You can find a shitload of tactical and civilian survival kits on the market. They come in various forms, ranging from tins to plastic bags or bottles filled with whistles, tape, fishhooks, firestarters and other more or less “useful” pieces of kit.
Learning more and more about the Military/SERE Approach to Survival I reviewed some of the kit and realized that i will never be lost in the woods, sitting in place and collecting herbs or fishing to survive for a long period. Survival is about movement. To be able to move over a prolongued period you Need the following basics.
Protection: Something to sleep under and protect your body from the elements.
Water: You need to drink. Thats it.
Light: The ability to start a fire.
Food: You dont need as much food as you need to drink. But youll need it.
The baseline would for any kit would be: Iodine tablets, a rescue blanket, a lighter, and some food. To be honest. This would keep you alive longer than some professional kits on the market. But survival is always about dependancies. So if you lose something, or something will fail you you need an alternate way to for example start a fire.
So lets start on my list with fire. A lighter is always the easiest way to start a fire but a regular friction based lighter will become hard to operate in the winter (your Hands will hurt) what you need is an additional electrical lighter. In case the electrical lighter fails i added a genuine magnesium fire starter. Fire Starters are a great last resort tool, but using a lighter is more convenient over the time.
You can find natural tinder everywhere, but sometimes you dont have the time or energy to collect it. So I added five tampax pads as a quick tinder. I also found dental cord as a great tinder and its also an excellent last Resort tool to tie or sew things together. So sometimes its About interdependancies. I also carry three candles and an esbit stove in my kit for absolute emergencies.
Water is a big thing. My baseline for water purification are always iodine tablets. I prefilter my water with anything I wear on my body and then throw a tablet in it. Normally you keep a bottle for a survival situations. If this fails or I lose the bottle I added a small ortlieb packsack into my kit. For situations were I simply dont have the time to use the tablets I always carry a Lifestraw in my kit.
Protection from the elements is important. You always have to remember that in a SERE or Survival Situation you propably lost or ditched your backpack. So you need rainclothing and a tarp. The best way to do are two rescue blankets.
With a simple cut you can wear the blanket as a rain Poncho that doubles as a sleeping bag. You create a tarp by using the second blanket, reinforce the edges with duct tape and then fix it with the 10 metres of cord I carry in my kit. The blankets also double as a signalling Panel. I also included nails and wire in the kit, to fix the blanket to trees etc.
Food. Food is among the first things people think about when you mention Survival. But you really dont need that much food. I found Peronine to be a great option for emergency food, it packs so flat that you can carry it in your Survival kit. You can eat it Cold or even dry.
Last but not least i carry a swiss pocket knive, a wiresaw, a plastic whistle, a small compass and a sewing set in my survival kit.
The next thing is storage. i think a good storage solution would be multiuse. I first thought about a tin as you can cook water in it. But i decided for a cheap outdoor tablet sleeve with zipper. I added some paracord to the sides so you can carry i as a hip- or shoulder bag. The hip bag is especially useful in in cinching down your selfmafe Poncho or even concealing your survival kit unser civilian clothing. Also you get additional 5 metres of paracord.
I know that survival is an individual thing and everyone has a different Approach. But there are biological and physical baselines that count for everyone. It’s up to you if you give my idea a chance.