Picture of One SF Soliders' Survival Kit
This survival kit is the product of many years spent in third world countries as both a soldier and contractor. I have carried, and used more then once, this kit in Central and South America, Africa, and Afghanistan. It fits nicely in a small pouch on my vest.


Step 1: Fire

Picture of Fire
You should always carry at least three (3) ways to start a fire. I carry storm matches in an old travel size Tylenol bottle that I super glued the striker to and covered in duct tape. a mini Bic lighter, and a magnesium block with flint. I have "fire sticks" that I got at Wal-Mart years ago and tinder balls I made by soaking cotton balls in vasiline petrolium jelly. 
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JEEPBOY5213 days ago

Great Instructable!

where's the first aid stuff? Another pouch or pocket? Very nice instructable! I would include a small morse code alphabet, maritime international signaling flags meanings, and the semaphore flag alphabet thingy. Although I suppose you military types know that by heart already.

This the most awesome, complete list so far... Thank you ...I love the comfort foods.. a must have for long term.. Add shelter and water and fish you can survive... Thanks again going on my survivalist list !!!

Spin180Pro6 months ago

Brilliant and well thought out. Thanks for the inspiration.

wolfsingleton10 months ago

Wonderful setup. I'm working on my own kit, and this is pretty dead on for most of it. I would definitely suggest switching out the disposable plastic spoon (break that within minutes) for one of those folding spoon/fork things. Otherwise, some water purifier tablets and a hand-squeeze charging flashlight (what would you do after the batteries die on the other one?). I'm also not much for so many comfort items in a survival pack, but I use cubed hardtack and pemmican in water for soups (after catching some protein). Course, mine is made mostly for rocky saltwater coastline and I've got about twice the fishing supplies, but that's not for everyone. That said, there are a lot of tips here on things that most people don't even consider, like the large focus on fire and light methods. Amazing how many people think a bic lighter and a signal mirror will save their lives. Thanks for the well thought out and executed kit - definitely the best on Instructables.

Medeusa11 months ago

This is an EXCELLENT survival kit and I look forward to making it for camping use. TY so much for this instructable.

I am glad you listed everything under the photos as I could tell something was printed there, but was unable to read the labels. Not enough contrast.

edvannatta2 years ago
Like this information on this! How send information ! It help me out!
Thank you!
I like it
eyesee2 years ago
very good
Lord_Dark2 years ago
Great kitt, i don't miss a thing, it just has to much for such a small package.
I would substitute the self made knife by my opinel.
great work on the instructable, thanks for sharing !
Great Kit and for the record I do NOT miss the bug and rat diet....well the grubs are ok if cooked...lol
jamob2 years ago
Very very nice survival kit. I would also add a caribener some more paracord, some type of water storage container maybe possibly a guide to plants, tweezers, water purifiers, and something to repel mosquitos. as the most common two ways to get diseased is mosquitos and water. But your kit is great
bpfh3 years ago
If you need long lasting candles and cannot commercially source any, go to your local church, pay up whatever is the recommended donation amount into the collection box per candle and offer up a prayer of thanks if you are that way inclined.

These sort of candles seem to last for hours, and I have some at home in case of power cuts. They may not light as well as supermarket stuff, but if you need hours of light, these are what you need.
HollyMann3 years ago
awesome! And thank you for serving our great country for so many years. I appreciate it. I was an Army soldier and contractor for a while as well..just not as long as you. I love your survival kit and instructables.
Nice kit..Spent my time in AF survival rescue ops.
dennison-m3 years ago
thats an unbelievable amount of support hidden away in such a tiny space :o
Mr.19113 years ago
I enjoy seeing your kit, as I think it is very well made. I also like that you made it from experience.5*
Grimmy Grim3 years ago
Good stuff! For a bit of variety, I also include some of the three in one coffee drinks, green tea bags (in Mylar) and Miso soup from the Asian stores.
thewanger3 years ago
Super survival pack. I would add money. Some cash in small bills and some silver dollars and a flask of high proof alcohol for wounds, drinking or trading. Also a pack of smokes for trading. Survival doesn't always mean you'll be alone.
cash doesnt work in the woods.
Who says people don't live in the woods?
Or who says you're in the woods?
Even a few bucks could turn out to be very useful. Or you might not need it at that time. But that goes for everything in the kit, doesn't it?

