I will discuss making your own simple survival kits for the car, backpack, fishing bag, or one to carry on your person while in the outdoors.
Let me begin with the basic need to be able to start a fire. I have always stressed to people attending my outdoor programs to have a candle of some sort in your kit. Size may vary as to the size of your survival kit. In a small kit, I carry those small birthday candles. Here’s the kicker though, buy the ones that are trick candles, you know, the ones that keep relighting when you blow on them. 2-3 of these in a small kit may make the difference in getting your fire started. I like the small votive candles to carry in my vehicle. While stranded in a vehicle, I know having just one or two of these set on the dash will provide some comforting light and it will burn off the moisture created by your body. The aluminum base will keep it from burning the dash, but I do like to set in on my coffee mug or even a road map if it become too hot.
A candle should be the first thing you light with your match. Dripping hot wax on even damp wood will assist it in lighting. A larger tapered candle is good to carry in a backpack, just cut it into 4-5 inch lengths so it fits better. A candle will also burn longer than a match and won’t get too hot to hold like a lighter will. Also carrying a small piece of tin foil, just fold up a 12 x 12 inch piece into a small square. The tin foil can provide you a base for the candle to set on and if folded around the candle, it can reflect light and heat towards you and block the wind from blowing it out.