8 Survival Kit Myths That Are Your Worst Enemy

Simply having a survival kit will not ensure or guarantee your survival. Once understood, your risk of making unnecessary mistakes will go way down. The result will be fewer negative surprises. With that in mind, you’ll put more efforts into your skills and knowledge. The benefit? If you caught without your kit, your survival kit will be in your head.

Here are the 8 survival kit myths.

Myth 1 – My kit will always be with me

This thinking is unrealistic. For instance, imagine being at work and your kit is at home. An earthquake hits and your gear is out of reach. The highways are clogged, and the bag is out of reach and of no use to you.

Your Plan: EDC kit, keychain, carbag. The idea is to pack a smaller bag in your car. It doesn’t have everything your normal bag has, but its good enough. An EDC is also know as an Every Day Carry bag. Its small enough to carry with you every day, in the trunk of your car.

Myth 2 – My survival kit will get me through the disaster

The problem with this: but what if the disaster is 7 days? Its good to have a kit. But how long is your survival kit supposed to support you? 1 day? 3 days? 4 days? Or maybe just a few hours? How do you even figure out how long it will last? And how long is the aftermath of the disaster going to last?

Your Plan: plan for 72 hours, and have a cache kit ready to take you beyond that first 3 days. The idea here is to pack something that’s light and that will get you through the first hours. Then from there, it will get you to a second/backup kit. In a way, you could chain a bunch of these together. Of course, this all assumes that you are not able to get home.

Myth 3 – The gear in my kit is appropriate for my expected disasters

The problem with this: something off the wall might come up. The problem here, is that most kits that are premade have generic contents in them. Let me give you an example. The other day I was looking at Ebola survival kits. I found one online. It had a mylar tent, a survival whistle and some gloves. I can assure you, that this wouldn’t save anyone in an Ebola outbreak. This comes at the price of lives that depend on the gear.

Your Plan: Don’t rely on someone else’s kit. If you are expecting a specific kind of disaster in your area, then plan things out. Do your research and learn what’s necessary to come out alive on the other side. Then slowly start acquiring the items and gear that you determine is necessary. Naturally, you’ll choose higher quality gear, and the payoff will be when the disaster hits. Your gear will stand up to any disaster.

Myth 4 – my survival kit gear is rugged enough to withstand tough use

The problem with this: if you have a premade kit, you might be surprised. A number of people have reported that pieces of gear have broken in their hands after light use. The survival kit manufacturers source out the cheapest gear just to fill the bag.

Your Plan: Just like the previous myth, research for your own gear and check out product reviews. If its a piece of gear that’s expensive, then save up a little each week until you get the full amount. Good quality reliable gear is more assuring in a disaster than something that fall apart in your hands.

Myth 5 – I don’t need any clothing in my kit. I’ll just wear what I’ve got.

The problem with this: what if you get wet and its cold? Wearing wet clothing in the cold is a recipe for hypothermia. Without question.

Your Plan: Bring very light clothing in your Bug-Out Bag. One brand that I’m impressed with is Frogg Toggz. Although they primarily make rain gear, some of the shells are worth wearing as light pants or a jacket/shell. They pack very tight because they are similar to Tyvek or Kevlar.

Myth 6 – I’ll just use my phone, so I don’t need alternative communications gear

The problem with this: what if the cell towers go down? If you are relying solely on your phone and the network goes down, then you have no backup. Now its true. If the lines go down, there’s a chance that SMS will still be working. But even that can go down.

Your Plan: signalling mirror; ham radio. A mirror can signal for 10’s and even 100 miles away. If you are in an urban area, then a radio like a CB or a ham radio would be much more effective.

Myth 7 – A survival kit is a survival kit. I don’t need to practice with it.

The problem with this: The problem is that you are assuming that your survival depends on your gear. You are thinking that if you have the right gear, then you’ll be in good shape. But there’s a crack in this kind of logic. The crack is this. What if the gear breaks down? Then what?

Your Plan: To get around this, you will want backup plans. Back up plans for all of your critical gear. For instance, if you have battery operated items, do you have chargers? Do you have solar chargers? Or what if there’s no sun? Do you have alternatives to generating power?

Myth 8 – I need a bug out bag, because I’m planning on bugging out.

The problem with this: most people think that they will be bugging out. But the reality is that there’s a high chance that you will be bugging in.

