First of all we need to define what the intended use is of the Personal Survival Kit. Typically this is going to be a kit of last resort when your life is in danger. That could be something as simple as getting lost or injured during a day hike that causes you to have to unexpectedly spend the night in the woods. The Personal Survival Kit can remain inside your pack until the need for it arises. Another option for the kit is to use it as a belt kit; similar to what the frontiersmen carried. The belt kit can be utilized as a minimalist hiking kit if you’re skilled enough.
Lets take a look at what I carry in my kit. I tend to be heavy on items for fire starting, so lets start with those components.
The reasoning behind these 3 items is that they are all simple and easy to use. Anybody can use a lighter or strike a match. The pine fatwood; well anybody can use a knife to carve off small pieces to ignite with the matches or lighter.
- Ka-Bar Dozier folding knife – I’ve done a quick review of this knife in the past. It’s a simple no frills locking folding knife. I know of a former Marine who was a survival instructor in the Marine Corps and now runs a survival company swears by this knife. It’s very affordable and durable. If you lose it in the woods for whatever reason, it’s not going to break the bank to replace it.
- PrincetonTec Fuel Headlamp – PrincetonTec makes durable and easy to use headlamps. I’ve had my headlamp for several years and it’s still going strong.
- Amphibian Floating Compass – This is an affordable yet durable compass. This compass is great for basic navigation use as well as using the mirror for signalling.
- Coleman All Purpose First Aid Kit – Keeping with the concept of simple and easy to use. This is not meant to be a trauma kit by any means. This is meant to treat minor cuts, scrapes and stings while enjoying the outdoors.
Cord – You can use either bankline or 550 paracord. Bankline tends to compact down a little better which is why I have it in my kit. I like to keep at least a 15′ hank of cord in my kit for various uses. It can be used for gear and clothing repair, impromptu shoe laces, lashing things together at camp, suspending a water bottle over the fire or putting up a clothes line to hang wet clothes to dry.
All of these components fit into the TAG (Tactical Assault Gear) Mini Utility Pouch.
Whatever you choose for your kit, be sure to keep ALL the contents simple, so that they are easy to use and manipulate under stress or in less than ideal conditions. Also be sure to practice with the items you choose for your kit.