5. First Aid Kit
A general purpose first aid kit is rather basic. Customize it for your local conditions. Each person in your party should carry at least a small basic kit. Remember that iodine can be used as a wound disinfectant and to purify water (3 drops per liter, let it stand for ½ hour).
4. Fire Starter
You can take water proof matches, but a flint stick is better – practice first. A basic flint stick is easy to carry and use. The Strike Master Magnesium makes an incredibly hot spark, probably enough to ignite whatever tinder that you can find. When you practice with this though, it probably best to do it outside.
Years ago the basic tool was a knife. I still carry my Spyderco just about every time I leave the house. But in my camping kit is a Leatherman Multi-tool. With all of the garbage that people leave behind, a good multi-tool can be used to turn trash into gear. I haven’t tried their new Skeletool CX yet, but it looks sweet.
OK, this is a tough one. Even if you are intending to be back home for an early dinner, throw a couple of bars (Clif or power – not breakfast) into the day pack. Take things that make sense, though. If you are going into a place where water tends to be scarce, freeze-dried beef stew is probably not a good choice. And when faced with a truly survival situation, start the hunting and gathering as soon as you realize that you may not be home soon. Getting food in the wild usually takes time, if you wait it may be too late.
1. Water Supplies
Assuming that you are in a low fresh water situation – take as much as you can reasonably carry. You will wish you had more. The human body needs this stuff more than anything else. I know there is controversy over the plastic, but I’ve been using the same Nalgene for years. In 2005, 22 billion plastic water bottles were tossed out in the US alone. World wide the estimate is 5 times that.