Cart 0

Three Tiered Survival Kit: A Simple Way to Build a Quality Kit For Beginners

Survival 101

Everybody should have one...

It doesn't matter if you consider yourself an experienced prepper, or if you are just looking to be prepared for the next power outage.

Survival kit, emergency kit, 72-hour bag, bug-out bag.  The term used is not important.  What is important, is the function and value it provides:

 A survival kit provides you with peace of mind.  If an emergency occurs, you know you will be equipped with the right tools to keep you and your family safe.  

Whether you are looking to buy a survival kit that has already been prepared, or looking to prepare your own; it is important to know what you need to pack in your survival kit.  

If you are purchasing a prepared survival kit, you should keep in mind that there are often a variety of kits for different situations, and they will be packed accordingly.  You will want to keep this in mind if you are preparing your own kit as well.

(Note:  Get our checklist of 30 important documents for your emergency kit.  If you have to leave home, these are documents you don't want to leave without.  Get the checklist here.)


For instance, a survival kit you keep in your car will contain a much different set of items than the one in you keep in your closet for an earthquake.  However, there are basics that every survival kit should contain.

In this post we will focus on preparing a three-tiered survival kit as suggested by  

So what should you pack in your survival kit?  Take a look at the infographic below, and we will discuss each one in detail...


The Ultimate Three Tier Survival Gear Kits –

From Visually.


The first tier is what many would refer to as EDC, or everyday carry.  These are the items you should have on you at all times.

You will often find these items packed in an Altoids tin or other container that will easily fit in your pocket.

So what should be in it?

  • Fire starter - Fire is important in a survival situation for several reasons.  You should always be prepared with a way of starting one.  Ideally several ways.
  • Coin sized compass - Useful for helping you find your way.  Getting lost is one reason many people find themselves in survival situations.
  • Lockpicks - Useful for a possible terrorist or kidnapping situation.
  • Folding knife - Many uses.  Absolutely essential for everyday carry.
  • Cordage - Also has many uses and is essential for everyday carry.  For instance, may be used as fishing line, net, or tying down your shelter.
  • Pinch light - Light is essential for seeing in the dark.  These are bright enough to help you navigate obstacles so you don't get injured if you need to move when it's dark.
  • Handcuff keys - Again, can be useful if you have been kidnapped.
  • Protection device - This could be something as simple as a flashlight with a strobe, of something more complex.  Use what you are comfortable with.

Now you have the basics down.  What's the next step?

Next you will want build out your second tier.  This should be packed in small bag.  It is useful for minor emergencies (power outages, etc.) and is one you will want to pack along for hiking, camping, or anything outdoors.

This kit should include:

  • Energy bars - You will want something with high calories, like our Millennium Bars.
  • Full-size compass - It helps to have more than one.  You can ensure accuracy, and you will have an extra if one gets lost.  If you need a compass, take a look at our 10-in-1 Compass.
  • Water container - You need something to carry your water with.  Keep in mind that larger containers can be very heavy when full.
  • Fire starter - It is beneficial to have duplicates and alternatives (Matches, fire steel, etc).  
  • Water purification - All water you find needs to be purified.  Make sure to pack along some tablets.
  • Lock picks - Could be a more extensive set than what you previously packed.  
  • Handcuff key - In addition to what you packed before.
  • Cordage - You will want at least 50 feet of 550 paracord.
  • Simple shelter - You could use a tarp, poncho, or emergency blanket.  Anything to help keep the elements from you.
  • First-aid kit - This should include basic items such as bandages, tape, gauze, aspirin, and antihistamine, and antiseptic wipes
  • Flashlight - This flashlight should be larger than the first one you packed.  You can use a tactical flashlight, or something like our rechargeable flashlights.

You could get a good start with our Mini Survival Kit.  It contains many of the items in this list and is packed in a convenient sized bag.

Once you have packed the second tier, you are ready to move on and round out your preparedness...

The third tier is what many people think of when they hear survival kit or 72 hour bag.  It is packed in a backpack and meant to provide you with the necessary items to last you (you guessed it...) 72 hours.

Here's what you should pack:

  • Food - You should include plenty of freeze dried foods or MRE's to last for three days.  You can include canned foods, just be aware that this can add a lot of weight to your pack.
  • Water - You will want to include plenty of water in your kit.  Also, make sure to put in additional purification tablets.
  • Fire - Include more of the items you have added in your tier one and two kits.  You may also want to include a camping stove and fuel.
  • Personal safety - You may want to include additional items for protection.  You will also want to pack a much more extensive first-aid kit.

Our Elite Survival Kit is a fantastic kit for people who are just starting out.  It is packed in a large backpack and includes items from the four main groups.  It also leaves plenty of room for additional items.

Once you have packed the third tier, you should have a well packed survival kit.  

 You will have the essential items needed for survival, as well as plenty of backup items should anything fail.  There are some more things you should consider...

This is by no means an exhaustive list.  Regardless of whether you are packing your own or buying a prepared survival kit, you will want to add items particular to your situation.  

For instance, you will want to ensure you have medications that you are required to take.  You will also want to include several important documents in your emergency kit.

(Note:  Get our checklist of 30 important documents for your emergency kit.  If you have to leave home, these are documents you don't want to leave without.  Get the checklist here)

30 Important Documents


Whether you decide to build your own kit, or buy one of our survival kits, the time to start preparing is now.  

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to get tips like this in your inbox.  You'll also receive exclusive discounts on items in our store.

    Sign Up For Our Newsletter  

    Older Post Newer Post

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published