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Posted: 4/8/2009 7:49:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/8/2009 8:08:26 AM EST by TacRedline]
I've put a lot of effort into researching my Personal (small; always carry) Survival Kit.

I've posted prices, links and notes! If you have any feedback or suggestions please post!


$20 3.5" GPS Case with Belt Clip and Magnetic Snap (need to add a velcro closure) * (I use a nice looking leather case so I can wear it dress casual at work or where ever)


$30 ATN Golden Eye 8x Daytime Mini-monocular DTMNGEYE08

$5 Iodine Crystals (for purifying water, read up on this before you do it!), get them on Ebay.com


$9 Ronson TITANIUM butane Torch Lighter

$30 Leatherman Multi Tool Squirt P4 Gray Clam (small PLIERS)

$3 Whistle (steel) unkown make, I got it at a Flea Market
3$ Povidone-Iodine (small .5 oz military issue bottle, I need to replace the actual iodine as it is way old)
$1 Small Sewing Kit (free from Sheraton hotel)
$1 36"x12" Aluminum Foil
$1 5 feet of 550 cord







Link Posted: 4/8/2009 9:32:48 PM EST
nice and compact but there's one rule to ANY survival kit.

Link Posted: 4/9/2009 4:48:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/10/2009 4:44:34 AM EST by Bubbatheredneck]
Need at least a BSA hotspark for fire.

What are you going to use to hold the water you plan to purify? Gerber baby formula bags are great, small , durable and cheap. Much better than condoms that many pack in their PSKs.

Need signal mirror.

Add 'shelter' such as AMK HeatSheet.

No duct tape? No Duct Tape? NO DUCT TAPE!?!?!?!

How are the iodine crystals packaged? Iodine will eat thru your stuff before you know it. Needs to be in a glass vial with teflon seal screw cap. link to discussion of this and solutions

Ditch the monocular. Nice to have, but certainly not a PSK item. Not saying dont carry it, but it isn't a PSK item.

Get a better whistle. Look at Fox 40 or mini.

Excellent choice on case. PDA/smartphone cases don't look out of place anymore.

Link Posted: 4/10/2009 4:41:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/10/2009 4:47:55 AM EST by Bubbatheredneck]
Bump for more comments for the OP.

Also, dont worry about the 'old' iodine. It is fine.

No time for pics but my PSK starts with this

I have it in a small kifaru pullout with:

AMK heatsheet
Platypus one liter bladder
10m of 550 cord
Micropur tablets
Gerber Infinity Ultra light

Link Posted: 4/10/2009 2:40:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/10/2009 2:53:18 PM EST by TacRedline]
Thanks for the comments Bubbatheredneck.

I wanted to make a kit I *WOULD* grab everywhere I go so this one is tiny I just went to the grocery store and after getting my keys I put my PSK on my belt.

What's are the dimensions of your PSK Bubbatheredneck.? Mine is 4.25x1.25x3.25

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:
What are you going to use to hold the water you plan to purify? Gerber baby formula bags are great, small , durable and cheap.

Good point. Can you give me a link? I looked at the grocery store but had no luck. I think I will put everything in one of those formula bags and then in the case.

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:
"Need at least a BSA hotspark for fire."

I like lighters. The high quality Ronson lighter is much less bulky and works right away a few hundred times under any condition. If i NEED a fire I want it right now.

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

No room in that tiny kit, I can make a lean-to and a blazing fire. (or a lean-to into a blazing fire lol). I also have 5 un-insulated Gorex jackets, most of the time I have one on.

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:
"Need signal mirror."

No room. The Aluminum will have to suffice for this.

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:
"Ditch the monocular. "

I think this is required. If I plan on moving a certain direction I want to SEE where I am going. Saves me energy and may help me find things of use (like water...)

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:
"Get a better whistle."

Again, space issue. That whistle is TINY. Not as effective but.

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:
"No duct tape? No Duct Tape? NO DUCT TAPE!?!?!?! "

No room.

