I am really enjoying this thread. I guess I walk around everyday so unprepared. I hate carrying stuff around that I don't use. And keep commercially made first aid kits in our home and each vehicle. Everything we have needed, we have mostly been able to find within them, but there are excellent points on this thread for things I hadn't thought of. Keep the ideas coming, and I would love to see some of these mini kits. I think I may make one for DH as a pressie. Something tells me he would absolutely LOVE this!
Half of a clear quarter packing cube might be a bit overkill. The best survival kit is the one you have with you!
If you were to create a survival kit about the size of a mini organizer pouch what I would recomend would be:
Altoids tin- holds and protects everything, can be used to collect or boil water, apply some self adheisive reflective foil in the lid for signaling aircraft. Cut a small length of heavier wire to use as a handle.
Whistle- easier than yelling and carries further.
Mini-BIC lighter- save the flint and steel for the boy scouts, if you fall into a frozen stream you have less than a minute before hypothermia sets in and even lighting a match is almost impossible.
Water purification tablets, take out of cardboard packaging
Small lockblade knife- hundreds of uses. If you are going on a plane it isn't necessarily essential, a single sided razor blade will usually make I through security.
Large plastic garbage bag: can be used as a rain poncho, can be used as a solar still to get water in the desert, can be tied over a plant or leafy branch and will collect water from the plant.
Length of thin/strong cord- millions of uses.
Some sort of fire starter: vaseline covered cotton balls or lamp wick, newspaper rolls dipped in paraffin, strips of bike tire inner tube, the lip gloss mentioned earlier, tons of other options
Small bundle of fishing line with sewing needles and fishing hook
A couple bandaids
Packing tape wrapped around a old card
Any essential medications
Mini flashlight: there is some really tiny ones now
Wrap a couple elastic bands around the outside. They come in handy and hold the whole package closed.
There is probably a bit of room to customize the kit a little for your own personal needs. Keep in mind that most survival situations are over in less than 72 hours, remember S.T.O.P. it is an acronym to help you remember what to do in a survival situation.
Stop: stop walking, you have more chances of being found if you don't wander after you realize you are lost or in trouble.
Think: think about your options, think of what you need to do to get out of the situation alive, think of where and how they will be looking for you.
Organize: sort out all your supplies, empty your pockets, take inventory of what you have, things like shoelaces, even pocket lint can help you out.
Plan: think about priorities, oxygen, warmth/shelter, water, food in that order, people can typically survive 3 minutes without oxygen, 3 hours without warmth, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks to 3 months without food.
When I was doing search and rescue there was a hunter who got lost and kept slogging through knee deep snow trying to find his way back to his truck. He failed to stop and think about what he was doing. He walked for miles until hypothermia hit him. We found him by tracing his tracks to his body, his jeans frozen solid, a cigarette butt in his mouth and a working lighter in his pocket. He literally froze to death with a lighter in a forest full of dry wood.
Probably the best thing you could do is to read a few survival books, knowledge doesn't weigh anything and even the most well stocked survival kit is useless without the knowledge of how to apply its contents. The S.A.S. survival guide is a classic and can be a quite entertaining read.
EDC depends on your situation. For example, when I used to go mountain biking (per-crippledom), I carried a tiny kit under my saddle and a larger, but still compact, kit in my rucksack. When I'm on my quad bike I carry a pile of stuff including a snatch block, strops, shackles, tools, spare parts, spare fuel, co2 tyre inflators, clothes etc etc., but as a genuine Every Day EDC, it was always drummed in to me by step-father that you should always have a sharp pen knife, a ball of string, a box of matches and a 'last ditch' £5 note. If he were alive to day, he'd have been getting a telegram from the queen in August, so some minor upgrades would be forgivable. E.g. a multi-tool (more versatile), some para cord (much stronger and more versatile than cotton string), a disposable lighter (more waterproof than matches and easier to use), and £5 won't get you very far these days!
So I carry a Leatherman Wave, 4 meters of paracord woven in to a Solomon band and used as a wrist loop (this can be unwound to 4meters or 'disassembled' with the inner strands forming tens of meters of fine but still very strong thread), a Bic lighter and 3 £5 coins. The coins are legal tender, but usually only issued to commemorate state occasions. This means that they are harder to spend than notes both practically and psychologically. As a result I have over come the habit of constantly using the 'last ditch money' just because I was too lazy to go to an ATM.
This is, of course a kit for going to the shop/office/pub etc. not claiming Everest!
Other than that, it's a case of knowing what to do, rather than having specialist kit e.g. a clear organiser pouch would make a great dressing for a 'sucking' chest wound, straps and belts (especially an absolute strap) make great slings and immobilising bandages for leg/pelvis injuries etc.