Technology is great … until it isn’t. Can it be used to show you how to build a mini-survival kit? My first instinct is to answer no, but I’m probably wrong. Maybe there is a deep seeded resentment or prejudice on my part towards technology because I’m old and not able to understand it. Do I feel a flush of ignorance when I watch my grandchildren do things with computers, smart phones or whatever, that I can’t even grasp the theory behind the function much alone the implementation… Yes.
But then I stop and consider … I’m a Baby Boomer, one of millions who are still around and kicking. No doubt many baby boomers not only understand, but excel at operating technologically advanced instruments. However, there are millions of us that worked in the coal mines, auto factories, and other blue collar jobs where we never had to learn computer code or any other technical jargon. We played poker & solitaire on our computers, surfed the web, still don’t know what the dark web is, and used our flip cell phones.
Without the aid of technology we are going to learn how to build a mini-survival kit the old fashioned way … through planning, analyzing, imagination and creativity.
If I had my choice I’d learn to drive an 18 wheeler and stock it with every survival tool and implement I could find and tootle off to my bug-out place. Instead I’m stuck with a regular back pack in which to stockpile everything that I will utilize in order to stay alive for an undetermined amount of time. I had best choose … wisely.
The first stage is to identify dire needs that need to be addressed and how to resolve the problem. A little tip here … I have found that using small tins, like an Altoids tin or a cookie or candy metal container is great for compartmentalizing survival gear and helping prevent moisture damage. They are light, easily stacked and can be used for various tasks like boiling water.
Fire Starting: Without fire man would still be living in caves, therefore it’s pretty important we have a way of starting a fire and I’m not talking rubbing 2 sticks together, which will work, but not by me. Repetition is a good word in survival training. It means having a backup method if the first method fails.
Take a pack of paper matches and dip the match heads into nail polish being careful not to saturate the heads or get polish on the match strike strip. Tape the matches to the underside of the lid.
Buy a good quality flint striker, some are good for thousands of strikes.
Pack 2 types of tinder, cotton based and wax fiber based in the event dry tinder is not available. It does tend to rain in the wilderness, or snow.
Illumination: Because we normally sleep throughout the night it’s easy to overlook the fact that half your time will be spent in darkness. Sure (hopefully) you’ll have a campfire raging for warmth, protection and light, but besides being very limited in scope, what about looking for something inside the shelter, or venturing out to relieve yourself, or searching the dark perimeter to locate what animal is making that weird sound.
Pack a compact button operated LED flashlight. Solar powered or battery
Pack a solar powered LED lantern. They are small and very powerful.
Small candles are also an option
Water Purification: You can’t survive without water, just that simple. Unfortunately in today’s modern world locating natural potable water is nearly impossible. I’d venture to say 98% of any water you find in nature is contaminated with some sort of animal feces, pesticides or agricultural or industrial waste of some sort, or is just plain old stagnant nasty water. The problem is our systems are not tolerate of any such contaminants and will result in us becoming violently ill. We must purify our water.
Use the tins to boil the water. Boiling kills enough parasites and bacteria to make the water safe enough to drink.
Pack Iodine tablets. 2 tablets will purify 1 liter of water.
My suggestion is to use a life straw. They are very effective, lightweight and are not expensive. If you boil the water, then use the life straw to drink it, it’s probably safer than your tap water and the life straw will last a long time because it’s not filtering out large contaminants.
Signaling Devise: It’s important you be able to attract the attention of a would be rescuer over a great distance, such as a helicopter searching overhead or a boat trolling the lake.
A mirror is the best method for reflecting sun lightweight however … Mirrors break and take up space
Polish the inside lid of one of the tin containers and use it to reflect the sun. you can use chocolate or toothpaste to polish the lid to a high sheen.
Medical Supplies: Remembering we are learning How to Build a Mini-Survival Kit and available space is at a premium, prescription medication takes priority over any other medical supplies. Next, concentrate on dual purpose items.
1. Alcohol pads can be used for cleaning a wound and disinfecting needles or knives for removing foreign objects.
Buy a large bottle of pain relievers, empty it and place a tube of antibiotic cream in it, then refill with with pain killers.
Surgical tape can be used in place of a band-aid and be used to secure a larger bandage.
A bottle of Iodine can be used for an antiseptic and for sanitizing water.
Compass: Without a lengthy explanation … you need a simple compass. I suggest buying a small pocket sized Carabiner key chain with attached compass. You can hang the thing on your belt loop and use the carabiner in constructing your shelter if need be. By the way, it cost a huge $.89 plus tax.
Another option is a para-cord bracelet with a compass attached. The para-cord can double as cordage for building a shelter, traps & snares or re-enforcing the strength of an object.
Needle, Thread & Safety Pins:
Thread … make it nylon thread as it can be used for repair thread, fishing line, snares or cordage.
Safety pins can used for clothing repairs and doubles as a fishing hook.
Duct Tape: I actually saw an episode of Naked & Afraid where a contestant choice a roll of duct tape as an aid. He made clothes, a shelter, a container. You’d be amazed at what you can fashion duct tape into.
Cutting Tool: This will require thought. Again, we are concentrating on lack of space on how to build a mini-survival kit, which is why the difficult decision making. Ideally an ax, hatchet, machete, and a survival knife would be a part of our arsenal, but we must whittle that down.
1. I suggest a solid tang knife. A solid tang provides a durable and extremely strong knife blade. This knife is capable of withstanding the force of being hammered, which makes it capable of making firewood. In addition to this knife:
2. A multiplicity use knife, such as the famous Swiss Army Knife will enable a skilled person to complete a multitude of tasks.
Stuff the Christmas Stocking: Here are a few suggestions to stuff into those vacant nooks and crannies of the backpack.
- Waterproof Paper & pencil. You buy this at Army surplus stores. You may need to write down directions or leave a note for someone.
- Salt Packs, the type you get from the restaurant table, taken with water it can help combat dehydration.
- Sugar packs or a couple of Tootsie rolls for quick energy
This is a basic blueprint of How to Build a Mini-Survival Kit. Identify your basic needs, address those needs, then expand outside the box using your creative imagination.
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