Family Resources
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.