Introduction to Survival Kits

Survival kits are tools that can help you stay safe and alive in an emergency. Whether you’re caught in a natural disaster, stranded in the wilderness, or facing a home or car emergency, having the right supplies in a survival kit can mean the difference between life and death.

A well-equipped survival kit should include basic necessities such as food, water, shelter items, first aid supplies, and items for specific situations. This guide will provide an overview of the different types of survival kits, the essential items they should include, how to choose the right kit, and tips for building, maintaining, and storing your kit.

Different Types of Kits

When it comes to survival kits, there are several different types of kits that may be necessary depending on the situation. Some of the most common types of emergency kits include car emergency kits, home emergency kits, and outdoor camping kits.

Car emergency kits are designed for use in vehicles. These kits contain items that can help in the event of a car emergency, such as a flat tire, dead battery, or broken down vehicle. These kits typically include tools such as a tire repair kit, jumper cables, and flashlights. Additionally, they may also have essential items like water, snacks, and first-aid supplies.

Home emergency kits are designed to help individuals prepare for any potential disasters that might occur in their home. These kits should contain items that can be used to help during an emergency such as flashlights, candles, matches, and tools. Additionally, they should also include items such as water, non-perishable food items, and first-aid supplies.

Outdoor camping kits are designed for use when camping or hiking. These kits should include items specific to that kind of activity, such as headlamps, fire starters, insect repellent, tarps, and other items that can help keep a person safe in the outdoors. Additionally, these kits should also include items such as water, non-perishable food items, and first-aid supplies.

Basic Survival Necessities

There is nothing more important than being prepared for any situation, and assembling a survival kit is the best way to ensure you are prepared. Although the items you include in your kit will vary depending on your intent, everyone should always have the basic necessities of food, water, and shelter.

Food is essential for survival, so it's important to make sure your kit has enough non-perishables that will stay safe for long periods of time. Pack items like protein bars, energy bars, or granola bars, plus some dried fruit, jerky, and trail mix. If you pack cans, remember to include a can opener.

As far as water is concerned, it is recommended to have at least one gallon per person per day. However, if you’re packing a kit for more than one person, it’s best to estimate the total number of gallons you will need based on how long you expect to need it for. You can buy pre-packaged water bottles, but make sure to check the expiry date to ensure the water will still be fresh by the time you need it.

Shelter is also an essential component of survival. Make sure to include a tarp, blanket, or tent in your kit, depending on the size of the group. It’s a good idea to include a knife or multi-tool as well, and something to help start a fire, such as matches, lighters, or other flammable material.

These are the basics that every survival kit should include: food, water, and shelter. With these components, every person should feel prepared for whatever situation may arise.

First Aid Kit Basics

Having a well-stocked first aid kit is essential in any survival kit. It should include all necessary items to deal with illness or injury, such as over-the-counter medications, bandages, and other supplies. Having a comprehensive first aid kit can help you quickly address any medical issues that could come up, ensuring your safety in emergency situations.

Your first aid kit should contain at minimum: adhesive bandages, gauze pads and rolls, antiseptic wipes/solution, tweezers, tape, and scissors. Additional items to consider include: hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointments, pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, oral rehydration salts, burn ointment, allergy relief medicine, splints and eyewash.

In addition to the items listed above, it's good practice to add supplies specific to your particular lifestyle needs and expected conditions in your area. If you're out camping, you may want to bring additional bug spray or sunscreen, while those who often find themselves working in hazardous or damp environments may also want to keep extras like waterproof matches, a flashlight, or a fire extinguisher handy.

Make sure to periodically check and restock your first aid kit contents and ensure that none of the items have expired. Having a well-stocked first aid kit is key for staying safe in any situation, so make sure yours is always ready for use!

Additional Supplies for Specific Situations

When putting together a survival kit, it is important to consider the specific situations you may encounter. If you plan to go camping or hiking, you may need items like headlamps, fire starters and water purifying tablets. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, you should include clothing and supplies that can help you to stay warm or cool, such as extra blankets and sunscreen.

For extreme weather conditions like hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, and floods, you may want to include heavier-duty supplies like a tent, sleeping bags, tools, and ropes. Additionally, it’s important to think about food and water needs, especially if you live in a remote area where access to resources may be limited. Think about including canned food and a stove to heat it up, or packing ready-to-eat meals with long shelf lives.

Some other items you may want to consider include:

  • Batteries and flashlights
  • Maps and compasses
  • Whistles and flares
  • Insect repellent
  • Waterproof matches
  • Multi-tools

Remember, your own personal needs may vary depending on the environment and situation. Do your research so that you know what items you need for the specific situation you are likely to encounter.

