Emergencies can happen anywhere and without warning; that's why they are emergencies. Unfortunately, the large size of most survival kits makes them too burdensome to carry around everywhere. While it is a good practice to have a survival kit for as many places as possible (home, auto, work, etc.), there will ultimately be places you are unable or unwilling to carry a heavy and bulky survival kit. In addition, there may be times when you want to go on short hikes and be as light on equipment as possible. So, what do you do in these situations? A survival kit packed in a pocket sized tin can be the perfect solution to this problem. The best part? They are relatively simple and quick to make yourself. You only need a few items to develop a good pocket survival kit.
- Tin Can - Tin cans are durable and can withstand quite a bit of abuse. Because of this, they make great containers for your pocket survival kit. Altoids tins are frequently used, and for good reason. They are sturdy and a great size for fitting in your pocket.
- Compass - Being able to know which direction you are going is important. It can be the difference between getting yourself deeper into the wilderness or getting yourself out. Why not just look at the sun? If you are under a significant canopy of trees or have cloudy weather, you may not be able to tell the position of the sun. A compass ensures you will always be able to determine direction, regardless of conditions. You will want to make sure your compass is about the size of a button.
- Paracord - Paracord has many different uses in a survival situation. Here's 44 from backdoorsurvival.com.
- Matches - Being able to make fire in a survival situation is important for a variety of reasons. It can boost morale, keep you warm, be used as a signal, and cook food. You may want to substitute matches for a lighter or fire steel. You will also want to pack along tinder, such as dryer lint.
- Mirror - A mirror can direct light for a highly targeted signaling device. It also allows you to signal over a long distance.
- Fishing kit - Many survival kits plan for three days of food. However, this is impossible to pack into a pocket sized survival kit. As such, a fishing kit is vital to your kit. You may also want to add snare wire to your kit, so you can catch animals such as rabbits.
- Knife - Even a small knife can be incredibly useful in a survival situation. You can use it to whittle wood to make a spear or create shavings for tinder. An extreme situation: Aron Ralston using a knife to free his arm from a boulder.
- First Aid - Being injured in a survival situation greatly reduces your chances of making it out alive. Even a small injury like a cut can become infected and turn what is usually a minor issue into a life threatening one. You will want to pack along antibiotic ointments and bandages at a minimum.
In addition to this list, you can add any additional items you may see fit to your particular situation. Remember, such kits are only intended to provide the very basic necessities you might need in a survival situation. They are intended to be quick and easy to take with you anywhere you need to go. It is important to ensure that you always have an emergency preparedness plan along with larger more comprehensive survival kits. Building your own pocket survival tin can help get your mind thinking about necessary items you will need for survival. In addition, it forces you to think about how size and weight can influence your survival kit preparation. A pocket survival tin is quick and easy to put together and can be done in a short afternoon. It is highly recommended that you put one together yourself, so you can learn and understand the benefits. Let us know in the comments what you have on your list.