Building a Quality Survival Kit on a Budget: Part 7

It's time to add up to $25 worth of goodness to the budget survival kit. This month I'm suggesting a few options for some basic combustion options that will assist fire starting activities.

In the last post of this building a quality survival kit on a budget series, we started exploring the 10 C’s plus on concept and added a cutting tool to the survival kit. At this point, the survival kit contains items to help combat all of the most common threats. As such, we have started adding some utility to it. Now it’s time to look at the second category of the 10 C’s plus one, which happens to be combustion, to figure out what to add next to the kit.

In terms of utility, I like to refer to a concept coined as the 10 C’s plus one. They are:

  • Cutting (tools)
  • Combustion
  • Cordage
  • Container
  • Cover
  • Compass (maps)
  • Candle (lighting)
  • Casualty care
  • Combat
  • Communications
  • Calories

The first few combustion items that I add to survival kits (or other load outs) are some matches (preferably water/storm proof ones), a lighter, and some tinder. I’m going to skip over the matches and lighter because a quick stop at a local convenience store and some pocket change address those. As such, I suggest readers gather some change from couch cushions and get a book of matches and a lighter from their local convenience store and throw it in their survival kit. It would be easy enough to close out the post here. But I’m going to throw out a couple of tinder and an alternative fire source that should fit within this months $25 budget.

Tinder doesn’t have to be expensive. The majority of folks should be able to find a few cotton balls and some Vaseline around their home to create some tinder. Simple grab some cotton balls, apply a pinch of Vaseline to each cotton ball, toss them in a Ziploc bag, and toss the bag into the kit. If this isn’t possible and one is looking for a turn key solution to purchase, then I suggest picking up a handful of WetFire Tinder packets. These might push the budget this month, but they work really well when it comes to starting fires.

Tinder alone is insufficient as they require a fire source to be of value. The matches and lighter from the convenience store will work great as a source, but sometimes a dedicated tool comes in handy. For this I am going to suggest a FireSteel rod with a striker. The back of a knife in a survival kit may work as a striker, but that depends on the knife itself. Since there is no guarantee that a knife in the survival kit will work, I stand behind fire steels that also include a striker.

All of the suggestions in this post together may stretch the $25 monthly budget to its limit. However, together they provide a lot of redundancy and should be sufficient for starting a fire for a survival situation.

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