Top 10 survival gear to survive

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When venturing into the wild, proper survival gear is absolutely necessary. On average 6 people die in national parks each week. Some of these deaths could be avoided if they were prepared with the right tools and mindset. More than often, we tend to overpack with nice-to-have items, instead of having the right ones for the situation they are in.


If you are lost or injured in the open, having the right survivalist gear will determine if you will survive the freezing outdoors, or avoid abandonment with a rescue signal. Your survival equipment needs to help you get through for the next 72 hours in the aftermath of some natural or man-made calamity. This 72 hours window gives you sufficient time to reach your “safe” location, where your long term supplies are located. 


These top 10 survival items are helpful in many scenarios. It can also mean removing pain from blisters while trekking or repairing a tear in your tent.

Table of Contents

Hydration

hydration

Did you know that at least 60% of the adult body is made of water? Unlike plants, we cannot live with sunshine and air alone. Without food, an average human can last roughly three weeks.

 

Without water, our body is only able sustain itself for approximately three days. You need to plan on drinking at least 1 gallon of water a day. It is not realistic to carry gallons of water on a run, thus, the most efficient way is to carry a LifeStraw Personal Water Filter.

 If you are lost in the outdoors, you can drink it directly from a river or lake, while waiting for help to arrive. It is effective in removing up to 99% of bacteria, parasites, and microplastics from the water, making it safe to drink.

It filters up to 1000 gallons of water, which is less than what an average person drinks a year. Weighing only 2 Oz, it is lightweight and easy to store. It is comforting to know that you have access to water wherever you go.

Bug out bag

bugout bag

A BOB or Bug Out Bag is a portable survival pack that one requires when evacuating from a disaster. A Bug Out Bag needs to be light, packed with essentials only, and ready to go. Avoid carrying too much weight as you get fatigue easier.

 

Remember the more survival skills you have, the less gear you need to pack in. Your Bug Out Bag needs to be tough enough to take in serious abuse. Look for bags with MOLLE webbing, where you can modify the bag to create more storage.

 

One of the most important things to consider is comfort and fit. You may be lugging your bag around for days. Look well padded shoulder pads to absorb the brunt of the weight you are carrying. Hip straps and hip padding allows the weight to be supported by the muscles at your thighs and hips. This balances out the load on your shoulders by shifting the center of gravity. This is good for your back.

 

The last thing you need is the bag to fail on you when you need it most. Check the quality of your gear. It needs to be made of durable and water resistant material to endure abrasion and rain. These features will prevent from damaging your valuables inside. Zippers should be sturdy with double stitching and waterproof well.

 

REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack is one of the most popular choices among tactical enthusiasts and preppers due to its affordability and quality. The material is of top notch quality and durable to last you to your grandchildren! It has many features that you will find on high end tactical bags for the fraction of the cost.

Multitool

multitool

Fancy being Macgyver saving the day with a multitool at ready? You have no idea why you need it in your survivalist lists. But when a situation arises, multi tools always come in handy. It should be able to perform simple tasks like a knife, scissors, pliers or screwdriver.

 

Choose a high quality multitool as it needs to be durable during dire situations. Check that the knife is sharp enough and the pliers have a tight grip. In a survival setting, your multitool will be used to skin your hunt, sharpen sticks or opening can food.

 

The great part of having a multitool, is because it is cleverly designed to save lots of space. You will not need to carry an entire toolbox everywhere. Try to find a balance in the size of your multi tool. If it is too small, it will be more difficult to manage some tasks. If it is too large, it may be too heavy to lug around. LEATHERMAN, Wave Plus Multitool is a great choice if you are looking for a reliable multitool.

First aid kit

first aid

Learn basic first aid and carry a kit with you. It is also a good idea to have a dedicated first aid kit in your car. In case you get caught in an emergency on the way back from work, having a first aid kit in hand can make a difference between life and death. Here are some tips how to self manage minor injuries.

 

Medications must be also added on to your First Aid Kit. It is ideal to pack your own medical kit, so that you are familiar with each item. You will want to bring painkillers, anti-diarrheal, altitude tablets and antihistamine. A good rule of thumb is to load a 30-day supply of over-the-counter medicine. Make sure you include any prescription medications along with it. Check out First Aid Only 299 Piece All-Purpose First Aid Kit (FAO-442) which has 299 essential first aid supplies for treating minor aches and injuries

Proper clothings

proper clothing

There are at least 1500 deaths a year due to hypothermia in the United States. Appropriate clothing when outdoors is important to keep the body warm, especially during winter. Pack an extra warm layer if you are expecting it to be cold.

 

Develop a layering system. This is an important skill for a hiker to master. Dressing in layers keeps you warm by entrapping the air between layers. Every person has a different metabolism. Experiment with various base layers, insulation layers, mid layers, and shells. Develop a structure that works for you in 3 seasons conditions. It is easier to regulate temperature by wearing many thin layers than wearing only an integrated layer. 

 

Select shirts made of materials which will save you from chaffing. Long sleeves are a good choice, as it can protect you from the elements, and you can roll up the sleeves when it is hot. Choose shirts which are moisture-wicking. This means they dry fast and move sweat away from your body. These materials are usually made of wool, polyester or nylon. 

