A Survival Kit should contain the basics; the proper equipment to help you stay alive in the outdoors, including first aid, shelter and warmth, hydration, sustenance and signaling. We also think a complete survival kit should be innovative, effective, portable and affordable. Here's why:
Innovative...because the better tools you have in the wilderness, the less work you will have to do, the less energy you have to expend, which means you can last longer. Also, if a tool can make a task easier, you can then focus your energy on other things that can keep you alive.
Effective...can the tools you have really keep you alive? Are they sturdy enough to practice with several times before you actually need them? If your knife could break after a few uses, it's not going to help you when you're in a crunch. If your poncho is too flimsy to last a single day, you'll be wishing you had a better one when you're lost in the woods for a week. Read a full argument on this topic under Do you have a Survival Pack or a Security Blanket?
Portable...a survival kit won't do you any good if you've left it at home. We want you to have a kit that you won't hesitate to bring along with you when your camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, or even on a short day hike. We've tried to keep our packs as compact and light weight as possible.
Affordable...Why spend $300 on a single item, when you can buy an entire survival kit for that price? We have many products that are moderately priced and sufficiently durable and effective enough to rely on in a survival situation. Yes, if you want to go and live in the wilderness, then buy the top-of-the-line gear (see our "Hermit" pack coming soon), but for a short-term or unexpected adventure, check out the items that we have priced out and tested for our 5-day survival packs.