H) Otterbox 2500 ($21)
If it comes down to evacuation from your location, you’ll need to bring along some important documents (or at least copies of them). The Otterbox is big enough to hold a passport/birth certificate, cell phone, digital camera, thumb drive, and many other things that need to stay dry. The box is also light and small enough to be easily carried in your pack.
I) 3M 8979 Duct Tape ($6)
Regardless of what specific situation may arise, there is always a need for duct tape. The 8979 3M Duct Tape is of the highest quality and can be removed up to six months later with no left over residue.
J) Gerber LMF II: The knife that will save your ass. ($220)
When it comes to survival, a knife is absolutely essential, and Gerber’s LMF II is the top of the line. The knife has a thick body and sharp edge, which were designed for pilots to cut the fuselage of a helicopter in an emergency. The sheath has a built in sharpener as well as lashing system which will easily attach to a belt, leg, or the MOLLE loops on T.H.E. Pack. On the base of the handle is one of the most amazing parts of this knife, a plexi-glass punch. This is great if you need to escape from a vehicle or bust through window and the base also doubles as a hammer if needed. Lastly, there are two small holes near the base of the blade which can be used for fashioning a spear.
When it comes to food, I opted for lightweight items that are calorie efficient. Datrex has created a well-balanced ration that has a remarkable similarity to coconut-flavored Girl Scout cookies. The little cookie-like bars have all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. If you’ve done any backpacking, you’re definitely familiar with the dehydrated food pouches from Mountain House. Simply boil some water, add it to the pouch, and a tasty meal has been born.
L) Chemlight: Not Just For Trick or Treating ($10, per 10 pack)
Chemical light sticks are a great backup for your flash light. They last about 12 hours and can be used for signaling or marking your campsite.
M) Leatherman Wave ($85)
Les Stroud, Survivorman, doesn’t go into the field without a Leatherman Wave. This is one of the classic Leatherman models, and provides a ton of necessary tools in a small package. Just about all the luxuries you’d find in a Swiss Army knife have been placed within the much more ergonomic Wave. Pliers, scissors, screwdriver, blades (serrated and straight edge), and a handful of other goodies are included; what more do you need?
N) Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
You won’t find this in the Red Cross Survival Manual, but alcohol, tobacco, and firearms are some of the most important items in my survival bag. The firearms will provide protection and potentially some food. If you get evacuated from your house, chances are good you’ll be in the mood for a drink. The tobacco will ease the stress, and nicotine will keep you awake (this could be vital depending on the situation).
In conclusion, it all comes down to being prepared. In addition to the items I’ve listed above, take a look at the Red Cross List to complete your kit. Make a plan with your loved ones a keep a cool when the crap hits the fan; help will come, but it may take awhile.
What items are in your survival kit? Let me know via the comments section.
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