Personal Survival Kit (PSK). I wanted to do a video clip of a personal survival kit as I was asked to and had told a friend that I would. So I came up with a modified kit that I put together based on the Florida kit outlined by Reid F. Tillery in his book “Surviving The Wilds Of Florida.” This book is an outstanding book on practical survival in Florida and I highly recommend it for the average person who may not have any prior outdoor skills be it primitive, practical, or survival. A copy of the book can be bought at . I also recommend John and Geri McPherson’s “Ultimate Guide To Wilderness Living” for an almost step-by-step approach of learning by practicing primitive skills and it is available in book stores. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. The time to learn (practice) skills is “before” they are needed, not when they are needed.
So my Modified Tillery Kit has a few extras in it but total weight of the kit is about two pounds in this waist or hip pack. Some call it a fanny or belly pack. It should be light enough to carry over the shoulder, across the chest, or on the waist so a person will actually not mind carrying it rather than leaving it behind. This kit is a survival kit, not a comfort kit so only essentials go in it. Comfort is not a prerequisite for survival. I did include one comfort item and that being a travel toothbrush to improve my state of mind with a clean mouth. Others may feel a safety razor and clean shaven face improve their state of mind. A safety razor might have been my second choice. So hygiene can be psychological as well as a personal necessity. This kit will not do any good for a person that does not know how to use the items in it so all the items should be thoroughly tested beforehand by the user. Notes will help for reminders of item usage if necessary. Add a kit contents list, an assessment guide, prioritizing guide, and a psychological guide will all help get a person’s mind organized when facing a stressful event. The guides don’t have to be long, just to the point. So include some of these with paper or 3X5 cards and a small pencil with eraser.
The kit is broken down into survival priorities with contents list. The survival priorities are shelter, signaling and navigation, fire, food, water, first aid, and other. I included some first aid items that Tillery didn’t. The priority for a particular category will depend on the environment and weather a person finds themselves in.
Notes on some items I include. Many items can cross over and be used in other categories like the Multi-Function Whistle, Iodine, Duct Tape, Emergency Blanket, Trash Bags, Mono Fishing Line, Bandana, and Zip Lock Quart Freezer Bags. I believe that the Shelter items are mostly self-explanatory. For Signaling & Navigation I included a small extra compass so that both compasses can be checked to assure accuracy. The Fire items are also mostly self-explanatory. I included salt in the Food category to replace salt lost from sweating. The other Food items are again mostly self-explanatory. The Zip Lock Quart Freezer bags in the Water category are for water storage in addition to the one liter foldable water bottle. Water can be filtered using natural items of charcoal, sand, and grass with the bandana and then boiled in the small cooking cup for about three to five minutes to make it reasonably safe. The filter/iodine system is for emergency water purification/disinfection only when water cannot be boiled. Water goes through the 1 micron filter to remove larger pathogens that the iodine may not kill. Pathogens 1 micron and smaller will then be killed by adding three to five drops of iodine per liter or quart and about one half hour of contact time. In the Other category I included 100% DEET insect repellent that I felt was a top priority as most deaths in the wild are the result of diseases spread by biting insects. There are some natural methods for dealing with biting insects but DEET based insect repellent is far more effective. I forgot to include Duct Tape in the First Aid photo but it should be a cross over item for multiple uses. But I did put the iodine antiseptic under its proper heading of First Aid as well as for disinfection of Water.
Kit contents that need to stay dry (such as tinder items, pen light and battery, and food items) can be stored inside one of the three Zip Lock bags in the pack. I place Food items in the cooking cup also to pack tighter and smarter.
This kit can be thrown into a vehicle and forgotten, but it would be wise to check the kit once every year to make sure that any “shelf life” items are up to date and still effective. This kit is light enough to carry without being a bother so it would also be wise to actually carry it (if nothing else) when venturing out into the outdoors. It could be just as important of a life saver in the wild as a boater’s personal floatation device on the water.