Being time to repack my personal mini-survival kit, I took the opportunity to update and modify it a bit and take a few photos. Changes were primarily the result of finding new ideas in other small kits or from comments and suggestions in The Survival Forum, as well as a reassessment of needs and functionality. This is an ongoing and never ending search for a perfect kit, which I never expect the achieve. It was interesting that the sum of all the changes resulted in a very slight decrease in weight, down to 5.9 oz. from 6.1 oz.
This kit is designed to fit in a pocket and to supplement what I normally carry on my person, such as my knife and multi-tool, firestarter, signal mirror, etc. It provides gear and supplies that are difficult or impossible to improvise and which are small enough or critical enough to make them worthwhile carrying. In some cases, the items serve as back-up to my normally carried equipment, for example the reflective surface for signaling is back-up to the excellent rated signal mirror I carry.
Bear in mind when considering what I've packed into this small tobacco tin the fact that this tin is the smaller size. Commercially produced kits along this vein all use a larger tin. The difference is they don't have hours to spend re-arranging and tightly packing everything into the kit. To me, that's part of the challenge and fun.
A few other notes. The duct tape was applied to the peel-off backing from some adhesive labels, which allows it to be folded and packed compactly without concerns for it sticking (Thanks to Coghlan's for inspiring that idea). The plastic bobbin around which I wound the fishing line had slightly domed ends which I filed and sanded down so they were flat, significantly reducing the overall height and making it easier to pack. The small plastic vials are Cryogenic Vials from Evergreen Scientific (Thanks to Sue Critz for these). The Potable Aqua is packed in the small glass vials previously featured on ETS. In answer to a question I've received frequently, the teflon tubing was obtained at an electronics supply house. Any small diameter tubing would suffice to use as a straw to draw water from small seeps.
NOTE: In response to the occasional request, this survival kit is not for sale or available commercially. If you are interested in a pocket-size survival kit that has been designed by Doug Ritter, check out the Pocket Survival Pak by Adventure Medical Kits, an affordable pocket survival kit that really could save your life.(DISCLAIMER: Ritter and the Equipped To Survive Foundation receive a royalty from the sale of this kit.)
[Click photos for higher resolution image.]
|Qty.||Survival Equipment or Supplies|
|Polished case serves as improvised signal mirror. Polished aluminum tape applied to interior of lid, protected by peel-away sheet.|
|EMERGENCY DEVICES GROUP|
|Spark-Lite Firestarter Flint|
|Spark-Lite "Fire Tab" Tinders (squeezed one more in for final packing)|
|Windproof/Waterproof NATO Lifeboat Matches and Striker Strip|
|"Premium" BCB Wire Survival Saw|
|Fishing Kit in plastic vial: 13 asst. hooks, 6 swivels, 5 split shot|
|20 lb. Fishing Line|
|Extra Large Hook (use as gaff)|
|Brass Snare Wire|
|Fishing Knot Information sheet|
|White narrow-angle Photon Micro-Light II (since replaced with Doug Ritter Special Edition Photon Freedom Micro-Light)|
|Teflon Tube (for water seeps)|
|Brunton 15MM Button Compass|
|Vicodin ES Tabs* (pain killer, prescription required) vacuum packed|
|Zithromax Caps* (antibiotic, prescription req'd) vacuum packed|
|Drug Information Sheet|
|Potassium Permanganate Crystals in plastic vial|
|WATER & FOOD GROUP|
|Potable-Aqua Iodine Water Disinfectant Tabs in glass vial*|
|Condoms (Penrith Survival Equipment)* (for water storage and treatment)|
|MISCELLANEOUS / MULTI-PURPOSE GROUP|
|550# Mil Spec. Parachute Cord wrapped around kit|
|3M Scotch "Super 33+" Electrical Tape (wrapped around kit to seal it)|
|Twisted Nylon Line|
|H.D. Poly/Cotton Sewing Thread|
|Sewing Needles, 1 large, 1 medium|
|Heavy Duty Sewing Awl|
|Safety Pins, 2 each #1, #2 and 3 ea. of #3|
|H.D. Aluminum Foil|
|Thin Pencil (unsharpened)|
|"Rite in the Rain" paper, 2 x 3 in. sheets|
|Two Piece Tinned Steel Container (tobacco tin stripped of paint, polished and clear coated), 3 3/4" x 2 5/16" x 15/16"|
|* Limited useful life. All medications and many medical supplies also have a limited useful life. Keep track of expiration dates and replace as required.|
|Weight = 5.9 ounces|
|Questions or comments on this article? Please post on The Survival Forum.|
|SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.|
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Email: Doug Ritter
Revision: 07 June 10, 2004
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