By Jim Jones
One of my mantras is “ It’s not what you have, It’s what you have with you”
Consider a “Coat Pocket Survival Kit”
There are all kinds of “survival kits” There are big tote bin kits for the home emergency, survival backpacks for when you need to head for the hills, survival kits for the belt, purse or briefcase. But no survival kit will help you if you don’t have it with you when you need it most. There are a few very inexpensive items that should always be in your pockets. These are the “very least” you should have with you “just in case”.
- The first item is always a knife of some kind. Although I generally carry at least one knife and one multi-tool, I still have a cheap penknife in the pocket of every jacket. Of course this will have to be dispense with if you are going to be going through any security checks.
- The second item is a fire starter. This can be as simple as a pack of common safety matches or butane lighter. Yes, waterproof camp matches are better but the box is bulky and you may not want to have them in every coat and pair of pants you have. Small magnesium fires starters are best of all if you can afford have one in every jacket.
- The third item is a few paper napkins. Better yet, carry one or two bandanas. These “old school” items can be used as emergency respirators, bandages, “help” flags and tourniquets. These are always handy, cheap and have many emergency applications. An even better choice is a folding N95 respirator.
- Fourth is a small plastic sandwich bag. This can be a handy container or it can keep your wallet dry. The bigger the bag the better but we are talking about your pockets not a backpack.
- Finally have a few heavy-duty rubber bands.
You can distribute these items throughout your pockets so you hardly know they are there. Here are just a few of the emergency uses for these items:
|MATCHES / FIRE STARTER||PAPER NAPKINS / BANDANA|
|PLASTIC BAG (small)||RUBBER BANDS (heavy Duty)|
Of course a few more items would help. Larger trash pages can be used to protect against wind, rain, and chemical agents and even keep radioactive dust off your clothes. A few Band-Aids are a good pocket item. A small square of folded heavy aluminum foil can also come in hands. But the items listed are dirt cheap, easy to carry and just enough to give you the survival edge in a number of emergency situations. Don’t leave home without them!