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The Best "Do-It-Yourself" Survival Kits

SOS Survival Kits

The Army Ranger Rick
Neck - Belt - Shoulder - SOS Survival Kit

Meet US Army Special Forces 

Cpt."Mykel Hawke"


Director, www.SpecOps.com   / Owner,  www.MykelHawke.com

View of Kit Components Kit with Strap

Here ya go boys & girls, I guarantee ya won't find a more useful, multi-purpose, lightweight survival kit than this, developed by yours truly "Army Ranger Rick." And the best thing about it is you can put together this kit yourself and it weighs just 16 ozs. Really!

The Carrying Case - It's one of those nylon "neck wallets" that you can purchase from almost any military/outdoor supply store. All I did was slightly modify it by sewing in two 4 inch pieces of paracord to the back side of it so you can wear it on your belt. And another 6 foot piece of paracord across the top so that you can either wear it across your shoulder or around your waist. And if necessary, you can remove it in a survival situation to make yourself a "fire bow" or a "hunting bow." Smart, huh?

And here's what I was able to pack & stuff inside of it, but I gotta warn you it wasn't easy.

1 -  Small Compass - General direction type.

2 - Emergency Space Blanket  - Lighweight, pocket type.      

3 - Emergency Poncho -  Lightweight, pocket type.

4 Signal  Whistle  - Any type will do.

5 - Wire Saw   - BCB International.

6 - Signal Mirror - One or three piece type.

7 - Pocket Knife - Folding type, w/serrated blade.

 8 LED Flashlight - Extra batteries attached to it with tape. 

 9 - Orange Duct Tape - 30 inches, used for marking trails, first aid bandage, etc.  

10 - Magnesium & Flint Fire Starter - Remove the metal striker and use the knife to strike the flint side to start your fires. 

11 - Orange Plastic Shelter  - This is a 7 x 2.5 foot trash bag used for leaves that can be cut up and used to make a shelter, rain poncho or us it for signaling.  
12 - Paracord Inner Strands - Minimum 100 ft, use as fishing line, tie-down, erecting shelters, snares, traps, etc

13 July 4 th Roman Candle  -  Modified, cut down & sealed in wax to keep it waterproof along with 3 x"Strike Anywhere" matches. 

14 - Condoms & Purification Tablets - 2 x condoms &  8 x water purification tablets

15 - Thick Rubber Bands - When attached together they can be used to make an improvised weapon such as a sling-shot, spear gun or cross bow.

16 - Orange Toy Punching Balloon - Can be used when blown up as a signaling device and as an improvised flotation device too.  

17 - Snare Kit - 12 x feet of wire along with 5 mini split rings and or swivels for making animal traps & snares   

18 - Fishing Kit - 20 x feet of fishing line, 6 x assorted hooks, swivels and 5 x screw eyelets for making an improvised fishing pole or setting up a trout line.  

19 - Cement Nails -  Assorted sizes, used to make fishing and hunting spears, arrow heads, etc.   

20 - Band Aids - For first aid uses

21 - Pencil Sharpener - Use it to make "paper  thin" tinder sheets for starting fires.

22 - Trick Birthday Candle - Once lite, can't blow it out, great for starting fires when it's windy.

23 - Wet Ones  - For cleaning cuts, injuries and can be used  for igniting fires too.  

NOTE: Feel free to share this do-it-yourself survival kit idea with others, provided you let'em know where you got it from, yours truly "Army Ranger Rick" at www.SurvivalOutdoorSkills.com


SMA Survival Kit For Soldiers

Note: Developed in honor of the 173 rd Airborne "Recon/Scout Platoons" down range in Afghn (2010). 

When you join the Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force, unless you're a pilot or a member of an elite special operations unit you won't be issued a personal military survival kit. Why? Because they are only issued to those who operate behind enemy lines and in remote & isolated areas of the world far from civilizations.

And if you're not a pilot or a member of a special ops unit, does this mean you don't need a personal survival kit?  Absolutely not! In fact whether you're assigned to a conventional unit (infantry, armor, transportation, etc) or an unconventional unit (Special Forces, Ranger, etc), regardless of your MOS you should still pack & carry a person survival kit.

