Looking for a budget friendly way to build a survival kit? Procuring all of the essential survival gear does not have to be expensive. In fact, you can get all the basic stuff for well under $100 dollars. A lot of the important stuff you need is really inexpensive and will serve you well in a full blown survival situation. Although the tactical backpack is most expensive, most people have something laying around they can use. It is a good idea to keep all this gear in a backpack in case you need to bug out.
Let’s crack straight into the budget survival kit.
Paracord – This stuff is cheap and extremely useful. What can you use paracord for? I can go on for days about the practical uses of a good length of paracord. Rig up a shelter, tie off a load, make shift handcuffs, dragging loads up steep hills etc. If you need any further convincing I suggest watching the movie Boondock saints. They answer the question quite nicely.
Black trash bags – Speaking of budget, I know of nothing cheaper yet more useful than the trash bag. They are the unsung heros of the city. They are waterproof parkas, collectors of water, body bags, insulators, and much more. Not to mention they are the lightest thing in your pack. You can load your pack down with hundreds of them and barely feel the weight. You probably already have some in your garage.
BIC lighters – what are these, like .50 cents at the liquor store? You can buy a whole box of them and still have plenty of funds left over. Use these to start a fire in the coldest conditions. On the highest mountain top you can rest soundly, knowing you have a roaring fire ablaze to keep you warm.
Ferrocerium rod – cheap and effective. It’s a backup to your BIC lighters. The thing about ferro rods is they strike even when wet. If your matches or lighter gets wet you are hosed (no pun intended.)
Budget survival knife – This will be the most expensive part of the budget survival kit but the knife cannot be overlooked. It’s the most important piece of equipment you own. If you don’t have a knife you don’t have a survival kit. Take a look at my review of the Bear Grylls survival knife. It’s actually a solid knife despite his reputation as only being an entertainer. And as a bonus, it comes with a ferrocerium rod. Kill two birds with one stone.
Water container – preferably stainless steel. If you come across any dubious water sources you can boil the water so it’s drinkable.
3 days of food – 3 days worth of food and water. Water is extremely cheap. For food you can pick up some bulk dried nuts and fruit. Clif bars are good and so are candy bars. Think about foods that won’t perish and pack in lots of nutritional value.
Alcohol wipes – you can use these to clean wounds and they double as a powerful fire starter. The alcohol burns long enough for you to get a fire started with relative ease. Especially in wet weather conditions, these can be life savers.
Water filter – Another essential piece of gear you can’t afford to leave out. Water filters like the Sawyer water filter can easily and rapidly filter out bacteria found in dubious water sources.
Extra socks – when the cheese foot sets in you’re going to want a dry pair of socks. There is something about a change of socks that boosts morale and gives you that last little boost of motivation. Do not go balls deep into a fully blown SHTF situation without an extra pair of socks. Your feet will thank me later.
Backpack – All this gear has to go into something right? Sure, you can use that Jansport bag you’ve had since freshman year of highschool but I don’t recommend it. Those straps and zippers will bust at a moments notice. They simply aren’t made to handle the load of a full blown survival kit. While most of the items on this budget survival kit are light, if you add more gear in the future you will run into problems with a standard school bag. I have made a list of the best tactical backpacks for your reading leisure. Take a look at the list. There are some budget friendly bags towards the bottom that are actually quite nice, yet very reliable.
The Grand total
- Paracord 20 feet – $4.59
- Trash bags – free
- BIC lighters – $6.48
- Ferrocerium rod – $7.88
- Survival knife – $8.45
- Water container – $14.97
- Alcohol wipes – $5.68
- Water filter – $37.24
- Extra socks – you have these
- Backpack – Depends
So without the backpack the grand total for this budget survival kit comes to $85.29. Considering many survival kits you see online are upwards of $500 and more, this is a very solid kit at a budget price. If you don’t have the money for everything just buy single items until you have gathered all the gear you need.
With a little time, you will have a bug out bag that rivals even the best. You can then rest soundly at night knowing you are prepared or the worst.
What do you think of this survival kit? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below.