I have been making up a "survival kit" of one kind or another and throwing them in pockets and packs etc for a long time. Most end up just sitting there and not getting used. another fellow pointed out this lack of use, and as discussion went on I started thinking about what I really use when I'm out and about. I have what we often call EDC stuff in my pockets. This is essentially my day to day survival kit that sees regular use. I also have stuff that I pack that I take fishing or woods loafing or what ever I happen to do. If something is real important I try to have 2 or more options for them. An example would be having a bic, and a fire steel, and the tools to make things like a fire drill etc. The old 3 is 2 2 is 1 1 is none school of thought. Anyway as I work though this re think I keep asking myself: When if ever will I be in a situation where I would not have my EDC or my pack etc and need to go to a small pocket kit like an altoids tin for stuff to get along in the woods. The only thing I can come up with would be if I were like a POW and someone slipped me the small kit and it was all I had, in which case I would of course consider it my main kit while I sought to acquire more and better stuff to help me get along. I have pretty much slimmed down (ha, not really light weight but if I don't use it, I am trimming out all but the stuff that I feel I will need at some point and the small kit is worth keeping on me, such as FAK's) At this point (since my stroke) I don't think I could do much more than walk (slowly) to another family location. So I have stuff cached / pre positioned at places where I might go. Stuff in my car that I could and do use. but what I carry I use. So for emergencies I just use what I have and find that I know what I will do for what I can imagine myself getting into. For Mr. Murphy I carry things that commonly come up. but I don't try for ultra miniturized mini kits anymore that I will not use, instead using what I already have. I have thought about loosing my EDC somehow, or my pack, or what have you. If it gets that grubby having a few small things in a mini kit would probably just also be lost. I guess all this ramble is my way of saying use what you carry, keep it current and replace what gets used up. If one keeps the survival only kits, then make sure you use them from time to time alone just to see if they will really work for you and are not just theory. Another example, I hear of toting water in a condom, but here in Alabama I have never walked so far that I did not run up on thrown out bottles and cans that I could clean up and use. I don't usually get that far from some sort of water bottle in my pack or car or home. I do find that I use a ziplock baggy almost every time I am out during the day. sometimes It is to put some extra condiments n such from fast food into to save for putting into my woods loafing food bag. Sometimes I put trash / candy my kids hand me / gum into it until I can dispose of it. I use them to keep my TP dry. I put my wallet etc into one to keep it dry if I fall while wading in the pond fishing. and Should I for some reason need a container to carry water, I could use it for that. so I usually have a ziplock in my pocket, and spares in the car, pack, or house. This is used daily kit that also can be used for when Mr. Murphy calls. As I get older I have spent way to much time thinking about what if's until I have ready answers for a lot of things that come up like my baggies for stuff. When I think of walking someplace, I also think where I would be starting from. Unless I was taken somewhere against my will and chose to escape, which would probably be with what ever I could gather on my way out the place I could just walk out the door and go to where I have stuff pre stashed. I keep a spare key hidden on the car, I have stuff cached, I have stuff in metal cans at most of the out buildings around the homestead with some useful stuff in them. I have a lot at several family homes that I might need to walk to and if I showed up butt nekked, I could put on cloths, put a reasonable set of tool in my pockets / bags etc and again have passable tools to move to the next step of the situation. So what I guess I'm trying to say is why do we carry a mini kit of "never used, but nice to have when the day comes" stuff? How likely are we to have even that kit if we loose what is in our pockets / pack / car / home? The one thing we all have and that is pretty much always with us is what we carry in our mind. That is the real survival kit. What is ya'll thoughts on survival kits, are they really just a hobby (one I have nothing against if you like making / carrying them) or do most people use them and not bother with carrying other kit and mostly use that. Just how useful and commonly used are survival kits? What exactally constitutes a survival kit for most of us? Is it something we have and don't use, or our regular gear we take where we go? don't others carry back ups they would use long before digging out the stuff in the altoids tin? One last example to try to explain my thinking: I never carry just one knife / sharp with me. If one were to fail or get lost I have a back up that is much better than the small xacto blade I put in my mini tin. I have backyard played with just a loose xacto blade. It really is not much more useful than a nice sharp shard of flint. I can find rock most everywhere I might be. I know how to make a hoko knife and would probalby haft a xacto blade if I got down to it. But in 50 years I have never had to use it and not had other better options. goodness I feel like I'm just on the edge of breaking through to a better way of understanding gear and such, but I just cannnot quite get it into a simple answer. I am hoping others have that answer and will share their thinking. Of course if you want to discuss using those mini altoid kits I don't mind the theory, but I would also like to hear if anyone has actually used one or known someone who had to drop back to depending on one and if it was a help or just wasted time better spent with other efforts? sorry for the poor attempt at getting this out there, but I keep feeling like having something I don't use is not helpful, and perhaps a dangerous placebo that give false comfort to me. Well I will let this percolate for a bit and check back to see if others have wisdom to share that will help me get my re think up to a better level of understanding. Thad.