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You Need a Survival Kit And an OTF Belongs in It

You Need a Survival Kit And an OTF Belongs in It

Survival Kit Considerations an need for OTF in it

Bradford Angier’s 1998 classic How to Stay Alive in the Woods starts with these sobering words: “Anyone at anytime can suddenly find himself dependent on his own resources for survival. It costs very little time, money, and effort to be ready for such an emergency. If you are not ready, it may cost your life.” Should you find yourself tempted to discount his counsel, consider that news reports have highlighted how people need to survive at a moment’s notice in both the wilderness and in cities at a moment’s notice. You never know when disaster may strike, but you can be somewhat prepared for it.

In this piece, we will discuss how to build your own survival kit, the various factors you should consider when constructing one, and the importance of including an OTF in it.

Consider Your Context

Survival means different things in different places. Were you to find yourself stranded in the Saraha, you’d need radically different supplies than if you were in, say, Antarctica. Similarly, a person’s needs during a hurricane, flood, fire, earthquake, blackout, or terrorist attack will vary significantly. However, there are a few common concerns that you should account for in sepecific situations. Let’s take a look at hot environments and consider them as something of a case study. In a warm, arid place, you will need to take the following into consideration:

  • How will you take shelter? One of the key elements of surviving in hot places or deserts is staying out of the sun. That may mean carrying sun protection as simple as a hat or It could also translate into having a compass or some sort of GPS system to lead you to a specific area.
  • How will you see at night or signal others? In desert survival situations, you will likely want to reach out to potential rescuers or simply see what’s going on when it’s dark. The presence of a flashlight, fire-starting kit, or emergency beacon can prove invaluable.
  • How will you deal with heat- or desert-related injuries? In survival scenarios, dealing with injuries is less of an “if” and more of a “when.” Heat exhaustion, scorpion stings, and snake bites are all possibilities, so in addition to bandages, antiseptic, and painkillers, you might also purchase instant cold packs.
  • How will you stay nourished and hydrated? Accounting for energy expenditures is a major part of survival in an arid environment, and you’ll want to have some sort of calorie-rich food such as MREs, granola bars, or trail mix. You’ll also need to carry bottled water or a canteen.

This is only a small sampling of the items you may need in order to survive in a hot place, and you can see how many of items you would bring could change from environment to environment. For example, if you were in a mountain area during winter, you would definitely change the items in your survival kit. You’d include items intended to protect your core temperature, such as thermal blankets, solid fuel cubes, a wire finger saw, signal flares, or an emergency whistle.


Every shift in area requires a concomitant shift in preparation. However, there are commonalities that stretch across every survival scenario. No matter where you find yourself, you will need to account for …

  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • The Elements
  • Injury / Exposure
  • Communication / Rescue

When planning a survival kit, match the unique aspects of the place where you’ll need to survive with these categories.

Consider Your Kit Size

The next category you’ll need to consider is what size you’ll want your survival kit to be. A kit designed for a second home can prove quite expansive, including a generator, a portable stove, food stores, and prescription medication. One intended for use in a car will necessarily be smaller, perhaps featuring tools, a glass breaker, a flashlight, duct tape, and an emergency radio. In recent years, prepared types have taken to packing kits into itty-bitty spaces, such as pill bottles or Altoid tins. Far from being useless, these small kits include little amounts of useful items such as …

  • Needle and Thread
  • Band Aids
  • A Fishing Hook and Line
  • A Razor Blade
  • Straws
  • Zip Ties
  • Safety Pins
  • Alcohol Pads
  • Superglue
  • Paracord

Consider Your Budget

An additional consideration is how much money you want to spend on your kit. Tiny kits containing a few common items require little financial outlay. But end-of-the-world preparations? Those will set you back a pretty penny. Set a budget before you begin buying.

Consider Your Knife and Associated Accessories

No matter how much money you plan to spend or the size you want it to be, a kit should always contain a knife — and OTF knives offer numerous advantages. First, their variety of sizes and configurations make them appropriate for any kind of kit. Stubby, California-legal OTFs slip easily next to a pocket-sized kit. Retractable karambits make excellent additions to urban survival supplies intended to be used in unstable situations. And large OTFs work well for when you need a survival-knife substitute.

Second, OTFs provide unparalleled easy of handling. When you need to employ a knife in a survival situation, you often won’t have both hands available. A double-action OTF can function when you only have one hand free. And while this may sound somewhat grim, it’s worth remembering that injuries happen while people try to survive, and if you’ve loss the use of one arm, you can still get an OTF open.

Third, OTFs are surprisingly flexible knives, able to work well in a variety of circumstances. They function well in common, everyday tasks. They assist campers looking to set up a site. They can even be used to assist in first aid. When building your survival kit, don’t select a knife that only does one thing; pick one that can do everything.

A final factor to consider is what you will need to maintain your survival OTF. If you have a larger kit, think about including a knife sharpener, lubricating oil, and a hex key for disassembly.

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