When thrust into a survival situation, it is often the small things that make the difference between success (survival) and failure (death). Often, having a sense of comfort makes all the difference in your mental attitude. With so many prepper words devoted to guns, knives and bags, I started to think of some small things that can make survival more likely if not more comfortable:
1) Toothbrush, tooth paste and dental floss: Dental hygiene is important. Getting a gum or tooth infection can be deadly. Personally, I have developed a gap between two upper teeth that traps meat ,especially jerky, and becomes irritated. If I don’t take care of it, my gums become so irritated that I cannot sleep. The only thing that can dislodge the food is dental floss, not a tooth pick, not a finger nail, nothing but dental floss. These things are cheap, so I have several stashed just in case.
2) Sun screen and bug spray: If you are like me and planning to hike 35 miles home should the SHTF during the work day, one thing that will make a big difference is not getting scorched by the sun and bitten to death by bugs. Thirty-five miles means at least two full days walking, if not three. Being out in the sun for that amount of time would result in a horrible sun burn and being a feast for hungry mosquitoes at night. Along with sun screen, a good hat and sun glasses are essential survival gear.
3) Pain relievers: In a survival situation, you are likely to use muscles not exercised during the normal workout routine, often longer and more vigorously than you expect. Having an essential supply of pain relief will definitely help you rest and recover. Most first aid kits contain Tylenol or aspirin. Frankly, ibuprofen is my drug of choice when it comes to pain relief. If I am going to hike 35 miles through the urban jungle, you can bet I will be hurting.
4) Socks: It may seem like a small thing, but having extra socks beyond what you expect to use provides for another vital survival tool – your feet. Having the ability to change into to a fresh pair of socks each day, or twice a day will help keep your feet in good shape. Oh, how about some moleskin to cover up those blisters or hot spots?
5) Pictures: When thrust into a survival situation not of your choosing, having a reason to survive can be a big mental boost. I know having a picture of my wife, dog and cats will help me muster the strength to move on and survive. The pictures also serve the purpose should you become separated and need to supply means to identify love ones who may be in the hospital or shelter.
6) Candy, tea, Crystal Light: Having a piece of candy can keep your mouth moist and provide some quick energy. Flavored water or some hot tea is also superior to plain water, merely for a mental advantage.
7) Multivitamins: For the short-term, you can survive without proper nutrition. Having a daily multivitamin to supplement dietary deficiencies can only help your survivability.
What small things are included in your survival kits that could mean the difference between life and death?