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Survival Kits Checklist

Updated on April 7, 2011

Survival Kits Checklist

Recent tragic events have gone a long way to highlighting the need for survival kits. The need for a survival kit might have seemed like the ravings of paranoia a few years back but I hope this has changed. When the earthquake hit Japan the devistation was horrific, and while these are a people trained and drilled to deal with both earthquakes and tsunami's the loss of human life was much higher then it needed to be. Evacuations were not as fast as they should have been and with a survival kit evacuation can be sped up by a huge amount.

When watching the news coming out of Japan the one thing I noticed where these villages where folks had been told to evacuate who were not actualy evacuating. I assume they were not really prepared for a disaster of the magnitude they were experiencing and didn't have survival kits ready to grab and run with. I do strongly believe that some of the deaths could have been prevented if people had acted faster then they did.

In this article I hope to help you plan out and pack all the vital items you need in your survival kit so that in the event of a disaster you can grab your kit and head for safty in short order. The very act of being prepared can make the difference between life and death and so I hope you will read this and take some action, buy yourself a survival kit, and/or add items to a survival kit you may already have. I would also welcome you to add any tips you may have to the comments section at the bottom of this article.

  1. Water/Water Purifier
  2. Food/tin opener
  3. Emergency blanket/bivy
  4. Shrill Whistle/Survival Whistle
  5. Hand crank AM/FM radio
  6. Emergency blankets/Mylar sleeping bags
  7. Waterproof matches/lighter and firestarter material
  8. Small portable stove with fuel tablets
  9. Candles
  10. Flashlight
  11. First aid kit

Survival Kit Checklist Basics

The first two basicis in any survival kit is water and food. Your Survival kit checklist must include either water or water purifiers and well preserved foods (the sort of thing you can leave in a bag for a number of years and will still be safe to eat). Pre-made survival kits do come with water pouches and good ones will also include water purifiers. This is my personal preferance, to have a water purifier. Food can be just about anything that can be stored for long periods of time and are calorie rich. In my survival kit I have a few tins of tuna as tinned food lasts, doesn't need cooking and meat is a great source of protein and calories. Be sure to remember a tin opener! They are cheap and chances are, you have a few you can spare for a survival kit.

Basic survival kit items on your checklist should include, a shrill whistle (just in case being rescued is part of your survival needs). A great whistle is the 5 in 1 survival whistle that includes a whistle, compass, match holder, mirror and lanyard. The compact nature of this item makes it a brilliant item to include in your survival kit checklist.

A hand crank am/fm radio is a great way to keep updated on any emergency advice being issued, as it needs cranking not batteries. Mylar sleeping bags can be a better option then a foil blanket and will be replacing my foil blankets at the first oppertunity.

A reliable way to start a fire is a must. Waterproof matches are one option to include as well as a waterproof lighter. One problem you can encounter when surviving inn dire conditions is in finding something to catch a flame. One surviveralist who I highly admire suggested using old bicycle tire inners as a great kindling for catching alight. I have not yet tried it myself but the demenstration given was impressive, moisture in wood can make lighting a fire very hard and the rubber seemed to light fast and very little was required. A pre-made survival kit is likely to have fire starter material already but if you are building your own this one tip might be worth considering.

One last thing to consider for your survival kit che cklist is a small stove with protable fuel. I have a small portable stove for camping that spends the rest of the year in my survival kit bag along with 2 bottles of fuel. A large and bulky stove is not worth bothering with, as it will be to heavy and difficult to grab on the run but a small and lightweight stove will allow you to make hot drinks and heat food, all of which could come in handy in cold tempretures.

First Aid Kit for your Survival Kit Checklist

In every survival kit there should be a first aid kit. First aid kits are easy enough to buy for all price ranges so buying one pre-made is the best way to go. The thing to consider with your fist aid kit are those things specific to you and your family.

Does anyone in your family have a condition like diabeties or breathing problems that require an inhaller? Nothing is worse or scarrier then forgetting some vital medicine for your child or other loved one. A first aid kit will come with many first aid supplies but it will not contain insulin injections or inhalers, making sure to have items like this in your survival kit can save lives faster then anything else in your kit. Don't put yourself in a situation where you have to go back into a dangerous situation just to retrieve medicines that should have been in your survival kit or first aid kit.