How to Choose the Right Kit

When it comes to choosing the right survival kit, there are many factors to consider. Depending on where and how you plan to use your kit, you'll need to think about items like size, weight, and portability, as well as its contents. You also need to be sure that what you're getting is reliable and of good quality.

Here are some tips to help you decide which kit is best for your needs:

  • Identify your specific needs. Is this for a car emergency or an outdoor camping trip? Are other people depending on you or is it just for yourself?
  • Understand the contents of each kit. What items are included and what is the quality of those items? Do they have the right tools and supplies to meet your needs?
  • Consider the size and weight. Are you carrying the kit yourself or keeping it in a vehicle? Be sure to get a kit that’s portable and lightweight enough for easy transport.
  • Think about comfort. Look for items that make the kit more comfortable to carry, such as adjustable straps or padded compartments.
  • Choose reliable brands. If you’re buying online, do your research and read reviews to ensure you’re getting a high-quality product.
  • Compare prices. Shop around to find a quality item that fits within your budget.

By taking the time to properly assess your needs and research the different options available, you can find the perfect fit for your survival kit.

Maintaining Your Kit

Having an emergency kit is essential for ensuring your safety in any unexpected situation. The key to keeping your kit ready for anything is regularly checking and updating its contents. Below, we’ll outline some tips to help you maintain your kit and keep it in top condition.

Check the Expiration Dates

As you’re stocking up on necessary supplies, make sure you’re paying attention to expiration dates. Over-the-counter medications, food/beverage items, fuel, and other perishables can expire quickly, so it’s important to check back on these items often and provide timely replacements.

Review Contents Every Few Months

It’s a good idea to review the contents of your kit every 2-3 months and assess what needs to be replaced or replenished. Making this a part of your regular routine will help you stay on top of your emergency kit supplies and keep things well-stocked.

Replace Used Items

In the event that you are using items from your kit, replace them as soon as possible. This will help ensure that the kit is always complete and ready for any eventuality.

Keep Kit Accessible

Most importantly, make sure you keep your kit in an accessible place that everyone in the household knows about. That way, if an emergency arises, you’ll be able to reach the kit quickly and easily.

Storing Your Kit

Having a survival kit is important, but it's also essential to know how to store it properly. Keeping your kit in an easily accessible place means you'll be prepared when an emergency strikes. Here are some tips for storing your kit so it's always ready.

Find an Appropriate Space

When choosing where to store your kit, it's important to pick a spot that is both accessible and safe. It should be away from any water sources and in a cool, dry location. You may also want to consider whether or not the space is large enough to fit all your supplies. Consider keeping your kit near an exit or near the front door so you can easily grab it in an emergency.

Protect from Moisture

To keep your kit's contents safe, it's important to store it in a water-resistant container. This will prevent the supplies from getting wet, which can damage them and make them unusable. If you don't have a water-resistant container, consider wrapping your kit in a plastic bag or tarp. Additionally, make sure the container or bag is well sealed to keep out moisture and dirt.

Keep it Secure

It's important to make sure the container or bag your survival kit is stored in is secure. If the container isn't sealed or doesn't lock, consider using a zip tie or cord to ensure it stays closed. Additionally, you may want to consider storing your kit in a locked closet or cabinet to ensure it won't get lost or stolen.

Keep it Accessible

The key to an effective survival kit is being able to access it quickly in an emergency. Make sure you place it in an easily accessible spot that everyone in the home knows about. Additionally, consider how you will transport your kit if necessary. Some kits come with their own carrying case, which can make transportation simpler.

Regular Maintenance

Finally, it's important to check on your kit periodically to make sure all the supplies are still in good condition and up to date. Expiry dates should be checked regularly and supplies should be replaced as needed. Additionally, keep an eye out for any items that may need to be added, such as a flashlight for a camping trip.

By following these tips for storing your survival kit, you can make sure your family is always prepared. With a well-stocked and organized kit, you can rest assured that you're ready for whatever life throws your way.

Shopping for Survival Kits

When it comes to purchasing a survival kit, you have two main options: buying pre-made kits from retail stores or ordering custom-assembled kits from online vendors. Let’s look at the pros and cons of both ways of shopping for survival kits.

Retail Stores

Retail stores are a convenient option for buying a survival kit as they typically offer a wide selection of items and kits. Plus, you can inspect the products in person and make sure everything looks in good working order. However, pre-made kits usually come with a lot of unnecessary items, which can drive up the price. Plus, there is often not much room for customization.

