You have your EDC Altoid kit, you have your BOB backpack, but what about a different container? What about a coffee can survival kit? the more that you can have available nearby for use in a disaster situation, the better off you’ll be. Let’s say that you’re at work when you get word a wildfire has started near your house. There’s zero chance that you’ll be able to head back home and grab the gear you’ll need.
Or, let’s say that you’re driving with your kids through a Montana winter when your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. You’ve no cell service, nobody else is around, and you’re on your own. It happens!
In either case, all you have available to you is the gear in your vehicle. this is why it’s important that every prepper have gear stocked, and what’s easier than putting it all into an empty coffee can, creating a coffee can survival kit!
You can just about always stuff a coffee can into a corner somewhere, whether that be in your college dorm, in your vehicle, or in a desk drawer. So why not keep one at hand?
Items to Put in a Coffee Can Survival Kit
If you’re interested in building your own compact survival kit in this fun DIY project, check out what we packed in ours below.
1 – Uberleben Zuben Fire Striker
You need to have some type of fire striker in just about any survival kit that you craft. I like the Uberleben Zuben Fire Striker, but there are other fire starters you can explore
I’ve done a lot of research on the various types of fire strikers out there, and I really do think that Uberleben makes some of the best ones out there. If you’ve got the money to burn, the Electric Strike works absolutely fantastic, but I would venture a guess to say you likely don’t have $90 sitting around to spend on a fire striker.
2 – Fire Blowing Tube
That’s really the best description that I can think of for this guy, but it’s technically called a pocket fire bellow. I’ve started enough fires to know that I don’t like breathing in smoke. You can pick up a 2-pack of these telescoping tubes on Amazon, and they help to eliminate that problem just about completely.
3 – Kobalt Multi-Tool
I picked this up for sale at my local Lowe’s for $20 or so. It came with a pocketknife too. This is my go-to multi-tool that I keep on my person pretty much all the time. It’s not the lightest multi-tool out there, but it’s incredibly useful, as I find myself using one 2-3x a day.
4 – Folding Knife
This is a cheap folder I picked up at my local Walmart. I think it cost me all of $7. Yeah, yeah, you get what you pay for, but I always have a higher quality blade on my person, and this one has handled everything I’ve thrown at it so far. And shoot, $7 for a knife is about as affordable as it gets.
5 – Cold Steel Urban Pal
If you don’t know about Cold Steel, you’ve been doing yourself a disservice. This is my favorite knife company out there, and I’ve used their blades for years backpacking and about the farm. The stuff they make is as strong as an ox. I figure the Urban Pal could easily be used for a makeshift spear. It’d probably be better off with a longer blade like with the Safe Maker 1, but this is what I have, so this will have to do.
6 – Paracord
Here’s another item I use on just about a daily basis – Paracord – it’s a survivalist favorite. Buy a roll of it and split it up into different lengths. I put three different lengths of cord in here. I figure the longest one would make a great bear bag or shelter roof (for an A-frame), and the others would be for just about anything. And really, if I needed to, I could easily tie all these together to get one really long stretch of rope.
7 – USB Drive
Have you read our piece on creating a digital BOB? You really should. I’d never even thought about such, until after checking out what this article had to say. With a USB encrypted with VeraCrypt, I’ve got all of my sensitive information that I might need should I have to hit the road fast.
8 – Coins and Cash
This is mainly for vending machines and road tolls. Seriously, why do I have to pay taxes to drive on the road my taxes already helped build?! I never have change for when I need it for these situations, so this is mainly just for my own sanity. I figure that the ability to get food out of a vending machine could be beneficial as well in a post-disaster situation where your access to food has become severely limited.
I’m not going to take a crowbar to somebody else’s property to get food after a Hurricane Katrina event where things should go back to “normal” within a few months. This helps make sure I can at least get something should I need to. It’s only $3 worth, but I feel that’s a pretty good amount for my purposes here.
A bit of cash is easily one of the most practical things that I tuck in my survival kits. If I run out of cash in my wallet, this ensures that I have an extra stash that I can turn to should I end up in a pickle. Just make sure that you don’t tell your wife about this. Otherwise, it ends up being spent on bagels and coffee without your knowledge. (I may speak from experience on this one.)
9 – Post-it Notes
If your car breaks down, you can easily stick these to the inside of the window detailing what happened as you hike out for help. You may also find yourself using it for everyday, non-survival purposes.
10 – Vaseline-Soaked Cotton Balls
I’m convinced that this is the best type of tinder out there. I’ve yet to find anything that lights anywhere near as quickly as these little guys do. They’re most certainly a sticky mess, but you can get a fire started with them in one strike, and they burn long and hot enough to get your fire going no problem.
11- Emergency Poncho
I confess that I’ve never run into a situation where I’ve had to use one of these, but I like knowing that it’s there just in case I should need it. Plus – they’re cheap! Most of the time I’ve already got weather-appropriate clothing with me, but these are so light, there’s really no reason not to throw one in your kit.
12 – Emergency Mylar Blanket
Here’s something that I have had occasion to use – an emergency blanket, and I’m fairly positive it saved my bacon as well. The heat difference that you feel when you have one of these things wrapped around you is drastic. These are (to me) one of the most useful pieces of survival gear that you can have with you, and I do my best to always make sure that I have one of these within reach, should I need it. You can get some pretty good deals on these things if you buy them in bulk. I think they make a pretty fun stocking stuffer as well.
13 – Tweezers
If you have big fingers, attempting to pull out a tick, splinter, or bee stinger can be difficult. And when such a situation happens, you’ll really wish that you had a pair of tweezers nearby. Throwing these in the kit solves that dilemma.
14 – Water Iodine Tablets
I really need to replace these with some newer ones, but for the moment, they’ll have to do. Water iodine tables are as important as having a fire starters.
Having some means of water purification is easily one of the most important things that you can do to keep yourself alive and healthy in a disaster situation. While I prefer using my Steri-pen – and find that iodine flavored water is terrible – this is most certainly better than nothing and can be tucked away and forgotten about.
15 – Pill Bottle Survival Kit
These things rock. They’re super easy to make, convenient to carry, and I use them all the time. Inside each bottle I pack two cotton balls, a pencil stub, $20, two band-aids, two aspirin, two Benadryl, a small Bic lighter, a notecard, and whatever else I can stuff in there.
16 – Shemagh
Nothing beats a good shemagh. At my house they get used to clean up messes more than anything else, but while hiking I use them to filter my water bottle from chunky stuff as I fill it up and to clean out pans. The uses are virtually endless.
17 – Lockpick and Turning Tool
I’m a locksmith, so I find reason to carry a picks with me just about everywhere I go. I prefer using a hook, so I’ve included that and a turning tool within this kit. Most of the time (for me) this involves getting a friend in their house after they’ve locked themselves out. There could most certainly be other survival situations you would want one of these for though.
18 – Mirror
If I get something in my eye, I like to be able to see it to get it out. This could easily be used as a signal device should you be lost out in the woods as well.
19 – Allen Wrenches
I threw two of these in here of different sizes. I never seem to have one of these when I need it. Hopefully, this will help me to avoid that in the future.
20 – First Aid Supplies
Alright, so this is most certainly not a fully stocked kit, but I figure this will cover most of my bases out there. I’ve already got painkillers, bandages, and Benadryl in my pill bottle survival kit, so this is some of the bigger stuff.
I’ve put in some muscle pain cream, alcohol prep wipes, bigger bandages, and some anti-itch goop as well.
21 – Plastic Bag
While I’m not a fan of Walmart, I do like plastic bags. How many times have you needed to carry a lot of something and didn’t have the necessary bag to carry it in? With the Walmart bag, I could easily dump the contents of my coffee can survival kit into it and carry all my gear out into the woods. I can use it to pick huckleberries, to hold other goodies I find while out in the bush, and so on.
These virtually weigh nothing, pack down real small, and you can get them everywhere, so there’s no reason to not do what you can to keep these at hand.
22 – Spare House Key
This is easier than picking a lock, and you never know when you’ll need a spare key. Perchance a friend comes over to my house before I get there and it’s pouring rain/freezing outside, that way I can text him where he can get a key to let himself in.
23 – Paperclip
You never know what these might come in handy for. I always keep one nearby just in case. If nothing else, they get me in push-button privacy knob doors rather painlessly.
24 – Carabiners
I end up using these all the time. You know how on some bags the zipper likes to disappear in the seams of the fabric? Having a carabiner attached to the zipper pull helps to keep that from happening. Being able to clip stuff to your belt loops helps to make your hands free as well.
25 – Shrum Tool
Behold, the shrum tool is the most useful tool in all of existence! This is a locksmithing tool that I’ve found is incredibly handy to keep on my person at all times. Have a knot you can’t get untied? Shrum tool! Have a panic bar lock you need to open? Shrum tool! Have something in a tiny space you can’t reach with your fingers? Shrum tool!
For real, pick yourself up some of these. You won’t regret it.
26 – Hot Hands Packets
I threw two of these in here. I like to keep these on hand (haha) at all times. They’ve proven their worth to me on various hikes and camping trips, and ever since then I occasionally buy them in bulk for use in survival kits and other outdoors expeditions. They’re reasonably affordable and make great stocking stuffers come Christmas.
27 – Headlamp
If you haven’t checked out my review of Vont’s products, you can read about it here! They’ve got a great, inexpensive lighting kit that comes with two headlamps. If you end up with a flat tire at night, in the interior of a warehouse when the power goes out, or the like, having a headlamp can be a true gamechanger.
I prefer headlamps over flashlights just so I can keep my hands free, and the Vont headlamp is a great way of keeping me from stumbling about in the dark without having to spend $20 on a light.
28 – Tissues
When I’m out in the woods, I mainly end up using these as toilet paper more than I do anything else. While, yes, leaves are just about always available, have you tried wiping your butt with a pine branch? It’s not a pleasant experience. These are light and cheap, so save yourself the hassle and put some of them in the kit.
This most certainly isn’t a definitive list. If you’re making a coffee can survival kit, throw in there what works for you. Include the items that you already have around the house. I think a lot of times, people think that they’re simply out of luck because they haven’t got $400 to throw into gear to stuff in the DIY survival kit they watched a video of on YouTube.
Don’t worry about that. A vehicle coffee can survival kit doesn’t have to be expensive.
Use what you already have. If there’s something else (such as a fire striker) that you’ve had your eyes on and want to pick up, then that’s great! Go for it! But use what you have in the meantime, and don’t get caught up in the I-don’t-have-the-money woes.
Part of survival is creativity! If you can’t get creative with survival applications for the things you have laying around the house, do you really think you have much of a chance of actually making it out in the woods?
So, use what you have, and upgrade when you can.
Use the above list as a template – as a means to get your gears turning. The goal is to increase your access to tools and equipment that would make survival easier. What do you have nearby that could help with that? Do you have other thoughts on our list? What would you include in a coffee can survival kit? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image by Fredrik Öhlander on Unsplash.
I like the idea I’ve often thought the same thing about a gallon paint can.
a Datrex food bar, and I would wind some toilet Paper around that pen I saw in the kit. Maybe a wire saw.
Keep us thinkin……..Thanks
a 1 gallon paint can sounds like a good idea.I’d like to make one also. I don’t know if this would make a difference but; the last couple of times I bought paint the cans were made of plastic not metal. And is there any worry of chemicals from the paint seeping into the food ? And does anyone know of an easy opening lid that can be used ?
I started looking around the room here and realized l have a bigger sized maxwell house plastic handled coffee container. (sams club 8.99) l was thinking might be better than the can. Lightweight, handled so can tie it to me to not have to carry it persay, can dip water without rusting my can up, it’s a good tight seal, and water proof. Just a thought….
But you can’t set that plastic can in a fire to boil water…
true you can’t but he had a hobo stove already l was just thinking of the lighter weight and the easy handle in which to tie to a belt loop instead of trying to carry especially in a hiking through the woods type scenario.
lots of thrift stores etc have an assortment of pots and pans. usually they’re dirt cheap. i’d find a pan, large enough to hold a can of progresso or chunky, and duct tape it to her plastic container. while she’s in the thrift store, she can also pickup several metal soup spoons, to throw in the kit as well.
wal-mart sells a two cup enameled steel mug, that’s just the right size for making up a serving of ramen noodles. it wouldn’t hurt to keep a few of them in the car.
If done right you can use a 20oz bottle to do that. I believe it was on an episode of Survivorman. Just the right height to boil the water yet not burn the plastic.
Yes IF you keep the flame below the water level. Try it.
I use my plastic coffee container to hold a roll of toilet paper. When I need to go on the road, that’s my bucket to pee in. I wouldn’t put food stuff in a plastic anything. Especially in a car that gets hot.
Let’s not forget shelter. Milar blankets, emergency bivis etc. Add some 10 common nails a tarp and your in pretty good shape
fresh, empty, steel paint cans can be found at some hardware stores. if the inside is washed in hot soapy dishwater, it should be pretty safe for storing survival food. if you aren’t completely certain, you could place your food items in ziplock freezer bags, inside the can.
Metal paint cans can be purchased at the home depot type stores. small flat lid openers can also be purchased. god ol duct tape will hold the opener on the side of the can or on the top if you bury it. These cans have never contained any paint or other chemical other than that used for manufacturing. Cleaning is recommended. They also have smaller cans. The lids on the plastic cans are not designed to be air tight or water tight. If you use these cans use some food wrap stretched tight put the lid on and secure with duct tape. while it is more air tight it wont hold up to burying. I hope you can use something of this.
they sell unused non plastic lined paint cans at home depot I bought one and built a kit in it, I’ve used it many times. I used a eye bolt for the handle of the lid but made sure the eye was big enough the fit a shaved down stick into
Actually, Home Depot sells BRAND NEW, EMPTY plain metal paint cans in 1-gallon size for $5.98! Google “new paint cans 1 gallon”. Might find them cheaper else where…
Buy an empty can, they exist you know and if you can’t find a metal one look on the side of the roads and sterilize, sterilize, sterilize.
I dont know about lids but I bet there are some maybe from whipped topping. Anyway I would put in pliers. I live in KS and all the farmers and ranchers have a pier on their hip.
you can buy empty paint cans at your local hardware store and tape a quarter on the side of the can to use as an lid opener.
You can buy empty metal paint cans
The metal paint can would good for collecting water but it can be used for a cooking pot were as the plastic pot can not. Any thing stored for the long haul should be individually packaged. The plastic can takes a lot more beating bouncing around in the back of your car. If you don’t have a vacuum packer try to borrow one and vacuum pack everything. WARNING. You must have something sharp to open the packages. The plastic is very tough. If you have a good knife that you don’t use you can vacuum pack it and pull againt the point to open it when needed. Be careful vacuum packing things like crackers. They will be crumbs if you let it get carried away. LOL
Lowes sells new unused gallon cans and no you should never use a used can as they contain some of the most hazardous junk you can get and can take as long as a year for the off gassing to complete.
Try Folger’s coffee — tastes good, plus comes in a plastic can. 1# and 2# sizes. I like Black Silk (variety) and it comes in red.
i thnk you can still get big cans of coffee
maybe some kind of first aid i don think isaw any
home depo carries new metal paint cans. gallon and quart with lids, good for rodent free grain storage also.
If you go to a paint store you can buy a clean, empty paint can for a couple bucks.. that way it’s nice and clean
I know that Lowes hardware sells brand new metal paint cans in gallon and either pint or quart sizes,
Home Depot sales a HDX can and bottle opener. Buy one and tape it to your can or on top of your can. They also sell brand new paint cans, buy both sizes! Hope that helps.
How about 20 – 30 ft of 10 guage steel wire. Doesn’t weigh much at all an infintely useful. A block of wet-fire. Small portion of duct tape.
50# fishing line or did you say that? At least 50 ft.
Don’t forget the hooks, parachute cord is good to unravel and make a net for fishing.
I think I would include a few waterproof matches, or a fire stick. I would also include several pouches of Emergency water, tea bags, hot chocolate, and some instant coffee. Something else that you could pack would be several condiment packs like they have in fast food joints. I’m talking things like salt, pepper, sugar, creamer, and mayo, (mostly oil). The problem that I have found with things like Ramen Noodles is yes, they are light, but they take up a lot of room.
Not so much if you break them up.
Noisynick and Jarhead Survivor
Saw your post and comment and liked what I read. Reminded me of the following.
Back in the 1960’s NASA wanted a pen that could write in zero gravity, zero pressure, underwater, upside down, etc. Millions of dollars were spent on this invention but it was done and our astronauts used the pen with great success. The Soviets (Russians) used a nickel pencil.
I’d recommend a pencil as you won’t have to worry about the ink drying up.
Right but the soviets didn’t care about zero G flecks of graphite floating around getting into critical electronics systems. We did.
actually the Fischer space pen was privately developed and yes the soviets used a pencil that did cause a few electrical fires. Nasa and the US government sold fischer pens to the Soviets.
Why not get the free frosting buckets from the grocery store bakery department. If they don’t give them away they are only like 2 or 3 bucks a piece. They seal water tight and moisture proof. Place you stuff in one of the buckets they range in sizes from 2 1/2 gallons all they way up to 5 gallon buckets. You might have to clean them but it’s worth the trouble. With the bucket you can add more stuff as well as have a way to haul water or even wood if need be. They can be used as a seat, a porta-potty and anything else you can think of. Food with the oxygen absorbers included in the bucket will allow you to keep food in them for several years. Just a thought a small single person tent, blanket or sleeping bag, snack food, money, emergency tools, tp, personal hygiene stuff. The options are limitless for what you can store in the buckets and carry in your car.
An old working cellphone for emergency calls and photos/video log, playing cards for solitar,multi vitamins, Sawyer 100,000 gal water filter.
Definitely toilet paper and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. A small first aid kit and a bandana would be good too.
What??? No Coffee??? And hey what about a 20 dollar bill just in case you need cash for something. Maybe one of those small can openers especially if you’re like me and always have canned food in the car. How about a small first aid kit ( iodine, band aids, excedrin ) just in case you get a cut or scrape. Love the toilet paper on the pen idea and maybe a trash bag for rain deterrent,(thank you GSA) or sleeping on to keep moisture off of ya.
Unrelated but does anyone know where you can get one of those giant tubes they use under the roads? Not the cement kind but the plastic ones really would love one.
