How To Put Together The Ultimate Survival Kit

Aerial photo shows homes burned by wildfire in California
Aerial photo shows homes burned by wildfire in California

When you know how to put together the ultimate survival kit you will be prepared to hit the road at a moment's notice should it become necessary.

Deciding to bug out and leave behind the comfort of your home can be one of the hardest things you ever have to do. But there are times when you have no other choice when there is imminent danger, and you have to flee to keep your family safe. If you ever find yourself in that situation, you aren't going to have time to pack up what you need. You will probably only have moments to act, and that means you need to be ready to bug out very quickly. Any delay during an emergency situation like this can mean the difference between life and death. So do you want to leave your family's survival to chance? Do you want to hope you will have time to gather up the essentials before you bugout? Of course not, and that's why it's time to start planning today.

When you plan to bug out ahead of time, you have the advantage of time. What do I mean by that? I mean that you have the time to calmly plan out what you need to take with you if you are forced to flee from your home. You can make a list of essential items, go over that list with your wife and kids, and revise it until it has everything you are going to need. On the other hand, if you are frantically trying to get together some supplies during an emergency you are going to forget things. The bad news here is that it's not like you can turn around and go back. You are just going to have to make do with what you have, and that's never a good thing in situations like these.

A TV cameraman inches closer to a burning building at a Napa Valley winery on 09.10.17

A TV cameraman inches closer to a burning building at a Napa Valley winery on Monday, October 9

Before I get into what I keep in my survival kit I want to take a moment to talk about your vehicle. Your vehicle is not part of your survival kit, but it is integral to you and your family surviving. If you want to be prepared to bug out at a moment's notice you need to make sure that your vehicle is prepared. Now I don't expect anyone to go out and buy a car and dedicate it for use only during emergencies. Instead what you need to do is to make sure that your vehicle is well taken care of and has enough fuel at all times. You need to make sure it has good tires, keep up on maintenance, and also keep at least a half tank of gas in it at all times. By practicing simple things like this, you can make sure that when you need it, the most your vehicle will get you and your family away from danger.

My Survival Kit

I'm going to share with you now my survival kit. In addition to telling you what the items I have in it are, I'll also share a little bit about why I have those items in my kit. Now I'll be the first person to tell you that I'm far from perfect. With that being said you shouldn't take my survival kit as the be all and end all when it comes to what you should include in your survival kit.

These are simply my suggestions, and these are the items that I feel will give my family and I the best chance at long-term survival:

1. Aqua Quest White Water Duffel Bag

This is the bag I have chosen as the bag I am going to use to house the survival supplies that my family and I will need. Why did I choose this particular bag? There are a few reasons. It's big, sturdy, lightweight, and most importantly it is also waterproof. You never know what you are going to encounter during a major disaster and if you happen to drop you survival kit into a body of water, you don't want to have to deal with soaking wet gear.

2. Emergency Mylar Sleeping Blanket

If you or your family has to sleep outdoors during a survival situation, then one of the biggest threats you are going to face is hypothermia. This is true even if you live in a desert region so that you will need a means to keep yourself from suffering from the effects of freezing temperatures. I decided to pack several Mylar blankets because they are very effective at keeping you warm, and the way next to nothing and can be folded up for easy storage. These things are so small that they don't occupy much space in my survival kit, but they do serve a very important purpose.

3. Outdoor Survival Knife

A knife is an invaluable tool to have on you if you have to bug out. In fact, without a knife, you are going to be at a huge disadvantage. You can use a knife for self-defense, for cutting, for hunting, and for a variety of other purposes. The reason I have chosen this knife is that it is a fixed blade, full tang knife. What does that mean? Well, a fixed blade knife is a knife that doesn't fold up. While a folding knife takes up less space, it is also far less durable since the blade is designed to move. A full tang knife is a knife that has its blade continues upward into the handle. This makes it stronger. A lot of so-called survival knives had hollowed out handles with survival gear in them.

