>Survival Kit & Bug Out Bag Contents

These are my suggestions:

1. A Survival Retreat requires not one list but rather a list of lists. The main list is used to include all the various types of gear required, like First Aid, Tools, Food & Water, Fire-Starting, Clothing, Personal, Navigation, Shelter and so on. Each of those lists contain only the items in that category.

2. A Survival Kit and a Bug Out Bag can also benefit from a list of lists, as the example above shows. One list for every item would be confusing. Besides, having a list of the contents of a First Aid Kit is more useful than having all those items - band-aids, tweezers, gauze - listed along with food items, fire-starting items, and so on. Once the item is in the 'kit', you can check it off.

3. Having all or most of the items in a category contained in one place or box or bag makes locating a specific item quick and easy. A First Aid Kit is an obvious example, and small pouches serve this purpose well. Fire-starting items can likewise be stored in a small tin or pouch. I find perfect little zippered pouches at thrift stores for less than a dollar. I mark on several sides with permanent marker what the pouch contains.

Disclaimer: The following lists and suggestions are not mine and included here only to provide other perspectives on these topics. I'm a vegetarian, and I don't agree with those who think that dead animals are good food, but this web site is not only for vegetarians, so take what you find below with a grain of salt and whatever condiments you like.

The following material was compiled by Dave Lee. Except for the food suggestions, I am in agreement with most of the other supplies he suggests. For my food suggestions, see Food Storage, and for an in-depth article, go here.

Wilderness survival requires:

* Will to survive and a proper mental attitude

* Physical fitness

* Knowledge and skills (first aid, survival skills, wild plant identification, land navigation, knot making, etc.)

* Tools (broadly defined, this would also include survival manuals).

Anyone who focuses solely on tools without developing the other elements may come to regret it. Moreover, the greater your knowledge and skills, the fewer tools you need.

These lists are a reference tool for you to create your own survival kit. Your first step should be to stop and THINK. For what am I preparing? How long am I likely to be on my own? How much space do I have and how much weight can I carry? How much am I willing to spend?

For instance, I live in eastern Virginia, which is reasonably populated, so I believe there is little chance that I would ever be on my own for more than five days. Needless to say, if I lived or traveled in Alaska or Western states with vast open spaces, I would have to change my assumptions dramatically! Similarly, when I go winter camping, I bring extra supplies in the event I get snowed in.

Next, you must determine the size and weight of your kit(s). If you are assembling something to keep in your pocket or briefcase, you will probably have few tools and those that you have will be of a miniature variety (i.e., a wire saw). On the other hand, a tool-box sized kit for your vehicle might contain a heavier and more durable folding saw.

Finally, you must think about how much you are willing to spend. If your total budget is $100, it would be imprudent to spend $70 on a Leatherman Super Tool. You might be better off picking up a used USAF survival knife for $10. On the other hand, quality matters, so don't be mislead by cheap low-quality gear. Try to make sure each item has more than one use. And KISS!

Since this is my compendium, I will begin with my list:

* Survival Kit from Penrith Survival Equipment (contents listed below), wrapped in plastic and sealed. (add extra hooks of different sizes).

* Ziplock bag in another pocket contains: space blanket, thin pea-less plastic whistle ("Perry whistle"), disposable cigarette lighter, several water purification tablets, Fisher Space Pen refill cartridge (702) 293-3011, bandages, some Spectra fishing line (for fishing and sewing), waterproof matches, needles, knife, tiny bottle DEET.

* Depending on what I'm doing I might supplement with: first aid kit, larger "storm" whistle, large sheath or folding knife, mini-hatchet (Safety Pocket Ax formerly available from A.G. Russell (800) 255-9034), flashlight, water purification tablets, food, water filter-straw, snares, 550 cord, book on edible plants. (According to one expert, Busse Combat Knives offers the best sheath knives on the market (419) 923-6471. The best folder is the Benchmade AFCK-800S (503) 655-6004. For more information, see "Choosing the Right Survival Knife" by Chris Janowsky in the July 1996 issue of American Survival Guide.)


The SAS Survival Handbook

by John Wiseman

This is the survival book recommended most frequently. The book's wide scope (desert to jungle to liferaft) makes it a good broad starting point, but you'd probably want to supplement it.

Visit Wiseman's WWW site.

Survival Kit (Pocket-Size):

* Matches

* Candle

* Flint

* Magnifying Glass

* Needles and Thread

* Fishoooks and Line

* Compass

* Beta Light [contact Penrith Survival Equipment, below]

* Snare Wire

* Flexible Saw (wire saw)

Medical Kit:

* Pain reliever

* Intestinal seditive

* Antibiotic

* Antihistimine

* Water sterilizing tablets

* Anti-malaria tablets

* Potassium permanganate

* Surgical Blades

* Butterfly Sutures

* Plasters (band-aids)

* Condom

Survival Pouch (larger kit):

* Mess Tin

* Fuel

* Flashlight

* Flares

* Marker Panel (surveyor's tape?)

* Matches

* Brew Kit (tea kit)

* Clear Plastic Bag

* Food

* Knife & sharpener


...all in a waterproof pouch


The Urban Survival Handbook

by John Wiseman

Standard Kit:

* Paper Money

* Coins

* Phonecard

* Paper and pencil stub

* Needle and Thread

* Tiny Flashlight

* Safety Pins

* Tweezers

* Tiny Scissors

* Aspirin/Pacetamol

* Scalpel blade

* Magnifying lens

* Bandages

* Whistle

.... and add to it your personal necessities:

* Tiny screwdriver

* Antihistimine tablets

* Other medicines

* Tampons

* Condoms

* Spare contact lenses

* Matches


Survival: A Manual that Could Save Your Life

by Chris & Gretchin Janowsky (Paladin Press)

This book is geared toward long-term survival in typical North American environments. A wonderful little book.

Chris runs the World Survival Institute in Tok, Alaska, and is a regular contributor to the American Survival Guide. The WSI can be reached at (907) 883-4243 or by writing to Box 394C, Tok, Alaska 99780. He also produces videotapes, including a set of 4 wilderness survival tapes, 5 combat martial arts tapes, and 5 emergency response tapes. Beware of imitators selling his Tracking & Ambush tape!

You can buy this book online from Amazon.com.

This is his 1980s-era list: His updated 1996 list is below.

Survival Belt:

* Belt pack 4"x5"x2" waterproof nylon

* Small folding knife 3" blade

* Knife sharpener (E-Z Lap Diamond Sharpener)

* 1 2" flint

* 1 large safety pin

* Waterproof tape

* Ziplock plastic bag

* Nylon twine

* Wire ring saw

* 1 container fire starter

* Flashlight micro-lithium

* Spool wire

* Gaff hook

* 1 nail

* 3 small animal snares

* 1 fishing kit

* Metal signal mirror

Fishing Kit:

* 4-1/2" x 3" x 1-1/4" box

* 4 assorted dry flies #12 hooks

* 4 assorted dry flies #14 hooks

* 3 large lead jigs in assorted colors #4 hooks

* 4 small ice fishing jigs, assorted colors #12 hooks

* 6 lead-lined jigs, assorted colors #6 hooks

* 6 short shank #4 hooks

* 4 short shank #14 hooks

* 4 short shank #2 hooks

* 6 long shank #4/0 hooks

* 1 gaff hook #8/0 hook

* 3 Swedish pimples, assorted sizes (ice fishing jigs)

* 2 large safety pins

* 1 band-tied 3-hook worm harness

* 1 Rapella lure

* 1 red & white Dare-devil

* 1 small gold spoon

* 1 small silver-spoon

* 1 container floating fly dope

* 6 4" plastic worms

* 3 2" plastic worms

* 6 3-way swivels

* 6 ball-bearing snap swivels

* Assortment of lead weights

* 1 tapered fly line

* 50 yards 18# test braided nylon squidding line

* 1 steel leader 8"

* 3 nylon leaders 20" each

* Container fish poison

Medical Kit:

* 1 sterile 2" Kling bandage

* Tweezers

* Scissors

* 5 Band-Aids

* 1 package Tums

* 4 sterile 3"x3" dressings

* 4 sterile 4"x4" dressings

* 1 sterile adaptic 4"x4" dressing

* 1 3x5 moleskin

* 4 individual application tubes antibiotic ointment

* 1 eyewash applicator with saline solution

* 1 pkg aspirin

* Triangular bandage

* 4 alcohol prep pads

* 4 butterfly bandages

Large Survival Kit for Indefinite Survival:

* Sewing awl

* Needle nose pliers with wire cutter

* Needle

* Dental floss (for sewing)

* Folding knife

* Sierra saw (folding)

* Ring saw

* Survival saw

* Snow shovel

* Visqueen (heavy plastic tarp)

* Water generator

* 3'x3' signal cloth

* Fishing kit: safety pins, 150' 18 lb line, hooks, floats, bait, etc.

* Multi vitamins

* Protein tablets

* Hard candy

* Dried eggs

* Dried milk

* Tent cloth

* File

* Silverware

* 3 space blankets

* Compass

* Signal mirror

* 2 sky blazers

* 4 candles

* Micro-lithium flashlight, battery, bulb

* Fire starter

* Matches

* Butane lighter

* Flint

* Bug dope (GI)

* 12 snares

* Spool snare wire

* Plastic drinking tube

* 2 heavy zip-lock bags

* P38 can opener

* Water purification tablets

* Sling shot rubber and ammo

* Diamond knife sharpener

* Whistle

* Towel & face cloth

* Soap

* 2 orange smoke signals

* 75 yards 42 lb nylon twine

* 75' nylon cord

* 1 pair work gloves

* Metal cup

* Mess kit

* Small grill

* Mousetrap

* 1 roll surveyors tape

* Folding water jug

This is Chris' 1996 list. Note how it has evolved.

Survival Kit

* Complete fishing kit

* Gill net

* Awl with extra thread

* 25 ft 550 cord

* Carton cutter (razor knife)

* Solar battery charger for AA batteries, with rechargeable batteries

* Signal mirror

* Magnifying glass

* 2 pre-made wire snares

* Bug dope (insect repellent)

* Camo paint kit

* Katadyne H2O purifier

* Extra H2O purification tablets

* Spool of nylon twine, with capped center holding safety pins and sewing needles

* 2 compasses (1 regular, 1 lensatic)

* Duct tape

* Waterproof notepad with pens and pencils

* Space blanket

* Thermometer

* Altibaro (combination altimeter and barometer)

* Spool of tripwire

Speed Pouch Inside Survival Kit:

* Lock-back knife

* EZ-Lap diamond knife sharpener

* WSI Hot Spark flint

* Fire starter

* Small flashlight

* Slingshot rubber

* Surveyor's tape

* Electrolytes

Medical Kit

* 6 3X3 gauze pads

* 4X4 gauze pads (6 doubles, 4 singles)

* 3 4X5 Kling bandages

* 3 3X5 Kling bandages

* 1 field dressing

* 10 Adaptic nonadhering dressings

* Triangular bandage

* Ace bandage

* Assorted bandaids

* Assorted rolls of tape, 1 waterproof

* Safety pins, various sizes

* Moleskin

* Swab sticks

* Field surgical instruments

* Assorted sizes of suture thread and needles

* Iodine

* Antibiotic cream/ointment

* Lanacane cream

* Eye drops

* Tylenol

* Bactine

* Potassium iodine tablets

* Ground yarrow flowers and leaves

* Tums

* Vitamins

* Toothbrush

* Dental powder

* Dental floss

* Snake bite kit (optional)

Fanny Pack

* Fishing line, 2 kinds

* Small crookneck flashlight

* Mousetrap

* Book: Survival, A Manual That Could Save Your Life

* Waterproof collection bag

* Net bag

* 2 ponchos

* 100 ft 550 cord

* Sierra saw with extra blade

* 3 heavy-duty water bags

* 6 regular water bags

Misc Items for Belt

* Canteen with drinking/cooking cup and outside pocket for water tablets, large knife with sheath

If you need more information or details, you can buy Survival: A Manual that Could Save Your Life online from Amazon.com.


Camping and Woodcraft

by Horace Kephart (1917)

Reprinted in 1988 by the University of Tennessee Press

This short list does not do justice to this work. This book contains over 800 pages of outdoor skills, from different types of fires for different purposes to diet and cooking to how to build temporary and permanent shelters and furniture. The hardcover costs US$29.00 and will give you a lifetime of reading pleasure. While outdoor technology has improved in the past 75 years, most of the skills he teaches have not changed in 1000 years. If there was book I would want to have for LONG-TERM (2 years+) wilderness survival, this would be it!

* Small hatchet

* Sheath knife (heavy or wet jobs)

* Pocket knife (fine jobs/surgery)

* Compass

* Watch

* Whistle

* Maps

* Paper & pen

* Matches in waterproof container

* Flashlight

* Spare eyeglasses

* First aid kit

* Repair kit: small scissors, tweezers, dental floss, needle, safety pins, rubber band, shoelace, twine, snare wire, rigged fishline, hooks, split shot, etc.

* Toilet articles: towel, soap, toothbrush, comb, mirror


The Backpacker's Handbook

by Hugh McManners

Hugh is the author of several backpacking and outdoors books. You can read more about them or order one of the following onling from Amazon.com:

* The Backpackers Handbook

* The Complete Wilderness Training Book

* The Outdoor Adventure Handbook

* Hiking (101 Essential Tips)

* Commando: Winning the Green Beret

Useful Equipment

* Swiss Army Knife

* Can opener

* Map

* Waterproof matches

* Flashlight

* Compass

* Map

* Binoculars

Survival Kit

* Fishing line

* Scalpel

* Pencil stub

* Safety pins

* Thin wire

* Mirror

* Wire saw

* Fishing hooks and sinkers

* Potassium permanganate

* Sewing kit (large-eyed needles, waterproof thread, large buttons)

* Clear plastic bag

* Button compass

* Antibiotics

* Magnifying glass

* Salt

* Bandages

* Water sterilizers

* Matches

...in a storage tin


Backpacker Magazine

June 1995

Always Carry

* Knife

* Cigarette lighter

* Garbage bag

10 Essentials

* Knife

* Lighter

* Garbage bag

* Water bottles

* High-energy food

* Map & compass

* Rain gear

* Warm clothes

* Signal whistle & mirror

* Medical kit

* Sunglasses

* Flashlight (headlamp) with spare batteries & bulb

* Firestarter

* Iodine

* Emergency kit (fishhooks, nylon cord, etc.)

