Life Out There: Survival Kit




Introduction: Life Out There: Survival Kit

About: Hello! I'm Nerfrocketeer, also known as Nefrock', Nerf, or NK. I am an avid fan of Nerf wars, engineering, and animal activism (but no I don't go overboard). Thank you for A MILLION views (woah!) and making me…

  "Out there;" a phrase often used to describe the vast wildernesses that cover a large amount of the world. It is a place where human beings fear to go, where terror reigns and a travelers' only companions are the thoughts in his head, and the rustling of the wind. Those who venture into this land of fear and adventure unprepared seldom make it out unscathed, and in many cases, alive. The only way to make it through an ordeal, out there, is to have the ultimate survival kit ready at your disposal. This Instructable will show you the key concepts and items that should go in to a good survival pack.


       Some of the most important things to include in a survival kit are basic hiking tools. These tools can help you navigate and stay safe as you travel through the wilderness. Items that will protect you and help guide you through the climate and terrain of the wild are included in this section.

Items to include:

-A small umbrella: An umbrella will allow you to travel further during inclement weather conditions without risking sickness or exposure, and can also be used for shelter.
-A knife: A knife will allow you to easily kill food and cut down plants to navigate through dense foliage. It can also be used to build shelter and to provide protection.
-A compass: One of the most basic yet necessary of all hiking tools. This item will help you navigate and find your way through any environment, and also provide a means of documenting landmarks and goal points for travel.
-An emergency blanket: An emergency blanket is necessary for keeping warm at night, providing shelter, and, in intense survival situations, to provide shelter from fire and heat. Easily foldable enough to fit in a pocket, these blankets are a must-have for any survival kit and any environment.
-A whistle: A whistle not only will allow you to contact others in a group survival situation, but can also be used to alert rescuers of your location and need. They can also be used to frighten off predators such as bears and mountain lions, and to measure the depths of caves through their echoes.


Books and guides for a survival situation are of utmost importance. While they are not a necessary tool, they can provide invaluable information about survival tactics. They can also be taken to provide means of entertainment to keep the mind from panicking, and, in dire need, for fire kindling.

Books of interest may include:

-The US Army Survival Manual: or FM 21-76, is the ultimate guide to taking on and surviving any conditions in any situation. Full of useful tips and tactics, it is the primary must-have book for any survival kit.
-A Bible: or any book pertaining to your religion can provide hope and a sense of security to an otherwise panicked situation. Although not entirely necessary, it is a good idea to take one along.
-A guide to first-aid: An injury in the wild can be magnified multiple times by your situation. Infection. aggravation, and bleeding are all very serious dangers. A guide to administering the correct first-aid to a wound or cut is absolutely necessary for the health of all involved in the ordeal.
-A map of the area: A map can prove invaluable in navigating through an environment. Not only can it shorten your ordeal by leading you safely out, but it can also provide a sense of security by giving you an idea of where you are.

-Also, the SAS Survival Handbook (not shown), which provides almost every thing you would ever need to know about a survival situation! Special thanks to HollyMann for this recommendation.

It is a good idea to wrap all books taken in a watertight bag to keep them from getting ruined by a watery environment or rain.


Fire; without it survival is nearly impossible. Fire not only provides heat and protection, but can also be seen as a companion in an otherwise lonely and desperate situation. A fire can cheer the mind and soul, and keep out fears of what lies in the darkness. Fire is also necessary for cooking and sterilizing food, so anything fire-related is absolutely necessary and definitely a top priority when packing your survival kit.

Things to include in this section are:

-Waterproof matches, which can withstand moisture and be stored safely. It is a good idea to have at least 100, enough to last a few months. These should be stored in a waterproof container.
-Items for kindling: Sometimes as simple as scraps of paper, kindling is necessary to start a fire in that it carries the initial spark. Without it, starting a fire is much harder.
-Sparking devices: such as Pop-Its, can provide the necessary ignition to start a fire. They can also create enough noise to capture the attention of rescuers, or to scare away predators.
-Spark creating rocks: such as marcasite, flint, quartz, pentlandite, iron pyrite, etc. can create sparks for fires when you have run out of matches. Getting the spark to light a fire, however, can be difficult.

All of these materials should be kept in a waterproof bag.


