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Survival kit contents

Survival kit contents & essentials

There is a lot of information out there about survival kits, for sure… but let’s consider what a survival kit is, and what YOUR needs are.

Let’s also consider one important fact that needs to be touched upon, that is: It is impossible to plan in detail for an unknown scenario. This is also why we at ACW believe in survival kit CONTENTS that are super versatile and act as force multipliers (especially when combined with the proper mind set) ! Build your load-out around this philosophy and your way ahead of the game.

Enter the “ACW MAC-Gyver kit”

– Combining specially selected common (and purpose made) items in a compact survival & utility resource.

Inside you will have over 150 individual items, all adding to your arsenal of adapting to any situation- especially effective for “Macgyver” types, Clever individuals and problem solvers…

Let’s compare what the Red Cross recommends in a kit, adding our own insight and recommendations, noted in italics

American Red Cross is a reputable, helpful and well established outfit by most accounts.

visit them here to read more.

What Do You Need In A Survival Kit?

At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:
  1. Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home) Great idea, but let’s have compact “water purification tabs” or filtering options for even better mobility and potential
  2. Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).-good idea, this is great as an add-on to a basic core kit, but not ideal for “on the move” prepping
  3. Flashlight -check!
  4. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) – Excellent add-on. Also remember in the event of an EMP or solor flare hit, you can save maps on your cell phone in the even no GPS or service is available.
  5. Extra batteries (Similar item available in the Red Cross Store) -Recommended !
  6. Deluxe family first aid kit -Not sure what this means exactly…but sounds good to me. What is definitely needed is a “bleed / Trauma kit” add-on: Tourniquets, combat gauze etc. Learn to use them. A deluxe family first aid kit will not be effective at saving lives in severe cases of trauma and bleeding….
  7. Medications (7-day supply) and medical items -Yes, load up on your personal meds
  8. Multi-purpose tool-Definitely
  9. Sanitation and personal hygiene items -Sure thing
  10. Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies) -This is a great idea, maybe in a secondary kit for sensitive items storage. Think Fire & water proof here for storing….Also on a side note; leave a note or word as to your heading and time of departure if you are going to wander off
  11. Cell phone with chargers (Similar item available in the Red Cross Store) -Most people are so attached to their device that this will be a no brainer’. Savvy folks will also be able to rig charging devices with old cables and various batteries (depending on the device), so bring extra cables and such
  12. Family and emergency contact information -Good idea. Also have a family/friends bug-out plan that everyone knows about in advance of any emergency. This would include primary meeting points, secondary, and misc link-up spots & caches.
  13. Extra cash-Not a bad idea, at least in the preliminary stages of even a doomsday scenario, cash will have a value that’s embedded into most people. Later things with true value will rule: metals, water, fuel,batteries,etc. Extra cash is also good just to have as a convenience for small emergencies
  14. Emergency blanket -Recommend a foil “space” type bag. If you have a vehicle or home safe rea then a good wool blanket, or other bedding would be clutch
  15. Map(s) of the area – Another great idea. For those that are younger (teens to 30’s) you may not have any real concept of paper maps. Snuggle up with them and get familiar. Remember survival will be dominated by the Analog world in large part (depending)

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children -Don’t forget the adults too! there is no need to suffer more than one has to.
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl) -If possible
  • Two-way radios – Yes! and batteries again
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys -Zip tie an extra set under your car as a back-up
  • Manual can opener-P-38 type

Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

  • Whistle -recommend ACR coast guard approved type.
  • N95 or surgical masks-check
  • Matches -Good, strike anywhere, dipped in wax for water resistance is even better. Then there is the most basic and useful fire source (often forgotten all together); The BIC lighter! (strikers and MAG bars are great too)
  • Rain gear -Stay dry, if you can’t have full rain gear, at least have a decent large clear garbage bag
  • Towels -Luxury, but well received if you have the space. Also a good multi-purpose item (we are all about options)
  • Work gloves– Luxury again, but good to have
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home – Good idea. having a separate tinkering/tool kit is a plus
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting -Very ideal to have. As mentioned above, a drum liner or garbage bag or three, are wonderful additions to any kit. Solar stills can be fabricated for clean water procurement, and shelter roofs made to thwart the rains and help maintain optimal body temps
  • Duct tape -Yeah, but also consider electrical and specialty mending tapes like “Tenacious tape”, foil tapes, etc. This is 2019, not 1985 any more!
  • ScissorsRecommend having a multi tool with scissors to start with
  • Household liquid bleach -Well it is a heavy burden…Water weights about 8.34 lbs per gallon. If you can store some then great, but for the mobile individual or unit, having bleach in a small secure dropper bottle is even better. It only takes a few drops to chlorinate a gallon of water for drinking.
  • Entertainment items– Cards, and a creative mind work best. Also check out “The Compact reference and field manual” it’s a great small asset and highly rated. Full of interesting everyday life info and survival topics.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Think outside the box. Adding wires, sewing kits/mending supplies, tubes, glues, and “junk drawer” items are some of the most versatile items to have.

Survival and Preparedness is not a one size fits all, save for the basic core essentials. You will find that to be optimally prepared for various situation, that different kits will be on stand-bye for different areas and needs. For example your Vehicle every day carry (VEDC) will be more expansive and particular in ways as compared to your personal EDC carry gear, or your Bug Out Bag (BOB), and your office, safe area, fall-out shelter or camp will like-wise be unique.

For individual items or pre-made kits, check out and build your own kits.

“Luck favors the well prepared”


ACW team.

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Why this may be your best Survival Kit…

Top rated Survival kit : ACW “MAC-Gyver kit”. What is it ? How is it Uniquely different ? Why you should have one (or make your own) ?

With hundreds of components, the focus of the kit is OPTIONS & VERSATILITY.
Photo credit: Dwayne Unger (@ dwayneungeroutdoors )

Over the past months i have looked online for “best survival kits”. To my disappointment, nothing original really popped up. It was the same ol usual suspects of somewhat mindless bundles of cheap backpacks stuffed with emergency water, some type of walmart multi-tool axe thingy maybe, and cruddy flashlights… This made me wonder.

Where is the ACW MAC-Gyver kit on google? Did the “Survival kit” keywords become exclusive to generic bug-out packs? I can’t even figure out the internet when it comes to indexing and algorithms still, but it seems like what we really want to see is behind the chaff , adds and whatever big business does to coax us along like cattle. Makes for nostalgia for the simple days of analog , yet the internet is still amazing. I digress…so


The last “survival kit” that was top rated on google, didn’t even have a fire starter, or any thoughtful contents???? In all fairness, many kits have SOME good points, but if i made my own “bug-out bag”, i would start from the ground up: Pick a decent pack. Add meaningful contents & personalize. For the price some of these kits are well worth it, so there are a few pros.


Simple: You can not plan completely, because of the unexpected. Best you can do is ADAPT (Also, by the way- you don’t HAVE to have an ACW kit, make your own if your savvy). This is where the fully loaded MAC-Gyver kit shines… It is meant to be the building blocks and potential resources for multiple uses and scenarios, hence the name. IT SHOULD BE THE CORE MINIMUM when it comes to survival and preparedness gear, and built around further if you choose with other gear, like a 72 hour ruck, etc. Some really creative and smart people made the kit to begin with, namely the Cargen bros. ADAPTABILITY is the greatest asset to have. When you combine creative problem solving with multiple resources,it is a force multiplier

Jim Cobb from Survival affectionately notes in an article for Survivors edge magazine, that the ACW tactical kit is like a “junk drawer” but with good stuff. Jim is a renowned writer and survivalist with over 30 years experience in teaching and lecturing.


As stated above, it is based on practical theory: Have a wide range of survival and utility items to problem solve with. Also, have a pack that is well thought-out in design for easy indexing and organization. For something the size of a small purse it is LOADED with essential goodies and some uncommon characters & versatile every day items like; wire, glue, super thick foil sheeting for example.

See Product
Extremely comprehensive contents to choose from…
acw preparedness gear
Shown above: left- an ACW MAC-medic pack, right- an ACW MAC-Gyver pack.

