The 10 C’s of Survival
The 10 C’s of Survival are listed below, this simple yet amazing kit list was originally created by Dave Canterbury, the 10 C’s of survival should be the starting point of your survival pack or bug out bag and never be too far away from your person. This kit should provide a sound peace of mind just knowing it is close by.
I also recommend getting out into the wilderness to sharpen your skill set so should the brown stuff hit the fan for whatever reason you have more confidence in your survival abilities.
Below is a step by step guide to build your kit quickly and easily. I have linked out to all the versions I own personally so you can find more information and availability of the items. As you will see i prefer my items black in colour wherever possible.
The first 5 C’s of survival.
1. Cutting Tool
Probably the hardest tool to create in the wild is a cutting tool which is why it sits at number 1 in the list of The 10 C’s Of Survival. A full-tang survival knife should always be first choice and should always be at hand when out in the woods (always be mindful of the knife laws where you live). The common choice is a four to five inch carbon steel blade with a flat back edge.
I find the carbon steel is easier to sharpen and a pleasure to work with, the Mora Pathfinder is perfect for bushcraft tasks from food preparation to splitting firewood. The key piece in the 10 C’s of survival. A good secondary cutting tool I carry when I’m out in the wilderness is the Bahco Laplander Folding Saw which takes a lot of the work off the Pathfinder.
I have the Mora Pathfinder as my main cutting tool.
Being able to start a fire is vital in a survival situation and can mean life and death in some circumstances, maintaining your core body temperature is crucial for survival. The last thing you need when you are stranded outdoors in bad weather is not to be able to start a fire.The StrikeForce Fire Steel makes this task easy, there is also storage for some WetFire Tinder in the top. It is necessary to have redundant fire starting items such as matches and a lighter, the easier it is to start a fire the better. Fire is also a good rescue aid as it can be used for signaling.
I have the StrikeForce fire steel.
Emergency shelter is always a good idea as the weather can change in an instant and have you stranded and no way to get out of the elements. The foil space blankets are a good idea for a small pocket or pack when out on a day hike if taking something like a tent or tarp is too space consuming. Keeping dry and warm should you get stranded are vital.
I have the EVAQ8 style reusable space blanket as my main form of cover.
Dehydration is a killer and staying hydrated is critical for anyone even in normal day to day environments. Being out in the wilderness without fluids and a way to purify water is a bad mistake. The 38oz Nalgene stainless steel I find perfect and you can take it full when you set off and should you end up stranded you can always fill it from a stream or lake and put it over a fire to purify more water.Along with this I always carry Micropur Water Purification Tablets, A Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System & a Life-straw.
I have the Nalgene 38oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle. A good item to go with the Nalgene 38oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle is the Tatonka Stainless Steel Handle Mug I don’t currently have this yet but it is on my list.
Although it is possible to create cordage from bark and other materials outdoors it is a very time consuming task and takes up a lot of energy. Lets not forget we are in a survival situation where that time and energy can be better spent. 100 feet of 550 paracord should be enough, 550 cord can be broken down to the inner strands and used for smaller things as well.
The second 5 C’s of survival.
A light is always nice to have but an easy item to forget to pack on a day hike. Being stranded at night without a method of illumination would be extremely dangerous. Also light source is a signal device, multi purpose items are key in any kind of survival kit and the 10 C’s of survival is no different. Rather than having only one light source a secondary source such as a Headlight is always a good idea as they are hands free so rather than struggling to hold your torch and perform tasks the small compact headlight is the perfect substitute. Glowsticks are also a good option as they last through the night and can be attached to paracord for signaling.
7. Cotton Bandana
These things take up no space and weigh nothing. They are one of the most versatile items you can have in your pack or even in your pocket. A bandana can be used for water filtration, a makeshift bandage, head cover among a loads of other things. There is a video on YouTube of 101 uses for a bandana.
As stated above I prefer black items and plain so I own plain black bandanas.
A key tool to survival is the compass. There are plenty of ways to navigate without a compass from using your watch face to using the 2 stick method. Having a durable compass in your pack with a signaling mirror gives you a fail-safe method of navigation and emergency rescue aid.
I own and use the Silva Expedition S Compass.
9. Cargo Tape
Cargo tape can be used for first aid as a makeshift bandage or for the repairs of tents, tarps and even clothing.
I use Gorilla Tape for this as it is very strong and durable.
10. Canvas Needle
Also known as a sail needle and this handy piece of kit can repair shelters, clothing and backpacks.
I currently own this heavy duty Canvas Needle, made for leather and carpet it is strong enough to last.
This 5 & 10 C’s of survival is also a great place to start for a bug out bag / bail out bag as well as any survival kit.
Personal Survival Kit
Just as extra security when out in the wilderness, I always carry the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit to keep in a cargo pocket as a last ditch survival kit. Doesn’t look like much but you would certainly be glad of this should you get separated from your main kit and pack.
Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit Contents Include:
- Gerber® Miniature Multi-tool.
- Waterproof Bag.
- Miniature Light.
- Hand Saw.
- Signalling Mirror.
- Survival Blanket.
- Fire Starter.
- Waterproof Matches.
- Cotton Ball – Fire Tinder.
- Snare Wire.
- Emergency Cord.
- Waxed Thread.
- Fishing Kit.
- Sewing Kit.
- Lanyard Whistle.
Kit Dimensions: 4.5 x 5in and the weight is 318 grams.
And that’s it for The 10 C’s Of Survival. To carry and store all this kit I have the backpack below.
The description below is from 5.11 Website.
Purpose Built Backpack
Designed to appear subtle and inconspicuous.
Features and Benefits of the 5.11 Covrt 18
- Ambidextrous side-entry TacTec System™ compartment
- R.A.C.™ conceals a full-sized firearm
- Roomy main and secondary storage areas
Specifications of the 5.11 Covrt 18
- Durable, water-resistant 500D nylon
- Reinforced grab handle
- QuickTact accessory straps
- Sunglass pocket
- Flip-down ID panel
- Padded internal laptop sleeve
- 19” H x 12.25” L x 6.5” D main compartment
- 11.5” x 9.5” x 3” front compartment
- 19” x 12.25” 1.5 liter hydration pocket
- 1841 cubic inch / 30 liter total capacity
- Comfortable compression straps
- Adjustable sternum strap
- Yoke-style shoulder straps
- YKK® zippers
- Duraflex® hardware
Have a look around our recommended Vitamins & Supplements page to speed up your goals.
Be sure to check out How to make an Urban Survival Kit
Please feel free to add comments about any of my gear and recommend stuff you think might be useful.