So you plan on putting yourself to the test and roughing the great outdoors. When deciding what to put in our outdoor survival kit, we would refer to our Survival Priorities post. Based off the 7 main priorities, which gear is the most essential to have?
Here is the quick list… We explain more details further on.
Tube Tent or Wilderness Hammock (depending where and how long)
Cold weather cap and extra sweater
Extra socks and gloves (Makes a decent water filter as well!)
Cotton balls and dryer lint for tinder
Matches and/or a lighter
Yo-Yo fishing reel
Mini backpacker blowgun
Mini First-Aid kit
Starting food and water
Water purification tablets
Water canteen and a cooking cup
For Shelter and Warmth:
Emergency Blanket - We always recommend an emergency
blanket no matter where your travels take you. It has the ability to
reflect heat away from and towards the body, making it ideal in hot or
If you are trying to keep your pack to a minimum, then
a tube tent with some skills in making a brush
shelter should suffice. If your skills are rusty and you expect cold
weather, a more substantial tent or bivy shelter should be considered.
Of course you should dress appropriately, bring enough
clothing that can keep you comfortable in even the worst possible
conditions. Remember the head, neck, and core are the most important parts
of the body to keep warm.
A skilled individual can start a fire efficiently with
nothing more than a flint striker of some sort, and we also recommend at least some type of backup/emergency tinder in case nature does not provide. Some people don't need anything but a stick to start a fire, but this will burn way too much time and energy, even for a skilled individual.
If you haven't successfully practiced starting fires
with a flint striker, then bring a lighter and/or a box of matches,
preferably wind and waterproof.
Water and Food:
You may not need to bring any water or food related
gear if you know nature can provide for you, but I ALWAYS bring something
At the very least you will need a water container, and
why not fill it up at least once before you go? I would suggest either a collapsible
canteen or water bag, or a canteen with a cooking cup.
Same premise with the food, although you may want to
forage and hunt for food, it's nice to start out with a little to help get
things going or keep as a backup in case things don't go to plan. High
calorie foods with minimal weight. My number one choice is this 3600 Calorie Food Bar or related emergency
food bars. Energy bars, trail mix, and jerky are also fine choices.
A few Water Germicidal Tablets hardly take up
space and make a great fall back plan if you can't get good drinking water
or have trouble starting a fire to boil your water for disinfection.
Hunting and fishing gear! I love doing what I call
'Survival Hunting'. This involves setting traps and my automatic fishing
reel, as well as actually hunting small game with my 12" backpack
blowgun. Trap setting and foraging skills, along with my Yo-Yo mechanical
fisher and blowgun is all I need to be plentiful in the wild.
DEFINITELY bring an up to date map of the area you plan
on traveling and let people know where you are and how long you should be.
A compass is required for map reading.
A whistle or survival horn is highly recommended
especially for communication among the individuals you are traveling
with, not just for rescue purposes. It can also help ward off and alert
potentially dangerous wildlife.
Consider bringing a set of bear bells either to wear as
you travel or to set a trip line around your camp for an alarm system.
At the bare minimum I would at least suggest bringing a
small flashlight or two. Although if you have room maybe a small lantern.
Don't forget extra batteries, or consider getting a dynamo or solar
powered flashlight. I keep a small solar flashlight velcroed to the
outside of my backpack so it is constantly exposed to the sun and getting
charged whenever I have it.
A knife serves many purposes. Don't ever go without!
Cordage is the single next best tool after a knife, in
my opinion. Don't go without!
Outdoor Survival Kit Recap
There, this is all I ever bring on
my usual trips. Sometimes I add or subtract. I highly recommend coordinating
your equipment with other members of the party. For example, there is no reason
you should both bring a tent, or both bring fire starting tools, etc... Split
it up to carry less if your pack is near crowded.
Debbie LoeppkyDate 5/3/2012 1:16:51 PM
Thanks for the list!
DevinDate 5/11/2012 2:35:40 PM
You're welcome! Feel free to make suggestions, also check back in soon for our 'luxury item' article. :)