Your Plan: it’s good to have a bug out bag, but don’t ignore the supports that you have at home.

Survival shows and gear can be deceiving. They lull you into believing you can survive anything. But its not true. Read through these 8 myths one more time and learn what not to do the next time a disaster hits.

Urban Survival Skills – Preparing For the Unexpected

Survival situations can occur just about anywhere. Contrary to what most of us think, survival is not limited to getting through rough outdoor situations. You can be stranded a thousand miles from civilization in the most hostile desert, left floundering in the open sea, or simply just struggling to survive in your own attic, and the only thing that is going to help you overcome the threat to your life is having the necessary skills and the necessary tools.

The last decade has seen a rapid deterioration of the global economic climate. Political, military and legal mismanagement has given rise to increasing violence and crime, and countless countries face a near-constant threat of civil war. In general, the growing disparity between the rich and the poor has doubled the threat to the life of an average citizen. Thus, even your very home may turn into a battleground for a tussle between life and death, anywhere in the near or distant future. In such a situation, it pays to be prepared, mentally and physically, to fight for your own and your loved ones’ lives.

Therefore, to ensure that you are well prepared to meet any survival situation head on, follow the simple, four-step procedure outlined in this article.

Step 1: Prepare to Meet Your Food and Water Needs:

Food and water are probably the most urgent needs of a human being, particularly in an urban survival situation. Hence, you must ensure that you store sufficient food and water in your house for any unexpected situation. At least a month or two’s supply of food for each family member is generally a safe amount to have, for you never know how long you may have to stay trapped in your house. Store canned and other non perishable food items, preferably those that require minimum cooking. Also, the foods should be high calorie, so that in case your stay becomes unexpectedly long, a small amount of food can keep you going. Try to store items with a long shelf life, and those that do not need electricity or cooling to keep them from expiring, because they would become very tiresome to store.

Step 2: Keep Shelter in Mind:

Given the alarming rate at which lethal, destructive weapons are being invented, the threats of nuclear, chemical and biological warfare are very real. The only safe place to go to in case of such attacks is underground. Make sure that you and your family know of such shelters in your neighborhood, and that you are ready to take refuge there at the shortest notice. If such a place does not exist, the best idea is to work together with your neighbors to build a shelter that can hold a large number of people safely. This would divide the cost and effort involved and would benefit many more people than just you alone.

Step 3: Develop Survival Skills:

No matter how much food and water you manage to hole up, no matter how good a shelter you build, none of these will help you in a real survival situation unless you know how to live long enough to access them, and how to use them most wisely and efficiently. Knowing how to do these things is what we call survival skills. The first and foremost skill is to keep your thoughts straight and avoid panic and fear in such a situation. Also, knowing how to deal with children, neighbors and friends in such stressful situations is very important. Secondly, you need to know some key skills such as making a fire for purifying water and cooking food, making improvised weapons for self defense, and building a temporary shelter. The best way to equip yourself with all the necessary skills is to enroll in a survival course. There are countless survival camps and training schools that you can join to get priceless knowledge which may one day save your life. Also, keep yourself updated on the latest survival books, articles and online publications, which can teach you a lot in the way of little bits and snippets of knowledge.

At the end, survival is going to be more about what you know than what you have, so do not become complacent about the great survival gear that you have stored up. Go out there and learn everything you may need to know, and only then will you be ready to face life threatening circumstances that can accost you anytime, anywhere.

Fanny Pack Survival Kit: What Examples, Features And Contents You Should Include

When it comes to survival kits, you’d think that more is better, right? But that’s not always the case. Let me explain. Lets take the Bug Out Bag for instance. It’s big enough to carry tools, shelter, food and fire making gear. But can you carry the entire thing everywhere? Can you carry it into your office every day?

You might be able to last longer with a larger backpack. But you won’t be as mobile. Also, the larger pack will be limiting. So is it all that practical?

And that’s where the Fanny Pack comes in. The biggest reason for a fanny pack is mobility. And when you bring in the right mix of gear, you’ll be able to travel far with minimal weight.

So what I’m going to do is give you four tips for choosing and filling your Fanny Pack with the right features and gear. Afterwards, you’ll have the simple framework for your own Every Day Carry or EDC in the format of a Fanny Pack. So lets get started!

