Buying an off the shelf survival or first aid kit can be very convenient. Purchasing one of these kits can also save you money since they are often less expensive than buying all of the individual components separately. However, once you have a kit, you aren’t necessarily as ready as you can be. These kits can almost always benefit from customization by adding, removing, or replacing various components.
There are a number of reasons to customize a kit. The two reasons that I customize a kit most often are to make it more complete or to make it more specific to me, my location, or my activities. Off the shelf kits are the kit designer’s idea of a good kit. It may be that their kit will work for you, but it is more likely that you will need to add or remove items to better reflect your idea of a complete kit based on your training and personally tested techniques.
If you purchase a blowout kit and find that it contains a bandage that you may not be familiar with in your training. It would make sense to replace that bandage with a similar product with which you are familiar. Maybe the kit lacks a tourniquet or extra gloves. Survival kits can be enhanced by adding gear and information that is specific to your location like a small map and magnetic declination statistics. You may want to add redundancy by including another fire starting method. The scenarios are nearly endless.
Don’t be afraid to tear that newly purchased kit down and rebuild it with different items. Your end goal is to make the kit work better for YOU.
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