So yea, it's a space issue, so what can I change to make more space to add in these items?

Link Posted: 4/10/2009 7:30:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/10/2009 7:33:41 PM EST by Bubbatheredneck]
gerber link

you can find them in Walmart or grocery store in the baby stuff area.

They hold 6-8 oz and are very sturdy. Fill with water, couple of drops of iodine, let it sit for an hour so so, enjoy.

This a great site for PSK info and review. Their forums have a lot of dedicated gear geeks that are rather OC on daily carry stuff.
PSK info

Link Posted: 4/10/2009 7:59:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/10/2009 8:08:45 PM EST by Bubbatheredneck]
Okay, here is my kit

It is 4 x 8 x 2 with a good bit of empty space.

The bit of orange with green is some flagging/surveyor tape for marking a trail.

Forgot about the bic I threw in there too.

The silver stuff next to the platy bladder are 12 Micropur tablets. Enough to purify 12 liters of water.

The orange pack is the AMK Heatsheet.

The white cards are some plastic survival instructions I picked up years ago.

The SAK is an alox Farmer. GREAT SAK!!!! It has everything you need and not a lot of crap you don't.

The PSK in the plastic bag is a Doug Ritter kit that I added the smaller SAK and a BSA HotSpark.

The Ritter kit comes with:

Spark-Lite™ Firestarter - current U.S. military issue, waterproof, useable one-handed, over 1000 sparkings in tests
4 Spark-Lite™ Tinder-Quik™ - current U.S. military issue, waterproof, wax impregnated cotton tinder in zip-top plastic bag, each burns 2-3 minutes
Fox-40® Rescue Howler™ Survival Whistle - designed exclusively for this kit, triple frequency, exceeds U.S. Coast Guard and SOLAS specifications, bright yellow with dual mode lanyard hole
Rescue Flash™ Signal Mirror, 2 x 3 inches (5 x 7.6 cm) Lexan™ polycarbonate with mil-spec style retro-reflective aiming aid for one-handed use, instructions on back, protective cover to prevent scratches while stored in the kit, lanyard hole.
20mm Survival Compass - liquid damped with groove to accept an improvised lanyard ring
Duct Tape - 26 inches x 2 inches (66 x 5 cm), rolled around plastic mandrel, repairs, first aid, the ultimate repair and improvisation component, uses limited only by your imagination
Stainless Steel Utility Wire - 6 ft. of .020 inch (1.83 m x 0.5 mm) mil-spec grade, stronger than brass, won't get brittle in frigid cold, multiple uses
Braided Nylon Cord - 10 ft. (3 m) 150+ lb. (68+ kg) test, won't unravel, shelter building, repairs and much more
#69 Black Nylon Thread - 50 ft. (15.2 m), 10.5 lb. (4.8 kg) test, repairs, fishing line, light duty lashing and much more
Fishing Kit - 4 x medium Fish Hooks, 2 x Split Shot and 1 x Snap Swivel, in a clear plastic vial with cap.
Heavy Duty Sewing Needle - will penetrate heavy materials, easy to grip, large eye for easy threading
4 Safety Pins - repairs, secure items to prevent loss and much more
Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil - 3 sq. ft. (0.9 sq. m), make container to boil water, reflect fire heat and much more
#2 Pencil and Waterproof Notepaper - 2 pieces 2.125 x 3.667 inches (5.4 x 9.3 cm), leave notes, memory aid, keep log
#22 Scalpel Blade - stainless steel, in sealed foil packaging, more functional than a single-edged razor blade
Kit Specific Illustrated Survival Instructions - authored by Doug Ritter, 33 illustrations, on waterproof paper, detailed, easy to understand, practical information
Contents List - viewable through pouch back so anyone can see what's inside even if kit's owner can no longer assist, annotated, complements Survival Instructions, can be used as tinder
Fresnel Lens Magnifier - 2 x 3 inches (5 x 7.6 cm), in protective sleeve, read small type in survival instructions if glasses lost, start fire using sun
Pocketsize Clear Vinyl Pouch - 4 x 5 inches (10.2 x 12.7 cm), 4 x 3.25 inches (10.2 x 8.3 cm) with top folded over, waterproof zip-top closure, lanyard hole, it really does fit in your pocket.
Weight: 3.9 oz (111 g) - you will barely know it is there until you need it to save your life

