A Personal Survival Kit [PSK] is a good idea for anyone who spends any amount of time camping or hiking in the woods. It should be compact and the intent is that it be worn on your person or carried in a pocket at all times. In that way, if you become separated from your pack, you then have a means of making a fire, signalling help, or dealing with an injury.
The key to a PSK is to make a habit of carrying it so it becomes ingrained practice. Use it often and strive to add to it and continually seek to improve the contents of your kit.
In this photo below, we see an example pocket-carry PSK that has been assembled using an ALTOIDS mint tin:
TOP to BOTTOM - LEFT COLUMN: Band-Aids, Pencil & Ground Signal Sheet, Signal Mirror, Fresnel Lens; CENTER COLUMN: ALTOIDS tin [signalling, water collection], matches/striker, sewing kit, fishing kit, burning lens, compass; RIGHT COLUMN: Jute cordage, snare wire, lanyard with whistle, lock back knife, B.S.A. Mini-hot spark.
In the next photo below, we see a larger belt-carry pouch PSK. The pouch was made out of scrap leather and a button made from an old coin.This kit has been expanded to include some extra kit items to give a little more margin of safety, including a poncho that could be used to build a shelter in the event of unexpected wet weather:
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT - Leather belt pouch; Cereal box liner [useful for water gathering]; Emergency poncho with a hand warmer; Signal Mirror; Tin of Vaseline cotton, jute tinder cordage, storm matches; self-made pouch for mag bar and striker [bottom]. CENTER: ALTOIDS tin kit as shown above.
Again, the key is to carry it always and build a solid habit of having the kit with you, so it will be there when you need it.
I would also recommend the book "BUILD THE PERFECT SURVIVAL KIT" by John McCann [USMC]. It is full of photo's, tips, and information on assembling this, and other types of survival kits. His business SURVIVAL RESOURCES [survivalresources.com] sells the book and items useful in building a PSK. I have attended courses taught by him and can personally vouch for his excellent knowledge and competence in survival-related matters.
© 2013, MANNY SILVA, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED