If you don’t have the time or easy access to the supplies you need to create your own survival kit, you can buy a commercial survival kit that’s already made. Although these will have extra items you may never use, they do contain 10 items that are essential to have in every emergency. These are:
1. Purification Tablets
All kits will provide the means for you to purify water for the short-term. Commercial kits by design only carry items that are light, and therefore, you won’t find water bottles filled with water or bulky water filters. Most will have purification tablets that you can dissolve into the water you collect.
2. MREs & Food Bars
When you’re stuck in an emergency situation, you may not be prepared right away to cook your meals without gas or electricity. Ready-to-eat meals, or MREs, have a long shelf life, and are light-weight. All you have to do is warm one up and you’ll have an entrée, snack, dessert and drinks to sustain your for the entire day. That’s the reason they’re so popular to carry in pre-made commercial survival kits. In addition to MREs, the makers of these kits also include food bars to boost calories and for comfort food.
3. Tube Tent
You’ll need time to build adequate shelter or get to a pre-arranged location. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to have a tube tent to sleep or rest in. These are included in kits, and can fit one to two adults, depending on what type of kit you purchase.
4. Sleeping Bag
If you try fitting a regular sleeping bag into a backpack, you won’t have much room for anything else. An emergency sleeping bag is lightweight and compressible so that it can fit easily into your kit. A standard commercial survival kit will have at least one in it.
You’ll need to keep warm if you have to sleep outdoors due to an emergency. Like the sleeping bag, you can’t fit a bulky blanket in a backpack or small bag. Commercial survival kits solve this problem with light (less than 15 ounces) and compact, all-weather blankets that use a special technology that allows it to retain most of your body‘s heat. Some kits will have a combination of a blanket and poncho to keep you warm and protect you from rain.
6. Flashlight and Glow Sticks
It can be easy to become dependent on electricity and forget that when the lights go out, you need alternative sources to see at night. Commercial survival kits will carry LED or regular flashlights, plus glow sticks.
7. N95 Mask
If you’ve prepared for an emergency, and have the perfect kit, but can’t breathe due to contaminants in the air, you’ll have wasted your time. An N95 mask reduces your exposure to harmful particles and particulates in the air, and protects your lungs. A good commercial survival kit will include at least one.
8. First-Aid Kit
A first-aid kit will be stocked with what you need to clean and dress wounds, along with tablets and other medications for pain relief. Also included are a few tools to assist you with doctoring yourself or others up, such as tweezers and scissors. Although these are ready-made and included in your commercial survival kit, you should make a note to include the extra medications and remedies that you require to survive, and essential vitamin supplements.
9. Multi-Function Tool and Knife
You can’t take your toolkit with you if you want to stay light on your feet in a survival scenario. Instead, you can carry a multi-function tool and knife. It’s no replacement for your toolkit, and what you can do with it is limited. However, they do come in commercial survival kits and can come in handy for the little jobs.
10. A Whistle
This is a small, yet potentially life-saving item that almost all commercial survival kits will include. You have two options for letting others know where to find you: 1) Scream for a long time, or 2) use a whistle. The second option will yield far better results, and the sound will travel a lot farther.
Use this list to compare commercial survival kits on the market. If they don’t include any one of these, keep looking until you find one that does. You can add your own items to the kit, but it’s not worth buying if it’s missing one of these 10 essential items.