What's the LEAST Survival Gear You Could Carry? the Essential EDC Pocket




About: I'm "Survivor Jack™", since my NatGeo's "Doomsday Preppers" (S1E9) episode. Help me Please by viewing "Survivor Jack auditions for Ellen's DJ" ----- http://youtu.be/GxRAzS...

As a Survival Strategist, the worst problem is getting my own family to listen and take what I say seriously about Survival Kits and Preparedness.  Even my wife was slow to embrace what I had suddenly realized as I watched the recovery efforts after the 2010 Haiti Earthquake.   The "Average Person" doesn't want to carry a 72 hour bag every where - every day.  How could I reduce the survival essentials to the bare minimum?

This article will give you a foundation for "your perfect" Every Day Carry (EDC) survival pocket / pouch.

Most people walk around our very dangerous planet with no respect for the possibility of how their Life Might Change in a Moment.  Natural Disasters, Terrorist Attacks and Daily Emergency can put your life – your family and friends’ lives also – in grave danger.

Your possible Survival Depends on what you know and what survival gear you have on you, or within reach.

Your EGO won’t like the “Style” aspect of what I’m about to say but PLEASE read the whole article before you dismiss these “Survival Concepts”.  You could put these in your car, at least.  Remember: this is my SMALLEST pouch.  IMAGINE what you could do with a larger survival bag?  Enjoy!

Step 1: You Won't Survive Without Water - Rule of 3s

Yes - I'm talking a long term emergency, BUT ... even being trapped in your car during a blizzard or a break-down in a rural area, water is priceless.  I recommend you keep a case of water in each vehicle.  No area of America is immune to disasters.

Here's what your Mother, your brother, your best friends and everyone else should know:
Rule of 3s - You have as little as:
  • 3 Minutes to solve lack of air, a serious wound or shelter in sever weather
  • 3 Hours without Shelter if weather is moderately sever
  • 3 Days without water (but your body and reasoning suffer greatly - stay hydrated daily)
  • 3 Weeks without Food (the more smart calories the better during the aftermath - you'll need your strength)
Am I making my point?  We have to use all of those factors for our survival kit.
Follow my concepts and find your favorite or your favorite variations to this One Day Bag:

I will demonstrate this with my smallest Camelbak, but you can use any fanny pouch system even with bottles also.  I prefer two water containers for balance, OR one full and the other is an empty, filter system, so I can quickly drink 'any' water.

I picked my tiniest Camelbak for this Instructable to show What-is-Possible with limited space and money.  Imagine what just a little more space and resources might give you.

Step 2: Gimme Shelter: Emergency Blanket, Poncho, Gloves and More

At the back of my water reservoir, which is full, there is a purple net Sleeve.  The Emergency Blanket and Poncho are the primary items.  Warm and dry is good.  Since this part rests, and bounces, on my back, I want to protect them.  I roll up my knee brace for my arthritis and stuff it along one edge.  I roll up the work gloves and wrap them in 2 hair bands.  I stuff this down the other edge.  The Emergency Blanket and Poncho goes in the middle; most of the weight is absorbed by the 'edges'.

Step 3: What's in My Pocket? Survival Food and Drink

Pick your favorite food and drink; my photos are just examples.  Notice: two of my "cookies" are Wheat free.  They illustrate tailoring your food and drink to your needs.  There are 3600 calorie, survival bars to off-the-shelf favorites.  These are as much to lift your spirits as they are to provide nutrition.  The first few hours of a disaster are often before "help arrives'.  What would comfort you?  Be creative - but don't let your food spoil. 

Step 4: Miscellaneous Survival Items

The other pouch holds a variety of survival items:
  • Lighter: We'll need fire for heat, boiling water and security in some situations.
  • Gloves: If I have to treat a wound, I want Non-latex medical gloves.
  • Ear Plugs: (in Glove container - at bottom because they are needed less often)
  • Vitamins - in an emergency, I'd drink water, eat and take my vitamins.  Our bodies are under stress.  Give yourself the best chance.
  • Soup Bullion Cubes (in container with Vitamins) - water brought to a boil might not taste good; this helps
  • Sanitation - wet wipes (tip from a Navy Seal) 
  • Medical - the inhaler you see is symbolic of what-you-need food or medicine wise.

Let add to the medical supplies!

Step 5: Learn 1st Aid - You Are the Doctor - & the Grocer

The Outer, Primary, Net pocket is for Everything Else - based around 1st Aid supplies, Food and My Altoids Survival Kit.

BE REALISTIC - in a major disaster, You are your medical aid, and your family's and friends', till help arrives.  That can be days.  Learn 1st Aid.

