Monday, July 11, 2011

The Personal Survival Kit - Part One - Avoiding the 40 Pound Monster

Most everyone agrees that just about anything can go in a survival kit. The only problem is that it often becomes a 40 pound monster when it’s finally put together. It’s important to remember that its purpose is to help you survive until you reach civilization again or you are rescued. Many people have a tendency to pack way more than they will probably need to survive and wind up including a lot of “extras”.  

While it may be wonderful to have all those extras, you should remember that your survival kit should be designed to satisfy the basic requirements for survival. You need water, food, shelter and a means to signal for assistance or rescue. That’s it. If it’s too big or too bulky, odds are you won’t have it with you and it won’t do you much good.

You should also rate your survival kits for its use. A personal survival kit is just that. It’s what you keep on your person (K.O.P.) at all times. Many of the necessary items can be carried with little difficulty on an everyday basis without becoming a burden. Anything more than that and it becomes something different entirely.

The survival kit you carry everyday in your vehicle can be a little more extensive but it’s not something you will probably want to carry around everywhere you go. The same thing can be said about your BOB (bug out bag). If you stick to the basics, you will find that your personal survival kit will become smaller, lighter, and more efficient and will serve its main purpose... to keep you alive until you reach civilization or are rescued.

Your personal survival kit should be designed to complement the basic items you carry on your person at all times. Everything should serve double duty in some form or fashion so that it will have multiple uses. It should also be designed to complement your own skill levels. All the items should be checked on a regular basis to make sure they are functioning properly as intended. It should also include main components for each category... water, food, shelter and signaling. If at all possible, you should have a backup for each component as well should something get lost, break or otherwise fails to perform as needed.

You can read additional information here:

Staying above the water line!



Ken said...

...sounds like ya'weighed my main 'bag',44 pounds(+/-)...the GHB,everyday/have at all times,about 17 pounds...does include x-tra full mags but not weapons...and,of course changes with the seasons,so the (+/-) thing applies to all i guess...

...if shots fired,full load out here at the house,with the three B's(boots,boxers,battle-rattle)and nuthin'else,i 'gain' about 55 pounds not including weapons(but does include resources for survival/escape/evasion tho)...

...heavy ?,light?,anyone else weigh their gear,or am i the only one???

Curt said...

Rescue? Reach civilization? Ah.....Rescued by whom? I can see it in a natural catastrophy such as a earthquake...but if there is a collapse of the gov't or worse, the gov't going nuts....No way do I want to be rescued! I will either make it on my own or die...that simple. No way am I going to wind up is some compound! As for reaching civilization...what civilization? If things are that bad whatever civilization there is will have their hands full taking care of their own. Or, that civilization might just be one you don't want to get anywhere near! Sheesh!

riverwalker said...

To: Ken

My BOB is between 20and 25 pounds...goes up slightly in the winter with the necessary extras or as circumstances may dictate.

My GHB's weigh in at just a few pounds...designed more for traveling light if the option for use of a vehicle goes south.

All of them have a small PSK in each as a backup for what I normally carry on a routine basis.

None of which includes the weight of guns or ammo...

Less weight in my kits mean more ability to carry "extras" as needed.

Thanks Ken.


riverwalker said...

To: Curt

I'm not talking a "worst case scenario" here. If civilization collapses, it's going to take every resource you can scrounge up in order to survive.

I lost a good friend in an accident that wouldn't have been critical if he'd been able to signal for help which was only a short distance away.

As far as being rescued, I've been on both sides of that fence and there's little doubt in my mind which side of that fence I intend to be on if something goes bad.

Most of my friends and family that make up my little part of the world are pretty reliable, decent and civilized when it comes to helping each other out...not too hard to put your trust in someone like that.

If things get really bad, it's going to be tough.

Thanks Curt.


Anonymous said...

If you travel alone in remote territory very often, one of those SPOT GPS locators would be a good idea. Just in case you are completely incapacitated and cannot rescue yourself. Be of some peace of mind.

BigBear said...

I have my 72 hour kit which I take out on hikes. It's job, as the name implies, is to keep me alive for 72 hours. Signaling, water filtration straw, usually a .45 with a couple of mags. Few other things for lighting fires and keeping warm.

Couple of power bars but not food. I can easily last 72 hours without food.

My Bug-Out-Bag on the other hand is designed to keep me and the dogs alive for 30 days. It is focused primarily around wildfire evacuation as I already live at my bug-out location.

riverwalker said...

To: Anonymous 5:55

In a survival situation, all your options available will only increase your chances of survival.

Thanks anon.


PreppingToSurvive said...

Good points. A personal survival kit doesn't do you any good at all if you leave it at home because it's too big and cumbersome to carry.

As you mentioned, there are multiple survival kits for various situations. For example, my get home kit that I keep in my vehicle has a lot of extras in it so no matter the situation, I'll have what I need.

My personal kit has the bare necessities to keep me alive.



riverwalker said...

To: Big Bear

Your situation is different than most people since you already are at your bug out location but still takes into account your individual needs and requirements due to the threat of wildfires.

Thanks for bringing up an additional point about the need to prepare for actual threats.


riverwalker said...

To: Joe

Another excellent point! If it isn't with you, it's not going to be of any help, regardless of your situation or circumstances.

Thanks Joe.


millenniumfly said...

Now that's a PSK to be proud of! Personally, I've gotten too lazy to carry much more than a good pocket knife, mini keychain light, a sometimes a firestarter. Kudos to those who choose to carry more as you never know if, when, or what you'll need.

Survival Kits said...

Factor that should be considered when choosing survival kits are the number of individuals that will make use of the kit should an emergency occur. It is always important to choose a kit that has more than enough of the items that are needed to stay healthy.

riverwalker said...

To: milleniumfly

You need to carry what YOU will need. Skills and abilities vary widely from person to person and your kit should include items which complement your skills.

Personally I carry numerous small items that are distributed in such a way that they are easily carried on a regular basis...beyond the basic items is where I rely on my GHB (get home bag) or BOB (bug out bag).



riverwalker said...

To: Survival Kits

A personal survival kit is simply that...personal. Even smaller children should have their own personal survival kit that they carry.

If you do need to carry additional items for a group, that is more the realm of a bug out bag than a personal survival kit.

If you design your PSK so that you have a backup item in the major areas, those backup items could be used to assist others that may lack a necessary gear item.



Sahil said...

I wrote an article awhile back that's along these lines. It was aimed at putting together a Get Home Bag or GHB. Lightweight, mobile, designed to get you home from work in the case of an emergency, loved ones, or to your main survival supplies. Tell me what you think!

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