Means of creating light are a need for survival, as are multitools. Such items can allow you to travel places and create things you would otherwise not be able to. It's a good idea to have as many of these items as possible, so that they can be replaced or shared with others.

Good lights and multitools are:

-Flashlights: Flashlights are of course the best form of providing light while traveling. They can be used to angle light off of mirrors and walls, and can point a straight beam if necessary. In some cases they can even be used to start fire. You should definitely have at least one in your kit.
-Flare lights: not to be confused with actual flares, which are pyrotechnic. Flare lights are basically light sticks that glow and can basically attract or distract attention from rescuers or predators. Most flare lights have multiple functions, thus making them even more useful in a survival situation. Although not necessary, they are recommended.
-Fake battery candles: can be used as a last resort for light, and can spread light across a good distance. Be warned, they are fragile, and can break easily.
-Pliers-style multitool: good for twisting wire and and many other things, these tools are the best option when picking survival equipment.
-Screwdriver-style multitools: although not always needed, they are still a good idea to take if you need to change the batteries of or take apart some of your equipment.
-Swiss army knife-style multitool: comes in handy for cutting and sawing. Small and compact, they are a good thing to add to your kit.


In a survival situation, one of the key goals of the person surviving is to be rescued. Catching the attention of planes, ships, or sometimes rescue hikers is a high priority, however, doing so can be difficult, unless you have the right equipment.

-Noise makers: such as air horns and whistles can catch the attention of anyone from a relatively long distance. Easy to use and easy to store, they are a good thing to have in your kit.
-Smoke grenades: Pyrotechnic smoke grenades can be purchased at any fireworks store and can create enough smoke to capture the attention of passing planes. The best kind will have a pull-pin, but fuse-lit grenades work just as well.
-Battery radio and headphones: Can keep you updated on weather, location, and time. They can also let you know if you've been missed, and can provide comfort in hard situations.
-Flares: Often as simple as roman candles, flares can let people know where you are at night, and can also be used to start fires, and kill prey. Store these carefully, however, or they could explode in your hand or pack.
-"HELP" sign: A bright orange and yellow sign with the word "HELP' on it can show possible rescuers your need. It is a definite necessity.

All of these items should be kept safe from water, if possible.


Food and water is of utmost importance in the wilderness. Without it, your time to survive is decreased from possible months to days, or hours. You ABSOLUTELY NEED to bring along means of catching prey, as well as cooking and eating it safely.

Some things to include are:

-Fishing gear: fishing equipment, no matter how simple, can prove invaluable to the weary hiker. With it, you can catch fish to replenish your energy and prepare you for the next part of your travels. You need to bring something, anything, along with wich you can catch fish. These things should be kept together in a bag.
-Small frying pan: can make cooking easier and allow you to cook without touching potentially infected food. It isn't necessary but makes cooking a lot easier.
-Eating utensils: such as forks, plates, spoons, and straws can make eating a lot easier, safe, and, in some cases, less unappetizing. Remember you may have to eat less common things such as bugs, frogs, mice, and even snakes out in the wild. These items can make eating a bit more bearable.
-Gloves: If you have to pick up freshly killed prey, the last thing you want is for pathogens to get into your skin. Gloves can add a layer of protection and also take the 'gross factor' out of eating fresh prey.

As many of these items as possible should be kept in a watertight bag to keep them clean.


Although it is good to take things with you to catch food with, it is also smart to take some food yourself. It can come in handy when you are in a place where no food or water is available.

Things to bring can include:

-Bottled water: Water is the most important thing you will need to stay alive. You should bring along enough to last at least a week, and the containers you keep it in should be sealed from any outside water, that could be polluted, getting in.
-Granola bars: Can be a long-lasting source of energy. Take as many as possible. Replace them as necessary.
-Lemon juice: For cleaning wounds (note that this can lead to infection). Lemon juice is also acidic enough to slightly cook and sterilize food. Replace as necessary.
-Sugar and sweeteners: TO BE USED FOR ENERGY AS A LAST RESORT ONLY. Using sugar for energy can give you a quick burst of energy if you need it, but afterwards you will feel very tired. Use it only in dire need!

All food should be kept in a waterproof bag or container.


Taking things to clean yourself with is a must. If you are not clean, it is easier to get infections. Sterilization is very important.

