Having a survival kit on hand is a good idea whether the world is undergoing a crisis or not. These days, it seems everyone is scrambling to pick up supplies. I hate to break it to you, but TP is pretty low on the list of items needed to survive off-grid for a while. Gathering supplies for a survival kit isn’t as complicated or expensive as you might think. Sure, you could invest tens of thousands of dollars in an underground bunker, but for the rest of us, $20 at Dollar Tree (or another dollar store) can really go a long way. Here’s what you’ll need for a 7-day survival kit.


First up, we have useful tools to keep in your survival kit. There are a few options for utility knives at your local dollar store. You might be tempted to grab an Xacto knife, but that would be a mistake. While the Xacto knife is great at making fine cuts, it’s certainly not the most you could get for your money – even if it is only a dollar. You’ll want to grab a utility knife that has quite a few different options. You might just be surprised at the wide selection of tools and knives are available!

Aside from the utility knife, you’ll want to grab a good old fashioned butcher knife. Hopefully, you’ll never be in a position where you’ll need to use it, but as the saying goes, “It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” This advice is especially pertinent when planning out your survival kit.

Heat & Light

Once you’ve got your basic tools covered, it’s time to move on to the heat and lighting situation. Now, as far as heat and spark for fire go, there are a few options. Good old fashioned strike on the box matches are always a good choice, especially considering you get 300 matches for just a dollar! Of course, there’s your classic lighters that will work and even extended lighters that are often used for lighting a grill or lighting candles. Any of these would work, but it’s probably good to get at least two of them so you have a back-up plan just in case.

For light, you have regular hand-held flashlights, but check to see if there are any flashlights available that have a hook so you can secure it to your pack or clothes and go hands free.

Food & Water

Now we’re getting to the good stuff. Keep in mind that this survival kit is only supposed to last for 7 days. Arguably the most important part of any survival plan is to find fresh water. Believe it or not, you can find all the supplies you need to purify any water source you find – streams, lakes, etc. First, grab a metal pan so you can boil the water over the fire. See if you can find some sort of metal lid as well to help the water boil faster. You can use Ziplock bags to collect water to have on hand. Lastly, get the biggest bottle of water you can find to give yourself a head start on clean water. Once you run out, you can use the bottle to store your fresh water once it’s purified.

As far as food goes, you’ll want non-perishables that will fill you up. Here we have rice and beans. If you want to splurge, grab a can of Vienna sausages. While it may not be the most appetizing meal to live off of for a week, it provides all the essentials – starch, protein, etc.


I bet you were wondering what the shower curtain was for. Now you know – shelter! Sure, it might not be as durable as a tarp or canvas, but it will certainly do in a pinch. Go ahead and grab some paracord as well. The paracord will help secure your shelter in place as well as be useful for other things you might need during this time.


You knew it was going to be on here at some point – Duct tape. I don’t think I need to explain why this is so useful. It’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand as well. The dollar store has a surprisingly well-stocked medical supplies section. You can find guaze, wraps, and of course, band aids.

Watch the video below to see what else made it into the survival kit!