Prepare your wilderness survival kits with care. In an emergency situation, a few crucial items in your survival kits can make all the difference in your chance for survival.
Everyone embarking on a wilderness trip should carry a survival kit. While it is entirely possible to assemble your own kit, there are a number of commercially produced kits. Be sure that your survival kit meets your specific needs and the wilderness environment that you are venturing into.
Your Wilderness Survival Kits
Select items you can use for more than one purpose. If you have two items that will serve the same function, pick the one you can use for another function. Do not duplicate items, as this increases the size and weight of your kit. Know how to use every single item in your kit.
A survival kit doesn’t replace knowledge, but can be an important tool in a difficult situation.
Split your kit in two parts. One part should consist of a few key survival items you always carry on your body, your personal pocket kit. The other part, your pouch style survival kit, use for more bulky items that you need to have with you, and want to keep close-by for emergencies.
Pocket Survival Kit
A “pocket survival kit” should be small enough to easily fit into a shirt or a coat pocket. Choose a package small and light enough not be a bother to carry along. A small container such as a tobacco tin or pill tin box is excellent. An alternative to a container is to attach your survival items on a strap or wire. Put it in your pocket or keep it around your neck.
Suggested contents for your kit:
– artificial flint striker
– tinder – e.g. cotton wool or dryer lint
– waterproof matches
– button compass
– wire saw – for shelter building
– water purifying tablets
– condoms for water storage
– waterproof matches
– fishing kit – line, hooks, lures, snares
– snare wire
If you choose to put your survival items in a small container. Polish the inside of the lid so you can use it as a signal mirror. Pack your items with cotton wool to prevent rattling. Cotton is also excellent tinder and will make fire starting easier. To get your small container waterproof, seal it with adhesive tape.
Outdoor Survival Kit
Customize your outdoor survival kits according to your specific needs. No one kit meets every need.
Pack your survival items that don’t fit in your survival tin in a bag or pouch that can be grabbed easily. It should contain items that will allow you to stay overnight in the wilderness and enhance your chances of being found. Your kit should contain a cooking pot, fuel, food, and survival bag. I recommend you include survival notes, make your own and put it in your backpack.
Small pot and stove
If you don’t bring a camping stove on your trip, I recommend you consider bringing a cooking pot and a pocket stove for your survival kit. As a cooking pot, use, for example, a titanium pot that is light, strong and also suitable as a container for your other survival items.
Use a pocket stove with fuel tablets. The pocket stove is ultra light, compact and easy to use. The stove simply unfolds to form an adjustable pot stand and holder for burning fuel. The fuel tablets are a great heat source for cooking, getting warm or starting fires. Add extra waterproof matches, you never have enough.
Food bars are ideally suited for disaster survival kits due to their wide storage temperature range and relative small size and weight. You need all the extra calories you can get in a survival situation, so pick high energy food bars. Salt should be an ingredient.
Bring an emergency survival bag of reflective material that keeps you warm. An alternative to buy a survival bag is to use a plastic garbage bag. Large plastic garbage bags make excellent ponchos, and you can also use them to build a waterproof one person emergency shelter.
As a wilderness adventurer you should always carry a survival knife. It can make all the difference in the fight for survival. Your knife is your most important survival tool.
Keep it with you
Never venture into the wilderness without your outdoor survival kits.
Wilderness Survival First Aid Kit
Your survival first aid kit should match your trip plan. Choose among pre-assembled emergency first aid kits or build your own kit. Long stays in the remote wilderness, or more extreme forms of activities, require of course more extensive kits and more first aid knowledge.
Factors to consider to get your first aid kit together:
- the number of people participating
- where are you going for your wilderness trip
- how long will you be away on your trip
- how far are you from medical assistance
- what are you going to do?
Every wilderness first aid kit should include:
– Basic bandages for:
- blisters; thin blister pads or moleskin
- sprains; assorted elastic bandage, athletic tape
- wound; sterile bandage, band-aid, tape
– Basic medications:
painkiller, antiseptic, anti-diarrhea and any prescription. All medications and many medical supplies have a limited useful life. Keep track of expiration dates and replace as required.
– Basic first-aid tools:
tweezers (very useful to remove small thorns, splinters or ticks) and a razor blade, scissors or a small knife. However, don’t duplicate tools if you already have a knife, you don’t need another cutting tool in your first aid kit. Some folding knives also include a pair of tiny tweezers.
Additional items depend on your specific needs.
Check your survival first aid kit
Make sure you know what your kit contains and how to use the materials for effective first aid. A good idea is to add an easy-to-read basic first aid instruction book.
When no professional medical help is available it’s essential you have some basic principles of first aid and know how to apply them, even under stress.
Winter Car Survival Kit
All vehicles should contain a basic car survival kit. Because anyone driving in remote areas, especially during winter months is at risk of ending up in a wilderness survival situation. Winter weather can be extremely unpredictable and unfortunately the wilderness is very unforgiving.
However, a little knowledge and preparation can go a long way in preventing survival situations. Here are a few important points to always remember when driving in remote areas.
Inform someone of your route
Always tell friends and family where you are going and when you plan to return. If something happened and you won’t be back at that time, call them.
Lost or stranded
If you get in trouble you should stay with the vehicle. Studies show that you’re more likely to survive if you don’t venture out looking for help. Furthermore, since you have informed someone about your route the search and rescue crews know where to look.
With a properly equipped car emergency kit, you could survive in your vehicle for days if necessary. If you, for some reason, decide to leave your vehicle, only do it if the weather clears, and you have proper clothing.
Prepare your winter car survival kit
Prepare for the unexpected. Think of the worst possible scenario and prepare for it. Always have a survival kit in your car that never gets taken out.
Essential items to have in your car:
- Flashlights and extra batteries.
- A multitool knife.
- Extra set of clothes – so you can turn the car off and still stay warm.
- Extra socks, gloves and hats.
- Waterproof matches and candle (- used to help keep warm).
- Small can – to melt snow for drinking water.
- Local maps.
- Tools (screwdriver, pliers, wrench).
- Road flares.
- Jumper Cables.
- Small shovel.
- Set of tire chains.
- Bottled water.
- Food – e.g nuts, dried fruit or energy bars.
- Cell phone – make sure your cell phone battery is fully charged.
- First aid kit – and know how to use it.
- Update the contents of your kit on a regular base and make sure all drivers and passengers know where to find it.
Never go for a car trip during winter time without proper clothing. That probably mean you have to bring with you a winter jacket and trousers, boots, gloves and a cap. You never know how far you will be required to walk.