Couples and Parents
    Making a Survival Kit

    “Making a Survival Kit,” Family Home Evening Resource Book (1997), 337

    “Making a Survival Kit,” Family Home Evening Resource Book, 337

    Making a Survival Kit

    Outdoor activities are no fun when someone gets lost. Adequate preparation will usually keep this from happening, but some simple equipment can prepare a family member to survive if he does get lost. This activity will teach family members to make a lightweight survival kit that they can easily carry with them.


    First make sure that family members understand a few simple rules:

    1. Wear a shrill whistle around your neck when you are hiking or fishing in an isolated area.

    2. Tell someone where you are going and when you are coming back. Don’t leave the camping area by yourself.

    3. Orient yourself to the area and do not explore longer or farther away than your family feels is safe.

    4. Remember when you are lost to—

      • Keep calm, find a sheltered place, and stay put. Get out into the open if planes are overhead.

      • Build a fire if possible, conserve your heat and energy.

      • Mark your location. Move out from it to seek familiar landmarks and return to it.

      • Shout, use a whistle, and concentrate on being found—not on finding someone.

      • Prepare for the night, gather wood, build a shelter before dark.

    Then have all family members help construct a survival kit. Make sure they know how to use each item. The following items can be put in a 2 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-16 1/2-inch (6-by-11-by-16-cm) leather pouch and will weigh less than one pound (.5 kilograms).

    Survival Kit



    Pocket knife with cutting blade, can opener, leather punch

    Carving, cutting, spearhead

    Metal canister 1 1/2-by-3 1/2-by-4 1/2 inches (4-by-9-by-11-cm). Many of the following items can be put in this canister.

    Cooking pan, reflector, cup

    Surgical tubing, 40 inches (100 cm)

    Drinking tube, tourniquet, flipper

    100 halazone tablets

    Water purification

    Six small cotton balls

    Swabs, pad, dressing

    1/32-inch (5-mm) twine, 96 inches (30 meters)

    Fishing line, snare, sewing

    Aluminum foil, 12-by-18 inches (30-by-45 cm)

    Cooking, heat reflector

    Wire survival saw 15 inches (36 cm)


    Three razor blades

    Cutting, snares

    Twelve safety pins, 1 inch (1.5 cm)

    Repairs, clothespins, securing shelter to rope

    Six No. 12 fish hooks and 12 feet (3.5 meters) of line

    Fishing, snares

    Three balls of steel wool

    Tinder for fire in wet weather

    Waterproof matches, candle, metal match


    Metal whistle

    Signal, reflector

    Small sharpening stone

    Striking matches, sharpening

    Pencil and paper

    Leaving notes or directions

    Twelve heat tablets


    Electrician’s tape, 120 inches (3.6 meters) (wrapped around canister)

    Repairs, fastening shelter to rope

    Six small band-aids

    First aid

    Card showing ground-air signals

    Giving directions, sending distress signals, signaling location

    Six bouillon cubes, dried soups

    Food, morale, body heat

    Two plastic sheets 9-by-12-feet (2.6-by-3.6 meters)

    Shelter, ground cloth, water collection

    1/8-inch (2-cm) nylon cord, 12 feet (3.5 meters)

    Shelter rope, snares

    Sewing kits: two needles, three buttons, 6 feet of thread (1.8 meters)

    Patches, first aid

    Small compass with mirror on back

    Directions, signaling

    Additional Activities

    Try each component in your backyard or on a simulated exercise to prepare yourself and your family for possible use.