Best small survival kits??
Aug 17, 2021 at 11:49 am #3725023robert vBPL Member
@mtnbob123Locale: Bristol Bay Alaska
Hi, I’m a Special Ed teacher at a small school on the edge of the Bristol Bay in Alaska. In the winter we sometimes travel by snow-go(snowmobile) or single engine planes. My school district has a rule that each child must carry a small survival kit around their neck while in transit.
Question–Does anyone have any suggestions other than the ones I see on ebay and amazon? I would prefer ones that had actual usable components. The old ones consisted of a trash bag sized tube tent and a 5 cent compass with a candle…..
Thanks in advance…Aug 17, 2021 at 11:58 am #3725024HermanBPL Member
How old are the kids? Certain items you had in mind? I think making them is best. Finding a store bought one is easy, but one should know how to use everything in each kit. Would give the kids a good learning experience. I’ve made around the neck survival necklaces with kids before. I just use paracord and on it is a small bic lighter duct taped to the cord, a whistle, one of those small compasses, and a very small Swiss Army knife or knife.Aug 17, 2021 at 1:49 pm #3725041BonzoBPL Member
@bon-zoLocale: Virgo Supercluster
X2 on making them; the kit is only as good as knowing how to use it, so assembly/instruction should be part of the process Maybe go cheap and light with a DCF pouch on a lanyard/necklace. Magnetic closure (unless someone has a pacemaker, I guess…) and basic stuff inside.Aug 17, 2021 at 5:51 pm #3725064
The equipped dot org forums at below link should also be consulted.Aug 17, 2021 at 5:59 pm #3725076Dave @ OwareBPL Member
@bivysack-comLocale: East Washington
Here is what we teach the 4 th graders.
We give them a large leaf bag and practice making different shelters and clothing options. Also give them a whistle.
Older kids might include fire making. If you are talking plane travel or long distance snow travel, then a signal mirror would be important.Aug 17, 2021 at 6:30 pm #3725094DWR DBPL Member
The best survival ‘kit’ is that thing between your ears…
It is a false sense of safety to just give the kids a kit without some training.
Where I live, we have survival classes for grade school kids every winter.
The kit is the least important thing…Aug 17, 2021 at 6:49 pm #3725102
Medical- medical ID card, first aid kit for wounds
Shelter- sol emergency blanket
Hydration- collapsible cup with aqua tabs
Communication- whistle, ?signal mirror
Navigation- compass, small led light
Nutrition- roll of lifesavers or jolly ranchers
Insulation- they are probably wearing it if Alaska
Sun protection- emergency blanket
Tools-Aug 18, 2021 at 3:25 am #3725141
Buy several Survive Outdoors Longer kits, either the Scout or Survival Medic, take out fire makers and sharp items if necessary (put those in adult kits), and add back the other items I listed above. For a cup some use gerber milk bags. And thanks for taking care of special needs children.Sep 14, 2021 at 11:41 am #3727366robert vBPL Member
@mtnbob123Locale: Bristol Bay Alaska
Thank you for the suggestions. The part about having the kids make their survival kits is interesting. My students are all native Yu’Pik and are very comfortable in all weather here. This was a news story I saw after I moved here, about 4 children, not too far from me. https://globalnews.ca/news/6535282/kids-found-alive-alaska-blizzard/
It is on a different level here. I rescued a 5 year old from the snow last winter. He walks to school from about 3 blocks away by himself. He fell through a deep spot in the snow and was stuck up to his upper torso. When he didn’t show up for school, I went out to look for him. When I found him he was as relaxed as someone sitting on the couch at home, despite not being able to move. Made small talk with me as I dug him and his boots out of the snow. We went on to school and he never even talked about it. Very unspectacular here. I’m learning
I will work on making a practical kit with the students. Fires are tough here due to lack of wood(no trees on the tundra) I will have to research further what is available.Sep 14, 2021 at 12:37 pm #3727372Dave @ OwareBPL Member
@bivysack-comLocale: East Washington
“Fires are tough here due to lack of wood(no trees on the tundra)”
Like you describe, the snow around Tahoe can come fast and deep, putting wood out of reach, and fires hard to maintain. In such situations like you describe, focus on shelter and things to have and do that help searchers find oneself.Sep 16, 2021 at 12:45 pm #3727487David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Greetings from another Alaskan!
Yeah, fire starting gear doesn’t do much in an area with no fuel.
I like trash-compactor bags as being torso volume but tougher than 40-50-gallon trash bags, although your students wouldn’t be bush-whacking, right? I leave them intact because then you can use them to haul water (or, hey, trash!) and if/when needed as a poncho, use a knife or your teeth to gnaw a head and two arm holes into it. A second such bag can be the bottom half of a bivy sack.
Next, I’d have a light. Just a $1 LED light from Walmart – to see your way but also be more visible if you need to attract attention, even while walking to and from school in the dark.
After trash bag(s) and a light, a $1 button compass IF they know how to use it. A bit of practice of what direction is town from 1) the airstrip, 2) the dock, 3) the fishing spot, etc, is super helpful ONLY if known in advance of a white out or night time.
So maybe a local map with compass bearings on it from common destinations back to town. Xerographic or laser-printed heat-set toner is waterproof (ink jet ink is NOT waterproof). Then take the printed maps and coat with the Rite-in-the-Rain secret sauce or the stuff sold to water-proof maps or (far, far cheaper per quart/gallon), Thompson’s Water Seal from the paint store for sealing a wooden deck works to waterproof regular old computer paper. Or just buy some waterproof printer paper.
Then 5′ x 8′ of poly-cyro (sold as window-sealing kits). Tarp, poncho, wind break. Plus 25 feet of line. I like 100- to 150-pound-test braided Dacron halibut line. LEARN YOUR KNOTS.
Trash bag, light, map&compass (and instruction!), poly-cyro, cordage . . . . . then what?
Clothing is important but bulky. Mirrors are stupid compared to a light – a $2 laser pointer is better than any mirror (mirrors require the sun). Water is heavy and freezes. Food is bulky and you don’t need any for 48 hours. Fish hooks – it’s a survival situation, not a fishing vacation. An EPIRB or PLB is incredibly useful but spendy. So I think my next item would be to double-up on the light – a different style, maybe a cheap headlamp. A Bandaid or two. Not TP but a few sealed towellettes which can be TP and hand washing.Sep 20, 2021 at 3:45 pm #3727843Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
RE: Signalling devices: whistle, mirror
If the FAK is doing double duty with some survival gear then the gear needs to be suited to the expected situation. I am a firm believer is whistles since I am often solo hiking in the Sierra or in the Coast Range for the situation where if I got injured and immobile. AND folks knew where to search for me, especially in country with brush.
I have always been skeptical of mirrors as signally devices until I heard SAR ranger give talk at Yosemite one spring where at least one of the stories involved the search and rescue procedure to find in solo hiker who was believed to have ascended a Class 2/3 peak but they did not know which peak. (He did not leave behind an itinerary)
Lucky for the injured party, he had a mirror and SAR got several reports of people seeing the mirror flashes from several miles away which enable SAR to pinpoint his location and initiate a rescue. The way the ranger told the story if not for the mirror, it might have been a body recovery not a rescue.
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