> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Project Idea: Improved Nalgene Survival Kits



Project Idea: Improved Nalgene Survival Kits

I think those knock-off Nalgene bottles filled with survival supplies are a great idea. They're just generally poorly executed and full of cheap crap...if you're trying to hit the $10-$15 price point, you can't really fill it with quality hard-use gear.

I've been kicking around the idea of putting together a "better" kit for a while. My preference is to use a stainless steel bottle over a Nalgene. There's some great advantages to the water bottle kit over other options.
  • You have a good water bottle - and if it's stainless steel, then you have a way to boil water. A HUGE boon in a survival situation. Water carrying/purification is a huge shortcoming of most compact kits.
  • A tough water bottle makes an awesome container--water proof, crush-proof, boyant.
  • They're compact and easy to carry around but they're also big enough to carry some capable gear.
Yes, they're not in the same size category as a PSK or altoid kit. But they can easily be stowed in any reasonable space, carried around and so on.

Here's an initial outline of what I'd put in the kit for a wilderness situation...basically covering off on the Pathfinder School's 10 Cs. I haven't tried to cram all this into a bottle yet, so keep that in mind...I'm pretty sure it should fit w/o much difficulty, though.
  • Cutting: A fixed blade knife w/ sheath, small-ish but capable. 5-7 inches overall length should be fine...most Nalgene style water bottles are around 8-inch tall.
  • Combustion: Your firestarting implement of choice w/ some tinder
  • Covering: A Heatsheet emergency blanket
  • Cargo: This is your pack. You could cram a little stuff sack or mesh bag in the kit potentially, or keep the whole kit in a sleeve/holder like this one. But really, the items in the kit could easily just be moved to your pockets while the bottle is in use...or you could use the bandanna to make a hobo-bindle. 
  • Container: The water bottle serves as your container. The Guyot Design bottle is a good choice.
  • Compass: Compact compass of your choice
  • Cordage: Paracord or a thinner alternative like dacron line
  • Candle: A compact single-cell flashlight or a tiny head lamp like the Petzl E-Light, if there's space.
  • Combination tool: A full-size multi-tool  is probably a bit much to cram into the kit, and a folding saw is out of the question. Maybe one of those pocket-chainsaw type things...but you can probably just skip this in this size kit. It's a marginal benefit over the fixed blade.
  • Cloth: Cram a bandanna in here. 
Throw a few more small items in the cracks, if there's space. Some water pur tablets would be at the top of my list. Backup fire tool, a small signal mirror and some duct tape would be up there, too. All that and you've got a pretty legit survival kit. Wouldn't be a TEOTWAWKI survival item, but could get you through a wilderness survival situation.

If you were really ambitious, you might consider one of those NAA Mini revolvers and a variety ammo, though you'd probably have to cut some of the above to get it to fit.

Anyone have a similar set up that they use? Anything I'm missing?