I think we can all agree…
Whether you’re camping, hiking, fishing, or hunting, venturing out into the wilderness comes with a certain amount of risk. Conditions are often unpredictable and you have to be prepared for the worst.
Part of ensuring your safety is making sure you have all the necessary supplies before your trip. Trust me, you don’t want to realize you forgot to buy a compass once you are already lost.
In this article, we will cover 11 must have wilderness survival gear items to make you definitely want to have before any outing.
Must Have Wilderness Survival Gear
Here are at 11 pieces or wilderness survival gear that you should always have in you pack:
Fire is one of the most basic human needs.
Without fire, it is impossible to cook food or make water safe to drink. If you are ever in a position where you’re stuck in the wilderness for a long period of time, fire will dramatically increase your chances of survival.
If you want to go with a basic route, you can assemble a simple kit yourself; a lighter, flint, matches and a magnesium rod would be a great start.
It is actually surprisingly cheap to buy a pre-made kit. I would recommend the Steve Kaeser Fire Making Kit. Here are some of the items included in the pre-made kit:
- Tin can with USA cut fatwood sticks
- One bag of fatwood shavings
- 3 inch ferro rod with metal striker
- Fixed blade knife with sheath
- Survival saw
This kit is 100% American assembled in Ventura, California, so you are getting top notch quality!
Handheld flashlights serve multiple purposes:
First is tho obvious. Surviving by yourself in the wilderness would be near impossible without a light source. When the sun goes down out there, it gets dark. Not like the city dark; dark like you can’t see six inches in front of you.
Whether its for protecting yourself at night, finding your way around your site, or merely for comfort, a handheld flashlight is incredibly useful in a survival scenario.
Secondly, handheld “tactical” flashlights are a great way to signal for help. It is pretty commonly know that a blinking light in series of three indicate an emergency. A good tactical flashlight serves as a way for park rangers, helicopters, or even planes to find you.
A good fixed blade knife is the backbone of any wilderness survival gear checklist. In fact, I rarely do anything outdoors without bringing a knife with me.
Now you may be asking, why a fixed blade as opposed to a folding knife. For me, the issue really comes down to reliability. While folding knives are easy to sue and portable, you risk the hinge breaking. Fixed blade knives are much more sturdy and can withstand quite the beating.
The uses of a good fixed blade knife are endless. Just a few include carving tinder, cutting wood, food preparation, hunting, and carving.
I would highly recommend the Morakniv Companion Outdoor Knife.
This knife ranges anywhere from $13 to $30, which is very affordable for the quality. It is made of hardened Sandvik stainless steel and features a tough, high-friction grip. The durability and performance of this unit is really unmatched for the price.
To make it even better, the Morakniv Companion comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty!
The compass is one of the basic tools for any survivalist.
A lensatic compass, also called a military compass, can be used to navigate even the trickiest of terrains. It is usually used in conjunction with a map of the area.
It is important to know that any explorer can get lost; don’t think you are immune. There are countless documented instances in which compasses were the sole reason for someone’s rescue.
Of course, a compass is not of much use if you don’t know how to use it. Check out this guide for more info about how to use a lensatic compass.
I recommend not being cheap when buying a compass. It is a very important tool and you don’t want it to fail on you. The CMMG Official US Military Compass is battle tested and effective in any weather conditions. It is a little on the expensive side, but definitely worth it in the long run.
Titan Paracord is an American, veteran owned company and I fully stand behind their products (which all come with a LIFETIME guarantee).
Their cord is extremely strong, able to hold over 620 pounds of pull. It has numerous uses and is the perfect choice for any camping, fishing, hunting, or boating trip.
In a survival scenario, paracord can be a lifesaver. Whether you have to build a shelter, get yourself off the ground, or even repel down a steep cliff, paracord is there to save the day.
To top it all off, Titan Paracord is relatively cheap and doesn’t take up much space in your backpack. Overall, Titan Paracord is a great accessory for any wilderness survival gear kit!
There’s no telling what kind of injuries you may face out in the wilderness. I can think of a few personal experiences in which a good first aid kit would have come in very handy. In an emergency situation, a first aid kit could make all the difference.
This first aid kit by TripWorthy is perfect for any traveler or explorer. It is compact, easy to transport, and ready for just about anything. At only 1 pound, you won’t even notice this kit in your backpack.
There are truly too items to list, but this kit includes basically anything you need to care for an emergency wound. This includes bandages, anti-bacterial pads, tape, emergency blankets, and much more.
With this kit in your bag, you will be confident going into your next trip!
No survival kit is complete without a LifeStraw. This award winning product is really one of the most amazing survival tools I have ever come across.
The LifeStraw is meant for convenient, personal use and is capable of filtering up to 1000 liters (264 gallons) of water. Simply place one end into any water source, suck through the other end like a normal straw, and enjoy clean, safe water.
The LifeStaw filter 99.99% of bacteria and parasites, meeting all EPA water filter requirements. It weighs only 2 ounces and can be carried around your neck on a lanyard, making it incredibly convenient and effective.
This tool is widely used in developing nations and is trusted by some of the largest non-profits in the world.
This one may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people don’t keep a stainless steel water bottle in their wilderness survival gear kit.
When choosing a bottle, make sure it is stainless steel to ensure you will be able to boil water if need be. A plastic water bottle simply won’t do.
This water bottle by GreenStream is specifically designed for explorers. It is leak/spill proof, corrosion resistant, non-magnetic, and durable.
It will keep liquid cold for up to 24 hours and hot for around 12 hours. This can be especially useful if you are surviving in extreme condition and need to control your body temperature.
A rain poncho is one of those things that you forget about until your really need it.
In all seriousness, rain can be very dangerous in a survival situation. Being wet 24/7 sucks the heat right out of you, encourages sickness, and can cause infections. Staying dry while stuck in the wilderness should be one of you top priorities, right behind staying hydrated and building fire.
Ponchos are cheap and easy to carry, it is really just a matter of getting around to buy one. This poncho is used by the Norwegian military and can open up to 8″ to be used as an emergency shelter.
Trust me, you definitely want to have one of these in you pack at all time. Don’t wait until the time you really need it.
An emergency blanket kind of falls in the same category as the poncho; they are cheap and small, but you don’t really think about buying one until its too late.
Hypothermia in an emergency survival situation is basically a death sentence. You want to avoid this at all costs.
In reality, a $1.00 emergency blanket can very well save your life. These foil mylar thermal blankets retain 90% of your body heat, even in freezing conditions. In addition, they are durable and effective in even the most extreme conditions.
One of the best things about these emergency blankets in their compact packaging. Simply throw a few in your bag and forget about them. There is really no need to ever take them out.
Earlier in the list we mentioned always carrying a LifeStraw during your outings. As great and effective as those are, I would also recommend always carrying some water purification tablets in your pack as well.
Water purification tablets are very simple to use. Simply place the correct amount of tablets in the “questionable” water, and 35 minutes later your water is safe to drink.
These tablets are used worldwide by campers, hikers, military personal, and non-profits. They are great when used in conjunction with a LifeStraw to ensure safety.
It is important to have your wilderness survival gear kit ready to go before you actually need it. When you are stuck out in the woods is not the time to realize that you forgot to pack a fire kit or a poncho. When it comes to survival kits, its better to be safe than sorry.
All of the items on our list have been tried, tested, and carefully evaluated. We highly encourage every survivalist to have one of every on this list (or at least something similar) to ensure safety in the wilderness.
Be safe and enjoy your exploring!