Pocket Survival Kit

Desert Dog's Pocket Survival Kit Fits in a 4"x8" Pouch

Do you carry a pocket survival kit when you are in the field?  You probably should.  It’s all too easy to get lost, hurt, or separated from your gear, and to find yourself in a no kidding survival situation.  It happens all the time and a simple pocket kit can make the difference between life and death.  You can buy one of the hundreds of pre-made kits, but the problem is most of them are crap.  I recommend you build your own.  Survival kits can be as big or small as you want.  I like to take a modular approach.  I have a pocket kit with the essentials, a day pack kit to supplement the pocket kit, and my hiking kit.  In my mind, backpacking is just a controlled survival situation and my backpack is a well equipped survival kit.  A good survival kit will address the five survival priorities:

  • Shelter
  • Water
  • First Aid
  • Signaling, and
  • Food

Start by addressing the things that will kill you first (heat, cold, hydration, and injury), add in the means to signal rescuers, drop in a few general purpose essentials (compass, knife, cord, and duct tape) and then address comfort items (food).  My kit fits in a 4″ x 8″ zippered pouch and weighs a scant 12 ounces.  I could certainly make it smaller, but I like the capability of this kit.  These kits aren’t cheap, mine set me back $40 or $50, but if you can buy in bulk and outfit your friends or sell a few then you could cut the price in half.

Pocket Survival Kit Contents

Here’s what I carry in my pocket kit:

  • Carry bag
  • Emergency Blanket
  • 55 gallon Trash Bag (improvised poncho, shelter, or carry sack)
  • Metal Match and/or Butane Lighter
  • Tinder (I use dryer lint)
  • Oven Bag (for water storage, still looking for something better)
  • 1/2 oz Bleach in Eye Drop Bottle (purifies up to 3 gallons of water)
  • 2 ft Rubber Tubing (for drinking from Oven Bag & other assorted uses)
  • Motrin and Antihistamine Tablets
  • Antibiotic Ointment & Alcohol Wipes
  • LED Light
  • Signal Mirror
  • Whistle
  • Button Compass
  • Cord (I have 30 ft of Kevlar cord, but 550 cord is good too)
  • Aluminum Foil (use as a cup, pot, etc)
  • 3 ft Duct Tape
  • Razor Knife (I love the Derma-Safe knife for survival kits)
  • 3 or 4 Tea Bags & a couple of Bullion Cubes (these are a huge moral boost)
  • I’d add a square of logan bread or a ration bar before heading out

That’s my pocket survival kit.  I’d be interesting in hearing how many of you carry something similar and what you have in it.

© 2010, The Desert Dog Journal. All rights reserved.

Filed Under: Assorted GearFeaturedGearHikingSurvival

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About the Author: Tucson, AZ Realtor & Investor. My true passions however are hiking and whisky (although generally not at the same time). If you have a question about any of these just drop me a line!

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