Long Term Survival Kit

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Survival

The human body needs a specific amount of calories and water to survive. We need shelter and warmth to protect against the elements. Roll all this into one kit and you get a long term survival load. The kit that I have put together is based what I’ve learned from my own training and my memories of long term camping trips with my family.

Be Flexible

This kit is always subject to change based on the mission at hand and the climate. The current load is for winter so it weighs in a bit heavy with the addition of of the sleeping bag, base layer clothing, headgear and gloves. Either way, you have to be realistic about what you carry in the field and how long it can keep you fat and happy before you seek resupply or friendlies. If you live in reality, you quickly realize that you can only carry so much in your kit. The concept of grabbing some “bugout bag” and heading for the hills is a dangerous fantasy created by the media to make profit from fear mongering and the uneducated masses. If you take a moment to examine the contents of these bags, you see enough food to last a few days, usually no canteen, therefore no way to collect water, a bunch of various snaring and fishing items that 99% of people won’t use, all tossed into some crappy cheap nylon “tactical” bag made in the great land of China.

Long Term Survival

These premade bags provide virtually no room to add or customize and after a day of toting it around, I can bet you’ll wish you had bought a pack with a frame, heavy duty shoulder straps and a good lumbar support.

There is no set it and forget option for survival. But America has bought into the concept hook line and sinker because so many have become lazy and rely on the internet or some shady company to tell them what they need to survive. Don’t be too lazy to think, your survival should not be left up to somebody else who only cares about making $ off your lack of motivation to take care of your situation.

Be Realistic

If you’re flexible in what you pack and understand that your kit must be adaptable, then the next step is to be grounded in reality and the scenarios that you expect to encounter. I’m not going to cover the list of what ifs because we’d be here forever. I only see about two scenarios that could end up forcing  you into the field for survival. The first one and most likely is a natural disaster.

I lived in Florida back in the late 90’s and experienced fires that swept through our location and surrounding areas, torching everything in sight. We decided to evac at the last moment and ended up being stuck in that line of vehicles trying to escape. At one point, I recall sitting in traffic on a small state road and watching as the local Fire Department fought hard to keep the fire for hitting the road and forcing everyone out of their vehicles to avoid getting roasted alive. That is one situation where, depending on when and how you flee the area, you could very easily end up having to take cover in a wooded area because movement by vehicle was impossible.

In this type of situation, your long term kit would get changed up. It would make sense to drop the camo clothes and go with civilian grab and toss in some commercial camo items like Realtree if you prefer. There’s probably no need for a battle rifle so that can stay home if you expect to return or keep it buried deep in your pack. The items in your LBV or Chest Rig can be moved directly into your pack or put on your person for easy access.

The other scenario would be a complete and total collapse. I don’t believe that one day I’ll wake up and see some kind of dramatic scenes on the news of wild crowding stampeding through the streets, investors jumping to their death because the stock market crashes…well you get the idea. The United States has proven it’s ability to slowly eat itself from the inside and still avoid a movie style SHTF event. The collapse I believe is occurring right before our eyes, but it’s that death by a thousand cuts until one day if you’re not paying attention, you do see everything I described, riots, panic, bank runs, etc. It would seem like it happened overnight, but in reality, if you were watching the signs, you would have seen the build up to the collapse.

This kind of environment would be more dangerous therefore once again your kit may change up. You might add more ammo & mags to your gear, weapon selection might change, clothing might change, etc.

For any of those situations, the preps and training do not change. You still train in the field with your full kit, customized for the scenario. You still practice the survival basics to build that strong foundation of knowledge. In the end, you get in what you put in. If you don’t train and let that gear collect dust in the corner, then you are planning to fail, even if you have spent countless hours on Facebook discussing what makes a good “bugout bag”.

The Kit

Now let’s get into the good stuff, the kit review. As I mentioned earlier, this is my winter loadout, you can easily imagine a summer kit, by simply subtracting the cold weather gear and going with a smaller pack. I have labeled each item or group of items with a number so let’s get into it.