Sure this survival gear could be helpful, that is until the handle or blade breaks. Then you could be hurt, and you will probably lose the contents of the handle. You are much better off having a stronger full tang knife and carrying your survival gear separately. With that being said this knife does come with fire starter and a cord wrapped handle. Fire starters are invaluable survival tools, and cordage is always useful in a survival situation.

4. Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets

Water is a necessity; it's something that we can't live without for more than a few days under the best of conditions. That's why I carry Aquatabs water purification tablets. This is another item that doesn't take up much space but provides a big benefit. Sure you can boil water to purify it, but that's not always an option. Maybe you have lost your fire starter, or you don't want the light and smoke from a fire to draw attention to your position. In either case, these water purification tablets can make your water safe to drink.

5. Life Straw

I know I just finished talking about the benefits of water purification tablets, but in my opinion, you should have multiple ways to purify and process water. A life straw is an ultimate convenience when you are in a long-term survival situation. If you find a body of fresh water, you can drink directly from it using the life straw. Its built-in filter removes virtually all bacteria making it an ideal tool for any survival situation.

6. Everstryke Match Pro Lighter

While I love having the fire started with my knife, I also realize that it's not an ideal method for starting fires. It's pretty labor intensive at times, and anytime you can find an easier way to do anything during a survival situation you should do it. This is a waterproof lighter that has a very long shelf life. Long as in it's designed to provide up to 15,000 uses before expending its fuel supply. So it should be able to spark a fire for you, and you also don't have to worry about what happens if it gets wet.

7. I Go First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit during a long-term survival situation is a must. What makes this kit great is that it has built-in straps designed to be able to clip onto a belt, or a bag. So you can clip it on the outside of your survival kit, and you won't have it taking up valuable real estate inside of it. It comes with tweezers, scissors, bandages, and a variety of other emergency first aid supplies. If you get hurt following a bug out, there's going to be a good chance you will not have access to medical care. That means that this first aid kit can save your life.

8. Medicine Pack

In addition to having supplies for the first aid, having some basic medications on hand is also a necessity. You never know when someone will have a headache or allergic reaction, and you need to be equipped to deal with it if it becomes necessary to do so. The medicine pack I prefer is small and limited, but it has the basics you are going to need.

9. Maglite Heavy Duty Flashlight

Yes, this is a large flashlight that takes up a lot of room. Yes, space in your survival pack is at a premium. Guess what? It doesn't matter this is still the flashlight that I carry and that I have in my survival pack. Maglite flashlights are known for being reliable, and for being extremely durable. They also double as a fantastic club should the need arise. There's a reason that Maglite flashlights are carried by police and other law enforcement agencies. That reason is simple; they are the best.

10. Gerber Suspension Multi-Pliers

Whenever you are in a survival situation, you need to have access to tools. You need tools but the last thing you want is to take up valuable space in your survival pack with a bunch of tools, and the tools will be cumbersome and heavy making them difficult to carry around. Instead, I would recommend carrying a multi-tool, and this is the multi-tool I prefer. It has pliers, a can opener, a saw, a knife, and several other useful attachments. While it would be nice to carry my entire toolbox with me, that is not an option here, so this is my solution that I have found.

11. Yes 4 All Axe

An axe is a valuable tool to have, and this is especially true in cold weather environments. An axe can be used to break through barriers, to cut firewood, and to help build a shelter for you and your family. You can also use an axe for self-defense from both people and animals. This is another piece of equipment that takes up a lot of real estates, but it's worth it for me. I know that the space in my pact that my axe takes up is space well spent.

12. Outcast Survival Fishing Gear

Fishing is often thought of today as a leisurely activity that people do to relax and calm down. That's how I think of fishing, and I enjoy spending time with friends and family out on the lake during a nice day. But fishing is far more than a leisure activity; it's a way to feed your family in a survival situation. Even if you don't live near any bodies of water a survival fishing kit is a necessity. You never know where your travels may take you, and you will feel quite foolish if you and your family are starving and you end up near a river or lake.

