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“Minimergency” Transformation: A Just-the-Essentials Survival Kit

essential survival kit

A few weeks ago hub and I were standing in line at Starbucks and I was perusing all-the-fancy-stuff-I-don’t-need (mugs, cups, brewing systems, sweets, etc.) when I happened upon a small classy-looking grey felt pouch of “emergency essentials.” I was pretty impressed with this coffee-shop find, but I scoffed at the breath drops, shoe shine, and lint brush – not really survival items (though admittedly useful for Corporate meetings).

But hey, I thought, it’s a cool little case that I could fill with real survival essentials and I had a Starbucks gift card from Christmas so it wouldn’t cost me a dime. Sold! And since I’m a big fan of minimalist survival kits I was excited to put this together with stuff I already had. You might not completely replicate this kit for yourself but hopefully this gets you thinking about just-the-essentials you might need in a survival situation, and how you might keep the fewest and best items with you at all times.


The “Minimergency Kit” by Pinch Provisions contained: stain remover, deodorant towelette, safety pin, band-aid, lint brush, dental floss, lip balm, shoe shine towelette, hand cleaner wipe, breath drops, nail clipper, nail file, extra buttons, and a mending/sewing kit.


I used the Pinch Provisions’ felt pouch and kept a few of the original items, plus added my own. My kit contains items to provide two of the big three survival requirements (fire, water, shelter) – I tried to fit in an emergency blanket/shelter but there just wasn’t room, though I could carry it separately in my purse if I really wanted.

minimal survival kit

Here’s what I put in my kit, and why -

minimal survival kit

1 - Grey felt pouch (by Pinch Provisions) – its small size fits easily in my purse, or even in a jacket pocket. Keeping the survival storage item small ensured that I only kept the true essentials

2 - EDC Keychain Flashlight – small size means it’s easy to carry, and it’s got three brightness settings

3 - Mini Spark Wheel fire starter – one fire starting option

4 - Mini Ferro Rod – another fire starting option (strike with pocket knife to create spark)

5 - Mini Brass Pill Canister – waterproof container, this one holds strike-anywhere matches (another fire starting option)

6 - Another Mini Brass Pill Canister – waterproof, this one filled with jute twine to use as tinder for starting a fire

7 - Mini Brass Lighter – yet another fire starting option (never underestimate how difficult it may be to start a fire, especially if at high altitude or in wet conditions)

8 - Nail File – I kept this “Minimergency” item because it can be used to file nails (duh!) or hang nails, but also as tinder to help start a fire

9 - Deejo Pocket Knife – always carry a knife; this version is super compact and lightweight (approx. 15 grams weight), yet sharp

10 - Potable Aqua Water Purification – checking off one of the three survival requirements (water) – I wouldn’t be able to fit even a small size water filter in this kit but at least purification tablets will provide a fair amount of drinkable water in a pinch

11 - Lip Balm – this is a personal addition for me because I hate chapped lips

12 - Hand Cleaner – small size, it would be useful especially if I have to dress a wound

13 - Band-aid – always good to have at least one band-aid

14 - Popup Wipe towelette – use dry as kindling, or wet as a washcloth, or use to filter water before using purification tablets, or use as toilet paper, or as a bug net for your face… many uses for this, perhaps I should include two of these (cuz if I used one as toilet paper I wouldn't re-use it!)

15 - Sewing Kit, includes two buttons and safety pin – I kept this from the “Minimergency” kit because it’s compact and could be used for a variety of things (not just sewing, but binding sticks together, etc.)

Note: if you're curious about purchase information for any of these items, see my Everyday Carry post as most were included there.

Bonus item:

Emergency Shelter / Blanket – this wouldn’t fit in the kit and maybe I can find a smaller one that would. I could keep this in my purse separately if I really wanted to have the big three survival items with me at all times.

What I ditched -

The main reason I left these items out of my personal survival kit is because I wanted something, not for Corporate ‘emergencies’, but for real-life bug-out to the back country scenarios in case of natural disaster or social unrest. Or in case of zombies... (!) And, since these situations are what I’m planning for (just in case), the following items didn’t make the cut:

- Nail Clippers (though after thinking it through I admit it’d be useful and I could probably fit in the kit)

- Stain Remover

- Shoe Shine

- Floss

- Breath Drops

- Deodorant

- Lint Brush

As it is, everything fits nicely in the grey felt pouch, and I like that it’s small, complete, and portable.

Have you made yourself a survival kit? I’d love to post up what you’ve included in yours – email me if you’re interested in guest posting on this site! Until then, thanks for reading and stay safe out there!


by Dawn Gallegos

Dawn Gallegos is the founding editor of the Chicks On The Rocks blog. When she's not working to fund her Jeep habit she's thinking up new ways to inspire others to explore the great outdoors.


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