10 Exceptionally Well-Designed Survival Kits


Grace Paley, a street smart author who wrote short stories about New York life and championed the struggle of ordinary women, optimistically believed that “all that is really necessary for survival of the fittest, it seems, is an interest in life, good, bad or peculiar.” If there’s one thing that we know for certain, life is full of struggle, and sometimes it takes a little more than positive thinking to get through it. Whether you’re navigating a move, a daunting cheese board or the apocalypse, click through to check out these clever, well-designed solutions and their contents to help you prepare for the worst.

End-of-the-world survival kit, crafted and designed by MENOSUNOCEROUNO


In anticipation of the Mayan calendar’s gloom and doom prediction for 2012, Mexican design firm, MENOSUNOCEROUNO, created this clever survival kit to prepare you for anything the end of the world might throw at you.


— Chocolate : Nothing makes you feel better like a little chocolate — Doméstica Yellow Notebook : Write like John, draw like el Bosco, or use it to start a fire. — Simple Knife : A minimal hunting tool for animals or zombies. — 40 Emergency Black Matches : Start a fire, get warm, light your way with style. — Xtabentun D’aristi : Mayan liqueur. Celebrate like the old times! — Basic Water : Drink wisely, survive up to ten days with one liter.

Mobile Foodie Survival Kit by Holly McWhorter with Bjarke Ballisager

Image credit: PLANT Brooklyn

A pocket-size kit for foodies on the go who can’t make it through a meal without their organic wasabi powder or Himalayan sea salt.


— Organic basil, — Organic cayenne — Organic curry — Organic dill — Organic granulated garlic and onion — Organic ginger — Organic cinnamon — Organic oregano — Sea salt and organic black pepper — Wasabi powder

Little Gadgets Survival Kits by Steffen Kehrle

Image credit: Steffan Kehrle

A genius flat-pack design that’s a nod to our favorite pocket-size all-in-one survival kit, the Swiss Army Knife. Carry one of these little gadget cards in your wallet at all times.


— Miniature Fork — Miniature Knife — Miniature Fishing Hook — Miniature Cross Pendant — Buttons in various sizes — Bottle opener

The Classic Survival Kit by Överlever

Image credit: Amanda Bärj

Leave it to the Swedes to one-up the design of the classic kit. Here’s everything you could possibly need for outdoor adventure and wilderness survival in one better looking bag.


— Sewing Kit — Fishing Kit — Fire iron — Knife — Emergency Blanket — Water purification tablets — Bandages — Matches — Eclassand emergency whistle — Toothbrush

Cheese Survival Kit by Brooklyn Slate Co. and Formaticum

Image credit: Cheese Survival Kit

Never be daunted by a cheese board again.


— Hand printed tote — Honey, jam and crackers — Cheese board — Cheese knife — Cheese storage paper — Cheese journal — Cheat sheet for tasting, serving and storing cheese

First Day Survival Kit by Veidekke Bostad

Image credit: Lovely Package

Survive that dreaded first day in your new apartment with this helpful kit created by a Swedish real estate company.


— Disposable plates — Disposable silverware — Disposable cups

Survival Kit in a Sardine Can

Image credit: NEEDPLEASE

The sardine survival kit is a must for any aspiring explorer.


— First Aid instructions — Fire starter cube — Fish hook w/ line — Chewing gum — Tea bag — Energy nugget (aka a Tootsie Roll)

Survival Sewing Kit by Victoria Caswell

Image credit: Victoria Caswell via Discovery

A handy sewing kit designed with the Boy Scouts in mind. It looks and functions like a mini sleeping bag!


— 5 spools of thread — Safety pins — Needles — Patches

Design Student Survival Kit by Meagan Higginbottom

Image credit: forrst

Among other things, this nifty kit for struggling students includes a handy set of Spark Your Creativity cards. As the creator writes, “each ‘matchstick”]/ has an activity to get your creative brain working.”

Survival in a Box by Shledon Hui

Image credit: Shledon Hui via Packaging of the World

An informational city guide and cardboard box in one, this dual purpose student design caters to a homeless population in need. The “brochure” includes helpful information like where to find food banks, emergency aid, and the city’s best public library. The box offers temporary shelter.


— Informational brochure — Cardboard box — Cardboard sign