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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, this is my first attempt at trying to upload pictures to this site so we'll see how it goes. Here are some pictures of my current main survival kit, which I call my "B kit" because I have a couple others which I'll probably post later. This kit is still a work in progress. I'm waiting for some items which are in the mail. I'm still assembling a better fishing kit and there are a couple of other issues with this one that I'm still working on. Anyways, your thoughts or questions are welcome.

The kit is sealed in two gallon Ziploc bags which can be used for water storage, or storing anything else. Contents are as follows:

1. REI weatherproof matches. These are the best weatherproof matches I've ever seen. They are big, so only about 12 fit into a standard orange match container. I can fit 20 or so in this plastic bottle and I've glued strikers to the outside and have some extra strikers in the kit
2.Standard Bic lighter which I've sealed in foil. I like sealing things in foil. I've also put a tiny piece of tape underneath the gas button so that it cannot be discharged accidentaly.
3. Golf-sized pencil
4. Fire Steel
5. Dental floss
6. Wrist compass
7. Swiss Army knife
8. Vaseline-soaked cotton balls in a film container
9. Two tea candles (these seem to burn too fast, I need to find my regular survival candles)
10. Length of duct tape
11. Fishing/sewing kit. 4 pre-threaded needles, line hooks, etc. I'm working on a much better kit right now which will fit in a film case and have much more stuff.
12. 25 ft. of snare wire
13. Box cutter blade. I put two of these into my "A Kit" and had this one left over.
14. 5 sheets of write in the rain paper
15. Iodine tabs
16. 2 Ziploc bags
17. 1 clear trash bag
18. Signal mirror
19. Space blanket
20. Whistle
Looks like I labeled "20" twice, the other one is a length of 550 cord.

So I've still got some work to do on this, including adding some medical stuff, but I'd be comfortable taking this into the wilderness.
 

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Like MacGyver, but w/guns
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Not bad. Although, it seems to focus on portability more than practicality.

This kit seems to have fire covered. Water and shelter are only barely covered. The garbage bag and space blanket are great for emergencies and are very portable but they aren't too practical. Ziplok bags do work for water storage but, again, they're not practical. You could also fit in a wire saw to help make firewood.

I hate to recommend adding more size and weight, especially when your kit is already so compact, but I think it would help out the effectiveness. I'd add a canteen+canteen cup and a poncho. These are much more practical for use with water and shelter.
 

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Bill:
This reminds me very much of the type of commercial "survival kit" sold by Eddie Bauer and packaged in a nagene bottle. Except at least with that you have a real water storage and portability capability, at least for how much 1 litre of water can do you, and that is after emptying out the bottle of the tiny contents.

You have said this is kit B, so you may have better coverage than it seems, but all I can do is respond to what you have disclosed at this point.

You have spent time and lucre on finding small cheap items and packaging them together. I think your triple redundancy on fire starter is a great idea, I do the same.

But for the cost of all these samll and very basic gadgets you could have purchased a good compass and a much better Swiss Army knife whiuch are the two things I would have done after buying the fire starter materials.

I am not rich nor am I "Gear Poor" but any one of my kit knives, compasses, rain jackets, or shelters, or pack costs more than your entire kit and when it comes to survival items you really get what you pay for. And it is the qualkity of your gear that will keep you alive, combined with your skills.

I know people who could fill up their belt and their fishing vest with their gear, minimnal but high quality, and with their skills go out into the bush and live in relative comfort for days or longer. The less outdoor skills you have, the more gear you beter carry, up to a point where the weight and bulk of the gear become a detriment to your movements.

I hope you find this helpful. It was meant to be even though parts of it are critical. This isn't a subject where you want a bunch of yes men advising you.

I think you are going to have to devote more space to your portable kit. My Alpha Kit is sitting in a 29 Litre capacity Swissgear backpack and it takes up the entire pack.

You need a pack or supersized briefcase also. Then look at each need you have ( e.g. navigation, fire building, cutting, defense, protection wuth clothing from rain wind and chill, shelter for an external layer of protection from the elements, and buy quality items of adequate size and strength to keep you alive when things have really gone south.

I have to say I wouldn't want to bet my life on anything presentlky in your kit, except for the fire starters - maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
"My Alpha Kit is sitting in a 29 Litre capacity Swissgear backpack and it takes up the entire pack." How much does that weigh?