Link Posted: 4/10/2009 8:17:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/10/2009 8:21:39 PM EST by Bubbatheredneck]
I also just got a Photon light for that kit to replace the Gerber.

I need to put it in there.

Link Posted: 4/11/2009 11:19:30 PM EST
Here is mine Link

The mini maglite has been replaced with an Inova. Also a BCB mini compass and a frensal lens have also been added.
Link Posted: 4/12/2009 2:01:31 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/12/2009 2:02:59 AM EST by protus]

one i throw in my pants at times or in the bottom of my packs.

one thing with mini kits is filling them your baisc needs and sticking to that or lese you get "extras" thata re more comfort related than keepyou alive related.
what is that deal 3 days with out water, 3 hours with out shelter.....and so forth.
Link Posted: 4/12/2009 2:04:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/12/2009 2:06:24 AM EST by monkeyman]
What is it with you guys and multiple knives and multi tools? I used to backpack and spend weeks on the trail with nothing more than a small, keychain, swiss army knife as my one and only blade. The tweezers and small scissors were invaluable.

For survival purposes, I would use a small key chain type LED as my light. I would use either a peanut lighter or a disposable Bic as my fire starter along with a pack of matches as backup.

I would throw in some aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen etc in as well as some band aids and neosporin in case you cut yourself on all those knives.

Another suggestion would be duct tape. A few inches of duct tape here or there wrapped around your flash light, lighter, iodine bottle and/or anything else could make a difference.
Link Posted: 4/12/2009 8:58:55 AM EST
I think it comes down to personality - the kit has to be suited/fitted towards you and your life style. My kit is more of a stranded somewhere, get home - and it packed according to what I perceive as needs - It's bigger than the ones outlined here, but not too big - and it gets thrown in the suitecase every time I travel.

I'll get mine posted soon.

Link Posted: 4/13/2009 1:36:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By monkeyman:
Neosporin in case you cut yourself on all those knives.

Wouldn't the Iodine cover this?
Link Posted: 4/13/2009 5:59:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By TacRedline:

What is this?
Link Posted: 4/14/2009 7:28:16 PM EST
It's in the initial post:


Link Posted: 6/14/2009 12:55:46 PM EST
Great little kit.

I have one question, is that bottle with the iodine crystals in it plasic or glass?

I put some crystals in a plastic bottle just to see what would happen and in less than a year, it ruined everything. It even turned my aspirins orange. The compass I had now has an orange face. The braided cord was ruined as iodine is VERY corrosive and I could break the cord with my hands. The needles were rusty, the steel tin was rusty inside, and the razor blades were shot. Ever the lead sinkers were crusty and white. Iodine will ruin everything.

I pack mine in a glass bottle with a plasic cap, but I pour melted bees wax inside the plastic cap and as it is setting up, I screw it onto the bottle. The wax acts as a seal or barrier between the plastic and the very very corrosive iodine crystals. Using anything other than wax, iodine will eat it up fast.

I never open the cap up to check on it, and the only time I would break this seal is in the event that I needed to use it. Otherwise it has been fine for a few years now. The kit shows no sign of anything breaking down now.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:23:24 PM EST
Mine's not quite complete, but it's almost there.

Have it packed in a Maxpedition EDC pouch (7x5x1, fits into the cargo pocket of most cargo pants, which I wear for work. Also has a carry handle and molle attachment on the back). Might switch to something smaller for other types of pants, but I haven't decided.