Make your own, or get a pre-loaded version…

We encourage all to go ahead and make your own, or buy one like this if you can. The empty pack is available at use it to add your own goodies to, or choose from many small items on the website. The site is designed to offer all the items and make your own custom kits, along with true sincere support.

One of the greatest things that makes this kit original, beyond the rest, is that it is a useful everyday utility resource. Unlike many pre-fab sealed survival kits, this one is meant to be used, carried, or waiting in the trunk of your vehicle.

Here is the pack on Amazon. (all 5 star reviews):

The compact field manual comes standard inside, or is available separately- a unique and useful booklet.

By: T AND R CARGEN. Just hoping to make a difference for individuals, and run a company the way everyone would wish it should be done.

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Preparedness Gifts – free shipping

 acw square mechanical unicorn logo

Top 3 Survival & Preparedness Gifts for the Holidays


Here’s a few ideas, perfect for those hard to buy for folks (or yourself)


Top 3 Survival & Preparedness Gifts for the Holidays


The ACW fully loaded “Mac-Gyver Kit”

top best edc survival gear Mac-Gyver pack


Innovative outside the box design and contents.

Easily the most versatile EDC pack around…  This bag of

possibilities is small enough, but large enough.  It is all

about options.  (Check the spec sheet for info and size)

Survival – Every day convenience & Utility – In the field, job-site, home base…

When you have this guy around, you have a resource of potential.


acw survival emergency utility best edc supplies



                   – Made to store a lot, but keep it organized

Removable back panel & Interior wings.  Easily index all you goodies visually.

MOLLE compatible and field tested.  We tied this to the back of a 4 wheeler on a 10′ cord                        and went nuts for 3 hours for our “still functional” test.  The upper and lower “D” rings                            each held a 185lb dude hanging from it pretty consistently.

Available in Black and 2 tone Army green.

[ Empty packs are great for any kit you wish to make, a favorite in the Medic community,                            Preppers, Contractors, Travelers, R.V’s, Campers, Military, New Adults, Tinkerers &                                    problem solving types, Professionals, or a vehicle EDC essentials kit ]



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– With around 200 individual items it’s packed.

It has a well tough out list of items that populate the inside.  Some are a

little unusual for your standard Emergency pack, but they all have multiple uses for a

variety of end-user creativity or needs.


Discover the kit here 




the ACW Compact Reference & Field Guide


field manual with fresnel fire starting lens acw shtf



-Probably the coolest compact booklet within one light year.  Made and designed only here at ACW.

Choose from two variants: with or without a mini Fresnel Magnifying lens (great for seeing small print or starting a fire using the sun).

It’s basic, informative and CHEAP!  Stocking stuffer’ or for your pack.  They are minimal in size but full of

useful general information.

Another Unique self reliance creation, for the cost of a breakfast sandwich and coffee…


acw common items use diy hacks


ACW likes to do things a little different than the norm.

Inside there are pages of ideas on things like item uses, with illustrations.

Moon navigation – Compass nav – Communications – Signaling – Survival mind set

First aid – Safety – Conversion tables – Useful facts and info for every day life – Knots

Common wild edibles – (Hidden messages) – Emergency situations – Rigging things

Table place settings – Flag etiquette – Universal Holiday calendar and much more.



acw field manual moon navigation useful info edcacw field manual every day survival reference guideacw tactical fm 101.4c survival and knowledge resource

Only 4.25” x 5.5” in size.

A fun read that is refreshingly informative. 

A great Distillation on info and a “primer” on a lot of topics for you to look into on your own, in depth.

Check out the ACW Field Manual here


ACW “Mini-Survival Kit”

acw essential mini survival kit



-This one is just small, but large in value.

A “Tic Tac” sized container of essentials.  Now you can have what you need

when the SHTF just about anywhere.

Back side label lists the ingredients.




– Clear medical grade container you can throw in any purse, pocket or pack.

Also find our other mini-kit variants, great little pre-packed enhancers for all occasions.




Happy Holidays and cheers,

the little guys @ ACW 

Supporting those who support… and having some fun!

Get to our Instagram page and join in on the feed, and the GAWS.  Special thank you to Veterans as always, and those who give a shit

Oh, and Check out our CUSTOM KIT BUILDER OPTION at the website.