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This summer survival kit checklist is adapted from a 1981 U.S. Army manual titled, Checklist for Individual Hot Climate Survival Kit. It contains a list of items and maintenance tips for those items. It’s basic, but should provide ideas to get started.
No matter the summer survival kit checklist you use, keep two things in mind.
First, although it’s always important, water plays an even greater role in a summer survival kit. The old adage of “one gallon per person per day” may not be enough, especially if travel by foot is involved.
Second, and less obvious, is to remember that hot days can still have cold nights. In a desert survival situation, for example, temperatures can plummet at night. A light sleeping bag may seem like overkill, but it won’t be when the mercury hits the 40s.
Summer Survival Kit Checklist & Maintenance Reminders
- Tarp – Holes, cuts, frays, tears, burns, loose or broken stitching, damaged grommets
- Magnetic Compass – Cracked or broken dial face, test operation,
- Insect Headnet and/or Body Net – Holes or tears in netting, broken or loose stitching, missing or broken elastic headband, loose or missing grommets
- Plastic Fork/Spoon/Knife – Cracked or broken
- Reversible Sun Hat – Cuts, frays, tears, broken or loose stitching
- First Aid Kit – Make sure all components are secure and not expired
- Survival Manual/Book – Missing pages, legible copy, viewable images
- Matches in Waterproof Container – Failures in container, broken or wet matches
- Non-Perishable Food Items – Spoiled or expired food, tears in packaging
- Signaling Mirror – Scratches, chips, cracks, distortions
- Rescue Whistle – Cracked or missing components, obstructions in mouthpiece
- Tool Kit (including firestarting gear) – Damage or corrosion to tools, dull edges, dry tinder
- Fishing Tackle (line & lures) – Corrosion, old line, dull hooks
- Water Bottles (1 plastic, 1 metal, 1 collapsible & 1 gallon per person per day) – Dents, leaks
- Water Disinfectant (iodine tablets, etc.) – Expiration, damaged packaging
- Frying Pan/Pot – Rust, corrosion, cracks, buckling
- Sunscreen Lotion – Damage to container, expiration of contents
- Pocket Knife – Rust, corrosion, missing components, dull edges
- Light Sleeping Bag – Tears, rodent damage, broken zipper, broken clasps
Your Summer Survival Kit Tips
The U.S. Army has its own ideas about summer survival kits. What are yours? Post your summer survival kit tips in the comments below.