Mike I think we use our survival kits differently. This is the type of kit I was taught to make, one that is small, lightweight, and easy to carry. This kit will go with me when I fly, hike, backpack, or hunt. I've got to say that I find a survival kit that takes up an entire backpack completely ridiculous. That isn't a survival kit in my book. A survival kit to me is something that you have on you at all times. It goes with you on a ten day fly out Elk hunt. It goes with you when you go skiing in the backcountry. It goes INTO a pack, it isn't the pack itself.

My kit isn't stand alone. The clothing I wear is part of it. The other things that I bring in my hunting pack are part of it. As for the knife and compass. One compass is in the mail. Another, is the one I carry with me when I go out into the woods, the survival kit compass is a back up. As is the knife. I threw that knife into the kit because it was free. That knife does not come out of the kit unless there is an emergency, so I didn't want to lose a more expensive knife to the kit. I've had a Swiss Army knife like this one before, the blade is as good as most Swiss Army knives, it is not poor quality.

I think the concept of a survival kit that I have is totally different than the bug out bag mentality I've seen on this site. This kit is not made for when the apocalypse blows my clothes off and I have to grab my bug out bag which has everything including spare firing pins for my Glock.

I do like the idea of the poncho and canteen cup. In an older kit I had an emergency poncho which doubled as a good signalling device because it was blaze orange. I recently did some cooking with a canteen cup and it worked out well. I may pick an extra up the next time I'm on a post. I appreciate the feedback, but I think my concept of a survival kit is fundamentally different. It is not supposed to keep a naked man alive for the rest of his life. It is for emergencies. My kit is tailored to my skills and my environment and isn't completely stand alone. It is a backup to what I'll already have in a given scenario. My idea of a SHTF scenario involves a boat sinking or a plane crash, not the world comeing to an end when I'm in my house where I can grab a bug out bag.

By the way, my "A kit" is the size of an Altoids tin, the "B kit" is gigantic by comparison. Like I said, my concept involves always having a survival kit at all times, pretty hard to do that when you have a kit that weighs pounds, not ounces. And the items in my kit are not cheap as in low quality. I have a $2 space blanket because the $14 heat sheet won't fit.
 

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BlasphemousBill, with the following comment I'm working on the assumption you've put this kit together yourself, tailored to your needs and experience level.

Kudos to you for putting it together, Thankyou for sharing.

Once you have the full kit assembled hows about putting it through its paces for a day and letting us know how it worked or didn't?
 

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I agree, Bill, on the difference between a survival kit (my equivalent is my every day carry gear) and a BOB. I would, if you can find space, recommend a collapsible water storage device like a Nalgene canteen bag.

It's a relatively small item that can add a heck of a lot of additional water storage if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'll definetly agree with the water storage. Where I grew up water was just not an issue. You could always get water, even fairly safe freshwater was so easy I didn't bother with purification. So I probably haven't considered water storage as much as I should. Where I'm currently living it is a bigger issue, so I always have a bottle, but probably need something in the kit as well.

I do have one of those marker-sized tubes of 100% deet and I've been debating putting that in. A great thing about 100% is that it is a good firestarter as well. I've got a number of items that I'm on the fence about including a wire saw. The problem is that I can always put one more thing in. At a certain point I've got to draw the line because of weight and space issues. It's a constant battle as I add and subtract different items.

Smudge, most of these items I have practiced with or used before. Except the fishing kit. So I definetly need to test that out at some time. I've built snares and traps before, but I can't really test them where I live due to the various hunting and trapping laws.

I'll say that the Vaseline soaked cotton balls are the best firestarted I've ever used. That's why I devoted so much space to them in this kit. One spark from my firesteel gets them going like a candle. In a real survival situation I'd just take a small piece to start a fire with.

Space blankets are ok, but they fall apart after a time, this one is brand new. I've ripped one into pieces for a signal before.
 

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Looks like a good start on a PSK. Should be plenty to augment what you EDC.
Is the SAK just a blade, or does it have a saw, too?? I'd suggest getting an SAK with a saw blade and forget the wire saw, I've never had any good experiences with the wire saws.
The utility knife blades are often mentioned, but hard to actually use in the field since they have no handle. You can make a handle out of wood in the field, but what do you make it with, and how to attach the blade to the handle are problematic. I'd lose them and just go with the SAK, especially since it's a backup itself.
The tea candles are nice, but you may want to try the "trick" birthday candles that don't go out when you try to blow them out. They're smaller than tea candles and keep burning in wind and weather.
The space blanket is ok, but you can get better ones that are smaller and lighter. For the size of the coghlan's blanket you can get a regular space camp blanket that will be more durable.
An alternative to size/weight of US GI canteen, cup, stove, etc. is to get a GSI stainless steel cup that fits on the bottom of a lexan water bottle, light and handy to carry and makes a fine cooking pot in a pinch.
A GI poncho is heavy, but very durable. Lighter and bigger ones are available, at Campmor and REI and other such stores, that are made of nylon and much more durable than they vinyl ones, but a little heavier, too. Make good shelters as well as rain gear.
Good job so far. Hope you don't mind the input. Let us know how it goes after you spend a weekend in the bush using the kit.
 

