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Cody Lundin's Survival Kit

Posted by on 1/21/2012 to Outdoor Survival

What Does Cody Lundin Recommend for Your Survival Kit?

The philosophy behind this survival kit is a truly sound one. It is not a glorified kit with all types of high tech devices and fancy weapons. It is a simple and effective assortment of gear that WILL save your life when properly utilized.

This Kit is Based Off of 2 Principles:

  • Average rescue time of 3 days
  • Most common ways to die include: Hypothermia and hyperthermia - made worse by dehydration

This kit's primary objective is to defend against the most common ways to die over the course of time it is most likely to happen. Given these principals, Cody Lundin has identified the best tools you can have to help save your life.

Cody's Top Gear:

  1. Emergency Blanket - A polyethylene blanket can reflect heat either towards or away from your body. This will help protect against hypothermia in cold environments and hyperthermia in hot environments. With this tool alone, you should be able to survive for days by regulating core body temperatures.
  2. Water Disinfectant (Iodine) - Not only can dehydration itself kill you, but it can worsen thermo-regulation. There are many types of water disinfecting products, most of which work pretty well to eliminate the dangerous microorganisms that can kill or make you sick. Cody recommends Liquid Iodine but there are several other options such as germicidal tablets, SteriPEN devices, and some water filters.
  3. Bright Tape - Once you have stabilized your own well being (via thermo-regulation and hydration) the next most important aspect is getting rescued. Bright tape can be an indicator to a search and rescue crew. Cody refers to Hansel and Gretel when using this tape. If you decide to travel to a new location, leave a trail of 'breadcrumbs' not just for the search and rescue, but for yourself if you ever need to backtrack.
  4. Lighter - We all know the importance of fire; it can keep you warm, sanitize water, signal for help, ward off predators, cook food (when needed) and provide a psychological boost. As Cody demonstrated, a lighter can provide over an hour of heat, plenty of time to start a fire! High quality lighters are better of course (wind and water proof), but any lighter is better than no lighter.
  5. Comb* (Not Necessary For Most People!) - This 'survival tool' is more of a preference... but Cody did mention it, so it's on the list. Not only does it help keep his hair neat and straight... but it can also scrape away ticks.
  6. Floss - This isn't for getting all the food that you'll be eating out of your teeth! This is mainly for cordage purposes. What's great about dental floss is that it is very strong and comes very compact so you get a lot in a small volume. There are tons of uses for cordage in any survival situation. Read more on Survival Cordage Here.
  7. Flashlight w/ Extra Batteries - When it gets dark it's usually pretty helpful to see... All too often night time approaches much more rapidly than people expect, or people over estimate the time it takes to set up camp, build shelter, start a fire, etc... By that time it's too late to try to do anything, working in darkness can be dangerous. Flashlights can also be used as a signal device. Always keep spare batteries! Consider a battery-free Rechargeable flashlight here.
  8. Matches and Match Safe - This is Cody's secondary fire starting method. If the lighter fails or runs out (which it shouldn't, but you never know!) then matches are almost as reliable. The match safe is extremely important because it will help the matches last long and be more effective by preventing oxidation, protecting from elements (water), and keeping them secure from breaking or getting lost. There are many different types of matches (Strike Anywhere, Safety Matches, Wind and Waterproof, and BIG Matches (Cody's favorite)!! Cody also recommends the use of 'flint strikers' for those with the practice of using them.
  9. Knife - A knife is an extremely versatile tool. It can help you to accomplish many tasks in a survival situation, however most of these tasks are of lesser importance than the primary objectives of staying thermo-regulated and hydrated. Cody usually carries a small/medium sized knife on his necklace. His counterpart, Dave, prefers to wield a big machete as it aids better in hunting, protection, and chopping wood. Check out our selection of Survival Knives and Machetes!
  10. Water Carrier/Condum (Non-Lubricated!) - If you have to leave your water source for whatever reason, you're going to want to bring as much with as you can. Nothing is as light and 'leak-proof' as a condum (we hope)! Go to your local pharmacy and ask for the biggest, widest, and longest condum you can get! This is Cody's recommendation, however there are alternatives. We offer a selection of water bladders and other light-weight water containers here.

