When I lived in rural MA as a child, I knew the ins and outs of New England wildlife and could survive on acorns and wild berries if I needed to (never did, thank goodness). Now, I live in FL, and as an adult, I’ll die out there if left alone for too long. I know the basics of what to stay away from, like gators and black widows, but I can’t tell a Coral Snake from a Scarlet Kingsnake, and God help me when it comes to distinguishing which plant life is edible. I simply don’t have the affinity for Floridian ecology that I do for the forests of New England. So, I stay in the densely-populated city of Orlando, where you’ll be hard-pressed to find an abandoned road or plot of land. Even then, emergencies happen. This is a traffic-congested metropolis, and someone, somewhere, will be run off the road and into a ditch or retention pond.
There was a rash of those incidents a few years back, prompting me to finally put together a vehicle survival kit. It’s really basic, but I’m always on the lookout for stuff to add.
So far, my kit consists of:
- Coghlan’s Emergency Blanket
- Adventure Medical 1-Person First Aid Kit
- Window Breaker
- Coghlan’s Magnesium Firestarter
- Otterbox 3250 Waterproof Case
Total cost is about $45, cheaper if you use a small ammo can instead of the Otterbox. It’s not perfect, but I’ve got a bunch of scenarios covered; whether I end up in a pond or off-road, I’m covered, no matter what season. The kit also comes in handy for emergency rescue situations until trained help arrives. No one can tell the future, but you can prepare for it, good or bad.
Again, this is really basic, and may not fit your exact needs. I spend most of my time in an urban setting, so I don’t need anything that will tide me over for a few days, just a few hours at best. However, if I were to move back home to MA, I would need to expand the kit to include things like hand-warmers, mace for coyotes, black electrical tape to spell out HELP on top of my car (it’s white, so if something were to happen in the winter, my car would blend in with the snow otherwise), a pack of granola bars, etc. Every situation is different, and yours should be taken into account when putting a kit together.
I’d love to hear your survival kit tips. What situations are you prepping for, and what are your must-haves?