Pocket Survival Kit (Not a Candy Tin!)

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Introduction: Pocket Survival Kit (Not a Candy Tin!)

About: Hello there.

This is my entry for the Survival Skills Challenge, and my first Instructable.

Here is my little utility/emergency* survival pouch that I carry while camping, hiking, and fishing. Now, I do all of these activities in nice weather (late spring-early fall), so I wanted a small, compact kit that would still encompass all of the vital elements of woodland survival, as well as whatever else I deemed necessary...because nobody wants to be lugging around a big ass backpack in hot weather, however, at the same time, a few matches and a razor blade in an Altoids can won't do a civilian much good. Yes, I'm sure a survival expert could make do with a mediocre Altoids kit, however, an EXPERT would not get lost in the first place!
*Note: This is my back-up kit. It is only carried by itself in low-risk situations, or as a supplement to my main gear. 

The pack is comprised of a few categories of items:

A) First Aid - Untended medical issues can easily become a death sentence in the wilderness. Your survival skills mean nothing when your health is rapidly deteriorating; you need to last long enough to find rescue. Include a broad spectrum of supplies that will address the most common accidental injuries, as well as your personal medical conditions.

B) Navigation is the most important part of any kit, because if you can avoid getting lost, there will be no ordeal. GPS is great, but the good ol' compass and map don't need batteries or antenna reception.

B) Signaling is the next most important aspect of the kit, because if you are found right away, survival won't be necessary. Include both visual and auditory devices, like a flashlight and a whistle.

C) Fire - If it does come to survival, you want to be sure that you can start a fire. Redundancy is key. Atleast have three different fire starting devices, and a couple different types of tinder.

D) Repair - Your clothing is your primary shelter. If you can't sew, safety pins and duct tape will suffice.

E) Shelter - Protect yourself from the elements; exposure is the greatest danger in the wilderness. Cordage alone is great, but building a rudimentary debris/brush shelter from raw materials is both difficult and time/energy consuming. Save yourself the trouble and get an orange garbage bag, and/or a Mylar space blanket, and your quick shelter will also serve as a signaling device. *Remember, you want to be found, so living in a tree house is not going to help your cause*

F) Water - Dehydration is the next greatest danger. Here, redundancy is also key: include ways to filter, boil, chemically treat, and store/carry your water.

G) Food Collection is not usually a main priority - most people are found within 72 hours of being lost. If you live in the lower 48 States, "extended survival" situations are about as frequent as plane crashes. Nonetheless, the concept behind a survival kit is preparedness, so, include some ways to hunt and trap birds, fish, and small game, as well as ways to cook them. Besides, even though you CAN last a while without food, who says you have to? Also, fishing would be a great way to kill time while awaiting rescue, if you are literally bored out of your mind. (Insanity is another danger)

H) Tools - Your knife is your life. Fixed blades are preferable, but anything is better than nothing. If you insist on carrying a folder, carry one with a good lock - flimsy linerlocks will fail under hard use, and this is a potential cause of injury. Also, include other tools, such as a saw blade or wire saw for wood processing, and a multitool for other various tasks. These are not necessary, but they will make your life much easier.

As I said, this pack includes all of the above elements, and only weighs about a pound, give or take. It slips comfortably into my shorts pocket, and an aluminum water bottle goes in the other pocket.

Thanks for viewing, and vote for me! ;)

UPDATE: The seventh photo slide is of newly added items, mostly suggested by other users. If you have any suggestions, please share them and I will probably add them if they aren't already in my kit.

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    42 Discussions

    Oh yeah, hard candies. They'll keep you going and happy and cheerful. Plus some jerky - it'll keep you alive.

    http://wysiwipe.com/shop.html compressed paper tabs the size of a dime, unfold for wiping / well, almost anything, but good arsewipe.

    Very neat, but we were taught to carry 2 female sanitary towels just in case of a more major trauma.

    4 replies

    That's probably a good idea, but in my opinion (as a man with a large ego), the embarrassment from being caught carrying tampons would be much more painful than any major trauma. Of course, I'll regret it when I'm bleeding out. Thanks for the interesting comment. :)

    Tampons not only help in major trauma situations, but they are very effective as dry tinder for fire starting; assuming they were unused for other things. If are really worried about your ego and image, just make sure to bring along your lady friend, girlfriend, wife (or all three if you feel daring). One of them will most likely have one handy. You can even make the situation a bit more romantic by singing "Come on baby, light my fire!" to her.

    Hi,
    while tampons do make good fire lighters (as seen recently on tv ) sanitary towels are some what larger and are in some makes fire proof they do make very effective wound bandages.
    more than 1 buddy is still walking around thanks to have them to hand.

    Isn't water one of your main priorities?

    Do you have the good ol' petroleum jelly soaked cotton balls? great for fire steel and burns long. Bicycle inner tube has 1000 uses, mixed grade sand paper and your leather belt = great knife sharpening and as for emergency blankets there's some really good quality - reusable ones out there. I got one for $15 and it is amazing. Also, hope you have another knife - well, something bigger for heavier use like in the Becker BK line.
    Nice kit though!

    Great kit! Although I keep an Altoids survival tin on me at all times (which I've recently uploaded on this site) I also keep a more comprehensive kit like this in a pocket attached to the sheath of my KaBar. I keep this kit in my car (as well as a 72 hour bag) and utilize it for an easy to reach survival situation or when I'm enjoying an outdoor adventure. I will probably be uploading it soon so be on the lookout for it! Once again, great job!

    I've used the same Gerber knife for over 30 years without a problem. And a Puma since 1963. Treat your tools right and they will reward you withgood service,

    The Gerber is just a throwaway knife. I have a Rat3, but I prefer the Gerber when I go fishing in the summer, since I wear shorts. It's very small and lightweight, and I wouldn't be heartbroken if it fell in the water.

    I might get a Becker Necker in the future, but for now, the Gerber works fine for me, since I only use it for light-medium duty work.

    Thanks for the comment.

    i find having a mutlitool and a sharp knife never hurts. if one isn't fit to task the other usually is, using while sharpening the other etc. (speaking as a viking age reenacter)

    Take apart a dental floss box and take out the spool of floss. That stuff is tough as heck and I would think useful in any number of situations.

    2 replies

    Hmm, I would have to find plain dental floss, since the sugary taste/smell of regular dental floss might attract bees and other insects to my shelter.

    But thanks for the comment, I will try that!

    you can get just plain waxed floss with no taste whatsoever and that could be used in place of you cotton and your waxed thread. funnily enough its what i always use when i get a hole in clothing. only if i can sew it up concealed of course though