This writer spent over three years living in the woods outside of Bath, England. I learned that the wilderness was also the city of Bath as well as the woods. For the first year, I had a rather large, scary looking partner to protect me, but then the relationship broke up and I was in the woods on my own. I learned to live light and learned what to protect myself from. I also talked to ex-military men who wound up homeless and learned from them. Part of coming out the other side of extreme survival situations is always having wilderness survival kits on your person.
Keep Them Everywhere
Keep wilderness survival kits in every backpack, briefcase and vehicle as well as having one on your person. These need not be big. You can almost everything in an empty tobacco tin (which is about half the size of a cigar box). I also used a plastic zippered cosmetics bag tucked into one of the compartments of my backpack (called a rucksack in England). These make excellent wilderness survival kits.
There are four things you need for survival water, food, fire and shelter. The elements for the first three should be able to fit in compact wilderness survival kits. There are many tents that fit easily on your backpack or in your backpack, if you know you will be out in the woods alone. If you are in a vehicle, there’s your shelter. If you are walking on your own about the city streets, you wear your shelter in many layers of clothing.
You need a water carrier of some sort. The most compact and sterile is a non-lubricated condom (still in its package, of course). These little wonders can hold a gallon of water, easily. If you know you can’t make a fire to boil the water for whatever reason, there are very inexpensive (and very portable) water purifiers, including tablets and a lightweight UV pen.
Your wilderness survival kits need a way of making fire. You could have waterproof matches, a cigarette lighter or some sort of tinder. To keep the fire going, you need some way of cutting and chopping wood or other combustibles. There are wire saws that are smaller than the palm of your hand. Some people prefer Swiss Army knives. Others prefer a good old machete. My personal preference was for a small hatchet, which was shorter than my forearm.
The best emergency rations are chocolate, chocolate and nuts. Sometimes you can stick energy or granola bars in the wilderness survival kits, but remember to change them every few months.