Are you talking about the sewer/storm drain pipes?
There are plumbing supply stores around here, but they won’t carry anything bigger than 8″. If you are talking about the ones that are several feet across, I am pretty sure they are custom ordered/made. However, a friend of mine (years ago) wanted something similar for a paint-ball field he was setting up, he wanted them to use for firing positions/obstacles. When he couldn’t find them I suggested using 55 gal drums, you can find them made of heavy plastic and sometimes you can even find them for free. We found some and used them for the field, they worked great! We cut the bottoms off a few of them and stuck them together to form all kinds of crazy looking “bunkers”, we even cut about 1/8 off of a few of them, fitted them together and sunk ’em into a hole to make a “pillbox” on top of a hill.
Never thought of that! Man you rock! Looking to make a fort for my grandson underground so he doesn’t tunnel up the back yard.
That’s awesome, I bet he’ll love it! I have wanted to make a “fort” for the kids that live in the cul-de-sac I live in, though I haven’t managed the time/money to do so with everything else I have going on! I envisioned a set up similar to the “hamster-tubes” they sell in the pet stores, plastic 55gal barrels with tops/bottoms cut off and placed together to make all kinds of cool tunnels and slides…. If only they had barrels big enough for adults to use! AND a ball-pit! I would never leave the house!
They do in fact mass produce the big corrugated –sp plastic pipe. Used too often to be one-off constructed. Check construction supply outlets. THe big ones that sell to contractors, not the ones that sell irrigation stuff to lawn maintenance types.
The corrugated pipe has a higher crush factor, which is why they use it. Less likely grand-kids wind up buried in the yard in a collapse.
What is a pillbox?
The pill boxes that I know of can be bought at just about any pharmacy/drugstore. They are plastic containers that are divided into each day of the week or three times a day. Just ask any pharmacy.
A pill box is a dug in guard post, like a fox hole but situated as more of a lookout.
You can usually purchase larger-diameter plastic culverts (under-road drain pipes) at agricultural supply outlets like Southern States, Agri-Supply, Tractor Supply or Fleet&Farm. Diameters are up to 24″ or even larger in varying lengths, and end-caps, T’s and Y’s are also available. Best of all, they’re darn cheap!
What are you using for? The big plastic drainage pipes are very pricey.
Sorry gat31, was a little slow on the draw with my question!
I actually mentioned that I needed to buy some coffee packets and then edited it out. I knew someone would mention it!
Jarhead, that’s the sign of a good writer – create an opportunity for the reader to think & participate.
I don’t care for starbucks coffee from the shop (as mentioned in the coffee post, they set the extraction temp to high and it ruins the flavor for me), but they have a product called “Via” which is compact/light and just mixes with hot/cold water to make your cup ‘o joe. There are a couple other brands if the starbucks ones are to pricey, Foldger’s; Maxwell House; Tasters Choice- For the money I think the Tasters Choice is the best of them, they come in a box of 20 servings (individually packaged), I think the last box I bought was like $4 at wal-mart
Try to look at the construction store Build it Center? Maybe Lowes, Home Depot?
Try to look at the construction store Build it Center? Maybe Lowes, Home Depot? Check some construction compines.
A few things I didn’t see in there that I put in even my most basic kit…
-Handkercheif- HUNDREDS of uses, and always handy!
-Water purification tablets- Lightweight, cheap, small, and can REALLY save your ass if you need them!
-Small pack of dryer lint- Come on… ITS FREE! And makes a fire a lot easier
-Cheap pocket knife- Always a good idea to have a blade separate from your multi-tool, you could even just use one of those “cheapo” razor-knife things but even better would be a knock-off Swiss army knife
-Super Glue- If you need it… you tend to REALLY need it, lightweight, cheap, small, and works to close up small wounds (try finding a Chef who doesn’t keep a bottle on hand… I dare ya’! Nick your finger in a professional kitchen, and it’s either super-glue or those finger condom thingies! No band-aids allowed according to the health dept.)
-Small candles- Can save your flashlight, you can use the wax to water-proof stuff if need be, can be cut-up to make fishin’ floats
-Small fishing kit- Just about 30′ of line wrapped around a chunk ‘o’ cardboard, a couple hooks and maybe a lure or two or a strip of Fish-Bites (natural-artificial bait). I either do this simple kit, or enough stuff to make a couple trot lines, they don’t add much size/weight and they work while you do other stuff… For trot lines I pack 4/0 catfish hooks, 30# line- at least 75″ for each rig, and sometimes I pack a small fishing-pole-bell for each, for a sinker you can just use a rock you find near the water or a soda bottle full of dirt/sand
-DUCT TAPE- No explanation needed!
-Compact Mirror- Get a tiny one (>1″) from the $ store, signaling, fire-starting, checkin’ your ‘do!
-Trioxane tablets- Get the bars, they last longer and you can burn them right on the wrapper, cheap, last for almost forever, lightweight
-Sharpening stone- You can pick one up for about $2 at wal-mart that will sharpen your knife and hooks and is pretty small/light (~2″, >1oz) , never know when you will need to sharpen your knife!
-Medicine- Just a couple of the P.C. (personal container) things of asprin or Tylenol, pep-to bismol, Imodium AD, benadryl. They even have 3x antibiotic ointment and hydro-cortisone cream.
-Cotton ball fire-starter- I bought a couple of the little travel containers (with a twist top) from wal-mart for $.97, rub a couple cotton balls with either petroleum jelly or hand sanitizer and cram ’em into the travel container. They are a GOD SEND when all the tinder you can get is wet or the wood itself is wet, they will burn for a good bit of time and burn pretty hot.
-Twine/Wire snares- I keep 12 twine snares in a Copenhagen can, they are 16″ long (slack, not including the business end of the snare) and I make them ahead of time in case something happens and I #1 don’t have time to make them in the field -OR- #2 I am injured and CAN’T make them in the field (the previously mentioned Duct tape can help with securing them, one handed)
-Cheap Lighter- Always good to have a back-up to the matches, you could even pick up one of those tiny gas-station Bic lighters to save on space, they have ones that are >1″
-Tin Foil- I fold a 10×10″ piece into a small square, can be used for cooking, little strips can be glued to your hook for a simple fishing lure, mark a trail/camp, and many, many other uses
I know it looks like a lot to add to your “Can ‘o’ Survival”, but it should all fit with the other stuff you already have, and can be pretty handy! Also, I know you said you wanted it as an “overnight” kit, but some of the seemingly long-term survival supplies can find uses in a short term situation.
Another great comment chefbear. However l think l might have to start camping at gander mountain to save fuel cause l just found so many things l’m lacking! lol
Thanks, luckily I live about 5 miles from my local Gander Mtn, and there is an AWESOME tackle shop about 3 miles away. Otherwise all my money would probably go to gas to get to bass pro and a local hunting/fishing shop called green-top
I don’t know if anybody has mentioned it bot aluminum foil you could unroll along piece fold it down the center wrap the whole thing around the can it has end less uses you can make a container to boil water .Youcould also fold and wrap a space blanket around the can over your foil secure it with a small piece of duct tape this way it takes up nq room in the can
Definite YES on Aluminum foil – but I use the “HEAVY DUTY” kind rather than just the run-of-the-mill stuff. It is SO MUCH stronger, and makes hardly any difference in weight or size (I fold up larger pieces, and line my can with them FIRST.
The difference is AMAZING and well worth it!
Secure it around the can with bungee cord
try using a carpenters chalkline for a survival fishing kit
Great list. Cheap. simple. and I already have most of it.
ChefBear, Great addition! The long term additions are overlooked – I know I overlooked them.
think I would add a mouse gun, extra mag half a box of ammo, and a larger knife than the multi tool. More cordage, that roll type heavy nylon that is used for trotlines, that stuff is great, real strong, large amount in a small space and cheap. maybe a few fish hooks n sinkers and probly a lil redunancy on fire starter. And Iwould have to add a small bottle of heet and a penny stove.
l have seen reference to this penny stove now several times can anyone explain to me what that is? Please excuse my ignorance l was born and raised a big city girl. My dads idea of camping was a campground with electrical hook ups 🙂
A penny stove is an alcohol stove that can be made at home. You can google them or check out one out here: https://survivedoomsday.com/diy-how-to-build-your-own-alcohol-stove/
This is an alcohol stove quite similar to the penny stove that I made awhile back and posted on here. Total price: 10 cents for the cans. Needless to say they’re basically throw-away stoves, but extremely handy and they work surprisingly well.
Welcome to the forum!
Thank you jarhead for the warm welcome. I seen this stove and have made several since seeing them on this site. l didn’t realize that was what the penny stove was. l love these things but was wondering if you could use the gel fuel for tiki torches instead of the alchohol for maybe a longer burn time. l know they have citronella in them so the smell wouldn’t be great but no mosquitos seem like a bonus 🙂
Hmm, the only thing I’d wonder about is if the fuel is a true gel it might not be possible to pour it into the stove. You could always modify your stove of course, but make sure you test it outside! You never know how a fuel is going to act until you actually put a match to it. I don’t believe I’ve ever messed with that particular type of fuel, so I’m not sure exactly what its properties are.
another way to poor the fuel in is to make one large hole with a tap screw or sheatmetal screw. The hole is larger so you could use a dropper type bottle and inject it into the stove and then you just put the screw in the hole to plug it up. The down side is that it will last only so long and the screw will wallo out the hole and you have to either make a new stove or get a bigger screw. I would have also added a candle lantern but it looked like there wasnt enough room left.
