Fire will keep you warm, dry you out and give you the ability to purify water, signal for help or even cook food (we suggest plump riding buddies, they’re easiest to catch). Lighters don’t work in the cold and can break or leak. Matches don’t work well in the rain or high winds. Instead, I carry an Esee Fire Starter with two Vaseline-soaked cotton balls carried in the handle to use as tinder. That will never break, works in any weather condition and lasts virtually forever. The cotton balls are cheap and easy to make; pull them apart to expose the dry interior, hit that with a spark and you get a reliable two minutes of four-inch-high flame to work with.
Knives have a million uses in a survival environment, most importantly allowing you to access the dry interior of dead wood, even when everything around you is soaked. I carry an Esee Izula. It’s a little pricey, but because it’s a thick fixed-blade, it’ll never, ever break, can be used to split small logs or perform other difficult tasks that would be impossible with a folding knife.
Wrap this around your water bottle or an old credit card to save space. Use it to seal vents in helmets, repair torn riding gear, fasten broken boots or, paired with a stick or two, fashion an effective splint for a broken bone. It also comes in handy for making shelters, starting fires, covering blisters or attaching bandages to difficult areas of the body.
Got a deep cut or flap of sliced-off skin? Clean it, add something that will kill bacteria like Neosporin, then pinch it closed and apply super glue generously across the opening. Add it to your first aid kit or just throw a tube under your seat. Incredibly useful in a variety of situations. Note: If the wound gets hot, red or itchy you may have an encapsulated infection and it will need the attention of a doctor as soon as you are back in civilization. Clean the wound well prior to closure to avoid this.
Like duct tape, these can be used to repair damaged riding gear. They’re particularly useful if you have a broken backpack strap. They can also come in handy for shelters and splints and you’re likely already carrying them to repair a damaged bike.
Spot Messenger 3
SHTF? Pushing the panic button on one of these will call in the cavalry, no matter where you are in the world. They work via GPS, so as long as you can see the sky, you can call for help.
And how will you carry all this crap on your bike? Believe it or not, but all this and more will fit into a Kreiga US-5, which you can securely strap anywhere on your bike or even to the outside of a backpack.
Did we miss anything? Has a survival kit saved your life? Tell us about it in the comments below.