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The Best Survival Kits For At-Home & Off-Grid Emergencies

Best Survival Kits 0 Hero
Photo: Uncharted Supply Co. The Seventy2 Pro Survival System Backpack

For the most part, nobody expects to be caught in a dire survival situation. Unfortunately, it’s not really up to us to decide when, where, and if emergencies fall upon us. As such, it’s always a better idea to be ready for such an outcome, just in case. And while you can mentally prep yourself for disaster, there are also real-world physical steps you can take to keep you and yours ready and safe should you need it.

Perhaps one of the best ways to do this is to keep a survival kit on hand. Sure, you could go through the motions and build your own to your specific desires and needs, but that takes a lot of time and dedication. If you want a simple, quick, and effective solution, however, we suggest picking up one of the best pre-built survival kits — which we’ve put together on the following list. That way, you’re always prepared to stay alive and keep alive until you find help.

The Best Survival Kits

Survival Kit Qualities 101

The Main Factors To Consider When Buying A Survival Kit

From first aid to off-grid applications to emergency roadside use, modern emergency kits are produced in a wide array of forms, all made to address specific situations and scenarios. This can make shopping for a survival kit a bit tricky. Recognizing this reality, we’ve whipped up this condensed guide to the main areas to consider when purchasing a new survival kit. 

Intended Use: The first thing to think about when buying a survival kit is your intended use — more specifically when and where you’ll be using this kit, as well as how many individuals will be utilizing it. Helping to massively narrow down your search, these parameters will allow you to hone in on the type and size of kit that will best suit the needs of you and your group/party. 

Included Items: The single biggest factor that impacts the overall quality and efficacy of any emergency or survival kit is undoubtedly the items that comprise said kit. When it comes to outdoor survival and emergency kits, some of the most commonly-included essentials are items such as can and bottle openers, compasses and other navigational/directional equipment, sewing kits, LED flashlights, fire starter kits, wire saws, tackle kits, and first aid kits, just to name a few. It’s also pivotal to pay attention not only to the particular items that are included, but also the number of each item, and, even more importantly, the general quality of each item, element, or addition — areas that will also play a significant role in determining each kit’s pricing. 

Size & Weight: As touched on above, survival kits can vary pretty significantly in terms of size, and while this is an important area to take into consideration, you’ll also want to review the level of compactness on display, as some kits manage to cram an impressive amount of gear into small footprint. 

Vessel/Bag/Container/Case: In addition to the items that collectively comprise a contemporary emergency and/or survival kit, you’ll also want to consider if said kit comes with an included carrying case, backpack, or storage vessel. Like the actual emergency kits themselves, the cases and containers that they come in can massively vary in terms of both shape, size, and overall quality. 

Price & Value: In the same way survival kits can hugely vary in terms of size and compactness, they can also massively vary in regards to their price and the level of bang for your buck that they offer. As a result, we urge readers to scrutinize not only the number of included items and amenities that are in a kit, but also the general level of quality on display — as both these elements will play a pivotal role in each kit’s overall efficacy and user experience. 

Organization: Modern survival and emergency kits are often comprised of well over 100 different items and elements. As a result, one’s ability to organize and access this kit becomes monumentally important. As such, we recommend examining a kit’s primary storage vessel, along with whether it features any number of additional compartments, zippered pockets, or slips. What’s more, it’s also not uncommon to see survival kits that contain one or more removable pouches that themselves can serve as secondary mobile carrying cases. 

Supplementary Selections: Despite some models and kits already being incredibly robust, it’s worth pointing out that you can always supplement an emergency kit via hand-selected additions such as SOS beacons, MREs, and other essentials. And, while a major selling point of these kits is their convenience, we’d still urge you to rack your brain to ensure your emergency kit isn’t missing any vital elements. 

