Guide to Selecting Survival Gear

There may be moments in our lives when our survival skills are put to the test. Fortunately, a lot of us would still have the time to be prepared and learn various survival skills before disaster or calamity strikes. One of the most important things that you need to prepare in times of emergency is the survival gear, which is usually composed of pieces of equipment that can be used to fix or break objects, as well as different items that are utilized to increase our chances of survival no matter the weather condition or temperature. Here is a guide to selecting survival gear so that you will know which pieces of equipment and items you should have to hone and improve your survival skills.

Guide to Selecting Survival Gear

Hiking Bag

hiking bags

In order for you to carry your survival items and gear anywhere, you would need to have a sturdy and durable hiking bag. While any type of bag can be used to store survival gear, a regular backpack won’t have the same durability and storage capacity as a large hiking bag, which will allow you to bring many kinds of survival items while you are outdoors. There are many hiking bags to choose from, but we recommend ones that have a larger storage capacity and are made from very durable materials like nylon. Here are two hiking bags that you can get as part of your survival gear:

  • Loowoko 50L Hiking Backpack – this 50-liter backpack features a waterproof exterior with plenty of pockets and compartments to store items neatly.
  • FENGDONG 40L Hiking Backpack – this hiking bag has breathable mesh padding in its shoulder straps so that it would be more comfortable to carry. The material used for its exterior is thick and tear-resistant, so it can withstand months and years of use.

First Aid Kit

first aid kit

In order to have a higher chance of survival, especially after a disaster or calamity, we need to have a first aid kit that can help in healing and treating wounds or other kinds of injuries. The first aid kit typically contains bandages, gauze, medical tapes, and alcohol, but it would also have tools like scissors, tweezers, and safety pins. First aid kits can come in different shapes and sizes, so choose the one that is the most compact while still being able to carry a lot of items. Here are a few first-aid kits you can add to your survival gear:

  • Be Smart Get Prepared 110-Piece First Aid Kit – This kit includes items that can clean, treat, and protect minor cuts and scrapes. The container for the items has easy slide latches so that you can easily open them while securely locking the latches into place once you close the kit.
  • M2 Basics 300-Piece First Aid Kit – this large first aid kit features 40 unique items that are used to treat minor cuts and wounds. This kit also has an emergency blanket, compass, and whistle that is very useful for survival and emergencies.
  • All-Health 100-Piece First Aid Kit – this compact kit is ideal for outdoor trips, as it has a lightweight container with almost everything you need to treat wounds sustained while hiking, camping, or doing other activities outdoors.

Emergency Food

canned food

Food is essential for our survival, as it provides our body with nutrients that can then allow us to move and keep going forward. There are different kinds of foods that can be consumed, but the best ones to eat for survival purposes are canned and dried goods. Canned fruits and vegetables can usually last for more than a year, while dried goods like beef jerky and dried fruits can be stored for six months to one year. If you need to survive for days and weeks without getting help from rescue teams and other agencies, then you may need to store emergency food supplies in your pantry or inside your survival bag. Take a look below for some canned and dried goods that can be consumed for emergency purposes:

Clean Drinking Water

water flask

Besides food, water is another thing that we need to survive. However, during times of calamity or disaster, it can often be difficult to find a clean source of water, as the tap water we get from our home may not be as clean as it used to be since the water pipes underground may have been damaged from the catastrophe. 

We can store drinking water in plastic bottles, but these bottles aren’t really suitable for survival, as they are not secure enough to prevent contamination. So, a better way to store drinking water is to pour them into water flasks that are made of stainless steel, as these will do a better job of keeping the water clean for long periods of time while also retaining the original temperature of the water.

Once you run out of clean water to drink, you can then use a portable water filtration system, which can transform dirty water from lakes, rivers, and ponds into clean drinkable water. Although portable filtration systems aren’t as effective as the industrial filtration systems found in water treatment plants, it is still sufficient in providing relatively clean water in situations where we don’t have a source of drinkable water indoors and outdoors. Here are three water filtration systems that you can use in case of emergency:

  • LifeStraw Personal Water Filter – this filtration system will give you instant clean water, as it is basically a straw that has a filter in the middle. So, you can just place the end of the straw on a pond, lake, or river and then sip on the straw on the other end to drink water.
  • Outback Water Emergency Water Filtration System – this simple system features buckets that you can use to scoop water from bodies of freshwater, and the buckets would have a filter at the center. Then, there is a faucet on the side of one bucket where you can get clean water.
  • Sawyer Products Squeeze Water Filtration System – another portable water system that can easily be carried or stored inside a backpack. This system features a squeeze mechanic wherein you just need to squeeze a plastic pack filled with water from rivers, lakes, and ponds into the filtration bottle, and the water will already be filtered and cleaned.

