy nylon rope 1/8th inch thick, or paracord that has seven smaller cords if you need to divide them. You can often get a 100 yard spool of dental floss at the dollar store for $1. Dental floss is incredibly tough. I wrapped about 30 feet of dental floss around the card board the razor blade was on.

4a. You will need a all bottle of Clorox, or 2% iodine.

4b, you will need a container to hold questionable water while 4a makes the water safe to drink.

I carried Clorox in an empty eye drop bottle. You can use either Clorox or iodine. This choice is up to you. Clorox or iodine will make questionable water in lakes and streams.

If your water container holds 1 quart fill up the bottle with water, then add 4 drops of Clorox, or 5 drops of iodine to the water. Put the lid on tightly and shake well. Or you could use 5 drops of 2% iodine.

Shake well and allow the water to sit for 1/2 an hour or so, in 1/2 hour virtually all pathogens including Giardia will be killed.

5. You will need a sewing kit to mend clothes or a few safety pins. My sewing kit in the 35 mm film canister was a narrow piece of cardboard with thread wrapped around it and 2 needles stuck between the thread and cardboard.

6. Lastly you should consider 25 feet or so of fishing line, and a few hooks.

Since I no longer drive all over as I used to I just have the survival kit in my bug our bag.

When you make a survival kit; think small and efficient. The reason for this is if it is big and bulky; you will not carry it, and a survival kit left at home is less than worthless. This is why I carried a survival kit in a 35 mm film canister. In your car you can carry a tarp, emergency blanket, a small pot and two or three cans of soup.

Here is my survival kit that stays in my bug out bag,

1. A Swiss army knife

2. I have three ways of starting a fire

a. Matches and desiccant pack in a 35 mm film canister.

b. A Bic butane lighter

c. A magnesium block with a striker on the side.

Why different methods of starting a fire? The lighter and matches require small muscle control. If you are cold you have problems with small muscle control. Shaving off magnesium and creating a spark with the striker and piece of metal uses large muscles.

3.1 have 12 or so cotton balls in a 35 mm canister. Dry cotton balls are good tinder but do not burn long

4. I have petroleum jelly in another film canister. If you dip the cotton balls in petroleum jelly the tinder will burn for long enough to start the kindling and then the wood,

5. I gave gauze pads and medical tape to treat injuries. #4 above has an herbal concentrate with three herbs to heal skin injuries, and a good fire starter too

6. A styptic pencil to stop bleeding.

7 I have two kinds of cordage 50 feet of 7 strand paracord, and a 129 yard spool of dental floss.

8. Two burned our resisters in a ceramic housing. I scavenged these from a busted TV. I use the ceramic cover to sharpen my knife.

9. Emergency blanket.

10. Pipettes and small container of herbal concentrate to make more ointment if I find more petroleum jelly.

11. Sewing kit.

12 fishing line, fish hooks, and flies.

13 p38 can openers.

15. 2 fl OZs iodine.

16. 31/2 OZs Clorox

#15 and 16 are to treat water.

Everything except for the medical tape and #15 & 16 goes in small pack, and when loaded only weighs 12 OZs.
This is my survival kit. This has everything but #15&16. those bottles sit beside this kit in the pocket of my bug out bag.

Nui aloha.

Two Bears


  1. Something simple . A large rat trap can be useful for the bag. It can be used to catch squirrel

  2. no hand steriliser/soap/antiseptic? good for stopping infections- infection is possibly your greatest risk in a survival situation... a pressure bandage is very useful as well- not only if you have an injury, could be used for anything... i'd probably put a small waterproof container of painkillers and anti-Diarrhea medication as well

  3. Those are excellent suggestions. Thanks for contributing them!