It was time to do some spring cleaning out in our garage the other day.  I had made some pretty good progress when everything came to a grinding halt.  I had stumbled across a box of useless papers and junk from my childhood.  While there are some that would just toss the stuff in the trash, I happen to be a little more sentimental and began to examine every item with meticulous detail.  Waves of emotion flooded over me as I waded through childhood memories made in my small Southwestern Virginia town.  

One of the curious items that I found was a small pocket sized survival kit housed in an old Altoids tin.  The kit was minimal in nature.  There were only a few items included, such as a small flexible saw, waterproof matches, fishing line, sinkers, and Band-Aids.  It started me thinking of what I would put in kit now that I am 30 years older and hopefully a little wiser.


Today I would include: 

  • Waterproof Matches w/ Striker
  • Flint Steel
  • A mini LED flashlight
  • Small knife
  • $20.00 in cash
  • Safety pins
  • 2 plastic bags
  • Allergy medication
  • Band-Aids
  • Needle and Thread
  • Moleskin
  • Peppermint candy

I am sure the cash will have to be replaced on a regular basis, but this kit will be handy in several situations such as a hiking trip, packed in the glove box, stowed in your backpack, or in your desk drawer at work.  The best part is that you get to choose what you put in the kit and where you carry it.  For me, I chose to put allergy medicine in mine because I have terrible hay fever and I would hate to be caught outdoors without medication.  The candy is more for an emotional pick me up as there are not enough calories there to amount to much.  I have found that in an emergency survival situation one of the hardest struggles to overcome is the emotional stress.

Having a knife in an emergency survival situation is vital to success.  Therefore, choosing a knife small enough to fit in your kit, yet large enough to use, will be a challenge.  I have found that the Benchmade 585SBK Mini Barrage with an overall closed length of 4.00” is about as small as I would go.  It may not fit into the standard Altoid tin but any smaller will make using it difficult.  If size is not an issue, I like the Baladéo Cutlery Knife.  This knife includes a light duty knife and a “spork” set.

Putting together a mini survival kit is a fun project and having one with you will keep your mind focused on survival.

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Written by Roger Peters — June 11, 2013

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