What is ‘survival’? Simply put, it is making it through a potentially dangerous situation in the best possible condition. The highest priority condition, of course, is to be alive, the second highest priority is to not be seriously or at least not permanently damaged, and third priority is to have minimized the unpleasantness of the situation and its aftermath.
Survival is a state of mind. If you do not have it, your chances of survival are somewhat reduced, while if you do have it, your odds are greatly enhanced. Do you have it? Consider how you deal with ‘crises’ in your everyday life. Are you DETERMINED to overcome, and WILLING and ABLE to do whatever it takes to do so? Or do you, when faced with a dilemma, tend to crumple, cry and whine, and look for someone else to blame and someone else to fix it? In either case, having the proper equipment and knowledge available can increase your odds and expand the effectiveness of any survival attempts you are able to make.
In some cases you can ‘scavenge’ some of the stuff you need to aid in survival from the site of the incident. But this is not always the case, so it is usually more effective to have at least some of the equipment always at hand. This collection of equipment is usually referred to as a ‘survival kit’. There is a nearly infinite selection of pre-made kits available, ranging from the nearly useless for anybody to nearly ideal for some people, and from pocket size on up. Buying one or more of these is certainly an option, but which one(s)? And how do you insure the quality of the contents and their effectiveness in your particular circumstances?
You should always start by designing your own kit or set of kits, and then see if any of those commercially available will satisfy or can be made to satisfy your needs. Note that building your own kit can often be cheaper or at least provide higher quality and more ‘you’ appropriateness than buying a pre-made kit. This is assuming you don’t mind researching and shopping around for the parts, and are not ‘packaging challenged’. Either way, the design process can help insure that you end up with the best kit for your needs, whether completely pre-made, completely do-it-yourself, or a combination. Oh, and the knowledge gained will help you to USE the kit more effectively.