Building a Quality Survival Kit on a Budget: Part 9

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 container options that will come in different situations.

In the last post of this building a quality survival kit on a budget series, we continued exploring the 10 C’s plus one concept and added some cordage 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. We have also introduced a few options for cutting tools, combustion, and cordage. Now it’s time to look at the next category of the 10 C’s plus one, which happens to be containers, to figure out what to add next to the kit.

For review and 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

Containers are simply that – containers. A thing one puts stuff in. In survival terms, it usually means something that can hold or store water. In some cases, it can also mean something to boil water or cook food in. To be frank, I don’t add much in terms of containers as I consider this type of kit as a supplement to what I typically carry on my person and in many cases an additional pack. As such, I normally have at least a Yeti tumbler and keep spare water bottles in my vehicle. Most of my packs also tend to have a filled hydration bladder (such as the CamelBak I reviewed recently) as well. Finally, if you have been following along and picked up items I’ve suggested in this series, then your kit already contains a Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System which includes a drinking pouch. Nevertheless, I will explore a few additional containers one might consider.

If a person doesn’t regularly carry a water bottle (or tumbler) of some sort or keep spare bottled water nearby, then the first thing I will suggest is a Nalgene Oasis water bottle. The bottle is shaped like a canteen and holds 32 ounces of water. I’ve actually owned and still own a few different Nalgene bottles including this one. They are nearly indestructible and work great. I find the 32 ounce fill capacity to be an optimal size. Small enough to carry comfortably, and large enough to stay hydrated for quite a distance without needing to refill. That said, I would not forego an opportunity to refill or top off.

One of the reasons, I’m suggesting the Oasis bottle instead of the more popular Tritan bottle (which has a more common cylindrical shape) is that it will sit nicely in a standard GI style stainless steel canteen cup. I’m going to suggest this as an addition to the water bottle, not in place of it. This is because think the water bottle is more important since one can store water and throw in a bag or a canteen carrier. This makes foot travel easier as one doesn’t need to worry about spilling water. The benefit of adding a canteen cup to the mix is that it can be used in a pinch to boil water or as a cooking implement. This may help those who have opted to add some freeze dried calories in their survival kit prepare a hot meal.

If one already keeps a container on hand regularly and isn’t as concerned with having a cooking implement like me, then I’m going to suggest another route. In addition to a water filtration system, I like to throw some Potable Aqua water purification tables in my survival kit. This is a light weight option that adds redundancy to the water filtration system in the event it breaks or lost. The downside is that it takes about 35 minutes to make water safe to drink and will introduce an iodine taste to the water. The taste can be masked, some will say improved, by adding some flavored electrolyte powder to the purified water. However, that will increase the overall cost to the kit.

Again, I find the combination of container included in the Sawyer mini water filtration system in conjunction with containers that I keep on hand to be sufficient for me in most scenarios. I do keep some of the Aqua tabs on hand for redundancy and I don’t worry about a cooking implement since my calorie options do not require any preparations. Weigh out the options against potential situations to make the best choice and stay within $25 monthly budget. This is also one of those areas that can be revisited later to improve the capabilities of the survival kit.


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