Things to help you stay clean include:

-Bars of soap
-Shaving cream (optional)
-Hand sanitizer
-A small first aid kit
-Garbage bags, (for use as pillows, shelter, raincoat, insulation, bandages, ect.)
-Water-expanding towels
-Mints (for oral hygiene)
-Combs (not only for hair, also for survival tools)
-Toilet paper (flattened to fit in kit-yes it is necessary)
-A fan (to keep cool and avoid heat stroke, and to help build fire)

As many of these things as possible should be kept in a watertight bag.


Rope and string are musts for traveling in rough terrain. They have infinite uses, and should definitely be kept in your kit.


There are various other items with no definite purpose that are also good things to take with you, such as:

-Batteries of all sizes
-Writing utensils and stationery + scissors
-Safety pins (for fish hooks and other uses)
-Plastic paper (in the form of prank no-tear toilet paper, can be used for bandages and to help with shelter.
-Other miscellaneous items, such as tape, glue, rubber bands, and other possibly useful small items.

All of these things should be kept in bags to keep them organized.


Things such as a water canteen, a pouch, and a hat with a built-in flashlight all can come in handy and should be kept on- but outside the kit.


After you finish gathering all of the things to put in your kit, you should make a contents list so you can check what is in the kit, and what will need periodic replacing, without having to search through the bag.


Your survival kit backpack should have two large center pockets, a few small exterior pockets, and places to keep water bottles.


When packing your kit, you should separate the items into three groups based on use, size, and importance.

These groups should include:

Group One: Hiking Equipment; Everything from steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 9.

Group Two: Resources; Everything from steps 6, 7, 8, and 10.

Group Three: External Items; canteen, hat, pouch, water bottles, first aid kit, knife, roman candle, and contents list.


Your hiking equipment is the most important part of your survival kit, so it should be kept closest to you. Pack all of it in the compartment closest to the straps of the backpack. If your backpack has a laptop compartment, try to put as much hiking equipment as possible inside it, as it will provide added protection from water and jostling. Try to pack everything neatly, so you'll be able to find it quickly in an emergency. After it is packed, make sure the compartment is zipped up completely.


Resources are the second most important part of your kit, so they should go in the second compartment. Once again, try to pack neatly, and make sure the compartment is completely zipped up when you are done.


If there is a front compartment to your backpack, the first aid kit should go there, along with the contents list. Doing so will provide easy access to both items.


The best best backpacks will have a water bottle compartment that will zip up. Make sure you take advantage of this feature.


On most backpacks, there is a small pocket on one of the backpack straps for a cell phone. It also makes a perfect place to store your knife.


The straps on a backpack are usually attached at the bottom by a flat strap. You can easily attach a canteen and pouch to either side. You can also temporarily attach your hat to the top of a backpack strap via the adjustment strap on the hat.


Congratulations! You are now capable of braving almost any terrain, environment, and situation! Enjoy your new survival kit! I hope you never have to use it! Thanks for viewing this Instructable, and I look forward to seeing you-out there.


All items included in the kit shown in this Instructable:

-"HELP!" sign
-Safety Pins
-Fish guides and gear
-Frying pan
-Battery tea lights
-Emergency blanket
-Garbage bags
-Eating utensils
-Hand sanitizer
-Shaving cream
-Toilet paper
-Lemon juice
-Granola bars
-First aid kit
-Index cards
-Mechanical pencils
-Rubber bands


+Other miscellaneous items


There are other things not included in this kit that you may wish to add.

-Subsidized Iodine and a glass bottle: for water purification. I myself have never tested this but it is a noteworthy item to consider.

  • Fishing wire:Has infinite uses, very easy to obtain.
  • Digital thermometers: Very useful in determining where to build a shelter.
  • Candles
  • Tarp: for shelter and insulation
  • Lighters, magnesium flint sticks, or other means of starring fire besides matches
  • Coat: Useful, but a bit bulky
  • Parachute: Again useful, but VERY bulky, expensive, and complicated.
  • Gun: something good for defense AND hunting. Also good for alerting rescuers.
  • Cell phones: It's doubtful they will have service in the wilderness, but they could come in handy.
  • Money: In all possible forms (change, paper, etc.) Good for buying a ride home if you make it out, and/ or making calls-and as a last resort, kindling.
  • Painkilling medicine
  • Picture of loved ones (for comfort)
  • Binoculars
  • Telescope
  • Hand warmers (pyrotechnic heat devices)
  • A hammock, which can get you up off of the cold, hard ground and away from snakes, scorpions, and pesky parasites.
  • A good fixed blade knife. According to the comments on this 'Ible there are tons of great choices out there!


