Essential Survival 

What are the Best Survival Kits to Buy?

For this introductory post, on finding the best survival kits to buy, I will be comparing my homemade kit to the Pocket Pro survival kit.

Finding the best survival kit to buy online, is hard work, as there is just so many available for you to buy. Although, it is unlikely that you’ll find many, that provide all the benefits of a homemade (PSK) Pocket Survival Kit. And, for several reasons, you’ll find some survival kits to buy online, that are just not fit for survival!

When it came time to upgrade my first homemade kit, I thought it would be better if I could buy a pre made kit instead. However, after much searching for the best survival kit to buy, I still was unsure if they were good kits or not. I realised, that you probably have to buy it and try it, to be really sure.

Essential Survival Kit Spreadsheet

Obviously, I didn’t want to buy 5 survival kits online, just to make 1 good one. So, I started putting their respective contents into a spreadsheet and comparing them against my first kit. Firstly, this method sorted out my confusion, with keeping track of all the different contents of the online kits. Secondly, I had a firm number at the end, to represent a particular survival kits essential survival value.

Furthermore, it didn’t matter how I valued or scored individual contents, such as a Ferro rod. It only mattered that I scored the essential value of a Ferro rod, and uniformly to all kit’s I compared. Therefore, if you follow that through with every item, then you will have a true comparison of the two survival kits.

Survival Kit Versus Survival Kit

Eventually, I ended up creating a spreadsheet for each one of the survival kits in my survival platform. Firstly, the PSK spreadsheet and then followed by EDC bag/72 hour kit and lastly the Bug out Bag spreadsheet. However, to view and use the spreadsheets, you will need to subscribe to the Essential Survival Guide. Although, I will obviously share the total scores for the survival kits that I compared against my own.

Pocket Survival kit Score:
Total Contents Score – 286ptsEssential Score – 257pts
EDC Bag/72 Hour Survival Kit Score:
Total Contents Score – 382ptsEssential Score – 339pts
My EDC Bag
Bug Out Bag with Urban Survival Kit Score:
Total Contents Score – 996ptsEssential Score – 799pts
My Wilderness/Urban BoB
Bug Out Bag without Urban Survival Kit Score:
Total Contents Score – 875ptsEssential Score – 742pts
My BoB without the urban survival kit

When it comes to finding the best survival kit to buy online, this will be the first of many comparison posts. And in this one I will be comparing my PSK to an online kit you can buy; the Pocket Pro survival Kit. I have populated the Essential Survival Spreadsheet with the contents of both kits and given each kit a final Essential Score. If we keep it up, we will eventually find the best online survival kit money can buy!

My Pocket Survival Kit v’s Pocket Pro

This particular kit is well put together, however it starts way behind my PSK, as this online kit lacks an emergency blanket. That’s an instant fail for a Pocket Survival Kit for me and you should look to buy kits, that at least have a small Mylar blanket. That said, the challenger’s case is large enough for a heat blanket to fit, so, I compared it to mine.

Amazon – Pocket Pro Survival Kit

Here is the Free PDF copy of the spreadsheet results and as you will see this kit was no match for my Pocket Survival Kit.

Sign up to see the XL spreadsheets, for the best survival kit to buy comparisons and for other survival things too!

Review of Essential Contents

Score Results:

Total – 250ptsEssential Score -163pts
Pocket Pro
Total Contents Score – 286ptsEssential Score – 257pts

As you can see the challenger kit scored a total of 250 pts, only just short of my Pocket survival kit score of 286 pts. Which means the challenger does have a lot of gear packed in, for a survival kit you can buy. Although, the Pocket Pro only scored 163 essential points, compared to my kit’s 257 pts, which is a critical difference.

The challenger kit scored less in total, than my kit scored in the essential items! That is a big discrepancy for these two kits and can be summarized as follows: One kit is packed with essential gear and little else and the other has a generic mix of gear and some of which is useful.

Pocket Pro Contents:
Wire Saw
Swiss Army knife
Signal mirror
Mag Lens
Fire starter
Safety matches
10 water tabs
Zip lock bag
Fishing Kit
Snare wire
Sewing kit
Safety pins
2 zip ties
12″ Tape
12″x12″ Foil
Scalpel blade
Survival instructions

My PSK’s Contents:
Needle and thread
Scalpel blade
Signal mirror 
Heat Blanket
Trench Lighter
Button compass
Rescue Whistle
Safety Matches
Water purification tablets
Fishing Kit
Snare wire
Elastic Band
Filtered Straw
Zip Lock Bag
Splinter Pick
Zip Ties
Tie Wire

The Case for a Good Survival Kit

The Pocket Pro survival kit, lacks one of the most essential survival items, that being a heat blanket. And again, as if things couldn’t get more wrong – the case is bigger than mine as well:

pocket survival kit size comparison
It’s the one on the Left!

You need to understand the essential purpose of the pocket survival kit, to see why this matters the most. And when you do, you’ll start to see why it can be difficult to find the perfect survival kit to buy.

Is there anything a space blanket can’t do?

Case v’s Case

Pocket Pro Online Kit:

Dimensions: 5.75″ x 4″ x 2″
Weight: 10.7 ounces

Compare that to my pocket survival kit:

Dimensions: 4.25″ x 3.5″ x 1.5″
Weight: 9.5 ounces including a heat blanket!