Long Term Survival

  1. USMC FILBE Main Pack
  2. Thermarest Ridge Rest
  3. Snugpak Sleeper Lite
  4. US Army Issue Poncho Liner (Woobie)
  5. USMC FILBE Hydration Pack
  6. Russian SPOSN Smersh LBV
  7. Fenix E05 LED Flashlight
  8. Tasco Folding Binoculars
  9. SOG Multi Tool
  10. Petzl TIKKA Headlamp
  11. SOG Flash II TiNi
  12. Gerber LMF II
  13. Accusharp 4-in-1 Knife & Tool Sharpener
  14. Space Blanket
  15. Topo Map & Case
  16. Camo Facepaint
  17. Suunto Compass
  18. Sven Folding Bow Saw
  19. Bungees
  20. US Military Tent Stakes
  21. Silky Pocket Boy Folding Saw
  22. E-tool & pouch
  23. INCH Survival Paracord kit
  24. Fire kit
  25. Multi function fire starter
  26. Browning Hipower with 2 mags
  27. Romanian AK-47 with 3 mags
  28. British DPM Basha
  29. Med Kit Pouch
  30. Medical Kit
  31. Camo top/bottoms
  32. OR Cold Weather gloves
  33. Propper ATACS boonie
  34. Shemagh
  35. New Balance Bootistan boots
  36. Russian Partizan M Sniper Suit
  37. Mechanix gloves
  38. T-shirts
  39. Spec Ops Belt
  40. Underlay tops fleece & cotton
  41. Thermal base layer top & bottom
  42. Wool socks – 3 pairs
  43. Neck gaiters
  44. Esbit stove with fuel
  45. Lifestraw & Aquamira Water Purification
  46. Sanitation kit
  47. Food kit
  48. Gorilla glue & inner tube
  49. Dry bags
  50. US Military Issue Poncho
  51. 3m Duct tape

I’m sure there are few items I’ve missed, I’m not here to promote myself as an expert. But overall, the primary bases are all covered. I will say that when it comes to water filtration, I’ve been slacking on doing an upgrade. Don’t get me wrong, the Lifestraw works great but it’s not an effective solution for large scale filtration. You end up having to constantly find water in order to stay hydrated, the straw provides no way to store the water, you have to drink it on the spot. That’s where I fall back to my water purification tabs, it’s easy to drop one in the canteen or hydro pouch.

The Lifestraw is only effective in my opinion for a backup puri source. For a primary filtration system, the Katadyn Hiker is good fit. Yes it’s a little pricey, but I’d rather spend some coin on a high quality water purification system vs dropping excessive amount on packs and chest rigs.  Check out some info and pricing at this link – Katadyn Hiker

HikerPro

Summary

Probably the most important factor to remember is that just because a specific type of gear costs more than another item, doesn’t mean it’s better. Do your research and focus on gear that is functional and fits the requirements at hand, not because it’s cool, or has the latest camo pattern or has some high speed low drag brand name.

My old school ALICE pack can accomplish the mission that a $350 Gucci pack can do. The extra money I save can be used on kit that really matters, like a quality purification system or cold weather gear. So be smart about what you purchase, do the research and then pull the trigger.

Then you gotta get out and train. I have a big container full of gear that I’ve tested and used in the field and never used again. I have a “tacti-cool” chest rig that was completely worthless for my needs. BUT I would have never known if I never used it. Imagine a real world SHTF situation where you’re using gear for the first time. The goal is to know your gear inside and out and customize it for your needs. Just like there is no perfect camo pattern, there is no piece of gear that is going to be a perfect fit for you.

As always I appreciate the support, hope you get a brief inside look into a long term kit and maybe some ideas on how to upgrade or change your gear.

And finally, don’t forget to hit me up with comments, I’m not expert by any scale, so tell me what you think, you won’t hurt my feeling!

32 Comments on “Long Term Survival Kit

    • Reply

      Price was the main reason, they have all the features I want in a boot, wide lace tongue, steel toes, breathable gortex, very aggressive tread and great fit.

    • Reply

      Thanks for the input. Sanitatation and underwear is covered by item #46. I go into a bit more detail in my video review posted above.

  1. Reply

    I love it – just a small suggestion you might consider. I carry two bottles of water, I think they’re .5 L. After consuming the water, they become my water collection bottles. I rubber band a coffee filter around the neck and put them in the water. This way I am always keeping my primary water supply (Condor 2.5L bladder, US Army 1 qt canteen, and Nalgene 1 qt. ) sanitized, only putting pure filtered and treated water in them. I have a Sawyer Mini filtration system with bladder which I absolutely love. I also carry 2 lifestraws. Another one I carry – and yes, its a little heavy is I carry an Ontario SP16 Spax (hatchet) and an SOG Tomahawk (leftover from Vietnam days). You are the first person I have to recognize the value of the poncho liner – another relic left over from Vietnam days, but, I still use it every night.