      The best places to stop would be outdoor stores, but discount stores, malls, grocery stores and even bookstores can sometimes carry what you need.

      The main place I went to obtain my items: Outdoor World (A.K.A. Bass Pro Shops).

Step 25: SOURCES

- for information on sparking rocks
-US Army Survival Manual (FM 21-76)
-TV shows such as Survivorman with Les Stroud, and Man Vs. Wild with Bear Grylls
-Personal Experience
-Extra ideas

Step 26: NOTES

      All parts of this kit have been tested,but you can add or take away what you want.

      Approximate cost of kit: $250.00

Please note that I am not responsible for any problems caused by, or with, or for, this kit. Thank you.

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    8 years ago

    If you liked this, please feel free to leave a comment! :)


    6 years ago

    Awesome kit


    6 years ago on Introduction

    If I missed it sorry, but it appears that everyone is ignoring the most important part of any survival plan, that is #1 Mindset, #2 knowledge, yes having the books with you is an excellent idea, but you need to have the information in your brain and memory. #3 and most important is practice, use your knowledge, find out what works for you, If nothing else set up camp in your back yard and practice. See if you can get a fire going in the rain or snow, or when the wind is heavy and gusty, set up your tent /tarp/shelter in a heavy wind, Until you have done these things, you are not really prepared, and probably will not survive for long. Learning as you go is fine for some thing, but not the best way for learning survival.

    I have a pair of night vision goggles.

    Also, bring a small photography drone to scout your area. Lol impractical to drag around but could save your life.


    7 years ago on Step 8

    Using a hand powered fan generates more heat than cool. Pack a durable handheld electric fan with two sets of replacement batteries.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    But even that amount of batteries will eventually run out.


    No service in the wilderness. I get no service at my house, but up in the northern parts of Michigan where houses are about a mile apart I have had 5 bars of LTE.


    6 years ago

    What is the type of backpack is it?


    7 years ago on Step 3

    You mention the Pop-Its as a noise a make device, and also for starting a fire. I've never known a pop-it that made any kind of hot spark that could start a fire, I pop those things in my hand and between my fingers all the time without any pain or burns. I realize they do technically have explosive materials in them, I just don't think anyone should be led to believe they have enough chemicals in them to be used to start a fire with. I think they would be better off having one of those magnesium fire starter sticks instead of a handful of pop-its.


    7 years ago

    İ love those sort of kits yaaay

    aw3som3 bear
    aw3som3 bear

    7 years ago

    This is thought out pretty well just needs better quality items ESPECIALLY the knife , a folder in a true survival scenario wouldn't end well at all , you need some thing that's a fixed blade (full tang would be the best) and that has a good steel like 440 or something, its probably the most important item in the whole kit! but overall good job with it ! = )

    Tuan JinnN
    Tuan JinnN

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice list, I would add a small tower that nobody seems to care ever. It would come extremely handy in some cases and ease your way through the tough time


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, I did list towels in step 8, but I appreciate the thought!

    Tuan JinnN
    Tuan JinnN

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, my bad, somehow I missed that... cheers.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    it's a good concept, but to be honest, you have a lot of useless and/or ineffective items. a survival pack should be based off of the 10 c's of survival and be packed with actually durable equipment that's NOT going to fail you out in the field.

    cutting: a solid, well tempered fixed blade knife that has a blade between 4-7 inches backed up with a folder from a REPUTABLE source, so ditch the chinese novelty junk. a good example combination is the schrade schf9 and cold steel large voyager. both are geared toward the budget conscious and can be purchased from amazon for under $50 each. ditch the chinese made multi-tool and victorinox wannabe and get a gerber or leatherman and a REAL swiss army knife. you don't need equipment failure in the bush and they WILL fail. also, ditch the screwdriver. you won't find any of those in the bush. you also need a way to touch up the edge of your blades, so you should carry a sharpener. my suggestion would be the lansky sharpening rod or the worksharp field sharpener. both can be had on amazon for less than $30 (shipping not included)

    cordage: 100 feet of 550 paracord and a small spool of bank line is all you need. ditch the poly rope. a large container of unflavoured, waxed dental floss wouldn't be a bad idea either.

