How to Build a Survival Kit
How to Make a Survival Kit
You always want to feel secure and prepared in case the worst happens. Having a proper survival kit stored and ready for an emergency is a critical part of keeping you and your family safe during the event of a crisis. When making your kit, you want to make sure that you pack the essentials and cater the equipment to the situation that's most likely to happen. If you act methodically and thoroughly, you can make a survival kit that will increase your odds of staying safe during an emergency.
Building a Disaster Supply Kit for the House
Organize and store a first-aid kit.A first-aid kit will prevent small injuries from becoming infected and leading to major medical complications. Things that should go into your first-aid kit include iodine, gauze pads, medical tape, alcohol wipes, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, scissors, and a scalpel.
- Optional items in your first-aid kit should include things like vitamins, sunblock, and bug repellent.
- Remember to pack all medicines needed, including inhalers.
Stock up on water.Consider the number of people that you have in your household and determine how much water you'd need for two weeks. You should be able to pack at least one gallon per person, so if you were alone, that would be 14 gallons of water total. If you have more people in your family, you'll need to pack more water to keep everyone hydrated.
Store enough non-perishable food.Bring at least three days of non-perishable food. This includes things like canned foods, salt-free crackers, and whole grain cereals. Foods to bring in a survival situation include rice, beans, peanut butter, canned meat, and lard.Choose things that don't require refrigeration and that don't have long preparation times.
- If you are stranded in the wilderness, you may be able to scavenge food from local plants, bugs, animals, or fish.
- Purchase a manual can opener so that you can use it any situation.
- If you forget to bring a can opener, you can use a survival knife as an alternative.
Stock up on flashlights and extra batteries.A flashlight can be used to illuminate areas when it gets dark and is a versatile survival tool. Flashlights are critical if your car breaks down on the side of the road or of you're stuck outside at night with no light. Purchase lithium batteries over alkaline because they provide more power and have a longer shelf-life.
- You can also use a flashlight as a blunt self-defense weapon.
- Popular survival flashlights include Elzetta Bravo, Olight M23 Javelot, and Eagletac GX30A3D.
Keep a wrench or pliers readily available to turn off utilities.During a natural disaster, you may have to turn off your utilities like water, natural gas, and electricity. Cracked lines in water pipes could pollute your water, while natural gas leaks could lead to an explosion. Keep pliers or a wrench packed in your emergency supply kit in case this happens.
Store your emergency items together.Let everyone in the household know where the emergency kit is. In the case of an emergency, you may be required to pick up and leave quickly so it's better if all of your emergency items are organized together. Good places to store your emergency kit include an attic, the basement, a closet, or shed.
Making a Survival Kit for the Wilderness
Consider the climate and terrain.Before you start to pack your survival kit, you'll have to determine the climate and conditions of the place that you'll be. For instance, a desert climate will require different equipment than if you were stuck in a forest or at sea. Cater your survival kit to the climate and environment.
- Special equipment needed for desert survival kits include leaf bags to protect you from the suns rays, extra water, and balloons for carrying water and signaling for rescue.
- A survival kit for the sea includes items like life vests, fishing equipment, inflatable boats, and flares.
Purchase a survival knife.A good knife can be used in a multitude of ways when you're in the wilderness. A knife can help you build shelter, start a fire, hunt, cut food, clear paths, and cut twigs and string. Find a knife with a good balance of durability and cutting power, with a Rockwell Hardness between 54 to 58. You'll want to find a knife that can both pierce and cut things.
- A fixed blade knife is typically more durable than a folding knife under pressure.
Bring sufficient water or purchase a water filter.If you are in an area that has fresh streams and lakes to drink from, then you can buy a portable water filter. There are portable survival straws that will filter viruses, microorganisms, bacteria, chlorine, and heavy metals like lead and mercury. If you are in a more arid environment or have limited access to fresh water sources, make sure to pack as much fresh water as possible.
- Popular water filter brands include NDur Survival Straw, Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System, and the LifeStraw Survival Water Filter.
Carry a fire starter.When you're stranded in the wilderness, there's a good chance that you'll have to make a fire at some point. Fires can help you cook food and stay warm when it gets cold. There are multiple ways to do this including matches, a lighter, or a flint and scraper and each of these fire starting methods have their advantages and disadvantages.
- Store multiple matches among your gear in case you lose one batch of matches.
- Get refillable butane lighters.
- A flint and scraper will make sparks for a fire when wet.
- Popular fire starter brands include Exotac NanoStriker XL, Coleman Magnesium Fire Starter, and UCO Titan Stormproof Matches.