Note that 15 items are included because nobody agrees on which items to eliminate!


Common Sense Survival for Outdoor Enthusiasts

by Bob Newman

This is a mini guide to surviving for 5 days; it is a "friendly" text that you can give your spouse or child to read without scaring them. It does not cover foraging, snaring, etc. so would be totally inadequate for medium or long-term survival.

Five-Day Survival Kit

First Aid

* 6 2"x2" gauze pads

* 6 4"x4" gauze pads

* Roll of standard medical gauze tape

* Assortment of povidone iodine wipes

* Eye patch

* Antibiotic/antiseptic cream

* Package of steri-strips

* Moleskin

* Bandage scissors & tweezers

* 1 3" elastic bandage

* 1 3" gauze roller bandage

* Sawyer brand Extractor Kit (snake & insect bites)

* 2 cravats


* Sturdy plastic whistle

* Pencil flare launcher with 6 flares

* Shatterproof signal mirror

* Sturdy flashlight with extra batteries

* Extra bullets/shells if you have a firearm

* Several strips (3"x12") international orange cloth


* 1 35mm film canister with cotton balls coated with petroleum jelly

* Magnesium block with striker

* Commercial tinder sticks

* Magnifying glass

* Butane lighter

* Waterproof container of wooden "strike anywhere" kitchen matches

Food and Water

* 100 yards 15 lb. test fishing line

* Hooks, mostly small

* 1 packaged prepared catfish/scavanger bait

* 1 bottle PotableAqua brand, halazone, or iodine tabs for H20

* 10' surgical tubing

* 2 plastic collapsible containers

* 1 clear plastic bag, large

* 1 dry compressed sponge (unused)


* 1 solar blanket

* 50' parachute cord

* Several chemical heat packs

* Wire saw

* 1 8'x8' tarp, reflective on one side

* 3 survival candles


* Fixed or lock-blade knife

* Silva compass

* Topographic map

* Spare eyeglasses/sunglasses

* Spare wool hat

* Aspirin or Tylenol

* Prescription medicine

* Other items unique to your needs


Backpacking One Step at a Time

by Harvey Manning

The Ten Essentials

* Extra Clothing

* Extra Food

* Sunglasses

* Knife

* Fire Starter

* Matches

* First-Aid Kit

* Flashlight

* Map

* Compass

* Whistle

* Sunscreen

* Insect Repellent

* Repair Kit: cloth tape, ripstop tape, thread, needles, awl and coarse thread, safety pins, clevis pins, nylon cord, light steel wire, nails and screws, pliers

* Toilet Kit: toothbrush & paste, soap, small towel, polished steel mirror, comb, handkerchief

* Other: fishing tackle, notepad & pencil, etc.


The Ten Essentials

by Scott Stoddard

(Originally published in the American Survival Guide, January 1992)

"DON'T leave home without it." But what good will a green plastic credit card do you 20 miles from the nearest paved road? What do you really need when out away from civilization?

Experienced outdoor enthusiasts know what items are most important to bring - even for short walks or hikes out of base camp. The "10 Essentials" are items that cannot be improvised from materials lying on the forest floor. To be found without these few items, even only a few miles from camp or cabin, can spell disaster.

The standard list of 10 essentials varies slightly depending on which source you go to. The Boy Scouts have their list, the Sierra Club has another, and the Mountaineers in their outdoor bible, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, have come up with another variation. They all incorporate the same basic items.

The following list is not to be considered cast in concrete - each survivalist should customize his or her own kit for the barest minimum of supplies. Note that the first three items are for finding your way, the second three are for your protection, and the last four are for emergencies.

1. A MAP of the area you will be hiking, canoeing, or camping should be detailed enough so that you can find man-made items like trails, unimproved roads, power lines, etc., and natural features such as rivers, streams, hills and other terrain land marks that will guide you. A U.S Geological Survey Topographical map has all of these features and more. For an index to topo maps in your home state contact: U.S. Geological Survey, Map Distribution Section, Federal Center, Box 25286, Denver, CO 80225; (303) 236-7477. A 365 page book titled, The Map Catalog, (Every kind of map and chart on Earth and even some above it), is available from: High Country Enterprise, P.O. Box 746, Saguache, CO 81149; (719) 655-2432.

2. A map without a COMPASS is almost useless unless you possess a sixth sense in direction finding. I prefer the liquid filled "Silva" or "Suunto" compasses. These have straight edges that are useful in plotting bearings. Military lensatic compasses are more bulky and don't have a clear base making map reading through the compass impossible. With both map and compass you should be able to "orient" the map by lining up magnetic north on the compass with the magnetic north arrow printed on the map. Once you do this, you'll be able to identify terrain features and plot your course.

3. Be sure that the FLASHLIGHT you bring doesn't have a switch that is easily turned on and off. You may find that it has been accidentally on all day, and when you need it the batteries will be already worn out. In that case don't put the batteries inside the unit until you are required to use it. Even if you have the most advanced, water proof machined aluminum light source, bring a spare bulb and spare alkaline batteries just in case. A Mini- Mag Lite will fit in the smallest of 10 essential kits but may not be adequate for all-night travel. Headlamps are useful for cave exploring and when the hands are otherwise occupied.

4. On one trip to the top of an 11,000 foot peak I forgot my SUNGLASSES and I nearly went snowblind. After tiring of looking through my balled-up fists I finally had to cut slits in some cardboard and jury-rig some Eskimo sunglasses. Sunglasses are available today that stop 99 percent of ultraviolet light. Poly carbonate lenses with "wraparound" designs provide more protection against wind and side glare. Glacier glasses are recommended for snowy conditions. They usually have polarized lenses and leather side shields to block out the side glare. Buy some retaining straps when you purchase your sunglasses. Croakies or Chums cost less than $5 and will prevent damage or loss of your expensive eye wear. Add some sunscreen to your kit for total solar protection.

5. EXTRA FOOD and WATER. This category puzzles me a bit. Does it mean that I should have two water bottles filled with water and two bags of trail mix? The amount of water you bring should be determined by the length of the trip and the temperature and physical demand put on your body. Water should be used as needed and not rationed out,(i.e.,a few ounces now and no more for another hour). If your body needs water, it needs it now not three hours from now! Water purification tablets might help you use other water sources. As far as food, some hikers throw cans of sardines or tuna fish into their packs knowing that they wouldn't eat it unless there was an emergency. Normal trail foods (dried fruits, nuts, and granola) should be eaten at regular intervals to resupply the body with energy. Pemmican is one of the most concentrated high energy foods you can carry. See the Oct. 1991 ASG issue on page 57 for directions on its preparation.

6. Once again, the EXTRA CLOTHING you bring is determined by the time of the year and the weather. A breezy summer hike may require only a poncho for rain protection and a light nylon wind jammer for possible cold. A day snow hike gets more complicated. An extra jacket or sweater may do, but if you will be in extreme mountain conditions, a bivouac sack, insulation pad, and a winter sleeping bag may be the only thing that will save you should the weather go bad. In normal conditions you should at least throw a metalized space blanket into your kit. This with a poncho can be used to rig up an improvised lean-to shelter. Tape the space blanket to the poncho for support, tie the poncho to trees to form a lean-to and then build a fire in front. The space blanket will reflect the heat of the fire back on to you.

7. Expensive WATERPROOFED MATCHES have always seemed a little too gimmicky for my taste. Strike anywhere wood matches are a lot cheaper and can be stored in a waterproof container such as an empty plastic 35mm film can. If they're too long, just clip off the ends to the right length. A more convenient item for starting fires can be found at your local liquor or convenience store. Throw-away plastic cigarette lighters work well and some have adjustable flames in case you need "blow torch" action. Other fire sparkers such as the flint/magnesium bars on key chains are good back-ups should you lose your matches or lighter.

8. FIRESTARTERS. In this category you can include a regular paraffin candle (store inside a plastic bag so it doesn't melt in your pack), commercial firestarter tablets, Sterno, or my favor ite - Hexamine tablets that are available at most Army/Navy surplus stores. Hexamine tablets won't evaporate like Trioxane Fuel Bars do when the wrapper is ripped, and come six tablets to a small cardboard tube.

A firestarter is used only when conditions make it difficult to start a fire. Preparation is the key to fire building. You need plenty of kindling sticks or pieces of wood split thin with your knife to make the larger diameter branches catch. Most people begin their fires with inadequate supplies of tinder and kindling and are frustrated when they can't get a three inch thick log to catch fire.

9. A POCKET KNIFE is your most important 10 essentials item. Among other things it helps in first aid, food preparation, and fire building. As long as you have a knife you can make fire. Striking steel on any flint-like rock will produce sparks that can catch fire in carefully prepared tinder and kindling - materials you have gathered and prepared using the knife. More elaborate versions of pocket knives contain a treasure chest of useful tools: saws, tweezers, scissors, screwdrivers, awls, toothpicks, can openers, etc A good Swiss Army knife will bring out the MacGyver in all of us. Don't forget this item!

10. A FIRST AID KIT really isn't one item but a collection of items that can contain the bare minimum of bandaids, aspirin, and iodine or on the other extreme contain suture kits, chemically activated cold packs and prescription drugs. This is where you will have to really do some customizing and personalizing. I store my first aid items in a plastic Zip Loc bag so that I can see everything inside and protect them from the weather. Along with an assortment of bandaids, gauze pads, and Steri-Strips, are the following: insect repellent, sunscreen, lip balm with SPF 21, triple antibiotic ointment, small bottle of Hibiclens Surgical Scrub, Aspirin, Diasorb tablets for diarrhea, Actifed (decongestant), Bonine (motion sickness), and Benadryl (antihistamine). Other items that are helpful are: a needle for splinter extraction, moleskin or Spenco Second Skin for blisters, Ace bandage, small needle-nose pliers, single-edge razor blades, and Calamine cream for insect bites.

The "11th" item of the 10 essentials most people carry is toilet paper. Other "essentials" I bring include: an Air Force type signal mirror, 50 feet of parachute cord, mini-Leatherman tool, and plastic fluorescent marking tape for trail marking. You might want to add a pocket signal flare and other items such as a smoke generator for signaling.

Your 10 essentials kit can be packaged in a number of ways. The most convenient is a small day pack. Day packs will hold your water bottle, extra clothing and food for most daytime trips. Get one made out of Cordura nylon with padded straps.

For extensive mountain bike rides many cyclists like to use waist packs or fanny packs to store their emergency gear and a banana or two. A waist pack is generally cooler to wear and provides for a lower center of gravity. Water is normally carried on the frame of the bicycle, so the packs can be smaller and lighter.

The last essential that needs to be taken on all your trips into the wilderness won't fit in a survival kit. It's called common sense and is a prime commodity in both the city and in the outdoors. If it looks like rain - don't go. If it looks too high - stay back. If it's getting dark - get back to your base. By avoiding unnecessary problems and dangers you will save on your own personal wear and tear, and probably get back home in one piece. However, if something does come up, at least you know you've got those 10 important items stowed away in your rucksack.

Subscription Information

American Survival Guide

Subscription Dept.

2145 W. La Palma Ave

Anaheim, CA 92801-1785


Sports Afield Outoor Skills

by Frank Golad

Pocket-Sized Survival

* Wooden matches in waterproof container OR butane lighter

* Cotton balls

* Thick candle

* Instant soup or bouillon cubes

* Concentrated food or candy

* Small folding knife

* Small compass

* Band-Aids

* Sseveral feet heavy fishing line (20- or 30-lb test)

* Fishooks and 1 or 2 jigs or flies

* ...and possibly:

o Survival book

o Field guide to edible plants

o Snake-bite kit

o Aluminum foil

Survival Fishing Kit

* Few hooks various sizes and styles

* Couple trout lines (Wolly Worm patterns size 6 or 8)

* 10 feet mono line at least 10-lb test

* Rubber bands

...all in a 35mm container that can double as a float


Staying Alive

by Bill Revill

Published in American Surival Guide, November 1994

Permanently leave the following in a vehicle

* Water bottle (2 pints)

* Canned/dried food

* Nylon shelter (hootch)

* Machete

* Torch

* 12 volt light

* Toilet tissue

* Leather gloves

* Nylon rope (30 feet)

* Silva compass

* Sun screen cream

* Canvas water filter

* Tomahawk

* Hunting Knife

* Candles

* Fire starter kit

* Small frying pan

* Folding stove

* Solid fuel tablets

* .22 Rifle (single shot)

* Ammo

* Space blanket

* Folding shovel

* Roll of thin wire

Knapsack Survival Kit

No matter what the destination or reason for the trip, my knapsack survival kit travels with me whenever I venture beyond the blacktop. It's the very first item thrown on board. No exceptions.

If I happen to be taking off as navigator in a friend's vehicle, the knapsack is still mandatory equipment. Survival is a personal responsibility so it's unwise to count on someone else being sufficiently prepared.

This entire kit is contained in a robust, canvas knapsack that, when full, weighs just under 7 pounds and takes no more space than two six-packs.

Here are some examples of what's in it:

* Water purifiers

* Wind/waterproof matches

* Water filter

* Candle stub

* Plastic zip-lock bags

* Solid fuel

* Compass

* Survival blanket

* Notebook and pencil

* Nylon para cord

* Fishing kit

* Small tent pegs

* Dried stew mix

* Plastic eyelets

* Dried soups

* Cotton gloves

* Biscuits

* Toilet tissue

* Tea and coffee

* Soap

* Sugar

* Repellent

* Tube milk

* Field dressings

* Breakfast cereal

* Mosquito coils

* Pocket knife

* Sewing kit

In all, there are 122 items randomly packed into the kit, all of which directly or indirectly contribute to the six basic survival requirements. But here too, food items require rotation at least annually.


Inventory for Basic Survival Kit

by Daniel C. Friend

Originally published in American Survival Guide, March 1990

Shelter and Warmth

* "Emergency" space blanket or bag

* Heavy duty plastic trash bag (2.5 mil)

* 550 parachute cord 25'

* 9' transparent vinyl mending tape (wrap around flashlight)


* Heavy-duty plastic water bag (large heavy-duty ziplock bag will do)

* Iodine-based water tablets

* Large cotton bandana or triangular bandage

Heat, Light, and Signalling

* 9-hour candle

* Waterproof match case

* Waterproof strike-anywhere matches

* 2 bithday candles

* Disposable lighter

* Mmagnesuim firestarter

* Ccard-type magnifying lens [fresnel?]

