In almost every outdoor survival handbook there’s a chapter on what you should pack and carry in a survival kit. But what most of these survival handbooks fail to explain is the difference between the basic “must have” necessities and the “nice-to-have” items that can make your survival situation less life threatening, more comfortable, and yes…even enjoyable too.

And whether you’re in the military or not, a hunter, camper, hiker, survivalist, or some other type of outdoor enthusiast, or you frequently beeg travel to remote and off the road places, you need to carry a survival kit. And as Joseph A. Laydon Jr. of Intensive Research Information Services and Products (IRISAP) points out in his books;

A survival kit MUST BE constructed to satisfy the eight elements of survival, which are Fire, Water, Shelter, First Aid, Signal, Food, Weapons, and Navigation. And if a survival kit does not contain the proper items to satisfy ALL (and not part) of these eight elements of survival, then it’s NOT a true survival kit.

Well, after personally reviewing about a dozen or more survival handbooks, these are the basic “must have” necessities they all recommend you serviporno should carry in a survival kit.

What should you carry these items in? Well if you’re in the military you should carry them in an extra ammo pouch on your belt or inside your butt pack or rucksack. And if you’re not in the military, then you’ll probably want to carry them in a small nylon or canvas pouch or rucksack. Unless ya wanna carry’em the same way military aviators carry theirs, in a Survival Vest.

Now there are several types of vests on the market, from military flight and assault vests to safari and traveler vests. But what I don’t like about these vests is the price – they’re too damn expensive. Except one type, a fisherman’s vest. Which I much prefer because they’re less expensive, lighter in weight and come with an assortment of small, medium and large pockets for all your survival goodies.

And when you need something, you can quickly get to it without having to dump everything out. And if you do forget which pocket you put it in, you just have to feel for it. And best of all, this vest can be easily stored under the seat of a car, boat, plane, or snowmobile. Not bad, huh?

And in addition to these “must have” and “nice-to-have” survival items, I personally carry in my survival vest the following “luxury items.”


I’m sure you’ve heard or read stories about lost skiers, hikers, and stranded motorists freezing to death due to prolong exposure to severe cold weather conditions. And or if they did survive their ordeal, they either had to have their fingers, hands, feet or toes amputated due to severe frostbite.

With all these high-speed commercial products on sitio web the market today, especially the easy-to-carry-in-your-pocket kind of stuff, it’s hard to believe why some outdoor “winter enthusiasts” don’t better prepare themselves before venturing out in the cold. I mean… Hello! Don’t ya know it can get pretty darn cold outside?

And whether you’re only going away for a few hours or for the entire day. If you’re gonna be off the main roads, trails and or away from civilization, you should at least carry in your pants or jacket pocket or in a small pouch a few basic “winter survival items. Such as a small signaling mirror. a small compass, a small florescent orange cloth, etc. And if nothing else, at least some matches a candle and a compact pocketsize emergency space blanket. (See photos/drawings on how to use.)

And a modification you should immediately make to a thermal pocket blanket (when you purchase it), is to place some pieces of “duct tape” on the corners and also along the sides. Then take a “hole puncher” and make some nice clean holes where you placed these pieces of tape so it won’t tear when you attach some nylon string (which you’ll also need) to the corners and sides for use as an emergency shelter.

Another modification you should make to it, is to place two (2) 12-15 inch long pieces of duct tape “one-over-the-other” directly in the center of the thermal blanket and repeat this same procedure on the reverse side.

Then if you should ever need to use it as a rain or cold weather poncho. All ya gotta do is remove one layer of duct tape from both sides, take your knife and make a slit down the center of the “second layer” of tape (but not the entire length) and then try it on for size. When you’re finished using it, reattach the two layers of duct tape that you removed to close up this slit/hole so you can use it again as an emergency shelter or blanket.

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