S.O.L. Traverse Survival Tin

SOL Traverse Survival Tin
Photo: Go Time Gear
  • Offers great value
  • Sold in weatherproof tin
  • Includes slew of must-have life-saving survival essentials
  • Tiny size & weight make it perfect for backpackers, bikers, & others with limited storage
  • Far less robust than other kits on this list

Best Minimalist Kit: Small enough that we’d feel comfortable calling it handheld, the S.O.L. (short for Survive Outdoors Longer) Traverse Tin is the perfect survival kit for campers, hikers, and adventurers in general. This is due in part to the fact that it’s relatively lightweight (0.5 pounds), easy to pack in even a small daypack, and comes fully-loaded with a complement of outdoor-focused survival gear — including an emergency blanket, waterproof fire starter, water purification tablets, 100-decibel emergency whistle, and more. Just keep in mind that this is more of a supplementary kit than a standalone one, as it doesn’t have any food rations or water included.

Survival Kit Contents
Survival Tin
Duct Tape
Safety Pin
Survival Instruction Booklet
SOL Emergency Blanket
100dB Mini Rescue Howler Whistle
Spark-Lite Fire Starter
2x Water Purification Tablets
4x Pieces of Tinder Quik

VSSL Camp Supplies II Kit

VSSL Camp Supplies II Kit
Photo: VSSL
  • Comes in mil-spec aluminum cylinder housing
  • Housing capped off w/ LED flashlight & compass
  • Crams huge number of outdoor & survival essentials into tiny package
  • Can be upgraded & customized using various VSSL supply pucks
  • Hard to customize w/ non VSSL products
  • Flashlight only packs 200 lumens

Best Compact Kit: Housed in a military-grade aluminum cylinder designed to fit in standard water bottle pockets (like those you find on most backpacks), the VSSL Compact Camp Supplies II Kit is the perfect emergency fallback for outdoorsmen that frequently go camping, hiking, etc. And while it doesn’t have any food or water rations, this second-generation item does come with a full suite of survival-friendly supplies that can help you make your way to safety and shelter in a pinch. That includes things like first-aid supplies, an LED flashlight, an oil-filled compass, a wire saw, water purification tablets, and a whole lot more. To say this kit is impressively loaded to the gills would be putting it mildly.

Survival Kit Contents
Military-Grade Aluminum Cylinder Housing
Flush Mounted Oil Based Compass
4-Mode LED Lantern
Gear Twists
P-38 Can Opener
35mm Mirror
Sewing Kit
Fire Striker Kit
4-Hour Beeswax Candle
Wire Saw
1L Water Bag
Fishing Tackle
Test Fishing Line
EVA Line Winder
Fishing Bobber
Multi-Purpose Adventure Tape
Bamboo Cloth
Included Batteries
12x Zip Ties

JUDY The Mover Max Go-Bag

JUDY The Mover Max Go Bag
Photo: JUDY
  • Sold in 100% waterproof, watertight roll-top dry-bag
  • Designed as a pre-assembled grab-and-go bugout bag
  • Features more than 100 items in total
  • Weighs 15lbs

Best Dry-Bag: Seemingly emerging out of nowhere, Judy has quickly become one of the top names in the survival space for their exceptional pre-built kits, unique minimalist styling, and overall approachability. The brand’s model hinges specifically on building out kits for American families, as natural disasters are on the rise and most Americans still don’t have a survival plan in place. Take, for instance, their Mover Max kit. Compiled within a waterproof roll-top high-vis backpack, this kit has enough emergency supplies for a family of four to use over the course of 72 hours — including medical supplies, food and water rations, a radio, a multi-tool, dust masks, and so much more. For the price, there’s a tremendous amount of value here — especially when you consider that everything inside is good for years.

