Venturing out into the great outdoors always requires a certain level of preparedness. But what if you never intended to end up deep in the woods? Imagine your car breaks down in a secluded area, you go looking for a lost pet that broke free from a leash or your just running from something (or someone).
It’s hard to prepare when you’re completely unaware.
Creek Stewart is an expert survival instructor and author of the bestselling Build the Perfect Bug Out series of books. Stewart is the Weather Channel Survival Expert, as well as the host of the show Fat Guys in the Woods. He’s the owner and founder of Willow Haven Outdoor Survival Training Schools in Central Indiana, which was named one of the “Top 10 Survival schools” by MSN Travel.
In his latest book Survival Hacks: Over 200 Ways to Use Everyday Items for Wilderness Survival, Stewart dedicated an entire section for Everyday Carry Kits (EDC) On A Budget. These are tiny but useful survival kits that will come in handy in any outdoor emergency.
In this kit, Stewart crams everything a person could need outdoors into one Mentos gum container.
Mentos Gum Container EDC
At 3 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ x 1″, this container is rigid and nearly crushproof and waterproof. It easily fits in a glovebox, jacket pocket or purse. It’s lightweight, durable, cheap and can be opened with one hand (because you never know). It also looks just like a regular packet of gum in case you should have to empty your pockets for any reason.
3″ duct tape: Wrap it around the container so it can be stripped later and used as cordage or fire tinder.
Ranger band: Ranger band is simply a crosscut piece of bicycle tire inner tube. Wrap it around the outside of the container. This can be used as weatherproof fire tinder or to hold additional items on the outside of the container.
Mini Bic disposable lighter: One of the most reliable lighters around. Lights in almost any condition, and even when it doesn’t, the sparks can be used on tinder.
Folding razor knife
Small spool of thick nylon thread: Use it for fishing line or for shelter lashings and guylines.
Fishing hooks (3): Put between two pieces of packing tape. Go with three different sizes of hooks.
Water purification tablet
6″ cotton wick: Cut a candle or lamp wick in half.
Sewing needle: To repair clothes or build shelter. Use with nylon.
Grade #0000 steel wool: This finely shredded steel wool makes for an incredible fire starter with either a spark from a lighter or a short circuited battery. It burns red hot and can be placed into a tinder bundle or blown into a flame.
Hunting arrowhead: For hunting smaller game or used as a knife in emergency situations.
Stewart urges people to pack other stuff they’d find useful and tinker with the contents of the EDC for specific living areas. Also maybe try to fit a rescue helicopter inside.
For more survival hacks, get Survival Hacks: Over 200 Ways to Use Everyday Items for Wilderness Survival now.