When it comes to preparedness, there is a variety of different options you have in terms of becoming prepared. You can buy long-term foods, survival kits and emergency supplies or you also have the option of making your own survival kit; both of which many people choose to do. If you have found your way to our site, you may be wondering why you should buy a pre-made survival kit and not just make one yourself.
The aim of this article is not to convince you to buy one of our survival kits, but rather to take an unbiased, comprehensive look at both of these options. The truth is, you can make a survival kit yourself, and it will likely serve your needs just fine. Read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options.
Making Your Own Survival Kit
So you may be wondering what exactly a survival kit is or how to make one without spending a lot of money. To put it simply; a survival kit is just a bag filled with water-related supplies, food and survival gear that is there to help you overcome emergency situations and make it out alive.
Events where a survival kit can come in handy include drastic economic events (such as hyper-inflation), severe weather, natural disasters, food shortages and manmade disasters. There are many other events where a survival kit would be useful, but these are among the most common reasons people prepare.
The single most important element of a survival kit are the supplies contained inside. To learn more about what’s involved with making your own survival kit, read on or check out our article on how to make a survival kit.
Emergency Supplies Needed
Since your survival kit is being made to assist you in times of need, you will want to focus only on life-saving essentials. These categories include food, water, shelter, warmth, light, communication, first aid, sanitation and tools. By keeping your emergency supplies to a minimum, the pack will remain lightweight and not be a burden to carry.
Keep in mind that for food and water, shelf life is crucial. If your food and water supplies have a limited shelf-life, it will mean they need to be replaced on a regular basis. Try to choose foods with an extended shelf life (such as canned meals) or purchase food bars and emergency food.
When you are building a survival kit, the Red Cross and FEMA both recommend the following supplies as a guideline:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
The first supply you’ll need is related to storage. Are you going to be putting your emergency supplies into a backpack for easy transport or are you going for something like a bucket and stay in place? Most survival kits are built with a duffle bag, high-quality backpack or 5 gallon bucket depending on the intended use.
The next supplies you’ll need are food and water. These are the most essential items to sustain life. You will want to choose food and water that have a shelf life of 5 years or more. If you can rely on nearby water for drinking and cooking, consider water filtration devices such as personal filters or purification tablets.
First aid supplies are also paramount, as many disasters can cause injuries. Being able to treat injuries sustained during an emergency can potentially save your life. Being able to provide yourself with shelter and keep out of the elements is also a plus. Consider a portable tent, sleeping bag, ponchos and blankets.
Being able to see in the dark is also crucial, as power will likely be unavailable. You will want to consider including a flashlight, candle, matches and/or an AM/FM radio as well. Other supplies can be added to fit you and your family’s needs, but you should try to include as little as possible, while also covering all of your bases.
Don’t Rely on Electronics During an Emergency
Keep in mind that during large-scale disasters, cell phones will likely be out of service. This means that you should not rely on cell phones and other electronic devices during an emergency. If you do so, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. If you do not have any of the supplies listed above, you can buy them both at local stores and online on sites like ours.
Disadvantages of Making Your Own Survival Kit
While there are many advantages to making your own survival kit, there are also a few disadvantages. One of the biggest comes to forgetting items. You may have checked your list several times, only to find you have forgotten one crucial item.
Another disadvantage comes to the costs associated with making a survival kit on your own. Will you be able to make your own emergency pack for less than a standard survival kit costs? Many kits can be purchased for under $100 these days, and include everything you need to survive a disaster. Aside from this, there are not too many other disadvantages.
Buying a Survival Kit
The other option you have when delving into the world of preparedness is buying a survival kit pre-made. These kits are assembled in bulk, and include everything you need to cover basic needs such as food, water, sanitation, communication, shelter and more. These types of kits make preparedness much easier, covering you and/or your family for an extended period of time with a single purchase.
Food and Water Shelf Life
The food and water inside of most all survival kits are 5 years. This means you do not have to replace them often, and when it comes time to do so they are very inexpensive. You can even add on freeze-dried meals with a shelf life of 25 years or more. What’s more, those survival kits often leave extra room to add other essentials that you would like to include in your kit such as cash, medication and whatever else you can think of.
Conclusion on Survival Kit Options
So now that you know all of the pros and cons to making your own survival kit vs buying one that is already put together, start preparing today. Whichever option you choose for your survival kit, don’t wait or put it off too long. The sooner you start preparing, the better equipped you will be to overcome emergencies. You should always be prepared for natural disasters and unplanned emergencies if you want to have the best chance of surviving.