I carry a wide variety of bandages, alcohol wipes and other antiseptics - not just for me.  Weight is always a factor so I am generic and urban in my approach.  (No snake bite kit, for example.)  The safety pins can be used to close a large wound or repair clothes, for trapping game or an alarm system while I sleep.  Dust & disease mask (wear it when you are sick and must move around outside.)

Customize the foods to your taste or dietary restrictions.  I've got 2 - energy drinks, 1 Cup of Soup, 1 Cup of Oatmeal, 1 'food bar' & 2 teas.  Make the best of your space and weight.  ONLY EAT when you've got water to help you digest.

Step 6: My Little Tin-Tin of Survival - Altoids Kit That Is!

One mental exercise that "Preppers" (Be Prepared-ers) practice is called "The Altoids Survival Kit". IF I could only carry one thing, what could I get in it? (or around it)  Check out my full article at https://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Customize-Your-Altoids-Survival-Kit/

1 - Large Ziplock Bag (water resistant or water storage)
3 - Women's hair bands
1 - Ace Bandage
1 - Wire Saw
3' - Duct Tape
1 - Altoids Tin  (broken hinged)
1 - Razor blade - taped to lid
2 - toothpicks
1 - Cotton Q-tip
5 - Matches
1 - Striker
2 - sewing needles
1 - flavored drink
1 - "fire starter straw" containing cotton with petroleum jelly on it
2 - paper clips
2 - fish hooks
1 - sinker
1 - pack of sunscreen
1 - Aluminum foil section - approx. 2' (gather and bring water to a boil)
4 - water purification tablets (approx a gallon)
1 - 84" dental floss (teeth and surgical)
1 - 108" sewing thread
2 - alcohol swabs
1 - lighter
1 - dental pick & floss
2 - medium large band-aids
1 - Rubber band
1 - Mask (for dust and disease protection)
1 - pair of Ear Plugs
1 - pair of medical Gloves

That's also in the Outer Net pocket.  Don't Miss The Point: You pick and choose - you could use a bigger container or fanny pouch. 

The Quality of Your Life is directly effected by the Quality of Questions You Ask Yourself.

IF My World turned to Hell, what objects help me with the Rule of 3s AND keep me going?  INCLUDE a photo of your passion (children, spouse, parents, pets or ...?) in your EDC (Every Day Carry).

You will find some "Duplication".  The Altoids Kit is a "day kit" - the fanny pouch could help far longer.  IF I have "Extras"  like medical - I can trade.  In a disaster, Barter is part of the new monetary system.  

Step 7: The Survival Hangers On

You can imagine since I used my smallest pouch that it's getting pretty full.  BUT .....

There are useful items I still want to include.  Use all of your space wisely:
  • I slipped a toothbrush along the edge. 
  • With rings or chains, I added a whistle (most important for buried, lost or being attacked)
  • A "Clue Game" for a child
  • A rechargeable glow stick
  • An LED light
  • Clamps for bleeding wound, and more
  • 1st Aid Kit with band-aids and NeoSporin
These are tucked down in the pouch so as not to rattle.  The smaller objects are secured with rings or chains in case they bounce out if I run or jog.

I'd rather have something and not need it
Rather than need something and not have it.

Step 8: The EDC Challenge - Encourage Survival Preparedness

Every Day Carry in one little bag.  EXCEPT for: I also wear 4 pieces of paracord, a multifunction tool, and 2 knives.  Any of those would be good for your kit, if you are not already wearing these.

What you carry daily, Your Life could Depend On!  Carry "Something" and encourage your friends.  The better prepared we all are, the better chance we all have.  What's the least amount to carry?   What's your life worth?

Which 5 or 10 items do you consider the most essential?  How many do you have on you right now? 

Your brother, your mother, your Dad or your Sis,
Their daily survival - is it hit - or a miss?
Has their reasoning been impaired?
Common Sense say Be Prepared.

Forward this.

Enjoy the Best Life Has to Offer, but Prepare for the Worst it throws You.



    • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete and Cement Contest
    • Games Contest

      Games Contest
    • Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

      Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

    19 Discussions


    2 years ago

    For extremely small kits, use a sheet of button Velcro that they are sold on. since you can fold it almost as small as the blanket is poor to opening.


    2 years ago

    One specific use is to attach strips (or buttons) to reflective emergency blankets. Doing so provides a true bag that can used to maintain body heat. If two or more are connected, it's able to permit two (or more) individuals to share the bag for additional body heat.