Survival Kit Contents
Hand-Crank Radio/Charger/Flashlight Combo
Mini Duct Tape Roll
101-Piece First Aid Kit
Biohazard Bag
Quick-Dry Towel
Wet Wipes
Hand Sanitizer
2x Pocket Tissues
2x Emergency Whistles
4x Dust Masks
4x Ponchos
4x Hand Warmers
4x Glow Sticks
4x Rescue Blankets
7x Food Bars
14x Water Pouches

My Medic Recon Emergency Medical Kit

My Medic Recon Emergency Medical Kit
Photo: My Medic
  • Sold in super rugged military-inspired pack
  • Is HSA & FSA-approved
  • Also offered in even more robust Pro-spec
  • Comprised of items hand-picked by first responders & medical pros
  • Only includes medical supplies

Best First Aid Kit: If your primary concern in an emergency is your ability to dress and treat any and all kinds of wounds, then the MyMedic Recon Kit is probably the emergency survival pack that will speak to you most. This comprehensive kit is focused specifically on first-aid and comes loaded with literally dozens of supplies ranging from bandages to splints and everything in-between. Plus, the whole thing comes in a tactical-style durably nylon backpack with MOLLE webbing for modular attachments. Perfect as a comprehensive medical kit to go along with a set of rations, shelter and bedding, and other emergency survival supplies, this is a triage kit that will inevitably come in handy, especially during more serious emergencies.

Survival Kit Contents
Flat Splint
Sprain & Fracture Mod
Tool Mod
Large EMT Shears
1” x 30’ Cloth Tape
2x Gauze Mods
2x Burn Mods
2x Medication Mods
2x Clean & Prep Mods
2x Treatment & Relief Mods
2x Mini Wound Closure Mods
2x Saline Wash Bottles
2x CPR Shield
2x Small Cold Packs
2x Blister Mods
3x Space Blankets
3x Pairs Of Disposable Gloves
3x Hydration Mods
3x Assorted SuperSkin Bandage Packs

Uncharted Supply Co. The Seventy2 Pro Survival System Backpack

Uncharted Supply Co The Seventy2 Pro Survival System Backpack
Photo: Huckberry | Uncharted Supply Co.
  • Engineered for a huge variety of emergencies & disaster scenarios
  • Sold in a waterproof 600D dual-coated tarpaulin pack w/ welded seams
  • Uses premium items & components
  • Stellar mix of FAK supplies, rations, & other survival gear & essentials
  • Doesn’t feature the best organization

Best Overall Kit: If you’ve heard of any of these pre-built survival kits before — or at least the brands themselves — it might very well be this one from Uncharted Supply Co. This particular kit made the rounds a couple of years back, as there wasn’t anything quite like it on the market at the time — a two-person, fully-equipped, survival-kit-in-a-backpack, so to speak. Their initial launch was so well-received, in fact, that a slew of copycats popped up. However, Uncharted is still going strong as one of the best. Perhaps that’s because they’ve managed to imbue their kit with superb styling. Although, it’s likelier that this 72-hour survival kit is loaded to the teeth with a supremely impressive array of supplies in the realms of first-aid, rations, tools, face masks, and so much more.

Survival Kit Contents
36L Dual-Coated 600D Tarpaulin Roll-Top Backpack
Aluminum Water Bottle
Sawyer Water Filter w/ Collapsible Tank
Collapsible 2L Water Pouch
Duct Tape
Collapsible Shovel & Pickaxe w/ Carrying Case
Heat Packs
Fixed-Blade Knife
Magnesium Alloy Fire Starter
SPF 30 Sunscreen
Waterproof Match Case
100’ Of Paracord
Water Syringe
Hand-Crank, Solar, or DC-Charging Radio & Electronics Charger
First Aid Kit
2x Beanies
2-Person Mylar Thermal Survival Tent
2x Mylar Space Blankets
2x Rubber Goggles
2x Chemical Stick Lights
2x Air Filtration Masks
15x Antibacterial Wipes
24x 200-Calorie Survival Bars

Echo-Sigma Get Home Bag: SOG Special Edition Emergency Kit

Echo Sigma Get Home Bag SOG Special Edition Emergency Kit
Photo: Echo-Sigma
  • Internal pouches offer great organization
  • Features myriad of SOG knives & tools
  • Also includes gear from reputable brands like Gerber, Fenix, & Coleman
  • Unknown pack construction

Best Tactical Kit: If you’re of a tactical inclination or you just really enjoy and appreciate the work of SOG as a brand, then you’re going to immediately want to look further into the Echo-Sigma Get Home Bag: SOG Special Edition Emergency Kit. Billed as a “midsize disaster preparedness kit,” this offering comes in a modular tactical backpack, includes up to three days worth of water and food, has a fully-equipped first aid kit, and features five different exceptional SOG tools — including a multi-tool, fixed and folding knives, and a Dark Energy tactical flashlight. It also even comes with 50 feet of military-grade 550 paracord, which might actually be the single most useful thing you can have in an emergency (outside of sustenance).

