Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DIY Survival Gear - Building a Survival Kit - Part Eight

In Building a Survival Kit - Part Seven, first aid items in the form of band-aids and alcohol wipes were added to our survival kit. The final item will now be added to our survival kit.  This final item will give us the ability to seek out help if necessary for our survival. With this final addition, our goal of building a quality survival kit is now completed and ready for our use.

The final gear item that will be added to our survival kit is a compass. In the majority of cases, you will almost certainly be better off to wait for someone to find you when you become lost. Otherwise, you will find yourself walking in circles and going nowhere fast. You may even be decreasing your chances of being found by continued movement. Try to avoid those small button compasses as they are not always accurate or reliable.

There may be times when it is necessary for you to travel and without a compass this can be a difficult task to accomplish. You could even wind up making your situation worse than it originally was before you started out. You will also want to make sure you read and understand the directions for the use of your compass. This final gear item adds $ 5.00 to the cost and approximately one ounce of additional weight to our survival kit.

After being weighed, the weight of this kit now stands at 16 oz.  It also has a cost of slightly less than $ 40.00 when the exact amounts were calculated. The cost could be even lower if you use some gear items you may already have at home.

Here are some of my final thoughts on a survival kit:

1. This is not a cheap survival kit. Cheap gear may get you killed because it may fail you at the worst possible moment.

2. There is no food in this survival kit. You can go several days without food before you are at risk. If you want food, carry a lunch box!

3. There are only minimal first aid items in this kit. If you think you’ll need more, carry a small first aid kit in addition to your survival kit.

4. You should always carry plenty of water with you or a means to obtain water that is separate from your survival kit (water bottle, hydration pack, personal water filter). You can still survive if you lose your survival kit but you can’t survive without water.

5. A good survival kit is worthless if you don’t keep it handy (purse, glove box, console, fanny pack, day pack or whatever). If you’re going on a hike or going to be gone for an extended period of time, make sure to take it and keep it with you.

6. A good survival kit is useless if you don’t know how to use its contents. Make sure you are familiar with the gear items in your kit and the proper manner for their use.

7. A good survival kit is for your personal use and the use of your family. Don’t be afraid to make changes to accommodate your needs and the needs of your family.

8. Always check your gear items periodically to make sure they are still functioning properly.

9. Increase your knowledge base as much as possible to minimize your need for survival gear. 

10. Know more, carry less.

Don’t forget to leave a comment. Thanks.

Got DIY Survival Kit ?

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing this series,caused me to re-think some of my gear choices.

Anonymous said...

Love this idea too, I set up a couple of First aid kits like this, can get the containers cheaply @ the $ Stores, even some of the supplies. I have one 1st Aid Kit in my GHB in my car.

Can also get areas of 1st aid according to type of injury, cuts, burns, dental, etc. Maybe I'm OCD…lol.

Jenna Bird said...

Thank you, Riverwalker, for sharing this series of posts. I've always THOUGHT about these sorts of things, but it is easy to get distracted and lose track... and just a dozen other reasons not to put together a kit like this. With step-by-step instructions, there's no excuse anymore. I'm forwarding links to your blog along to family members - everyone should have a kit (or two) like this -- especially since I have many family members and friends who live in natural disaster areas (hurricanes, mostly).

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Great call on the compass - walking around in big circles won't ever get you to your destination - period. The military pattern design is tried and true - know how to use it before you need to depend on it!

As a basic 'keep yourself oriented' compass, I have a old Marbles brass compass (non liquid), along with a magnesium rod and striker on a leather necklace - its a piece of equipment handy to keep on person.

If you NEED a button compass or want as a backup, the Francis Barker SAS FB1605 brass button compass has a lot of boosters. Very old design - just putting that out there.

Thanks River Walker.

Carli said...

This was really a useful series to read. Im pretty well versed in Get Home Bags, Bug Out Bags. It honestly never occurred to me to pack something small and portable to tuck in a glove box.

Addie said...

This small kit, means the kids can carry additional supplies to what they already do. which means the group has a better chance.

riverwalker said...

To: Richard

It never hurts to take a different look at may even see a better or easier way to do the same thing.

Thanks Richard.


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 10:57

I pretty much consider a first aid kit a separate item with a specific purpose. I usually keep small first aid kits handy...similar to what you describe.

I also carry larger first aid kits when traveling long distances.

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To: Jenna

These kits do make nice gifts...hard to find a meaningful gift for $40 nowadays.

They make a great project for the kids also...have them put it together and test and use all the items so they are familiar with their function.

Thanks Jenna.


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 6:26

Those brass SAS button compasses (brass & glass) are great but can cost as much as this whole kit.

Yep...most people are just going to walk around in circles...easier to save energy and stay put.

Let them come to you.

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To: Addie

Everyone should have their own kit.

Especially when the most common problem when hiking or being outdoors is a member who inadvertently gets separated from the group.

This would be especially important for younger ones in the group.

Thanks Addie.


riverwalker said...

To; Carli

There is also the possibility where you may suffer an injury that won't allow you to carry a larger pack without difficulty.

A smaller kit that is kept handy could be a true lifesaver in this case.

Thanks Carli.


Jamee said...

I'm simply adding my thanks to all the others...THANKS! I know we have lots of the mentioned items already in our home somewhere. Now, off to find them!

ARC said...

I really need to carry a kit like this from now on... One for my oldest son when we take short hikes behind the house, too. Thanks for the ideas and information!


Ed Vaisvilas said...

I'm sure others will come up with items not listed by you, but I just wanted to mention one thing I've added to my EDC. I keep a short pencil (pens run dry, but pencils can be sharpened), wrapped in a narrow strip of duct tape (duct tape has proven to be helpful in most situations), and a few sheets of paper for compass bearing notes, etc. After I no longer need those notes, the paper is kept for fire-starting.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff. I appreciate the "step-by-step" format. As for building this kit... Do you have a part number on the flat flashlight? Thanks again.

Bob in NC

riverwalker said...

To: Ed

There's not a whole lot of room for additional "stuff" but if you keep it flat or small you can probably squeeze in a few extra items not mentioned.

Mainly wanted to keep the bare minimum for essential survival gear in the kit.

Thanks Ed.


riverwalker said...

To: anon

The flat flashlight is one of those keychain variety LED flashlights that was picked up at Wally world in the flashlight section. I think they also keep a similar item in the automotive section as well.

Most any small LED flashlight will work.


MacTx53 said...

Great stuff Riverwalker! I like the thought of these basic essential grouped together. Throw it in the car or drop it in the pack. I believe I'll put a couple together for my two grown kids.
Really enjoyed the read. Thanks.

Petr, OK1RP said...

thanks for SODIS article. I am using it or better say have the set in survival kit.
Is it possible to rebuild the Free download section please? There is No Files to download unfortunately.

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