Having a survival kit on hand can mean the difference between feeling confident about meeting any emergency situation calmly, and feeling completely helpless and out of it. In these uncertain times, when we have seen enough sudden and ferocious disasters to know that life can change in a split second, a survival kit is an absolute necessity.
You can either choose to put together your own emergency kit, or better still, you can buy a pre assembled kit from one of the many suppliers online. A pre-assembled survival kit can offer you a variety of emergency supplies that are designed to meet special needs. Here’s what to look for when you’re shopping for a survival kit.
A Comprehensive Kit
Your survival kit should contain enough items to meet the requirements of the emergency situation. For instance, no matter what the size of your survival kit, it should make adequate provisions for your most important necessity in a crisis – water. Thirst increases doing an emergency situation, leaving you at risk for dehydration. You would be surprised at the number of emergency kits out there that contain very little provision for water.
A High Quality Kit
Sure, you could buy a cheaper, lower quality kit, but do you really want to be caught in an emergency with flashlights that don’t work or a lighter that’s gone damp? Some people believe that having a low quality kit is better than having no kit at all. However, there’s really no point in having an emergency kilt that doesn’t do what it’s meant to do – keep you safe, warm, and comfortable till help arrives.
A Complete Kit
Imagine opening your kit, and finding four Band-aids for first aid. You need a kit that’s stocked with enough items to last you through an emergency. For instance, a wilderness kit will need enough items to last for at least 36 hours, which is how long it could take before rescue teams do arrive. Your survival kit order form will have a picture of the kit and its contents. Count the number of items to make sure you’re not paying for stuff that isn’t in the bag
An Expensive Kit
This doesn’t mean that you go out and buy the most top dollar product you can find without looking into whether it meets your needs. However, be wary of buying something that’s priced way too low. Remember, broken GPS systems, flimsy knives, and cardboard film sunglasses do not a good survival kit make.
An Easy to Open Kit
You don’t want to be caught scrambling to unzip your kit during an emergency. The kit must come in a durable, waterproof, easy-to-open bag that has easy-to-find compartments to hold items separately. Avoid kits with complicated locks and clasps.
An Easy to Use Kit
Your survival kit needs to be designed with your skills and handling skills in mind. For instance, a well traveled trekker will find it easy to handle a sophisticated, cutting edge survival kit that includes all modern gizmos. If you’re not too comfortable with tools, on the other hand, you might want to look for an easy to use basic kit that doesn’t requite too many high tech skills to use.
A Fresh kit
Remember, even though items like food bars and water will come with a shelf life of many years, warehouse storage and bad transport conditions can decrease the life span of the items in your kit. While this doesn’t mean that these items will be spoilt and fit to discard, it does mean that checking the expiration dates of the items in the kit is something you need to do seriously.
A Versatile Kit
Look for a kit that has at least a few tools that can be used for a number of purposes. For instance, duct tape is one those things that can be used in a dozen different ways, and so are large plastic garbage bags. More high tech versions would be a compass that doubles as a torchlight that doubles as a whistle that doubles as a …you get the point.
A Kit for Every occasion
While everybody needs at least one basic survival kit, certain people might need more than one kit to meet all their emergency needs. For instance, if you’re an avid hiker, you’ll need a wilderness survival kit that contains air horns, body warmers and shelter gear, and supplements your basic survival kit. It’s also a good idea to have more than one kit, and stash them at home, in the car, at office etc.