IDK, you hv to remember you are going to cook on this thing and do you really want your food to taste like citronella? The best fuel we have found is HEET like you put in your car to prevent fuel line freeze up. it works great, good heat, long burn stable. 3 ozs will last for around 30-35 mins.
spook where do you find heet? We don’t have fuel line freeze ups this far south is this another gander mountain item? man l definately need to camp out there 🙂
I get my HEET right at Walmart. I just did a search for alcohol stove fuel on Google and came up with a few hits that should work for you. I’d post the link, but it’s a mile long. Go to Google and type in alcohol stove fuel and you should be able to find something that will work for you.
You can find heat in the auto ssection at walmart or at any auto parts store.
best alternative to “HEET” would be “denatured alcohol”. available at “True-Value”, “Ace”, or anyplace else with a good paint department.
irishdutchuncle- Denatured alcohol is the way to go…. if you can pack liquid fuel.
For something like this project I think a stable, solid fuel is more “in line” with the needs of the kit. That being said (I said it earlier to), I think Trioxane would be a great option. You could also make your own fuel “blocks” by packing a small can with dryer lint, then pour wax over it -OR- do the same thing and mix in some sawdust. This stuff will burn through just about anything, and they are cheap/easy to make. I like to make them in an old ice cube tray, when you pop ’em out they are almost exactly the right size for cooking in a canteen cup/can over them, and you can just fold up some tin-foil to make a “stove” to burn it on, fold up a little of the extra tin-foil and you have a built in wind screen!
YUP! thats what they use in them, in the interest of improvisation, I have also use fingernail polish remover. It works, but it is not as efficiant and harder to light.
LOVE the penny stove suggested by Jarhead Survivor, see <a href="https://survivedoomsday.com/diy-how-to-build-your-own-alcohol-stove"/<a but alcohol burns fast and is bulky – How about using a Sterno can and the "Little Fence", shown near the end of above link? Could use Hardware cloth, and just 'line the can along the edge'? It would take almost NO room!
Girl scout stove. Empty metal coffee can with holes in side for ventilation…..roll of toilet paper……rubbing alcohol. Put toilet paper in can…pour rubbing alcohol over toilet tissue.I have even cooked eggs over these stoves.
I would make them dedicated containers –
1. First Aid items – Advil, band aids, tape, scissors, tweezers, gauze & the rest.
2. Emergency Food – protein bars and whatever your diet requires.
I’d make one for each category & label the outside accordingly. I’m very much into keeping things simple & hate distraction & confusion so I would not combine items into one container. You can put a lot in each one of those containers.
Right now if any emergency takes place like a power outage, I know exactly where the candles are, flashlights, generator is placed etc and I move in the order of creating calm (avoiding panic) for my kids. If the car breaks down, it’s the same routine.
Shotzeedog – I learned many years ago to keep toilet paper in my car & keep in in a ziplock bag in my trunk. I keep about a 1/4 to a 1/3 sized roll because it is less bulky and you can flatten it somewhat. You never know when the S could HTF – couldn’t resist the obvious joke.
Hahaha 🙂 I keep a “SHTF” kit in my car too – extra underwear, toilet paper, and a ziplock bag.
Protein bars are a great suggestion. I saw some oatmeal and a nutrigrain bar in the kit, but it needs some trail mix or a protein bar for more dense energy.
Ask anybody on this site – the LAST thing I need is dense energy!
That’s what the duct tape and handkerchief is for. You can tape your mouth shut 🙂 (kidding… maybe)
Incorrect – tape the hands together so I can’t type. The butt of a rifle takes care of the excessive lip. That’s the Khmer Rouge solution or maybe the AFT ….. not to sure these days.
Maybe I’m finally getting senile, but isn’t it “troutline” and not “trotline”? Regardless, I’m glad CB included the Imodium for the “trots” :).
When we took the Colorado hunter safety course the instructor was a lifelong hunter in his 60s. He swore by the cotton balls covered in petroleum jelly. He said he always kept them in his pack and on his person in small pill bottles when hunting.
Something no one else has ever mentioned here. For a signaling mirror, find an old computer hard drive. Disassemble the thing and use the disc platters. You will probably need some super-small philips and torx bits. These things are highly polished and unbreakable, about 4 inches in diameter and a 1 inch hole in the middle. In between sentences I just went to my basement and did a quick test. I found you can also file down the outer edge to make a curved knife or scraper.
No its trot-line. A trout line is a special type of floating line for fly rods. A trot line is a semi-commercial fishing method used predominately in the south. You take a loooooooooong line and attach lots of smaller lines with catfish hooks on them and put lil bouys on each end so you can find it. Bait the hooks and come back later, like tommorow. Then you run the line from one end to the other and harvest your catch. Thus the line” we can skin a buck we can run a trotline and a country boy can survive:)” The line they use is a heavy line that comes on a roll, you can get about 250′ for say around 3bux. It is a very strong line and can be used for building shelters, trip and snairs, booby traps and you can fish with it but its a lil thick for for just dropping a line. ANYWAY, it serves as a great cordage for things you dont want to waste your good 50 cord on. Save the 50 cord for more heavy stuff and moore important things. Use this stuff and if you have to leave it, who cares.
Trotline, but I’m an old guy.
I have always heard it -Trotline- myself. It can be a very effective way of catching your grub while you are doing other chores! I have not only caught fish (mostly catfish), but have also caught snakes (tasty, but be careful), turtles (also tasty… 7 different tastes/textures of meat in 1 animal, now if they only came with bacon instead of a shell!), cayman (VERY DANGEROUS… VERY DELICIOUS, kinda a cross between flounder and pork-chop!), bass, pike, chain pickerel, carp, eels, even a bull shark once (VERY VERY TASTY!), there have even been a few birds I have caught with them, though it was completely by accident, Canadian geese, mallards, wood-ducks, grouse, seagull, pelican- Most of those I tried to free without harming them, not all of these cases was it possible, so they got cooked and eaten… no sense wasting it!
How the hell’d you catch a grouse on a trotline?
Not real sure how it managed to get caught in my line, because I left it unattended while I was gathering firewood and making camp. When I came back to check my line it was all kinds of tangled up in it, and had the treble hook stuck in its mouth. I must have got to it just a few minutes after it died, cause it was still warm which made dressing and plucking it much easier. Tasted pretty good roasted on an improvised spit over open coals! I had some cat-tail roots, dandelion greens, wild onions and ramps with it and made a hot beverage from tea-berries and pine needles. That was one of the best meals I have ever had while back-country camping!
I don’t think the can I used here is “true” metal now that I think about it. I like the idea of using one of the plastic cans because they’re air tight and could easily be used to transport water. A real metal can could be used to heat water though. There’s good and bad sides to everything!
Some awesome ideas here so far. Keep’em coming! Let’s see, I need to get some toilet paper, water purification tabs, wire saw, and…
Jarhead, you said:
“Let’s see, I need to get some toilet paper, water purification tabs, wire saw, and…”
that combination just struck me kind of funny –
On an episode of Surviorman (I watch anything to learn from) he did indeed heat up a 20oz plastic bottle with water in it to drink from. He mentioned I believe the fact of being careful about it’s heighth however..lol.
Scrap the poncho. Use a couple contractor grade garbage bags or the large black garbage bags. They’re tougher and have more uses.
I would add Polar Pure, a small fishing kit, magnesium fire starter w/ some tinder, duct tape, space blanket, bandanna, coffee filters (for coarse water filtering). Maybe some 100% DEET if you have room?
Baby wipes may be a useful, all purpose item as well.
Baby wipes are great and can be used for multiple purposes. Come in a plastic bag already. Can take in place of TP.
The hand sanitizer also makes a good little fire starter and you could make your own wet wipes with the included toilet paper.
My mother-in-law’s picture makes a great fire starter, insect & shark repellant and a detour sign.
Sorry Jarhead, off topic but couldn’t resist the opportunity to add a little levity.
Contractor bags are a great idea! They’re way tougher than those cheap Wally World ponchos.
In my very early days of hiking we had to turn the contractor bags lining the inside of our backpacks into makeshift ponchos while descending Mount Katahdin during an unexpected downpour. They worked fine for a limited time. For a car, I agree, they offer more uses than a straight poncho.
Put a wide mouth water bottle in with a lot of the smaller items stuffed inside it. Saves space and gives you a canteen.
Regarding the suggestion to put a gun and ammo in. My opinion is you want a survival kit that you aren’t going to worry about. Something that isn’t a danger to others or likely to be stolen. I don’t want a gun in my car when I’m not there but I surely want a survival kit in my car all the time.
I was just down to LL Beans a couple of weeks ago. Check this out: https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/63742?page=outdoor-survival-in-a-bottle
Agreed on the no gun in the car. Hard enough to explain the BOC (bug out can) not to have to explain the need for gun and ammo too. Not to mention in my state l think it’s illegal to have the gun and ammo together. With the random searches they (police) do here for even a license check no gun in the car is a good thing.
