Whether you are an avid hiker, camper, explorer or just love getting back to nature; you can never be too careful. A good old fashioned survival tin is an often overlooked piece of kit yet can quite literally save your life.
The reason many overlook it is because it's not straightforward and will require your consideration to put one together that works for you. It is essential that it be compact and lightweight. Many folks have what they refer to as an "everyday" carry kit, so they are never left without the means to survive, regardless of the situation.
Many hikers, campers and hunters find that after they have packed their backpack with food, water and a change of clothing the weight is more than they anticipated and they are then loathed to or just don't have the capacity to, pack any more gear. This is where an excellent survival tin can make all the difference. Finding room for one in your coat pocket should not be too much of a big deal.
So what is involved in creating the best survival tin ?
Containing the very bare essentials, it is designed to give you a fighting chance of sustaining yourself without needing a whole knapsack full of paraphernalia. This type of kit could be carried in your pocket, handbag, bag or even the glove compartment of your car.
You can choose to either purchase a ready-made option, straight off the shelf, filled with items considered the most essential for everyday survival in general for all users. You could instead opt for a handmade kit that you can personalise for your own specific needs.
If you choose to create your own, or even add to a one, then let's look at the most fundamental items that should appear in every kit.
Think about the essentials of survival which are shelter, water, fire and food, then cover these first.
You must always make provision for a way of carrying and collecting water. Moving on from that, you will need tablets that can purify the water. These are usually added to your collected water, then shaken and left to sit for half hour to kill the bacteria before drinking.
Next on the list would be a fire lighting tool in the form of a steel and striker. These are fundamental to ensure you can make a fire wherever you are and whatever the weather. The everstryke pro is reliable and can easily burn through up to 15,000 long-lasting strikes.
It’s waterproof as well as weatherproof and can endure everything from being dropped to being run over by a car. This is where creating your own tin is useful as many of the pre made survival tins do not include a fire steel. , It is, however, a vital tool and must not be overlooked.
Don't forget cordage. A durable, lightweight 550 paracord is guaranteed to hold 550lbs, and you don't need to pack vast amounts of it. A small length of paracord is approximately 10 feet in length and it reasonably inexpensive. It may be that you choose to pack a longer length, perhaps if you intend to utilise it as a hammock ridgeline or even for guidelines. It has a wide range of emergency uses, for example, fishing line and fire tinder too. It can also be used for splints, traps and snares. However you choose to use it, always include cordage in your survival kit. You could of course choose to wear a paracord bracelet.
Next you can choose which items to add to your kit. Keep in mind the serious nature of these items. You are aiming to be able to keep yourself alive using only the tools you place in this compact tin. This may be a useful checklist for you.
● Look to include some thin wire. Ths has many uses including bindings, to aid shelter building and, of course, animal snares.
● Adding a fishing line as well as a selection of fish hooks gives you a simple means to catch food in a survival situation.
● Add a small sewing kit, as well as various sized needles and thread
● Pack a small knife, even better if you opt for a multi-tool, having space and maximising usefulness.
● A pack of all climate matches
● A mini compass, for when GPS is out of range
● A wax candle, for light, heat and sealant.
● Some dry tinder or fatwood, you could even use a non-applicator tampon.
● Pack a mirror, this, of course, is not for cosmetic rather emergency signalling purposes!
● A lightweight emergency whistle, the kind you find on a lifejacket.
● Razor blades, again not for a close shave more it's cutting use while being wholly lightweight and compact.
● A zip lock plastic bag. Make sure to check for rips or tears as this can be used to collect and then store water if you find yourself sans a water bottle.
● A couple of unlubricated condoms. This can be used in a variety of ays from emergency water storage, a first aid bandage or to keep items dry.
● Consider adding tea bags, sachets of instant coffee, stock cubes and salt packets. This may give you immediate access to some energy and morale-boosting hot drinks should you find yourself cold and tired.
● It may be a wise option to add some painkillers in either tablet of soluble form. This will help not only in the event of an accident but also if merely suffering a headache or strain. You may well want to pack some anti-diarrhoea tablets as well. These can be a godsend for apparent reasons.
Keep in mind the actual tin itself can also be used a standalone piece of survival equipment in its own right. This is down to the shiny nature of the inside of the lid which can be buffed up and utilised as a signal mirror. Alternatively, it can also be used to collect water.
This is only a starter guide, think carefully about what you would take and make sure you never leave home without it