This essential list of gear will get you started if your new, and maybe add a few new items to a finished bag if you’re an experienced prepper.
Mankind has come a long way from our time living in caves and hunting for food, nevertheless, there are still moments where our instincts and tools can determine our very survival.
Since we’ve evolved and live in a modern world, completely disconnected to the reality of survival, camping has become an increasingly popular way to get back in touch with our primal selves.
Below, we’ve compiled the 10 most essential tools to ensure your survival in the wilderness.
There are so many factors to consider when your very survival is at risk, and we believe these tools will give you the best chance.
10 Essential Survival Tools
1. Survival knife – Few tools have been as essential to Man’s survival throughout the course of human history as much as the knife. Man has depended on the blade for basic survival needs such as food, fire, and shelter.
I placed this tool first primarily because of its simplicity and necessity. Besides for the obvious use as a weapon, a proper knife can be your best friend for myriad survival needs. A blade works well for cutting, digging, carving, prying, and even hammering.
However, picking out the right knife can be a tough task. The first thing to consider is the knife’s size; I recommend going with one with an overall length around 10”. Too big and you’ll have trouble with precision tasks; too small and you lose out on durability and reliability for those rugged jobs.
Specifically for a survival knife, you’re going to want a knife with a good solid pummel (butt) and full tang. I recommend either the Schrade SCHF2 Survival One-Piece Drop Forged Clip Point (fixed-blade) or the Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife (fixed-blade). The latter goes for a whopping $180, but it’s a great value for a knife that’ll last forever.
2. Tampons – Yes, a tampon. This small and inexpensive item is a life saver. Besides for the more obvious uses, such as wound dressing and fire tinder, tampons have a plethora of practical applications.
They can work as a last resort crude water filter, candle wick, tactical string, waterproof match and fire tinder case, and even a fishing bobber. No survival kit would be complete without a few tampons handy.
3. Whistle – A whistle lets you call for help for far longer. You can only yell for so long before your throat gets hoarse. As long as you can breath you can blow a whistle. And when it comes to being heard, a whistle’s sound carries for much further.
4. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter –This life saving instrument has won Time Magazine invention of the year and has already been used by millions since 2005. It filters 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and protozoa, ultimately giving over 1000 liters of clean water. No batteries, no chemicals, no hassle –this is the ultimate survival device.
5. Secur Waterproof hand crank Flashlight –This is not your run of the mill flashlight. Its 3 high power LED lights can be powered by the Dynamo hand crank or through the built-in solar panel, so it doesn’t require any batteries. On top of that, it’s completely waterproof up to 45 feet!
6. Magnesium Fire Starter – Starting a fire, especially in wet conditions, has never been easier. To operate, simply shave off some of the easy igniting magnesium and generate sparks with the striker. This tiny tool is also completely weatherproof.
7. Celox blood clotting solution pouch – Talk about a life-saver! This product controls moderate to severe bleeding by promoting rapid coagulation. The last thing you need to worry about while surviving is losing blood, and this small pouch can give you that extra time to get real medical attention.
8. Heatsheets Survival Blanket –Staying warm and braving the elements are two of the most crucial factors of survival. This tear-resistant blanket is durable, reusable, lightweight, and reflects up to 90% of body heat.
9. SIGG .75 Liter Aluminum Bottle –This BPA-free bottle is the perfect survival water storage container. Not only is it lightweight, it’s also durable and can even be used to boil water in emergencies. A water filter will only get you so far; having a dependable bottle allows you to take your filtered water with you on the go.
10. ACR Electronics ResQLink GPS Personal Locator Beacon – PLBs can be your best chance at being found, so investing in a good quality locator is extremely important. Although it’s incredibly small, its efficiency and reliability is anything but. It features a super bright LED strobe light, 66 channel GPS, and powerful 406 MHz signal.
Some Runners Up
Potable Aqua Water Tablets – These small portable tablets are a survivalist’s dream come true. If the LifeStraw is not for you, then this product is a great alternative. In just over a half an hour, they turn questionable water into safe, potable water. One pack costs less than $10 and can treat up to 25 quarts!
Piscifun Braided Fishing Line (150 yards) – Although I don’t think strong braided line makes the cut for the top 10 survivalist items, it certainly comes close. Its unmatched strength and abrasion resistance makes it great for all types of fishing as well as makeshift cordage.
The Trucker’s Friend All-Purpose Survival Tool – If I had to pick just one tool, this would be it. To describe this tool as durable, reliable, and versatile would be an injustice; this tool is everything! It’s an American-made, lifetime guaranteed, eight-in-one steel device. Just one look at the specs and you’ll be smitten.