But there are still some everyday items that your survival kit may be missing. These items aren’t usually found on your ordinary survival kit list, but you likely have them in your home right now – and should put them in your bug-out bag or survival kit.
Here are five:
1. Duct tape. We know how useful it is, and you probably already have a roll or two of duct tape stored away in the garage or in the utility room. So why not add a roll or two to your survival kit? Duct tape will come in handy in any survival situation and can be used to repair nearly anything. It can help put a shelter together, attach a knife to the end of a stick to make a spear, work as a bandage or a sling, and yes, even to use as handcuffs or to tie somebody around a tree. (Read 19 survival uses for duct tape here.)
2. Paper and pens. Having a notebook and some pens or other writing utensils in your survival kit may come in handy more times than you think. You can put down any information that you may forget, and you can make a map, write a letter, tear out pieces of paper to use as messages for other people, or write comfort notes to yourself. Keep it in some sort of a waterproof bag if you can. If it rains and the water soaks through your kit, the paper won’t even work as an adequate fire-starting material!
3. Soda can. Putting a can or two of soda in your bag won’t hurt as long as you can afford the space, and it’s your choice if the can should be empty or full. Water is absolutely the most important beverage you can have with you, but having a tasty, sweet soda in your bag can be a morale booster or provide you with some extra energy.
The real benefit, though, to having a soda can in your kit is not the actual soda, but the can. You can use the can to collect rainwater, and you can take off the tabs to use as a fish hook or as a clothes hanger (combined with string, of course). In addition, if you have a chocolate bar with you, you can rub chocolate on the bottom of the can to make a reflective surface and then either signal for help or start a fire.
4. Trash bag. You may wonder why you need a trash bag in your kit if you’ve already got a tarp, poncho or a space blanket. While those three things are absolutely essential to your bag, a durable trash bag can serve multiple uses and serve as a good back-up to all of them. With a trash bag, you can collect rainwater, use it as a makeshift poncho, as a cover on the ground to keep you off the dirt – and if you have a brightly colored trash bag, as a signal. And not to mention, a trash bag is a trash bag. If you’re conscientious about not littering the wilderness or anywhere with your trash or leftovers, let the trash bag fulfill its purpose!
5. Watch. Many of us carry wristwatches on a day-to-day basis, but you should also buy a back-up analog one to keep in your kit. In addition to telling time, it can help you if you’re lost. On a sunny day, hold the watch parallel to the ground, and then turn it while still parallel so that the hour hand is pointed in the sun’s direction. In the Northern Hemisphere, south will be midway between the hour hand and the “12” on the watch. This technique will give you a basic idea of your north to south line, even though it’s not 100 percent accurate.
What everyday items are in your survival kit? Share your thoughts in the section below: