Survival Kit – Why Everyone Needs One

The Individual Survival Kitsurvival kit

I carry my survival kit every day. In an ideal world, TEOTWAWKI would occur early on a Saturday afternoon after a large meal while the family is together watching television. We would be at our retreat, have a year’s supply of food and water and anything else we would need for long-term survival. Unfortunately, it is more likely to take place when families and groups are separated by work, school, and other day-to-day activities. Your individual survival kit is your “go-to” piece of gear to get you from where you’re at to where you need to be.

Every Day Carry (EDC) Survival Kits

If you’re like me, it’s just not practical to have your Bug Out Bag (BOB) as part of your EDC. As much as I would like to have my BOB with me at all times, I can’t. I make up for this by carrying an individual survival kit (a.k.a. survival tin). The most basic survival kit should contain everything you need to obtain the survival essentials (shelter, water, fire, food) for short periods of time.

Survival Kit Essentials

  • Cutting tool(s) – knife/razor
  • Water collection/purification
  • Fire starting tool & tinder
  • Cordage & duct tape
  • Minor first aid supplies
  • Needle & thread
  • Simple fishing & trapping gear

Do It Yourself (DIY) Survival Kit

I am not a fan of survival kits sold at retail stores. This is an item that I strongly recommend you put together yourself. “Why,” you ask? The items in store bought kits are just cheap. Besides, if you want to be sure of the quality, you gotta do it yourself. The last thing you want in a survival scenario is a gear fail! Plus, the DIY survival kit allows you to customize the kit to your region and personal needs.


If you’re building a single DIY kit, you should expect to pay a little bit more than you would for a kit from a retail store. However, when you are building a survival kit for several people, you can cut costs and have a great kit for about the same price as a lower quality retail kit. The cost of materials for four (4) people is approximately $20/kit. Bottom line up front: the peace of mind that my gear works and contains the right stuff when I need it is worth a few extra bucks.

Make it a Habit

I have been carrying a survival kit with me every day for years. When Andrea and I first built her kit, she looked at me and said, “What am I supposed to do with this?” I simply said, “Keep it with you everywhere you go.” After a few months, it became habit to make sure her kit was in whatever purse she happened to carry that day. It’s that easy!

For more information on how to start making your individual survival kit, contact us for a free initial consult.

About the Author

Greg B. is the president of Survival Tactics NOW! providing professional consultation in survival planning and emergency preparedness. He is an ardent outdoorsman and wilderness survival enthusiast.