Every decent prepper has a sewing kit as a part of their gear. Seriously? There’s a stereotype that a typical prepper is armed to the teeth or some kind of a mountain man capable of wrestling a bear and starting a fire with any two rocks.
In reality, there are all kinds of preppers including those who tend to overdo it. Some of them are just plain old hoarders – they stockpile supplies more than anything else. Others are focused on survival and bushcraft skills rather than gear. Then, you have a homesteading type of preppers. And yes, there are military-style preppers who have more weapons than they can ever use. But an average prepper is a little bit of everything.
Decent prepping includes stockpiling, having some survival skills, and owning some weapons. But, it also includes some skills and gear that doesn’t naturally fit into this “tough and ready guy” cliche. You don’t think of preppers as people who spend their time cooking, washing clothes, and sewing. It’s more typical to imagine them hunting, splitting woods, and roasting a wild boar or an elk.
Well, maybe some preppers possess impressive skills and strength, but all of them need to eat, take care of hygiene, and stay warm, regardless of the type of disaster. Clothes, tents, and backpacks will wear out. It means sewing and mending is the only option. And wild boars and deer aren’t very likely to be on the menu very often.
Why It Is Essential to Have a Sewing Kit
I have already dropped some clues but I really want to emphasize the importance of a sewing and mending kit. We don’t know what the future holds. Post-apocalyptic movies and survival TV shows may offer some visions but they are more of entertainment than realistic scenarios.
When I think of possible survival situations, I look up to special forces and mountaineers. These people are real survivors and they are put to test on a regular basis. And so is the gear they use. It’s a naked truth. Missing a vital piece of gear can get them in serious trouble, while they can’t afford to carry all items they might need.
So, whatever they use, it is tested and proven to be useful and valuable. Except for the highly specialized professional gear such as crampons, ice axes, or infrared goggles. Anyhow, both special forces and mountain climbers carry sewing kits on their missions.
The sewing kit is so-called secondary gear. It means it’s not your first line of defense in any situation. But, the rest of your gear can mean the difference between life and death. If your tent, or sleeping bag, or backpack is ripped, the sewing kit will help you to fix it and keep using it. In an emergency, you can even suture a wound with your basic sewing supplies.
The bottom line is: the longer the crisis, the more you will need a sewing kit. Your clothes and your gear will suffer from wear and tear, sooner or later. Not to mention the accidental rips and damages. In the best-case long-term scenario, a sewing kit can make a difference between surviving and thriving. And if you’re on the brink all the time, your odds are getting worse.
So, man up and get yourself a sewing kit.
How to Choose a Survival Sewing Kit
The best sewing kit is the one that suits you best. It depends on your hand-sewing skills and your preferences. Nevertheless, there are a couple of things to consider and guidelines that everyone should follow. A survival sewing kit, as the name implies, should be convenient for survival situations. Regular sewing kits are just fine but maybe not for emergency scenarios. If SHTF, you won’t focus on becoming a tailor or seamstress. Therefore you need to follow survival rules as well. It means that you need as little gear as possible while still being able to perform. Or in this case, to sew whatever needs to be sewn.
While you can build your own sewing kit, there are excellent and affordable pre-made kits out there. So, you can save some time and effort by buying one. Whatever the case, there are some guidelines when it comes to the content of the kit. Some items are a must while several others are optional.
A typical sewing kit will always have all the essential items and then a couple of extras. So, make sure not to be dazzled by a wide variety of optional items. Check out vital items first, and then consider additional options.
Must-Have Items for Your Sewing Kit
- Needles. You need a couple of these in different sizes to match different tasks.
- Thread. Obviously, you can’t sew without thread. A couple of spools in neutral colors will suffice.
- Pins. A couple of straight pins are always useful. Also, you’ll need several safety pins.
- Buttons. Losing buttons can be a nuisance. So, a couple of them as a backup will allow you to avoid unnecessary discomfort.
- Scissors. While it’s always possible to improvise, a pair of scissors will allow you precise and easy cutting.
Additional (Optional) Items
- Needle threader
- Seam ripper
- Tape measure
- Marking pencils
- Shoe Goo
Best Sewing Kits – Our Top 5 Picks Reviewed
1. Marine Corps Deluxe Sewing Kit
This is a military grade survival sewing kit. As with all military grade equipment, there are no excessive and unnecessary items. It is particularly adjusted to fit woodlands and desert environments. Camo buttons and threads are kind of cool even if they’re not necessary for civilians.
- 5 spools of thread
- Needle threader
- 2 needles
- 8 buttons
2. Professional Leathercraft Accessories, Awl Tool Sewing Kit
This kit, or should I say awl, demonstrates the essence of prepping and surviving tenets. It is basically a hand-held stitching awl. But at the same time, it’s a sewing multi-tool and one of the best sewing kits out there. It has a wooden handle and stainless steel construction. When you unscrew the top of the handle you get access to a convenient “storage” for needles and awl adjusting tool. It’s simple, small, and powerful.
- Stitching awl
- 5 high-quality needle
- Awl adjusting tool with a mini wrench and flat head screwdriver
- 3 spools of braided, triple strand, waxed thread.
3. SINGER Survival Sew Kit
Singer is probably the most popular manufacturer of sewing machines. With 170 years of experience in the field, you can expect their products to live up to the company’s reputation. Obviously, they think about all possible customer needs, so they have added survival sewing kits to their product palette. It is a compact and substantial kit.
- 4 different color spools of thread (25 yards each)
- 5 needles
- Needle threader
- 20 ball head pins and 15 safety pins
- 6 buttons
- 2 marking pencils
- Measure tape
- Fabric adhesive
4. Vigilant Trails Pocket Survival Sewing Kit
Vigilant Trails sewing kit is a versatile and practical kit. You can use it to repair almost anything, from your clothes to tents, tarps, mylar blankets, and heavy fabrics.
It is also compact and comes with a metal carry case.
- Metal sewing awl
- Seam ripper
- Safety pins
5. Best Glide ASE Survival Repair and Sewing Kit
This is both a sewing and repair kit. It comes with a watertight plastic bag. Some items are military approved. So, you’ll get all you need for emergency sewing and then some. While I like to assemble my own repair kit this one offers great quality.
- 5 needle
- 4 straight pins and 6 safety pins
- 6 buttons
- Heavy-duty thread
- Needle threader
- Kevlar thread
- Brass wire
- Duct tape
- Utility cord
- Cable ties
- Utility knife
Life-threatening or survival situations don’t require Hollywood-style superpowers. More often, some modest, not-so-fancy items can save the day. Such as a mylar blanket or tarp if you’re freezing and losing body heat rapidly. Or water purifier if you’re thirsty and you find a murky, muddy pond. Or a sewing kit to fix your tent, sleeping bag, or any other fabric, to stay safe in the stormy night.
I wouldn’t mind having ninja-skills or any other superpowers. Superheroes probably don’t need shelters or primitive food/water collecting skills. Not to mention cooking or sewing. However, until I become a superhero, I know I can rely on my basic skills and tools not only to survive but to thrive in hostile environments and dire situations.
If you’re a superhero, you probably don’t need these down-to-earth skills. If not, get yourself a sewing kit and become a real-life survivor.