The contents of our $150 survival kit.

What we recommend you buy for a DIY grab bag

We were able to construct a kit of decent quality for $150, significantly less than many of the commercial kits. It’s likely you can build a comparable kit for even less than this, as many of us already have spare backpacks, torches, radios and drink bottles.

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Our kit contains:

But remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Think about where you’re most likely to be when disaster strikes, and build your kit accordingly. If you work a short walk from home, chances are you won’t need a kit as comprehensive as this. But if you commute for an hour each day from an outlying suburb you’ll need enough supplies for a long walk home, including sturdy shoes, water and snacks for energy.

The most important part of emergency preparedness is making a plan for you and your family that covers the following:

  • Where will you meet if you can’t get home, and a backup plan if you can’t pick-up the kids
  • The name and contact details of someone to check in with out of town in case the phones go down, and other emergency contact details
  • Family and friends who may require your assistance
  • Plans for if you’re stuck at home, including 3 days’ worth of food and water
  • Plans for how you’ll stay warm at night and cook food if there’s no power
  • Getaway kits for if you need to leave in a hurry. Note that relying on a getaway bag for 72 hours is an extreme scenario. In most cases, your getaway kit will just need to get you from where you are when disaster strikes to where you need to go.
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Compare survival kits

We've tested pre-made emergency survival kits and found most either lack key items, contain gear of poor quality or aren't good value. There are just 2 we think are worth considering.

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