Compact Survival Kits

Survival kits can make the difference between surviving in relative comfort or surviving by the skin of the teeth, but many of them can be bulky and difficult to haul if leaving home is required. Because of this, many survivalists have ventured into the realm of creating small kits that are easy to carry but still just as versatile and usable as the larger, more bulky kits.

These small kits can be purchased premade with some common pieces that most people need, or it is possible to create custom kits that suit one’s particular needs. It is best, when creating a custom kit, to consider the size of the pocket in which it will be carried. Some pockets are larger than others, so a larger kit – which holds more components – may be possible.

Where to Buy
Best Glide ASE Adventurer Survival Kit Box
Metal Slide Top Tin Containers (small) for Crafts Geocache Storage Survival Kit By MagnaKoys (pack of 3)
Hulless 2 Pcs Metal Hinged Tin Box Container Mini Portable Small Storage Container Kit Tin Box Container, Small Tin with Lid, Craft Container, Tin Empty Box, Home Storage 3.7x2.3x0.8 inch.
KKDAO 1 oz 30 Pack Aluminum Tin Cans Empty Containers Screw Top Round Metal Cans with Screw Lids for Cosmetic,Candle,Spices, Candy, Coffee Beans, DIY, Earrings, Rings, Tea or Gift
ES2284-BRK Pocket Survival Kit Tin
Mighty Gadget (R) Rectangular Empty Snap on Lid Survival Tin Container for Geocaching or Survival Gear (2 Pack) - 2.875
Mighty Gadget (R) Rectangular Empty Hinged Lid Survival Tin Container with See Through Window Top for Geocaching or Survival Gear (6 Pack) - 4.125



Rectangular mint containers are one of the most often used items to make this sort of kit, but other containers may work better. One person used an empty container that had previously held crushed red pepper, for instance; it is slightly larger than a mint container as well as being a different shape. Containers can be rectangular, round, cylindric, or whatever suits the contents being placed inside. It is generally wise to choose something that is waterproof and fireproof, just in case.

1. Large Pocket Kit

If the pocket meant to hold a kit can hold something that is 2.3 inches deep and 4.6 inches wide (as well as 7.3 inches tall), then this may be the best option, as it will hold more than smaller kits. This box is formed from heavy-duty aluminum and it closes with a leak resistant seal and locking clasps to keep the contents dry and clean.

2. Metal Slide Top Tin

Three tins that are just under 2” long, just under an inch side and about a third of an inch deep, this tiny tin will hold less but will fit in nearly any pocket. Supplies can be divided among the three containers to carry more while still fitting neatly into pockets.

3. Metal Hinged Tin Box

Rectangular tins that are 3.7” x 2.3” x 0.8” are just like the popular mint tins without the brand embossment. Plated steel is used to form these tins, which have smooth, rounded edges. The hinges attach the lid to the box firmly, and it closes snugly to protect whatever is held inside.

4. Round Metal Cans

These 2-inch diameter tins have lids that screw on to protect the contents. Just under an inch tall, the tins are made of aluminum.

5. Pocket Survival Tin

Featuring a skull and crossed knives on the top, this black and silver tin is about the size of a mint tin and is inscribed with “Randall’s Adventure & Training School of Survival” around the logo. Comes empty to fill with survival items.

6. Taller Rectangle Tins

Just under 3” long, just over 2” wide and 2” deep, these containers have lids that snap on tightly to protect the contents and have rounded edges. Easy to fit in a pocket, but able to hold more than the average mints tin, these may be perfect for family compact survival kits.

7. See-Through Top

These rectangular tins are just over 4 inches long, 2.75 inches wide and just over an inch deep. The top has a clear top to allow a view of the contents.


What goes into the kits will depend on what is needed. Some things will be fairly universal, while others may be particular to one’s own needs. Some things that may be included are basic first aid items such as bandages, gauze, sealed straw pieces holding sanitizer and possibly triple antibiotic ointment (unless including a small tube), a few pain relievers, a few antihistamines, a few cotton swabs, a small multitool, a small compass, a razor blade, a pair of tweezers, a few safety pins, some thread, a few small nails, a few sewing needles, a bit of dental floss or fishing line, a few hooks, and a lure, an emery board, some zip ties, a few toothpicks, a mini flashlight, a miniature lighter, some waterproof matches and a way to strike them, a zip-top bag, a bit of cash, a bit of aluminum foil, and a couple rubber bands.  You can also consider the Ultimate Survival Kit For Sale as well.

