Building the Basic Survival Kit

A good survival kit in the wilderness is a great asset for going outdoors. While there are some decent kits on the market, we strongly recommend you make your own so you can be sure of the quality of the products inside it (and it’s fun too). The basic kit we are debating in this section weighs just a few pounds, and you can assemble it in one day. In the section under the title “Building the Complete Tool Kit,” you can see a fully assembled survival kit. We like to boast that you can fit this little kit into a big zipper-lock bag, but we suggest you find a more sturdy container.
Search for a bin around your building, use a surplus store ammunition pack, or for your best bet, get a dry bag, a completely waterproof vinyl bag that you can get from a boating shop. Take a permanent marker when you have the container you want, and write your name and Survival Techniques KIT on the container in big letters.

A complete fire-making kit
Your full fire-making kit will contain at least three fire-making instruments and a few tinder. Good instruments for firefighting include:

✓ Lighters:
Butane cigarette lighters are fine but, in only a few days, saltwater causes them to malfunction. Long-necked fireplace lighters, normally colored red and black, last much longer in corrosive conditions, and are typically superior to just about any other lighter. Some high-tech lighters claim to operate under any conditions but with a grain of salt we take that argument.

✓ Matches:
Always have two types of matches on you: plain, wooden, strike-anywhere matches and wooden, waterproof matches that can be obtained from a boat supply store.

Magnesium bar (metal match): This is a small metal rod that creates a small amount of magnesium when you violently shave it with a knife, and it ignites under certain circumstances — even when wet! There is flint on top of the bar, which produces a white-hot spark shower when you scrape it with a knife, igniting the magnesium on.

✓ Magnesium bar :
Get a small , lightweight plastic magnifying glass, about the size of your credit card, to concentrate your tinder on the sun’s rays.

Tinder is the extremely flammable object you are holding that starts a fire on the first attempt — even under wet conditions. A film canister filled with lint from your dryer clothes and treated with a few drops of lighter fluid or gasoline is good, as is the rolled newspaper dipped into paraffin wax. Some people like stuffing straw with paper egg cartons, pouring in wax, and then separating each little pocket to create a set of fire starters. The wax and straw burn for as long as 10 minutes, which gives you time to start your kindling. Prepackaged tinder can also be sold at outdoor stores. Pack your fire-making instruments and tinder in a container that is waterproof, seal it with tape and place it inside your survival kit.