* Police whistle on lanyard [beware of metal whistles they freeze to lips in cold]

* Stainless steel double-surface signal mirror

* AA or AAA flashlight with fresh batteries

* 50' surveyor's tape

* 3"x5" cards and pen

Knives and Tools

* Swiss ary knife or leathermean tool

* Knife sharpener (opposed tungsten carbide tips)

* Hemostats

* Small "ignition point" file

* 6" sharpened piece of hacksaw blade

* 4" extra-heavy duty sewing needle

* 6 heavy duty rubber bands

Direction Finding

* Good quality liquid-filled luminous compass

First Aid

* Clean cotton bandana or triangular bandage (see WATER)

* Hemostats (see KNIVES and TOOLS)

* Flexible fabric band-aids of various sizes

* Handiwipes

* Insect repellant

* Aspirins or Tylenol

* Moleskin or mole foam

* Pepto Bismol


* Mosquito headnet (for fishing or insects)

* Safety pins, 2 large 4 medium

* Telephone change

* Snare wire, brass or copper

* Survival cards

In Addition to the Basic Survival Kit Always Include the Following Items in Your Pack

* Individual ready-to-eat canned food (sardines, etc)

* Detailed map

* Separate first-aid kit, including prescription medications

* Small transistor radio

* Extra pair eyeglasses in unbreakable case

Inventory for Augmentation Kit

First Aid

* 4 3"x3" sterile pads

* 1 roll 2" cling bandage

* Trial size pack Coricidin D decongestant tablets

* Blister pack of 9 Cepacol throat lozenges

* Blister pack Pepto Bismol tablets

* Neosporin antibiotic ointment

* Extra sefety pins

* 6 flexible fabric band-aids

Shelter and Warmth

* 4'x7' poly blanket or extra space blanket

* 9-hour candle

* 25' 550 parachute cord

* Small disposable lighter

Food and Water

* 2 tins sardines

* Heavy duty nylon spoon

* Snare wire

* Mosquito head net

* Iodine water purification tablets

* Plastic water bag


* Spare batteries for flashlight


Advanced Crisis Pack

© 1987 E. Michael Smith

See also the author's auxillary crisis pack.

Packing it

* Standard backpack


* Tom Brown Guide to Urban and Wilderness Survival


* Stored - Gallon jug

* Carried/found - Canteen

* Purified - Pump filter

* Solar Still


* Stored

o Soup Packets

o Coffee Packets

o Food bars

o Vitamin pills

o Salt & pepper

o Freeze dried meals

* Gathered

o Small firearm and ammunition

o Large fish kit and gill net

* Preparation

o Serving spoon and fork

o Small frying pan, Teflon coated

o Mess kit

o Nut cracker

o Steamer basket

o Thermos cup

o Wire rack grill

Environmental Protection

* Poncho

* Tent

* Sleeping bag

* Ground cloth

* Heavy duty space blanket

* Towel

* Boot grease


* CB, aviation radio, or ELT

* Signal strobe

* Flare gun and extra flares

* (see also fire making and light, below)


* Sextant

* Star chart

Fire Making

* Camp stove w/ fuel bottle and fuel

* Spark lighter


* Large flashlight w/ spare bulb

* Spare flashlight batteries

* Solar battery charger and nicads

* Gas light

Health and First Aid

* Major kit

* Triangle bandage

* Splint kit

* Toilet paper and paper towels

* Personal medical supplies

* Personal hygiene items: birth control, etc.

General Tools

* Machete

* Camp shovel and ax

* Rock hammer

* Sharpening stone

* Rope

* Medium pulleys

* Carabiners

* bucket

* Sven saw

* Vehicle tool kit

* Aluminum foil roll

* Tire patch kit

* Rubber/nylon/canvass patch kit

* Water proofing spray and grease

* Binoculars

* 2 ft. of 'coat hanger'

* 2 yds sq. cheese cloth

* strapping tape, duct tape

* Calculator

Social Survival

* Money ($100), 12 oz. silver, 1 oz gold, credit card


* Chess or backgammon game

* AM/FM/SW radio with antenna

Carry Also

* Clothes, lots of them

* Water

* Food

* Major Vehicle tool kit

* Second Firearm and ammunition

* Propane torch kit


Auxiliary Crisis Pack

© 1987 E. Michael Smith

See also the author's Advanced Crisis Pack.

Packing it:

* Daypack or small duffel with small stuff bags inside.


* Air Force Survival Manual or Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen


* Stored

o 1 or 2 quart jug or canteen

* Purified

o Filter straw

o Coffee filters

o Iodine tablets

o Baggies


* Stored

o 4 MRE's, 4 LRP's

o Soup & Cocoa Packets

o Coffee Packets

o Food bars

o Vitamin pills

o Salt & pepper

* Gathered

o Medium fish kit

o Snare/trap wire and twine

* Preparing

o Sierra cup

o Tea ball

o Pot lifter

Environmental Protection

* Space blanket type survival suit or space blanket bag or second space blanket.

* Poncho

* Medium and large garbage bags

* Hammock

* Tube tent or lean-to tarp


* Orange cloth (or tube tent)

* Smoke bombs

* Flares - highway and signal

* (see also: fire making and light, below)


* A real good compass

* Altimeter

* Star chart and contour map

Fire Making

* Fire sticks (Swedish match)

* Bic lighter

* Sterno stove

* Metal match (magnesium)

* Hexamine tablets

* Magnifying glass - min. 3 in.


* Spare flashlight batteries

* Second flashlight

* Candle lamp and/or candles

* Calume stick

Health and First Aid

* Sport Kit (see attached list)

* Triangle bandage

* Snake bite kit (see attached list)

* Jungle juice

* Allerest, Bufferin, Senocot, Dramamine, Kaopectate

General Tools

* Hunting knife

* Sharpening stone

* String - 162' 150lb break twine

* Cord - 100' 1/8" parachute cord.

* Wire

* Fish netting

* Mosquito netting

* small pulleys

* Screwdriver, multi bit

* Aluminum foil 10 ft/sq

* Combo saw - wood, metal

* Nails

* Crow bar

* File +/or rasp

* Leather work gloves

* Super glue, epoxy, silicone, +/or wood glue

* Duct tape

* Windshield ice scraper

* "Funny" wrench

* Watch

* Thermometer

* Monocular

* Vice grip pliers

* Vaseline

* Wire ties

* Clothes pins

Social Survival

* Folding scissors

* Cork screw

* Soap

* Shampoo

* Disposable razor

* Door lock

* Sunglasses


* AM/FM radio

* Playing cards

Carry Also

* Clothes, lots of them

* Money

* Water

* Food

* CB radio +/or ELT

* Flares +/or strobe

* Tent

* Sleeping bag and pad

* Vehicle tool kit (see attached)

* Small firearm and ammunition


Fast Food For Your Bug-Out Bag

Submitted by Brian Dolge

As I work my way through the process of making up a 72 hour kit/ bug-out bag I thought I would post parts of my work here for others to use as they see fit. As there has been a bit of talk here lately about what to do for long-term compact food I thought I'd start with this part.

Brian's High-Density High-Calorie Easy-to-Prepare Exceptionally Yummy Infinite(almost)Shelf-Life Readily-Available Food Packets

What more could you ask for? The ingredients are:

Item Number Used Calories/Item Cost/Unit Notes

Hard Candy 160 20/piece $1.30/bag 33/bag, indiv wrapped, assorted

Power Bars 9 230/each $1.35/each Available at sports stores

Granola Bars 20 110 each $2.20/box 2/foil pouch, hard, el cheapo

Slim Jims 20 50/each $3.40/box 12/box

Drink Mix Pouch 4 65/each $5.25/4 Do It Yourself Mix

Further Notes

Hard candy is one of the most compact forms of calories available, is stable under most conditions, but provides no vitamins or other nutrients and no feeling of fullness;

Power bars also provide lots of calories in a compact form as well as a decent supply of vitamins, etc. however, they are expensive and taste like condensed peanut butter, I like them, but they get old fast;

Granola bars are bulky but light and provide plenty of roughage for fullness and to keep your lower GI tract in working order;

Slim Jims are my least favorite item, they provide protein, but way too much fat, while fat also adds to the feeling of fullness I worry about it going rancid despite all the preservatives;

The drink mix is half orange Koolaid (with sugar) and half orange Gatorade, enough for 2 quarts of each, mixed well, about 3 fl.oz of powder in each of 4 1 qt. zip-lock bags, this provides calories, electrolytes, and reminds you to drink your fluids. I did not use a protein drink/instant breakfast mix because I have had trouble getting them to mix up properly from powder and I really don't like the taste/texture or the bowel problems they give me. I used all dry stuff to save weight/volume and to reduce the chance of messy accidents. Obviously you will need H2O to go with this, but that's another letter.

Everything except the drink mix is ready to unwrap and eat (please don't litter!). My own kit also contains 1 multi-vitamin per day and 3 fiber laxative/diet pills because I like to keep my vitamins up and I get hungry a lot. All these items were bought in a suburban supermarket (except the Power Bars, which came from a 7-11(or an outdoor store)) at the normal prices. You can probably get them cheaper by the usual methods. I am assuming you have qt. and gal. zip-lock bags and a cup of sugar. If not add the price of those to the following calculations.

Total cost

6 bags candy $1.30 ea= $6.50

9 Power Bars $1.35 ea=$12.50

2 boxes Granola $2.20 ea =$4.40

2 boxes Slim Jims $3.40 ea =$6.80

1 Drink mix $5.25 ea =$5.25 (with leftover Gatorade)

Total cost of food for 4 days = $35.10 or $8.77 per day (less than a pizza with everything!)


* Total Calories=9540

* Calories/day over 4 days=2435 (plenty for hard work/on-the-run/Disaster clean-up)

* Calories/day over 7 days=1391 (enough to wait out most anything)

Packing and Transportation

The ingredients are spread out among four 1-gal. zip-lock bags:

* 40 pieces candy

* 2 power bars

* 2 pouches granola bars

* 5 Slim Jims

* 1 pouch drink mix in each bag

1 bag gets an extra power bar, 2 get extra granola.

With the air squeezed out each bag weighs about 1.5 lbs. and is about 9 in. long and 3.5 in across. Total: 6 lbs. in a 9x7 squishy rectangle. Very portable.

I would like to hear any comments anyone has on this set-up. I have put in a lot of work/experiment/testing on this, but I'm always eager to learn more.


Basic Crisis Pack

©1995 E. Michael Smith

Packing it:

* Large hip bag or fanny pack


* Flash cards or small booklet (purchased from local bookstore)

* (Tom Brown's books of Survival are good, though too big for this smallest of the kits.)

Environmental Protection

* Space blanket

* Hand warmer packs


* Stored

o 1 or 2 Qt. canteen. (I like the canteen, since it lets me use the water as needed for non emergencies, and that trains me to keep it in the car.)

o You can buy retorts of water (like juice boxes) if desired.

* Carried/found - baggies 1Qt. size

* Purified - iodide tablets


* Stored

o Soup packets or bullion cubes (Herb Ox brand is best!)

o Coffee packets with sugar packets.

o A salt and pepper packet is nice too.

* Gathered

o Folding can opener

o Small fish kit (Handline, 2 swivels, 2 sinkers, 2 hooks)

o Snare wire

* Preparing

o Sierra Club stainless steel cup, fork, spoon

Fire Making

* Bic lighter

* Fresnell lens

* Waterproof matches

* Hexamine tablets and maybe a stove


* AA flashlight w/ spare bulb (maglight) or candle

Health and First Aid

* Minor Kit (purchase) Band-Aids, aspirin, smelling salts

* Bug repellent

* Lip balm - find some that doesn't melt

* Sunscreen


* Mirror

* Whistle

* (see also: Fire making and Light)


* Compass - small keyring type

* Local map

Social Survival

* Coins and Bills ($1 coins/ $20 bills)

* Pen and paper, waterproof

* Swiss Army Knife { for scissors and corkscrew}

Cleaning Up and Sanitation

* Toothbrush

* Small hotel type soap

* Condoms +/or Tampons


* Miniature Bible or cards

General Tools

* Swiss army knife (Captains)

* Cordage

o Dental floss

o String - Use fish line

o Cord - 20 ft. 1/8" nylon

o Wire - small spool

o Sewing kit - hotel type

* Screwdriver disk

* Aluminum foil 1ft/sq

* Hacksaw blade - short

* Bobby Pins

* Safety pins

* Fingernail clippers

* Red hanky

* Rubber bands

* Nails

* Cup hooks

* Small file

* Super glue +/or epoxy, small

* Tape

Carry Also

* Clothes, lots of them

* Money

* Water

* Food

* Cell phone, CB radio and/or Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)

* Duct tape

* Flares and/or strobe

* Larger flashlight

* Any personal medications & glasses


Short Survival List

by dmorley@k12.oit.umass.edu (Don Morley)

* 2 large garbage bags (shelter or rain gear) OR 10'x10' sheet of plastic

* 100' parachute cord

* Emergency space blanket

* Metal cup (for cooking)

* Jello with sugar (NOT NUTRASWEET)

* Lighter or waterproof matches

* 2 stout candles

* Knife

* Whistle

* Compass

* Flashlight (small)

* Stocking cap

* Spare socks (double as mittens)


Blue Ridge Mountains Rescue Group

Search and Rescue Kit

Visit the BRMRG home page for more

* Clothes and foot gear for fair and foul weather

* Rain gear

* 5 large heavy duty plastic trash bags

* Water container 1 or 2 liter

* Headlamp flashlight and backup light

* Candle & lighter

* Knife

* Compass

* Personal first aid kit

* Pen and paper

* Whistle

* Two pairs plastic gloves

* Say pack

* 2 pieces Perlon - 5' and 7'

* 1 locking D caribeener

* 20' nylon webbing

* Leather gloves


Food For Thought

by Chris Janowsky

Whether it be a natural disaster or one that's manmade, being prepared can mean the difference between life or death. Many of you readers know me as a writer and a wilderness survival instructor. This is World Survival Institute's 25th Anniversary year of teaching people the skills and knowledge they need to stay alive in most any emergency. We constantly emphasize to our students the value of being prepared.

