Lists for assembling your own survival kit abound. A Google search on “survival kit contents” resulted in about 522,000 hits, for example. Rather than put out just one more list of food, water purification filters, fire starters, and fishing gear, instead here are some odds and ends that are often overlooked on those lists. While most of these items aren’t “mission critical” elements to survival, they will go a long way towards providing a modicum of comfort in an already stressful enough situation.
The majority of these items are small enough, in and of themselves, to be able to cram into all but the most basic kit. Added all together, they will add just a bit more bulk and weight.
- Gloves: Decent work gloves may very well be a Godsend if you find yourself building a lean to shelter or chopping firewood. A word of caution though, don’t just buy a new pair and toss them into your kit. You’ll want them broken in a bit first.
- Hat and sunglasses: An old ball cap will keep the sun off your face. It can help change your appearance as well, if that’s a concern. Sunglasses are great to have too as spending hours on end squinting is no fun. Your local dollar store probably has both on hand, in any number of styles.
- Sunscreen: If you’re relying on your survival kit to get you to where you’re going, things are hard enough without having to deal with sunburn too.
- Bug repellent: In my area, the mosquitoes season starts in early summer and runs until mid-autumn. Some are big enough to carry off small children. Without repellent, it isn’t a matter of if you’ll get bit, it is a matter of whether you’ll end up looking like you have chicken pox an hour from now.
- Spare socks and underwear: In almost any situation, you can probably get by for a few days with the clothes you’re wearing. However, clean socks are a necessity for foot health. Clean underwear is a great morale boost.
- Bandana: Wide range of uses, from a sweatband to bandage, water filter to a makeshift small sack.
- Baking mix: Find one that only requires the addition of water to make biscuits, pancakes, and other baked goods. Easy enough to carry in your kit, just measure out how much you’ll need for a given recipe and put it in a ziplock bag, writing in marker on the bag how much water to add. These types of baked goods are fairly easy (relatively speaking) to prepare using a campfire. These mixes are also great to use as breading on fish and poultry.
- Small assortment of spices: Things like salt, pepper, cajun spice mix, and/or garlic powder. Not a ton of stuff, mind you, but just a few small containers will go a long way toward making your foraged food go from merely palatable to downright tasty.
- Crazy glue and/or glue sticks: These are great for making expedient repairs. Crazy glue can also be used to seal wounds, though you’ll need to leave the bottom of the wound open for drainage to avoid sepsis if the wound is deep. You can heat the end of a glue stick with your fire and use it for repairs as well.
What little tidbits or unusual items do you have in your kits? Tell us and we’ll post them here for all our readers to learn from!