Re: Minimal Survival Kit
You are injured and your ruck is gone for whatever reason. Hopefully you have told someone where you would be and who to contact if you are overdue. That will start the rescue process in motion relatively soon after your failure to return. Of course, if you are on a week long trek and you are still on the first day when all of this happens, you could be in real trouble unless you have essential gear on your person.
I've always been a believer in the old saying, don't put all your eggs into one basket. For that reason, I'll carry basic gear in my pockets, as well as a vest or pouch and my rucksack.
What kills more than any other reason in the outdoors is exposure (hypothermia and hyperthermia). Add injury and your chances of survival get a bit strained. To avoid exposure, you will need to keep your body temperature constant. To do that you will need the ability to make fire, which includes not only an ignition source, but tinder and fuel as well. If the area you are in doesn't contain readily available fuel, having a stout wooden hiking staff along would give you some available fuel for the fire as well as the other duties one can perform, such as being the main support for shelter or helping you to hobble to a more favorable area. The ability to gather and purify water for proper hydration. We can only live about 3 days without water and dehydration isn't a very pleasant form of death. Shelter can be something small and easy to carry, like a compact poncho, or large barrel/drum liners, that will keep the wind and rain off of you. A compact first aid kit with normal field medical gear as well as pain medication that will not thin the blood, medication to stop unsettled stomach/bowel and their resulting dehydrating actions and an antihistamine of some kind. Plus when someone comes looking for you, some form of signaling device. A button compass, pocket knife, cordage and a keychain LED light take up little room in a pocket and are worth having with you at all times while out and about.
A 1.76oz/50g Altoids mint tin will hold a fair amount of gear for it's compact size and fits easily into a pocket. A belt pouch will hold even more gear and a travelers/photographers/fishing vest will hold everything you'll need and seperate the items for easy access.
All life is subject to the laws of Nature, or to be more precise, the laws of our CREATOR.