Survival Kit (US Marines)


MARINE CORPS ORDER 1543.3 specifies the ‘SK’ (survival kit). It contains components that provide the user with the ability to survive in conditions or situations that force them to operate without logistical support or replenishment. The SK will enhance a Marine’s ability to survive for at least 24 hours and provides the capability of acquiring the four basic life support needs: fire, water, food, and signaling.

Side A contains those components needed for shelter and food gathering. Side B contains those items a Marine may need to immediately start their escape/evasion and rescue. The overall purpose of the Survival Kit is to enhance a Marine’s chances of survival and rescue for 24 hours and beyond.

Side A: Shelter and Food Gathering Side:

(a) Fishing Kit, Emergency
(b) Saw, Finger Ring
(c) Survival Blanket
(d) Plastic Bag, Zip-Lock
(e) Candle, Votive
(f) Snare Wire

Side B: Escape and Evasion

(g) Fire Starter, Magnesium
(h) Knife, Pocket
(i) Signalling Mirror
(j) Compass, Smoke Chaser
(k) Plastic Bag, Zip-Lock
(l) Whistle, Extreme Cold
(m) Water Bag, Drinking
(n) Matches, Waterproof


Length. 13 in
Width. 6 in
Height. 2 in
Weight. 1.75 lbs

This Survival Kit enables a Marine to perform the basic survival tasks of making shelter, gathering food and water, and signaling. The Survival Kit is a general purpose kit, but it was developed for use in desert; mountain; arctic; and temperate water survival during small boat operations. The intent of the Survival Kit is to have Marines carry it when there is a possibility that they will be placed in a rescue or survival situation.

Both sides have inner bags that are transparent, waterproof, vaporproof, and greaseproof. The inner bags are vacuum heat sealed. the two-sided design allows a Marine to carry the Survival Kit as a single item in a rucksack, butt pack or folded and placed in a trouser cargo pocket. Each half can be carried in the lower pockets of the utility jacket or the Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) jacket pockets.



Any Marines out there? It would be helpful to know if the SK’s issued these days are the same, or a variant of the ingredients list above… leave a comment –



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