Putting food up for the future is a very important aspect of being prepared and is usually one of the first things most of us think about. There are a number of good companies out there that sell M.R.E.'s, freeze-dried, or dehydrated food for backpackers and for storage. You may well choose to have some of their products as part of your overall emergency preparedness inventory. However, it is just as important that you know how to preserve food yourself, especially meat.

Meat is a significant part of most people's diet. From it, our bodies receive vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and precious muscle-regenerating protein. In most wilderness survival situations, wild game and fish are very easy to procure if you know how. This makes meat and fish a natural way to go.

Whether you are in the wilderness or in the city, putting up meat is a wise idea. However, there are certain considerations that we have to think about when dealing with meat or fish. Depending upon the ambient temperature, meat can spoil very quickly. Meat by its nature is very heavy and if it has to be transported in the future, this should be of great concern, Especially if you have to pack it on your back.

There are many ways to overcome these problems either in the field or at home. First of all we have to know why meat spoils and what to do about it. We will address this issue soon but for now let's take a good look at the logistics and solution of the meat/weight problem.

Your first concern is your plan. What I'm talking about here is a complete plan. Nobody knows what is going to happen tomorrow but we should plan for the most likely emergencies. Your plan could make the difference between life or death for you and your family.

As mentioned above, many people are stocking up on M.R.E.'s, or cases of freeze-dried/dehydrated meals. These, plus water and whatever you normally keep in your kitchen cupboards should be the first part of your plan. Having extra food and water at home during and after a disaster means you don't have to worry about battling the mob down at the supermarket-if it is open. Let's call this plan "A." But you and I both know that whenever you have a single good plan some SOB will probably mess it up. This is why you need plan "B."

Depending on the circumstances your plan "B" may have to be initiated. This plan would be implemented if you chose or were forced to move from your dwelling. Many people believe they will be able to use their trucks and cars to transport all their stuff to a safe haven. But what if the roads are closed? What if a natural disaster has destroyed bridges and covered highways with debris? I believe that it is a good idea to have your vehicles set up but don't depend on it. You may end up only being able to take what you can carry on your back, and folks, that ain't much. Remember that flies can easily get into the ole ointment.

The next plan is plan "C." This plan should be a part of all the other plans. And that is having the KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS to make these plans work, maybe even to having a plan "D" in reserve. This plan I don't even want to think about but I-and you-must. You may have to take off with what is only on your person, no bags, no backpacks. Knowledge at this time is worth far more than gold. You'll have to find your food as you go and be able to transport it (with reduced weight) for tomorrow.

When you are in a wilderness survival situation and on the move, you must procure food wherever and whenever you find it. Let's say you come across a nice lake abundant with fish. Naturally you are going to take some fish for dinner, but what about tomorrow and the next week? If you are on the move, you may not find another good food source for days. If the fishing is good, you'll want to catch as many as you can NOW. Let's say you take in 44 nice fish averaging 1 pound each. You cook and eat 4 fish during that day. There are still 40 fish left, which equals 40 pounds. This is far too much weight to transport on your back, and if freezing conditions do not exist, they will spoil rapidly.

You are going to have to dehydrate (dry) and smoke the fish. When you are done your 40 pounds of fish will weigh only 6-8 pounds. This you can easily carry and it's a 10 day supply of food for one person. Also, any part of the dry smoked fish you would normally discard like skin and bones will become bait for small animals.

Once you trap or snare a small animal, you will do the same with them as you did with the fish, cook and eat what you can and dry the rest. You can see at this point that you are not only eating well but you have also created variety. This couldn't happen without the drying process. Even animals like squirrels deliberately gather and spread out food to dry, like mushrooms. When putting up meat for the future at home you will be cooking, drying, and packaging it. You may want to smoke some for the taste it gives the meat. Most important will be the different ways you will be packaging the meat for your back up plans.


The meat you stock in your residence is to stay there. You can cook, dry and smoke the meat if you like. You can simply can the meat in canning jars. The weight of the jars is not important for this plan. If canned properly, meat will keep for many years. I've eaten meat that I've canned ten years before.

The weakest part of this system is the lids. All lids are not equal! Over the years I've done a lot of canning. When I use my fish wheel to take in sockeye salmon, it's not uncommon to catch several hundred 5 to 8 pound fish in a night. And that represents a lot of jars and lids.

Once the jars are filled, they are placed in a pressure canner and cooked at the proper heat, pressure, and length of time. Afterward, the pressure is relieved from the cooker and the jars are left to cool slowly. As they cool, the center of the lids will be sucked down toward the contents of the jar. At this point the screw rings that held the lids in place can be removed. The jars of meat are ready for storage.

Any lids that are not sucked down warn you that there is no vacuum in that jar and you DO NOT have a seal. The contents in these jars will spoil. This situation is called a "failure." I've found over the years that the best lids with the least amount of failures are Ball lids. If you have a failure it's usually because of a inferior brand of lid, a defective mouth on the jar, or you didn't clean the rim of the jar well enough after adding the contents. Stick with Ball lids and you will be in good shape.

When you pull a jar from the shelf later, always check the lid. The center of the lid should still be sucked down very solidly. Tap it with your finger: it should sound solid and not move. If the lid sounds hollow and moves up and down, you have a failure. DO NOT eat the contents.

Another little trick is if your jars are stored in your freezer, or are stored where they are subject to being frozen in the winter, always leave at least 1 inch of head space at the top of the jar. If you do this, the jars will not break when frozen. I've had jars that were packed in this fashion that experienced ambient temperatures of 70 degrees below zero and none broke.

When I can meat it may be in chunks or in other forms. My store house does have meat in chunks but it also has many jars of my favorite homemade chili, Moose stew, and sausages in sauce. This way you can open a jar and your meal is already prepared for you. All you have to do is heat it up.

This whole operation only requires reusable mason jars, lids, screw rings, a good pressure cooker, and a 1,200 pound moose. The type of pressure cooker you purchase is important. I've used many and feel the ones made by American Canner are without a doubt superior in every way except weight. They are heavy but they are built to last.

They also have many safety features that the others don't have. The best thing is that they use no rubber O-ring. It's a metal-to-metal seal that will never wear out. Let's say you are set up at your wilderness home and it's two years from now. The rubber seal goes bad on your cheaper cooker. Where are you going to buy a new O-ring? The scary part is right then you'll need this cooker to put up more food, or you and your family could be in dire straits. It's something to think about now!

The next way to go is to preserve the same food in metal cans like those you see in the supermarket. It's easy to do and you have the advantage of lighter weight and no glass to break. This is a good way to go if you have vehicle transport. You will need cans, lids, a pressure cooker and a mechanical can canner. I put up a lot of food this way each year. Also you can seal up most anything from ammunition to medical supplies (You won't be using the pressure cooker for these items, especially the ammo!).

The difference between canning in jars and in cans is the procedure. With jars you add heat and pressure and then the sealing happens. With cans you mechanically make the seal then add heat and pressure. The lids on the cans will suck down, just like the canning jars.

Your next step is to put up the light weight stuff. This is the food that you can carry on your back. Also, if you have a storage problem as far as space goes, cooked dried meat is the way to go. Not only does the meat lose weight, but there is a considerable reduction in its size. These are all plus factors for you.

One way that I do this is to take some very lean meat; game meat like deer is the best. You can use beef, but make sure that it's lean. Usually the more inexpensive cuts are the leanest. That's good news! Take the meat and trim off any fat you can find. Put the meat in a pan on the cooker rack in a pressure cooker. Add about 1 inch of water to the cooker, put the top on, and you are ready to go.

You'll want to cook the meat until well done. Once you've gotten the water boiling and the steam gauge has risen to the right amount of pressure, you will be cooking 12 to 15 minutes for each pound of meat. You should keep the pressure at 15 p.s.i. during the entire cooking time. When the cooking process is over, the meat, no matter how tough it was, should easily flake into small slivers with the use of a fork. Next spread these flaked pieces of meat out on a cookie sheet or sheets. All you have to do now is to dry it completely. This can be done in many ovens at very low temperature with the door cracked open for ventilation and to get rid of moisture. This can also be done in a food dryer or a small smoker oven (The Sausage Maker company in Buffalo, NY makes several different size smokers, all of them excellent.).

As soon as the meat is completely dry, take it out and put it in containers that exclude all moisture. Vacuum sealers work very well for this purpose, and can be applied to canning jars and plastic resealable bags like M.R.E. packages. You can dry vegetables and add your favorite spices, mix it all together and then package it. When you need it, just add hot water and you have a meal ready to eat. You will want to cook the veggies before you dry them or they may be too tough for your liking. Pre-cooked dried rice or beans are a good addition also. Remember: cook it, dry it, keep it dry and it will last.

When putting up any meat for long-term storage, start with fresh meat, keep it cold, and process it as soon as possible. Bacteria like the C. Botulinum need a nice moist environment that lacks oxygen in order to grow. When we are canning meat we are creating this very environment. Luckily, the bacterium needs one more thing in order to survive, and that is the proper temperature. So when we can, we do it in a pressure cooker at 15 lbs. p.s.i. This creates a temperature of 250 degrees F., much too hot for the bacterium to live. This procedure is similar to sterilizing medical instruments in an autoclave.

The C. Botulinum bacterium cannot survive jerky making either, because in making jerky you take away the moisture and fully expose the meat to the air. As an added precaution, if you wish, you can also add a cure such as Prague Powder #1 to the marinade. This cure destroys the bacterium.


Let's make some jerky! Jerky is easy to make and it's delicious. It's something you may want to always keep on hand. Because of it's nature, it's light in weight and easy to transport. It's a nutritious snack and good emergency food.

Start out with some nice lean meat. Beef works well but, again, wild game is by far the best. Next, slice the meat in strips 1/4 of an inch thick by 3/4 to 1 inch wide. I make these about 4 inches long. Make sure any fat or gristle is trimmed off. This is the secret to good jerky with a long shelf life. Fat can cause the meat to become rancid.

The meat is then mixed in a marinade of your choice. I will give you the recipe that I use. I'm sure that you will like it, but remember that it can be easily altered to your taste. Let the meat soak for no more than 24 hours in the refrigerator. Stir it around several times while it's soaking.

Next day, blot the excess liquid off the meat and place on drying racks. The meat can be dried in many different ways so long as you can hold the temperature somewhere between 95 and 115 degrees F. Make sure there is good air circulation so moisture can escape. Depending on what type of drying system you use, the jerky will be ready in 8-10 hrs.

Many kitchen ovens will do a good job drying jerky if the heat can be kept low enough and the door is left cracked open to allow the moisture to vent. A food dehydrator or a small smoker also can be used. You'll know when the jerky is ready. It will be dry around the edges and rubbery in the center. It will smell wonderful and have taken on a pretty reddish color. At this point you'll probably be getting " Old Betsy " out to guard your precious prize, `cause if there's other people around, it'll disappear as fast as you can make it. And nobody'll fess up!

At our survival school, the students make jerky in several different ways, and they also add smoke to it. If you like the smoke flavor, liquid smoke can be added to the marinate. There is a liquid smoke available that is very concentrated and all natural smoke. Or, if you use the small smoker, you can smoke the meat while you are drying it.

Jerky that is properly made will have a moisture loss of 70-80%. You should store the jerky in glass jars, like mason jars with lids. These lids should have several holes punched or drilled in them to promote good air circulation and prevent mold. If all the guidelines are followed and it is kept in a dry environment, your jerky will last for months. Here are two good recipes for the marinade. This will do 5-6 pounds of meat, reducing it in 8-10 hours to delicious jerky weighing only 1-1/2 pounds.


* 1 tbs. salt

* 1 tsp. Prague Powder No. 1

* 2 tsp. garlic powder

* 2 tsp. ground black pepper

* 2 tsp. onion powder

* 1/2 cup soy sauce

* 2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

* 4 cups water


* 1 tbs salt

* 1 tsp. Prague Powder No. 1

* 2 tbs. ginger

* 2 tbs. garlic powder

* 1/8 cup (1-1/2 tbs.) ground red pepper

* 1/4 cup sage

* 1/4 cup onion powder

* 1/4 cup chili powder

* 1/4 cup black pepper

* 1 cup soy sauce

* 4 cups water

As you start out, I would suggest you get some good books on food preservation. One I particularly recommend is called, "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing," by Rytek Kutas. It's the best reference book on the subject I have ever seen. It is available from the Sausage Maker Company listed below, and I know it will be a welcome addition to your survival library. Whether you decide to buy the proper provisions or put them up yourself, you should at least learn how to do it. These are important skills you may need in the future, and learning them can be a lot of fun for you and your family right now. Remember, knowledge and skills are your best insurance for an unpredictable future.

Chris Janowsky is the founder of the highly respected World Survival Institute, which offers courses in outdoor survival and self-reliance. These folks also carry a full series of video tapes which makes it possible to learn many of these skills from home. For further information you can write the author at P.O. Box 394, Tok, AK. 99780; or call (907) 883-4243.


An Abstract List

from HOOTS_DAVE@Tandem.COM

Over the last few years, when discussing lists of survival items, I've tended to move to the abstract, i.e., Shelter, Heat, Water, Food, Medicine, Clothing, etc. When someone asks me what I pack, I refer to the abstracted list. This helps people, I've found, by identifying common categories that they encounter in daily life, as opposed to: "well, take some flint and steel, and a fishing kit, and don't forget your iodine tablets!".

Also, because of the company I work for, I've adopted the "fault-tolerant" approach to kits. For example, I've got at least two of everything from each category in my bug-out bag. Having two different items, i.e., flint and steel and a bic lighter, allows me flexibility in case one breaks (altho it's hard to break a flint, not to mention the steel!).

Along with this, is the modular approach to kit building. My most basic kit is a 2"x4"x5" (approx) belt bag (I forget the proper name at the moment). It holds my fire-building equipment, water purification, two space blankets, a metal collapsable cup, first-aid kit, sewing kit, fishing kit....and more. It fits into a larger shoulder bag (Yugoslavian military surplus) that contains 100 ft. paracord, sportsman's blanket, extra clothing, food, etc. The third module is a fanny pack, and the fourth is a backpack (equipment from the previous three are extracted and placed into the backpack). The modularity and scalability allow me tremendous flexibility. I can easily go from module 1 to module 4 in a matter of a couple of minutes.

