From DIY survival kits to premade survival kits for sale, the internet is flooded with hands-on survival preparation products. I wanted to create an everyday survival kit to carry to the office, school, or anywhere else it may be needed, based on the following criteria:
- Availability: All items should be found at an everyday store like Walmart.
- Affordable: The kit should cost no more than the average ten dollar lunch.
- Compact: This kit should be small enough to fit in any office or school bag. If the kit is small enough, it’ll be carried and used.
This kit is designed to address basic daily needs, including everyday items one might need while commuting to work or school.
I start every kit with medical needs in mind since medially-related solutions are the hardest to improvise in dire situations. Keep in mind, this kit is by no means intended to replace a full medical kit. This kit is designed to treat small issues like allergy flare ups, cuts, scrapes, etc.
Antibiotic Ointment is useful for keeping wounds from getting infected. It also serves as a barrier by preventing foreign debris from getting into cuts and scrapes. At 88 cents, it’s worth having, and a tube should last you years.
Band-Aids® and Steri-Strips™
Often overlooked, simple Band-Aids® can save you from an untidy appearance caused by an unruly cut. This particular pack in the image had a variety of sizes, and after stocking my kit, there were enough left to store in a medicine cabinet or keep in a car or boat.
Keep in mind that the kit you create should pertain to your personal needs. I have a severe allergic reaction to bee stings, and taking two Benadryl® can save me from needing a doctor or an EpiPen®. Antihistamines are also good to keep on hand for common allergies and flu symptoms. I usually carry the generic brand in my various kits as I regularly clean out medicine due to climate changes and humidity.
Tylenol® is good to have and I find that most of it usually goes to other people. For less than a dollar, this generic brand came in a big bottle that was too big to fit in the Boo Boo Pouch kit. I got creative and used some of the cardboard packaging to make a simple closed pouch.
It’s important to consider how the environment will affect your medicine tablets. I wouldn’t travel the world with these tablets or submerge them in water, but they'll be fine in your bag for a few months.
I also made a “pouch” for the Band-Aids® and Benadryl® tablets to keep the kit organized and prevent the supplies from getting ripped or mangled. If you do it just right, this makeshift pouch also saves the drug facts for you.
Whether or not you carry a knife, disposable blades are good to keep on hand and come in handy for a variety of purposes, like cutting tags off shirts. Even if you carry a knife, disposable razors will offer a sharper tool and cleaner solution. Just remember not to travel with these.
To make sure the blades would fit in the kit, I trimmed the packaging, but left the blades in the blister pack to avoid the potential of any accidental cuts. Utility blades like these will rust if you’re in a humid climate, so make sure to check for rust when auditing your kit.
Lighters are another “just in case” item to keep in your kit. Yes, there are many ways to light a fire, but when someone needs a quick light, it’s not practical to pull out a bow drill or steel wool and battery. The “mini” version of this lighter was available in a three-pack so I now keep an extra one in my car and another at my desk.
This compact LED light was two dollars. It’s not a weapon light and it doesn’t turn night to day, but it will help guide keys to a door when no other light is available, aid in a roadside engine inspection, route cables under a desk, or prove itself useful in any other situation when a Surefire Fury® flashlight isn’t needed. I ditched the key ring to save weight and space.
Electrical tape is another favorite supply of mine. I’ve used it to fix vacuum lines on engines, make wiring repairs, mount a flashlight to a rifle pinch, and for about another thousand repair projects. I keep a full roll in both my car and boat. For this kit, I wrapped a few meters of the tape on itself.
I managed to find some of my favorite Blue Force Gear items to complete the kit, including our sunscreen and lip balm. These are must-haves for avoiding sunburns and chapped lips.
The Finished Kit
There you have it. With a Boo Boo Pouch, ten dollars, and half an hour, you have an everyday survival kit that is small enough to keep in any bag and compact enough to be mounted on a belt in a pinch.