A survival kit is a great thing to have. I take mine with me whenever I go for a hike, even if it should only be a short, well-signposted hike.
This is what the students must have in their kits:
Cord: This has a multitude of uses, the best being to tie something up as a shelter, or to use in place of a broken shoelace or belt.
Whistle: This is used to signal rescuers with three short, loud blasts. At our camp, students will have it around their necks whenever we leave base.
Waterproof Matches: These are brilliant because they'll light when damp. I carry mine in a small waterproof container, like the one on the right. This is an old film canister (not easy to come by today). Make sure you put the striker from the box in too.
Rubber: This is from a bicycle inner tube. Rubber is brilliant for starting a fire. This is because it catches fire easily and burns hot and slow to give small twigs time to catch alight and then place thicker wood on top.
Emergency silver blanket: These can be purchased from $2 type stores. These do not warm someone, but they are very good at keeping our body heat in.
Small notebook and pencil: This has a number of uses, including leaving signs for rescuers if you are moving towards water, keeping a record of someone with you who may be unwell, such as their pulse. It can also be used to entertain yourself.
Fabric sticking plasters and a small compression bandage: Fabric plasters stay on better if you get wet. Much better for blisters because they don't move.
Large plastic bag: This is a robust bag that has a variety of uses, such as storage, putting clothes in as a cushion or even carrying water.
A large piece of Gladwrap (cling film): This is to use if someone has a burn. After the cooling period it can be loosely draped around the burn to keep it clean (the risk of infection if large). It can't be tight because burns swell and weep.
Other items can be included when you get back from camp. For example, I have a pair of medical scissors and a pocket knife in mine, but these are not allowed for our students to take on camp. I also keep a compass in my survival kit.