What Should Be In A Survival Kit?

survival kit

In this article, you will learn about the essential items that should be included in a survival kit. We’ll discuss the importance of having these items in case of emergency situations and their specific purposes. From basic necessities like food and water to tools and first aid supplies, we’ll cover everything you need to know to prepare yourself for unexpected events. So, let’s dive into the key components of a survival kit and ensure your readiness for any unforeseen circumstances.

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What Should Be In A Survival Kit?

In times of emergency or unforeseen situations, having a well-stocked survival kit can make a significant difference in ensuring your safety and well-being. A survival kit should contain essential items that can help you survive for an extended period until help arrives or normalcy is restored. This article will provide you with a comprehensive list of items that should be included in a survival kit and a short explanation of their purpose.

Water and Hydration


Water is a fundamental requirement for survival. It is crucial to include water in your survival kit to ensure you have an adequate supply for drinking, cooking, and sanitary purposes. Aim to pack at least one gallon of water per person per day in your survival kit. It’s important to remember that water should be stored in a durable, leak-proof container and replaced every six months to maintain its freshness.

Water Purification Tablets

In situations where clean drinking water is scarce, water purification tablets are an invaluable addition to your survival kit. These tablets effectively kill bacteria and viruses, making contaminated water safe for consumption. They are lightweight and compact, making them easy to carry and an essential item for your survival kit.

Water Storage Containers

In addition to including water in your survival kit, it’s also crucial to pack water storage containers. These containers should be designed specifically for long-term water storage. Look for containers that are BPA-free, durable, and have a tight seal. Having additional water storage containers in your survival kit allows you to collect and store water from alternative sources, such as rivers or lakes, if needed.

Food and Nutrition

Non-perishable Food Items

Including non-perishable food items in your survival kit is essential to meet your nutritional needs during emergencies. Opt for foods that have a long shelf life and require minimal preparation. Canned goods, dried fruits, granola bars, and nuts are excellent options to consider. Make sure to pack enough food to sustain each individual in your group for at least three days.

Energy Bars and Snacks

Energy bars and snacks are compact, lightweight, and provide a quick source of energy when needed. They are a convenient option for on-the-go situations and can provide the necessary carbohydrates and proteins during periods of physical exertion or high stress.

Canned Goods

Canned goods are a reliable addition to your survival kit as they have a longer shelf life and can provide essential nutrients. Include a variety of canned goods such as beans, soups, vegetables, and meat. Don’t forget to pack a manual can opener to ensure you can access these items.

Shelter and Warmth

Emergency Blanket

An emergency blanket, also known as a space blanket, is a lightweight and compact item that can help regulate body temperature in extreme weather conditions. Made from a reflective material, it can efficiently trap and retain body heat, providing insulation and warmth during cold nights or exposure to the elements.

Tent or Tarp

Including a small tent or a tarp in your survival kit provides you with a reliable shelter option. These items are lightweight, easy to set up, and offer protection from rain, wind, and other environmental elements.

Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag is an essential item for any survival kit as it provides insulation and comfort during rest periods. Opt for a sleeping bag that is lightweight, compact, and designed for low temperatures. It should also be durable and capable of withstanding rough conditions.

First Aid Supplies

Bandages and Dressings

First aid supplies are crucial in addressing injuries or medical emergencies during survival situations. Pack a variety of bandages and dressings to cover wounds, control bleeding, and prevent infection. Include adhesive bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, and sterile wipes in your kit.

Antiseptic Solution

An antiseptic solution, such as hydrogen peroxide or iodine, is essential for cleaning wounds to prevent infection. Including a small bottle of antiseptic solution in your survival kit ensures you have the means to properly sanitize wounds when medical help may not be immediately available.

Pain Relievers

Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can provide temporary relief from pain or discomfort during emergencies. They can help reduce fever, alleviate headache, or relieve mild to moderate pain.

Navigational Tools


A compass is a vital tool for navigation, especially when GPS devices or electronic gadgets are not available or operational. Including a reliable compass in your survival kit allows you to navigate and orient yourself, increasing your chances of finding your way to safety or reaching your intended destination.


Maps of the areas you anticipate traveling through or residing in during emergencies are essential for effective navigation. Topographic maps, road maps, and trail maps can provide valuable information on landmarks, water sources, and potential hazards, helping you plan and navigate your route more efficiently.

