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7 essentials for a survival kit

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If you were out in the middle of nowhere for three days or stuck at home due to man made or natural disaster, what would you need to survive? Here are numerous items that are essential for survival. Keep in mind this is a basic list that might be proactively packed in a “go bag” or in a big plastic tub to keep at work or in your home or car. Each category and item can be significantly expanded upon and researched by Googling the key word.

Clean water and/or iodine tablets and water access

Your body is mostly water; water is the No. 1. tool for survival. For three days you’d need three liters. To expand your water supply, have with you iodine tablets to purify river or groundwater. Consider an investment on a 55 gallon barrel water storage system.


“Energy” bars are high in sugars and pack nicely. So-called backpack meals are also useful. Canned tuna is high in protein. Costco offers months to years’ worth of survival food.


  • Sturdy shoes (hiking footwear is even better)
  • Hooded rain resistant jacket
  • Two shirts and long pants (not cotton; cotton retains moisture)
  • Two pairs of socks (wool if you anticipate cold)
  • Long underwear (polypropylene will keep you warm)
  • Wide brimmed hat
  • Bandana
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves (not necessarily for cold protection, but what if you have to handle earth and rocks?)
  • Plastic bags (to wear over your socks to keep wetness away)
  • Rubberbands (to secure the plastic bags to your ankles)


  • Tent (or tarp and a way to set it up)
  • Ground tarp (or sleeping pad) to insulate against ground wetness
  • Sleeping bag


It’s best to create a first aid kit rather than purchase one. This way, you’ll know exactly what’s in it and how to use the tools. Make sure it contains:

  • Ankle brace (for sprained ankle)
  • Ace bandage
  • Chemical cold pack
  • Bandages, gauze and an anti-bacterial for lacerations
  • Tourniquet
  • Cotton balls
  • Sunblock
  • Tweezers (for de-ticking)
  • Hand mirror (can also be used to reflect the sun to search-and-rescue aircraft!)
  • Sawyer extractor (for snake bites)
  • Vaseline
  • Anything else that might be needed, or that’s specific to your health needs

Tools for survival

  • At least three different fire starting/building devices.
  • A travel chainsaw
  • Backpacking stove and fuel including propane; and a small pot for boiling water.
  • Two flashlights and backup batteries
  • “Survival” knife
  • Map and compass (first learn how to use these!)
  • Topographical map
  • Cell phone with battery backup
  • Solar powered chargers
  • Survival GPS app


  • A firearm of choice. A shotgun with various types of shot is most versatile.
  • Pepper spray (the big cans called “bear spray” are best)
  • Air horn
  • Whistle
  • Blunt instruments such as a baseball bat or golf club.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.


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