FIRST FANNY PACK TIP – Compartmentalization

Fanny packs make sense. That’s because you are packing all your stuff into a small footprint. Also, it’s compartmentalized and gives you easy access around your waist. Two examples of packs that fit this model are the Maxpedition and the Sabercat. Both have this compartmentalization feature. And with compartments, you have the ability to specialize. Specialization gear might include any of these items:

  • water purification/hydration gear
  • fire making
  • communications gear
  • illumination gear

Speaking of compartments, internal cargo pockets would be nice to have. Other types of compartments to look out for are:

  • external shove it pocket
  • exterior side pocket
  • gusseted zippered pockets
  • fleece lined non scratching sunglass eyewear pocket.

So far we’ve talked about smaller items. But don’t think you can’t have a shelter compartment. With ultra lightweight space blankets and tube tents, you can have a shelter compartment in your fanny pack. It’s complete, organized, lightweight and gives you the essentials. So let’s get a little deeper into what those essentials are.

SECOND FANNY PACK TIP – Features to look for

While compartments are important, construction is key. Your fanny pack has to accept the abuse that it’s going to get. It cannot break down in the middle of bugging out. Otherwise your hands will be full carrying all the contents. So the whole point of a 1 person emergency kit (even if its a large fanny pack) around your hip is to make your life hands free.

So lets look at some features of good strong fanny pack emergency survival kit bags.

  • An adjustable waistband is essential. Once you’ve been walking for a few hours, belt adjustment will be necessary.
  • Built-in hip pads wouldn’t hurt. That’s in case your pack gets heavy. (Paladin has the Mission Pack Belt specifically made for this kind of use. )
  • Another feature to check out is the shoulder strap. The S.O.TECH Go Bag’s shoulder strap is tactically worn over one shoulder or around the waist. This gives the operator on-the-go access by rotating the bag from back to front and quickly accessing the contents of the bag.
  • Features on the pack to look out for are large YKK® zipper pull cords for quick opening and fabric made out of 1000 or more Denier nylon.
  • If you can get some PUx2 water repellant coating on the main body and inside pocket flaps, that’s even better.

Finally, think about ID tags and reflective tape to give you high visibility markings. IR or GLINT tape are perfect for infra-red nighttime visibility. This will let EMS and emergency responders find you. Now that we have the basics of the pack its self, lets’ look at some essentials to include inside of your fanny pack.

THIRD FANNY PACK TIP – Essentials to include

Often, people ask “how to build the perfect bug out bag” or “what to put in your bug out bag”. Great question. That’s because without the right stuff, you’ll be stuck focusing on the wrong stuff at the wrong time. So what’s the “right” stuff to focus on when it comes to a fanny pack survival kit? The right stuff should be light, multi purpose, and great at doing its job. So lets talk about some items that fit that bill right now.