Survival Kit Contents
Echo-Sigma Get Home Pack
2.5L Hydration Bladder
Echo-Sigma Compact Provision Packs
Echo-Sigma Compact Survival Kit
Echo-Sigma Compact First Aid
Coghlan’s Emergency Tube Tent
Emergency Poncho
Thermal Sleeping Bag Cocoon by Survival Industries
Plexiglass Mirror for Signaling
Pair of Work Gloves
Protective Goggles
SOG Power Pint MultiTool
SOG Seal Pup Fixed Blade Knife
SOG Escape Folder with Glass Breaker + Seatbelt Cutter
SOG FastHawk Tomahawk
SOG DE-01 “Dark Energy” 188-Lumen Tactical Flashlight
50’ Of 550 Paracord
2x N95 Respirator Masks
2x Cochlan’s Hand Warmers
6x AA Alkaline Batteries
10x Extra-Large Zip Ties

DECKED D-Bag Emergency Kit

DECKED D Bag Emergency Kit
  • Born out of collab w/ Uncharted Supply Co.
  • Perfect for off-roading & other outdoor use
  • Includes plethora of premium items & gear
  • Stellar mix of FAK supplies, electronics, rations, & other survival gear & essentials
  • Expensive price

Best Off-Road Kit: Born out of a collaboration between truck drawer system and rack brand DECKED and the Uncharted Supply Co. the DECKED D-Bag Emergency Kit is an ultra-rugged do-it-all kit designed to lend itself to a wide variety of outdoor and off-grid applications. Sold in a semi-rigid weather-resistant 42-liter (19″ x 16″ x 9”) thermoformed EVA foam shell fortified via a ballistic-grade TPU-coated nylon, this ultra-robust kit includes an LED flashlight, an Uncharted Zeus power bank, a dozen ration bars, a basic first aid kit, an emergency shelter, goggles, chemical lights, a shovel, 100’ of Paracord, a knife, a butterfly-opening multi-tool, and a roll of duct tape, among a variety of other odds and ends. Above and beyond its insanely rugged backpack-style thermoformed case, another major part of what makes this particular emergency kit so special is the fact that every item that comprises it is genuinely of the premium variety, with the entire assembly of items having been pieced together using a spare no expense appraoxhch.  major part of what

Survival Kit Contents
Duct Tape
Emergency Shelter
First Aid Kit
Emergency Splint
Uncharted Supply Co. Zeus Power Bank & Jump Starter
Hand Crank Radio & USB charger
100’ Of Paracord
Water Filter
16oz Refillable Drinking Pouch
48oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle
2x Hand Warmers
2x Knit Hats
2x Insulated Waterproof Gloves
2x Goggles
2x Chemical Lights
2x Air Filtration Masks
2x Waterproof Matches
2x Antibacterial Wipes
2x Emergency Blankets
12x 200-Calorie Ration Bars

Uncharted Supply Co. The Basecamp

Uncharted Supply Co The Basecamp
Photo: Uncharted Supply Co.
  • Entire kit comes in crushproof YETI LoadOut GoBox 30 case
  • Guarantees survival kit is safely stored & ready when needed
  • Includes absolutely enormous variety of gear
  • Designed specifically for families/groups of 4
  • Expensive price