VOTE with your feet….
Idk where you live, but where I live we do not tolerate “random” searches because that is illegal! Its a violation of your fourth amendment rights. Also, in our state, they give away hangun permits in freakin crackerjack boxes! Also, if you have a HG permit, you are allowed to have a loaded rifle or shotgun “in or on your vehicle provided that there is no ammunition in the chamber” that means you can have a full magazine as long as it is chamber clear. The first time I get a “random search” by police, Im jumpin for joy, I pray they arrest me because first Im gonna sue local for violation of my states rights and then Im gonna sue in Federal District Court for USC 1983, civil rights violations under color of law. Basicly, when Im done it will be like hitting the lottery cuz, IM GETTIN PAID! RANDOM searches without PROBABLE CAUSE is against the law and lots of people have gotten rich off of those types of violations. And I will reiderate, if it is that bad where you live, you should really consider voting with your feet and get the hell out of there.
LOVE the penny stove suggested by Jarhead Survivor, see <a href="https://survivedoomsday.com/diy-how-to-build-your-own-alcohol-stove"/<a but alcohol burns fast and is bulky – How about using a Sterno can and the "Little Fence", shown near the end of above link? Could use Hardware cloth, and just 'line the can along the edge'? It would take almost NO room!
Everything is illegal in this commie country so sit home and die.
In your state everything is illegal, especially guns. The only exception is the gestapo. He does whatever he wants. Grab your ankles, pissant, but not before you dig your own grave.
Probably wouldn’t be able to fit anything bigger than a “pocket-pistol” in .22/.25 in a coffee can with all the other stuff. If you really want a “weapon” or hunting tool, a slingshot might be “just what the doctor ordered”. They have some pretty small ones at wal-mart where they keep the BB guns, can be effective against small game and can help deter larger animals that could be a threat (including the 2-legged variety), while you probably won’t be able to land a fatal shot on anything much bigger than a dog it can deliver a painful or even a stunning blow to many different animals. They are relatively cheap, especially when compared to a pistol, at less than $15 each, for ammo you can use the stainless steel ball-bearing like projectiles they sell there or in a pinch you can just use some stones from a creek bed.
I prefer the “wrist rocket” type slingshot. It is powerful and virtually silent. It’s also legal to keep in the car, even if you’re packing rocks..
Ruger SR-22 will fit in coffee can with space for mags and holster, as well as other stuff. Great little pistol.
Given the wonderful winter we have had this year( things appear to be getting back to normal) I would have to have the candle lantern. If you are stranded in your car in the snow/extreme cold or run off the road into a snow bank or such, the candle lantern could literally mean the difference in life and death. IT burns real slow, puts off enough heat to raise the temp inside your car/shelter by more than ten degrees. You can do this with just a candle, but the candle lantern holds the heat so it disipates more slowly thus creating more heat build up in a confinned space. The lantern also affords you more safety because if it falls over etc. it is contained would not immidiately start a fire. There are several types of these on the market and they are worth the cost.
at wally world they have chafing dish fuel cans small cheap and burn a while.
thank you l will look there next time l go
Chaffing dish fuel is basicly gelled alcohol AKA Sterno. Dont know which flavor is cheaper but is approximately the same thing.
One thing to note about the gelled alcohol “stoves” (like Sterno). they are usually designated by a number. for example- 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12…. The latter ones will only usually be found at restaurant supply stores. The numbers are a designation of how many hours of burn time you should get from them. The shortest would be 2-2hrs. the largest would be 12-12 hrs, they are about the same size, the more burn time they have will make them slightly larger, almost unnoticeable. Most of the longer burning ones will have a wick buit-into them. If you wanted to extract the fuel from these, it may pose a bit of a challenge. However they can be packed as-is and used as a stove with nothing else needed. I haven’t tried using one as a camp stove, so I don’t know how long it would take to cook with it, say boil water, but sounds like it might make a good project for anyone interested!
Didn’t read everybody else’s fine ideas, but here’s a few things I have in mine. . .
50 yards of braided wire fishing leader (for deep sea fishing. Snares and supports, STRONG stuff.
50 dollars in 5 dollar bills.
3mil plastic contractor bag, larger than most and thicker than any. Find at home depot.
2 suture kits (the prethreaded kind)
Saran wrap. You’d be surprised how useful it can be for wound covering and/or split binding and everything else. I’ve been toying with a mostly depleted carton wrapping roll, but too much bulk.
Hear is Mike’s kit – it’s awesome… got a couple of good ideas from him.
the nails will tear right through the contractor bag or poncho plastic. not that they shouldn’t be included… but do you also keep a hammer in the vehicle with which to drive said nails? they sell “tarp clips” which allow you to add a grommit anywhere you need to on a tarp. the better way is to tie up a pebble or other small object in the plastic where you need to attach to it, and tie it down with cordage.
i also carry a tarp in each vehicle, anyhow. (the theory being that i can cover the roof and windshield of the vehicle with the tarp, before the snow starts, and remove most of the snow, by removing the tarp) (in the summer, the tarp can be used across the top of the vehicle to create shade)
Twist you up some bowstrings. Use Dacron B, or something similar. Tie a bowline on one end and a timber hitch on the other. Make steel arrowheads cut out of annealed saw blades. Use a hacksaw. Harden and temper them with a torch. Include some plastic vanes for feathers. Tie them on with strands of Paracord. Almost any limb may be used for arrow shafts. Straightened with your hands. Costs are small and this stuff takes up little space. Use your knife to make a “quick bow.” Juniper is great as are many other woods.
Um, why not just buy a bow and arrow?
Cause a bow and arrow won’t go into a coffee can. That’s the thread ain’t it? Coffee can. Besides if I’m going to buy something it’ll be an M1 Grand and a big coffee can.
gat 31- “With the random searches they (police) do here for even a license check no gun in the car is a good thing.”
Really? Random searches? …
Please watch YouTube Video, Click here</a to watch. It shows the Correct Way to handle a Police Stop. Basically don't answer questions – or ask questions -they will ONLY be used AGAINST you. You will NEVER help yourself!
Note that Some POLICE do not follow the Law – do the best you can. Some suggest you hand over "Carry Permit" w/ License & Registration – depends on the State you're in.
I CARRY – ALWAYS!
Sep 9, 2011 – The Office of Naval Intelligence coordinated the gathering of the country’s intelligence. … were employed during this time, but basics like lemon juice and milk were … of sodium carbonate, ammonia fumes, and potassium ferroscyanide. … The development of numerous plastic products during the 60s gave …No gun….fill plastic lemon with ammonia. Good for close quarters work.
Another thing I didn’t see anybody mention is a couple of those Gatoraide drink mix packs. They have some sugar, vitamins/minerals and electrolytes, they are pre-measured (I think for a 16.9 oz water bottle) and compact/light weight… putting 10 of them in your coffee can kit would only add a couple ounces of weight and only take a few square inches of space. Could help to “stretch” the little bit of food you have, in case the overnight situation turns into a few overnights!
ChiefBear58; do you really mean > 10 0z.etc.etc.
>= greater than
Not trying to be an ass but it looks like you're adding weight.
Sorry for any confusion, where specifically did you see the comment that needs clarification?
Mechanic’s Wire from the Auto Parts store. Then you can make a handle and stick it over a fire on a forked stick, plus that stuffs tough, yet flexible. One of those 1000 and 1 uses items. Also an Esbit Stove and a box of Trioxythane, Spare batteries for the Flashlight, and a LED Head light, unless you like using both hands and the Flashlight in the mouth technique. Space Blankets, Magnesium Bar, couple cans of Tuna Fish (check expiration dates), Military Surplus Steel Fork, Knife and Spoon ( nice Euro Stuff coming in, and you don’t have to worry about your plastic spoon breaking), and a P-38 or P-51 can opener should all fit. Hope this helps.
Great idea! I have one in car. Mine is in a cheap UTG? Sling bag. 2 space blankets,several snares,mini led lantern,mini fishing kit,foil pouch of tuna,beef jerky,water bottle it fits in bag,small spray tubes of deet,tiny mag lite,fire making kit includes lint firesteel mini bic mag ferro bar.Little bit of rice in a 5hr energy bottle.2 bandanas. 2 water filter straws.Cold steel pendelton hunter which is small skinner.1 pistol mag.Multi tool stays in car.Water bottle is S.S. could boil water in it.Some great ideas there people time to go back over my bag. What I have now is actually light weight,very carryable.
If the coffee can is only half full then there is room for a couple of hand warmer packs. For a car survival kit these would be ideal as one wouldn’t likely start a fire IN their car, nor leave the shelter of their car in order to start a fire but expose themselves to the elements.
The hand warmers could aid in keeping one’s body temp up enough for survival until help could arrive.
The hand warmers work very nicely for a limited amount of time. My husband used one of those that need to be lit. He then placed it between his shirts (under shirt and button-down shirt) for warmth and burned his skin, but not the shirts. Don’t recall how long it was there, but the skin peeled off. This was more recently than your post of 2011.
I suggest keeping a wool, army blanket in your car during the winter months at least. They can be purchased at military stores or online sites. We bought patched used ones at a very good price; each of our vehicles has one and should probably have one per person.
