As many of us will already know, in some instances from personal experience, a well-equipped survival kit is an absolute life-saver in many emergency situations. If you’re not sure what you should include, a survival kit checklist is a must. Without it, you could miss out on some of the most essential items, leaving you little better off than those with no survival kit in an actual emergency!
So, where do you get a checklist? As with everything else, the internet is crammed with recommendations on what should and should not be part of your survival kit. If you do not have the time or patience to wade through all the advice, simply sit back and read on…
The market today offers a whole lot of options in this field including different categories of kit for urban survival, wilderness survival, etc.
What kind of kit you need would depend on the situation you are anticipating, together with other factors such as the space available, the weight you could carry during an emergency and the terrain you are in. Whatever your choices, it is important to remember that sub-standard items could put you in more trouble than the emergency itself. Therefore, the quality of your kit should be one of your most important priorities.
Major Categories for your Survival Kit Checklist
One of the most popular products today is the “Bug-out Bag” or “Preparedness Kit” which already contains most of the items you might need; all that you have to do is add the consumables, such as food and water. Most of the components in these kits are common to all of them, and cover the same major categories of need.
- Food and Water
- Light and Fire-Starting
- Heating/Cooking Options
- Repairsand Maintenance
- Signaling and Navigation
So, what are the essential or desirable items in each of these categories? Some of the suggestions below have alternatives, therefore you can decide what to procure based on your situation and your priorities. So, let’s get started.
Food and water are basic things we would need, and that might not be easily accessible during emergencies. As you don’t know when disaster might strike, the food you store in your survival kit cannot have an expiry date on it. You need to select dry foods or pre-cooked foods that are capable of usage even after several months or years. Dehydrated foil-packed food, energy bars or tablets and survival rations are some examples. And if you have cans, don’t forget a can-opener! Some are small enough to fit on a keyring or zipper fastener, and could save endless frustration.
The amount of water you need to store would depend on the number of members in your family, pets (if any), your ability to carry water, and the availability of natural resources in your region. Of course, there is always the risk of contamination during emergency situations, so look into water purification products such as purifying tablets, filtration systems, purification straws, etc.
If outdoors, shelter is an important aspect to plan for. There is no guarantee that you could evacuate in your RV, soyoushould consider options such as tents, sleeping bags, waterproof material such as tarps, foil blankets or all-weather blankets, ponchos, etc. If your family includes children or the elderly, you need to ensure that sufficient and special provisions are made for them. They can suffer the effects of exposure long before a healthy adult even notices it.
It is vital that you have a comprehensive set of tools as part of your kit. Ensure they are light-weight, sturdy and multi-purpose. For example, a pocket chainsaw could replace your axe and conventional saw. Its compact design and ready-made pouch ensure you can easily slip it into your kit or pants pocket. Other tools that could be helpful are a good quality Swiss Army knife or equivalent, a mini-shovel, a hammer aprybar and a coil of parachute cord – it’s strong, lightweight and has a multitude of uses.
Besides tools, you will also need to plan for light and fire-starting.Flashlights(including batteries!) and glow-sticks are some ready-to-use light sources that you could carry with you. You also need to include fire-starting mechanisms such as matches, wind-proof lighters, tinder, a Swedish firesteel, candles, etc. Whatever the options, keep in mind that regular matches and lighterswill be no use in a strong wind, sotry to get stormproof matches; they burn for up to fifteen seconds, and some even burn underwater! Don’t forget to add cooking options such as a kettle, mess tins, pans, sporks, aluminum foil, etc. These can be found in any outdoors or camping shop.
Another important component that you will find in almost all survival kit checklists is the first-aid kit. This should contain aids for taking care of injuries, wounds and burns, insect bites, sunburn, etc. A suction pump to extract venom from insect stings, and splints to support limb injuries are some other useful provisions. Kaolin and morphine tablets or an equivalent are essential for stomach upsets.
If you have children, you should also include band-aids and remedies for regular childhood ailments as well as any daily medication your family members need.
Repair and maintenance tools and equipmentshould include a multi-tool with screwdrivers and pliers, scissors and a knife; fishing lines and hooks; duct tape and sewing needle and thread.
Signalling or navigation devices and communication equipment are another significant part of your kit. These could include beacons/flares, mirrors, whistles, a compass, satellite phones, walkie-talkies, radios, etc.
As you can see, there are a whole lot of items to pack before your survival kit is complete. And if you want to do it well, then getting your survival kit checklist is imperative. So, start yours today and be prepared for any emergency!