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Prep 101: Basic Survival Kit I

Recently we were invited to a local fundraiser in support of our son’s school’s Odyssey of the Mind team, which has advanced to the World Finals this year. Local businesses and organizations were given the opportunity to donate to a silent auction and raffle at the event, so I decided to give away a box containing a variety of survival items that can be useful in a many outdoor activities such as camping, trekking, offroading, and more.

The items were extras we had sitting around, and most were from past BattlBox shipments, or SurvivalBoxes (more info on THAT very soon!). My goal with this box was to cover the Big Three survival items: water, fire, and shelter, plus provide tools and extras like Epic Wipes, PopUps, and of course a Chicks On The Rocks mug for hot coffee by the morning fire!

So, here’s what’s in this auction box (which I’ve termed “Basic Survival Kit I”) and why I chose these items!

Water – To start, I included the Frontier Straw Water Filter. Its small size makes it easily portable and it’s good in a pinch if you run out of water. It will filter out nasties including protozoa parasites, but NOT bacteria or viruses. So, along with this straw filter toss into your bag a small container of Potable Aqua or similar water treatment option and you’ll be good to go. Additionally, in the box is an extra Aqua Water Bag. The Straw Filter comes in its own small bag but I wasn’t sure how long that would last so I threw in an extra.

Fire – To provide a good spark I created a Fire Kit that includes a large ferro rod (strike with a knife to create sparks), a spark wheel, and a set of fire building reference cards. I also included a standard Bic lighter (great at lower altitudes) in an Exotac Waterproof Lighter Case. Plus, a set of UCO Survival Stormproof Matches that includes a case and striker. The reason for the variety of fire-starting methods is because you should always have more than one way to light your fire in any situation. Many times one method will work better than others because creating fire is so dependent on weather conditions and the environment at the time.

Shelter – Two Foil Mylar Rescue Blankets will provide necessary warmth in a survival situation. Use as blankets or to make a rudimentary shelter with rope or carabiners.

Tools – I started the tools with the Morakniv Survival Knife, an all-around sturdy and highly useful option for backcountry adventures. Next I included a Gerber Saw with an extra blade for sawing firewood portions or branches to build the foundation of a shelter. I also found an Elite First Aid Field Scissors, which can be used for cutting bandages, tape, rope, paracord, or small branches. Lastly, a highly useful survival tool is the Explorer Compass with Signal Mirror – with this you might walk out or get help more easily.

Extras – Lastly I had a bunch of miscellaneous survival and outdoor items that I wanted to include because either A. we don’t use them, or B. we love them and want others to as well! The Barocook Flameless Cooking System is great when there’s a fire ban, because it cooks with a chemical that reacts to water to create the heat. However, if fire is an option, I also included a foldable Pocket Stove that’s great for backpacking. Next are two hygiene items: the Epic Wipes Massive Wet Wipe (which I love because its huge size and refreshing scent are almost as good as a morning shower at camp) and two PopUp Wipes 10-pack (use as towels, washclothes, bandages, bandanas, toilet paper in a pinch, etc.). Plus, we had on hand the Survival I-Shield Emergency Sunglasses which we don’t use (great to have on hand especially in snowy or sandy terrain). And last but certainly not least, a Chicks On The Rocks coffee mug. Seriously, my favorite mug ever – I’ve used mine daily for almost three years and it still keeps my coffee hot for an hour!

All of these items fit neatly into a 9 x 9 x 5.5 inch box. I hope it’s of use to the winner at the fundraising event, and perhaps this also provides you with some ideas about survival items to collect for yourself (or give as gifts to family and friends!).

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the great outdoors!


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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