A homemade survival kit is an option if you already have a range of items to put in it, you are not keen on buying a ready-made kit, or you can’t afford one. Perhaps ready-made kits don’t quite include everything you want or you want to choose the individual items?
Making your own kit may sound straightforward at first but it can become a bit complicated depending on what you will be using the kit for. There are some things to think about before you start making it.
I suggest the first thing to do is decide what level of kit you need, who it is for, and what it will be used for. It won’t be of any use if stored at home and you get caught out in your car. Make as many kits as you need to cover any eventuality.
Do you want a pocket or handbag size?
Who will be carrying the kit?
Do you need a 3 day, 72 hour, grab bag?
Is it for storing on your person, in your home, or in your car?
Is if for one person, two people, or for a family group?
Once you know exactly what kit, or kits, you want to make you need to write a list, or several lists for kits to keep in different locations, pocket, car, and home.
Each type of kit includes an increasing number of items, from very basic outdoor emergency kit to carry with you at all times that may help you survive if you have absolutely nothing else on you… to kits for a whole family covering a three day period survival situation.
All homemade kits should tart with the basics and each person should carry their own in case they should become separated from a group:
It is preferable not to have items that depend on batteries. You can get wind up torches and radios.
I include something brightly coloured that is also large enough to attract the attention of rescuers. Survival bags are brightly coloured, usually orange or red; they are big enough to be seen and big enough to climb into to keep dry.
Expand on the list according to how long you want the kit to last, 24 hours, 72 hours, a week, a month, indefinitely!
For emergencies and disasters it is recommended you should cater for a minimum of 3 days.
Wander around your house, garage, garden shed, looking for things that will work for your homemade kit items.
Homemade Kit Items has tips and suggestions.
Check your lists and cross reference with any gear or tools you already have. Mark up missing items you need to buy, acquire, or can make do with items around the home.
Whether you buy expensive high quality gear, or start with cheap versions, must be decided according to importance. For example: water purification is a serious issue and a high priority for your list; shelter and warmth are also high priority. If you are going to buy a temporary shelter in preference to a plastic sheet it may as well be good quality otherwise it will be useless weight… in fact the higher quality material tends to be the lightest anyway!
It’s always a good idea to see what is inside the ready-made kits too. At a minimum you will get ideas for yours and once you see the lists of ‘what is in the box’ you may even decide that making your own could cost more than buying one that already has everything you need in it. Unless of course, you need kits for a family of 6 in which case you should look around for any deals on buying in bulk. You could always make up extra and sell the surplus to your friends and neighbours if you buy too much stuff.
The best part of your kit is your own brain, along with your knowledge and experience, so make sure you know how to use your homemade survival kits.