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Your personal survival kit

Now you have bought the most critical tool you need for your basic survival, your knife, you need to add some items to it. Remember that every item you add to your kit should improve your chances of survival or at the very least improve your living standard.

The items we are looking at here are for improving your chances of survival and should be carried with you at all times. This is likely to be impractical as having knives on you is an offence in the UK. The best you may manage is in your car or in a backpack where you will argue that it is wrapped up and not easily at hand that it is for emergency use only although that may not help. Decide now if you are going to play safe and prepare for yourself or play safe and rely on your government.

OK then. You should keep your kit as small as possible only putting in items that are critical and preferably multi purpose. The more uses the better. Here is what I suggest for your personal survival kit.

  • The knife or knives you selected in yesterdays article. Wrap largest knife in plastic bag and attach to outside of kit with smaller knives inside.
  • Knife sharpener – Attach to outside of kit.
  • Flint or magnesium fire starter – For starting fires. Attach to outside of kit.
  • Waterproof anywhere strike matches (box) – For emergency use when you need them. Attach to outside of kit.
  • Compass on lanyard – For keeping you heading in right direction. Attach to outside of kit.
  • Whistle – Plastic. For attracting attention. Attach to compass lanyard.
  • Torch
  • First aid kit attached to outside of kit – Containing;
    • Disinfectant (Small bottle)
    • Cotton wool (Can also be used as Tinder)
    • Elastoplasts (12)
    • Bandages 2inch rolls (2)
    • Aspirin (6)
    • Ibuprofen (6)
    • Anti diarrhea sachets (10)
    • Vaseline (Small tub)
    • Tweezers
  • Parachute cord 20ft – For tying branches together to make a shelter.
  • Small Cooker – For portable warm meals and instant use instead of building a fire. Uses fuel tablets or twigs.
  • Fuel tablets for cooker (box) – Instant emergency use instead of twigs and things.
  • Safety pins (box) – For holding things together. Clothes, paracord, branches.
  • Energy bars (6) – For quick food.
  • Condoms (12) – Waterproof storage. Wrap matches in these. Can also be used as water carrier.
  • Water purification tablets (box) or straw – Pref both for sterilising water.
  • Gardening type gloves – For protecting hands while travelling through woods or working.
  • Thick socks – Replacement if feet get wet, double up in cold or as gloves.
  • Poncho – To keep you dry in rain. Covering for sleeping, covering for ground.
  • Space blanket – For keeping you warmer in your shelter.
  • Brass wire – For snares or tying things together.
  • Aluminium foil. Heavy duty 2sq feet – Waterproof wrapping, used to cook in.
  • Duct tape (small roll) – Used for holding things together, secure trouser bottoms, waterproofing containers.
  • Pocket survival book, or cards, with first aid section – Knowledge.
  • Notepad and Pencil.
  • Metal tin – To keep the kit together, use as a water container, pan for cooking, etc.
  • Large bin bag with handles – Use to store kit in until required. Used to carry things.

All this should cost you less than what you spent on your knives.

Bear in mind this is intended to get you home or give you the time to set up a shelter where you are. Every person with you should have the same items in their kit. It is what we need for survival although our ancestors survived for thousands of year without such kit. You should use it to get on your feet and adapt. Experts, like Ray Mears who have already adapted, get by with just a big knife and knowledge. We need a litle help.

20 comments to Your personal survival kit

  • Skvez

    Every-day carry is stuff you can carry on your belt or in your pockets or handbag. If you go to the restroom in work or down to the corner shop every-day carry is what you have with you when you do this. The kit you describe is great but it’s a small bag in its own rite, too big for every-day carry, it’s probably better considered as a ‘keep in your desk drawer / work locker GOOD bag’.

    For every day carry I strongly suggest a folding legal penknife or multi-tool. A fixed knife is better in a survival situation but if you have to leave it somewhere you aren’t; you may get stuck in a situation where you don’t have it and can’t get to it. A small knife is better than no knife.

  • Skean Dhude


    Agreed but as the primary tool is a knife and we cannot carry one legally here then I opted for the next size up. I’ll comment about personal carry in another post.

    I agree about a legal knife but remember plod still push for a caution which I will comment about also.

