Building a EDC Survival pouch

I’ve been having fun and enjoying an uncommon hobby. making EDC survival kits that suits my current needs. This video is the 5th kit i’ve made and its been alot of fun. Its not for all situations obviously. Its made as a core kit and meant to go along with other support elements in a bag. If I had to jettison my bag for whatever reason and had to pick one pouch to take, i’d use this one.

Anyways I thought this might inspire some others to make their own survival kits with their own versions. What kinda of survival pouches do you guys have and what gear do you have in it? There is a gear list in the video description.

Not bad and as you mention, it’s personal.

More bandages and gauze.

Less paracord and just go with mil-spec.

Get one good multi-tool and leave it at that.

Your solar charger will take eons to charge.

Headlight and one flashlight.


Here’s a small Altoids tin fishing kit, that a guy was selling on EBay.

More ‘hi-energy’ bars for nourishment.

Radios might be a bit much for EDC and not many people using them currently.

Bigger power bank for phone and lights, with a smaller Xtar XP-1 charger.


My BOB is bigger and has food, water, warm clothes, and more electrical power.
That said his is not bad, some item i question the usefulness of, and some i think are more theoretical than practical.

We used to call it a S.E.R.E kit and it was about bare bones survival if the team had to drop it’s packs and gear and grab their guns and ammo and run for their lives.

Keep trimming away at it, reducing it down to what you absolutely need, and redo/restructure it for whatever season you are in and whatever region, and keep trimming it down, and then trimming more.

A sere kit must be light enough that you keep it with you at all times, when camping or backpacking someone picks a site, drops their pack and may set up a tent, and then they go wandering, looking for firewood, or chasing that deer they saw, or whatever. If someone gets lost then that sere kit needs to be on their belt, not back at camp next to their back pack.

Personally I like a small camera bag on the belt, enough to get through a night of being lost, but in winter or a survival situation (such as a recon team in European winter) then a butt pack or similar may be more appropiate.

I recently purchased a SERE pouch from Helikon Tex, it’s very minimalist and useful to carry essential items as brad’s description above.

I’m not sure I understand marrying “edc” and “survival” but I see a lot of things of dubious value (in use or for the space they take up). I’d consider changing the following for better utility in real world situations:

Short lengths of cordage may leave you short…have at least a 50’ hank of something 500lb or better. If you needed to rappel a short distance (rambo cliff, elevator shaft, rooftop) then you can double that over and perhaps descend safely at least once. Anything at all works for lashing, so you could get some of the small ultralight cordage that takes up little space and have lots of that available (Lawson Equipment has great medium sized stuff, actually you won’t find better and you can get smaller diameter for the same or greater strength….zing-it and amsteel are both popular smaller cords).

Replace the mini with a full sized Bic and consider capping it or putting it in a tube so you don’t accidentally let the magic gas out while crammed in a pouch.

Add a blaze orange cotton bandana…better if it’s in addition to your hankie, else substitute it.

Add safety pins…two isn’t good for much but five can start to mend a longer tear in clothing, etc.

Add a couple buttons to the sewing kit.

Tiny amounts of duct tape aren’t good for a whole lot…heavy and bulky but more is better. Mostly the same for the aluminum foil, but a small piece like that could be used for fishing lures or shorting a circuit to make fire…not good for signaling and you have a mirror for that anyway.

Get a real compass…simple clear baseplate map compass doesn’t cost much and is actually useful with a topo map, provided you know how to use them together…but way better and also more reliable than those little button compasses of any type.

Dental floss can replace your sewing thread (mostly) and is almost better to have along than a toothbrush…the little freebies at the dentist that are in small round-ish tins are perfect.

