One SF Soliders' Survival Kit




About: Thought it was time to update the profile some so here goes... Still married to a wonderfully sweet beautiful woman, still have 5 kids 3-23, we live in the Rocky's about 60 or so miles West of Colorado Sprin...
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

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. 

Step 2: Light / Signaling

For lighting and signaling I carry a AAA duel beam LED flash light. It can produce a 125 lumen white light that has about a 75 ft range or a 30 lumen red light for tactical environments. Two (2) 9 hour emergency candles can be used for light, heat, or to help get a fire going and spare batteries for the flash light.

Step 3: Fishing Kit

It seems that every survival kit has some kind of fishing kit in it and mine is no different. For years I carried regular monofilament line, in recent years stronger, more durable lines have come on the market. A few years ago I switched out monofilament for a braided line. I use a 50lb test line that has a diameter of standard 6lb monofilament line. I have an assortment of grubs, jig heads, and spinner baits as well as various hooks and weights. Snap swivels, barrel swivels, and plastic beads finish out the fishing kit.

Step 4: Snares

I use 75lb test, black nylon coated, stainless fising wire for snare wires. You can get the wire at most Wal-Mart or K-Mart stores for under $3. I have used snares made from this wire to take game as large as racoons and most recently while teaching survival skills to my kids to take a prairie dog in our pasture.

Step 5: Tools

I carry a small wire saw that has proven itself more then once for everything from making a shelter to cutting fire wood. The multi-tool has "locking" jaws like a pair of Vice-Grips, a lock blade knife that is on the outside of the frame so you don't have to open the tool to use it, wire cutters, a file, a saw blade that will cut metal, a bottle/can opener, and both philips and flat blade screw drivers. The little knife started life as a replacement blade for a utility knife. I will post an instructable on how I made it in the near future.

Step 6: Handy Stuff to Have

I have two (2) peices of heavy-duty aluminium foil. One is 12"x 2' and the other is 18"x4'. You can use the foil to make a pot to boil water in, cook in, or for signaling. There is 20' of 550 cord, 15' of duct tape, a sewing kit, and space blanket. A pencil and index cards or paper are a must have item as far as I am concerned. You can use them to leave a note for any one searching for you if you have to move or so you can write down your thoughts. You would be suprised how keeping a journal of sorts can help keep your mind in the right place in a survival situation. 

Step 7: Storage

Zip-Lock bags are another must have in my book. You can use them to carry water, store edible plants, or to carry items that need to be dry. I carry 2 Zip-Locks, 1 qt size and 1 gal size.

Step 8: Comfort Items

Having tried the "bugs and rat diet" I decided two things, first I didn't want to have to rely on the bug and rat diet to survive again if I could help it, and second that I would pack a few "comfort items" in my kit. I added coffee, hot chocolate, creamer, sugar,  kool-aid, chicken noodle Cup-O-Soup, rice, candy, salt, and pepper.

Step 9: The Pouch

I used to carry my kit in a hard plastic case that just barely fit in the pouch. Now I use a vacuum sealer bag to hold everything and have found that I have a little more room in the pouch so if I find something else I want to add I can. I am sure someone noticed that I don't have a compass in my kit. I carry a lensetic compass attached to my vest, an orienteering compass in my chest pocket, and a button compass sewed into my shirt. so I thought adding a compass to my survival kit would be a little overkill. My wife carries the same kit in her vest and hers does have a Brunton orienteering compass in it.

I hope you enjoyed this instructable and I look forward to seeing your comments and sugestions!

Train to survive! 



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    72 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I would add a 3g Rapala floating wobbler and 3-4 fishing light sticks and a couple of paper clips.


    3 years ago

    Great Kit!! Thanks for sharing!!


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Fantastic kit mate, I love it. Thank you for sharing and giving me some great ideas to work with.

    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.


    4 years ago on Step 9

    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 !!!


    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.


    4 years ago on Introduction

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


    5 years ago on Step 9

    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.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Like this information on this! How send information ! It help me out!
    Thank you!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    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


    6 years ago on Introduction

    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


    6 years ago on Step 2

    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.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    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.