  • Justin

    I think you can carry most of it every day. I ride a motorbike so have to carry less than I can in a car and still carry:

    Main bag (actually a rafting dry sack / ruck sack)

    Full waterproofs (all in one)
    Cold weather clothing (thick gloves x 2, jacket and trousers)
    Warm weather clothing (thin gloves x 2, trousers, t-shirt)
    Small (size-wise only, masses in it) first aid kit
    Various bike stuff (spark plug, tools, etc)

    Work bag in no particular order (shoulder bag)

    30ft paracord
    Foil blanket
    Iodine tincture
    Plastic playing cards
    4gb USB drive (documents)
    Emergency £20 in a stash capsule
    Micro stash petrol lighter
    Small 1 LED torch
    Micro pen
    Gerber folder
    1g loctite glue
    Writing material
    4no pens (various colours and types)
    Gerber Multi-tool (big one)
    Permanent marker
    Street map (A5)
    Spare glasses
    LED 55 lumen torch
    Protimeter (for work so not essential…)
    Tape measure (as above)
    Lock pick set (as above but useful)
    5no shoe covers (as above)
    Work phone (as above)
    6oz 50% whisky (good for wounds and drinking if necessary)
    Pack of Pro Plus
    BCB Combat survival kit (compass, candle, flint/striker, mini knife, matches, pencil, sewing kit, wire saw, whistle, snare wire, puritabs, safety pins, fishing kit, all in a tin with taped seams)

    I also carry cash / cash cards and my personal phone but they go everywhere anyway. There used to be food but I ate it the other day as I couldn’t be bothered going to a shop…

    Do I think it’s heavy? Probably heavier than necessary but manageable (both carried miles by bike and foot easily). The writing pad is actually one of the heaver items and this gets removed if I’m using the bag outside of work. Also means I have a big pocket I can use more of.

    Does my wife think I’m slightly nuts? Definitely, but she does anyway.

    My actual BOB is a 65L rucksack and they combine to provide a more rounded kit for the family. I have another rucksack for various non-essentials but handy items and a first aid ‘pack’ that bulks up the personal one.

    Ok, now I tend to agree with my wife…

  • moosedog

    My personal opinion is that Skvez is correct. Anything that doesn’t fit on my patrol belt is too much for every day carry. However, what works for me won’t work for everyone and the great thing is that people are working out what they are comfortable with, for their own circumstances.

    I carry (on the belt) a WebTex survival kit, matches, foil blanket, water purification tablets, monocular and a Victorinox Farmer knife (which includes a wood saw). Small, light, basic, just enough to get me home to either bug in or get my backpack for bugging out. The belt is easily concealed under a jacket or loose shirt, can be worn driving, or riding a bike, and can be worn lower to accommodate the waist belt on my backpack. In a survival situation more equipment can be added to the belt as required.

    I have never been stopped and searched by plod and I doubt if I ever would be in normal circumstances. If I was searched I don’t think the 2.5″ blade of the Victorinox would be an issue, especially as it’s not something I would ever use in a confrontation. If plod did decide to be awkward I wouldn’t lose much sleep over it anyway.

  • Skean Dhude


    I think the army use less than that on an invasion.


    You just need to be careful. Just don’t accept a caution.

  • Justin

    Lol, you may be right SD but I use everything on the list bar 5 items (the BCB tin being one) at least once or twice a month. Quite a few are used daily. It actually packs up quite small. Half the space taken up by the very necessary (esp in this weather) bike stuff in the ruck sack (30L by OverBoard). The shoulder bag (Troop TRP0115) is smaller than the list makes it look. The ‘big’ LED torch is under 130mm…

  • Skean Dhude


    This illustrates my point. What you carry around daily is used for your work or your transport to work. It is not a survival toolkit at all. Only the BCB tin qualifies for that.

    Others in your situation will have the same tools, some will have more and some less but it is not there for emergencies, well, work emergencies but not for survival.

  • Justin

    Yes and no. I carry the shoulder bag everywhere, even when not working. It is more my EDC so to speak due to this. A lot of it is used outside of work.

  • Stine

    OK I’m female and I have been bitten by the survival bug. I need to confess to what I have in my handbag! My husband thinks that the BOB at home is bad enough and if he found out what I’m carrying every day then he’d send me away for sure!
    FFP3 face mask (folds flat)
    1st aid kit with usual dressings, wipes and tablets (asprin, dioralyte, diarrhoea relief & ibuprofen). Also a condom, water purification tablets, iodine tablets, sissors, tweezers, insect spray, eye wash, dental floss, allergy relief (Loratadine), salt, foil blanket, safety pins, sewing kit.
    I carry a separate tub with paracetamol, Calpol (for my LO), cocodamol and migraleave.
    Then I’ve got a separate container from Kath Kidston (with pretty rose design) which disguises my survivalist secrets! This basically contains my own equivalent to a BCB tin. This includes a small multi-tool, small flint/striker, cotton wool, mini toothpaste and travel toothbrush, tealight candle, mobile phone portable battery charger with battery, disposable lighter, wire saw, snare wire, fishing kit.
    A survival straw is also tucked away with some female items.
    I also carry an umbrella, sunglasses, tissues, anti bac wipes, diary with pencil, leather gloves and my purse. There’s also some multi wash in there somewhere too!!
    Then attached to my keys I have a mini LED torch and whistle.
    The whole thing weighs just under 3 kg.
    I am trying to get the weight down but I don’t want to part with anything, any ideas would be great.

