The list author says: "A friend of mine is a boyscout leader, and one night over a few beers we began to discuss the gear he recommends to his scouts, and eventually the conversation moved toward a general discussion of gear we felt would prove very useful in emergencies. So if you don't like this list, blame Sierra Nevada Pale Ale lol.
Obviously, nobody can truly predict what you would need or for how long you would need it, but I think most interested in the subject can agree on some very broad basic categories that represent basic items that would prove very useful (even life saving) during many emergency situations. Many people call this type of list a BOB (bug out bag), GHB (get home bag), go bag, 72 hour kit, etc. but the idea is simple: Get home (or get out) ASAP Â– regroup Â– revaluate your situation from there. The challenge for this type of list is making sure you cover the bases while keeping things small, light, comfortable, discreet, and highly mobile.
The specific item choices below reflect high demands on space, weight, and size while still accounting for all the basic categories.
1. Shelter. 2. Clothing. This is the one item categroy not reflected in the list below because it depends so heavily on your particular climate and time of year. The key here is choosing things seasonally appropriate for your area. 3. Fire. 4. Water. 5. Tools. 6. Light. 7. Navigation. 8. Communication/Signaling. 9. Personal Protection. 10. First-aid Kit. 11. Hygiene. 12. Food.
Keep in mind these are very broad categories, and the more important idea here is that you think about what you would do and what you would need if faced with an emergency, whether natural or man-made, so whether you decide on a just a pocket knife and a smile or a full-blown off-the-grid retreat in the hills is less important than the concept and wisdom of thinking and preparing ahead for contingencies and/or circumstances which might threaten you or your loved ones."
"Of all the things in this list, high quality, durable, comfortable footwear that protect your feet are probably tied for 1st or 2nd place. Do not underestimate this one. Be sure to break them in well. Pack a couple of extra pair of good hiking socks too."
"Originally developed for wound closure and first aid (which it works wonderfully for, by the way), super glue is almost as handy as duct tape, with the bonus of taking up virtually zero space or weight. This is absolutely awesome glue that doesn't solidify with age."
"This is so valuable you'd be crazy not to include it in any emergency kit. It takes up zero space, zero weight, and would be one of your very first needs in many survival situations. Make sure to add at least three ways to start a fire e.g. Mini-Bic lighters, survival matches, etc."
"Katadyn Mircropur tabs are IMO an essential item because they actually create safer water than ANY filter can produce. Granted, it's still good to have a filter too but in terms of sheer safety these trump just about everything. Plus, zero weight and space."
"It's very important to keep your blades sharp. As they say, a sharp knife is a safe knife. Normally I might not include a sharpener in a "short-term" kit, but this one takes up such little space, why not?"
"I absolutely love this little light. It's so handy, made in the USA, and you could have several of them (which I do) and never even know they're there from a weight/space standpoint. I keep a few in red LED too (for night viewing without blinding you when you turn it off). Homerun kit item for sure."
"Surefire makes the best lights on the planet. Period. Yes, they are more expensive but you're not just paying for a name but rather a superior product made by Americans. A hands-free light is a wonderful addition to any emergency kit."
"One of my favorite lights. It's small, ultra-bright, indestructible, and functions admirably as a self-defense tool. And of course it's a Surefire, one of the few product names that still really means something. Don't forget a couple of extra batteries."
"It's always good to have a poncho handy, and although pricey and a little more bulky than your standard cheap disposable poncho, this one is great quality, covers nearly your whole body (even with pack on), and can function as a makeshift bivy/shelter."
"Although less important than many people think, especially in the short-term (you can survive sometimes weeks with almost no food), eventually you gotta eat. Plus, while you might technically survive without food your energy levels and psychological morale will suffer greatly without it. I wouldn't recommend carrying all three days worth but a little would mean a lot when you got hungry."
"As an alternative, believe it or not, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better overall survival food than good 'ol peanut butter. It's compact, keeps reasonably well, and is very calorie dense. And it sure tastes a lot better than those bars. This is some of the very best PB out there...and that's coming from a total PB junkie!"
"Many underestimate this one, but not only is hygiene a tremendous psychological buoy, itÂ’s also a safety issue as poor hygiene predisposes you to injury/infection, especially hand to mouth stuff. Clean = safe."
"For the money a good little monocular, and considering the size/wt to utility trade off, a valuable addition. Even disregarding survival stuff (I use it for animal/bird watching a lot when camping) you'll be amazed how handy this thing is once you're used to having it around."
"Although technically not a "survival" item, a VR allows you take record your thoughts, miscellaneous notes, conversations, etc., which would be very valuable to you after the fact. And since it has such a small footprint it's a reasonable addition."
"Yeah there are much better cameras for serious photography but this is a great little camera, and as long as it doesn't take too much weight or space a camera is always great to have, both for serious and not so serious reasons."
"Violence is NEVER ideal, but unfortunately people aren't always civilized, especially during emergencies. Without the ability to defend yourself you become a victim to the whim of whoever or whatever wants to make you one. Do you want your life to depend on the civility or mercy of others who are thirsty, hungry, etc. and quite possibly situationally psychologically unstable?"
"This pack is nearly indestructible, it's comfortable, and will hold everything in this list and more. Plus, because of the MOLLE-style webbing you can really customize the pack to your needs. I would advice keeping the pack less than 25% of your body weight."
"A FAK is a must. Contents should be based on your particular situation, but things to think about might be: prescription meds, pain meds (NSAIDS, tylenol, aspirin, excedrin), benadryl, treezers, band-aids, etc"
"Similar to shelter, shielding yourself from the elements is one of the most important (and underrated/overlooked) aspects of emergency preparation. Certainly, there are other good ones but Tilley's are fantastic hats. The point is, keep your head covered and your eyes and face protected from the sun, rain, snow. etc. Choose appropriately for your climate."