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?

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