Survival Kit Checklist

Having a survival kit checklist is now a common practice for many people. This list should ideally contain what you need in your grab & go bag in the event of a disaster, whether manmade or natural.

The items listed should be easy to carry and most importantly help you stay alive in a variety of situations. Depending on the type and therefore size of the kit, items such as comfort foods that can keep for a while make a nice addition.

Basic Items for Any Survival Kit


Essential items to include regardless of the type of kit are:

  • Drinking water
  • Canned and dry food such as sardines, biscuits and other nonperishable items
  • Light source such as flashlight, candles, lighter and batteries
  • A blanket or two
  • First aid items and medication for those people who have chronic ailments such as asthma
  • Styrofoam cups
  • Water purification tablets

Types of Survival Kits

The various types of survival kits and each can be prepared by using a survival kit checklist to ensure that vital items as listed above are included. Many people tend to have a first aid kit ready, but while this is important, your list may recommend placing only select items in your kit. Some of the most common types of survival kits and additional items they include, apart from food, water and first aid items, are:

  • Auto survival kits: Basic car repair tools are essential, and if you own a vehicle you can easily stock other emergency supplies such as flares, blankets, fire extinguishers, plastic bags, rope, extra clothing and some cash.
  • Pocket survival kits: This one is meant to be carried on your person in a jacket or pants pocket and should contain the bare essentials in small sizes. Water purifying tablets, matches, lighter, hand sanitizer, and a pocketknife are a few useful items.
  • Winter survival kits: These must include items to keep you and your party warm, such as emergency blankets, flares, matches or lighter, and sleeping bags.
  • Survival food kits: Food that requires no preparation is important since there may be no way to light a fire. Nonperishable foods minimize the risk of poisoning.
  • 72-hour survival kit: Three days' worth of nonperishable foods plus basic first aid items are the main requirements in this package.
  • Survival backpack: This should include items necessary to help you stay alive for a few days.

Other types include:

  • Earthquake survival kits
  • Mini survival kits
  • Survival kit in a can
  • Bug out bag (BOB)
  • Go bag

The items you include in your survival kit checklist will depend on factors such as the environment, age and physical condition of the persons who will be carrying them, and how the kits will be carried, for starters. Groups that include children, the elderly or people with ailments should always carry baby formula, wipes, medication and tools such as syringes needed for administration of certain drugs.

Items in the survival kit checklist should be:

  • Light and easy to carry; a big bag that will be difficult to carry makes no sense especially if you need to make a speedy escape.
  • Multipurpose, as one item should ideally be able to perform many functions.
  • Functional, as the most fancy or expensive item does not always serve a practical purpose.
  • Sturdy and durable, since you may need to use them repeatedly over a long period.

Whether or not you know what to put in a grab & go bag, using a survival kit checklist will help you stay on track. When packing, focus on more than the known types of disaster, since survival from other catastrophes such as job loss and home loss can have a serious impact on quality of life.

Finally, your list should ideally state who is responsible for what and for whom. For example, an older child may be assigned responsibility for a younger sibling, or a nurse in the family should be primarily responsible for administering first aid.

Return from Survival Kit Checklist to Disaster Survival Kit

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