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Outdoor Survival Gear That Every Prepper Should Have

When is the last time you went out to explore the amazing things that nature has to offer? You should definitely consider doing it again. Our world is a very beautiful place that you will never get tired of.

It has stunning landscapes that will take your breath away, majestic hills and mountains from where you can get an eagle’s view; lots of greenery that will calm your soul, and vast waters that will take your mind away from the stresses and hassles of the civilized world.

That is to say; it’s time to pack your bags and head over to that outdoor attraction that you’ve been planning to visit. But, be a smart adventurer.Make sure you pack all the necessary survival gear that you will need.

Don’t know what that is? Well, lucky for you, we are here to help. Read on, and we’ll tell you exactly what shouldn’t be missing in your outdoor adventure bags.

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Why You Need Survival Gear

Stunning as it is, nature can also be very cruel. If you don’t prepare for your outdoor adventures thoroughly, you will keep running into ‘death or life’ type of situations.

We are talking about turbulent waters, encounters with wild animals, getting lost in the jungle and other life-threatening scenarios.

They can happen to pretty much anyone, whether you are a beginner, intermediate or experienced outdoor adventurer.

  • The only difference is that, an experienced outdoor person might be better placed to protect himself and others who are around him.
  • An intermediate adventurer might understand the risks, but will still face lots of problems operating in a world far away from civilization.
  • A beginner has no clue about the dangers that Mother Nature poses. That is the person who is at risk the most.

But, that shouldn’t scare you from exploring this beautiful world. It only means you should double check your outdoor gear to ensure that it can help you survive any potential situation. Of course, nobody wants or plans to go through dangerous situations. But, that doesn’t mean you won’t face them. So, your safest bet is to prepare for them in advance.

Amidst all the excitement that comes with climbing, walking, and jumping, make sure you have the necessary items to pull yourself from a potential life threatening situation. If you are really trapped or badly injured and can’t do that, you should at least have a means of calling for help. Otherwise, you will realize the importance of survival gear when it’s probably too late.

The Basic Outdoor Survival Items

It’s always easy to find your way around the city. At the very worst, you can just shout ‘taxi’, or perhaps order an Uber and give the driver the name of your destination, and you’ll find yourself where you need to be.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the jungle. The wild terrain is pretty unpredictable. So unpredictable that you might pack a 100-pound bag and still find yourself lost because you forgot a 1-pound GPS device.

While the size of a survival kit depends on factors like how far away from civilization you will be or how long your adventure will last, generally speaking, a large survival kit will keep you more at ease than a smaller one. That said, your biggest consideration should be the specific items that you have. Don’t pack a huge bag and forget to include the necessary items. It’s even better to have a small bag that has every survival item than a larger one that is filled with luxuries.

Better Have and Not Need Than to…

For instance, in an actual emergency situation, a flashlight with a strobe function might be more beneficial than a smartphone because it retains power for long and doesn’t need reception bars to send signals. That is to say, choose your survival items right. The next few sections will cover virtually every survival item that you need to have in your kit before you step foot outside the door.

Remember that you might not need to use each item every minute or even every day. But, best believe a situation will come when having it will prove more beneficial than not. Here are all the basic survival items categorized based on their uses.

Navigation Gear

For navigation, a map and compass will do the trick. The combination is a tried and proven method that will help you head in the right direction. Just make sure your map has all the roads and paths while your compass is working correctly.

One way of ensuring that you have the best map and compass is by choosing them using the right criteria. It is much simpler to choose a map than a compass. All you need to do is look at the scale and how detailed it is. While there are various types of maps, you can’t go wrong with the USGS map.

It has a great scale of 1:24,000 (meaning that 1 inch on the map represents 24,000 inches on the ground) and amazing location details that include longitude and latitude readings, as well as finer details like the distance between helpful landmarks.

As far as choosing the compass, here are the things to keep in mind:

  • Your compass’ dial should be able to rotate through 360 degrees. The best compasses have clearly marked values in increments of 2 degrees.
  • Unless you understand how to differentiate between the magnetic north and the cardinal north manually, choose a compass that can do that for you. The two are very confusing and can mislead you.
  • Always go for a compass with a clear base plate. That way, you will be able to see the underneath surface.
  • Also, choose a compass that has meridian lines. You will find it easier to use with a map.
  • Don’t forget to buy a sighting mirror as well, in case your compass doesn’t come with one. It is necessary for seeing the compass’ readings at your eye level.

Of course, even before you pack your map and compass, you need to know how to use them. If you can get an experienced outdoors person to teach you, the better. Otherwise, you can still use users’ manuals or online tutorials to figure out how things work. However, if you decide to do it, do not step out of the house before you understand how to use a map and compass combo.

A good alternative means of navigation is by using a GPS device. Modern day GPSs come with an array of capabilities that you will find to be very helpful. Additionally, you can easily get a device of your liking regardless of your budget. So, basically, there’s a GPS for everyone, just shop around, and you will get one that matches your needs and budget.

Signaling Equipment

Signaling equipment are a must-have for any outdoor trip. It doesn’t matter where you are going or how long your trip will take; you will need them to communicate with your group members or rescue teams in case of an emergency.

The good thing is that there are several signaling equipments that you can easily add to your survival kit. Considering their extreme importance, you should consider carrying more than one type.

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Here are the main ones:


it’s pretty much accurate to say that virtually everyone owns a smartphone (or cell phone for that matter). It’s a very important gadget in case of an emergency because you can use it to make calls, send SMS and emails or go to the internet to find a way out any situation. So, don’t leave yours behind and also try as much as possible to ensure it’s always charged.