I didn’t see work gloves listed; I get mine at the Dollar Store and always keep a few pair around the house (and a pair in each of my go-bags). Also those inexepensive ponchos (and lots of other preparedness goodies!) can be had at the Dollar Store too. Their stock rotates frequently but I do see chemical handwarmers and glow-sticks there every now & then — lots cheaper than getting them at a regular retail store, or even a military surplus shop!
Good idea with the glow-sticks, I buy the tiny ones at the $ store near me. They don’t provide much light, but they can be pretty handy in any fishing kit. Around here in the summertime you can glue/tape/tie one of the tiny light-sticks to a treble hook and catch catfish with no real bait. It only seems to work at night, but who knows it might just catch you a meal when you don’t have anything else!
I have a question I have been struggling with. What do those of you that live in the Northern climates do with an in car coffee can survival kit or back pack in the winter. Water, canned goods, medicine, they would all freeze.
I live in VA, I keep a few gallons of water (in 1.5L bottles) in my vehicle all year. When the temperature gets cold around here, usually not to far below freezing, I just put the bottled water into a cooler which I keep in my JEEP. I have had the bottles partially freeze, usually less than 1/3 freezes, and that’s only if the temp goes down into the 20’s and stays there for a few days.
I always keep water and first aid kit (that contains a few items that could freeze) in my JEEP all year, because I hunt/fish and if it snows I am usually out driving around looking for people to “snatch” out of the ditch (cause NOBODY in VA can drive if it even looks like it could snow! And it’s fun to pull out a lifted truck with a stock JEEP Wrangler!). With as much as I am outdoors and in situations where I could possibly have to weather a night or two in the elements, I don’t take any chances and try to keep anything I might need close at hand.
Try the cooler trick, it might end up being an effective, low-cost solution to your problem.
I would include (at lest) :
1. a space blanket style emergency sleeping bag
2. Tube Tent
3. 60 gallon trash bags (2 or 4).
4. Gorilla Tape
5. Survival Bandana (survival tip, first aid or knots print).
6. Sports bottle with built in water filter (i.e. “Bota Outback”)
Contrary to popular belief, stretch marks don’t occur since the skin is stretching as the name implies. The stretching does lead to connective tissue breakdown and inflammation, but it is the scarring that happens when the injury heals that causes those not-so-attractive lines to show up.Sadly, you don’t need to be a pregnant woman to get stretch marks. Even gym club and exercise buffs get them. Nobody deserves stretch marks, but they coexist when muscle mass increases at a fast rate with heavy bodybuilding.
jen-pi: I live in MN and have lived in ND, the “coffee-can kits” used here always include metal cans that have 3 equally spaced holes about 1/4 inch from the top, you use 3 pieces of heavy twine and safety pins to suspend the metal can from the roof-fabric of your car. place a votive candle below the suspended metal can and, voila, snow and other frozen items can now be thawed easily. you’d be suprised about the amount of heat one of those little candles can put out.
here’s the MN Dept of Public Safety flier for winter car survival, recommended kit items are on the second page
Other remedies incorporate peels, exfoliation by means of a body brush or body scrub, laser treatment or, in extreme cases, plastic surgery. Even exercise and using self tan minimize the appearance of stretch marks as firming up the skin makes the skin looks firmer and self tan lotions tan your whole body, whereas sun tanning is not as efficient as the marks do not tan.
Preventing these marks is as easy as enhancing the skin’s ability to stretch. Striae are caused when the skin is stretched too far, too fast, causing tiny tears and little rips. These lesions heal, and are substituted by scar tissue. These rippled ridges of pale scar tissue are these marks we wish to get rid of. Improve the skin’s ability to stretch, along with the rips and tears will never happen in the very first place.
I just finished putting together some mre’s….
Here is what I put in mine
1 package tuna
1 packet of mayo
salt and pepper packets
3 wasa crackers
1 powdered drink tube to add to a bottle of water
natural dried fruit, blueberry and pomegranite
All of the above condiments and fork were obtained when I went to target, mcdonalds, subway…etc so they were free.
The crackers, tuna, drink tubes and dried fruit were from Target and each MRE is approx. 370 calories and cost less than $2.00 each.
I then used my vacuum machine and viola! MRE’s for a FRACTION of the cost.
My supply Sergeant did something similar with ammo cans. I think I will use up some of the empties I have and make a kit like this. Although, I’m not about using it for cooking/water boiling. Is the paint on that thing safe? hmm
I would suggest a ‘hobo’ tool, which has a spoon, fork, knife, can opener/bottle opener, awl, and cork screw(?). It separates into two pieces (so you can use the knife and fork at the same time), is made of steel, and costs less than $10! I’m also a fan of tea light candle lanterns, wrap a strip of aluminum foil around the back to increase usable light; and/or suspend the coffee can/paint can up-side down, just over the lantern, heating the air in the can and getting much more radiant heat from that with no more fumes. Also, placing a round cotton pad between the aluminum cup and the wax makes a very small stove and/or very good fire starter; light the center wick, and the melting wax will soak the exposed edges of the cotton pad, turning it into a circular wick! I keep 5-7 tea candles in a pill bottle with a cotton pad between each in case the outside temp gets high enough to melt the wax; no waxy mess in your larger container that way! I personally prefer the 5-6 gallon plastic bucket as a kit container, much more room (up to 5 people may be depending on it), water-tight, easily carried, enough room to carry some bottled water, always important! If you’re concerned about other people stealing your kit (probably from your vehicle), then put it (even a 6 gallon bucket) in the bottom of a trash bag, stuff dry trash around it (to disquise the shape) and place a diaper or two (add a little brown/yellow dye and water to it, not too much, you don’t want mold) on the top and leave it loosely tied; easy to look into! NO ONE wants to go there! The plastic buckets can also be used as pre-positioned caches. Good Luck!
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Instead of the water purification tabs, I would keep a paratrooper straw. Most are good for 1500 gallons and instant purification without the chlorine. I just tend to think if a dirty bomb hit, you may have a ways to walk and you won’t do it without water. I also always have a box of the painter’s plastic covers. They’re thin but there are so many in the box, they’re large, numerous uses. With tape and a few branches, you could be cozy if you were out overnight. The box wouldn’t fit in the can but I just keep the box under my seat. Since I live in the South, anything that would suffer in heat, is not a good choice.
Lots of great comments and suggestions. I have found that the small plastic containers used for portable/travel sizes of Q-Tips/cotton swabs are wonderful for holding a small first aid kit, fire starters (cotton balls or lint soaked in petroleum jelly or with wax on them) and other small items within a bigger bug out bag — or coffee can in this case.
I used a pasta cooking pan (has strainer inside) and metal lid I also packed a couple of those gray (I don’t know what they’re called) blankets that preserve heat. When I find one I’m going to add a striking rod. Don’t forget the water tablets and some cotton cloth for straining and bandages.
Actually a Space Blanket could “pretty much” take the place of a Poncho – IF you added a few feet of Duc(t) Tape. I like to ‘stick it’ to wax paper strips for sure-stick properties. A NEW Gallon Can available @ Home Depot, $6. Smallest Sterno can-remove lid, ‘Church Key’ triangles from INSIDE of Lid for stove, Empty ‘Clean Soup Can’ for Cup/Pot-easily fits at bottom and can be packed with “other stuff”.Bulliom cubes, Coffee,Sugar packet(s)? WATER! (seen in Emergency Packets).Tubeless tire Repair Kit (Auto supply),take only minimum parts. EXPENSIVE-small bicycle pump, slow but effective. Some of these already mentioned, so these could be selected “Add-Ons” to some of the GREAT ideas shown.
Maybe you could put together a “Phase II” kit and let us know?
I would ad a small AM/FM radio with hand crank and LED flashlight built in. Look around on Amazon you can find a decent one for about $28.00 or less, some have a USB charge port do you can keep your cell up without running the car or draining the car battery .
Also like other here in the posts, a LifeStraw and a bottle for water. Here’s what I have in a 2 gallon bucket with a lid.
2… 25 foot paracordes
6….tea candles each wrapped in foil
1….box strike any place matches
1….good multi tool
2….24 oz bottles of water
1….1 quart sauce pan
1…..empty clean vegie can
1…..sewing kit travel size
6……33 gallon trash bags
2…….old cotton t shirts light color
4…….packs dried chicken nodle soup
1……bright LED flashlight battries removed
6……AA batries for above in a Ziploc bag
1…… Fork and spoon metal
1… Crank up radio
12 feet painters plastic
1……bag of money, $10 coin, $20 in 5’s$1’s.
1 …..box of first aid with all mentioned in posts here.
A signal mirror or flare pencil gun. Both can be used to get someones attention in case you were stranded accidentally or used to start a fire as well. I would strap one of those folding military shovels or breakdown hand pick axes to the can also in case you need a fire pit or to dig in. A wire saw also to cut wood with.
Great, Great Posts; a TREASURE TROVE, without question!!!
Came across a suggestion regarding a very loud Marine Type Air Horn that is a potential ‘hunting-in-bear country bear ‘fright’ inducer hopefully precluding having to shoot a ‘getting-too-friend’ bear . . . and it was suggest that this same very loud air horn might work just fine in attempting to deal with a home invader short of shooting the ‘perk’ and he ‘mess’ that would result with ‘the authorities’, the legal injustice system you might have in your area, etc.