    • Reply

      That’s a great idea about the water collection bottles. I’m going to start doing that myself, thanks! I’m just starting to explore adding a hatchet or tomahawk to my kit, if you had to pick one, which would it be? That poncho liner is invaluable as well is that old green hooded poncho. Two items that are must haves in my kit

    • Reply

      Not a bad idea for a summer kit, since this is a winter loadout, I left it out. My gear and kit always changes based on the season and mission

  2. Reply

    Great kit! You’ve put some thought into it and chosen some great things. The water filter is awesome! Be sure to let people know that the Hiker cannot be allowed to freeze unless it’s thoroughly dried out. If it freezes, it will be worthless. My kit is similar but a bit more expansive. Yours is more bushcraft reliant, whereas mine is set up for a more operational guise. Keep up the great posts!

    • Reply

      That’s great to know about the Hiker. Proves the old point that 1 is none and 2 is 1 when it comes to survival. Always have a backup on hand! My water puri tabs may take a while to fully purify the water, but they are great to have if your filter is out of commission. Thanks the comment!

  3. Reply

    tube of super glue for miner wounds that wound just need a stitch or 2 or 3, a 3-4 ounce small bottle of grain alcohol clean wounds , sterilize instruments for minor wound care, start fires , trade. a suture kit they are very thin and easy to fit in med bag. small field first aide manual unless you are already trained emt, nurse doc ect. more dried meat. the can meats are good contain fluids you are going to need but heavy. a book or cards or dice to keep you and others minds occupied to fight depression.

  4. Reply

    Excellent read. What I’d really like to see is someone go in depth on how to PACK all that stuff. My typical emergency kit is a 72-hour hip rig. I can travel very light and fast, but it leaves out some obviously bulky items, like shelter and sleeping. (Mylar emergency blankets are used for those. Again, this is an “Oh sh!t kit”, not a full on BoB.

    • Reply

      I typically pack in order of importance and weight. Sleeping bags, tarps, shelter equipment all go on bottom, then stack of secondary clothes and so on. Some people prefer to put the majority of the heavy items in the middle of the pack, that never worked for me. If you have a good hip belt, there is no need to pack that way.

      After a few nights out in the field, you figure out what you use the most or need easy access to and that will dictate how you pack your ruck

  5. Reply

    Been doing some research to upgrade our bags. Very glad I noticed a local militia member posted a link to this site. The detail of yours is very helpful, as are the comments. Thanks!

  6. Reply

    Thanks for this article! There’s a couple things I need to add to mine now (and add to my other family members too). Very much appreciated!

  7. Reply

    This may be late since your post is a couple months old.
    That looks really heavy. I probably carry at least 20lbs less for a 2 week backpacking trip (not counting firearms) and I’m not an ultralight backpacker.

    Camo will draw attention around other people so I have go with greys, dark blues, black, etc… for my pack, rain gear and clothes, then use a camo cover for the pack once I’m away from civilization. You could always to the opposite if you felt the need to fit into an urban environment.

    Even without camo, grey’s, browns, greens and other dark earth tones will conceal you pretty well if you stand still behind some form of cover. Camo is also season dependent so what is good one time of year may stand out another time of year.

    I had a hiker pro water filter. They work well but it’s a lot of weight for one person for only 5 days.
    The sawyer mini is definitely slower but it will certainly let you fill containers with water where a straw won’t.
    Go with a larger dirty water bag if you are filling containers and don’t squeeze too hard or you’ll rupture the bag.
    If you want to fill a hydration pack by linking through an adapter in the drinking tube, the hiker is the better option.

    I have a small insect repellent/sun screen spray tube that weighs about half an oz and a similar size 100% DEET container of similar size for when the bugs are too bad (I’m one of those people they seek out). The containers look like fat pens and I purchased both at Walmart. Not sure if they still carry the combo.
    Spray your cloths and sleeping gear with Permethrin ahead of time to deal with ticks. As long as the gear is sealed the treatment can last for many months.

    I’d ditch the heavy stakes, innertube, and sven saw first. That’s the most weight you can drop per dollar.
    Military gear is heavy. It’s intended to take 18-25 year old men to war with 80+ lbs on their back.

    A lighter tarp and bivy sack would also drop some weight. A dark brown ripstop polypropylene 5×7 tarp is only $4 on amazon. If it gets ruined, replace it. That’s probably cheaper than repair tools. Put some paint on it if you must have camo. I’d check the weight vs what you have before buying though.
    Slumberjack has a nice camo bivy for $99. It will protect you and your sleeping bag from insects, precipitation can extend the temperature range of your sleeping bag and can be slept in on it’s own it warm weather.

    Ditch the space blanket. They are hard to wrap around you, loose all your heat if they open up and they tear easy.
    The only think I’d use one for is under a tent to help make it warmer in the winter.

    You can carry 5 Esbit tabs in that stove if you separate the foil packs and arrange them correctly.
    For longer periods of time away from civilization, I’d look into a multi-fuel gas stove and a siphon. Any vehicle is a potential source of fuel.
    I use a wide mouth aluminium water bottle to heat water if I want to leave a pot at home to save weight for a trip. An insulated jacket can keep water warm for a few hours if I heat extra water when I’m cooking food.

    If you look for any backpacking gear to save some weight, check in the fall and early spring when last year’s stuff is being closed out at significant discount.

    • Reply

      Appreciate the input, the kit has evolved quite abit since I posted this a few months ago. Total kit weights out at around 70lbs, you have to take into account the extra clothes and water which weights out to an extra 10-15lbs. In my area, camo doesn’t draw attention, hell everyone has some kind of camo on here in Tennessee. I agree about dropping weight, the stakes are mil issue and heavy duty, the advantage is that they easily anchor in any kind of ground, unlike the skinny pegs that don’t provide much support. If you drop the Sven saw, you’ll need to add an axe for handling large wood processing. Either one is going to add weight, but it is needed if you plan on handling trees or dead wood that is of any decent size.

      When it comes to shelter, it doesn’t get any lighter or more durable than the Basha. However, the Snugpak sleeping bag is heavy, not sure what I would replace it with but I have a few months to find a good one. Since this post, I swapped out the Esbit for a Trangia stove. Much better option and weight is about 1lb, can’t beat it. The siphon is a great idea!

      • Reply

        Look for snow/sand stakes to replace the mil ones. They will hold well. You can put a big rock on any steak to hold them in really loose soil.

        Doesn’t get lighter than the Basha huh? Ok, I’ll bite. Amazon lists 3.3 lbs.
        For traveling solo I have a two person bivy that I’d almost call a tent that weighs in around 3 lbs. It has a floor, bug mesh, poles, stakes, guylines and a vestibule. I picked it up for $99. Newer tents are even lighter. If you can afford an ultralight you can get tents under 1 lbs. A bivy sack like the Slumberjack is something like 1.3 lbs and ultralight ones are around 6.4oz.
        Even with a tarp like I suggested for added protection the Slumberjack would be lighter than your Basha, it has insect netting and protection from ground moisture. Ultralight tarps are around 4.4 oz so you could get down to under 12oz with that and an ultralight bivy if you have the money. No, the ultralight stuff isn’t camo though and neither is my gear.
        I’m not trying to bust your chops, that’s just the way it is.

        A down sleeping bag will be much smaller and lighter. Somewhere in the 2-3 lbs range but I’d go with a treated down to repel moisture and you need better protection to keep it dry than the Basha.

        I’m not sure I see the need for large wood processing for 5 days. If you are talking weeks… then yeah.
        But we get more deadfall trees in winter than you do I’m sure and more are smaller pines.
        Just remember, light is fast. Being able to avoid may be as important as being armed.
        I think with firearms my weight would be around 48lbs and I have a tent. With the bivy/tarp I’d be under 45 lbs.

        I have a trangia knockoff for shorter trips. Once you get to a week the greater BTU output of gas makes it lighter to carry. With alcohol you can carry extra fuel in a used CapriSun mylar drink pouch which holds over 11oz of fuel. They were under $1 at Walmart; fruit punch tastes the best. The drink pouch along with scrub sponge and soap stashes away inside my ALOCS kettle which has a heat exchanger on the bottom to increase heat transfer efficiency. The kettle was around $15 on ebay. The weight of the heat exchanger pays for itself in weight saving on fuel after just a few meals.
        Isopropyl alcohol sucks as a stove fuel, stick to the methyl alcohol in the yellow heat bottles.

        • Reply

          Amazon is showing weight for civi tarps, mine weights in at about 400 grams. The Basha is chosen not so much because it is camo, but more so based on the flexibility of setup and the nearly unlimited ways you can configure it based on the terrain. The fact that it’s camo is an added bonus. I get you about having all those features, floor, poles, bug mesh, etc, but to be honest, I’m perfectly content with my basha, a drop cloth and that’s about it. Bugs are not really an issue here in TN, not sure about where you live. If I was back in Florida, then yes I’d be very interested in a bug mesh. When it comes to processing wood, I prefer to have the option to handle larger wood than not to have it. The added weight of a bow saw or axe is really negligible when it comes to the advantage of having said item.