The gear from this point on are more secondary survival kit items that Cody keeps in his 'pack' rather than his 'kit'.

  • Extra Sweater - This is for additional body warmth when needed. Again, thermal regulation is the most important aspect. We don't offer any sweaters as cool as Cody Lundin's, but you can browse some of our outdoor clothing and apparel here.
  • Barrel Liner or Large Trash Bag - Trash bags provide great insulation and are waterproof. They also don't take up much volume.
  • Ziplock Bags - These name brand baggies can waterproof your gear and carry and transport water when needed.
  • Signal Mirror - Use a signal mirror when needed for signaling for help or even to start a fire if you are skilled enough. You can also make sure you look good when help arrives.
  • Magnifying Glass - This is mostly another form of fire starting tool. You could say a magnifying glass is a good tertiary or even quadriary fire tool.
  • Long Drinking Tube/Straw - Perfect for when your water source is just out of reach, small cracks etc... You'll be glad to have one of these.
  • Paracord - Many practical uses of paracord can apply in a survival situation. Dental floss, belts, shoe laces and draw strings are some examples of cordage you can use if you don't have pre-packed paracord.

These tools were actual items found in Cody Lundin's survival kit when he came to give a lecture at Penn State Berks in Pennsylvania. Not every expert carries the same tools, but most are very similar. Personal preferences do apply and you must also consider your environment, user, and many other factors when building a survival kit.

See more in Cody Lundin's Book.

Blog Comments
Wlazz Date 1/27/2012 12:36:00 AM
Take advice from someone who walks around in bare feet just to challenge himself and 'stay close to the earth'? Well I guess it did get him this far... So Im in!
Amy Date 1/31/2012 12:49:00 PM
I saw him give a lecture too and he is quite a character. I would base my whole survival kit off these ideas. They are truly sound like you said and makes sense. Ideas for other important gear anyone?
Joe Date 2/6/2012 8:02:00 PM
I think thats a good article but kinda gimmicky. The best points are about the thermo regulation and hydration. I never thought of it that way but it makes sense. We're not trying to sustain life on another planet for weeks. Were just trying to stay alive until help comes. However, with that being said, Im still gonna go get a box of magnum condoms... XXL ; ) LOL
Peter Gioblo Date 2/13/2012 7:05:00 PM
Anyone who uses condoms as a main Survival Tool is doing something right....
Peter Gioblo Date 2/13/2012 7:05:00 PM
Anyone who uses condoms as a main Survival Tool is doing something right....
Yolo Date 2/16/2013
You can say that again.
Yolo Date 2/16/2013
You can say that again.
carl Date 10/2/2013
I'm amazed a compass wasn't mentioned. Having one and knowing how to use one is probably the single most important thing you can have. Here in America a healthy adult can walk out of the most remote spot in the lower 48 within three days no matter which direction they go... if they are going straight. People too often try to turn a survival kit into a camping trailer then end up not carrying it because it's too bulky. If it's not with you then it's useless. A good survival kit should be something you NEVER set foot in the woods without. This includes a way to start a fire, knife, compass, canteen or water bladder, iodine or water purification tablets, and KNOWLEDGE. And it's knowledge that's the most important. People ignorantly trip over hundreds of edible plants trying to set the snare wire they bought and brought with them.
Ashlee Whitmoyer Date 2/9/2014
I agree with you Carl, how could a compass be less important than things like floss and baggies? Even for people who can navigate by stars, sun or environmental cues don't always have this luxury, adverse weather conditions, disorientation and unfamiliar terrain with misleading cues can sometimes set you off path even if your'e experienced. Add a compass, its small and light enough, CODY!!! BTW, I did see one of his public seminars and it was great, he's a terrific and charismatic speaker with valuable and real information about survival. I want to go to Lundin's training school one day!
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