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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Coffee Can Pocket Survival Kit

Every pocket survival kit will have advantages and disadvantages. Some will work better than others in a certain situations.

PROS : A tin coffee can with a plastic lid is water-proof to a certain degree. Depending on the items stored inside, it will most likely float. Many commercial survival kits are available on the internet or in retail stores. However you’ll often get items of absolutely no use to you. What helps you to survive in your environment may not help another person. Making your own kit tailors it specifically to your survival needs.

CONS : A coffee can does not exactly fit in your pocket, but it is small enough that it could be easily carried around or quickly stuffed into a backpack.


  • COFFEE CAN : Main use is as a container for all the other items. Can be used to hold water, as a make-shift shovel, as a pot for boiling water or melting snow.
  • DUCT TAPE : Multi-purpose, can be used to fasten together shelters, used as bandage, or to temporarily seal a shelter from rain or snow.
  • SUNBLOCK : For obvious reasons.
  • FIRE : For warmth, light, cooking, and help signal. To start a fire with just Mother Nature is not easy. Think “Castaway,” but you probably won’t have Wilson cheering you on. Best to come prepared with some materials like water proof matches, magnesium flint (best), lighter, tinder for fire, and/or cotton soaked with petroleum.
  • INSECT REPELLANT : To keep the bugs away.
  • KNIFE : The choice of a knife could be the topic of a few posts! A Swiss Army Knife or any all-purpose pocket knife will do, especially if it has a small saw for cutting through branches when a blade does not work.
  • FISH HOOKS : I’ve seen this item included in many survival kits. Unless you’re MacGyver or you’ve successful caught fish in a survival situation (not on a fishing trip!), you’re better off with the next item.
  • HIGH-ENERGY SNACK/BARS : Food, food, food!
  • GARBAGE BAGS (2) : One bag can be used for shelter. The second bag can be worn to protect against the elements (rain, cold). A bag could also be used to collect water.
  • DENTAL FLOSS : Pretty strong, and good for tying things together, especially branches/shelters. Do NOT try to use this for climbing. Not only is it not that strong, it will slice into your hand.
  • COMPASS : For obvious reasons.
  • CANDLE : For light, makes your fire more portable.
  • WHISTLE : To signal for help.
  • SIGNAL MIRROR : To signal for help.
  • MONEY : Nothing helps you survive like this currency. Bills are good, but don’t forget coins for phone calls. Make sure to keep both in your kit!
  • FLASHLIGHT : Can be used for light or as a signal.
  • WATER PURIFICATION TABLETS : If you can’t get a fire started to boil your water, chemical purification is the next best thing.
  • IDENTIFICATION : Just in case you forget who you are, it never hurts to have identification.
  • FIRST-AID : Bandages, first-aid tape, tweezers.
  • MEDICINE : Aspirin, anti-histamine, antibiotic ointment (i.e. Neosporin), antidiarrheal medicine (i.e. Imodium-AD)
  • FINALLY, tell people, your family and friends where you’ll be! If no one knows you’re lost in the middle of nowhere, no one will know to look in the middle of nowhere.

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