One of the most misunderstood parts of the survival world is the mini survival kit.
Such a kit includes the most essential items tightly stuffed into a plastic water bottle or a compact container  (such as an Altoids tin), but many in the blogosphere or in chat rooms claim the kits are completely useless — while others say they have everything you would need to live off the land.
Let’s try to separate fact from myth. Here are three myths about mini survival kits:
1. MYTH: They’re for the Long Term
Not only does a miniature survival kit not contain all of the gear you would need for the long term, but many of the items present are not of the best quality, either. A miniature survival kit contains the basic items you’ll need for making a fire, for navigating, for signaling, for minor first aid,  and in some versions of the kit, for fishing and purifying water  as well. All of these items will come in handy, but this is still largely incomplete when it comes to long-term survival.
2. MYTH: They Can Replace a Complete Survival Kit
Alright, so a miniature survival kit isn’t meant for the long term. But what if I’m just heading out into the woods on a brief weekend camping trip? Do I really have to pack all of my survival gear when I could just throw a mini kit of the basic essentials into my pocket?
The truth is, yes. A miniature survival kit was never meant to replace your complete survival kit. If anything, it should only be an addition to the gear you already have, and that’s assuming that most if not all of the items in the miniature survival kit are already among your other gear! A miniature survival kit is extremely limited in what it can do, and that means it simply cannot supplement a more complete, custom-made kit.
3. MYTH: They’re Useless
Despite all of its limitations and minimalism, a miniature survival kit can still save your life. In a survival situation, your immediate priorities will be to discover where you are and get a sense of navigation, to start a fire  and build a shelter, and to purify water and perhaps obtain some food. A miniature survival kit can help with all of these things. It contains fire-starting materials and a space blanket, navigation equipment, water purification tablets or filters, and some basic fishing equipment. Think of a miniature survival kit as your first line of defense in a survival situation. Yes, you should have more complete and higher quality gear in your bag that you can fall back on, but for dealing with your immediate priorities, a miniature survival kit should work fine.
Some people who have literally no clue about survival may pick up a mini survival kit, stuff it in their bag for a weekend of camping or when out in the wild, and think their bases are covered. But you still have to know how to use the contents of a miniature survival kit – despite its easy-to-use appearance. Learn how to utilize the tools, and practice with them extensively before disaster strikes.
Do you have a mini survival kit? What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the section below: