The 20 Best Essentials to Include in Your Survival Kit

Putting together a survival kit for your home is a smart move for many reasons. Having a survival kit on hand gives you the peace of mind that you’ll be well-prepared should an emergency situation arise. After all, in an emergency, you may not be able to access the essential items you and your family need. Instead of scrambling around to find these items, with a survival kit you’ll have them all at the ready.

You may be wondering by now why you should go to the effort of making a DIY survival kit rather than buying a ready-made one. Buying a ready-made one may be convenient, but it will set you back. They can range in the hundreds of dollars. What’s more, the products included won’t necessarily be high-quality just because you’re paying a lot. Many ready-made kits use cheaply made items, and include a bunch of “filler” items that aren’t very useful.

To ensure your emergency survival kit not only has the right items in it, but also that they’re all of a high-quality, we have created a handy guide that outlines the 20 best essentials to include in your emergency kit. To make our list, we first consulted the Department of Homeland Security’s recommendations* for which items to include. We then researched dozens of different products that can be conveniently bought on Amazon and selected only the top items available. We looked at a range of criteria including usefulness, ease-of-use, quality of materials used, price, and customer reviews. If you’re ready to start building your own survival kit for your home, read on.

*Please note, in addition to the items below, the Department of Homeland Security also recommends storing “one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days” and “at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.”

First Aid Only All-Purpose First Aid Kit

First Aid Only All-Purpose First Aid Kit

Having the right first aid items can ensure you and your family are able to quickly and appropriately treat any accident. Needless to say, it’s far more effective to treat an injury with proper first aid supplies than trying to pull together a makeshift solution. The 299 items included in this kit will set you up with the basic first aid supplies you need to effectively treat minor aches and injuries, such as pain, swelling, cuts, scrapes, and burns.

Key Features:

  • For minor aches and injuries
  • 299 essential first aid supplies included
  • Comes in soft sided, zippered case

Cost: $17

Esky Portable Emergency Hand Crank Weather Radio

Esky Portable Emergency Hand Crank Weather Radio

This well-designed hand crank radio is truly a multi-functional product. While primarily an AM/FM/NOAA radio, it can also charge small electronics and provide light with its 140 lumen built-in flashlight. Lightweight and easy to use, it can be charged in 3 different ways; with the hand crank, USB cable, or built-in solar panel.

Key Features:

  • AM/FM/NOAA radio
  • 3 charging methods
  • Can charge small electronics

Cost: $29

GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000 (2 Pack)

GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000 (2 Pack)

While the Esky radio above also works as a flashlight, it may be necessary to equip your whole family with flashlights if you have a power outage. So why not adequately prepare with multiple flashlights? This two pack of ultra bright flashlights have received an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 8000 customers. They love the fact that they’re compact, long-lasting, and virtually indestructible. It’s notable that they come with multiple settings; low, medium, high, strobe, and SOS.

Key Features:

  • 10x brighter than old incandescent lights
  • 5 useful settings
  • Virtually indestructible

Cost: $21

Go Time Gear Life Tent Emergency Survival Shelter

Go Time Gear Life Tent Emergency Survival Shelter

If the worst should happen and you need to evacuate your home, you will want somewhere safe, dry, and reasonably comfortable to stay. This 2-person tent from Go Time is designed for this very purpose. It is a #1 best seller on Amazon and boasts an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars for a range of reasons. First of all, it promises to “lock out rain, wind, and snow” thanks to its extra thick tear and puncture resistant polyethylene material. It also provides warmth when inside as the interior reflects up to 90% of your body heat.

Key Features:

  • Waterproof and windproof
  • 2-person tube tent
  • Constructed from extra thick tear and puncture resistant material

Cost: $20

Energizer AAA Batteries (24 Pack)

Energizer AAA Batteries (24 Pack)

When an emergency strikes you don’t want to waste time looking for batteries for your electronics. This pack contains 24 AAA batteries from the reputable battery brand, Energizer. The leak consistent construction as well as their ability to hold power up to 10 years in storage will mean you won’t have to replace the pack any time soon. If you’re after AA batteries, they also offer a 24 pack of AA batteries.