Emergency Shelter Items

rolled up sleeping bag

In times of disaster, there may be a situation where our home is not as safe and comfortable to live in anymore compared to before. So, in that situation, we would often have to move and just find another shelter. When we can’t find a proper shelter like a new home or a waiting shed, we need to use emergency shelter items like tents and sleeping bags. 

The items that you should buy as emergency shelters should be made of durable materials so that they will last longer and will be more resistant to scratches and other types of damage. In addition, you may also need to buy sleeping bags that can retain your normal body temperature. Buy durable tents and sleeping bags that have plenty of features so that your purchase will be worth it once you actually need these items for survival. Here are two items you can get for emergency shelter:

  • Grizzly Gear Emergency Thermal Tent – this survival tent is made from mylar, which is a durable and insulating material that can retain your body’s temperature while providing sufficient warmth during colder weather or seasons.
  • Oaskys Camping Sleeping Bag – this lightweight sleeping bag can be used for three different seasons, namely summer, spring, and fall, as it has both insulating and breathable properties that make it incredibly versatile.

Sources of Light

glow sticks in different colors

Having a source of light is very important for survival, especially at night when you really can’t see anything when the power is out in your home, town, or city. The flashlight is arguably the most common and popular choice as a source of light for emergency situations, but the downside to this item is that it heavily relies on batteries, so once you run out of battery, the flashlight is useless.

In case your flashlight is unusable or damaged, there are other great sources of light that you can try out during emergency situations. There are long-lasting candles that can last for hours, although you will need to keep an eye on these candles to make sure that they don’t cause a fire. Moreover, there is also a safer option in the form of glow sticks, which also have a light that can last for long periods of time. Pack various sources of light in your emergency or survival kit so that you will have different options when it comes to illuminating dark areas. These are some glow sticks and candles that you can add to your survival gear:

  • Hyoola Emergency Candles – these survival candles can illuminate a dark area for up to three hours, which is quite long for short taper candles.
  • Candlelife Emergency Survival Candle – one of the most impressive survival candles because of how long it can burn and provide light. This candle can last for up to 115 hours, making it one of the longest-lasting candles on the market.
  • Swiss Safe Premium Glow Sticks – these glow sticks feature an extra bright light and up to 12 hours of illumination. These also have hooks at the top so that you can hook them on bags, belts, shirts, and other accessories and types of clothing.

Items for Fire-Making

using firesteel to create fire

If you want to have a source of light that can also be utilized to cook food or to keep yourself and your companions warm, then you should create a campfire using fire-making tools. A lighter is one of the common items used for making fire, and they are usually utilized along with twigs or pieces of wood to make a campfire. However, much like the flashlight, a lighter can also run out, as it relies on the fluid or liquid inside it to produce fire.

An alternative that is considered to be one of the best items to make fire is the firesteel, also known as the fire starter. The firesteel is a small rod that is made from a type of metal that can easily generate sparks, and these sparks can then be used to create fire with tinder. In order to generate sparks, the firesteel should be scraped using a knife or a dedicated scraper, which usually comes with the firesteel. The firesteel should be scraped at an angle just below the tinder so that the sparks would go directly to the tinder and create fire faster. Here is a set of firesteel and tinder that you can use to create fire.

Useful Tools

a multi-tool

In addition to the firesteel, there are also other useful tools that we can use for survival. These tools include the multi-tool, which is a tool that basically has almost everything you need to open, close, or fix different items, as well as a survival knife and a compact axe, also known as the survival hatchet. Besides being useful for fixing or breaking stuff, the survival knife and compact axes can also be used for self-defense.

So, these are the items that you will need to complete your survival gear. Make sure that you prepare a checklist so that you will have every single item ready once an emergency situation that tests your survival skills actually occurs.