Minimalist Survival Kits For Post-Collapse Charity

A concern many survivalists have is what to do with folks who show up after a disaster, with their hands out and asking for help. Could be family, friends, or even strangers. I’m not talking about those who show up looking to rob the joint. Rather, those who genuinely need help, whether due to their own lack of preparedness or whatever.

One idea that has been making the rounds again is putting together small survival kits you can hand out to those people. Basically, it is a way to turn them away without too much of a negative impact on your conscience. Most of us probably aren’t going to be in a position where we can provide three hots and a cot to anyone who shows up. Instead, these minimalist survival kits could be given to these folks so they at least have some sort of chance at survival.

Note: I’m not saying I agree with this idea 100%. There are a lot of factors to consider when planning on this strategy. One of the biggest is that if you are handing out these kits, it tacitly confirms you not only have preps, you have enough excess supplies you can afford to give them out.

What could go into a kit for this purpose? Here’s my suggested list.

–A one liter bottle of potable water.
–A few water purification tablets, with instructions.
–A bit of non-perishable food, such as a few granola bars or protein bars, some crackers, maybe a can or two of tuna. If adding canned goods, maybe include a P-38 can opener.
–A handful of strike anywhere matches with some ready to use tinder like dryer lint.
–One or two space blankets.
–Inexpensive pocket knife.

With the exception of the water bottle, all of those items would fit into a gallon size ziplock bag. If you’re feeling particularly generous, you might toss in a roll of toilet paper, maybe a pack of gum, and/or a crank flashlight.

Again, I’m not advocating every one of my readers start assembling these charity kits. What I am suggesting though is this might be a means of helping your fellow bipeds without inviting them inside to partake in all you have stored.

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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