Best Kit For Families: It’s crucial to keep your emergency supplies, rations, and equipment safe, protected, and at the ready should you ever need it. And few kits make this easier than the Uncharted Supply Co. The Basecamp. Specifically engineered to get a family of four through several days of an emergency, The Basecamp includes stormproof matches, a convertible shovel and pickaxe combo, a 3-in-1 radio, a flashlight, two water bladders, chem lights, a water filtration system, a stainless steel water bottle, a magnesium alloy fire starter, a first aid kit, anti-bacterial wipes, a roll of Paracord, duct tape, a multi-tool, sunscreen, an Empire knife, two Mylar survival tents, and four space blankets, four heat packs, four sets of gloves, four emergency rations, four goggles, four beanies, and four air filtration masks. Sold in a variety of color options, this entire kit also comes sold in a stackable YETI LoadOut GoBox 30 case that’s not only waterproof and crushproof, but also benefits from the brand’s WILDPROOF design which fortifies it from bears and other unwanted animals trying to get to its contents. 

Survival Kit Contents
YETI LoadOut GoBox 30 Case
Convertible Shovel & Pickaxe Combo
3-In-1 Radio
Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Water Filtration System
Chem Lights
Stormproof Matches
Magnesium Alloy Fire Starter
First Aid Kit
Anti-bacterial Wipes
Empire Knife
Duct Tape
2x Mylar Survival Tents
2x Water Bladders
4x Emergency Rations
4x Air Filtration Masks
4x Goggles
4x Beanies
4x Pairs Of Gloves
4x Heat Packs
4x Space Blankets

Preppi The Prepster Ultra Advanced Emergency Bag

Preppi The Prepster Ultra Advanced Fireproof Emergency Bag
Photo: Preppi
  • Made in America
  • Loaded w/ luxury items
  • Comes in heavily water & fire-retardant aluminum canvas bag
  • Uses premium gear including Leatherman multi-tool, Adventure Medical Kits FAK, & Petzel headlamp
  • Has host of tech including Biolite solar panel, Night Vision scope, power bank, 2-way satellite messenger & SOS beacon
  • Very expensive price

Best Fireproof Kit: If you can count yourself amongst the lucky few we generally refer to as the 1%, then the Preppi Prepster Ultra Advanced is likely to be your survival kit of choice. This pre-built kit still has all the supplies you’d expect out of a comprehensive collection of survival gear — including a medical kit, masks, a fire starter, food and water rations, and more — but it also exceeds expectations in a number of ways. For starters, this luxury survivor’s kit comes in its own fireproof duffel bag. It also includes additional, if perhaps extraneous supplies — like a solar panel to keep your tech charged, a chocolate bar, toothbrushes, and more. Yes, it’s the most expensive kit on our list by a wide margin — but how much are you willing to spend for peace of mind and comfort?

Survival Kit Contents
Weatherproof, Fire-Retardant Aluminum Canvas Carrying Case/Bag
Spot X 2-Way Satellite Messenger & SOS Locator Beacon
Night Vision Scope
5-Watt Biolite Solar Panel
Emergency Charging Kit & Power Bank
Datrex Food Rations & Water supply
Grayl Water Purification Press
Preppi Solar & Hand Turbine Emergency Radio & Phone Charger
Leatherman Multi-Tool
Lantern and Tactical Flashlight
Biolite LED Headlamp
Poker Game Kit
Hydroformed Flask
Preppi Canvas & Leather Dopp Kit
Malin + Goetz Essentials Kit
Votive Candle
Marvis Toothpaste & Toothbrush
Darjeeling No. 37 Black tea
Premium Chocolate
2x Space Sleeping Bags
Field Notes Expedition Waterproof Notebook
Waterproof Survival Matches
Preppi Survival Candles
Utility Gloves
Utility Bags
550 Paracord
Comprehensive First-Aid Kit
4x Premium Air Respirator Masks

The Best Emergency Roadside Kits To Keep In Your Car

The Best Emergency Roadside Kits 00 Hero
Photo: Popular Mechanics x MyMedic Auto Medic Stormproof FAK

The open road can be an unpredictable place, which is why we recommend traveling with a bag for handling any unforeseen emergencies — the latest and greatest of which you can find in our guide to the best emergency roadside kits to keep in your car.