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"My Alpha Kit is sitting in a 29 Litre capacity Swissgear backpack and it takes up the entire pack." How much does that weigh?

Mike I think we use our survival kits differently. This is the type of kit I was taught to make, one that is small, lightweight, and easy to carry. This kit will go with me when I fly, hike, backpack, or hunt. I've got to say that I find a survival kit that takes up an entire backpack completely ridiculous. That isn't a survival kit in my book. A survival kit to me is something that you have on you at all times. It goes with you on a ten day fly out Elk hunt. It goes with you when you go skiing in the backcountry. It goes INTO a pack, it isn't the pack itself.

My kit isn't stand alone. The clothing I wear is part of it. The other things that I bring in my hunting pack are part of it. As for the knife and compass. One compass is in the mail. Another, is the one I carry with me when I go out into the woods, the survival kit compass is a back up. As is the knife. I threw that knife into the kit because it was free. That knife does not come out of the kit unless there is an emergency, so I didn't want to lose a more expensive knife to the kit. I've had a Swiss Army knife like this one before, the blade is as good as most Swiss Army knives, it is not poor quality.

I think the concept of a survival kit that I have is totally different than the bug out bag mentality I've seen on this site. This kit is not made for when the apocalypse blows my clothes off and I have to grab my bug out bag which has everything including spare firing pins for my Glock.

I do like the idea of the poncho and canteen cup. In an older kit I had an emergency poncho which doubled as a good signalling device because it was blaze orange. I recently did some cooking with a canteen cup and it worked out well. I may pick an extra up the next time I'm on a post. I appreciate the feedback, but I think my concept of a survival kit is fundamentally different. It is not supposed to keep a naked man alive for the rest of his life. It is for emergencies. My kit is tailored to my skills and my environment and isn't completely stand alone. It is a backup to what I'll already have in a given scenario. My idea of a SHTF scenario involves a boat sinking or a plane crash, not the world comeing to an end when I'm in my house where I can grab a bug out bag.

By the way, my "A kit" is the size of an Altoids tin, the "B kit" is gigantic by comparison. Like I said, my concept involves always having a survival kit at all times, pretty hard to do that when you have a kit that weighs pounds, not ounces. And the items in my kit are not cheap as in low quality. I have a $2 space blanket because the $14 heat sheet won't fit.
Took the words right out of my mouth. My survival kits work the same way. When I'm hiking/backpacking I have an altoid tin kit in my knife sheath which I've added a piece of leather and some strips of sandpaper to, to sharpen my Fallkniven A1. This stays on my belt at all times as well as a 40oz kleen kanteen. I then have a kit about the size of your B kit in my backpack. This kit complements the contents of my backpack. In my backpack I then have my camping gear which I don't consider a survival kit, but is much more complete then most. All this together makes for a vey complete bug out kit minus the guns. I live in Canada so it would truly have to be an end of the world type scenario for me to throw in my smith and wesson M&P 45. That stays triple locked in my safe during peace time (other then when I take it to the range of course).
 

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I would take what you have and incorporate it into making a larger kit. What I suggest along with your stuff would fit into the Remington hunting fanny pack from wal-mart.

1. small first aid kit with tweezers, med. tape, galls, and usual stuff.
2. poncho
3. Ration bar, like Mainstay 3-400 calorie block package.
4. small magnifying glass-another fire making device.
5. wetfire fuel tablets-save for a rainy day.
6. Coghlan's emergency tube tent

If you have room left over it would be best to use it for some more water purification tablets and ration bars. Also it would be good to get the swiss army volcano stove. You can just tie it off onto the fannypack belt. That can give you a means of boiling and storing water. You can survive 3 weeks without food but shelter and staying hydrated is crucial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I do have to reiterate one point though: There is always one more thing you can put in a survival kit. Unfortunately I won't be able to include some of the great suggestions I've been given here. Everyone places a different value on every item in their survival kit. A couple of years ago I could have done without a flint stick, but I had to have matches, now it's the other way around. Some people just have different opinions and that is fine.

