Different Types of Emergency Survival Kits
Brandon Leibowitz, July 16, 2015
A survival kit is a set of tools and supplies to be used in case of an emergency. The intended application of a survival kit helps to determine its contents, which can vary greatly based on the circumstances in which it is meant to be used. For example, survival kits usually carried by hikers, campers, and forest rangers will usually contain emergency rations and the tools needed to start a fire and provide shelter. A survival kit for an aircraft or seafaring vessel may instead focus on providing distress beacons and communication equipment, because it is assumed that search and rescue teams will already be searching for the vessel’s passengers within a certain amount of time after an emergency occurs.
Survival kits designed specifically for professional use still vary greatly based on the specialization of the person or vehicle who is going to be carrying them, and based on the conditions of a specific deployment. However, because members of the military and other professionals receive specific training, these survival kits are able to be equipped with more specialized types of equipment that may not be useful in a kit intended for an untrained user. While survival kits in general usually contain basic first aid supplies like bandages, more advanced kits may contain more difficult to use equipment like a tourniquet, anti-infection tablets, or even a sewing kit for more serious wounds. A more advanced kit may also include a signal mirror for communication in addition to or in place of a radio, which is easier to use but heavier, and reliant on batteries that have a limited life. Advanced kits for oceangoing vessels or pilots will include more advanced equipment that is often centered around temperature regulation and the acquisition of fresh water, both of which become concerns if one is stranded at sea for an extended period of time. Generally these are not considered important considerations in commercial flights and similar voyages, due to the fact that long term survival is less of a concern when there is a predefined flight path available for search and rescue teams to reference. Military and other kits for private aviators may include a survival suit, a waterproof radio beacon, and a reverse osmosis desalinator.