 

Color selection is also important. Avoid wearing dark colors. Mosquitoes rely on their vision to find hosts, and are more attracted to people in dark clothings. Light colors store less heat, giving you more relief during summers. In hot weather, having a bandana is a lifesaver. You can dip it in water and wrap around your neck or head, for some instant cooling.

Navigation

navigation

When you are in the countryside, sometimes there is no certainty of network access. It makes sense to have one cell phone and one satellite communication device as your hiking accessories in your group. While phones can act as a compass, you never know when it will run out of juice or be unreliable in the wilderness.

 

Always bring a compass and learn how to use them. It is a must have survival gear. It needs no batteries, works with a map, and even works without any map! It is recommended you find a compass that has an interface that glows in the dark so that you can still move on when it is pitch black. It is good to check that it is waterproof and shakeproof, so that it can withstand punishing conditions. Sunnto Compass is a great choice if you are looking for a good quality compass.

Food

emergency food

In 2017, Hurricane Maria caused weeks and months of chaos, which also meant difficulty in accessing food supplies. Having survival food on hand is a part of your survival essentials until you can get more stable sources of food to power you through any calamities. These are foods that you can store for long periods of time without any need for refrigeration.

 

Canned food is one great source of survival food. But the setback is, it is not very portable. Being bulkier and heavier, makes it inconvenient to travel with many cans of it in your backpack. For easy packing, calorie dense snacks are good choices, such as jerky, energy bars, nuts, chocolates, or freeze-dried food. Here are some ideas for easy to prepare camping meals.

As we burn an estimated 200 to 300 calories per hour, we can easily whip up this snack to stave off hunger or starvation. Emergency food kits are preferable long term choices. They are considered non-perishable food, as they usually have 25-30 years of shelf life. You will not need to constantly replace them. They are packaged in complete meals, which is easier than piecing together different portions and ingredients. Mountain House Classic Bucket contains 24 servings of freeze dried backpacker favorites.

Firestarter

fire starter

For a caveman, fire is an essential survival gear to survive. It will help you to cook food, stay warm, fight off predators. In modern times, it helps to purify water or have a barbecue by your campsite. In survival mode, it is a lifesaver. You can generate a fire in even the most unforgiving of conditions (in a torrential downpour or a blizzard) if you do not have a tent heater with you. This allows you to quickly get warm and dry, if you are soaked and in danger of hypothermia.

 

There are 2 ways to make fire. The first way is on your own. Using stones to create a spark is no joke! Getting a firestarter would be a smarter move. There is one type of firestarter that works in most conditions, a ferro rod. A ferro rod can produce sparks that burn at around 5500-degrees F. It can conjure flames even in the darkest, coldest circumstances. If you are lost in the dark, a ferro rod can become a signaling device. Rescuers will be able to locate you in the dark, as its sparks are bright like a small flare. A great choice to start with is the Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter.

Whistle

whistle

Another item in your survival gear list is a whistle. It is useful if you encounter trouble during your hike. Screaming at the top of your lungs may be fruitless if the weather is turbulent with wind and rain. Whether you find yourself in a dangerous situation in a rough part of town, or lost in the wilderness, having a whistle to call for assistance can be a lifesaver.

 

A whistle of at least 100 decibels will travel great distances and notify others of your presence. Use it when you need to attract people to your location. Using a plastic version whistle is recommended as they are lightweight, float in water and will not rust. You can conveniently hang it around your neck, in case you get separated from your gear. Luxogear Emergency Whistle is a super loud whistle that can provide up to 120 decibel, enough to be heard a mile away.

SIGNAL MIRROR

signal mirror

In World War 2, US Navy pilots carried signal mirrors as part of their survival kit. A signal mirror is the most underrated signaling device found in a survival kit list. Even though a rescue craft is hovering above you, they need to somehow spot you.

 

Many people have been saved by this simple device when they are stranded in dire situations. They are rescued after been spotted through the thick of the jungle or in the open ocean. It is more effective than waving or screaming at the top of your lungs. Best Guide ASE Military Grade Glass Signal Mirror (Mark 3) is manufactured with highly reflective glass, which is military approved and issued.

 

Believe it or not, this simple device is capable of transmitting messages to rescuers as far as 100 miles away or thousands of feet overhead. It outperforms your cellphone as it even works in places without cell phone coverage. A signal mirror comes with a reflective surface along with a hole in the middle to enable you to see where you are focusing your signal. The hole helps you to accurately point the shine on the target to clearly indicate your location.

Final thoughts

This guide is to help point you to the best survival gear that are usually needed in the majority of circumstances. You will never know it might end up saving your life. With a survival kit always at hand, you will feel prepared to face any situation with confidence.

 

One last final key ingredient that determines your survival outcome is your mental attitude, how you respond to a situation. Having all the gear you need to survive is important, but having the will to survive is the most significant factor in actual survival.

What's next

If you are excited and want to kick start your survival adventure, check out these 4 persons tent.

I would love to hear from you, if you have experiences to share on how survival gears helped you an emergency situation.

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