What Survival Gear is Necessary?
Think about essential survival gear like a First Aid kit. It’s designed to get you out of tough spots and respond quickly to emergency situations until you can safely get to a hospital. Similarly, essential survival gear should include items like a map of the area, a compass, fire starting supplies like a flint and steel, blankets to keep you warm, a bush knife, an emergency sleeping bag, paracord, and a folding saw, and some kind of a headlamp for a reliable lightsource you can use hands-free.
You also want to have tarp handy for shelter and a water purifier that will make short work of making nearby water sources drinkable in a pinch. Remember that no matter how sophisticated your provisions, they should support your basic needs for food, water, and shelter, and protect you from exposure.
Review the rest of our Survival Gear frequently asked questions here:
How to Make Survival Gear
If you’re crafty and don’t mind putting in some elbow grease, you can make quite a few of the most essential survival gear pieces for yourself. A popular example is a DIY fire starter. That’s because there are quite a few ways to start a fire, especially if you know the basic technique. It could be as easy as packing a jar of petroleum jelly, some cotton balls, a ziploc baggie, and a lighter. You could even use a magnifying glass. These low fidelity items may not be state-of-the-art but they’re time-tested.
Another great example is a DIY water filter or purifier. There are quite a few techniques to create a simple survival water filter. Sometimes, that can be even better when you’re caught in an unexpected situation or if you’re not sure how to use survival gear. Ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking are marks of a true survivalist. Just make sure to get some practice in with these DIY techniques first, so that you can adapt on the fly.
Why is Buying Survival Gear Important?
Generally, it’s better to purchase survival equipment because, when you’re in tricky conditions, facing the elements, time is against you. In other words, the situation you’re in is complicated enough without having to worry about fashioning survival gear.
Buying survival gear rather than fashioning your own gives you a solid and reliable baseline form which to start. For example, if you have an emergency thermal space blanket and a pyramid tent ready to go, that’s your protection from changing weather conditions. Next, a brown bag filter has unlimited filter capacity and it’s a simple and effective way to filter out suspended particles in water. The best part is that it’s super lightweight and easily stored.
How to Pack Survival Gear
Packing survival gear is not about how to orient gear. Instead, you need to know what to pack in your bag in the event of an unexpected evacuation or a situation where you have to shelter-in-place for 72 hours. This kit has to have 10 essential implements that will take care of your physical needs for that amount of time in the event that external situations, like a storm or a wildfire, cuts your access off to everyday, household items.
You’ll need to make sure you have:
- Water — You can also pack implements to help clean water for drinking (pack at least two separate filtration forms and containers to hold them in)
- Food — Ready-to-eat sandwiches, dehydrated camping food, canned meats or canned soups, stews, and beans. You may also decide to include simple survival cooking kits with metal pots, utensils, cups, plates, maybe a pan, and even a small stove
- Shelter and clothing
- Fire starters
- Survival knives and tools
- Lighting sources — As with water, you want at least two separate sources. The first is a flashlight or a lantern. The second should be candles.
- Communications and compasses — You can use a hand-crank radio and compass
- Miscellaneous items — You can also pack other implements that are important to you such as cash, duct tape, bandanas, spare batteries, travel toothbrushes, fishing kits, insect repellent, binoculars, and tents.