Build Your Own Military Grade Survival Kit

Having a survival kit within arms reach is always a good idea. The problem I see with many kits is they are lacking in many crucial supplies. They are not well thought out and leave a lot to be desired. This is why I recommend building your own kit. Now the only question is, what do you put in a kit? To answer this question in the best way possible I turned to the Navy Seals. Below is a complete list of what you need to make your own military approved survival kit as used by the U.S. Navy Seals .

Hard case contents list

The Seals were issued both a hard case and a soft case. The hard case measured 4 x 2 x 1.2 inches and was designed as a multipurpose piece of equipment. If a Seal needed to do so he could cook and boil water in the case and use it as a digging tool. The hard case should be non reflective and completely sealed from the elements. The contents of the hard case must not rattle as to give away the position of the Seal.

Inside the case is a number of survival goodies:

  • Multi tool
  • Button Compass
  • LED light
  • Fire kit
  • Water container
  • Water purification tablets
  • Electrolyte tablets
  • Signalling mirror
  • Thermal blanket
  • Kevlar line
  • Safety pins
  • P-38 can opener
  • Stainless steel wire
  • Ducts tape
  • Magnifying glass
  • Waterproof paper
  • Ink pen
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton pad

Soft case contents

The Seals were also issued a soft case measuring 3.5 x 2.25 and featured a U.S. american flag patch. The soft cases were desert brown. It is difficult to track down a military issue soft kit but there are modern Molle pouches which are very tactical in nature that fit the bill for the following items:

  • Carbon steel hacksaw blade
  • Ceramic razor blade
  • Moleskin adhesive patch
  • Kevlar thread
  • Fishing leader and down rigger cable
  • Suspended navigation magnet
  • Ferrocerium rod
  • Cotton ball
  • Bobby pins
  • Handcuff shim
  • Universal handcuff key

About the military survival kit and some thoughts

There is certainly a lot of gear here in this kit. This survival kit clearly includes everything you need to purify water, build fire, make shelter, and contains gear to navigate your way back to safety. For the average Joe this kit is probably overkill. What are the odds you’re actually going to catch a fish with the supplied fishing gear? While I like this kit and it is more than comprehensive, it takes someone with a considerable amount of skill to properly use many of the items. Another example is the handcuff shims and the handcuff key. It’s very unlikely you’ll ever find yourself handcuffed. Even so, did you get to your shim in time and EVEN if you did, could you shim your way out of a pair of cuffs and make it to safety? Some of you probably could but I bet money that most could not.

Same goes with the compass. Not many of you know how to use a compass and they are mostly useless unless you have a map. If you’re looking for an easy to use kit I recommend going through my bug out bag checklist.

Beyond securing the items in this military kit. It’s crucial to understand how you can use each piece of gear. Without that knowledge you’re simply lugging around a bunch of dead weight. Maybe you are of the philosophy that states “better to have and not need…”

Well, you know the rest.

Final Thoughts

I like this survival kit. While I might not go out and get ALL this stuff I’m a big proponent of taking the good and discarding the bad. In this case, I’m not going to include a fishing kit or a compass because I don’t have fishing skills and I don’t know how to navigate. I also live an urban environment where the extra weight and space of a fishing kit just wouldn’t make sense. In my case, I might use many of the items listed here but include things like a real water filter, a survival radio, a personal IFAK, and other pieces of gear I talk about in my bug out bag guides.

Overall, the military knows exactly what they’re doing so in no way am I dogging on this kit. I’m saying the military also trains their people to use all this stuff in survival scenarios. Many of us don’t have the same skill set and therefore our personal survival kit will look much different. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!


Time magazine on Navy Seal Military survival kit


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