I really like the small LED idea. I usually don't carry anything battery powered in my main kit (I sometimes carry a strobe with spare batteries though). When I was in Iraq, I wore an LED light on a buttonhole and thanks to your reccomendation Rover, I now remember how useful it was and how long it lasted.

Having slept under a poncho more than a few nights I know how useful they are. I've even made one into a hammock and slept in it a few nights. They are useful for all sorts of shelters including snow trenches. Unfortunately, military ponchos are just too big. At their most compact, they will barely fit into an LCE 3 magazine pouch, which is almost the size of my survival kit. I'll probably rely more on natural shelters in a survival situation depending on what I'm carrying. In fact I sometimes bring a poncho with me when I backpack. I'll update this post as my kit develops. I just got a survival/medical kit off of steepandcheap.com for 55% off, so I now have some better medical stuff as well as a better compass that I don't mind sacrificing for the kit.
 

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Nice kit! I especially like the case.

I'll add my support for the trick candles and the led light, but I have one question: Why include dental floss? If the paracord is the real stuff, it contains fine strands of cord suitable for lashing, fishing, snaring...even flossing :))

I'm glad to see you're adding a small medical kit, as a medical emergency is the most important consideration. You can live without water for days, food for weeks...blood, not so long.

I recently put together a small kit to be carried daily. I spent a long while looking for the right container when I discovered that Klean Kanteen made a wide-mouth version. It's uncoated stainless steel and waterproof. The only downside is that it's a bit bulky (a little bigger than a coke can) But I figure the ability to boil water/cook food is worth the extra bulk, and it's certainly not too big to prevent me from carrying it wherever I go. It may be a viable alternative to your case (as nice as your case is :))

Here's a link to my blog entries on my kit, in case you're kind enough to point out improvements I could make.
 

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Hey everyone, this is my first attempt at trying to upload pictures to this site so we'll see how it goes. Here are some pictures of my current main survival kit, which I call my "B kit" because I have a couple others which I'll probably post later. This kit is still a work in progress. I'm waiting for some items which are in the mail. I'm still assembling a better fishing kit and there are a couple of other issues with this one that I'm still working on. Anyways, your thoughts or questions are welcome.

The kit is sealed in two gallon Ziploc bags which can be used for water storage, or storing anything else. Contents are as follows:

1. REI weatherproof matches. These are the best weatherproof matches I've ever seen. They are big, so only about 12 fit into a standard orange match container. I can fit 20 or so in this plastic bottle and I've glued strikers to the outside and have some extra strikers in the kit
2.Standard Bic lighter which I've sealed in foil. I like sealing things in foil. I've also put a tiny piece of tape underneath the gas button so that it cannot be discharged accidentaly.
3. Golf-sized pencil
4. Fire Steel
5. Dental floss
6. Wrist compass
7. Swiss Army knife
8. Vaseline-soaked cotton balls in a film container
9. Two tea candles (these seem to burn too fast, I need to find my regular survival candles)
10. Length of duct tape
11. Fishing/sewing kit. 4 pre-threaded needles, line hooks, etc. I'm working on a much better kit right now which will fit in a film case and have much more stuff.
12. 25 ft. of snare wire
13. Box cutter blade. I put two of these into my "A Kit" and had this one left over.
14. 5 sheets of write in the rain paper
15. Iodine tabs
16. 2 Ziploc bags
17. 1 clear trash bag
18. Signal mirror
19. Space blanket
20. Whistle
Looks like I labeled "20" twice, the other one is a length of 550 cord.

So I've still got some work to do on this, including adding some medical stuff, but I'd be comfortable taking this into the wilderness.
Golf-sized pencil??

Where do you get write in the rain paper?

I think it sounds like a pretty good emergency kit. What about food items and a straw-type water filter?

What does anyone think of yo-yo fishing reels, where you just leave them to do other chores and the fish get hooked in their own time? I would have one of those in my emergency survival kit, if they actually work, since they don't weigh much or take much room, but I've never used one.
 

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congrats on the excellent pics

You get bonus points for the #'s in your pic.

And +1 on the LED, water storage, & DEET. And don't worry about not having everything, because you can't carry everything. We (ok, I) get carried away sometimes and as the pack grows, it becomes more and more likely to be left at home. And the cats wouldn't be able to use it anyway...
 
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