I’ve been a fan of your blog for some time. Never commented before now. I prefer plastic/metal ammo cans like the ones you get at Cabela’s. They are better sealed than coffee cans and are waterproof.
Living in the southwest, we have unique problems and requirements re survial (extreme temps, water requirements, etc.). My trunk kit is specific to survival in the desert. Gelatinous, soft plastic, & wax materials do not fair well in trunk internal temperatures of 140+ degrees F.
Suggestions above are all good depending on the region, although several items can be combined (paracord, for instance) and many can be gleaned from the land.
I haven’t seen where anyone has yet mentioned a tobacco pipe (cob or cheap briar; the bigger the bowl, the better; a straight stem so you can smoke it upside down to keep it lit while walking in the rain), book-matches to light it, protected (in Ziploc bag), and whatever tobacco you might add in (in the same Ziploc with the matches). They are wonderful for
1. carrying “sparks” from one campsite to another to start a new fire (about an hour per refill, if carefully husbanded; hence the “the bigger the bowl, the better” remark; start your fire by dumping burning tobacco on charred cloth or equivalent)
2. companionship in a lonely shelter on a cold or stormy day/night (or after a good meal, or whenever!)
3. BTW, a good pipe beats a good dessert (or the lack thereof)
4. a surprisingly good hand-warmer when the fingers start going cold
5. It does for the smell of the woods on a balmy autumn day what perfume does for a beautiful woman
6. for some, a stimulant; for others, a sleep-aid. Experiment and find out how it affects you, if you don’t already know.
–When you run out of tobacco, I hope you can identify our old childhood sub, Rabbit Tobacco. If you can’t, learn how to find it now, not later.
–To save your paper matches, light it from the campfire;
–on sunny days light it with your magnifying glass. This is especially easy once the tobacco is charred over; first lights are hard but not impossible with a good glass.
–Caveat: don’t look too long at the magnifying glass’ bright spot. On a sunny day it’s almost like looking directly at the sun. This applies any time you are starting a fire with a magnifying glass. It will give you shin-splints of the eye.
6. There are other benefits and uses you will happily discover. For instance: You’ll find out on a brutally cold, windy day, by simply exhaling the smoke through your nostrils, that they didn’t nickname pipes “nose warmers” without good reason.
Don’t leave home without it! It’s worth its few ounces and the little space it takes.
Great ideas and suggestions! Some thoughts regarding larger containers and cold / warm environments: Using a small cooler – either hard sided or soft sided – as desired keep content more temperate. Can prevent items from freezing (short time). Have one in my truck and don’t bother to switch out items by seasons – except for water which needs monitoring during prolonged cold stretches.
I have not read anything about sewing needles (couple different sizes). Could certainly fit in any kit. Multiple purposes, along with fishing line. Great ideas…will be creating them for gifts as well!! 🙂
“One principle of survival is to use what you have available to accomplish your goals. One way to do this is by taking common household objects and discovering what else they can be used for, especially those that are survival related. However, before knowing what an item is good for, you need to test it thoroughly.
There are two maxims preppers need to always keep in mind:
Do Your Own Research!
Test Your Preps!” … “Expedient TP
Not much needs to be said about this, other than if you have a pack of filters, it is another possible use. Certainly not as good as TP itself, but better than using a pine cone. ”
I agree, coffee filters are a must have in any CC kit. Multiple uses when nature calls.
I see you have 25 foot of braided 550 cord in you can, that’s awesome. I sell 100′ and 50′ round and straight bundles that might take up some more of your space and give you more rope. The bundles are also tangle free because of how they are wrapped. – SF
I would add a small fishing kit you could put some Lewers and some bobbers and some fishing wire and a hook in an altoids can and put that in the coffee can you could also put a small first aid kit in a separate altoids can
ditto on the small fishing kit with lures, hooks, and bobbers. I also have included ,22LR ammo(1 box of 50 in each) that has been sealed in our Food Saver. Works well. We also include a small Gerber pocket knife, to which(through the lanyard hole in handle) is attached two can openers, 1-P51, 1-P-38 can openers. Makes things a LOT easier to get into. each of us have a multi-tool in each vehicle and on our persons to open the small personal survival cans. Also include two small boxes of strike anywhere matches, (also Food Saver sealed). You’ve got some great ideas, and it is an excellent post. Thanks.
Most people drive around with an empty trunk, if you live in a cold climate why not stick one or two of your sleeping bags in a trash bag and put it in the trunk with your coffee can kit, it also makes more room in your closet for other supplies. As TPS said, get some strike anywhere matches, this is an item that is getting hard to find, I don’t think you can have to many strike anywhere kitchen matches. Trekker Out.
Dryer lint and matches make a good fire starter. Also, instead of the $10 poncho, use some leaf garbge bags. U can roll a couple up tightly into the can.
Good idea about the coffee can. I threw one away the other day because i thought, what am i gonna do with that? Lol.
gloves, plastic and work gloves
extra pair of socks
Gill net, mono, you can wad it up to fist size. Sure fish getter. Forget the legal – illegal crap, the SHTF. A box of .22s in a zip lock. 6 extra rounds for your heavy hitter. DEET for the critters. Head net. 5 ounce bottle of lighter fluid, naptha works fine, a Zippo with extra flints and wick. Fire steel and petrolatum cotton balls. Make sure the can is steel with holes for a wire bail.
Water filter & face mast
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This is a great article!
I would definitely throw a few different kinds of batteries in mine.
Ramen noodles too bulky, so put in ‘strong’ small plastic bag, beat the hell out of it – small, and STILL VERY GOOD if you get ~H~U~N~G~R~Y~! Won’t have to chew much, either. Got a spoon?
To your basic coffee can kit, add:
Six AAA batteries for the flashlight
Hurricane matches sealed in plastic.
Ammo to match whatever gun you have.
Water purifying tablets.
Note: The flashlight shown uses three AAA cells. There are eight combinations of their pos/neg installation, and only one works, so take the carrier out and use red paint (nail polish) to mark the three positive ends. Store the flashlight without batteries…they will die and leak corrosive goo.
I have three big tote bins next to my garage door so I can toss them in the car and go…they contain all sorts of handy stuff…towels, kitchen paper rolls, black bin-bags, canned food, cooking stove, gas for stove, ammo, toilet paper, you name it! Also on the top bin is a list of stuff that can’t be stored there…passport, guns, will, birth certificate etc.
What about a small first aid kit, aspirin, benadryl, hand wipes, small purell bottle, extra clip, fishing line (hooks/weights), and nitrile gloves?…
Good Material Here!! Thanks!
1) Aluminum foil (huh, OUTLAW!) is a must! Signaling, steaming and storing.
2) A can liner is one of the best “overnight items” and a constant companion. It can be configured to protect you from the elements in countless ways.
3) A 20′ roll of #00 snare wire weighs 2 oz and would be an excellent addition. Couple of #6 hooks…
4) **WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR OPINIONS: a pack of cards and a pocket radio. The radio for local instructions/warnings of impending troubles and a pack of cards to deter your mind while listening. It’s like 8 oz of psychiatry in a can**
First aid items and duct tape
One thing no one mentioned is a pair of old pantyhose these can replace a fan belt to get your car to the next point of assistance. Also a good thing to have in your vehicle that is less than 10.00 for 2 is an IPOW or similar (it is a window punch.) Great informative article. Thank you
You might want to consider a quart paint can with a tight seal metal lid I stead of the coffee can there about $3 or $4 at home depot.
Why does everyone put hooks and weights in a survival kit? In most realistic situations you won’t have time to sit around fishing! If you can spare the time use stones for weights and make gorge hooks from wire or wood. Pack a spool of Kevlar thread, it can be used to sew, tack wounds, binding (or fishing) and doesn’t take up much room.
Just my two cents here from the sideline:
1. Go cheap with anything EXCEPT your knife. You can do a lot with a good knife and craft most stuff with it. Invest in a excellent knife and learn a few “bush craft skills”.
2. The next important thing is your water bottle and means to boil water.
3. Then look at your fire making tools and skills.
4. Put a beanie with your gloves, most of your body heat is lost through your head.
5. Lastly put a Shermag, buff or a very big bandana in and lean different ways of using it.
I would add a space blanket
Extra pair of socks, toothbrush & floss, small bar or half a bar of soap & a wash cloth in a baggie, a hand towel to dry with, (keep in mind whatever you put in this can, if you keep it in the car it will get really really hot) granola bars, instant coffee, sugar, creamer… altho the creamer could become rancid…. anything with fat in it will in the car. Tea bags. Can opener- both kinds, instant cup of soup, . . . and I found shower curtain liners at the dollar store for a buck. A couple of extra batteries for whatever you have with you…. a car phone charger cord. Keep a blanket or two in the car. Space blankets work best if you have a blanket to put around you over the space blanket. A comb/brush, bandaids for blisters. Screw drivers, knife, fork, spoon.
I would add TP, Emergency Medical supplies: Gloves, bandaids, butterfly bandage, a few alcohol wipes and anti-bacterial ointment.