Key Features:

  • 24 x AAA batteries
  • Hold power up to a decade
  • Leak resistant construction

Cost: $13

WORKPRO 4-Piece Household Tools Set

WORKPRO 4-Piece Household Tools Set

This household tools set features four of the most useful tools you could need in an emergency; 8-in slip joint pliers, 8-in groove joint pliers, 7-in locking pliers, and 8-in adjustable wrench. You’ll appreciate the soft grip handle which is gentle on hands, even when maximum effort is exerted.

Key Features:

  • 4 household tools included
  • Soft grip handle
  • Meet and exceed all ANSI specifications for added safety

Cost: $20

DATREX Emergency Water Pouch for Disaster or Survival (18 Pouches)

DATREX Emergency Water Pouch for Disaster or Survival (18 Pouches)

In an emergency situation, access to clean water will impact your chances of survival. We strongly recommend following the Department of Homeland Security recommendation to store “one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days.” To ensure you have enough water for the following days, we recommend these emergency purified water pouches. They are ready for immediate consumption and can easily be stored and transported. They also boast a shelf life of 5 years.

Key Features:

  • Ready for immediate consumption
  • Each individual sachet contains 125 mL
  • Lightweight and extremely compact

Cost: $17

Oral-B Pro-Health Toothbrush, All-in-One (4 Pack)

Oral-B Pro-Health Toothbrush, All-in-One (4 Pack)

This 4 pack of toothbrushes with tongue and cheek cleaners effectively remove up to 99% of plaque. Unlike other brushes that are unable to easily clean hard to reach places, the 550 extra long bristles and CrossAction bristles make ridding food and plaque from your mouth a breeze. Conveniently, the blue indicator on the bristles of each toothbrush lets you know when it’s time to replace it.

Key Features:

  • 4 high-quality toothbrushes
  • Removes up to 99% of plaque
  • 550 extra long bristles

Cost: $9

Colgate Total Deep Clean Toothpaste (2 Pack)

Colgate Total Deep Clean Toothpaste (2 Pack)

Colgate Total Deep Clean Toothpaste has been formulated to keep your teeth sparkling clean and your gums healthy. The toothpaste actively combats bacteria on teeth, tongue, cheeks and gums and helps to prevent plaque, tartar, cavities, and gingivitis. It’s even gentle enough for family members with sensitive teeth to use.

Key Features:

  • 2 tubes included
  • Formulated with hydrated silica
  • Fights bacteria and prevents plaque, tartar, cavities, and gingivitis

Cost: $7

Safeguard Nitrile Disposable Gloves (100 Pack)

Safeguard Nitrile Disposable Gloves (100 Pack)

While it may not seem like there’s so much variation between different disposable glove options, customer reviews tell another story. You’ll see many products have upset customers complaining of how thin the material is and how easily it rips. This isn’t the case for Safeguard Nitrile Disposable Gloves. These single-use gloves have an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 2000 customers. Customers love how easily the gloves fit on their hands and how simple it is to complete tasks with them on.

Key Features:

  • Includes 100 gloves
  • Free of nitrile powder
  • Abidextrous (can be put on both left and right hands)

Cost: $24

Hipat Plastic Sports Whistles with Lanyard (2 Pack)

Hipat Plastic Sports Whistles with Lanyard (2 Pack)

Signalling your presence in an emergency could save your life. That’s why you need to have a loud and clear whistle at your disposal. This two-pack of plastic whistles give off a loud and crisp sound of up to 120dB.

Key Features:

  • 2 whistles included
  • Loud and crisp sound
  • Up to 120dB

Cost: $6

Surviveware Biodegradable Wet Wipes Large Pack

Surviveware Biodegradable Wet Wipes Large Pack

This large pack of biodegradable wet wipes is sure to be handy to have in an emergency, particularly if the plumbing is turned off. The unscented and alcohol-free wipes can be used to remove dirt and grime from your body. It can even be used to clean yourself after you’ve done your business.

