I’d like to establish and keep a theme of “making tracks in a hurry, without much notice” in my posts and articles here. So, let me ask you this: what comes to mind when you think of survival gear? Is it a large pack full of everything you could possibly need, with a week’s worth of clothes, food and supplies? If so, it doesn’t need to be.
In the event that you have to throw together a bag of the essentials it’s imperative that we keep things simple. Remember earlier when I said, “don’t pack the house”? This is what I’m talking about. There are companies that sell pocket-sized survival tins that have all the basic tools in them to survive for a given period of time. These tins are about the size of an Altoids tin and contain matches or a lighter stick, water purification tablets/drops, string, minimal first aid gear and a blade of some sort or multi-tool small enough to fit. These things run roughly 20 USD and can really be put together yourself for about the same, to considerably cheaper.
Add this to a backpack that contains a change of clothes (keep it simple to keep it light), a cooking utensil/pot, water container, a few plastic bags and some nylon line and you’ve got a quick, but effective survival pack. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have effective survival gear.