So I got really REALLY bored while traveling for work and did some budget kit building tasks, I'm on a 2 week project and packed everything I needed in a single backpack for the entire trip, so no checked baggage for my flight etc. I had minimal containers, fire and shelter on me for my travels. What I lacked was cutlery, cordage, some first aid items, water purification and better shelter. Sometimes we see these videos on "dollar store" or discount survival kits and we feel somewhat at ease that in a bind we could put together something hasty and cheap. I wanted to spend some energy on looking into what is actually on the shelves of a random store near where I've been the last week and a half and what could be done with it. What dawned on me is this, we all kind of poke fun at the ready made off the shelf kits...but in reality...the components they are using in those are exactly what I was finding in the "dollar" store. here are some examples of what I purchased, and played with while I had time to burn in the evenings. Paracord= 50' $1 The sheath I'm impressed by however when you cut it open you'll notice there are only 1.5 inner strands....I say 1.5 because of the two samples I got to spend evenings practicing knots the inner cord had one very thick and one very thin inner part. It will work for 75% of the stuff we ask para cord to do I'm sure but next time I'm packing cordage folding knife, serrated $1 new personal rule of mine is on top of avoiding serrated knives, avoid ALL serrated knives cheap or not at all cost. A discount sharpening stone and plain blade knife will get you FAR FURTHER than the serrated folding knife (looks like a delca). If I had to kit up a blade while traveling I would get the sturdiest one piece handled plain blade I could find, be it in the cooking section or maybe even in the form of a hatchet at a discount tool place. Anything is better than a dollar store option in that realm. scissors and nail clippers are better options for just cordage cutting. I would perhaps find a way to ship myself a knife or otherwise obtain cutting capabilities via more reputable sources (Outdoor retail setting) A popular Leatherman model at the pawn shop down the street was only $25 Shelter, clear drop tarp. $1 Get a few of these plastic drop cloths combined with maybe a moving blanket or two from the import tool place and you could stay pretty warm and dry. Something I may look into more of in the future. In all honesty you would have to be pretty desperate to go the dollar store survival kit route. I think I could outfit better at a place like harbor freight than the dollar store. They have the job site survival kits, sharpening stones, blades, tarps, blankets, hand axe etc....lots of options for somebody who thinks ahead and is inventive. I know its been talked about but, I've been bored and used it as a thought exercise on what I could obtain and how quickly if I needed to walk out of this situation quickly. on that note AAA was my first stop for paper maps since I've never been to this state before.