What should a personal military survival kit contain? Well it depends on two things; (a) the type of terrain, weather & environment you'll be operating in and (b) your knowledge, skills & experience in knowing how to survive in the outdoors.

And so as a general rule; the more experience & knowledge you have in survival - the less items you need. But the less experience & knowledge, the more survival items you should pack & carry. Make sense? You betcha.

Where should a survival kit be carried? The best place is somewhere close and near your body like in one of your shirt or pants pockets or attached to your belt. Why? So in the event you have to ditch & drop your ruck and or some other military gear you will still have your survival kit on you.  Again, make sense? Yep, sure does.

Though pilots, aircrews and special operation forces need to pack & carry a vast assortment of survival gear so they'll be prepared for almost any type of environment. The following is a basic list of items all soldiers regardless of their MOS should pack & carry in their own personal survival kit.

1. General Direction Compass - Can't tell directions by looking up at the sun, stars, and moon? Well neither can most other people, and so that's why it's best to pack & carry a simple general direction compass. Better to know what general direction you're heading in and which way is it to friendly (or enemy) lines than to wander around aimlessly in circles and risk being found by some hostile forces instead of friendly forces.

2. Signal Mirror -  While military issued signal mirrors with the "peep holes" are more accurate in signaling someone at great ranges. The average soldier has a difficult time locating the sun or what is commonly referred to as the "fire ball" when looking through these signal mirror peep holes. Therefore the easiest and fastest way to signal someone with any type of mirror with or without a peep hole is to; (a) extend one arm out, (b) form a "V" with two of your fingers, (c) place the target you want to signal between these two fingers, and (d) reflect the sunlight first onto your arm and then up through the "V" and the reflected sunlight should be seen by the target. 

3. Orange Signal Panel - No matter what type of terrain and vegetation you are operating in, almost anything that is "bright orange" will surely stand out and catch someone's wandering eye, whether they're on foot, in a vehicle or in a low flying aircraft. Even if it's just a simple inexpensive 20 x 20 inch florescent orange handkerchief or bandanna.

4. Friend or Foe ID Flag - Should you become lost or separated from your unit, when approuching friendly lines or a friendly patrol it's best to carry something that will quickly identify yourself as a "friend" and not a foe. And there's nothing more recognizable than to carry & wave a small 12 x 8 inch Amerian flag. Better to wave a small American flag then a "white flag" and risk being shot at and mistaken for a foe by your own troops. Ya know?

5. Fire Starter - Unlike pilots, aircrew and special operation forces who are all trained in the art of survival and fire making. The average soldier knows nothing or very little about survival and in how to start and maintain a fire. Therefore those who lack this skill and experience should pack & carry the easiet to use fire starter in the event of a survival emergency. And out of all the fire starters there are on the market, the easiest fire starter to use are the "strike anywhere" wooden matches. And only when you have become more experienced and proficient in knowing how to start fires is when you should pack & carry a flint & steel or a magnesium, flint & steel fire starter.

6. Small LED Flashlite - Don't have "cat eyes" night vision capabilities? Well neither does anyone else, and so that's why it's a no brainer and a "must have" survival item to pack & carry along with a few extra spare batteries.

7. Small Pocket Knife - Already own and carry a big ol' Rambo knife? Well it doesn't hurt to pack & carry a small backup. Better to have two instead of one knife just in case you accidentially drop and lose your main knife. You never know.

8. Water Container & Tablets - Believe it or not, some of the survival items that WWII pilots use to carry in their survival kits way back in 1944 are still packed & carried in today's military survival kits. Like condoms. As they make great lightweight and collapsible water containers, besides another use.

These are just a few of the basic "must have" survival items all soldiers should pack & carry in their personal kit just in case they find themselves lost or separated from their unit down range in "bad guy" land.

What should these items be carried in? Well definitely not in one of those tin can or plastic storage containers as they could make some unwanted rattling noise while moving around in hostile terrority. So instead it's best to pack & carry them inside a soft military pouch or wallet so they won't make any noise and will be easier to store inside your pocket or on your belt.

Remember.Better to pack & carry a few survival items and maybe never having to use them than not to have any at all and wished you had. Some good advice? You betcha!













New Survival Kit

SMA Survival Kit
Dedicated To The
173rd Abn Recon Plts

Myke Hawk

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