I have gone bigger by using those yellow cat litter tubs with the hinged lids. It fits upright over the wheel well in the trunk of my car and contains a hospital style blanket (very warm), folding camp stove/cooking kit, sterno fuel, several boxes of dry soup packets, water filter & purification tablets, compass, folding shovel, cable saw, bath tissue, extra clothes for my wife & I, fem. products, and more.
I have several other tubs ready th to line with food safe bags for packing food in a bug out situation.
In a little snack baggie, I put alcohol wipes, triple antibiotic tube, and bandaides. I just added a tube of benedryl anti itch cream. It all fits in that little bag. I have a fannie pack I keep everything in. A very small very bright flash light, a folding knife, compass, etc.
In a coffee can, one I call a “zombie bucket” I keep tea bags, a portion baggie with instant coffee, another with sugar, creamer, and a spoon. Cup-o-soup. A sample size bar of soap. Chewing gum to clean my teeth. I use a stainless steel cup with a folding handle I got from Wal-Mart for 2 bucks to both heat water and drink or eat from, on a foldable stove that sits over a can of sterno. Baby wipes, crackers, snack bars. And aspirin & two days of medications. Bottle of filtered water sits between my front seats in a plastic box with a baggie with 2 wash cloths and another baggie with 2 hand towels.
And two butane lighters.
You can get new 1gal paint cans for about $3 at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s or other major retail outlets.
Don’t know if it’s been mentioned, but every auto kit should have an ample supply of kitty litter for enough traction to get your car out of a slick spot. Calling for a tow truck when your in an isolated area, might possibly mean setting yourself up for anything but help. It could be them getting the help, to your wallet, car & whatever else they desire. All you get out of the deal is lead & placed where nobody would ever look to find you. By the time you are reported missing, your car has already been chopped, or taken several states away along with any clues to your disappearance. It sounds worse case scenario, but when the SHTF, it will happen & that’s what we’re talking about right?
coffee cup and water purefiaer devise
For Missouri winters, we use the can. 1-2 tea candles in the can will heat the car enough so one doesn’t freeze to death. 3 tea lights makes it nice and toasty. My “can” consists of: matches/tea candles wrapped in a waterproof bag; 2 Paper clips; 2 nails; Pen & Pencil w/paper rolled around them w/thick rubber band; paracord bracelet; pull-tab can of soup; metal spoon; flashlight; multi-function tool; and a food bar. We also always keep a full-size throw in the car. As we live in a relatively “urban” area; our can isn’t intended for long-term survival.
I’d add either 550 cord or #36 tarred bankline, a small water filter along the Sawyer mini lines, and an inexpensive but useful full tang knife like the Cima-1 that runs about 21 dollars on Amazn. If the kit is in your vehicle, you should already have cover (the vehicle itself), and that would be a better shelter than anything you could fit in a coffee can, but for just in cases, the poncho wouldn’t be a horrible idea. I always like to be sure the 5 C’s that Dave Canterbury talks about so well are accounted for. If there’s still room and budget available, the next 5.C’s are never a bad idea.
Being innovative and creative at times of survival is a sure thing.
Surgical tubing would be a great addition. Use it to siphon gas or transfer any type of fluid. It can also be used as a makeshift tourniquet or slingshot.
I think an empty paint can is better than a coffee can. It holds more, the top provides a good seal that won’t pop off with a little jostling, it’s waterproof, and it has a handle for easy carry.
This is a great idea. I would definitely include First Aid kits, some canned foods, can opener, waterproof matches, tinder or fire stix, candlelight(wrapped in a waterproof container), paracord, water filtering system (a lightweight and a compact one), hammock or emergency bivy, folding survival knife and a multi-tool. And as many suggest, paint can make a great container for emergency items like these. It’s bigger than a coffee can, so you can definitely store more survival kits there.
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I couldn’t agree more to what you said in this post. I think preparedness is an essential skill everyone must have because it will actually help you predict things and even prevent worse things to happen. I love this post keep this up!
Thank you for sharing this interesting post. I never thought of using coffee can as survival kit. I just thought of using bags. This is just great and all the comments give great ideas too. I should start doing my coffee can survival kit too. Most of your post are interesting too. Great tips for preppers. Everyone needs to be prepare for the worst just in case because we can’t predict the future.
When speaking about survival, it reminds me of one of my favorite survival book. It’s really easy to understand and very useful in so many ways. It contains so many survival guides that most of us don’t even know of. My favorite part of the book is that it helps the readers to learn making their own medicine using medicinal plants that most of us don’t even know that it can be use for that purposes. The book teaches how to identify and prepare the plant for medical uses. But that’s just a small part of it. There are so much more survival guide in that book.
If you’re interested in that book, you can go HERE: https://tinyurl.com/ycsvbxe7
Thank you again for sharing this wonderful post. I really appreciate it : )
a hefty brand contractor size heavy duty trash bag or two to help acquire, carry, or store water, a water filter (or components to bushcraft one, though not as awesome), a full tang knife to process firewood, maybe a small saw (hacksaw blade with tape for a handle, tape is multi use) to cut down smallish trees/branches to improvise a shelter, iodine, water purification tabs, a silcock key (urban water gathering device), and instead of a cheapy walmart poncho go for a Grabber or SOL brand emergency blanket (can be used aqs a tarp, reflects body heat back to user, indespensible) <-go for TWO, and double your paracord. a quality full tang knife can be used to replace or replicate nearly anything in a wooded environment; knowledge weighs nothing and the more you know the less screwed you are.
Is the bottom shiny metal? If so, polish it to a mirror finish and you’ll have a signal mirror without taking away any space.
You could put a metal can inside a mastic can and have both for whatever circumstance you encounter . What about including one of those emergency blankets that reflect your body heat back at you…they fold up very small. My dad had a collapsible shovel from when he was in Vietnam. Are those still around?
Just a note on tubs. If you get tubs at Lowe’s or Home Depot they may be not safe for food.
I get tubs from restaurants or delis that held food at one point and they had better be food safe! Coffee cans also work great. I buy as much as I can from thrift stores, Craigslist, and wherever I see what I need. People give away the craziest stuff! If you have a Winco near you, they sell food in bulk you can vacuum pack, and also cans of freeze-dried food. We’ll be eating lots of eggs because that’s all I can afford!
yes we have a Winco in Hemet, Ca and we go there as well sounds like you like eggs we also with the many ways one can cook them have a great year and take care
How about some matches or lighter, tinder (I made fire starters by putting dryer lint in cardboard egg cartons, drizzled melted wax over the lint, and once set, I cut them apart), and duct tape, and those mylar blankets.
I’d also put in a medical kit.
The plastic coffee cans that they have now would be a good idea for carrying and storing items, but not work for boiling water for tea, coffee, etc. But you could put a soup can or another type of can in to do the job and still give you room for other items if packed right.
Just a thought.
McMann steel cut Irish oatmeal has a wonderful small can with a lid that seals and it is metal.
One of my Every Day Carry items for years has been a 50-yard spool of waxed dental floss – very lightweight, incredibly strong strands, small in the pocket, and can be used for small bindings, sewing, or creating larger cordage. The floss can be boiled to sterilize it for suturing, too.
Add a roll of quarters. Do not add currency bills. In time of emergency, paper money is useless, while coins would be better for purchase or barter. Pennies could be melted down for use as bullets, so coinage is useful.
Throw the toilet paper in a freezer bag, squish out the air seal and throw under your car seat. For the can you need scissors, a white tee shirt, bandages, survival heat blanket (dollar store). Rubbing alcohol makes a great fuel for your stove and if you soak cotton balls in it then dip them in heated Vaseline stored in a small sealed container they will start a fire with just a spark and burn for a few minutes making fire starting a breeze.
Ohhhh yeah,, the white shirt.. Handy to cut up for compression bandages, slings etc.
how small axe and kitty litter works to get you unstick in ice and snow
Instant oatmeal lasts a long time. So does spam, Kitty litter buckets makes a good storage container.
we are about 185 miles east of L.A Ca out here even though we are a small city we DO have our days of Heat. to Wind , to Cold heavy rains and wind at times etc and we do keep a good 35 day supply of food personal meds MRES also water and the usual other items we feel we may / will need ! Plus a full tank of gas and a solar 18900 watt generator. just in case and funny is that out of over 200 other homes in our area were the only ones with emergency stored items other than bottled water .. crazy yes but one cannot seem to get them off their rears to be perparedf.
yes we have a Winco in Hemet, Ca and we go there as well sounds like you like eggs we also with the many ways one can cook them have a great year and take care
The kit that I keep in my car has some of these things but to me the most important is the face mask or bandana and safety goggles. In the case of a bombing or 9/11 scenario, breathing the toxic dust can be a real hazard. Also if you can’t see you will be vulnerable and not able to flee imminent dangers. I keep these items anywhere I spend time and encourage others to do so. I got the idea from the government after 9/11 they sent out flyers advising people to keep these items with them especially commuting to work.
Survival Kit is very essential to our camping trip. This is a very outstanding idea 😀 Thanks!
It’s a simple and awesome list. I almost have all of it 🙂
Nice article. Just curious, though, for the USB drive, if you carry that, shouldn’t you also include in your kit some sort of Faraday bag?
If you have EMP concerns and want to be able to use a PC, yes. Check out the Mission Darkness bag I mention in this article: