But wherever you plan on storing your emergency kit, there are ten essential items that must always be included.
KnifeA fixed-blade knife or cutting tool. This is a basic survival tool and is an essential part of any kit. You never know when you will need to cut something. This can be something simple like food, or fabric if you need to make a bandage.
Matches/Other Fire StartersMagnesium fire-starters are popular and easy to use, as are lighters. Fire is necessary for warmth at night, cooking food, or signaling for help if you are stranded. Just make sure to have enough in case of a true emergency. Fire or warmth is a basic need and should be more then covered. Also consider carrying some kindling as well.
Map and CompassWhatever region you plan to be in, keep a good map handy. If you are planning on being off the road, then bring a topographical map. Otherwise a road map is fine. Also know how to read and navigate a map. Combined with a compass, you will be able to establish your bearings. In this day and age many of us depend on our GPS to get us from place to place. But there can be situations where a GPS isn't going to function. Having a map as a back up is a necessary item.
Flashlight and Extra BatteriesA LED flashlight is an ideal choice. Though LED flashlights consume less power, it’s best to have extra batteries handy. A hand-crank flashlight is also a good option, so you won’t have to worry about conserving power.
First Aid KitShould include the basics, such as gauze, tape, and band-aids. This is an obvious addiction. You really should have one of these in every location, house, car, mini one for purses. You never know when you will need it.
Stainless Steel Water ContainerNot only can it carry water, but can also be used to boil/purify water from other sources. This is something that can always be stored in cars in case of emergencies or in camping gear.
ParacordA minimum of 10-20 feet is reasonable for most ordinary uses such as lashing and tying down a shelter.
FoodThe type and quantity will depend on the location or purpose. When traveling, small calorie-rich foods are best. When at home, a larger selection of canned foods are preferable.
Extra ClothingEven during the summer, hypothermia can become a real possibility during a cold rain or in the night. Remember to dress in layers, so you can peel away clothing when it becomes too hot, or add them when it becomes too cold.
There are also a lot of cool clothing items that can be added to an emergency kit in case of random situations. Tecgen Select is one of many companies that offer flame resistant clothing to include in emergency kits. Check out your possibilities for a better idea of what might fit your needs.
Mylar Emergency BlanketThese are not only an excellent source of warmth, but in a pinch they can be used as an emergency shelter.
Keep in mind this list of essential items is only meant as a starting point for your own kit. You can customize it further to fit your specific needs. Remember, there is never any harm in being prepared.