Stainless Steel Water Bottles Make Great Survival Kits

Waterbottle Survival Kit Layout

Picture Yourself Alone in a Forest, Stranded, Cold. It just Snowed, and you are Watching the Sun Going Down. This small Survival Kit is based around a likely Spring or Fall Scenario; you go out Hiking, Hunting or taking Photos and it Snows causing you to get Stranded. You have a Daypack with a Rain Coat, Water, First Aid Kit, Toque and Gloves. You threw in the Bottle incase of a Wilderness Survival Situation. These Extra Items can make a Big Difference to a reasonable well prepared person Stranded in the Wilderness. Taking Critical Items can make a Survival Situation Easy instead of Tough. It is useful to see What I Choose to Carry in this Survival Kit and Why I Choose each Item.

First I needed to ensure that the Bottle contained the most critical of the Top Eight Critical Items not already in the Daypack. Second I need to ensure it was heavy in Fire Lighting equipment. I am a great believe in “Robust Redundant Fire Lighting Equipment”, I like to ensure I have 2 or 3 means to light a fire and not just rely on 1 item. In this Kit I set 5 Priorities; Warmth, Fire Lighting, Survival Knife, Signaling, and Water. The Survival Items are all stored in the Water Bottle and ready to be used quickly in a survival situation. Remember that every item in a Small Survival Kit is a Compromise.

Water Bottle Survival Kit Breakdown and Explanation

Kit Priority #1: Warmth


2 Low–Temperature Chemical Handwarmer

2 Low–Temperature Chemical Handwarmers will allow me to get circulation back into my hands if I am Hypothermic and unable to initially light a fire. Do not take chances with your life, an inexpensive item like a chemical Handwarmer can be a life saver when in trouble in the wilderness.

Kit Priority #2: Fire Lighting


Pocket Lighter

This as my Primary Fire Lighting Tool, this saves Matches for poor conditions. Yes every Pocket Lighter will eventually fail, but on it will produce quick Fire in most of the time. These types of disposable lighters have a very adjustable flame and I keep it right on top of the kit just incase I need it quickly.

Strike Anywhere Matches in a Waterproof Container

Strike Anywhere Matches in a Waterproof Container Waterproof Containers 1st with Hose Washer and 2nd with O-Ring

25 Full Size Strike Anywhere Matches in a proper Waterproof Match Container. The first thing I now do with these Match Containers is to replace the O-Ring with a Silicone Hose Washer made for garden hoses, these are thicker, made with silicone and designed to work in cold wet conditions. I also put a piece of rough sand paper into the top of the lid to ensure that I can always light the matches. Lastly I place one piece of Tinder on top of the Matches to stop them from accidently striking the lid. This is normally a cotton ball. I also wrapped a 3m piece of duct tape around the container so I have a piece handy for repairs.



Good Quality Striker, a FireSteel made in Sweden and sold under the brand name Light My Fire. If my Matches Fail I can always Fallback on the Striker. This will give me Hundreds of Fires if Necessary. In this case I choose a full size Striker of the best quality available. I do not like to take chances with cheap alternatives and the sharpened steel piece of this model is excellent at producing lots of sparks.

Tinder & Fire Lighting Aids

Tinder & Fire Lighting Aids

In addition to 3 Fire Lighting Tools (i.e. Matches, Lighter and Striker) I packed in 5 Pieces of Tinder (Wax, Kerosene & Cotton). 5 Tinder pieces are packed into a Film Container and 1 Piece of Cotton Tinder is stuffed into the top of the Match Container to reduced the chances of the Matches Striking by accident. In addition to the Tinder, I so pack in 3 pieces of Chip Fire Starter and 2 Tea Light Candles as additional Fire Lighting Aids for poor conditions.

Kit Priority #3: Survival Knife

Carbon Steel Mora Knife

Stainless Steel Mora Knife

I always carry a Good Quality Survival Knife. This is my first choice, a Carbon Steel Mora Knife. The Stealth has a string so I can hand it around my neck and a small carabiner so I can attach my Flashlight, Whistle, and Striker to it.

Kit Priority #4: Signalling

Plastic Pealess Whistle & Flashlight

Plastic Pealess Whistle

This excellent Fox40 Whistle and its lanyard came with the Lifejacket. I used the lanyard to clip on a small LED Flashlight as well. This Flashlight is fairly powerful for its size and has a flashing mode if need as a night signal. Both are attached to the Knife.

Kit Priority #5: Water

Water Bottle

Water Bottle

1 Litre Wide Mouth Stainless Steel Water Bottle. This allow me to both Boil Water and because of the wide mouth Melt Snow. I re-rigged the top of the bottle so no plastic needs to go near the fire and it is pre-wired with two small rings for easy attachment of a Bail. The Water Bottle MUST be Single Walled and made of stainless steel if possible.

Binding Material

Good Cord and Wire

I packed in 2 pieces of good Nylon Cord, each at least 3m long. One can be used cooking crane system and the other for general use. I supplemented it with 1m of 18 Gauge Light Wire. This is large enough to be used as the Bail for Boiling Water. The Duct Tape on the Match container and knife sheath is also a great supplemental binding material. The more Binding Material that you carry the more options you have when stranded and the less you need to rely on finding a good source of Natural Cordage nearby or have a need to remove it from what you are wearing.


Other Items

Plastic Bags &#amp; Tea Bags

First thing I packed in is a Red Garbage Bag, used to collect snow, as an emergency signal or as a help in shelter building. I slipped 2 Tea Bags and an extra zipper plastic bag to store the smaller items when the Water Bottle is in use. Most Survival Situations are Short-Term (1-4 Days) so the Tea Bags will be a nice Morale Builder during the first couple of days. I can sit back and relax infront of my Fire and make Tea. This will help make a Survival Survival simply a minimal gear Camping Trip. Why be miserable when stranded?

Critical Items Not Include in the Kit

All Survival Kit this small has no choice but leave out a number of useful items. Some were left out because they could not fit into the Bottle. Others like a First Aid Kit or Compass are separate items and should be carried where they are can be used easily. Duplication of survival equipment means that you end up carrying either much extra gear and or leaving it all behind as it gets to heavy. Completely missing is any Clothing, Bowsaw, First Aid Kit, Shelter, and Compass. A Poncho would be great as it would be Rain Gear and a good Improvised Shelter. Normally I take a two Eat More Chocolate Bars (roughly 500 KCal) along for quick energy at the start of a Survival Situation. They need to be stored in a plastic bag and used and replaced on a regular basis.

When and Where To Carry the Kit?

Water Bottle Mounted on a Quad Front Rack

The entire kit is .63kg or 1.4lbs and it is built around a Contained that is Fully Waterproof and Fairly Damage Resistant. One of the best aspects of this kit in comparison to most purchased small survival kits is that you get a Full Sized Survival Knife and a 1L Water Bottle. This will be a huge advantage when accidently stranded. This Kit can be easily attached semi-permanently with Tie Wraps or Hose Clamps to a Quad or Mountain Bike. This means it will always be there when you need it. It can also be carried in any other carrying case you might be travelling with in the wilderness.

The Water Bottle's Versatility means that it has a better chance to be there when you need it. I hope this breakdown on what a Water Bottle Survival Kit should contain make you decide to carry more Critical Items when travelling in the Wilderness. Before you make your own Water Bottle Survival Kit consider when and where you may get stranded, Improvise and be ready to update and chance items as you find better equipment for this Small Survival Kit. Its Time to Better Prepare Yourself to face the Challenges of being Stranded in the Wilderness!

Additional Resources

Article by (, Updated 4th February 2019)
Chief Instructor of the Boreal Wilderness Institute