The Ten C’s of Survival

The ten C’s of survival is a concept Dave Canterbury composed that consists of ten means of survival that should be with you at all times.img_0970

Number 1, Cutting Tool

A cutting tool is the most useful thing  in any situation. I carry the CRKT Minimalist because of its full tang, fixed blade construction and ability to hold a very good edge.

Number 2, Combustion

The most simple and most reliable method of combustion is a Bic lighter. As we all know, in a survival situation fire is essential. A Bic lighter makes this necessity very easy.  img_0988Number 3 , Cordage

For cordage I like to have a paracord bracelet, the paracord on my knife, and a bit of smaller, lighter cord.

img_0974Image result for paracord bracelet

Number 4, Cover

To carry means of cover on your person is difficult, so I have settled on an emergency poncho which does provide some cover.


Number 5, Container

For a container, I have the Altoids tin that all these things fit in. I also have some aluminum foil which can be formed into a container.


Number 6, Cotton


Cotton can be used for fire tinder and medical needs. In my kit, I keep cotton Q-tips which burn very well. I also keep char cloth which is used for fire and can catch the smallest spark. Most importantly, I have vaseline soaked cotton balls. I keep them in straws that have been sealed with a lighter


Number 7, Compass

You have probably been wondering why there is a watch in the picture. Well this watch has a built-in compass, and knowing direction can be very important at any time.img_1006

Number 8, Cargo tape

Cargo tape can be Duct Tape, Gorilla Tape, or any other durable heavy-duty tape. In a survival situation cargo tape can be just as useful as it is in the garage. This amount seems small but is used to water proof the kit when I wrap it around the seams. The nail goes inside the kit.


Number 9 ,Candle

Candles can be used to conserve the fuel in your lighter. It is very easy to light a candle and will not use much fuel. You can put out the candle after you have lit a fire  and use it over and over again. I like to have trick candles so that the wind can not blow them out.img_1003

Number 10, Canvas Needle

This small tool can be very useful for stitching clothes, getting out splinters, and all other precision tasks.


Now I can not take credit for this concept. As I said before, this is Dave Canterbury’s idea. So I will close with Dave’s own thoughts on this subject. This is a quote from his website, Self Reliance Outfitters.  ” Remember, the ‘survival weapons’ of the 10 C’s of Survival only work when combined with the knowledge and presence-of-mind to put them to use. If you can stay calm and ward off panic—commonly your greatest threat in the wilds—you can use this basic equipment to keep yourself alive, healthy, even contented, until help arrives.”



4 thoughts on “The Ten C’s of Survival

    1. Do all the items that are not worn on the body fit in the altoids can? Can you easily reuse the duct tape after it’s been stuck to the tin?


  1. So this is the challenge I did when I was assessing the skill of the candidates for the first series of ‘Alone’. I got all the potential candidates into the water and made them roll around in the lake wearing only the clothes they had and their survival kits. They then had to go and build a fire, a shelter and dry their clothes… So my challenge to you is… under supervision, go out out into your woods for 24 hours and use only the kit in your survival pack. Alan Kay did this challenge easily and went onto win the show. Let us know how you get on if you decide to give it a go.


  2. Awesome work young man. Look at tea candles, 3 hours of burn.

    Do you have any friends that are interested in your work or willing to learn?


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