Contents (* = items stolen from an AMK pocket survival kit, the doug ritter one)

6 Katadyn Micropur tablets
3x3 sheet of aluminum foil*
50ft spool of thin nylon thread*
3-4ft metal wire (about as thick as a G guitar string)*
10ft duct tape in a small roll*
small liquid-filled button compass*
plastic tube container with safety pins, a needle, and fishhooks*
four fire starter tinders*
magnifying lens*
12ft 550 cord
2 books of matches
coghlan's magnesium fire starter
10-15ft electrical tape wrapped on a flat piece of plastic
a sheet of 1000grit wet/dry sandpaper (for field-sharpening my EDC Bravo 1)
Streamlight Key-mate flashlight (96hr battery life, 8-9 times longer than most other keychain LED lights)
Leatherman Wave

The pouch really nicely made with lots of straps and pockets for organizing things, but the size makes it too big for anything but cargo pants. Probably gonna have to downsize if I can find another pouch of the same quality in a smaller size.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 5:28:31 PM EST
Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:
Bump for more comments for the OP.

Also, dont worry about the 'old' iodine. It is fine.

No time for pics but my PSK starts with this

I have it in a small kifaru pullout with:

AMK heatsheet
Platypus one liter bladder
10m of 550 cord
Micropur tablets
Gerber Infinity Ultra light

the guy that sells those is a tool. I'd make your own at half the cost of what he charges for his.

I think this is a better site for a kit IMHO

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 3:47:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By dirtallstar:
the guy that sells those is a tool. I'd make your own at half the cost of what he charges for his.

I think this is a better site for a kit IMHO


I would agree that you could make a more personalized kit cheaper, but Doug Ritter does have a decent little PSK...contents are all good quality and put together pretty good. I think for most newbies it's a great place to start. Once you figure out the essentials that work for you, you can start to modify. Some very good websites for PSK filler gear that I've used in the past:

County Comm

EDC Depot

Going Gear

Survival Resources

I also agree that if you end up buying a pre-made kit, you really need to break it out and go through the items...another reason why I recommend you build your own (even if from a pre-made kit like Doug Ritter’s). At least you know how to use the items, their limitations and you may have something that works better for "you"...

Just as an example...for me, water purification and storage are always a top priority and the toughest challenge. I've used miniature vials to store a dozen iodine tables and they work, but I've found the individually foil-wrapped Katadyn Micropur tablets a much better option. For containers, I've used condoms in the past, and I hate trying to fill them (even with a sock). I've tried folded Ziplocks, oven turkey bags (which are still excellent and I continue to use) and now I've started using a folded up Aqua Pouch (from Survival Resources)...this is probably one of the better water pouches that folds down small and is tough enough to handle the folding; plus it has two grommet holes to tie 550-cord on for shoulder carry (and it's marked for 1 liter making purification easier).

It's too easy to build a PSK that is the size of a football and one that will never be carried. The challenge is to find a container that will work for you, whether it's belt mounted, dropped in the cargo pocket or even key-chain based, you need to figure out what will work for you so you can wear it daily; that's the biggest challenge. After that, it's just identifying what essentials you need for your AO or requirements and building the kit with the best options that you can locate, make or afford.

Here's some old pictures of a couple kits...one used the Ritter kit as a base and this one has a belt-mounted pouch that I wore in the small of my back (rode very discreetly under my ACU shirt); the second is just some odd little pouch that could be slipped into a cargo pocket (the Fixed blade is just there for size reference...it's a Fallkniven F1):

Depending on what your standard EDC is, you may not need to put the kitchen sink into your PSK. I always carry a knife (or three) on me, so I typically don't put anything but a small folding razor blade into my smaller kits.

Half the fun is building your own kit; the second half actually taking it out and using it to make sure your stuff works as needed!

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:04:01 AM EST
For you fellas that want a small belt or pack pouch for a daily survival kit, Blackhawk has some nice pouches cheap in the clearance section.
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