Key Features:

  • Unscented
  • Biodegradable
  • Alcohol-free

Cost: $10

Home Hero Stainless Steel Can Opener

Home Hero Stainless Steel Can Opener

As we mentioned above, the Department of Homeland Security recommends “at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.” Many of the food supplies you store are likely to be canned, so it’s important you have an easy-to-use can opener in your survival kit. This premium-quality can opener is made from 430 stainless steel and is ergonomically designed to offer smooth openings with minimal effort.

Key Features:

  • Made from 430 stainless steel
  • Ergonomic
  • Money back guarantee

Cost: $7

3M All Weather Duct Tape

3M All Weather Duct Tape

Every survival kit should have a heavy duty duct tape. 3M All Weather Duct Tape is a high-quality choice due to the weather-proof properties and long-lasting bond it offers. One roll is equivalent to 30 yards, so you’ll be able to use it for multiple tasks indoors or outdoors.

Key Features:

  • Heavy duty, weather-proof
  • Long-lasting bond
  • 30 yards

Cost: $5

Vont 4 Pack LED Camping Lantern

Vont 4 Pack LED Camping Lantern

Light up the rooms of your house in an instant with this 4 pack of lamps. Each lamp boasts 30 super bright LEDs that will provide 360 degrees of brightness. With battery life lasting for over 30 hours and waterproof properties, these lamps are long-lasting and sturdy.

Key Features: 

  • 4 lamps included
  • Each lamp has 30 LEDs
  • Waterproof

Cost:

Similac For Spit-Up NON-GMO Infant Formula

Similac For Spit-Up NON-GMO Infant Formula

Needless to say, you’ll only need to feature infant formula in your survival kit if you have (or are expecting to have) a baby in tow. As any parent who formula feeds their baby can attest to, it can be all but impossible to find a formula that ticks all the boxes. This formula for 0-12 month year old babies contains an exclusive blend of DHA, Lutein, and vitamin E and has ben specially formulated to reduce spit-up.

Key Features:

  • Reduce spit-up in healthy infants by approx. 54%
  • Free of artificial growth hormones
  • Includes DHA, Lutein, and vitamin E

Cost: $29

HotHands Hand Warmers (10 Count)

HotHands Hand Warmers (10 Count)

Keep your family’s hands warm and toasty with these innovative hand warmers that provide 10 hours of heat. Ready to use as soon as you need them and offer a source of safe, natural heat.

Key Features:

  • 10 hand warmers included
  • Ready to use
  • Safe, natural heat

Cost: $6

ANMEILU Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (4 Pack)

ANMEILU Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (4 Pack)

Designed to prevent hypothermia and shock, these waterproof and weatherproof emergency thermal blankets work by retaining up to 90% of a user’s body heat. Customers appreciate their ultra compact and lightweight design, as well as their durability.

Key Features:

  • 4 pack of 55″ x 84″ sized thermal blankets
  • Retains up to 90% of body heat
  • Waterproof and weatherproof

Cost: $12

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife

As the original creator of the Swiss Army Knife, this product from Victorinox needs no introduction. Their Swiss Army Knife is revered for its practicality and compactness. Within the clutch of your hands, you’ll have quick access to 15 different functions including a 2.45″ blade, Phillips screwdriver, bottle opener with screwdriver, wood saw, and scissors.

Key Features:

  • 15 different functions
  • Length: 3.6” (91mm); Height: 0.8”; Weight: 3.5 oz.
  • Made by the original creators of the Swiss Army Knife

Cost: $35

Plano 131252 Dry Storage Emergency Marine Box

Plano 131252 Dry Storage Emergency Marine Box

Last but not least, you’ll need somewhere to store all of your survival supplies. This USA-made storage box is tested for durability and is made from high-quality materials. It measures in at 11.625″ x 5.125″ x 7.125″ and comes with an oversized handle designed for easy holding.

Key Features:

  • Tested for durability
  • Measurements: 11.625″ x 5.125″ x 7.125″
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $12

Piecing together your own survival kit doesn’t need to be a pain. In fact, you can have your kit completed in no time by taking on board our expert recommendations above. Once you’ve bought all of the items, either store them in the storage kit we recommend above, or a sturdy storage trunk. Be sure to keep your survival kit in an easily accessible place. Inform all of your family members about its whereabouts and explain how to use each item. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your family’s safety, so don’t delay in making your kit.

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