Personal Survival Kit

A "minimal kit" should be sized so that it is light-weight and very compact. I carry my kit in two M-16 ammo pouches on a military pistol belt with a canteen and canteen cup. A less "military" option I discovered at Sam's is a "waist-pack" that has a pair of 1-liter water bottles attached to it. This gives me all the tools I feel are necessary to survive successfully, if not quite as comfortably as I might wish.

Looking at commercial kits, I felt the major source of bulk and cost were the consumable supplies -- food and water. Rather than including lots of prepackaged stuff, I decided to pack tools that could be used to gather and prepare supplies. There are plenty of ways to "make do" in the field so that you won't be stuck with a large kit. Fish traps and spears can be made from "found materials;" drinking water can be had from solar stills, transpiration bags, or boiling ground water; wire or cord can be stored compactly and be used to create snares. Once you figure out your imagination is yor greatest tool, you'll see multiple uses for everything.

This is what I keep handy as a "bare minimum" of a survival kit. This is the first phase of my 3-phase method of designing and building a customized survival kit. As time, money, and space permit, this basic kit is simple to augment through the addition of more tools and supplies.

My belt-kit

canteen, cup, water tablets carrying and purifying water
snare wire/cord gathering food, shelter lashing
fishing kit gathering food
can openers (GI and "lever" type)opening "found" foods
dipped matches fire; cooking, signalling
Boy Scout "keyring" striker set fire; cooking, signalling
emergency poncho shelter, moving or stationary; signalling
space blanket shelter; signalling
first aid kit prevention/care for injuries
whistle signalling
pocket knife cutting, improvising tools
wire saw cutting, improvising tools
orienteering compass keeping direction