Lastly, I take what experience has shown me I need. When I first went out into the backwoods by myself, I took a very comprehensive first aid kit, which weighed probably 5 pounds or so. Now I take one that is customized and weighs about 10 ozs. I've also pared down in other areas: instead of a hatchet, I take an SP8 (from Ontario Knives, it's a blunt-nosed mini-machete), for example.


A Compact Kit

by davistm@aol.com (DavisTM)

The intent is for this kit to be very compact, portable (fits into a large fanny pack), relatively inexpensive, and provide the basics of food, water, shelter, and medical supplies.

* 2 - 3600 kcal food rations

* 6 - 250mL water rations (1/day/person if water cannot be found)

* 1 - bottle water purification tablets (50)

* 1 - bottle potassium iodide tablets (14)

* 2 - emergency blankets

* 2 - plastic ponchos

* 1 - magnesium fire starter

* 6 - 18 hr. heat packs

* 3 - 12 hr. lightsticks

* 1 - signal mirror

* 1 - emergency flare

* 1 - flashlight/locator strobe

* 4 - AA batteries (for above)

* 1 - emergency whistle

* 1 - multi-function shears (like EMT shears with Swiss Army knife functions too)

* 1 - 50 ft. nylon rope

* 1 - pkg. toilet tissue

* 1 - Life Card (compass, survival tips, fresnel lens, etc.)

* 1 - snake bite kit

* 4 - 4x6 field dressings

* 1 - 250mL sterile water (U.S.P. for first aid use)

* 1 - trauma pack (see below)

* 1 - first aid & meds pack (see below)

Trauma Pack

* 2 - 2" sterile gauze wraps

* 2 - 4" sterile gauze wraps

* 1 - triangular bandage

* 5 - 4x4 sterile gauze pads

* 5 - 4x4 sterile burn dressings

* 1 - 3" elastic bandage

* 2 - blood stopper bandages

* 1 - cold pack

* 2 - 8x10 absorbent pads

* 2 - eye pads

* 1 - 1" waterproof tape

* 1 - pkg. wound closure strips

* 2 - mini isolation kits

Meds Pack

* 20 -1x3 adhesive bandages

* 5 - ex. large bandages

* 1 - 4 oz. burn cream

* 1 - lip balm

* 3 - ammonia inhalants

* 10 - antiseptic towelettes

* 10 - hydrocortisone cream packets

* 10 - triple antibiotic ointment packets

* 1 - 1 oz. dibucaine ointment

* 1 - 15 mL eye drops

* 1 - 1/2 oz. anti-fungal cream

* 10 - decongestant packets (2 tablets)

* 15 - ibuprofen packets

* 15 - extra-strength Tylenol packets

* 10 - antihistamine packets

* 10 - diarrhea relief packets

* 10 - Pepto-Bismol packets

Please note that the omission of any hunting, fishing, or cooking supplies, and the lack of any guns or other similar weapons is intentional. This pack is not designed to be a "lets go live in the wilderness for 6 months because the global economy has collapsed (as predicted), there are riots in the streets (also predicted), and the "New World Order" (whatever that means) has taken over and their first order of business is to take everyone's guns (predicted)". Rather, this is a basic survival kit designed to keep 2 people alive for at least 72 hours in the event of an earthquake (or similar natural disaster), stranded car in the middle of the desert or a blizzard, light plane crash, etc.


First Aid Kits

Have two first aid kits. Keep a complete first aid kit in your home and car.

Items to include:

* Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes

* 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)

* 4-inch gauze pads

* Hypoallergenic adhesive tape

* Triangular bandages (3)

* 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)

* 3-inch sterile roller bandages

* Scissors

* Tweezers

* Needles

* Moistened towelettes

* Antiseptic

* Thermometer

* Tongue blades (2)

* Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

* Assorted sizes of safety pins

* Cleansing agent-soap

* Latex gloves (2 pair)

* Sunscreen

* Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever

* Anti-diarrhea medication

* Antacid (for upset stomach)

* Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)

* Laxative

* Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)

Contact your local American Red Cross chapter to obtain a basic first aid textbook.

Supplies and Tools

* Emergency preparedness manual

* Battery-operated radio and extra batteries

* Non-electric can opener, utility knife

* Fire extinguisher, small canister, A-B-C type

* Tube tent

* Pliers

* Tape

* Compass

* Matches in a waterproof container

* Aluminum foil

* Signal flares

* Paper and pencils

* Needles and thread

* Medicine dropper

* Shut off wrench, to turn off household gas and water

* Whistle

* Plastic sheeting

Clothing and Bedding

Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

* Sturdy shoes or work boots

* Rain gear

* One blanket or sleeping bag per person

* Hat and gloves

* Thermal underwear

* Sunglasses


* Toilet paper, towelettes

* Soap, liquid detergent

* Feminine supplies

* Personal items-shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, comb and brush, lip balm.

* Small shovel, for digging and expedient latrine

* Plastic garbage bag and ties

* Plastic bucket with tight lid

* Disinfectant

* Household chlorine bleach

Special Items

Include items for household members with special needs, such as infants, elderly, or disabled individuals.

* Babies

o Formula

o Diapers

o Bottles

o Powdered Milk

o Medications

* Elderly people

o Heart and high blood pressure medication

o Insulin

o Prescription drugs

o Denture needs

* Favorite entertainment items

o Coloring books and crayons

o Games

o Books

Important Documents

Keep these records in a waterproof container.

* Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds.

* Passports, social security cards, immunization records

* Savings and checking account numbers

* Credit card account numbers and companies

* Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers

* Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)

Storage Suggestions

Store the kit in a safe, convenient place known to all family members. If possible, it should be a cool, dry, dark location. Keep a smaller version of your Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk of your car. Keep items, or groups of items, in water-proof and air tight plastic bags. Change the water supply every six months so it stays fresh. Rotate the food every six months. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the proper procedure for storing prescription medications. Replace batteries often.


Federal Emergency Management Agency

Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit - FEMA

Visit the FEMA home page.

After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it may take days. Would your family be prepared to cope with the emergency until help arrives?

Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes. One way to prepare is by assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit. Once disaster hits, you won't have time to shop or search for supplies. But if you've gathered supplies in advance, your family can endure an evacuation or home confinement.

To prepare your kit

* Review the checklists in this document.

* Gather the supplies that are listed. You may need them if your family is confined at home.

* Place the supplies you'd most likely need for an evacuation in an easy- to-carry container. These supplies are listed with an asterisk (*).

Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. And when disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond.

* A highway spill of hazardous material could mean instant evacuation.

* A winter storm could confine your family at home. An earthquake, flood, tornado or any other disaster could cut off basic services--gas, water, electricity and telephones--for days.


Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more.

Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation/sanitation)*

Keep at least a three-day supply of water for each person in your household.


Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. *Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:

* Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables

* Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)

* Staples--sugar, salt, pepper

* High energy foods--peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix

* Vitamins

* Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets

* Comfort/stress foods--cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops,

* instant coffee, tea bags

* First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should include:

* Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes

* 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)

* 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)

* Hypoallergenic adhesive tape

* Triangular bandages (3)

* 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)

* 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)

* Scissors

* Tweezers

* Needle

* Moistened towelettes

* Antiseptic

* Thermometer

* Tongue blades (2)

* Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

* Assorted sizes of safety pins

* Cleansing agent/soap

* Latex gloves (2 pair)

* Sunscreen

* Non-prescription drugs

o Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever

o Anti-diarrhea medication

o Antacid (for stomach upset)

o Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)

o Laxative

o Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)

Contact your local American Red Cross chapter to obtain a basic first aid manual.


There are six basics you should stock in your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies and special items. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container--suggested items are marked with an asterisk(*). Possible containers include a large, covered trash container; a camping backpack; or a duffel bag.

Tools and Supplies

* Mess kits, or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils*

* Emergency preparedness manual*

* Battery-operated radio and extra batteries*

* Flashlight and extra batteries*

* Cash or traveler's checks, change*

* Nonelectric can opener, utility knife*

* Fire extinguisher: small canister, ABC type

* Tube tent

* Pliers

* Tape

* Compass

* Matches in a waterproof container

* Aluminum foil

* Plastic storage containers

* Signal flare

* Paper, pencil

* Needles, thread

* Medicine dropper

* Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water

* Whistle

* Plastic sheeting

* Map of the area (for locating shelters)


* Toilet paper, towelettes*

* Soap, liquid detergent*

* Feminine supplies*

* Personal hygiene items*

* Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)

* Plastic bucket with tight lid

* Disinfectant

* Household chlorine bleach

Clothing and Bedding

* Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

* Sturdy shoes or work boots*

* Hat and gloves

* Rain gear*

* Thermal underwear

* Blankets or sleeping bags*

* Sunglasses

Special Items

Remember family members with special needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.

* For Baby*

o Formula

o Diapers

o Bottles

o Powdered milk

o Medications

* For Adults*

o Heart and high blood pressure medication

o Insulin

o Prescription drugs

o Denture needs

o Contact lenses and supplies

o Extra eye glasses

* Entertainment--games and books.

* Important Family Documents

* Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container.

* Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds Passports, social security cards, immunization records

* Bank account numbers

* Credit card account numbers and companies

* Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers

* Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)

Suggestions and Reminders

* Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk of your car.

* Keep items in air-tight plastic bags.

* Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.

* Rotate your stored food every six months.

* Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.

* Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.

Create a Family Disaster Plan

To get started...

Contact your local emergency management or civil defense office and your local American Red Cross chapter. Find out which disasters are most likely to happen in your community. Ask how you would be warned. Find out how to prepare for each.

* Meet with your family.

* Discuss the types of disasters that could occur.

* Explain how to prepare and respond.

* Discuss what to do if advised to evacuate.

* Practice what you have discussed.

* Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by disaster. Pick two meeting places: 1) a location a safe distance from your home in case of fire. 2) a place outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home. Choose an out-of-state friend as a "check-in contact" for everyone to call.

* Complete these steps.

o Post emergency telephone numbers by every phone.

o Show responsible family members how and when to shut off water, gas and electricity at main switches.

o Install a smoke detector on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms; test monthly and change the batteries two times each year.

o Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards.

o Learn first aid and CPR. Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for information and training.

o Meet with your neighbors. Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster. Know your neighbors' skills (medical, technical). Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly or disabled persons. Make plans for child care in case parents can't get home. Remember to practice and maintain your plan.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Family Protection Program and the American Red Cross Disaster Education Program are nationwide efforts to help people prepare for disasters of all types. For more information, please contact your local or State Office of Emergency Management, and your local American Red Cross chapter. Ask for "Your Family Disaster Plan" and the "Emergency Preparedness Checklist."

Or write to:


P.O. Box 70274

Washington, D.C. 20024

FEMA L- 189

ARC 4463


Commercial kits available from:


The Square, Morland, Penrith

Cumbria CA 3AZ United Kingdom

postage: 4 first-class stamps; best to use a credit card to avoid currency problems

Telephone 01931 714444, Facsimile 01931 714450

SURVIVAL KIT R1016 - British Pounds 17.50 (appx $US 26.25) "This kit contains over 30 essential items each carefully chosen and having several uses. Included are items for navigation (with plastic button compass), first aid, water purifying/carrying, fishing, firestarting, cooking, cutting, signaling, writing equipment, etc. Full instructions on use of contents and first aid, plus emergency message form and pencil are included. Pocket sized. 200g."

[This kit appears to be modeled on the survival list published by John Wiseman in the SAS Survival Handbook. For an additional 10 Pounds (appx $US15.00), you can upgrade to Combat Survival Kit R1013, which is identical except for the inclusion of a button compass made of brass instead of plastic. On the other hand for $15.00 you can get a pretty accurate Silva compass.]

[The editor received his Survival Kit on 3-18-96. It is a tin securely wrapped in waterproof tape. The contents are listed as follows: Tin (cooking pot, drinking cup) with detachable handle, lid with heliograph, miniature plastic button compass, hacksaw blade with knife, stainless steel wire saw, wind and waterproof matches with striker, flint and steel firelighter, candle, cotton wool, potassium permanganate, water carrier, snare, fish hooks (3) [very tiny! you may want to supplement!], 10m fishing line, puritabs (6), single edged razor blades (2), adhesive dressings, safety pins, needles (2), thread, lipsalve, salt and dextrose tablets, survival aids-memoire, emergency message form, pencil, masking tape, waterproof label. Detailed instructions on the various uses of the contents together with survival and first aid information are included on waterproof paper Contents may occasionally vary due to availability. The tin appears to be very solidly packed; there is no rattle when I shake it. THIS IS THE BEST COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE SURVIVAL KIT I HAVE SEEN TO DATE.]

WALKERS GO PACK R1015 - British Pounds 7.95 (appx $US 12.00) "A neat pocket-sized pack containing all the essential survival aids for a hill walker or climber. Packed in a welded pouch with a see-through front and Velcro flap. 15.5 x 12.5cm. 210g. Contents include: survival bag, permanent match, perry whistle, miniature compass, adhesive dressings, Puritabs, pencil, emergency message form, mint cake, waterproof Survival Aide Memoire"

[The editor received his Walker's Go Pack 3-18-96. It is somewhat larger than the Survival Kit (above). It is sealed with Velcro in a bright yellow plastic sleeve with a clear front. The contents include: 7' x 3' 120-guage plastic survival bag [very thin...would tear easily], windproof matches (5) and striker, instructions and first aid information and emergency message form on waterproof paper, perry whistle, mini compass, water sterilization tablets (6), adhesive dressings (3), mint cake (30g) [expires July 31 1996], pencil stub. Clearly, this is designed to keep you alive 1 or 2 nights--just long enough for the user to get out of the woods (using compass or whistle). ]

[Is this a worthwhile purchase? Not for Americans. When you consider the cost (about $12.00 plus air freight -- probably another $5.00) you can assemble a better kit on your own. Here's a quick and dirty shopping list: emergency blanket ($3), mini compass ($4), and emergency whistle ($1.50) from Major Surplus & Survival 800/441-8855, Bic Lighter ($1) at your drugstore, Potable Aqua ($4) and Survival Candy ($1.10) from Survival Supply Co. 916/621-3836. Add your own pencil stub, paper, bandages, and a large clear plastic garbage bag and drop them all in a ziplock bag. Total cost is about $15.00 and you have a better emergency blanket, more candy, more water tablets ... you get the picture.]

