How to Make a Survival Kit

The best survival kits will get you through just about any situation if you customize them to your area. What is the situation you expect to encounter? Just picking up your credit card and placing an order for a stock survival kit won’t always work. Most of the time these kits have low quality items or just don’t apply to what your needs may be.

Before making any decisions create an outline of your needs. Some of the options you must consider are:

  • How many people will be sharing this survival kit?
  • What sort of issues will you plan to encounter?
  • Where will you be needing the kit (coast, mountains, water)?
  • Experience level of the user?
  • How long you think you will be in need?


How many people will be sharing this survival kit?

How to Make a Survival Kit
Sharing is caring

First option you will need to consider is how many people are in your group. Will you be alone? If you are flying solo you won’t need all the supplies that you will with others in your group. If you are alone, you may be able to buy better quality products even if your budget is tight.

Groups should have packs for each of their own people. Even children as young as 10 could have a pack with items that suit their needs. They should be taught how to use the items and how to care for themselves.

What sort of issues will you plan to encounter?

What do you worry about most? Economic collapse, earthquake, solar flare, war, famine, or anything else. Knowing what you think you need a survival kit for will gear you to the supplies needed. If you are most worried about a solar flare you probably will not be buying a GPS or radio.

Some items such as medical items will be the same regardless of what you expect. A good medical kit would have standard items.

Gauze pads, Two large gauze pads, Box adhesive bandages, Gauze roller bandage at least 2 inches wide, Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide, Neosporin, Scissors, A blanket, Tweezers, Adhesive tape, Latex gloves, Ace bands, Splints, Suture kit, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, First Aide book, and wild medicine book.

Other survival type items should be:

A couple good knives for your situation (pocket knife, machete, ect.), knife sharpener, firearm, flares, pepper spray, rope, 550 cord, lighters, flint, magnesium fire starter, fire starters (kindling) or birthday candles, cooking pan, coffee pot, mess kits, duck tape, snare wire, fishing gear, compass, maps, energy bars, food,  mre’s, hard candy, water bottles, water filters, tools (pliers, wire cutters, crow bar, hack saw blades, sewing kit, few gallon Ziploc bags, 2 leaf garbage bags, 2 tarps, camp axe, shovel, gloves, and survival book.


Where will you be needing the kit (coast, mountains, water)?

Depending where you will be, or expect to be, should dictate what you will need. If you plan on being on the water you may not need a crow bar but will need more bottled water. If you plan to go up north then bring a bigger rifle.

Every area and climate has its unique needs. Asses what the area needs will be and account for the time of year.

Experience level of the user

A group will have an assortment of survival experience and you will have to plan for it. What I mean by this is that some people could start a

How to Make a Survival Kit
Be prepared for everyone and everything

fire with a magnesium stick and others would need a blow torch. Fit the needs of the users and remember you may be in a situation where you may not be able to use the supplies and someone without your experience will be using the supplies.

You should also work with the people in your group so they know how to properly use the survival gear. Practicing regularly will assure that you will all be safer in any situation.


How long you think you will be in need?

Imagine you are in a survival situation and consider how long you will be in need. Some items may need duplicates. The old saying is “Two is one and one is none.” Meaning if you only have one and you break or loose it you will be without anything. Some survival items can be used in more than one way. Those are the best items to take with you. An example of that is 550 cord. 550 cord can be used as is, and the strands can be taken out of the outer shell if finer string is needed. It can be used for snares, fishing string, boot laces, emergency sutures, bow drill for fire starting, and even dental floss.

You may be out on your own in a bad situation for longer than you imagined. Always plan for a longer time than you need so you won’t get caught short of supplies. Items like rope, duct tape, and lighters should always be doubled or tripled.

Special Needs

How to Make a Survival Kit
Allergies stink

Some special needs items should not be overlooked. People with allergies, asthma, diabetes and other medical needs should be addressed. Learn how to keep the needed medicines stored properly and talk with your doctor about your worries. Most doctors will be able to prescribe some extra medications to address your needs. I am personally allergic to bee stings so I carry an EpiPen and Benadryl. It would be horrible if I got stung while having to worry about my wife and kids in the middle of a catastrophe.


Only after you are sure you have all your needed gear can you pick a back pack. Any of your packs should be chosen after you decide what you will need. This way you can be sure all your gear will fit and hold the items properly. The right pack will be waterproof and let you access all your supplies easily. Keeping things neat will keep you safer and less stressful.

Where to get you gear

All your gear should be really high quality. Knives should be of a high-quality metal in order to hold the edge for the longest time possible. Dull knives will cut you and expend much more energy than a sharp knife. Get a knife sharpener and learn to sharpen the edge till you can shave hair with it. You can find really good quality knives online and even used. Some of my best knives are over 100 years old. That old metal is really strong and holds a true edge.

Be skeptical of some of the online survival shops. Do your research on reviews before you buy. Used military surplus stores have some good items and are reasonably priced, as well.

6 thoughts on “How to Make a Survival Kit

  1. Pingback: What to Do If You Get Lost Hiking | Montem Outdoor Gear

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  3. Craig says:

    My medical kit is mostly superglue and duct tape. Superglue is fantastic at sealing wounds if you know you are less than a day from medical help. And duct tape can be used to fashion/fix a multitude of sins, from making a splint for broken bones to patching your ripped waterproof jacket.

  4. Rey Leon says:

    Honey sachets. Honey is extremely nutrient-dense when consumed, and can be used topically on wounds to help fight or prevent infection.

  5. Richard Schuh says:

    A bigger rifle? A very good Alaskan guide I know carries a 50 cal pistol. That ought to suffice for defensive purposes, even if the attacker is a 1200 lb. coastal brown bear. Probably it would suffice against a larger Kodiak.

  6. Benedict Gorman says:

    I wouldn’t put Alchohol or Peroxide in a first aid kit. They’re indiscriminate, which means they kill both good and bad cells. You can get discriminate antiseptic sprays and wipes. Also, get nitrile rather than latex gloves in case of a latex allergy. Nitrile has become the standard in all hospitals. Also, unless you have been trained WFR(Wilderness first responder or higher, sutures will do more harm than good. If large gauze pads are hard to find, sanitary napkins(menstrual pads) will be a good replacement. They’re cheap, easy to find, good for emergencies if your group has or encounters females, and are designed to absorb lots of blood.

    My two cents.
    Trained WFA/CPR by ECSI

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