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March 2013 Issue
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Personal survival tin

Stu Gilbert's survival tin

It pays to be prepared for any unexpected survival situation by carrying a compact personal emergency survival tin  on all your tramps

A personal emergency survival tin is a small container filled with essential survival items that should assist you in the fight for survival.

The contents chosen should address the key principles of survival – protection, location, water and food. Items should be able to handle being knocked around, be easy to use and have at least two uses.

Here’s what I include in my emergency survival tin:

Tin: Sealed with adhesive tape for waterproofing. Can be used to boil water, as a small cooking pot and signal mirror.

Waterproof matches: Stored in a plastic zip-lock bag with a spare striker, these are invaluable for starting a fire. Light your candle first to save on matches.

Small candle: Once lit, this will provide a reliable flame that you can build your fire around.

Flint: For starting fires. Works when wet and will go on striking long after you run out of matches. If you are having trouble getting sparks use the back of your knife or your multi-tool.

Rubber strips, cotton wool and tampon: Tinder to help get your fire going. Coat the cotton wool in petroleum jelly to make it burn longer. Store in a small zip-lock bag. Tease it into a large ball so it ignites easily by the spark or flame.

Parachute cord and inner line glued to inside of lid: Helps with survival tasks such as building shelters, fishing and repairing clothes.

Whistle: To attract attention of searchers.

Waterproof notepaper: For leaving messages, writing down your emergency plan.

Pencil: For writing messages, drawing maps etc.

Button compass: For direction-finding or vectoring search and rescue aircraft to your location.

Purification tablets: Sterilising water.

Mini cyalume stick: Used as a night time location aid.

Mini fishing kit: Should have a selection of hooks, flies and sinkers.

Needle: Making repairs to clothing, removing splinters.

– Stu Gilbert is a former Air Force survival instructor now running SOS Survival Training