This is a survival guide meant to accompany a Get-Home Kit. It gives a few tips that highlight the various uses of each item. Bold lettering indicates an item that is included in the kit.
- The cotton rag may be wrapped around a leg or used manually to absorb morning dew.
- The cotton rag may also be used to absorb water from damp or hard-to-reach places.
- The poncho may be used as a solar still. Create a wide hole and place vegetation or non-potable water (i.e. sea water) inside. Put a container (such the Altoids tin or a propped-open sandwich bag) in the middle, then cover the hole with the poncho. Cover edges of poncho with dirt, place a rock in the middle of the poncho to create an inverted cone directly over the container. On a hot day, water will evaporate from the vegetation, drip down the poncho, and into the container.
- The sandwich bags, poncho, or space blanket can be used to carry additional water beyond that of the water bottle. Fold sheets into bags and secure with duct tape.
- The poncho or space blanket may be used to collect rain and condensation.
- The metal water bottle can be used in conjunction with a fire or other heat source to boil water and kill most pathogens. At high altitudes (over 5000ft), a rolling boil should be maintained for three minutes. At low altitudes, simply reaching a boil is sufficient. A steel wire fishing leader can be used to hang the bottle over fire.
- If a heat source for boiling is not available, iodine may be used to sterilize water, though it is not as effective. One half of an iodine prep pad may be placed into a full water bottle and left for 15 (@>60F) to 30 minutes.
- If the only available source of water is chemically contaminated (look for signs of life), the water should be filtered through grass/gravel, sand, and then crushed charcoal, in that order. If creating the filter from discarded plastic bottles or cans, The cotton rag or cotton gauze can be used as a final filter that keeps the charcoal in place. The poncho can also be torn into sections used to create a tripod filter, which holds each stage above the next using three sticks for support.
- The cotton rag, alone, can filter large particulate from the water, but will do nothing for pathogens or chemical pollutants.
- If household bleach is available, it can be used to sterilize water. Use 3 drops per bottle, or up to 5 if the water is cold or cloudy. Let stand for 30 minutes. If water doesn’t have faint smell of bleach afterwards, add more.
- A clear bottle can be used for UV/Oxygen sterilization. Shake water to mix with air, and leave it uncapped in direct sunlight for 6 hours on a sunny day. If water exceeds 120F, only an hour is needed. This can conceivably be done with the poncho, stretched out on a flat surface with the edges lifted to hold the water.
- The space blanket can be carefully used to boil water, as it has a melting point of 254C.
- Use the knife to collect materials for firestarting, by creating fine shavings of wood for tinder, and using batoning techniques (using a thick stick as a hammer to drive the knife into wood) for larger logs.
- Use the wire saw to collect wood for fire fuel, up to at least wrist-thick branches for cooking/boiling. Larger logs will be needed for overnight heating. Improve the longevity and ease of use of the wire saw by creating a bow handle.
- The butane lighter provides for easy firestarting, as long as it is relatively warm and dry. During cold weather, keep it warm with body heat.
- Strike-anywhere matches provide a source of ignition, as long as they have not gotten wet.
- The mini ferro rod can be used to start fire in damp conditions as long as dry tinder can be sourced. Ignite fine, dry tinder by using firm downward pressure to strike sparks from the ferro rod with the knife.
- A sandwich bag, the poncho, or a plastic bottle may be filled with water and used as a magnifying glass to focus sunlight onto tinder and create a fire.
- The knife and mason line can be used to create a fire bow drill set.
- Cotton gauze can be fluffed up to be used as tinder, and can be made to last longer by rubbing the petroleum-based antibiotic ointment into it.
- The Altoids tin may be used to make char material. Place fibrous, dry natural material (or the cotton rag or a cotton gauze) into the tin, and place it on hot coals until it stops smoking. The resulting charred material is easily-lit tinder.
- The paper that this guide is printed on may be used as tinder.
- The poncho may be used as intended.
- Use the knife and wire saw to collect material for shelter construction. Improve the longevity and ease of use of the wire saw by creating a bow handle.
- Use the mason line to bind and support shelter frames.
- The poncho can be used as a water barrier or tarp tent. On windy or cold days, it should be secured to a frame and protected/insulated with branches and other natural materials. It may be used as a ground cover.
- The space blanket can be used as a sleeping bag, water barrier, or to reflect fire heat radiation into a sleeping area.
- Use the duct tape to repair damage in the poncho and space blanket.
- The mason line can be divided into smaller strands and used with the needle to repair clothing.
- Do not neglect ground insulation, especially in cold or wet weather.
- The knife can be used to create rudimentary spears, bows, and other hunting implements. It is inadvisable to use the knife itself as a spear point; just sharpen the end of the stick.
- The steel wire fishing leaders or mason line can be used to make snares. Due to the weakness of these materials, a spring snare may compensate for the struggling or chewing of an animal.
- Fishing hooks can be baited to catch fish or birds. Small pieces of the space blanket can be cut off to fashion lures.
- The cotton rag or mason line can be fashioned into a net to catch small fish or animals.
- Duct tape can be used as arrow fletching.
- Food can be boiled in the metal water bottle if cut into small enough pieces.
- Sandwich bags may be used to contain food.
- The antibiotic, bandages, and iodine prep pads may be used as intended.
- A full iodine prep pad that is dissolved in a full water bottle of disinfected water for 15 minutes makes an effective wound wash that stings less than direct application.
- The mason line can be divided into smaller strands and used with the needle to suture wounds.
- The fishing hooks can be used as needles, and come with a small leader of monofilament line which can be used for suturing.
- Duct tape can be used as a quick bandage, the cotton gauze or cotton rag can be used to pad the wound.
- Use the mason line and/or duct tape to create splints for broken limbs.
- The cotton rag, space blanket, or poncho can make a sling.
- The cotton rag may be used as a bandana, tourniquet, washcloth, or wetted and used for cooling.
- The needle can be used to remove splinters.
- The whistle may be used as intended.
- The flashlight may be used to signal at night.
- The space blanket may be used as a sunlight reflector. Stretch over the base of the Altoids tin to create a mirror-like flat surface.
- The knife blade may be used as a sunlight reflector.
- The cotton rag is bright orange, and highly visible. Tear it into strips to mark your direction of travel, or wave it about in the air as a direct signal device.
- A large X, or anomalies in rows of three are widely-recognized symbols of distress. Use contrasting backgrounds, such as black rocks on light sand, or white fire smoke against a green treeline.
- The compass may be used as intended.
- The flashlight may be used as intended. The spare batteries may be used to extend flashlight life.
- The needle is magnetized. If placed on floating debris in water, it will point north.
- A stick may be placed into the ground and used as a sun compass. Mark the tip of the shadow on the ground, wait fifteen minutes, and mark it again. This creates a general east-west line, the first pointing west.
- If a source of fat or oil can be found, the Altoids tin can be used with a twisted piece of cotton rag or cotton gauze to make an oil lamp or candle.
- The cotton rag can be used to make a bindle.