DIY Projects Equipment / Supplies

How to Make a Water Bottle Survival Kit

I thought I would see how many useful survival items I could stuff into a small water bottle like this one (it’s 16-ounce, hard-sided):


At 16-ounces it’s not a very big water bottle and that was a part of the challenge! Of course, you could choose a larger water bottle if you prefer and it doesn’t have to be hard-sided either. Since a water bottle is relatively small you could easily toss it into a bag, backpack, or the console of your car and not think twice about it.

Here’s what I was able to stuff inside:


In no particular order:

  1. Vaseline and cotton ball fire starters – I made these a while back and since they’re fairly compact they got tossed in. Besides, fire-starting can be a crucial skill and anything you can include to make it easier is a plus.
  2. Bic lighters x 2 – I was originally going to add just one lighter which is probably sufficient but I figured I had room so I added another.
  3. Bandanna – I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody try to stuff a bandanna into a small survival kit. Seeing as though they’re so useful I figured I would try to stuff one in there near the end. After some work I was able to do so.
  4. Stormproof Matches x 2 – If you’re going to add matches to a kit you may as well buy matches that you can rely upon. These matches are awesome! Again, I originally planned on adding just one box but two fit.
  5. Potable Aqua tabs – These don’t take up much room and it’s wise to have redundancy in any kit.
  6. Sweedish firesteel – I could have found a smaller firesteel to include (without the handle) but this is easier to grasp and it fit without a problem.
  7. Streamlight Nano flashlight (and mini USB drive) – I couldn’t think of any smaller flashlight than this one which is what I keep on my keychain. I thought about adding birthday candles but a flashlight is what I wanted. There are other small flashlights that I had laying around but this was the smallest. As for the USB drive, it’s attached to the light and I didn’t feel like separating them. 😉
  8. Mini multi-tool – I’m not even sure where I got this particular mini multi-tool but it’s just plenty small enough to fit inside the water bottle and just large enough to be useful.
  9. Roll of duct tape – This small roll of duct tape actually belongs on a keychain. If this were a survival kit I intended to keep, I would add more duct tape; just wrap it around an old Bic pen (cut to size) and you’re in business.
  10. Rescue Howler Whistle x 2 – Again, I only intended to add one whistle but I had room so I added another.
  11. McNett Frontier Water Filter Straw – This water filter straw is quite compact and can fit just about anywhere plus it makes drinking water easier while on the move.

Remember that this was just a first try. As you can tell I have fire-starting well covered with two bic lighters, two boxes of good matches, a firesteel, and Vaseline fire-starters. Similarly, I have water covered with the water filter straw and Potable Aqua tabs. And, of course, the hard-sided water bottle.

As for gear, I think the whistles are a good addition but I really only needed one. The flashlight (any small one would do) is a must-have in my opinion. Duct tape is always useful but I would want to add more. The multi-tool is ok but if I had a small enough knife I would have preferred that. Bandannas are also useful and it serves to hold everything in place.

I realize now that I could have also easily shoved in a few more potentially useful items such as wire ties, a needle and some thread, safety pins, maybe some small fishing equipment, and other small items like that. If I’d taken out a few of the duplicate items (the extra lighter, matches, whistle) these items–among others–would have easily fit.

Not quite sure what else to add to be honest. What about you? Have you tried this? If so, what did you include?


By Damian Brindle

How To Effortlessly Get Prepared For Emergencies Of All Kinds In Only 5 Minutes A Day... Fast, Easy, And Inexpensively... In Less Than ONE Single Month... By Following An Expert In The Field: Discover My 5 Minute Survival Blueprint And Get Prepared Today.

6 replies on “How to Make a Water Bottle Survival Kit”

I would add a small plastic trash bag that could temporarily store contents if you needed to use bottle for water. I would also add some aluminum foil tightly folded up and some EmergenC tabs. Some gauze pads might also fit in and could be secured with some of the duct tape.

I have major bug out bags for my van and at home. Last year I made my son a well-stocked first aid kit that he’s already had to use since he didn’t have stuff like that previously. This year he’s getting this bottle survival kit.

Thanks for the idea!

I remember this! I am glad that I echoed these sentiments when the subject came up the other day. My wife and I build Survival Buckets for family members after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. THEY WERE CONSIDERABLE EXPENDITURES (over $100 each)! We built them from 5 gallon buckets we bought at Lowes. They were packed with survival goodies. We gave them out at Christmas to all our family members that had NO preps at all. The idea was to throw it in a closet, then grab it on the way out the door (ahead of the storm). I wonder who raided the tools already? I hope they did eat the food……

I bought one of these if you need it in the summer first thing you will miss is an extra container for the items in the bottle when you need it for water you don’t havemuch pockets for all the loose items

This wasn’t something that was purchased but, rather, put together. That said, you’re quite right that if you needed the bottle for water then you have to do something with everything inside, wouldn’t you!?

I bought a bunch of these! They are a great starting point in building a larger Get Home Bag. The bottles that I kept were slightly modified to fit personal needs. I gave a few away as gifts, mainly for close friends that won’t do any crisis/disaster preparing on their own. CH Kadels sold 2 different types, one was $23.99 and the other $12.99. The more expensive models can be purchased at Cabelas, too. I will copy and paste the contents from the listing that itemizes my Ruger 10/22 Takedown Survival Kit: SURVIVAL CANTEEN – Containing: 10 band-aids, whistle/compass, flashlight with AA batteries, space blanket, poncho, mini pocket knife and a box of waterproof matches.

You are a generous person, Irish-7. Personally, I’d always prefer to make my own kits rather than commercially-made but if they’re gifts then I’d imagine they’re better than nothing for people who otherwise wouldn’t choose to make their own.

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