Purse Survival Kit: 12 Items To Carry, Pros, and Cons

I feel obligated in starting this article by stating that I am a guy and I do not currently carry, nor have I ever carried a purse. Fanny packs on the other hand are a different story but that I will save that for another time. 

Purses can be a great way of carrying a survival kit because they are carried every day. But before I get into the actual items let us first go over the pros and cons of using a purse in this manner. 


Close at Hand

Not only are purses carried every day, but they are practically carried almost everywhere that the person goes. This means any emergency supplies that are in the purse are never far away. 


Unless you are going through a security checkpoint, most people are not concerned with the contents of a purse; unlike a large backpack, especially a tactical looking one which sticks out like a sore thumb and can draw attention.


Purses come in all shapes and sizes. From small, medium, large, to is that a suitcase you are carrying? This gives you a range of options so that you can better customize the size and contents of your survival kit. 



A purse is not secure in the least and it is often a target of opportunity for thieves. Other than the normal valuables a purse holds, you could find yourself without your kit if the purse is swiped. 


This was a positive feature in the above section, but it can also be a negative. Even though purses come in a variety of sizes, generally, small to medium ones are carried. The items for the survival kit must be planned out to maximize the available space in a purse.

The Purse Survival Kit 

For this kit, there are two parameters that I used in creating it.

The first, and I could be wrong about this, is that purses are usually carried in urban areas more than they are in the

outdoors. So, the contents of the kit will reflect that. 

Secondly, I will be challenging myself by using a small purse to see how useful of a kit I can make.

Here is a picture of the purse I used. 

Additionally, I conferred with the owner of the purse and asked for general items she would like to see in such a kit. The following is what I came up with. 

BIC Lighter

The ability to make fire is important no matter where you are. A lighter is a lightweight, compact, and effective tool for this. 

Cotton Bandana 

A bandanna is like duct tape in that it has a ton of different uses. It can be used as a bandage, a signaling device, cordage, and it has many more uses. If you carry a bandanna, I always recommend that it be as brightly colored as possible so that it can easily be seen. 

Ink Pen

A pen is a useful tool for signing documents, taking notes, leaving a non-verbal warning and if you use your imagination, it has many other uses as well. 

Small Notebook

This item goes great when paired with the above item. It may not be as flat as other miniature notepads, but I recommend a spiral notebook because the spiral wire can be taken out and used for other purposes. 


Nobody can deny the usefulness and versatility of a knife in any environment. However, in an urban environment, a multitool may be more useful because it packs a lot of tools into a small package. I would recommend a Swiss Army Knife or a Leatherman. 

If you choose not to go with a multitool, a small, fixed blade could be carried. Although a folding pocketknife will save space and for the sake of appearances it will also be more acceptable. Consider an assisted opening blade, like the Kershaw Cryo, for quick deployment.


Carrying a firearm is a highly personal choice, so I am not going to say you must have this in the kit, which is why I am not officially adding it. However, it is one of the best items to have for personal protection.

On a side note, its my opinion that having a CCW and carrying a firearm on your person is a better option than having it in a purse. This goes back to the fact that purses are often targets of opportunity and you could end up losing it.


Having something to munch on will help to keep your energy and your spirits up. Due to space limitations, an energy bar or a small pouch of trail mix is about the perfect size for this kit.


Flashlights are an incredibly important tool to have in an urban environment. Urban areas can be extremely dangerous places when there are no lights available. This is especially true in buildings that do not have emergency lighting or if backup lighting fails.  

A small flashlight is all you really need, and you could even get by with a key chain LED light. However, a larger flashlight is easier to use, it will provide more illumination, it will have a longer run time, and it may be used in other ways. 

Foldable Map

This is one item that I feel most people forget about and I think that has to do with our dependence on smartphone maps and GPS.

As great as smartphones can be they can easily become inoperable for several reasons. If you do not have maps downloaded onto your phone and the local tower fails, navigational applications will be unusable.

A small foldable map does not take up much space and would be invaluable during an emergency to find your way to safety, especially in large cities. 

First Aid 

A purse is not going to offer a lot of space for medical supplies, but you can always pack a travel-size first aid kit. These are also known as “boo-boo” kits because they only take care of minor issues.

While minor issues can become bigger problems down the road, they usually take some time to develop, and hopefully, you will be able to find proper medical care before that occurs.

Instead of a small kit with band-aids and the usual assortment, consider two items that can handle a serious problem. A tourniquet, and a large gauze pad or triangular bandage for helping to control major blood loss.  

Feminine Hygiene 

This is a reality that women must deal with and during an emergency, you may not have a normal means of access to this item. 

A pad or whatever you use does not take up much space and having a few extras in your purse can help in overall comfort and morale. 

In a pinch, the bandana could be used as a temporary exterior absorbent pad.


As the old saying goes, cash is king. During an emergency, the power could be off which means paying for anything electronically is out of the question.

But by carrying a little bit of cash you will not have to find yourself in a situation where you cannot purchase a product or service that you need.


Can I carry weapons in my purse?

Every state is different in what they consider a weapon and thereby what can and cannot be carried. Always check your local laws and regulations to ensure you remain in compliance. 

Does it matter what kind of knife I carry in my purse?

In one state you may be able to carry a six-inch fixed blade while in another state the blade you carry may have to be less than three inches. Again, check your local laws as it pertains to the tools you want to carry before venturing out into public with your kit. 

Wrap Up 

Depending on the purse you carry and where you live, it can be difficult putting together a survival kit that fits your needs.

No matter where you live though, substitutes for gear and supplies can always be found or improvised. All it takes is a little bit of research, time, and practice. 

The kit that I featured in this article is one of my options and my main goal was to show that a purse can be used in this manner. Be creative and take the time to customize the kit to your needs and to maximize all available space.

Thanks for reading do not be caught unprepared!

Do you have a survival kit in your purpose? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know about it!


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