Survival Tins - Put Up With Crap Or Make Your Own - Survivalist Hacks

Survival Tins – Put Up With Crap Or Make Your Own

By Matt

Vintage Survival Kit


Survival Tins – Put up With Crap Or Make Your Own

There are many kits you can buy like the Gerber small survival kit that Bear Grylls has promoted on behalf of Gerber, but I think the best one available is the one you put together your self, to suit your own particular needs.

I’m a bit of a pack rat, my wife just doesn’t understand that I haven’t got enough packs just yet, and I have survival kits all over so that whatever the circumstances, I always have one with me.

So here’s what I have in mine, the list isn’t the be all and end all and I’m sure you guys will have more to add. But this is what works for me.

I’ve put this one together based on the priorities of survival – the rule of threes.

Three Hours Without Shelter, Three Days Without Water And Three Weeks Without Food.

I did think about one of those James Bond diving sets to cover the 3 minutes without air bit, but decided to get real instead. I will cover a bit about airway management though in another article later.


I’ve got a Blizzard Survival Rescue Jacket, now it’s about the size of a video cassette when vacuum packed but only weighs about 12 ounces.

The upside is the use of a cellular structure that makes it worth its weight and with a tog value of 9 and are fully waterproof, it’s like wearing a down jacket down to the ankles.

I’ve used rescue blankets made by the same company and they are just so much better than your usual survival bag or space blanket. You can get them in the US now too. Originate from the UK.

As most of my outdoor stuff involves wet and cold and having been in situations up against it – being wet and cold really sucks – and quickly leads to hypothermia and a meeting with the grim reaper before your due time!

I seem to recall I’ve been in this sort of balls up more than once.

Long Term Shelter

I’d expect to have to improvise a shelter so I have about 50ft of paracord on a carabiner.

Keeps it tidy and handy too. I’ve also got various lanyards and ties to use if needed. I don’t think you can have too much paracord!


The plastic case that I keep it all in would be great for carrying water, but no good for boiling or cooking.

I do have a couple of non lubed condoms “just in case” which are great for transporting water.

You can give these improv water bladders a bit of support in a sock. They do unfortunately bust!

I have a piece of tinfoil folded up that can be shaped into a cup to boil up water and I’ve got four water purification tabs in a blister pack just in case too.

I’ve got some fire starter stuff  (dryer fluff and Vaseline) in a plastic film can to keep it extra dry. A small ferrocerium rod,  some survival matches and a candle complete this bit of the kit.

I always carry my zippo and even if it’s out of fuel gives a great spark.


The 3 feet or so of snare wire that most survival kits have isn’t going to get you far I don’t think. Even if you’re an expert trapper (and I’m definitely not) you’d only have a 10% chance of getting food in one snare. You need to up the odds a bit by setting more snares.

I’ve got 15 ft of snare wire as well as an abundance of paracord.

I do a lot of fishing and it was pretty easy to put together some hooks and some fishing line for a fishing kit.  A couple of feathers make great lures too.

If I’m stuck in the wilderness for any length of time I’d like a river with fish – I’m much better at fishing than catching rabbits and other critters in a snare.

Must practice more eh!

I keep a couple of stock cubes in there are well as a couple of sachets of coffee and a small packet of beef jerky.

I really don’t like starting out in shit ville up against it from the start.

First Aid

I figure if I get the odd cut and scrape I can clean it up with povodine wipes – I have a few in my kit. Anything bigger I have an Israeli dressing. I also carry some sutures, streri strips and some large safety pins.

Lately I’ve added some Imodium and some rehydration sachets. I figure crapping all over the place is going to de hydrate me pretty sharpish and hasten my departure from this earth.


I have a small leatherman that’s included in my kit. It has some of the smaller handy things and backs up my main blade in this sort of situation.

I do tend to carry blades all over when I am out in the wilderness, like a lot of people and their guns, I don’t think you can have too many blades!

Other Stuff

I put a small silva compass in here too. I have a button compass with my knife and I find that the ones bought in camping shops are pretty dire in quality.

I carry a few small led keychain lights. I did have a few light sticks but found they took up too much space for a one shot deal. I do have light sticks in my main pack for routine use, just not in this kit.

I’ve put a large upholstery needle in my kit too. I’ve found it invaluable for threading paracord and other stuff through things.

Signal mirror and whistle.

Sound carries a long way, even through forest. Three long blows will not bugger you up like shouting will.

I keep all this in a small web pouch that fits into my pack lid that is easily separated if need be.

I keep a similar kit in an otter box in the glove box of my truck.

Maybe I’m going a bit overboard – but hey if you don’t plan for the worst, then when the worst happens you can end up pretty screwed.

Nuff Said,


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