Carry a compass or GPS device.A GPS device can help guide you if you get lost in the wilderness but usually requires battery power and a signal. GPS can also malfunction. For this reason, you should always have a backup.When you can't use GPS, you can utilize a map in conjunction with a compass to find safety.
- Popular compasses include the Phosphorescent Lensatic Compass, the Sunto A-10 Field Compass, and the Cammenga 3H Tritium Military Compass.
Pack the supplies for a shelter.If you have to endure a night in the wilderness, it's important that you build a makeshift shelter to stay warm or cool and protected from the elements. Items like tarps, ponchos, plastic sheets, or trash bags can be pinned to trees and act as a shelter. You can also buy tarps specifically created for survival at many outdoor shops.
Packing Supplies For an Emergency or Evacuation
Pack a hand-crank radio.An AM/FM hand crank radio will allow you to tune into special emergency notifications via NOAA alerts. To make sure that your radio can tune into those frequencies, check for the "Public Alert" and "NOAA NWR All Hazards" label on the packaging of your radio. A hand-crank will ensure that even if you run out of batteries, you'll still be able to tune into critical alerts and announcements.
- NOAA AM alerts are available in all 50 states of the U.S. on frequencies 162.400, 162.425, 162.450, 162.475, 162.500, 162.525, and 162.550.
- Check online to see the emergency frequency if you live outside of the U.S.
- Radios typically cost anywhere from to USD.
Bring cell phones and extra cell phone chargers.Cell phones are great devices to use to communicate during an evacuation or emergency. Make sure to bring extra batteries or boosters for your cell phones to increase the longevity of their use. Minimize use of your cell phone when you don't have access to a power source, and use it only to communicate important information to family and friends.
- You can also purchase a solar-powered or hand crank charger that will help keel electronic devices charged during an emergency.
Bring a map.During an emergency, your GPS or phone may not be available. For this reason, it's important to keep a road map so that you know how to get to your evacuation site. Purchase a traditional paper road map from a gas station or you can print one out online and keep it in emergency storage in case of an emergency.
Store personal hygiene products.If you need to leave in a rush and your area is devastated by a natural disaster, it may be difficult to find common hygiene products like toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, razors, and feminine hygiene products. Make sure to put extra supplies in a zip lock bag and store it in your emergency supplies.
Bring extra sets of clothing.You may not have access to your wardrobe for a long time after the emergency, so it's important to remember to pack extra sets of clothes. If you live in a place that experiences cold temperatures, bring the appropriate attire, such as, jackets, pants, shirts, and sweaters.
QuestionWhat should I do if I find a bear?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerMake the animal aware that you're a human by speaking slowly and waving your hands slowly. Move slowly and sideways until you can find an escape route. Do not run away, bears typically run after fleeing prey.Thanks!
QuestionWhat about a compass and a map? Also, why do I need to bring cotton balls and safety pins?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIndeed, you should bring a map and compass too. The safety pins are for your clothes if they should rip, allowing you to hold the clothing together. The cotton balls are for a fire starter and for cleaning dirt off items if needed.Thanks!
QuestionWhy do I need to bring a small notebook?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe notebook can be used for anything that you need to take note of, like an emergency plan or escape route. The paper can also be used as a fire starter if necessary.Thanks!
QuestionWhat kinds of foods will last awhile?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDried or canned foods store for long periods of time if kept in dry, cool conditions.Thanks!
QuestionWhat about batteries, and what size?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBatteries are only really necessary if you have electronic devices that are vital to your survival. Flashlights or something like handheld radios/walkie talkie type devices or NOAA weather radios are good devices to have. If you wish to include these in a kit (flashlight strongly recommended), check what size batteries are required for your devices and include spares in your kit. Also, applying both terminals of a 9V battery onto steel wool creates a short circuit, and along with that a fire/embers. This is one of many ways to make fire.Thanks!
QuestionHow do you find water in the woods?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's possible to tap trees for water or wring out wet moss or locate a stream. Also, you can gather early morning dew on grass by tying cloth around your ankles and walking through the wet grass, then wringing out the cloth later.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I maintain hygiene (preventing foot fungus, etc.)?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt is recommended to put antiseptic cream or other hygienic creams inside the first aid kit.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I run out of food?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDo research on wild edible plants and how to set traps for small mammals so you'll be prepared to forage and hunt for yourself.Thanks!
QuestionWhere is a good place to put the survival kit in my house?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPut it somewhere easily accessible like under your bed or right by the front door.Thanks!
QuestionWhat are really the chances of a real zombie outbreak happening?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerZero to none. They are fictional. The real problem in a survival situation could be diseased, hungry and scared people attacked you though.Thanks!
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