Monday, March 27

Survival kits: what do you need to assemble one

There are not a few of us who have sometimes wondered How would we act before “the End of the World” or some kind of event that radically changed our day to day. And it’s not that it’s anything strange: both fiction –with genres such as zombies– and documentary production –how many of us remember The last survivor?- sometimes they help us to imagine ourselves in these situations.

Although one does not know what the future will hold, the reality is that we can prepare for a situation of dire need. The so-called “survival kits” can be a great help at certain times. These usually consist of a package, backpack or bag where we keep certain utensils that, if required, can make it much easier for us to perform certain tasks or last a few days if necessary.

Far from being an alarmist measure, having a survival kit or a small pantry where we can find some things of basic necessity -canned food, first aid kit, etc.- is a way to ensure that in a situation of need, we have a place to go. In addition, it can be a good exercise to calm down.

Survival kit: the minimum necessary

In an emergency, emergency kits basic supplies (as the United States Government calls them) or survival kits can ease the days after. Now, what do we need in a survival kit?

According the recommendations of the Government of the United Statesa basic supply kit must contain:

  • Water
  • non-perishable food (rice, legumes)
  • battery powered radio
  • a flashlight
  • a medicine cabinet
  • a whistle
  • masks
  • wet wipes
  • keys
  • can opener
  • a Mobile phone
  • area maps

If we want to assemble ourselves a survival kit, we must reflect on what we might need in the first 72 hours. Regarding this time, we must bear in mind that during those first days we may require things such as: water, easy-to-cook foods (or foods that do not require cooking, such as cans)… Of course, if we want to create our own kit what exactly do we need?

In ConsumptionClaro we have consulted SAS survival manual, a play written by John Lofty Wiseman, a former British SAS soldier. In this guide, the ex-soldier explains what is the minimum necessary to be able to survive in any situation. Based on this work, we have drawn up the following list:

1. Water purification tablets.

In the event of a blackout, a supply problem or a meteorological phenomenon, obtaining water may become a problem. That is why it is a very good idea to have water purification tablets.

It is a compound that, for each one, is capable of making a liter of drinking water. They cost around 10 euros and are very easy to store. This allows us to save space and have water for several weeks if we run out of reserves.

2. Signage.

What if the disaster forces us to leave the house? So it is a very good idea to have acquired some key pieces that help us both to locate ourselves and to be located.

The essential is the compass. A tool that will facilitate orientation and is easy to use. You can find each other really small models that can be stored virtually anywhere.

In addition to the compass, it is a good idea to have a whistle –although it is better to have two, in case we are more than one person–, which can be essential in order not to lose our companion. They can also be included: a mirror to reflect lights and a chemical light, to signal the path or some area.

3. Fire.

Fire is an essential element to survive in an extreme situation. Not only does it provide heat, but it can be used to cook or illuminate a space. Therefore, making fire is essential.

For this we can make with a flint or tinder to make a fire easy. It is also a good idea to have matches and candles on top that can give us a little more versatility, since, if what we want is to illuminate an area, the flint may be less useful.

To create a bonfire or a small fire to cook or warm up, it is advisable to keep cotton, since it is a very flammable material and can be a great help to create a flame. It may also be a good idea to find a small stove.

4. Storage.

One of the big problems can be storing and transporting, for example, water. To solve this problem there are two options.

The first, and cheapest, is the condom. Although they have another function, the latex of condoms is really resistant and has a capacity for 1 liter of water. In addition, it is a good place to purify water.

The second is a canteen. If we are going to get one, we recommend Lixada’s canteen: Not only does it have a 1 liter capacity, but this pack includes a 600 mL cup and a stove. This can be essential for cooking or heating certain foods.

5. Sewing and fishing.

Another essential part of any survival kit is having needles and threads on the one hand, and hooks and fishing lines on the other. The needles and threads can help us to suture wounds or to fix some tears in the clothes; while the hooks and the line will allow us to fish.

6. Medicine cabinet.

A first aid kit is mandatory in any survival kit. This must be composed, at a minimum, of: sedative, gauzes, analgesics, butterfly sutures, surgical blade, potassium permanganate (used to sterilize water) and antihistamines. Here we have an example.

7. Flexible saw.

This tool is a normal saw that can be folded and stored, very useful and easy to use “even to cut trees” and get firewood. You can see this VORCOOL example.

All of the above are good to have on hand and stored in a backpack so it’s easy to pull out in an emergency.

One more step to survive

With the above we will have a basic survival kit that will allow us to endure for several days and even make our water drinkable and get food. Now, if we believe that the above falls short, there are other tools that can be really useful:

Thermal blankets.

One of the great problems of survival is fleeing from the cold and the heat. That is why thermal blankets are a very necessary good: they are shiny blankets Normally built in insulating polyester that avoid sudden changes in temperature. Ideal for sleeping outdoors at night.

Insulating tape.

Another tool that is simply good to have with you, since its usefulness is almost infinite. From immobilizing a joint, to joining elements or covering tears in clothing.

Military knife or shovel.

A shovel can be a basic and useful tool both in situations where we have to defend ourselves and where we need to remove or dig. Military shovels are attractive because they are multifunctional: they can function as a saw, axe, shovel, pickaxe… To see an example, they can go to this one from Oziral.

The knife is another essential item. Whether it is a large knife to be able to cut anything or a multipurpose knife that, in addition to the edge, has a screwdriver, pliers, etc.


Another great addition to our kit: a flashlight allows us to have much more efficient and powerful lighting than any fire. For example this.

Once we have covered all these points, is there anything else we can add to our survival kit? The reality is that yes, although this is already to everyone’s taste.

In addition, in ConsumptionClaro we recommend that, if you plan to create your own kit, you think about adding:

  • Infusions and soluble coffee. It may seem like a small thing, but it is an element that can boost morale and “be a treat” pleasant.
  • Food. The ideal is to store dehydrated food, chocolate, salt, sugar, powdered milk and canned foods. This will allow us to have a little more margin.
  • Paper and pencil. Not only can it help us abstract and relax in times of stress, but it can also help us remember certain things.
  • Books and small board games. Especially for those of us who have little ones at home, even if they take up space, they can be a relief for moments of tension.

Assembled Survival Kits

Although it is best to make our own survival kit, there are some that are sold already assembled. This can be a quick solution for those who do not want to spend time creating one, but as they are packs we will not be able to adapt them to our needs:


By 29 euros, the Limitless is a “small” but “complete” “survival kit” on the market. It is a kit that includes several dozen tools: a red LED, two mini chemical lights, a whistle, 2 meters of paracord, steel wire, copper wire, pencil and paper, and much more.

Au River Kit

By €43.95, the AuRiver kit is one of the users’ favourites. It is a team with 24 functionalities, including a multipurpose pliers, a knife and a flexible saw. In addition, it includes a small first aid kit.

Adventure Medical Kits

By €36.88, the Adventure Medical Kits pack is an option that, being really small, has a not inconsiderable amount of tools. It has a knife, LED light, a survival guide, hooks, line, compass, wire, thread, etc.

In addition, it is waterproof.

*ConsumoClaro’s team of journalists and experts rigorously and independently recommends products and services for our readers. Every time you buy through some links added to this text, receives a commission.

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