13. Gorilla Tape

Gorilla Tape is like duct tape's bigger, stronger, and tougher cousin. Duct tape can be used for a huge range of purposes, and it is something I would recommend that any survival kit has. I would recommend it, but instead, I'm opting for Gorilla tape. Gorilla tape is stronger and can do everything that duct tape can do, only better. Got a hole in your Mylar blanket? The Gorilla tape can rescue. Need to hold together some branches in your shelter? Gorilla tape strikes again. Lost your boots? Gorilla tape can even be used to make makeshift sandals. Gorilla tape has so many uses that it's hard to fathom everything you may be using this item for.

14. Luhan Emergency Survival Whistle Keychain

What do you do in an emergency if you are trapped, injured, and nobody can hear you screaming for help? Well, chances are you die. But you wouldn't die if you had an emergency whistle with you. A whistle can be used to signal for help or to alert other members of your family to danger. For something that is so inexpensive its value in a real survival situation is priceless.

15. Frontiersman Bear Spray

Bear Spray is the only real defense that we have against bears unless of course you are armed with a high powered rifle, and you are a good shot. The odds of you being able to hit a charging bear when your adrenaline is pumping are not very good. You are more likely to miss, or even worse to wound the animal and anger it. On the other hand, bear spray is nearly impossible to miss when using it. This particular type is small but sprays up to 30 feet. It's over 90% effective at driving bears away, and can also be used other wild animals you need to drive off. You can even use bear spray on people if the need arises.

16. Survival Paracord Bracelet With Built-In Compass

For anyone who has ever been lost in the woods having a compass could have helped them to navigate their way to safety. It's very easy to get lost in the woods, and a lot of people end up walking in circles. Sure you can blaze a trail so that if you end up walking in circles, you will figure it out pretty quickly. Or you can avoid it in the first place by having a compass on hand. This compass has the added benefit of having built-in paracord that allows you to wear it as a bracelet. The paracord is cordage, which is very valuable when you are trying to survive in the wild.

17. Millennium Energy Bars

During a survival situation, you are going to need to keep up your strength, which means eating on a regular basis. Millennium Energy Bars are a highly nutritious food source that you can pack with you. They have the benefit of not requiring any refrigeration, and you can just open them and eat on the go. While you can't rely on these energy bars long term, it is an emergency food supply you will appreciate having when you and your family need to eat.

18. Survival Canteen

A survival straw is a great way to filter the water you come across, but it has its limitations. For one thing, you can't carry the water with you now can you? So that means you may end up with having to decide between staying with a water source, or with seeking rescue. This survival canteen holds a good amount of water, and it has a built-in filter system, so it processes water for you. So if you find yourself having to break survival protocol and leave behind a water source having a canteen will at least allow you to carry some of the water with you.

19. Survivor X Emergency Shelter Tent

While having a nice regular tent during camping is nice, in a survival situation following a bug out you probably don't have room for a full-sized tent. I didn't, but I also knew that sleeping in the open was a bad idea. I've seen survival shelters built on television, and I think I could probably build one. But man that's a lot of effort spent on something we are going to abandon fairly quickly. As an alternative, I keep several of these emergency shelter tents in my survival kit. They are lightweight and will help keep you warm and dry.

20. My Dog's Things

With space at a premium in my survival kit, I couldn't exactly pack up my dog's bed. But I did make it a point to pack his leash so that we could keep my buddy with us should we ever have to hit the road during an emergency. I also packed up a small bowel so we could give him water, after all, he's a good dog, but I don't think he could figure out how to drink out of straw.

Featured Image: Aerial photo taken on Tuesday, October 10, shows homes that were burned by wildfire in the Coffey Park neighborhood of Santa Rosa, California.

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