  • Fanny Pack Water/Food/Hydration/FoodPrep: With water you have two options. Bring your own, or clean whatever you run into. With the “bring your own” option, water packets are the best choice. The downside is that you won’t have much water. That’s because there’s not much in each packet. One way around this would be water tablets to purify any water you do find. They are perfect because they are compact and lightweight. Another hydration option is to bring a SteriPen UV water filter. The SteriPen has a small footprint, and gets the dangerous stuff out of your water. But you’ll need a silk cloth or something to filter out rocks, dirt and sand. The SteriPen will do the rest. It eliminates over 99% of bacteria, viruses and protozoa that cause water born illnesses. Another plus is that it can do 16 ounces of water in under 50 seconds. They even have a windup model
  • Shelter/Bedding: Space and weight are the keys here. Remember, this all has to fit this into your fanny pack, and leave room for other stuff. So what’s the solution? Tyvek. Tyvek makes a great shelter because it is so lightweight, waterproof and durable all at the same time.
  • Along with the Tyvek, you’ll need some line to tie the corners down or attach to a tree. So a paracord bracelet will provide you with all the line you’ll need. One tip, if you can put grommets in the corners of your Tyvek tarp, it’ll make attaching it to things easier.
  • Another item to add to the Shelter/Bedding compartment would be a Medical grade self warming blanket. The Heat Treat® self-warming, disposable, medical grade blanket is your ticket. It has been developed out of efforts between medical acute care people and is the world leader in self warming products The Heat Treat® is a self contained warming blanket that gives you critical heat up to 104F once its exposed to air. It keeps it there for up to 12 hours. This blanket has proven itsself with hospitals and medical offices.
  • Fanny Pack First Aid: Bandaids are pretty simple to understand, right? But what happens when someone in your group gets a wound that’s more than you can handle? QuikClot® Combat Gauze™ is the answer. QuikClot has helped first responders, safety teams and the military to save many lives. It has stopping power like nothing else. QuikClot is also easy to use. No mixing or measuring. It does have some downsides. But in an emergency, it can save lives.
  • For Hygiene here are some great ideas that are compact, and lend themselves well to a fanny pack. mini towel tablets, canned clothes, paper shampoo, pocket shower
  • Fanny Pack Illumination/Lighting: Its one thing to bring a flashlight. But what happens when your batteries run out? What if you could recharge them… with your body?. Or with something as common as water or urine? There is a battery called the AquaCell that runs off of water. Forget about solar or recharging things. AquaCells come in double or triple A sizes.
  • Fanny Pack Communications: I think that the best you can do in communications would be a HAM radio. And the Yaesu VX8R is the winner. It is handheld and easily fits into your pack. Also, its submersible. So water won’t be a problem with this baby.
  • But lets say that you don’t have a HAM license. And you dont have a radio. What then? The SAR eclipse signal device will be something to check out. It’s a mirror with features to allow you to fine tune where you are shining the mirror. You can signal people 10, 20, 50 miles away on a sunny day. Airplane pilots have been known to see signal mirror signals from 100 miles away
  • Fanny Pack Fire/Tools: You cant have a survival kit without firemaking ability. Two items that I’ll never go without are the BlastMatch and WetFire blocks. The BlastMatch is a one handed firesteel device made for all weather use. It will light in the wind, rain or snow. It puts out a stream of high heat sparks. And when you combine it with WetFire Tinder, you can start a fire in the middle of a hard rain. Another addition to bring is Camping Matches. These are unique because they stay lit under water. That’s right.

Alright so we’ve got our list of essential items to bring in the Fanny Pack. So what’s next?

FOURTH FANNY PACK TIP – Examples to check out

Again, no one pack has every feature I just covered. But here are the top ones that I’m choosing.

  • Rothco nylon butt pack is simple and durable with water repellant fabric and cinch straps.
  • Fannypack survival kit
  • Remora Gearslinger isn’t really a fanny pack. It’s a sling pack. But its loaded with almost all the features I listed above.
  • Sabercat Versipack is big, but believe it or not, it can be worn as a fanny pack. It has plenty of compartments, molle straps, zippers, etc
  • Proteus Versipack is a slightly smaller version of the Sabercat Versipack with much the same construction.

When I think of a survival kit, I usually think of something I have to hand carry around. But when I looked into these fanny pack designs, it became clear to me that keeping my hands free when I’m bugging out is a big deal. A backpack might be too much in some cases.

One idea would be to carry a fanny pack and a backpack. So you can quick release the backpack and move with the fanny pack for excursions. But still, these things are pretty impressive. Especially the Remora Gearslinger.

This week, go visit WalMart or KMart, and see what they have. Buy some cheap waist pack just to experiment with. Try incorporating some of the gear in this article.

Once you have your fanny pack, then start putting items and supplies into your kit. A great start would be the BlastMatch. And when you check it out, give me a shout!

Tyvek Tent: 4 Reasons Why House Wrap Belongs In Your Survival Kit

Imagine bugging out in the middle of a natural disaster. And imagine a perfectly waterproof shelter on your back that weighs almost nothing. That’s what a Tyvek tent would feel like.

Sure there are plenty of alternatives to a home depot tent like plastic, Mylar space blankets, canvas and Gore-Tex. But these are either very expensive comparatively speaking, or non breathable.

So here are the key reasons why Tyvek, house wrap or Typar make sense as an emergency shelter material.

1) cheap

2) lightweight

3) waterproof and

4) machine washable.

REASON #1: TYVEK SHELTERS ARE CHEAP

Cheap is important because survival isn’t about glamor. The less money you have to spend on shelter per square foot, means you can buy more of it. Let me show you what I mean.

I have a Coleman Weathermaster tent. It’s 9’x17’x6′ high. So I’m getting 618 square feet for about $175.

