Intro: Oh Look, It's Another Survival Kit.
Well, if you're looking at my survival kit, chances are you've seen quite a few around here. I will not claim to have the oh-this-is-the-best-ever-kit-ever-you'll-never-find-one-better-and-this-fits-everyone's-every-need!!!!!! kit, but, for my situation and what I am likely to encounter, this is the best I can currently come up with. I suppose the purpose of this instructable is to show a few of my own ideas that I think others might benefit from seeing what ideas they might steal for their own kits. There is no perfect survival kit, but there are really good ones, and should all be customized to your own geographical location.
This kit is too bulky to carry around on person daily, but could be part of a bug-out-bag, kept in a vehicle, or kept in a large backpack while hiking. Because it is waterproof and small enough, it would actually work great on a kayaking/canoeing trip.
Step 1: The Container
I bought this bad-boy from Harbor Freight. It was $5, I think it's for putting welding rods into. Conveniently, it's cheap, nicely sized, and best of all, airtight. The container is bright orange, meaning it should be easily seen. I was able to wrap 40 feet of paracord around it very snugly and fashioned into a great handle/strap that fits comfortably across my back. If you need to take the paracord off, you can use the belt clip to keep it on your waistband. Being airtight, it is also...watertight. You can easily empty the contents out, but them in a sack (included inside), and have a decent amount of water on you.
If you can't find one of these containers (easily found at Harbor Freight), you could definitely substitute a large PVC pipe and threaded caps and have the same benefits.
Step 2: Inside the Lid
The lid itself can easily be used as a cup. Very nice for drinking, but definitely not boiling water. Inside I have a can (I believe it once held...pineapple??). The handle (made out of a coat hanger) pops off and fits inside for easy storing. Inside the can is also two packets of tuna. It should last a few years before rotating it out with fresh tuna. Ideally this would sustain you until finding other food. Wrapped around the can is a space blanket. Space blankets have so many uses, I just had to fit an extra one in there after the other one (will be discussed later).
Step 3: Inside the Canister (upper Layer)
The upper layer contains several loose items. 1) Sheet of aluminum foil 2) Rod for making sparks 3) Tealight (I had extra space, had to put something in there) 4) Fixed-blade knife (sans sheath, it took up too much space, I opted for wrapping the edge in electrical tape) 5) Ten feet of snare wire 6) Bic lighter 7) 300 feet of kite string (the lighter coincidentally fits inside the roll very well) 8) A really big space blanket I think its 7 x 9 feet, quite a bit larger than normal, plus it has a lot of survival tips and information printed on it) 9) The thing above the rolled up space blanket is a flashlight from countycomm (http://countycomm.com/sandsoled.html)10) Coiled up craft wire (traps, cordage) 11) Two rolls of black duct tape (different shapes because they fit better inside the kit) and last...12) Two bottle rockets (cheaper and more compact than flares, could start a fire with them as well)
Step 4: Inside the Canister (lower Level)
All the items are inside of a green homemade stove, inside of the blue cloth sack. It's all inside the sack because it's more compact. The stove works by putting twigs in across the rectangles cut out of the bottle, making an "x" all the way up. I have some homemade fire starters in the bottom as well, made up of candle wax soaked gun cleaning patches. Anything cotton should do the trick. Light the starter, put it into the bottom of the stove, it catches all the twigs on fire. Set a can above it and you can cook. It's not useful for doing more than boiling a cup of water, and may not be any more effective than just building a decent fire, but it only requires a handful of twigs to bring two cups of water to a boil, it's my own design, it doesn't take up much space anyway, and I like it. I've used one before, it does a good job.
Step 5: Homemade Hunting/fishing Kit
In this bag are some homemade hunting heads that could go on an atlatl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlatljavelin), possibly arrows, maybe for gigging. The red thing is a spinner for my fishing kit. The black rectangle of electrical tape contains a lot of thread an a needle wrapped around a paper clip.
Step 6: First Aid
All this fits into a ziplock bag. I've got a variety and multitude of bandages and cleansers, some burn cream, insect sting relief, a razor blade, a basic first aid guide, and some salt and sugar packets. Both are good antimicrobial substances that can be applied to a wound before bandaging to prevent infection. They can also make food tastier, whichever need is greater.
Step 7: Loose Items
In here I've got a gallon-sized clear ziplock bag. Water left in there for about 8 hours will be good to drink if left in the sun, so you've got a way to make water drinkable. On top there's a glow stick for signalling, a backup emergency light, or in case you stumble across a rave in the wilderness. In the middle there's a magnifying glass for starting fires, bringing a splinter into better view, or barbecuing ants for entertainment/food. Below the magnifying glass is a plastic sack for emptying the contents of the orange canister into while carrying water, or could be used as part of a shelter, clothing insulation, or keep your head out of the rain. below the bag is a triangular needle point diamond-edged file that can be used for sharpening the knife, or if need be, could be put on the end of a spear. Or you could file your fingernails, there are a lot of uses for a good file.
Step 8: Last Items...
In here I've got some water purifying tablets, a lot of matches and a striker, a few rolls of electrical tape, some paperclips (could be made into fishing hooks, or used as part of a trap), about 10 nails (could attach something to trees, make fishing hooks, traps, arrows, or if you're out there for a really long time you could take up carpentry to pass the time), maybe 20 feet of fishing line, two tubes of superglue (can even be used to seal up wounds), and the foil thing is actually one of those foil dishes you can cook small loaves of bread in, would be great for boiling water or signaling). The thing that looks like a wad of tape is actually a small fishing kit with several hooks and sinkers...wrapped up in a wad of tape.
Step 9: Last Notes
Well, that's it for the items. It all fits fairly tight in the container. Here's a view of the leftover space. A few small items could be fit in there, but not much. Some items I thought about including are a whistle, an emergency saw, and a bigger flashlight. I left out the whistle because I know how to whistle very loudly with an acorn or a piece of paper. Acorns are very abundant around here, and I have lots of paper in the kit (this is where it really pays to have some knowledge prior to being stuck out in the wilderness). I hear emergency saws basically are all terrible, so I left it out because I have a decent knife. I had a bigger flashlight that puts out more light, but I decided the extra space was more important. Any ideas, let me know.