Thursday, January 1, 2015

$100 Kit Challenge

 $100 Kit Challenge

I was recently asked what I would buy if I was building my bushcraft kit and doing so on a budget of $100.00. My main focus would be each of the 10 C's  and at least two of the 5 C's for the kit. I tried to pick out items which not only cost effective but of a decent quality. While some of the items on this list were not of the quality I would normally buy (I will note this below), but they are all items which would work quite effectively when put into use in a survival situation. If you have been following this page for awhile you will notice striking similarities between this kit and my Whitewater Survival Kit (LINK), Which was essentially what I modeled the kit after. Here is a picture of it to jog your memory if you forgot about the post.

Combustion: The ferro rod is OK; however, given more money I would opt for a 6" x 1/2" ferro rod from Any bic is worth its weight in gold in a fire kit. Given a little more money I would add a flint/steel kit for long-term fire starting an altoinds tin for making charred material.

Cutting Tool: The Mora Companion is essentially the baby brother of the Mora Bushcraft Black which I love so much. This knife is tough as nails and I would be willing to bet my life on it if need be. For my secondary cutting tool I really wanted an axe and a bacho laplander but money was a little too tight and I decided that I would just get a bacho saw blade and craft my one saw in the field for processing larger wood.

Container: Once again money was tight and I was not able to afford the Pathfinder Bottle cookset (LINK to My Review) but i did manage a Klean Kanteen which the cookset was adapted from. For my pack I chose a multi-purpose item in a heavy-duty dry bag which could be used to carry all of my supplies, hold water, act as a flotation device, pillow and much more. 

Cover: Generally speaking I dress appropriately for the weather conditions I may face so this portion of my kit does not need to be as robust as some others. If you Layer properly you generally could get away with little to no shelter in a wilderness environment in the short term. I have a grabber tarp in my kit currently and love it! Its the perfect reflective tarp/blanket (LINK- See It Setup in Diamond configuration). For a ground cover or blanket a simple aluminum blanket will work in a pinch but for long term can't beat a wool blanket. If I could add anything to this category it would be a 100% wool blanket.

Cordage: While cordage can be made (Learn how- LINK) or found in the field (roots, vines, etc.) its time consuming and no where near the level of quality of today's cordage. I like to carry cordage on my person 24/7 in the form of a survival bracelet, survival watch and a small item on my key chain.

Candling Device: I admit I went really cheap here. My headlamp is over $100.00 by itself and adjustable up to 700 lumens. I also keep a weapon light and edc light on my person but once again cost prohibited it so we were limited to one light source. If you have a few left over birthday candles for $0 well throw those in your kit as a flame extender.

Cotton Bandanna: If there is one part of my kit I view as underrated it is cotton! This bandanna can be used for water filtration (LINK), first aid, making char cloth (LINK), Black powder shooting, camp tasks and so much more. ***Tip- buy white and pre-wash several times to get any residual dye out of the material before you take it into the woods.

Compass: For the great price you cant beat this compass. I have one that is military surplus that I have used for 10 years and it has never let me down. The compass is essential for navigation with any map. You can also pre-magnetize a sail needle to determine North/South for generalized navigation.

Cargo Tape: Field repairs, flame extenders/tinder bundles (LINK), Cordage (LINK), or Container (LINK). No kit is complete without Gorilla tape, given enough of this stuff you can do just about anything, if there were any doubt check out the two Mythbusters episodes.

Canvass Needle: Field repair, navigation and first aid are all uses for this part of your kit. This kit has a few more needles than you will need but better too many not enough.

Final Price? $100.52 USD.


While most would not set a $100.00 limit on their kit, this was a useful exercise for me as I wasn't sure I could get a kit I would trust my life to for this money and still be able to fulfill the functions of all 10 C's of survivability.  Luckily I was able to not only meet this task but also able double up on my 5 C's and also add multifunctional pieces of kit along with them. My kit looks a good bit different that this one but I have much more invested. If I had to cut back to just the 10 C's this would essentially be my kit with a change in my knife (PLSK1 or Mora Bushcraft Black), add my trusty bacho, replace the ferro rod with my trusty 1/2"x6" rod, add a wool blanket and change my flashlights as indicated above. If you are ona budget and can't wait to purchase one of the higher quality items I mentioned above then the items on this list will serve your needs just fine in any survival situation. Just remember proper clothing in layers and you should be good in nearly any environment. 

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  1. Freebies to add: resturant matches, aluminum foil from resturant and old soup can which your botttle will nest in.

  2. I did the same or similar kit, for 87 dollars. I got a canteen,steel nesting cup and cover for three bucks each on clearance at the Army navy store along wih a grabber for 15 dollars on clearance. Also scored a cheap head lamp for 5 bucks at a general store, medium ,high and red flashing emergency. Para cord is Wal-Mart for 5 bucks, not the best, but in an emergency?? Mora companion 18.00, Fero rod 2.00, bandana from dollar store, duck tape from dollar store, bic for one dollar also dollar store. Canvas needle from dollar store, folder saw (Gerber) on clearance end of season at wallmart 8.00, poncho from dollar generL 5.00 , School bag ,also dollar general. Home made tinders ,free.

  3. what you have could do with items that preform the same tasks for 45 at dollar tree , big lots and good will and maybe a ruck to carry it in . done it for all my kids and wife. put a 5-10 bush craft all weather kit with food and 5 cutting blade ie axe,saw and knife with back up for 250 and some change. if you look in you house most likely have most on hand for free

  4. I can agree with that statement but you would not get as high of quality items thus why I stuck with amazon. Mora, Bacho, dry bag, kleen, gsi all are all high quality items should last a lifetime compared to their walmart/dollar store/biglots replacment that may last a handful of trips. While this kit may cost a little more than the cheapest kit you can buy it will last much linger and have a cheaper cost of ownership over thelife of your kit.

  5. I wish you included links to everything on amazon so we could go look in detail. Nice list otherwise.

    1. Each picture with Amazon at the top is a direct link to each product, just click on the individual pictures and they will take you to the page where it is for sale!