How to Prepare a Hiking Survival Kit

Introduction: How to Prepare a Hiking Survival Kit

The purpose of an Emergency or Survival kit is simple, it is to ensure the safety and survival of the person or persons using it during times when essential necessities are unavailable. Kits come in all forms shapes and sizes. Below are instructions on how to prepare a simple Hiking Survival Kit.

Step 1: Survival Kit: Supplies & Preparation Instructions

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” - Benjamin Franklin


  • Whistle
  • Mirror
  • Waterproof Poncho
  • Small Carabiners
  • Matches
  • Fishing Line
  • Paracord / 550
  • Lip Balm
  • Topical Analgesic (ex: Benadryl)
  • Head Lamp
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Travel Soap Dish
  • Wire Saw
  • Magnesium Bar w/ Striker
  • Survival Blanket
  • Petroleum Jelly Covered Cotton Balls
  • Compass
  • Duct Tape
  • Travel Bottles / various types
  • Fishing hooks
  • ChemLights
  • Plastic sealable container (Ex: Rubbermaid or Tupperware)

“Preparedness is the key to success and victory” - Douglas MacArthur


  1. Place all items out on a flat surface
  2. Inspect items for any defects or imperfections
  3. Pack small containers first - (Travel Soap Dish)
    • Petroleum Jelly covered Cotton Balls
  4. Begin placing items into the Plastic Sealable Container.
    • Tip: Keep you signaling devices such as the Mirror towards the top of the container.
  5. Seal Kit & Placement
    • Tear Duct Tape into strips to help seal container
    • Place extra strips of Duct Tape on the container for later use
    • Store kit in hiking backpack or where you keep your hiking gear.

Step 2: Kit Maintenance

After you have assembled your kit, maintain its contents! You always want it to be ready when needed!

  • Before each outing and after each outing check your supplies!
  • Reevaluate your needs every year and prepare accordingly. Needs change and life happens, add and subtract items as necessary.
  • Remember being prepared is everything!

Step 3: Additional Resources


Reading Material


  • Harrison, Kathy. Just in Case: How to be Self-Sufficient when the Unexpected Happens. Storey Publishing. 2008
  • Wiseman, John 'Lofty'. SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere. William Morrow Paperbacks. 2014
  • Alton, Amy. The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide: Emergency Preparedness for ANY Disaster. Skyhorse. 2015


PREPARE Magazine;

American Survival Guide:

Recoil Offgrid Magazine:

"If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe." — Abraham Lincoln

Step 4: Printable Instructions

Have fun and stay safe out there!

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    • Anything Goes Contest

      Anything Goes Contest



    2 years ago on Step 4

    I have a pocket kit instructable myself. You have some good ideas. One thing I've seen that many people including you do, is wrap your kit in duct tape. This does give you duct tape if you need it, but if you don't need it when you open your kit, what do you do with it? Also, you wrapped it around what looked like some fairly light weight plastic bags. The tape is going to tear them up when the kit is opened. Here's my suggestion. Go to a fabric store and get several feet of Velcro One Wrap. I like the inch and a half size. It wraps around and sticks to itself. Wrap this around your kit and it is easy on easy off. If you use the right lengths, it can serve as a tourniquet, or around your pants legs as a gaiter, along with many other uses. Put the duct tape inside your case. The Velcro has a fuzzy side and the other side is a bit smoother. I wrap my kit with the smooth side out, so it collects less debris like bits of leaves and grass, etc. Just my thoughts. Always good to be ready.