Then again, you could wipe your bum with it. Very good for morale.
tomsweet65 (author)  thewanger3 years ago
I used to carry a couple gold coins (Uncle Sam provided those) when I was in the military on operational deployments and I had a couple of my own while I was working as a contractor but never carried them in the kit itself. They were sewn into the hem of my pants and the hem of my shirt. If the kit was lost, taken, etc. I would still have the coins to use. Unless capture and strip searches were involved and then it was just a matter of staying alive long enough to either escape or be rescued.

I have a flask that my buddy Jack is kept in that goes in my pack, same with smokes but only because I smoke...

Thanks for your comment!
kz13 years ago
Nicely put together and based on experience. The only thing I might add would be a simple slingshot.
murak3 years ago
Love the kit. Been looking for a nice compact survival kit to put together as a gift for inlaws that are about to 4wd caravan around the country. Was thinking about putting it in a case like this one: http://www.adafruit.com/products/341

I would love to see some follow up instructable son this, namely how to use the snare wire, how you made the knife, etc. Keep up the good work.
tomsweet65 (author)  murak3 years ago
That is about the size case I originally carried the kit in.

The Instructable on the knife was posted yesterday, I have Instructables on making and setting snares in the works, as well as fire starting, shelter making and water filtration/purification, among others.

Thank you for your comments!
This is excellent; I would imagine it'd translate well into a kit for backcountry skiing (in addition to all of the regular items like a bivvy and shovel which I'd carry anyway)... for those "just in case I'm spending the night out in the middle of nowhere" days.
What country did you get you're duck tape in, its a different color from mine. Or is it just some specialty duck tape
You can get different colored duck tape at most home improvement stores (Home Depot, Lowe's Menards etc). Places near me(Wisconsin) carry everything from typical silver to animal print.
K just wondering if it was extra strong or something, mine's bright orange.
lfilip13 years ago
first aid kit is separate? Could you make instructable about first aid kit containing just (exactly) what you might need?
tomsweet65 (author)  lfilip13 years ago
Already made one.. It is under IFAK... I think...lol
very nice, looks like you got everything figured out... so we dont have to >.<
tomsweet65 (author)  michaelgohjs3 years ago
Thank you!
no VS-17 panel?
No smoke?
No laminated Code of conduct card?
No SERE certificate of completion?
tomsweet65 (author)  thematthatter3 years ago
Nope, No VS-17, Code of conduct, or SERE completion certificate...lol... Smoke on the other hand is carried in a seperate pouchs on the vest, right next to the 12 AR magizines....
badges, we don't need no badges...
onemoroni13 years ago
I take it this is the kind of kit you would need if you got kicked off the bus in the middle of the jungle in a third world country. I take it you would find water real fast as there is none in the kit. I am not being critical, but trying to appreciate the application of such a kit. I am in the mindset of urban survival of major disaster. I have a 72 hour set up in backpack and day pack (husband and wife) to survive complete loss of all infrastructure and services providing food, water, and shelter. I like the multipurpose tool having the vice grip. Nice instructable and I appreciate the result of your life experience.
tomsweet65 (author)  onemoroni13 years ago
The kit is actually pretty generic. I had it when we lived in the city, I have carried it when I got "thrown off the bus in the middle of the jungle in a thrid world country", I carried as a contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan, and nowcarry it in the deepest, darkest woods of Colorado. As for water I carry a total of 172 oz when ever I head out into the wild. I have two 1qt GI canteens witha good ol' canteen cup and a 108oz hydration bladder so H2O on the run is not a big issue to start with for me.

As for the urban environment you would be suprised how many of the ponds in parks are stocked with fish. And if you are planing on bugging out should TSHTF in your city eventually you will come across a lake, river, or stream you can fish from for food.

Thannks for the comment!
Water bags are a heavy waste of space... Especially in an urban disaster environment.

Any disaster that knocks out a city's water supply still leaves potable water in every toilet tank and sprinkler head. A hundred gallons in every house to be drained out of hot water heater tanks. Another 25 gallons in the very pipes. Enough to last a wife and husband a month of rationing, or enough to fill bottles a hundred times on your hike into the hills.

So ditch your heavy packs... Packs that I would guess that you keep at home. Packs that you have a 60% chance of not even having access to in a disaster.

Put a serious kit into your daily drivers. And take a course.
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