    2 years ago

    I would also add self-adhesive Velcro (button and/or strip). This can be found at any sewing/fabric store. Buttons and strips are available in various sizes.


    3 years ago

    A Great Place to find Survival Tools, resource you need to survive and thrive in any situation. I found this discount code. Use this code "PD10"and save 10%. http://patriotdeals.com/coupon

    I'd loke to see a shot of you wearing this rig to see how it carries. Good stuff.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    shouldn't you also include a knife or some form of weapon for hunting/defense being a hunter i know to always have a weapon of some sort.

    1 reply

    If you also read Jacks the big WHY 72 hour kit he said that you should avoid violence at all costs,if you can't then make it quick.I suggest the wire saw to kill silently.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    KABAR knife and a m6 scout with 2 bricks of 525 .22.lr rounds and a100 .410 shotgun shells


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Amazing work! You've given me tons of solid ideas to get started, and are without a doubt one of the best (if not the best) survival authors on Instructables. Very much looking forward to your continued work!

    1 reply
    Survivor Jack

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    How may I serve you? "help us out back pack or hunting and fishing OK" - Edvannatta: I am relearning the basics at 66 years old. There are great local guides and groups that can teach you more about your local needs, plants and weather than I can.

    Learn This From Me: Walk About Prepared™

    I 'armour up' (as I call it) Everyday before I walk out the door.  In addition to my arthritis, knee braces, I wear or carry:
    • Whistle
    • Emergency blanket
    • Poncho
    • Fire starter (magnesium)
    • Paracord (wear or carry)
    • Multifunction tool
    • 1st Aid Kit and Knowledge
    • LEDs & glow stick
    • Blade Sharpener
    • Water Purification (pills and filters)

    Add a fanny pouch with water, food, extra socks, etc. and I'm "prepared".

    Every Day with rare exceptions (my son's wedding - no first aid kit on me)
    All of these are small, lite & potential life savers in an Emergency.

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Congratulations on the National Geographic thing !! This is a great instructable !!! I noticed some discussion and comments on snake bite kits. Put out the word to all survival enthusiasts, short term, long term whoever: SNAKE BITE KITS AND THE WHOLE CUT AND SUCK TREATMENT FOR POISONOUS BITES IS MEDICALLY CONTRAINDICATED !!!!! At all Wilderness Medicine conferences (put on by the medical professionals who lead major expeditions for a living) they teach the constricting band treatment, with cool compresses and NO ice.
    I love the way you brought in the "rule of 3"s" Hadn't seen that since I was teaching survival in the military. It's still the best strategy for starting out and planning. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK !!!

    1 reply

    Thanks for the Encouragement! I've got to keep teaching because I've got so much to learn. Be Honest, Be Excellent & Be Prepared! 


    7 years ago on Step 5

    Re: First Aid kits...

    Good call on avoiding/ditching so-called "snake bite kits" - as basically, those pre-packed kits (especially those with "suction/vacuum" pumps..) are over-priced junk, that won't work anyway..

    Read up on snake and spider bite treatments, and you will find that the relevant treatments - when needed - are usually either wrapping the bitten limb with a couple of bandages (firmly ~ but NOT tight enough to cause gangrene or DVT..); or in some lesser cases (like with Black Widow and Redback spiders..) maybe ice/cold packs.

    A couple of constrictive/crepe roller bandages (3" or 4") wide, will fit the bill as multi-use/'generic' items, including providing snake bite treatment ~ while a bandanna or triangular bandage folded a few times can give a broad or narrow bandage, when other "roller" bandages aren't available - or run out..

    1 reply
    Survivor JackBushie

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 5

    I Love how much I Learn by being a Writer. That is greatly amplified by the education provided by responsive readers. Thanks for the mini-poisonous bite clinic. Keep making a difference.

    Survivor Jackkc8hps

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I just found out I've been selected to be on an upcoming National Geographic "2012 Preppers" special. I''ll let everyone know as soon as I have more details.

    kc8hpsSurvivor Jack

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    HI Jack,

    This is wonderful news! Say can you tell all of us about the rechargeable glow stick. How to make it, or where to get it?

    Thanks, Bryan


    7 years ago on Introduction

    As always, an excellent kit, Jack! You've definately thought of everything, and stressed the importance of convincing your friends and family to have *something* on them. You know as well as I, that those who scoff will be the first at your door when poop happens, right?

    I'm glad you also stress building something beyond an off-the-shelf kit and "making it yours". At least more people are beginning to realize those off-the-shelf kits are, for the most part, overpriced junk--and waiting for something to happen is *not* the time to get familiar with the contents.

    Bravo! 5 stars from me!

    1 reply