GPS Device

Though not a necessity, a GPS (Global Positioning System) device can greatly enhance your navigation capabilities. In situations where technology is functional, a GPS device can provide precise location information, route planning, and valuable data on nearby resources, giving you a better chance of finding your way to safety.

Light and Communication

Flashlight and Batteries

A reliable flashlight is crucial for illuminating your surroundings during dark hours or in enclosed spaces. Include extra batteries to ensure that your flashlight remains operational for an extended period. LED flashlights are recommended due to their energy efficiency and longer battery life.


A whistle is a simple yet effective tool for signaling for help or attracting attention during emergencies. It is lightweight and can be heard at a greater distance than shouting. Including a whistle in your survival kit can greatly increase your chances of being located or rescued.

Hand-Crank Radio

A hand-crank radio serves as a valuable source of information and communication during emergencies. It requires no external power source, as you can generate power by manually cranking the handle. Hand-crank radios typically include a built-in flashlight and the capability to receive AM/FM and weather band stations.

Multi-tool and Knife

Swiss Army Knife

A Swiss Army Knife is a versatile and compact tool that offers multiple functions in one. It typically includes a knife, scissors, screwdrivers, tweezers, and other useful tools. A Swiss Army Knife is an excellent addition to your survival kit, providing you with various tools for everyday tasks or emergency situations.

Multi-tool Pliers

A multi-tool with pliers combines the functionality of pliers with additional tools like wire cutters, screwdrivers, and a knife. It can be particularly useful for repairs, construction, or other manual tasks that may arise during survival situations.

Foldable Knife

A foldable knife is a handy tool for various tasks, such as cutting rope, preparing food, or self-defense. Look for a knife that is compact, easy to deploy, and has a durable blade. It is important to handle knives safely and responsibly.

Fire Starter and Lighter

Waterproof Matches

Waterproof matches are an essential item for starting fires in wet or damp conditions. They are designed to be immune to moisture, ensuring their functionality in challenging environments. It is wise to store them in a waterproof container to protect them from accidental exposure to humidity or water.

Fire Starter Rod

A fire starter rod, also known as a ferrocerium rod or firesteel, provides a reliable means of starting fires in various weather conditions. It produces a high-temperature spark when struck with a hard surface, allowing you to ignite tinder or dry kindling easily.


Carrying a lighter provides an additional fire-starting method that can be highly convenient. Lighters are lightweight, compact, and easy to use. Make sure to include a refillable lighter and carry extra fuel if needed.

Personal Documents and Cash

Identification Documents

Having copies of essential identification documents in your survival kit is crucial. Include copies of passports, driver’s licenses, identification cards, and any other relevant documents. These copies serve as proof of identity and can streamline communication with authorities or rescue personnel.

Emergency Contacts

In the event of an emergency, it’s vital to have a list of emergency contacts readily available. Include the names, phone numbers, and addresses of family members, close friends, and other individuals who may need to be contacted on your behalf. This information can be lifesaving during critical situations.

Small Amount of Cash

Including a small amount of cash in your survival kit is essential, as it allows you to purchase necessary items or services when electronic payment methods may not be available. Aim to include a mix of small bills to ensure you have accessible funds if needed.


In conclusion, preparing for unexpected situations by assembling a well-stocked survival kit is paramount for your safety and well-being. A survival kit should contain essential items such as water, food, shelter, first aid supplies, navigational tools, light and communication devices, a multi-tool, fire starter, personal documents, and cash. By including these items, you increase your chances of surviving and staying safe during emergency situations. Remember to regularly check and update your survival kit, ensuring that all items are in good condition and within their expiration dates. Stay prepared and be ready to face any challenge that comes your way.

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About the Author: Kerry

Kerry is an esteemed outdoors enthusiast with a lifelong passion for exploring the untamed wilderness of numerous countries, traversing through dense forests, soaring mountains, and rugged coastlines. This extensive journey has bestowed upon Kerry a profound appreciation and unparalleled understanding of the utmost significance of top-notch gear. Recognizing that premium equipment is not only crucial for your survival but also instrumental in providing unyielding comfort and peace of mind, Kerry strives for nothing short of excellence in every adventure and freely shares his knowledge and wisdom to help you achieve the same.