In contrast, a 9’x150′ roll of Tyvek is about $150. You’re getting about 1350 square feet. That’s twice the square footage for what you get with the Weathermaster.

Look, you wont be hauling around a 150′ roll of anything in a survival situation. But I hope you can see the value difference.

Here’s a second reason why Tyvek is a better choice.

REASON #2: TYVEK IS LIGHT

Let’s take the WeatherMaster again. It weighs between 25-30 pounds. On the other hand, the same amount of Tyvek weighs under 5 pounds.

That’s 1/5 the weight of the 6 man tent, just by using a different material. That will take quite a load off of your back. OK, we’ve covered price and weight. What’s next? Protection against the elements.

REASON #3: WATERPROOF

If you’re wondering if Tyvek is waterproof or water resistant then check this out. Tyvek is not only a great home protector, but can be a great shelter, tarp, ground cloth and bivvy sack material. Let me share a real quick little lesson on waterproofness.

There’s a measurement for “waterproofness”. Its called Hydrostatic Head or HH. Waterproof fabrics all have a minimum HH rating of 1000. The rating stands for a column of water that’s 1000 number of millimeters high. So HH of 1000 means a column of 1000 mm high can stand on the fabric before the fabric starts letting water through.

Again, 1000 HH is the lowest waterproof rating level. Most tent material is about HH 1200. Tyvek is about HH 2100. Its waterproof. And it’s a great moisture barrier. But what do you do when Tyvek gets dirty and muddy?

REASON #4: WASHABLE

Here’s something interesting. Most house wrap is biodegradable and disposable. And some types of Tyvek are even washable. You just throw them into a washing machine. Put the machine on delicate, throw in some liquid Tide and hot water and you’re good to go. Just like clothing. At first it crinkles, and after a while it softens up.

So there you have it. Four great reasons why Tyvek makes sense as a tent, tarp and shelter material. At first I thought it was a joke when I heard about it. But the more I read, the more it made sense. Tyvek is indeed cheap, light, waterproof and its washable.

This week, go out and find yourself a 10×10′ sheet. Pick up some Tyvek tape off of Amazon.

Then throw a quick bivvy sack together. Insert your sleeping bag. Go camping out in your back yard this weekend and tell me if it doesn’t work great. And while you’re at it, try coming up with your own Tyvek tent ideas and let me know what you discovered.

Your Greatest Outdoor Survival Tool – Mental Toughness

Any outdoor enthusiast should carry a first aid and survival kit.

Mental toughness is probably the most important survival mechanism of all.

Whether you like to hike, boat, cycle or explore nature away from the crowds is important to keep safety in mind. Perhaps the most important tool for survival is not carried with you as here at all, but it Is your mental attitude in preparation having thought through emergencies before hand and being prepared.

Here are some tips and ideas that may help you enjoy the outdoors even more in comfort and safety no matter what happens.

1. Do what it takes. The conventions of etiquette, propriety and high cuisine may have to take a backseat when survival is at stake. It may be necessary to share body heat with a buddy. Stabilizing knee wound or broken bone must be done, regardless of any squeamishness or immediate discomfort. There are many animals, insects, and vegetation that can sustain life in a pinch in the wild

2. Maintain a positive attitude. There is an interesting concept study in psychology called self-efficacy that basically states that if a person believes they can do something their chances are significantly higher it will be accomplished. Henry Ford once said “If a man believes he can do something or cannot do something he is right.”

3. Survival knowledge. You do not necessarily need an advanced degree in survival. But it is certainly prudent and cautious to have read and studied on the environments in which you like to enjoy yourself. Knowledge of your sport or hobby is not only critical for safety but also for enjoyment.

4. Motivation. If you find yourself a in a tight spot, it really helps to maintain a positive attitude if you have strong motivators. What motivates you is certainly different from what motivates someone else. It is important to maintain a clear vision and power through any difficulties to get back to what you love and the life you want to live

5. Take action. I used to have a teacher who stated “A thought is just a thought, any motion is just an emotion, but nothing actually happens until you take action.” This is not to say hasty or rash action is necessary, but in order to change one’s circumstances no matter what they may be some change has to occur.

In looking over this list, it does not seem like rocket science but ask yourself, have you actually mentally prepared for any contingencies that may come up while you’re enjoying your sport or hobby. Preparation is the key to success.