The challenger’s case, at 2 inches thick, is on the borderline for being pocket sized for me. it just scrapes in but there is no excuse for not having a heat blanket. That said, the case is a good, strong construction and you could do worse.

Item v’s Item

Swiss Army Knife

There is no knife in my PSK, so, the challenger has the edge here and as usual the SAK comes with a great set of tweezers. (Important to remove foreign objects from the skin asap to avoid infection) The small knife is of some value but I stress, there needs to be a knife on your belt ALWAYS.

Buck hunting knife
This is not a Swiss army knife or a survival knife!
Wire Saw

I don’t like using a wire saw, as my experience of them has always ended in a breakage. You can use your body weight to break off and break up branches for firewood and probably expend the same amount of energy. Due to the way a wire saw works you will also be directly under the branch while cutting it, so be careful!

wire saws and snares for 72 hour survival kit
2 wire saws and a bunch of SS braided wire – for your EDC bag
Button Flashlight

Again, this kit has an advantage over mine as I don’t have a flashlight in my kit. Useful but not essential.

Button compass, rescue whistle and a signal mirror are standard inclusions in a pocket survival kit. Both kits check these boxes.


The challenger kit does have some good abilities in this area, including a magnifying lens, fire steel and matches. It also has some tinder included, to assist with the fire lighting needs of the survivor. And both kits cover this area well enough.

trench lighter
Strong wind actually helps with this device!


The most critical items in your pocket survival kit, will be the ones that help you obtain water. Either by creating it or allowing better access to get to it. Both kits have purification tablets packed in, however, there is only 10 tablets in the challenger’s kit and 50 in mine. That simply translates to you surviving 5 times longer with my kit over the challenger.

A zip lock bag is included in both kits as a water container and you could also condense a small amount of water from loose foliage in the bag. A water filled zip lock bag can also magnify the sun to start a fire and all this from a plastic bag!

My kit also contains a filtered drinking straw and I can also collect water with the heat blanket.


The challenger kit, includes a Bouillon packet (Beef or Chicken broth) as a ration source, whereas my kit contains packets of Salt. Whatever you pack in your Pocket Survival Kit, it must provide you with Salt to keep your muscles functioning. Keep in mind, you will be exerting yourself considerably in a survival situation and using more Salt than normal. So, it won’t take long for your body to start demanding it.

Hunting Gathering

Both kits have coverage in this area with a slight advantage in the amount contained in my pocket survival kit:

Fishing Line – 30′ in the challenger compared to 80′ in mine

Snare wire – 12′ challenger to 30′ in my kit

Both kits have a similar amount of tackle and materials to make lures from. However, my kit contains a more realistic amount of line and wire that you would need. You can also take out the filtered straw from my kit and replace it with a slingshot, to really increase your chances of a meal. Even shooting it at fish!

We’re looking for the best survival kit to buy online, so, the bar has to be set high.

matches for pocket survival kit
Fishing, trapping and fire all in one


Items included in the challenger’s kit, to cover this important area are as follows:

  • 6 Nylon lanyards
  • 36′ of dental floss
  • 2 zip ties
  • 12″ of electrical tape

And in my PSK:

  • 1.5 meters of paracord lanyard
  • 600mm of 2.0mm Aluminium tie wire
  • Several elastic bands and zip ties
  • As much electrical tape as you’re comfortable with wrapping around your case
pocket survival kit with tape
As much tape as you like

Each kit has a different arrangement for cordage, however, the challenger seems to be lacking without a length of paracord in there. They have instead included some nylon lanyards and I am sure, that I would rather paracord. In saying that, you can easily tie some onto the challengers Pelican case.

pocket survival kit
Paracord lanyard with whistle

Misc Items

The Pocket Pro survival kit, contains these items, of which we will just call them miscellaneous:

  • Safety pins
  • Sewing needle
  • Scalpel blade
  • 1 square foot of aluminium foil
  • Carabiner
  • Paper and pencil
  • Survival instructions

And in my kit:

  • Compression bandage (wrapped around case)
  • Band-aids
  • Scalpel blade
  • Splinter pick
  • Tweezers

Pretty clear which misc items you would prefer to have in your kit! All of my items are for medical purposes and very essential inclusions in your kit as well.

bndage wrapped pocket survival kit
Don’t forget the Bandage wrap

Keep in mind though, that your choice of case may not suit wrapping it with tape or bandages.

Best Survival Kit to Buy – Summary

In the end, the challenger survival kit, wasn’t really serious and especially without the heat blanket inside its bigger case. As far as it being the best survival kit to buy? I would buy it, but only to use some of its contents to build into my own homemade kit. If you need more space in your kit and that case size is acceptable to you. Then you could fit a couple of heat blankets in!

Some of the other Pocket Pro kit’s contents, are neatly wound up for you to use but other than that, it falls well short of replacing my own Pocket Survival Kit.

pocket survival kit contents
It all fits

This review comparison is based on my own experience and is my own opinion, individuals can and will review things differently. That is why I introduced the essential score spreadsheet, to narrow down the true usefulness of each of the survival items. You can do the same by applying your own opinion on an item’s usefulness, to YOU, don’t just take my word for it.

The search for a challenger to my Pocket Survival Kit continues and we’ll start to see whether it’s best homemade or buy online…

by bing74

August 7, 2020

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