Most serious of all….ditch the mini straw water filter. Or keep it but add at least something like a Sawyer Mini to the kit and a way to use it (bottle, pouches, a little tubing). And ALSO add some chlorine dioxide purification tablets (Aquapur and similar). If you have to draw water from ugly sources and/or around human habitation where sanitation and plumbing have failed, you will be dealing with more than typical backcountry bacteria and organisms with quite a high chance of viruses of various types. These filters will not do viruses, but the tablets will (and they will take care of nearly everything else as well). This is important…and those straws are a royal pita if you’ve ever used them, plus you will likely need to deal with non-pristine water so more surface area helps to reduce clogging and effort. You need a way to collect water as well……couple of gallon ziploc freezer bags are good to have and better than bottles if you need to collect from a very shallow source or wait for a drip in an awkward location.

Second most serious of all…ditch that gimmicky buckle whistle and get a real whistle. Bulkier, but if you need a whistle you want one that produces more sound at a better tone and takes less effort to achieve that. If you’re injured and need to whistle, you may not be able to summon the oomph needed to make the gimmicky ones work and they don’t carry well anyway. The “Storm” whistles are fairly cheap and any of those models is fine (except the sports referee ones). Takes up a little more space but actually serves its purpose.

Don’t discount sunburn and don’t rely on sunscreen for that (bandana can be slightly helpful for this).

You may be sorry to have that peroxide in there if the straw leaks. Actually, for the miniscule amount that is in any straw, the peroxide and alcohol both could be ditched (they’re single use anyway), and also perhaps consider the value of only 2 tables of anti-diarrheal and advil. Maybe put together a small add-on first aid kit instead. If you have diarrhea that isn’t just brief weird stuff from stress or whatever, then a) anti-diarrheal tabs may not even help, but b) you’re going to need several more. Same with advil…at least bring four so you have one single 800mg “hospital” dose, but that won’t last for long.

I think I’d ditch a lot of the stuff and very much reduce the redundancies, replacing with reliable and useful equipment that will actually work, and even move to a bigger pouch if necessary. Having what you really need and having it perform as needed is way more important than the joys of tetris with mini items to make a nice list of too many things that fit in a small space. My respectful two cents as one who made these things as a teenager, learned some of the folly, and later taught wilderness survival and simple wilderness first aid.

When I think of the waist bag I don’t think in terms of escaping from hunter/killer teams but more about backpackers, fisherman and hunters who may end up separated from camp for a night or two.

A tiny roll of bright surveyers tape can be draped from trees or sticks to make your position more noticeable if injured, a light long running headlamp, a good whistle, a plastic bag to carry water if you find some, a couple of space blankets, if cold is a problem I like a poncho and a candle lantern for sitting against a tree with the candle in your lap.

I like an ankle wrap (because that kind of injury can be so catastrophic in this context), always have a bandana, appropriate amount of homemade electrolyte, a tiny water filter, I have no intention of worrying about food for a day or two or three outdoors so I don’t bother with all the fishing stuff people like to carry, although some fishing line is smart. A small magnifier, redundant fire starters, but some of the things like the knife, bic lighters, pocket flashlight are things you probably already keep in your pockets when you are outdoors.

I think people are misguided in equipping their BOB and sere kit with combat missions in mind and packing as though they are going to the forest to live off the land when the BOB is really about carrying stuff to where you are going, your sisters, or the government shelter, or the motel or whatever, which means clothes, snacks, playing cards, chargers, etc., the sere kit on the other hand is about getting through one bad night until you can find your camp in the morning.

Isn’t the BOB to throw in the car to evacuate, or to wear while walking away, or trying to hitch a ride from the evacuation to the landing point?

Good advice from all of you. I have some other options and will be playing around with them. I have used 550 cord and gutted it with the strands so that definitely can be upgraded. I actually was planning on getting those chlorine tablets too from Walmart, haven’t gotten a chance to get down there from work. I have thought about strapping on a small dedicated first aid kit with a sawyer filter as I’ve used those before when camping. Using dental floss is great idea and thanks for that. I have another whistle i can throw in there. Yes that solar panel takes days to charge in 70f optimal weather and less so when cloudy and cold, or super hot out. I usually have a bag like this in another bag and then inside a backpack with other items dedicated to Medical first aid and resource processing and gathering. I will increase the advil amount too. The armsteel and zing i havent seen or heard but i can check that out as im always looking for better cordage.

