When I challenged you all a couple weeks ago to a 5-gallon bucket survival kit build-off, I was really excited to see the results of what you guys could come up with….and I wasn’t let down. We had some really good submissions, and I’m going to highlight a few here. From looking over them, it was cool to see what people put in them to tailor them to their own needs, yet there were a lot of similarities or variations on a theme. But they all had one thing in common: They were all extremely functional and useful, and anyone with a bit of knowledge could grab any one of them and head out the door, knowing their asses were in good shape. I’ll tell ya, though, it was hard picking a winner. But here he is, and I chose him for two reasons: He took the time to make a video of his bucket and proved that it did indeed fit all his gear in, and also because I thought his idea of including a small .22 pistol was a great idea, on top of his covering all the other basic criteria I’d set out. The link to T.C.’s video is HERE, check it out. Cool trick with the bucket handle too. The list of his contents is as follows, copied from his email to me.
3 mylar blankets
CRKT stiff KISS
225 rounds of .22
methods to start a fire
small ready water supply
3 water bottles
Coughlan’s water filter
2 cans beef
6 cans sardines
1 can pineapple
extra Maglight batteries
extra Techlight batteries
First Aid kit
2 pair rubber gloves
2 alcohol wipes
3 gauze pads
2 ski masks
1 pair leather gloves
a copy of my DL
So, T.C., (I don’t want to give out full names here), email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get your prizes on the way!
But, I’ll tell you, it was hard choosing him, especially when there were other great submissions like Bryce’s, who went the simple route, but it was comprehensive….plus he added an ALICE pack to carry the gear in if he needed the bucket for other things. I liked his addition of extra clothes (fresh socks are a godsend sometimes) and the trauma kit. Here’s his explanation:
Some of Bryce’s pictures:
This bucket kit came through from Warren, and it’s a great one. I really like how he took a woman’s possible needs into consideration, plus he added some neat ideas like a pry bar (have to get a car door open in an emergency?) and a folding saw to the mix. His plan is to build a couple of these, as well as using empty kitty litter pails (good idea!) to make lightweight medical kits that his daughters can pack. He also noted WHERE he sourced his gear from, which is nice.I really liked this kit, and like I said, it was tough choosing between them all.
And last but not least of the email submissions (going in order by my inbox!) Craig submitted this kit. His first-aid kit is excellent, and he included a folding stove and fuel in his kit…any one using those penny beer-can stoves (like me!) knows that they can be a PITA to use if things aren’t exactly level and hard-packed…the folding stove is a great addition. It can also be used as a heat source if needed. He used a crusty old drywall bucket for his, so bonus camouflage points. This is a great kit, and I think a model of what would make a killer generic grab-for-anyone Bucket ‘o’ doom.
The illustrious j.r. guerra in s. texas submitted this great kit outline via the comments section of the challenge post. I hate ticks with the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns, so I like his idea of using cards to pick ticks off! No pictures, but here’s what he has to say:
“I’ve already given this one a little thought. Reviewed contents of these kits and this is what I’ve come up with for ‘Nice To Have’ for our area :
SHELTER – Heavy Duty Space blanket / 55 gallon industrial trash bag (2) / Hammock / Rain Poncho w/ liner. All contained in waterproof ‘wet bag’.
FIRE – BIC lighter(s), Fire spark rod w/ striker, magnifying lens.
HYDRATION – Steel bottle or Steel canteens (2) w/ nesting cups (2) / foldable water bags (2) / water purifier pills / coffee filters (30) / sillcock key w/ washing machine hose adapter for water bags (urban areas).
TOOLS – CS bowie 12″ Machete / belt sheath knife (your personal choice) / pocket ‘Camping’ pattern knife / SAK Classic pen knife / Speedy Sharp sharpner.
MISCELLANEOUS – Folding saw / bank line (100′) / para-cord (50′) / G.I. trip wire (40′) / G.I. compass (w/ button backup) / Leatherman Tool or SAK Multi-tool / toothbrush / soap. Repair Wallet – Sewing needles (2 leather, 1 canvas, 1 cloth, 1 suture) / thread (10′ white – black, 20 heavy duty) / safety pins / heavy duty blanket pins / 5′ duct tape / extra ‘string bag’ back pack.
MEDICAL – TWEEZERS / burn salve / anti-biotic salve / syringe for wound irrigation / Isreali CAT bandage for ‘bad wounds’ / saran wrap / rubber bands (10 various size).
CLOTHING – 1 shirt / 1 pr. pants / 3 pr. socks (wool blend) / leather gloves / boonie or bucket hat. Thermal shirt for winter.
ENTERTAINMENT – cards – picking ticks off one another :^)
SIGNALING / LIGHTING – Signal mirror (2) / UVPaqlite UVO necklace (2) / Gerber -Fenix – other AA flashlight (2, one red light capable).
Pretty heavy bucket – good thing two are there to spell each other carrying it. Thanks for sponsoring contest – good luck to all!”
Ladies and gentlemen, these are ALL great kits, and I thank every one of you who took the time to build a kit, document, and submit it. There are some awesome ideas in there, and I’m glad there were enough submissions to really get a good idea of what people might need, and for readers to pick and choose what might (or might not!) work well for them personally. I’ve got a cold-weather bucket worked up, and I’ll post mine this weekend for you guys to check out. Again, thanks for all the submissions! Hopefully it’s inspiration for some readers to realize that a killer, portable, innocuous-looking survival kit can be made without a lot of hassle and expenditure, and be ready to go at a moment’s notice.
What did you think of these kits? Shout it out in the comments! Anything you’d add? Anything you’d leave out? Let us know!