    container: something to carry water in as well as BOIL water in. you have a canteen, that's a good start. now all you need is a metal 24 oz cup for a boiler.

    cover: the brolly takes up unneeded bulk and weight and increases the chance of equipment failure. you want something to keep the rain off and build a shelter from? get a poncho with a hood. other than that, for a more serious shelter, strap a 8 x 10 tarpaulin to the side of your pack and learn how to rig up a shelter with it.

    combustion: ditch the pop-its, they're useless. ditch the rocks and get at least a 3/8 x 4 inch ferro rod from either or world of fire on amazon. the matches aren't that bad of a backup, but at least make sure they're lifeboat matches which burn for 15 seconds and back that up with a bic lighter. also, i'm shocked you had no balls of cotton wool and petrolatum. a ball of cotton smeared with a bit of petrolatum and fluffed up takes a spark from a ferro rod in an instant and burns for a couple minutes to light a damp tinder bundle. ditch the toothpicks and confetti. they won't do you any good and tinder is available almost everywhere. if you feel you need to pack tinder, grab 10 feet of 3/8 inch manila rope. it can be processed into tinder very quickly that will take a spark beautifully.

    then there are the other 5 c's

    cotton: a couple cotton bandannas as a prefilter, an improvised pot holder or for medical reasons or just as a sweat band for your head in hot conditions.

    compass: a GOOD compass, like the classic silva

    candle: i see you have the hat light, which isn't a bad idea. ditch the thought of the battery operated tea lights though. they're for nothing but ambiance and yes, they ARE fragile. fragile equipment has no place in the bush. you can get a streamlight stylus pro for about $17-$20 on amazon for a good torch. oh yes, pack a couple pair of spare batteries. the flair light is another good idea.

    cargo tape: not what i'd call an "essential", but having 25 feet of well made duct tape isn't a bad idea for expedient tarp repairs or as last ditch cordage.

    canvas needle: a sail needle and a small spool of waxed linen thread. maybe even an awl thrown in for good measure.

    a whistle is a good idea for signalling and so is a signal mirror. the rest are just toys or a hazard to carry and have no place in a serious matter like this. if you're going to carry something bright to attract attention, you're gonna need something much bigger than that. it should be 3 foot x 3 foot. your little sign will have no effect from any appreciable distance. nice idea with the books, that was spot on.

    the fry pan? ditch it, it takes up unnecessary space. your main priority is water anyway and any food you find in the bush can be boiled. if you do catch fish, you can cook it by making a grill from thumb sized green limbs. if you're going to carry a plate and eating ware, ditch the party favours and use stainless or heavy plastic. again, avoid equipment failure in the bush. what you have is too unreliable. after all, this is survival we're talking about, not some pick-nick in the park. gloves? for picking up your prey? lol if you're that afraid of your prey being infected with pathogens that you need gloves to pick it up, you shouldn't be eating it in the first place. really, if you're that afraid of pathogens, just stay at home. a person only needs two pair of gloves for medical emergencies.

    if you're going to carry a radio, get one that's strong enough to receive noaa channels.

    food.....take what you have and throw it all out, then replace it with something sensible like clif bars. a person can live on 4 clif bars a day with moderate activity. sweets shouldn't be there at ALL. nice idea with the lemon though. also, ditch the water and carry a survival straw. water weighs your pack down and unless you live in the desert, it's not difficult to come by.

    your personal hygiene kit can be pared down to a bar of soap and a bog roll. although the heat pad is a good idea in winter and everyone should have even a BASIC 1st aid kit. the rest is unnecessary bulk.

    most everything on step 10 can be gotten rid of. a pad of paper, reliable pen or two and a few safety clips are great. ditch the scissors and markers. are we practicing survival or teaching primary school. replace the gag bog roll with vet wrap from the local farm and feed. it breaths, your fake bog roll DON'T. also, ditch the "other possibly useful things" and your sack of office supplies. it's more useless bulk.

    by going with those suggestions, you'll pare down your kit a LOT and end up with something more practical.