Survival kits are an essential part of your outdoor gear, whether you’re going sailing, hiking, or camping. You have to be prepared for emergencies such as storms, injuries, getting stranded, or losing your way. You can buy pre-packed survival kits from the shop, or you can put one together yourself. If you choose the latter, you have to keep in mind how much provision you will need, the type of environment you will be in, and how you can call for help when necessary. Here are some of the things to consider when you make your own survival kit.
Your survival kit should have tools for providing comfort in bad weather. This includes space blankets, cutting tools (for firewood or putting up a shelter), and an emergency poncho to protect against rain. You also need firestarting tools such as lighters or matches, heat tablets, and a magnifying glass. Dark shoe polish can also serve as fuel and keep wild animals away with its smell.
This should have the usual first aid tools like bandages, gauze, razors, and disinfectants, as well as lip balm and insect repellents. Also include any medicines you might need such as aspirin and painkillers.
Keep a large supply of drinking water and canned or ready-to-eat meals. Provisions may out quickly in emergency situations, so always have fishing gear and a large supply of iodine tablets for water purification. Gum, tea or candy can help boost your confidence.
A GPS or compass will help you find your way around unfamiliar territory. If you lose your way or get stranded, you’ll need signaling and marking tools to mark your location and guide rescuers towards you. These include orange surveyor’s tape, flares or flare guns, and Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB) for sending out distress signals to satellites.
A Swiss army knife is useful for general tasks such as cutting food, opening cans and bottles, and splitting rope. For snaring animals or putting up a tent, you’ll need parachute cords or other sturdy ropes. Other things you may need are heavy threads and needles for repairing tent or clothing, and aluminum foil for cooking and signaling.