Do you have a survival kit?

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    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      jpcmc - Great comment! I love some your tips, thanks so much for sharing them here. I have actually heard that honey has a preservative quality so what you say about jams and jellies sounds like very solid advice. I guess part of it comes down to how these food stuffs are prepared :)

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      This is one helpful and useful hub. May I also add that jams and jellies are great food to take as they don't easily spoil and can be a great source of energy. Peanut butter is also good survival food as it's a great source of protein and carbs and can last long as well. Packing food and water for 3 days is also important as rescue usually gets to you by this time. Zip lock bags are also great to keep your items dry. Garbage bags are also useful and can be easily tucked in your kit. Good kindling materials found at home are tissue paper, cotton, lint from your dryer/washer.

    • tritrain profile image

      And Drewson 6 years ago from United States

      Very nice job Kirsten!

      Useful and +!

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      Hi Frog Prince - The joy ride over the edge of the economic cliff sure is hairy joy ride ain't it? I sure do hope that most people never need to be prepared to this level but if the worst happens it would be nice to think someone might have been prepared when they wouldn't have been if not given a little reminder to be :)

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Good advice Kirsten. As we proceed to the edge of the economic cliff, the list might need to be expanded.

      Awesome writing.

      The Frog

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      Stephanie Henkel - It does sound like some sound advice to have important paperwork in or near your survival kit, it sounds like you live someplace that gets a little too exciting :O

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      Golfgal - Glad you enjoyed this enough to link to it from you hub! I want to come back to this one and link a few more good articles here on HP, I am going to have to read yours first so I can work it in to this one too.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      Hi Kirsten, You are right about paperwork being the last thing people think of in case of emergency, though it's definitely good to have if you have to be away from your home for more than a few days. We do keep it in a separate portable file so that we can get at it easily if we need it. In our case, we usually know a day or two ahead if a hurricane might hit our area. It depends on the type of emergency and how much time you have to get out. I think that different parts of the country and/or world would prepare for different types of emergencies, but the basic survival kit you mentioned would be useful for just about anyone.

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      BorneoTattoo - Glad to have got you thinking, I would hate for you (or anyone for that matter) to actually need a good emergency survival kit but if the worst ever happens I sure am glad to know you might be more prepared and able to tough it out now. I felt totally weird when we started making out survival kit bag 3 years ago but with the disasters that have happened in those 3 years, I don't feel so silly now!

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      Stephanie Henkel - I am really glad you enjoyed this and your tip about important paperwork is something to really think about because replacing stuff is a real pain! I do not have my passport and other vital bits of paperwork in our survival kit because we regularly need it for official paperwork and what not (I am a forgin national, so not a citizen of the country I live in, that makes for more paperwork often!). Our bag has sat there ready for a few years now and we don't like the idea of taking it apart every time we need paperwork. Our solution is a separate plastic case we can grab in case of fire. I think our belief is that if we had to be evacuated, say for a flood, paperwork is the last thing anyone is going to insist on for us to survive, paperwork can be replaced (even if it is a pain) but our lives are not and if it is a real disaster its hard to imagine anyone demanding my passport. What we really want to get is a fire safe that is waterproof so that paperwork can survive both fire and floods. Thanks for sharing your tip, I think it will get folks thinking about what they need and that is brilliant, exactly what I hope to do here :D

    • Golfgal profile image

      Golfgal 6 years ago from McKinney, Texas

      Hi Kirsten, I voted you up and useful. I also linked your hub to mine. I wrote a similiar hub a couple weeks ago. I live in Dallas and we get occasional sirens going off for tornadic activity. We have our survival kits in our closet storm shelter area and I hope I never have to use them. peace.

    • BorneoTattoo profile image

      BorneoTattoo 6 years ago

      Great hub! Got me thinking cause we don't have one with all this stuff!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      This is a great hub, Kirsten! Although I'm not always as prepared as I should be, we do put together an evacuation kit during hurricane season when we're in North Carolina. One thing we add to ours that you didn't mention: we keep a portable file of important papers in or very near our kit. This would include insurance policies,passports, medical records and important financial information.

      Voted up and useful!