To get more ideas for what to include in a custom kit, see what is included in some of the premade kits that are available.

Where to Buy
Stealth Angel Compact 8-in-1 Survival Kit, Multi-Purpose EDC Outdoor Emergency Tools and Evereyday Carry Gear, Official Survival Kit
Survival Kit for Emergency and EDC – Premium Survival Gear from Atomic Bear: Tactical Knife, MTP6 Pen, Tactical Flashlight, Adjustable Survival Bracelet, Fire Starter, Multi Tool Card, Wire Saw
Tianers Gifts for Men Husband Dad Friend, Emergency Survival Kit 16 in 1, Upgrade Compact Survival Gear, Cool EDC Survival Tool for Cars, Camping, Hiking, Hunting, Fishing, Adventure Accessorie
STEALTH SQUADS 42 in 1 Survival Military Pouch KIT, Premium Tactical Pocket Knife, First AID KIT, EDC Multi-Tool USE for Camping, Hiking, Biking, Outdoor Emergency Safety Gears w/Bonus E-Book
Whistle Creek Survival Kit in a Sardine Can
Emergency Survival Kit 37 in 1, Survival Gear Tool Kit SOS Survival Tool Emergency Blanket Tactical Pen Flashlight Pliers Wire Saw for Wilderness Camping Hiking First Aid Survival Kit for Earthquake
Best Glide ASE Be Prepared Pocket Survival Kit PSK Holder not Included


Pre-Made Kits

8. Professional Survival Kit

This kit contains professional grade gear including a tactical pen made of heavy-duty aluminum, an aluminum whistle, a flint rod, a ruler/compass combination, an LED flashlight that is ultra-bright and attached to a keychain, and a flashlight, packed into a durable waterproof case.

9. Premium Survival Kit

High quality items in this kit include a knife, a tactical pen, a tactical flashlight, paracord bracelet, large Firestarter, wire saw, tool card, and emergency blanket. These are packaged in a sturdy carrying case which will fit neatly into a pocket.

10. Compact Survival Gear Kit

Sixteen components make this kit an inexpensive option for a survival kit. Included in this kit are a steel knife, a spork, a fish de-scaler, a bottle opener, a survival whistle, a rope, a wire saw, an emergency blanket, a flint and steel set, a tactical pen, a paracord bracelet, a waterproof notebook, a flashlight, and a compass, all packaged in a nice water-resistant molle pouch.

11. Military Pouch Kit

This military style water-resistant pouch holster contains a multitool, a tactical flashlight, an emergency blanket, a miniature first-aid kit with bandages, alcohol pads, cotton swab/gauze, tape, rubber band tourniquet, and prep pads, an aluminum whistle, a flint and steel fire starter, a paracord bracelet that also has a compass, a credit card multitool, and a disposable rain poncho. The transaction includes an ebook with survival tips.

12. Sardine Can Survival Kit

Packed in a sardine tin, this kit includes a variety of helpful items, including a compass, pain reliever, adhesive bandage, tea bag, matches, antibiotic ointment, gum, sugar, salt, duct tape, fire starter fuel, a wire clip, instructions, and more.

13. Emergency Survival Kit

Cargo pants’ pockets will likely hold this handy kit, which is 4.3 inches wide and 2.7 inches deep, though it will stick out at 10.6 inches tall. It contains a folding tactical knife, a waterproof rain coat, multifunction pliers, 2 wire saws, 2 carabiners, a first aid kit, a fishing tool kit, a Firestarter, a multitool card, a paracord bracelet, a tactical pen, a thermal blanket, a whistle, a compass, and a tactical flashlight.

14. Be Prepared Pocket Survival Kit

Licensed by the Boy Scouts of America, this “Be Prepared” kit is packaged in a tin which closes tightly to protect the contents. Many items are issued or approved by the U.S. military or NATO, including a button compass, all-weather matches, razor knife, water purification tablets, a whistle, utility cord, and more. It includes a sewing kit and a fishing kit as well as fire starters, instructions, and labels.