          Never considering carrying fuel in a drink pouch, I just use the container that came with my stove. As it is with any kit, the more time you spend in the field, the more your kit is tweaked and modded for your own specific needs. If I want to be 100% honest, I could probably shave about 10lbs right now if I changed weapons, decreased the ammo load and went with a lighter sleeping bag.

          What caliber and what amount of ammo are you carrying?

          • I did carry a .308 AR & 2 20 rd mags.
            It was destroyed and now I have to think about a replacement.
            It was a sub MAO rifle.
            Crap happens.

          • That has a serious suck factor! I’d be devastated if my $500 rifle was destroyed, much less a sub MOA AR.

  8. Reply

    Just a minor addition of a tube of medicated/SPF chapstick/Vaseline/carmex. It has many uses and weighs almost nothing. Can be used for:

    – chapped lips obviously
    -put on small scratches to stop bleeding/help prevent infection
    -put on face to prevent sun/wind burn
    -put on burns/sunburn to soothe and moisturize
    -put on bug bites to stop the itch
    -can be used to help build fire (flammable)
    -in winter conditions can be put on exposed skin to slow down chance of frost bite and dry skin

    And I’m sure many others i can’t think of at the moment.

  9. Reply

    Blitz,great set up,a few more ideas for you to consider. I’m a British army vet with 18 years service all over the planet. In no order,roll matt cut down,get a cover for it,or put it inside the ruck to protect mission sensitive kit nva,thermal kit etc.a small kindle or similar device to put military manuals on sf medic,combat surgery etc that down to you.Bow saw have a very distinct signature some sort of goretex doss bag cover. Another water bottle nalgene or what ever,a small Dictaphone great for op.a small cam net say big enough to cover that old school nam poncho of yours. A couple of 40 rnd Mag’s for first contact, or a drum mag. A take down bow might be an option for food procurement to help save ammo. the bayonet for the AK for the wire cutters. In both Afghan and Iraq we went out on recce sniper tasks water and medical heavy, we would take out ten and five litre jerry can’s the civvie ones depending on how long the job was.hope these are useful to you..PS doss bag is a sleeping bag.atb Russ.

    • Reply

      Appreciate the input, especially from a guy with real world experience. I like the idea of the drum or 40 round mag for initial contact. Lay down some heavy fire to keep heads down. Is the roll mat the sleeping mat?

  10. Reply

    yes roll mat is sleeping mat.been going through some old note books of mine on course I’ve done,will have a look and cherry pick some of the more relevant info that would be useful to you.but here’s a few more. Those ammo pouch take of those clips and replace with either the one handed push one’s or a Velcro press stud set up,don’t worry about the noise when it’s gone loud it won’t matter rounds down is all that matter’s. Some orange mine tape for route I’d etc. a couple of cheap 2ltr stainless steel wide mouth water bottle’s these we used in both sand boxes to cook boil in bag’s in and a brew. Paint them black to absorb the heat. a small trowel metal or plastic. Tape up the bottom of those AK Mag’s with 500mph tape you’re got put a 2/3inch tail on to help when pulling them out. A sight unit and a forward pistol grip on the AK would be useful to.if you need any British bit’s
    of kit let me know got ton’s of it doing nothing cos the army’s changed to mtp/multicam and I’m a old school DPM bloke.atb Russ.

    • Reply

      Excellent advice, all the things you don’t know if you don’t live that life. Much appreciated….are you talking about replacing my Russian AK mag pouches with something like a PLCE style pouch or open top, no flap? I love the DPM too, I’m sending you an email about that brit kit.

  11. Reply

    Nice kit, water long term… I really thought about this one, in my opinion filters for long term don’t cut it.
    A portable distiller ( little fire pot, metal water can and serpentin) will do the job – that’s long term with no “refill” required.

    When you need to refill something, that’s not long term thinking.

    The one that causes more problem is the food for long term….

    • Reply

      Yes I couldn’t agree more. The filter will finally stop working and you must boil the water. That’s when I fall back to my stainless steel canteen and cup.

  12. Reply

    Hi that’s a pretty extensive gear list. I made an article in my website about my opinions on an INCH bag ( http://survivalskills.guide/inch-bag-ultimate-guide-gear-list/ ). I suggest you take no filters and no food since they won’t last long. Boil water to treat it instead. An INCH bag should contain no disposable items except maybe first aid stuff. Get rid of the space blanket, it’s crap. Add lots of hooks and line. Pack a synthetic sleeping bag, down bags will eventually build up condensation after months of use. Remember that losing weight due to lack of food will lower your metabolism, so pack extra warm clothes.

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