Online Vendors

Online vendors can be a great option for purchasing a survival kit. You can find a lot of custom-assembled kits, containing just what you need and nothing more. Plus, many online stores offer blog posts, product reviews, and even video tutorials to help you decide which items are best for your needs. The downside is that you can't inspect the items in person before buying them.


Buying a survival kit isn’t just about finding the right items—it’s also about choosing the best way to shop for your kit. Retail stores offer the convenience of being able to inspect the items in person, while online vendors typically provide more options for customizing your kit. Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your budget, timeline, and needs.

Building your Own Kit

One of the best and most cost-effective ways to get the right survival kit for your needs is to create one yourself. Having a custom-made kit can provide assurance that all the items in it are of the highest quality.

Some advantages of making your own kit include being able to choose exactly what you want to include, although it's important to keep the kit lightweight and relatively small so you can easily transport and store it. Additionally, you'll be able to find items on sale, so you'll be able to save money overall.

The main challenge with making your own kit is knowing what items to include. With so many choices out there, you may end up spending more time researching and shopping than actually packing the kit itself. In addition, some items can be hard to find or expensive when purchased in bulk.

To help you build your kit, it's best to start with the basics: food, water, shelter items, a first-aid kit, and any other essential supplies. It's also a good idea to include supplies that are specific to your needs or interests, such as fishing gear for outdoor enthusiasts or medical supplies for those who have medical conditions. Consider getting help from a professional if you're unsure about what to include.

Finally, don't forget to include a few extras that could come in handy in certain situations, such as a flashlight, fire starters, a knife, and hand warmers.

Survival Tips

Although survival kits are an important way to ensure you are prepared in a pinch, there are other aspects of general survival best practices that should be taken into account as well. If a situation arises where you need to rely on your emergency kit, knowing what to do and how to take care of yourself are essential.

A few key tips to bear in mind when considering survival situations include:

  • Stay hydrated: Make sure to replenish fluids and stay hydrated through drinking water or electrolyte-rich drinks.
  • Have enough fuel: Be sure to have enough resources (e.g., food, energy, supplies) to last until help arrives.
  • Keep warm: Don’t allow yourself to become too cold, and make sure you are wearing the correct clothing in cold weather.
  • Know your environment: Research potential hazards in the area, such as wildlife and poisonous plants, so you know what to expect.
  • Protect against the elements: Bring protective gear that can help guard against rain, wind, snow, and sun.
  • Be mindful: Pay attention to your surroundings, listen for any signs of distress, and be aware of the terrain.

By following these simple steps and being mindful of the environment and situation, you can set yourself up for better success in a survival situation.


A survival kit is a critically important item to have on hand in times of emergency or distress. It’s important to remember that not all kits are created equal and the contents should reflect the specific needs of the individual. The essentials of any survival kit should include food, water, shelter, and a first aid kit. Depending on the situation, additional items such as headlamps or fire starters may be necessary for camping or wet weather gear for cold climates.

It is essential to decide which type of kit works best for one’s situation and assemble or purchase it accordingly. To ensure your kit is ready when you need it, regularly check supplies and replace any items that have been used or expired. Keep your kit in a dry, easily accessible space and, if possible, store it in a waterproof container. Lastly, remember the basics of survival – stay hydrated, have enough fuel, and look after your safety first.

FAQs about Survival Kits:

  • Q: What is a survival kit?
    A: A survival kit is a package of basic tools and supplies prepared in advance as an aid to survive in an emergency situation. It can be used for natural disasters, manmade catastrophes, or even just for convenience when camping and backpacking.
  • Q: What are the different types of kits available?
    A: There are a variety of survival kits available to suit different needs and situations. These include car emergency kits, home emergency kits, outdoor camping kits, and more.
  • Q: What should be included in a basic survival kit?
    A: Every survival kit should include basic necessities such as food, water, shelter items, first aid supplies, and additional supplies that may be specific to certain types of kits or situations.
  • Q: How can I choose the right kit?
    A: When selecting which kit is best for you, consider your environment, climate, and the types of conditions you may encounter. Also make sure to read reviews and compare prices from different vendors.
  • Q: What is the best way to maintain my survival kit?
    A: You should regularly check the supplies and items included in your kit to make sure they are in good condition. As needed, replace perishable items such as food and update any outdated items or supplies.
  • Q: How should I store my kit?
    A: Your survival kit should be kept in a dry and secure space, such as a weather-resistant storage container, duffle bag, or backpack. Wherever you store your kit, it should be easily accessible when needed.
  • Q: What are some tips for building my own survival kit?
    A: When building your own survival kit, make sure the components are well-built and reliable. Additionally, compare prices and choose items based on quality and your budget. Remember to also check expiration dates on food and medication.