[It would cost too much to return this item, so here is what I did: removed the plastic bag and replaced with $3 space blanket, removed the mint cake, added lighter, added miniature flint & steel, and add a small knife (Swiss Army or a folder such as the AFCK-800S or a mini blade such as Busse Combat Recruit). Together with the Survival Kit, I now have a good combo that unobtrusively fits in two pockets.]

BETA LIGHT L3280 - British Pounds 54.95 (appx $US 83.00) "A self-illuminated unit, the Betalight Torch is compact, robust, and has an in-service life of over 10 years. Illuminates well without affecting night vision. This torch works without batteries, light being provided by a glass capsule internally phosphor-coated and filled with tritium gas which activates the phosphor to emit light."

[The editor received his beta light 3-18-96. It is ruggedly constructed and emits a dim green light. There is no on/off switch; there is merely a flap that can be opened or closed. How bright is it? I would compare it to the newer watches that glow green such as the Timex Indiglo. It is bright enough to read a map, find a keyhole, or possibly lure fish. Don't expect to cook dinner or follow a trail with it! My beta light has the following markings: SAUNDERS-ROE DEV LTD HAYES MIDDX UK NATO No X4/6260-00-965-3582 BETALIGHT T19c1]


From: ffl@skywalker.ebay.sun.com (Frank Lindquist)

Newsgroups: misc.survivalism

Subject: Australian SAS Survival Kit

Date: 17 Nov 1995 20:38:12 GMT

For those interested,

Tactical_Knives_ magazine did an article about an Australian SAS Breast Pocket Survival Kit and the small knife in it ....

This is a very compact kit, slightly larger than the Altoids Peppermint metal boxes ... made for desert & semi-arid climates

Contents listed for what its worth. The Survival Kit Mark III contains:

P/S: everything in kit is small and simple; knife, compass, etc.

* Lighter

* Compass

* Knife

* Plastic mirror

* Tweezers

* Hacksaw blade

* Plastic bags

* Needle

* Fishing line

* Fishing hooks

* Brass swivel

* Sinkers

* Trace wire

* Stock cubes

* Cord

* Tea bag

* Glucose tablet

* Instruction sheet

* Puritabs

* Condy's Crystals (an antiseptic)

* Band-Aids

* Scalpel blade

* Paracetamol tablets (pain pills)

* Alcohol swab

* Pencil

* Plastic container for kit & canvas tape for sealing kit & later field use

The inventor of the Kit, Bob Cooper, has an "ABCs to Survival" :

A. Accept the situation

B. Brew up a cup of tea

C. Consider all possibilities

D. Decide on a Plan

E. Execute your Plan

Other sources for survival gear include the following retailers. There are lots more out there. I have dealt with the ones listed below, and while I won't vouch for them, I've had pleasant experiences.

Major Surplus & Survival, Inc.

435 W. Alondra Blvd.

Gardenia, CA 90248

(310) 324-8855

(800) 441-8855

fax (310) 324-6909

Survival Supply Co.

PO Box 1745

Shingle Springs, CA 95682

(916) 621-3836

fax (916) 621-0928

[a cheapskate's paradise!]

Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center

151 N. Main Street

Herber City, UT 84032

(801) 654-0099

fax (801) 654-3860

Brigade Quartermasters

1025 Cobb International Blvd

Kennesaw, GA 30152-4300

(770) 428-6870

(800) 338-4327

fax (800) 892-2999


Basic Bug - Out Kit

From: Paul Macgregor

Carrier Bag - knapsack style large enough for the supplies or be able to carry as a suitcase/gym bag


* Poncho

* Poncho Liner

* Space Blanket HD

* Space Blanket CHP

* Plastic Bags Leaf HD

* Plastic Tube Tent OD


* Water Purifier

* Purify Tablets/Clorox

* 2QT Canteen

* 5QT Canteen

* Water Packets

* Drink & Soup Mixes


* 4pr Socks

* Gloves

* Hat

* Sweater

* Windbreaker

* Scarves (1 or 2)

* Ltwt Towel

* Underwear (1 set)

* Underwear Therm/Silk

* Boots 1pr

* Bootlaces 1pr

* Shoelaces 1pr

* Coveralls ltwt (jumpsuit style)


* "Lifeboat" Matches

* Butane Lighter

* Candle Lantern

* Extra Candles

* Canteen Cup GI style

* Canteen Cup Stove

* Stove Fuel Bars

* Eating/Cooking Utensils


* "Swiss Army" knife

* Sheath Knife

* Knife Sharp Kit

* "Leatherman" style Multi-tool

* Parachute Cord

* Nylon Rope

* Mending Tape

* German E-Shovel

* Gill Net

* Hammock

* Sewing Kit (below)


* AM-FM-SW Radio

* Batteries spare

* Flashlight

* Bulbs & Batteries extra

* Pad of Paper

* Pen & Pencil

* Caylume Light Sticks

* Light Stick Case

* Mirror

* Whistle

* Flares (aerial)

* Cash (roll sliver quarters)

* Trade Goods


* Maps

* Compass

* Map Aides

* First Aid Manual

* Survival Skill Manual

* Bible


* Ditty Bag (below)

* Soap

* Toilet Paper

* Collapsible Wash Basin

* Small Collapsible Bucket


* 3 to 7 MRE Meals

* Small can cashews or other nuts

* Other personal preference food items

Internal Kits

Sewing Kit

* Needles variety

* Thread

* Extra Buttons

* Small Scissors

* Sewing Awl

* Nylon Thread

* Safety Pins

* Ripstop Tape

First Aid Kit

* Triangular Bandage

* Band-Aids Asstd.

* Towelettes (pre-moist)

* Gauze Pads

* Sting-Ez (meat tenderizer)

* Tweezers

* Magnifying Glass

* Safety Pins

* Aspirin (Tylenol/Advil)

* Waterproof Matches

* Pepto-Bismol (diarrhea)

* Insect repellent

* Prescription Medicines

* Soap

* Toilet Paper

* "Second Skin"

* Calcium Tabs (sm btl)

* Vit B Complex Tabs

* Iodine/Kelp Tabs

* Potassium Tabs

* Thermometer (std/case)

* Ace Bandages

* Hot/Cold Packs

* Tape (medical)

* Scalpel & Blades

* Suture Kit (military)

* Moleskin

Ditty Bag

* Carrier/bag

* Toothbrush

* Toothpaste

* Dental Floss

* Razor & Blades

* H2O2

* Soap (multi-use) {anti-bacterial}

* Sm Towel

* Washcloth

* Toilet Paper

* Sunglasses

* Spare Prescription Glasses

* Bandana (1 or 2)

This list is by no means "complete" or "gospel". In each person's mind there are certain items that they would "need" to have to "get by". Add or Subtract as your heart desires. This kit is intended to supply the very basic of needs for one person while traveling to a retreat location for about 4 to 7 days. This kit does not include means of defense purely because that is a personal choice/preference item. What may be good for one, may not be a wise choice for another. Use the grey matter the good Lord put between your ears to correct the list to suit your needs.

Suggested trade goods might include candles, whetstones, mini bottles of alcoholic beverages, toilet paper, or bar soap. May the road rise to meet you.

Let's start at the top with the carrier bag. I use an oversized gym bag. It is small enough that if I could get all the metal through the metal detectors at work, I would be able to stuff it under a plane seat as carry-on luggage. It has pockets all over the outside so I can "divide" the various groupings into a smaller search area. This is so that when an item is needed I can go to an area of the bag quickly and find it.

One of the most important items during an emergency situation is water. Pat and I both have Katadyn water filters. They are a bit expensive, but from my experiences they are very good at what they do. IMHO they are the best filter. If you use the military style purification tablets, these tablets have a tendency to leave a bad taste to the water. I suggest having some pre-sweetened Kool-Aid or some instant soup or drink mixes to cover this awful taste. Again, this is my opinion, others may or may not have this problem. Be sure to have some means of carrying a quantity of water once it has been located and made consumable.

I haven't been able to decide whether shelter or food is next most important. I really don't believe a debate on this subject is worth the time and space right now. So o o o o o .. .. .. .... as cooking/food is alphabetically ahead of shelter, I'll start there. Some of the good camping goods stores or by mail-order have available what are called "lifeboat" matches. These matches burn long, and hot. I also suggest a "Bic" style butane lighter. These can be used to start wet tinder or wet fuel bars. Candles are always a good item to include, because of their many uses. Pat and I have gone with stainless steel cooking pans because we do not like the idea of the aluminum that leaches off the cheap items. The GI style canteen cup and canteen cup stove will nest with a GI one-quart canteen providing water storage, cooking utensils, and stove in a small compact unit.

As for shelter, at the local surplus store, we were able to locate some of the military heavy-duty space blankets. I think they were called casualty blankets or something along that line. They are reinforced and will hold up against just about everything except maybe a hurricane or tornado :-) I carry a couple of the thin cheap ones to use as weather covers for items/goods (my bug-out kit). As of yet, I haven't been able to locate one of the heavy duty plastic tube style tents in an olive drab (green). I think most folks want to be found so they use a bright orange tent. If you're trying to evade and escape, you won't want the bright colors. I carry a poncho and liner. It can be used for several styles of shelters (use your imagination) or as a sleeping bag. The poncho liner makes a good blanket in a pinch.

Clothing might also be an important item to consider. When I was living in Scotland, I was able to weather most day-to-day weather by using a light sweater (wool) and a windbreaker. This combination was light weight and comfortable. Most folks will be at work or "in town" wearing dress or work shoes (tenny-runners), when they find themselves in need of leaving the area quickly. A spare pair of boots (pre-broken in) in the bug-out kit will be a God send if rough terrain must be covered to get that person to the meet point. Yes, they can be bulky. A pair of the canvas Vietnam style boots in black will not be obvious and will provide ample protection to get you to a rendezvous. If a portion of your travel must be through a town, one of the lightweight coveralls that the wiser (elderly) folks wear would help cover the fact that you were "traveling". Dirt seems to jump on you when you are using evasion techniques. One of the coveralls could be kept in the bag dry and clean for those periods when you would like to remain inconspicuous while taking time to make purchases or such in a small town.

Be sure to include some type of utility kit. No matter how well you plan, something will almost always need to be mended or repaired. The reason that I mention the German military entrenching shovel is that not only is it small, but it is solidly built. One edge can be sharpened and used as an axe. The blade is square and holds up to some serious abuse. The US model (tri-fold, or the older folding model) either will not hold up to the abuse, or are too large for a small kit. I couldn't stand the new tri- fold model and opted for one of the older folding jobs. It was a real pain to carry around. Granted you won't be digging out a basement for an underground house with one of these, but they can be used for quickie latrines, fire pits, holes for burying trash, or to build a cache for your kit while you go into town for needed items (food, news, maps, local information, etc...).

Don't forget any prescription medicines that you take on a daily basis. Try to build up a stockpile of your everyday prescription items by getting refills a little early (before the old bottle is completely empty). A good supply can be obtained in this manner. Or if the doctor will order a several month supply, and the pharmacist will go ahead and fill it, then be sure to keep it dry and cool. My doctor regularly gives me a three month prescription for medicine, and the pharmacist fills the order in the first sitting. Then, the medicines are stored in a dark, dry, cool location.

Most of the other items are self explanatory. Just remember to use your common sense. Some items are on the list as options, so you don't need duplicates. And be sure to provide spare batteries and bulbs for flashlights and radios. And most importantly, make sure to have a minimum of a three day supply of food. For the bug-out kit I prefer the MREs. They are tasty if warmed up, but can be eaten cold. And, they are packaged to withstand a direct hit by a nuclear bomb :-). Really, the packaging is good. It will stand up to being bumped around in a bug-out kit without splitting open and spreading food all over the inside of your kit.


Survival Kit Contents

by Pete Kapustynski

American Survival Guide, March 1994

The obvious question is, what should you have in your survival kit? This is a question that must be considered carefully since you may be betting your life and possibly the lives of your companions on it during an emergency situation. There are many types of survival kits, but in this case we are considering the small ones you would carry on your person, sometimes called "personal kits".

First of all, space will be limited to some extent for a personal kit. Even once you have a kit made up, you or someone else might say, "Well, that's fine but what if..." You can do this until your kit is so big you can bury it in the ground and live in it.

We want to end up with a kit that you can carry around with you easily so you won't ever be tempted to leave it behind. Although I previously deni-grated the use of the "what if" question, if used intelligently, it can help you fill your kit appropriately.

Mental Preparation -- Let's start with something that does not have to be put into your kit, but is probably the most crucial item you can possess. This item is survival information. It's weightless, limitless and free (from your local library), you can't lose it or break it and it can take the place of missing equipment. For example, the knowledge that boiling water for 10 minutes to kill bacteria can take the place of a filter or purification tablets.

Read survival books, but also look at books on camping, cross-country skiing and biking, etc., to get ideas. Read accounts of people who are involved in real life survival situations. There are anthologies with stories of these people, and you can read about those who were prepared for an emergency and those who weren't. The stories tell you how they managed to survive, what they used to do it, and what they didn't need.

Another way of deciding what may be missing from your equipment is to think through a situation, be it camping or an actual emergency, imagining an entire day's activities.

For example, think of a disaster such as an earthquake. Your house is no longer safe. You can go to your sister's house, she'll put you up. What if she's on vacation? Is there a river between you? The bridge will be a bottleneck of evacuees. If it still stands. What if your vehicle breaks down on the way there? Is there a shorter route on foot? Can you get food and water along the way? Imagine the whole trip, from trying to dig your clothing and valuables out of your basement and digging your vehicle out of the garage, up until you arrive at your destination.

If it's a camping trip, think about it from the time you pitch your tent the first night to the next night when you crawl into it again. Think about how you would cook breakfast, make a fire, or heed a call of nature. Imagine all the items you would use in each activity. Are they on your list?

What if you are out hiking after making camp, and a sudden storm catches you away from it? That pleasant nook that shielded your tent from the wind has now become a drainage ditch. You're wet and your stuff is gone. It's about ten miles to civilization. Do you have a map and compass? How will you stay warm once night falls? Do you have any food or water? What if you lose your backpack? What if you fall and break your arm?

Do you need prescription medicines or eye-glasses? What if you lose them? How well can you see without glasses? Should an extra pair be in your kit? How far can you walk without shoes? Through the woods, water, or snow?

What if you're not alone? Do your companions have first aid or survival supplies of their own?

Think through all the steps involved in surviving one of the above situations. Getting food, shelter, firewood. How will you make the fire? How will you sleep? By imagining things step by step, you will know what you need for each activity. You will know if it's in your kit and if it isn't.

