Having a survival kit isn’t only for the completely rightwing, gun-crazed, terrorist-hating zombie apocalypse-fearing person. In fact a survival kit is actually a good idea. Yes, even for us city folk. Especially for us city folk! I remember while living in Puerto Rico, the city of San Juan decided to cut the water supply for 2 days without telling any of us (or at least we didn’t hear about it). The fantasy is that in case of emergency I will be able to live off the land, grow a crop of food and basically survive. The reality of it is that I couldn’t flush, couldn’t wash my hands, couldn’t cook…

I booked myself into a hotel that had a water tank and shamefully spent the two days there… Now, I’m not saying that a survival kit will have supplies for a water emergency, but it’s a good idea to pack a small kit (it can be as big as a suitcase or as small as an Altoid can) just in case something happens and you need some basic survival necessities. Stuff that you didn’t think you’d need because of the daily conveniences offered to us in our current lifestyle.

Survival Kits: What's In 'em & Why You Need 'em

What Kind of Survival kit?

Perhaps you might decide to pack a specialty survival pack, one for winter, or one for a particular disaster or shortage (hurricane, flood, electricity or water shortage, etc.). You can go big like Patrick Geryl, who spent $130,000 on his survival preparations, but we’d advise against going so big. A good benchmark is to have a 72-hour survival kit – enough supplies for survival for 3 days for you (and your family). There is also an evacuation survival kit – a suitcase packed and ready to just grab and leave if you have to – these are great if you happen to live in places you can get hit by a natural disaster (earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, etc.).

Why do you need one?

As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. A survival kit is just a good way to be prepared if any disaster hits, especially since so many natural disasters seem to be coming our way these days. Now, no one can truly prepare for disaster. I mean, surely a small kit isn’t going to save you, but it will give you an advantage. When push comes to shove, you won’t have to worry about ‘what to get’, instead you can focus on keeping your family and yourself safe, knowing full well that you thought about their safety beforehand.

Survival Kits: What's In 'em & Why You Need 'em

What to put in it?

This completely depends on what kind of kit you’re preparing. But here are 10 items that should be in every kit:

  1. Knife

  2. Food

  3. Flashlight, extra batteries

  4. Waterproof matches, fire starters

  5. First aid kit

  6. Extra clothes

  7. Map and compass

  8. String, paracord

  9. Mylar emergency blankets

  10. Stainless steel water container with screw on lid

How much of each item you store depends on what kind of kit you’re making. But keep in mind weather conditions when packing clothes and don’t pack food that can spoil easily. Other than the list above, feel free to add more items to suit your needs. Having a survival kit doesn’t make you paranoid; it makes you prepared!

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