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How to Make a DIY Survival Kit

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

This 2-pound kit could save your life for at least three days in the wild. We suggest storing these items in a single zip-close bag.

You can find many of these items at your local Scout Shop or at

Remember, a survival kit does not replace the 10 Scout Outdoor Essentials.

STAY SHARP: You should have a pocketknife during most outings, anyway, but never go into the wild without a dependable, easy-to-use blade.

TAKE COVER: Even in wilderness survival situations, you need a good shelter. A tube tent is a great lightweight option that’s easy to pack and very affordable.

SLEEP WARM: It’s not a long-term option, but an emergency sleeping bag will keep you warm and takes up only a few square inches of space.

FIRE SOURCE AND TINDER: Store fresh strike-anywhere matches in a waterproof case to get a blaze going fast. Throw in a handful of dryer lint or petroleum-jelly-covered cotton balls as tinder.

SIGNALING: Get the attention of rescuers with a signal mirror and high-quality whistle.

INSECT CONTROL: A pack of insect-repellent towelettes takes up far less space than a spray bottle.

SHINE BRIGHTLY: A small LED flashlight will provide plenty of visibility in unknown environments. Don’t forget fresh batteries, too.

WRAP IT UP: We suggest wrapping a length of duct tape (a few feet) around your flashlight handle.

DRINK UP: Safe water is scarce in the wild. Make the water you do find safer to consume with a personal water filter and potable water tablets.

Excerpt from The Scouting Guide to Survival, the first in a series of Scouting guides from Skyhorse Publishing.

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