Survival Hardware

This brings us back to the question of contents. I once met a green beret who was teaching a survival class to a group of Boy Scouts. I remember him telling the scouts that the bottom line necessities for survival were the ability to cut things and the ability to make fire. This is as good a place to start as any. This is also as small as it can realistically get. Look at the suggestions for survival kit contents in camping and wilderness survival books from your local library. Compare and contrast all of them. Each will have some items in common, but each will also have some differences. Think about each one carefully.

You could look at the contents of survival kits, both commercial and military. For example at a sports-man's show some years ago, I purchased a "KIT, SURVIVAL, PERSONAL. TYPE PSK-2, COM-PLETE PACKAGED OCT 1959." It consists of two plastic cases, sealed with tapw, in a cardboard box. It is so old, most of the things inside are stuck together. There are a number of vials of pills (antibiotics, pain killers, etc.) long since expired. The contents we are concerned with are: (Part I) Adhesive plaster, matches, gauze compress, bullion cubes, sweet chocolate ration bar, absorbent adhesive bandages, aluminum foil, wrapped soaped tissues, sewing kit. (Part II) Adhesive plaster, matches, gauze compress, bullion cubes, sweet chocolate ration bar, absorbent adhesive bandage, wrapped soaped tissues, water purification tablets, hack-saw blade, preventive sunburn lip-stick.

Consider how big the final kit will be. I've seen survival kits that, although quite good, were too big and usually got left in the tent, car, or at home. Find a pouch that you are willing to carry everywhere. Even one you would carry to work or school.

If you can't fit in some favored item, think about moving up to a larger pouch or box. But think hard about how necessary that item is. How big will it make the kit??

How about the pouch itself? Does it need to be waterproof? Can it be used for something else? It is easy to find inexpensive cases or pouches. For example, empty personal NBC decontamination boxes can sometimes be found for as little as 25cents each. They are tough, waterproof and can be clipped to almost anything.

I have an older style cotton duck medical pouch I purchased at a sportsman's show for $2. This is the container for my "core" kit. A few more items can be squeezed into this pouch, and will be. For example, it lacks a sewing kit (I lost it on a trip). The present contents of my "core" kit are: First Aid kit (in a heavy Zip-loc bag); 2 liquid crystal thermometer strips, 10 adhesive bandages of various sizes, gauze sponge pad, roll gauze, roll tape, 24 aspirin tablets, suture set, antibiotic cream.

Fishing kit (a 35mm film canister); bobbin wrapped with 20lb. test fishing line, 5 bobbers, 9 weights, 6 swivels, 40 hooks, 2 fly lures.

The pouch holds the fishing and first aid kits listed above, plus: plastic survival cards, Swiss Army knife, sharpening stone, liquid filled compass, roll of waxed cord (dental floss), roll of 20lb. test monofilament, roll of copper wire (out of a transistor radio), roll of cord, P-38 can opener, vial of multi-vitamins, a heavy Zip-loc bag, flint rod, wire saw, signal mirror, snake bite kit, water purification tablets, waterproof match case (with a flint rod on the bottom), birthday candles (the trick kind that are hard to put out), small disposable lighter.

If camping or hiking, I wear the "core" kit on a belt with a butt-pack and a canteen (with a metal cup and water purification tablets in the canteen cover) and sometimes a sheath knife. Never keep your survival equipment with the rest of your stuff, like in your backpack. Keep it separate and close. I always keep my belt on me or within reach.

In the butt-pack, I put some emergency rations, maps, compass, flashlight, poncho and liner. I also will include other items necessary for the particular area where I am going to travel. For example, if I'm going to a dry area, I may carry an extra canteen or one or more roll-up plastic water bladders, sunscreen, insect repellent, hat, etc...

For cold and snow, the dangers are becoming wet, leading to hypothermia. In the butt-pack, I might put extra food (need calories to keep warm), fire starting materials, spare insulated socks and underwear, polypropylene ski mask, tinted goggles, plastic bags (to cover feet, etc..) and lip balm.

Additional items could be included if traveling by vehicle. Include items to keep the vehicle running, blankets, and additional food, clothing, first aid items, shovel, etc...

The problem with many kits (the two listed above included), if used alone, is that there is no provision to carry water. The kits often include water purification tablets, so how are you going to purify the water? Or boil it over a fire? That is why I include roll-up bladders and tablets, or carry a canteen and metal cup with my "core" kit. Again think about your list of equipment or a list in a catalog. Ask yourself, can this item be used alone?

You can also look at the lists of military survival kit contents in books or commercial kits in mail order catalogs for more ideas on kit contents. For example, Appendix B in the "Survival Field Manual" (FM-21-76) lists the contents for six military issue survival kits of various sizes.

One example is this listing of the SRU-21P Aviator's Survival Vest contents: survival vest, tourniquet, AN/PRC 90 survival radio, .38 cal tracer ammunition, .38 cal ball ammunition, .38 cal revolver, butane lighter, signalling mirror, individual tropical survival kit, foliage penetrating signal kit, SDU-5/E distress light marker, drinking water storage bag, pocket knife, fishing gill net, lensatic magnetic compass.

In the case of the aviator's vest, the vest serves as the core kit. The "survival kit, individual tropical" in the vest could be switched for a cold climate kit, or over-water kit depending upon the terrain you are operating on. A "rigid seat survival kit" carried under the seat of the plane holds all three types.

Look at all the items on these lists and think about each one. For example, how many times can a disposable lighter light? Informal research of a lighter used to light a gas stove about once every other day over a period of approximately 153 days (before it quit) gives us 76.5 ignitions. Being conservative, a disposable lighter may very well take the place of 50 matches. If it gets wet, once dried off, it will still work. But they can fail, so always carry some strike-anywhere matches as well, and a birthday candle or two in a waterproof match case.

Be aware of expiration dates on items, especially food and medicine.

When purchasing equipment try to get the best you can afford. But remember, the most expensive is not always the best. Shop around, comparing different catalogs. Consider the total price for the item; include shipping and the cost for any accessories. With equipment you intend to bet your life on, you'll want to get everything you need to make it perform for you.

What about after you get it? Are there seals or filters that have to be replaced periodically? Can you afford to maintain it?

Don't take everything you read (especially in catalogs) at face value. Question it and think about it. What if this is true? What if this is not true? What if I didn't have this item? Do I own something comparable already?

Do the dame thing with the contents of your present kit. Look at every item in it and say, what would happen if I lose or break this? Can I make do without it? Can I perform a similar function with something else? Can this item be used by itself?

Try to find the item in a store so that you can see its size and weight as well as how durable it looks. Attend outdoor, boating, hunting and gun shows. You can often look at a lot of camping and survival items, from different vendors and all under one roof.

Consider getting equipment that can be used around the home or when camping. The problem with this is, you may break it or wear it out. Consider buying two of the items, one for general use, and one for emergencies. The benefit of this is, you will learn how it works, how easy it is to use, and how easy it is to break. All in the comfort of your backyard, where you aren't betting your life on it. If they don't work well, then dig up your receipts and take them back to the store.

Consider purchasing equipment with multiple uses. For example, the GI poncho with a liner. By itself, it can be used as a ground cloth, as a tent, and as a sack. I've heard of the older, heavy rubber GI ponchos being used to carry injured soldiers. With the liner it can be used as an insulated ground cloth, as a sleeping bag, or as a blanket. The liner alone can be an extra blanket around the house.

Get in the habit of looking at everyday objects and saying to yourself, what can I use this for besides its primary function? For example, a box of dental floss. It says, "Waxed, 50 yards," on it. If you open the box you will find a small spool, less than an inch in diameter. A spool of waxed cord that can be used to tie a piece of torn clothing together, make a snare, etc.... It's very cheap too.


10 Packs for Survival

From: Joel Skousen

Joel is an author and expert in building secure homes. Please visit his web page for more information or to purchase his informative books.


This booklet was prepared to provide you with the essential minimums for survival preparations. While it is not exhaustive in coverage, it is complete as to the needs of most people. Before adding long lists of your personal extra needs, try calculating the cost of these bare essentials. You will be amazed at the high cost of contingency preparations. This is not intended to discourage you, but rather, to help you realistically determine your future financial priorities so as to ensure you have bought the essentials before adding the sophisticated extras. After you have acquired about half of the recommended items, you will become aware of a critical lack of storage space within your home--if it is designed like most American houses. To assist you in planning for a more self-sufficient residence we have also included a brief summary of the concepts outlined in the 500 page Survival Home Manual. If you desire to pursue the subject in more detail, we suggest you order the manual direct from our Architectural offices using the order form at the end to the booklet.

Philosophy And Design Criteria of The Survival Home

Survival architecture is the unique design combination (in the proper proportion) of facilities, materials, supplies, equipment, knowledge and skill exactly matching a correct analysis of what shortages and crises we will face in the future. In achieving this purpose I make reference to the fact that "survival means more than solar" to emphasize the need to avoid becoming too involved with only one aspect of self-sufficiency at the expense of the others. This error in proper perspective has become the most common mistake in the entire craze for self-sufficiency. With each new product devised, a corresponding marketing slogan usually appears describing "how you can become totally self-sufficient" with their product. The potential severity of future crises, however, seems to dictate that no one product brings total self-sufficiency. It seems most probable in the final analysis that no set of products or facilities, no matter how complete,brings anything but temporary self-sufficiency for a lone individual.

There are a variety of terms and definitions floating around in the "self-sufficiency" arena--one of the least understood pertains to "survival and "retreat" philosophy. "Self-sufficiency" as a term is well accepted and enjoys frequent use among the entire social strata, whereas "survival" intimates "gloom and doom". However, under more careful scrutiny, it becomes obvious that "survival" and "self-sufficiency" are nearly synonymous. In actuality, the purpose of self-sufficiency is to SURVIVE various crises where one is in competition with others for scarce resources: ie, food and fuel shortages, dwindling finances, or social unrest, etc.

There is a significant difference between the general term "survival" and its child, the "retreat" philosophy, which is an ultimate reaction at the limits of the self-sufficiency concept.

Why Self - Sufficiency?

Many subscribe to the view that most of our future economic woes and commodity shortages will be government induced through bureaucratic mismanagement and excessive regulation. So, you say, the responsibility will simply fall back on ourselves, where it rightly belongs. However, this view overlooks our prime and ever-increasing social weakness; that our society has become so specialized in its occupational endeavors, we no longer have the will or skills to revert rapidly to a generalists society with each providing his own essential skills and services. Thus, we encounter the real reason for the craze for self-sufficiency: the inner need to become confident in our ability to provide for ourselves and our family should a minor or major crisis or shortage arise. The motive to save a few heating dollars is perhaps primary with many who may purchase a wood stove, but it soon becomes obvious to most woodburners that wood heat is only a small portion of their total self-sufficiency needs. In fact, when you tally all the other additional self-sufficiency needs such as water, waste disposal, electricity, storage space, tools, and security, you suddenly realize that you have come face to face with the word "survival", which is the word that, in essence, reflects "ultimate self-sufficiency".

Everything Involves a Priority Choice

While the survival retreat concept gets all the headlines in the hard money newsletters, its share of actual dollars invested is insignificant. From my experience as the architect most often involved in survival housing, the majority of client energy and funds are devoted to residential upgrade and preparation within the bounds of suburban or semi-rural living. Why? Frankly because very few people have the time, money or inclination to separate themselves completely from society even though they believe that difficult economic and social problems will be forthcoming.

100% rural self-sufficiency is almost impossible to achieve on anything more than a hermit level. Even then it is either all-time consuming or inordinately expensive and probably both.

In the final analysis then, everything in the survival and self-sufficiency field is a compromise or trade off of one lesser asset for another more important to you. If you want isolation to have security, then you usually sacrifice social ties, time and gasoline in commuting, and maybe electricity, telephone, and leadership opportunities.

There are ways of overcoming these compromises--if you have enough money, additional manpower and equipment; but you may become so sophisticated that you aren't self-sufficient any more. No two individuals or families should utilize the same self-sufficiency plans.

Here are the Essential Steps

1. Begin reading non-governmental analyses of the state of the nation. Specifically: political, economic, social, military, and moral trends. Reading recommendations include:


901 N. Washington St. suite 605

Alexandria, Va 22314


P. O. BOX 39800

Phoenix, AZ 85069

2. Analyze the condition of your local state and community as to long term survivability in a crisis:

Most favorable criteria are:

a. low population density (50 people per sq. mile or less)

b. High level of religious, moral character.

c. Lack of highly unionized heavy industry, or welfare populous.

d. Strong local autonomy with little attachment to federal funds.

e. Diversified economy with an agricultural base.

3. Make a series of decisions based upon your national and local assessment as what problems you most likely will encounter. Note: You cannot come to a proper design of a self-sufficient or survival residence unless you have determined what shortages, crises, or threats you face. The better your research, the more accurate your predictions will be.

4. Read the Survival Home Manual and study the essentials of survival residential design to determine what your present home lacks and what is available in new or remodeled survival construction.

5. Determine, financially and security wise, whether you should remain in your present home and remodel, move and build or buy a more suitable home. Consider job, and/or commuting time. It is imperative that you do not destroy your income producing ability unless you have other means or opportunities to turn to which will survive most economic downturns. Don't be tricked into thinking you can go "live off the land". The capital required for machinery and non-growable necessities will require substantial monthly income.

6. Start saving and begin a monthly procurement plan for acquiring the items listed in the 10 packs for survival. Do it each month--don't wait for enough money to accumulate for a one time purchase of everything--it may not be readily available then.

The foregoing introductory material is essential in order to appreciate the following survival design criteria. The quantity of preparedness features I will describe may not be necessary in every case, depending on the relative security of the location you choose to live in. Remember, the more self-sufficient and secure the area in which you live, the less it costs you to prepare for personal survival,,

Primary Faults of Conventional Housing

The following are the six essential liabilities of the conventional residential structure:

1. Lack of security (fire, intrusion, vandalism)

2. Poor resistance to heat, cold, wind, and sun.

3. Lack of storage facilities (food, dry goods, machinery etc).

4. Poor floor plan efficiency (costly wasted space, lack of emergencyaccommodations)

5. Single source of heat for space heating, water heating, ,@Ind cooking.

6. Single source of water and electrical power.

Design Criteria

In my actual design work, the most common concern expressed by the wife of a client is that the home not look like a fortress or a bunker. This is not only possible but preferable. There is no benefit in becoming a known target for resentment during hard times. The best survival residences are designed to look completely conventional both inside and out, so that you may stay within the bounds of society without appearing as an extremist and encouraging undue resentment.