In regards to the comms equipment, where I live I can hit repeater towers from the mountain valleys where gps and cell signals dont travel well - if at all. The UHF band frequencies dont propagate as far as VHF wave lengths unfortunately, though they are better at penetration in dense areas. My first thought is if i can call for help, then I can increase my chances of survival or get knowledge and instruction on how to survival situations. I have used my radio while on the trails when phones weren’t working for a Rescue. For reference I work in the state parks here in NY and usually I try to cut back on my gear to save weight in most cases, this not being one of them. But yes good idea to cut back some things and then some more. This is good input so I can play around with switching things up and making more efficient pouch. I am limited to this size. Also do you guys know of a good lighter that is the size of a bic but performs better? I’m looking for a lighter that can work in high elevations and in colder environments.

Great ideas and info. I’ve tried making these kits and ended up being too packed, but youre right about trimming it down. It takes time and skil to figure out what needs be trimmed based on where you plan on being. I have a smaller bare bones kit i use. I usually take a day pack ( small bag) with one of these kits with me if i go off away from camp.

Helikon Tex? I’ll check it out.

I used to do “survival kits” but in time I noticed I never need/use them and most are dead weight.

I do/did survival courses for a couple of yeara, got my instructor licence years ago.

Now I EDC a kit bag/ chest pack that also has few “survival” items:

-Skulhunt H04 flashlight & headband
-Leatherman Rebar multitool
-Esee3 / CS Master Hunter 3V / Benchmade Puukko 3V fixed knife
-Exotac TitanLight lighter
-firesteel and magnesium rod
-paint markers
-some paracord
-minimalist first aid (superglue, surgical blades, tourniquet, respiration tube, painkillers & few bandages)
-water purification tablets
-mylar blanket
-T-rex tape
-a “rape” whistle
-few other misc items

Enough to get me thru the night.

Nice! the exotac titanlight lighter, how is that in your needs? decent? Ive been looking for a good quality lighter. I expect this kit to get me through one night in 3 seasons and maybe in winter if i use my brain right.

I dont use it often but when I do - it works. Last time I topped it up was maybe six months ago and it was working fine then, so it holds fluid really good.

I’ve seen few posts about it lighting on fire or burning peoples fingers but that’s due to overfilling it.

I’d buy it again.

Awesome. I have a new list of things to grab based on some of the suggestion in the previous posts. Armsteel cordage looks good, exotac lighter, and i can either buy a suunto A - XX compass or use my sandy 183 lensatic compass. I appreciate the suggestions. I use this bag daily for work and around too as well.

For cordage I sometimes carry a kevlar sweing thread. The thing is insanely strong and you can literally carry few hundred feet without it getting bulky.

It can double as fishing line, cordage, sewing thread and so on.

you need a ton of tools
needlenose pliers
solar cells, flashlights, maybe cr123 cells and lights for them
magnifying glass
vise grips
loud whistle
pennywhistles to play
leather sewing stuff
cloth hand sewing stuff

you didn;t say how much space or weight or money

You’re joking, right?

It’s a 6”x9” pouch.

The OP made a fundamental mistake and didn’t address his commute distance, terrain, or weather conditions and since he didn’t, a 2-way radio and cables is definitely a mistake IMO.

OP is labeling it as an EDC pack.

Snacks, like beef jerky and granola bars are small and worth more than that radio. I’m all for some cordage, but that’s too much for not- even- a-day pack, so why bother?

Your list might work for a 3-day pack, but please…he’s not going to be rebuilding a car engine.


—nope did not see that, as i said

Fantastic idea is you are hiking. If you are in the car, you can take a lot more with you and the small pouch is a huge limitation.

“What kinda of survival pouches do you guys have and what gear do you have in it?”

the things i have actually needed sometime/somewhere:

tweezers, matches, duct tape, gloves, towel,
magnifying lens, ca$h, trash bag, and water.

a flashlight, knife, etc. are already in my pockets.