  • Skean Dhude



    All that in your handbag. It should double as an offensive weapon as well.

    What is an LO? (Calpol use)

    Looking at what you have I would say it was impressive and don’t see how you could make it lighter without removing something.

  • Stine

    Hi Skean, thanks for the welcome. You mean to fling the hangbag at someone?
    LO is Little One, I usually post on Mumsnet! haha. It’s fun to work out what the initials mean, like BOB etc, I usually look them up on another website!
    I’ve just done some adjustments actually and moved some stuff from my handbag to the bag in the boot of the car. I mean I’ve got to think about what I really need on my person in an emergency and I figure I can get to my car/work/house for other things if necessary. I’ve got rid of the multi-wash, the flint/striker, mobile phone portable battery charger with battery, wire saw, snare wire, fishing kit. If I’m stuck in a building the lighter will suffice. Don’t think I need the flint/striker until I need to prepare food. The mobile charger can go in the car but did you know about the hidden battery power on mobile phones?

  • Skean Dhude


    You are welcome.

    I meant swinging it around on to someones head. That would hurt.

    Little One Ah. Thanks I try and mark mine but sometimes you forget.

    I keep most of my stuff in the car. I’m usually not that far away and you can keep a lot more. Not as handy but that is the way with compromise.

  • Stine

    Yes, I suppose a heavy handbag could do a lot of damage. You guys should forget about carrying knives and risking trouble with plod – carry a handbag instead ;-D

    I do have a car pack but most of the stuff in there, one can get away with having without raising suspicion – most sensible people have a shovel, tools and rain clothes, possibly even spare change of clothes in their car. However if people saw what’s in my handbag they would think me a little strange. I don’t mind though as long as I know I’m prepared if (or when) the SHTF.

    Do you know about the hidden battery power on mobile phones?

    Other question – have you covered anything about food storage on this site? I am having trouble finding a solution to food rotation. In US you can get something called a Cansolodator which is a shelving unit which stores cans of food and ensures you use the oldest first and rotate your supplies. I wondered if anyone had a UK solution other than make your own?

  • Skean Dhude


    Someof us do but I’m not one of those.

    All you need to do is bury the goods in a bag and they are well hidden.

    OK then. What hidden power is in the phones?

    I’ve looked at food storage. As we don’t have the same kit as the US we have to do it manually. I put mine in trays and number them. Moving the trays manually around when required so I am using the oldest stuff first. It is cheaper although bothersome. It does allow you to check the stock though although I have damaged things moving them around.

  • Stine

    Apparently all mobiles have some extra battery which can be called upon when your battery has gone flat. I’ve not tried it so I don’t know how accurate this is but you’re supposed to dial *3370# I don’t know whether it’s some internet hoax/myth though.

    Regarding the food storage – I’m looking at shelving out a tall cupboard in our kitchen using shelves at angle so the cans will roll to the front but I’ll need to arrange for a carpenter to do it. I was looking for a way to use shelves I could buy from Kleeneeze or JML or something, like your tray idea. That might work in my cupboard but I’d need some way of stacking them to maximise on the space too.

  • Skean Dhude


    Not heard that about the phone before. I’ll post in the forum and see if anyone else has heard of that?

    You should be able to put put sheets on the shelves with a scrap piece of wood attached at the back to raise it and one attached at the front to stop the tins rolling over the edge. Imagine an N shape with a very long middle bar. If you do that you can always remove the false shelf if needed.

    My method involves filling the shelves as normal and storing new stock elsewhere. Then when I add one I write the next number on it and remove the one with the lowest number putting its contents on the shelves. Simple and cheap.

    Kleeneeze and JML do sell some handy units but in this case you want it as simple and as cheap as possible.

  • Stine

    Ah yes, I really should have checked it myself before I continued the myth! I think I’d better re-pack my mobile phone portable charger then!

    Thanks for the tip for the shelves, I can see that working and/or being able to do it ourselves. I’d still need more shelves in the cupboard as well because there’s such a gap between the existing shelves. Food for thought, thanks.

  • Stine

    Also I will visit the forum and chat some there. I didn’t see that at first being new and still finding my way round and all that…

  • Skean Dhude


    The forum is new. It has only been up a week now.

    Glad you found the tip useful.

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