The properly designed survival residence has within its walls and private recesses all the equipment and design technology that allows you to maintain a nearly normal lifestyle throughout a crisis. This is extremely important to the family man who must maintain his income during hard times. He cannot afford to take time off from work to heat hot water over a camp stove during an electrical outage or stand guard over his house day and night when major civil disturbances occur.

The following are some of the major design features of a survival residence:

1. Independent well water and/or water storage facilities integral with the home

2. Multi-fuel furnace (burns at least three different fuels)

3. Reserve or standby electrical power

4. Multi-fuel cooking facilities, and water heating equipment

5. Secure walls, doors, and windows with intrusion monitoring equipment

6. Superior energy-conserving structural design utilizing solar and underground design where possible

7. Secret and semi-private storage facilities which include a fallout shelter

8. Maintenance and repair facilities with appropriate tools

9. Greenhouse and other food production facilities

10. Internal communications equipment

If you are questioning the potential costliness of a full survival residence, consider this: it is not intended to discourage you from acting due to lack of sufficient funds, but rather to show you the importance of ordering your financial priorities In order to start preparing in the most critical areas first. In all cases, never place all of your available funds into one, or even two areas at the exclusion of all others.

If, in the final analysis, you find that not all of your self-sufficiency preparations were utilized, you will have at least spent many a restful night with the assurance that you have done everything within your ability to prepare you and your family for realistic potential difficulties.

Both those who wish to relocate permanently and those who may simply desire to construct a vacation retreat cabin elsewhere will need some guidance as to the best areas for security: We have made available to our clients the most comprehensive security map covering the entire United States, both as to the most dangerous areas and the most secure areas. It represents many years of research and analysis and may be ordered direct from the architectural and planning division using the order form at the end of this booklet.

Food Pack

200 lbs/person, hard winter wheat 50 lbs/person,rice 50 lbs/person, beans 10 lbs/person, honey 25 lbs/person, powdered milk(non-instant type) 6-months supply normal canned goods and bottled fruit

1-large bottle 1000mg VITAMIN C 1-large bottle multiple vitamin 2-clove garlic (nature's anti-biotic) (keep refrigerated)

4-#10 can/person dehydrated fruits and vegetables (use for variety-not for bulk) Salt, pepper, spices Oil (keep refrigerated)

Water Pack

* 1- portable water washer filtering kit (from american water purification co. 1990 @olivera rd. Concord, ca 94520)

* 1/person water straw individual filter straw (from american water@purif.)

* 1-pack scientific filter paper (cone) (12v diameter papers)

* 1/person 10 gallon glass distilled water bottle. (date and seal with stopper and tape. Wrap on bottom and sides with dense foam carpet pad to protect against earthquake or jarring.

* 1-bottle halazone tabs. Or regular chlorine bleach for water purification.

Power Pack

* 1-mobile, self-contained 3kw 120/220v generator (diesel or gasoline/gas) with one month fuel supply in portable tanks

* 1-12 volt auto battery with carry strap trickle charger, and jumper cables and 12v light attachment

* 1-100 ft. 4-plug heavy duty extension cord with built in light bulb (rough duty rated) in a "cage"

* 2-hand-operated flashlights (item #605-771w695 from us general catalog 100 general place, @jerico n.y. 11753)

* 2-nicad flashlights (item # 852-5350w us general catalog)

* 1-long range police-type flashlight with extra bulbs

* Supply of nicad batteries with charger:

* 8-D cell

* 4-D cell

* 16-AA cell

* 2-9v transistor type

Med Pack

* Blood pressure gauge (electronic)

* Stethoscope

* Bandage scissors

* Long tweezers

* 2-locking forceps (1-curved point)

* Disposable scalpels

* Thermometer (oral and rectal)

* Inflatable splints

* Bandages elastic, self adhesive band-aids large compress type with straps.

* Sutures (dissolvable)

* Cotton backed adhesive tape

* Gauze

* Aloe vera burn ointment

* Anti-biotic ointment

* Aspirin

* Rubbing alcohol

* Ipecac syrup (to induce vomiting)

* Container of sterile water (1 qt)

* Clean absorbent cotton rags

* Soap (liquid)

* Long stemmed cotton swabs

Transportation Pack

* 1/person: 10 speed bicycle with heavy. Duty tires, rack and carriers, lights

* 1 emergency vehicle (recommend vw vanagan with trailer hitch, locking gas cap, and camper options. Install bike racks front and rear, and extra 30 gallon gas tank. Carry oil cans two flashlights emergency tool kit: extra fan belts, metric wrenches and sockets, oil filter, air filter fuel filter, spark plugs, points, condenser, fuses, light bulbs, head light, tire pump, aerosol tire repair sealer, jumper cables, tow cable w/hooks, inflatable raft (4 man) with paddles.

* 1-250cc motorcycle equipped for road and off road use. Add equipment and extra fuel tank carriers.

Travel Pack

(These items should be packed in portable "duffle bags" ready to go)

* 1-qt water per person

* 2-"energy bars" per person

* Dehydrated food pack for one week dried fruit, vegetables, meat flour, oil, salt, pepper, spices vitamins, honey,peanut butter crackers, protein powder, powder milk

* Collapsible 5 ga. Water containers

* "Water washer" filter

* Lightweight cook kit large pot, dishes, spoons, forks knives, cups, non-stick skillet spatula, can opener, large spoon

* Towels

* 2-water proof nylon tarps

* Change of clothes for each person

* Coats,

* 1-thermal blanket

* 1-sleeping bag / person

* Matches, fire starter

* Compass, maps of areas of intended use

* 2-rechargeable flashlights

* 12v trouble light w/@cig. lighter plug

* First aid kit

* Toilet paper,

* Soap

* 1-pocket knife

* 1-fishing kit

* 1-large bowie knife (western cutlery) (perfectly weighted to serve as both fire knife and hatchet etc)

* 1-small portable mt. Climber's stove

* 1-back pack with frame

* Paper, pencil

* Signaling mirror

* 1-manual flashlight

* Whistle , portable cable saw

* Small bottle of bleach, insect repellent.

* Magnifying glass

* 100 ft. 1/2 dia. Goldline rope,

* 2 pulleys

* 50 ft. Nylon "shroudline" cord

* .22 caliber pistol w/ 500 rds. Ammo.

Communications Pack

* Multi-band receiver/scanner

* 1-citizens band transceiver

* 2- 3 channel portable transceivers rechargeable batteries,p ortable power pack, antennas

* 1-small portable television (battery operated)

Equipment Pack

* 1-grind all grinder(for wheat, corn beans, peas, nuts etc.) Ram Products 765 S. University Ave. Provo, UT. 84601 1-grain country bread mixer. Food Science Corp. 95 N. 200 E American Fork, UT 84003

* 1- Victorio strainer (Vitantonio Corp Willoughby, Ohio 44090)

* 1-hand operated can opener

* 1-steam canner with canning bottles w/lids and rings for two seasons cutlery: high quality knives:

o Peeler/filet knife

o Pairing knife (short small)

o Long slicing knife.

* 1-portable electric icebox 12v. Koolatron industries limited, 56 Harvester Ave. Batavia , NY 14020

* Kerosene lamp/heater by aladdin

* Two burner kerosene or propane stove with one month fuel supply

* Hand operated clothes wringer

* Treadle sewing machine or treadle attachment for your electric machine

* Portable electric hot plate

* Fire extinguisher (portable)

Defense Pack

* .22 cal.pistol (9-shot revolver or 15 shot auto) w/ 1000 rds. ammo.

* .22 cal. rifle w/1000 rds. ammo.

* 45 cal. auto pistol w/ 100 rds. ammo.

* .223 rifle (mini14 by ruger) w/ 500 rds. ammo.

* 2- canisters of aerosol mace

* 1-pocket knife

* 1- bowie knife

Tool Pack

* 1- 250 amp portable arc welder

* Pelletized oxy-acetylene torch

* Propane torch w/spark lighter

* Solder/flux (electrical and non)

* Allen wrench set

* Nut driver set

* Tap & die set (national course,fine)

* Socket set & ratchet handle, @extens.

* Channel lock pliers

* 2-adjustable "crescent" wrenches

* Needle nose pliers with wire cut.

* Vise grip pliers with narrow jaw

* Metal chisel

* Wood chisel set

* Metal punch/drift

* Tin snips

* Claw hammer

* Small, large screwdrivers

* Small, large phillips screwdrivers

* Hand operated twist drill

* Auger expansion bit with brace

* Hack saw

* Bow saw

* Handsaw (10 pt teeth)

* Large pry bar/wrecking bar

* Ax

* Hatchet

* Small block and tackle or 'come-a-long" hand operated winch.

* Glue assorted

* Nails, nuts, bolts, screws

* Electric multi meter,

* 110 circuit test light


These items generally meet all of the following criteria for Barter

1. High consumer demand

2. Not easily home manufactured

3. Durable in storage

4. Divisible in small quantities

5. Authenticity easily recognizable

* Liquid detergent,

* Laundry detergent

* Rubbing alcohol

* Bleach

* Toothbrushes

* Razor blades

* Toilet paper

* Aluminum foil

* Writing paper, typing paper,

* Pens,

* Pencils, erasers

* Shoelaces, string, cord, rope

* Fishing line

* Insect repellent

* Water repellent

* Paint, varnish

* Matches

* Watches

* Tape

* Light bulbs

* Needles, thread, zippers, buttons

* Aspirin, vitamins, other drugs

* Seeds, grain, sugar,

* Coffee, liquor, cigarettes

* Anti-biotics, burn ointments

* Safety pins

* Manual can opener

* Knives

* Canning jars, lids, rings

* Shoes, boots, socks, nylon stockings

* Underwear,

* Winter clothes

* Coats

* Blankets

* Hand guns, rifles,ammunition

* Fuels (all types)

* Quarts of multi-vis motor oil

* Anti-freeze

* Wire

* Glues

* Bolts, screws, nails

----------------- end of document by Dave Lee -----------

Bug-Out Bag Contents: My Personal List (by Martin Adams)


Leatherman multitool
folding saw
mini machete & sheath
sheath knife
pocket knife
GPS & batteries
Walki talkies & batteries
rechargeable AA and AAA batteries
solar battery recharger
screwdriver & bits
magnifying lens 2" minimum
razor knife
sharpening stone
headlamp & batteries
crank flashlight/radio
camera, batteries, memory card
cig lighters
vise grip
repair tape
edibleplants book
super glue (nail repair)
aluminum foil
garbage bags -big
condoms (water container)
poly rope/twine
sewing awl
zip lock bags
cotton balls soaked w/vaseline
self-defense weapon
mace/defensive gas spray
paper, pen, pencil
light sticks
MP3 player, ear buds
Backpack to carry these things


1-quart bottles of water
wash/squeeze bottle
Katadyn purifyer
coffee filters
folding 2-5-gallon jug
Stainless bowl
sunflower seeds
mung beans
vitamin C
energy bars (homemade)

CLOTHES & SHELTER (camo or drab colors, not orange, yellow, etc.)

leather gloves
thin pants
thick pants
long-sleeve shirt
tarp (camo or green if possible)
tent stakes
plastic sheeting
space/emergency blanket
mosquito net


roller bandages
triangular bandage
safety pins
suture kit
antiseptic salve
homeopathic kit
rescue remedy
fabric band-aids
snake bite kit
H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide)
superglue (fingernail repair)


liquid soap (Dr. Bronners castile)
glasses, shades
wash cloth
squirt bottle for washing
nail clippers
disposable plastic gloves
TP. paper towels
$1 coins, cash

COMPACT SURVIVAL KIT (separate from the above, fits in a belt pouch)

magnifying lens
pocket knife
sewing kit
energy bars
LED flashlight/headlamp
wire saw
birthday candles
fire starter/magnesium block
mini first aid kit (bandaids, aspirin, tweezers, tape, superglue)
condoms (water container)
water purifying tablets
space blanket
Belt pouch to carry all of these


dry fuel cooker & fuel (Esbit or similar)
stainless cup/bowl (pack other things inside)
rescue/emergency blanket
weapon/gas/pepper spray
multitool (on belt)
sheath knife (on belt)
mini binoculars (on belt)
food pouch


rolled oats (blend into powder)
honey or soaked dates or molasses or natural sugar & a little water
[the above is the 'glue' to bind the rest of the ingredients below. include what you have]
herbal concentrate (eg. barley juice powder)
vitamin C powder
sunflower seeds
sesame seeds
chopped walnuts/almonds/pine nuts/pecans etc.
tofu powder
milk (or non-dairy milk powder, soy, etc.)
dried fruit chopped fine
grapenuts (cereal)
coconut shreds

Mix all dry ingredients well in large bowl with wooden spoon. Add dates/honey/water while mixing until all ingredients stick together. Work quickly, roll flat on surface dusted with oat powder until about 1/2" or 3/4" thick. Cut into bars with dull knife. Allow to dry. Wrap each bar in wax paper, then put several in small baggies.


Soak beans in water overnight, throw the water, boil in fresh water with pinch of salt and cumin. When soft, dry in sun on sheet with cloth cover until hard, grind into powder in strong blender or flour mill. Add powdered cooked veggies and/or powdered herbs if desired, mix well and seal in airtight container. To serve, add cold water gradually to powder to make paste, stir until no lumps, add hot water (if hot soup desired) while stirring paste until soupy. Leave thick to spread on bread.


non-dairy milk powder (soy, etc.) or powdered sunflower seeds, almonds, etc.
carob powder
evaporated cane juice, fructose or other natural sugar
powdered ginger, cinamon.

Mix all dry ingredients and store in airtight container. To serve, mix cold water tino powder slowly to make a paste, stir out lumps, add more water to paste while stirring until milkshake consistency. Can also be eaten thick like pudding.

On Growing
Survival Food

More DVDs
Are Coming

This web site is here because the knowledge about survival is critical to many of us right now. This survival retreat in the desert is the demonstration of various technologies which help us become free of dependence on fossil fuels, the grid and other things which are part of the problems we face as a global community.

The DVDs will appear here as they become available.