Stepping out into the wilderness, or just improving your survival gear, this list of survival items are the essentials you will need for survival in the wild. You may be bugging out, or just going on a bushcrafting trip, whatever the case, it’s essential that you have packed the right equipment to ensure your survival.
First off, any gear you include in your survival pack must be gear you are familiar with, there is no use having flashy kit, and not knowing how to use it. Take the time, learn how to use the gear you already have, then see if you need to add anything to it.
Simple tools, such as a fire steel for making fire, and a knife for making feather sticks, or a pot hanger are great, but again, make sure to practise with these. I can tell you from first hand experience, making a fire with a fire steel for the first time is not easy, you will fail if you don’t know the correct materials to use.
Having some redundancy in your survival gear is also a wise approach, I usually carry a few knives, and multiple methods for starting a fire. Remember, don’t over do this though, you still want to be able to carry your gear.
Essential Survival Items
So, now that I have covered some basics, lets get into the survival gear you should have for any wilderness trip, or bug out bag.
When thinking survival gear, I tend to categorise my list into 5 different sections, all of equal importance. Food and water, fire, shelter, clothing and tools.
Without food and water, fire and shelter are not much use, and without fire, food or shelter is not much use as it can be very hard to survive in harsh conditions unsheltered.
Food and Water
Food and water are what keep your body functioning, and without these, you can survive for only a few days, so this should be the first thing you look for when in a survival situation.
There are many different sources of food available in the wild, from wild berries, rabbits, to nettles. The list is endless. You should also have ready made food available, dried food tends to be the best, and easiest carried.
Going into the wild, you should have the following:
- Enough food for your planned trip, plus 2 days extra for an emergency
- Enough water for 1 day, provided you can find a water source
We use fire to cook, heat ourselves and purify water to make it safe to drink. Having multiple ways to start a fire is essential when in the wild.
- Quality Fire Steel
- Windproof Lighter
- Spare Lighter
Having a means to shelter yourself is essential. You should consider a light weight tent, or else a tarp to really save on weight and space when putting together your survival gear. Personally, I wouldn’t bother carrying tent pegs, as you can make your own with a knife and a stick.
When building a shelter, you can also make use of the natural materials around you, and build wind breaks around your camp with branches. This should help keep you a little warmer when sleeping.
Another very important aspect of this list is clothing. Having appropriate clothing for your climate is vital. Too heavy, and you will over heat, too light, and you might just freeze to death, so choosing the right clothes is important.
- Wool hat
- Waterproof outer layer (Trousers and Jacket)
- Quality Hard Wearing Trousers
- Hiking Boots
- Base Layer
- Micro Fleece
- Gloves (Leather gloves are great for working around the fire)
Lastly on the list of essential survival items is tools. Without tools, life would be a lot harder, so choose them wisely. You will need tools for processing wood, cooking, boiling water, setting up shelters and hunting among other things.
- 100 feet of paracord
- High Quality Knife (Not a giant 10 inch long blade, around 4-5 inches is ideal)
- Fire Steel
- Vaseline Cotton balls for fire starting (Can also be rubbed on axe head and knives to prevent rust)
- Some dry tinder in a watertight container
- First Aid Kit
- Emergency Whistle
- Water Filter Straw
- Small Axe
- Cook Set
- Quality Backpack
- Folding Saw
- Snare wire for making small game traps
- Baby wipes (Great for keeping you and your tools clean)
Remember, when using tools such as a knife, or axe, you will need to maintain them. Check out this guide on how to sharpen a knife.
Hopefully this list of survival items will help you see what you may need to add to your own survival kit, and keep you prepared for your next wilderness trip, or SHTF.