That said, any experienced prepper will tell you that carrying a smartphone alone is not a good idea. Their batteries die fast, and you can’t use them where there is no network coverage. So, it doesn’t take a lot for your smartphone to be rendered useless, which kind of makes it a rather tricky signaling device for survival situations. But, you can combine it with one or more of these others for more effective communication.

Tactical flashlight

Fashlights meant for survival situations have a strobe function that you can use to send emergency requests. It would make more sense to have at least one before you leave the house.


Emergency whistles are very loud and will help you attract the attention of other campers or rescue teams. They are very effective in calling for help.

Signaling mirror

You can use a signaling mirror to capture a pilot’s attention by reflecting light to the aircraft. Once they get your S.O.S code, they will either land the craft or call for help. Most signaling mirrors come with instructions on how to use so you may want to practice on that before you venture into the jungle.


If worse comes to worst, you should at least have a way of starting a signal fire. Make sure it produces as much smoke as possible to alert people who might be around the area. You can also use the fire to keep yourself warm until help arrives.

Tools and Multi-Tools

Your chances of surviving a risky situation in the wilderness will increase dramatically, if you have the necessary tools and multi-tools. In case you don’t know the difference between the two – a tool is one equipment that is designed to help you perform specific tasks. For example, a knife is a tool that you can use to cut.

On the other hand, a multi-tool is one device that has multiple tools in it. The common pieces that you will find in a multi-tool include a knife, can opener, serrated blade and bottle opener among others.

Not every tool that you can think of is important to your stay in the wilderness. For instance, while a wrench is a handy tool for changing a flat tire, if you don’t have your car with you there’s really no need of having it in your survival bag. So, the trick here is to choose only the tools that you might need. That said, always carry an outdoor knife and an axe.

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A professional outdoor survival knife is designed specifically with your survival needs in mind. You can use it for so many tasks, including:

  • Cutting branches to clear the path or make room in the bushes
  • Cutting rope into smaller pieces
  • Improvising wooden objects like walking sticks
  • Cutting pretty much anything else that a knife can cut

So, before you set out to explore the wilderness, make sure your survival knife is well-sharpened for the task ahead. Remember to keep it clean always for improved durability.

As mentioned above, it’s important to have an axe alongside your outdoor knife. That is especially true if you are going to the woods. It will help you cut bigger logs and branches that a knife can’t. But, if you are short of space, it is better to leave an axe behind but by no means should you fail to pack your outdoor knife. Leatherman - Wingman Multitool, Stainless Steel - 1

Another handy accompaniment for your outdoor trip is a multi-tool. The many tools fitted in one package will help you open cans, carve branches, cut small pieces of wood, screw/unscrew bolts, cut rope, and open bottles among many other things. You can even trim and shape your nails if your multi-tool has a nail file. But the chances are that will be the least of your worries in a survivalist situation.

When shopping around for a multi-tool, be sure to choose one that can actually help you in case of an emergency. There are several brands in the market each with its own features and price. So, you can’t fail to land your hands on something that will serve you effectively.

Construction Gear for Setting Up a Shelter

Not everyone fancies the thought of carrying a tent to the backcountry. Well, that’s a risky move, but you might be forgiven if you at least carry the essential gear for setting up a shelter. That includes the tools necessary to make an improvised shelter, as well as some makeshift bedding.

Improvising a shelter is not that hard, but it will require a few tools like a survival knife, tarp, and ropes. Start by cutting a few branches that you will use to erect your structure. After that, tie them together with ropes to make a skeleton of your shelter. Finally, place your tarp over your shelter and then use more rope to tie it steadily on the closest tree.

It’s not an ideal structure by any means, but it will keep you fairly warm and protected. That is why it should only come as your option of last resort. Otherwise, a tent will do you good. And whether you have a tent or not, you should remember to bring a good-quality sleeping bag with you.

Water Container

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There’s a reason why they say water is life. Without it, you’ll simply die. So, if you head out to the jungle without a plan on how you will get adequate clean drinking water, you will be putting your life in danger.

Make sure your survival gear contains a special water container. There are many special containers for outdoor purposes, so you will certainly get one that suits your needs. And as you shop around, keep in mind that a metal container will serve you better than a plastic one (or any other material). That is because, metal is hard to puncture, which means it will protect your water well and will last for a long time.

Other than the material, you might also want to consider a container that has a built-in water filtering system. It is only wise to have a filtration plan even before you start your trip because there’s no guarantee that you will get clean drinking water wherever you are going. Alternatively, you can forgo the filtration system and instead, purchase purifying tablets. They are a cheaper option, so if you are working on a budget, it does make sense to give up on the purifying system for tablets.

Other than your big water container, you can still pack one smaller one that can easily fit in your backpack. It is not extremely necessary, but you might need it for daily use if your trip involves leaving your shelter to go on excursions. Needless to say, carrying a smaller bottle is easier than dragging your whole container every day.

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A first aid kit is a must-have, whether you are going to a new place or somewhere you know. It doesn’t matter if your outdoor adventure will last a day, a weekend, a week or a month, you simply shouldn’t leave a first aid kit behind.

You don’t need a huge one, just a small kit with the basic requirements for treating wounds as you get help. Make sure your kit has bandages, alcohol, gauze, wipes for cleaning and anything else that you think is useful in the first aid process. If you are finding it hard to put your first aid kit together, you can simply buy a customized one. There are plenty of options for you to pick.

Other Additions

So far, we have covered the basics – the items that you absolutely must have before you go out on any outdoor excursion trip. But, they don’t make up the entire list in your survival gear; there are other additions that will come in handy more than you expect. We have listed each one of them below:

  1. A backpack 5.11 3 Day Rush Backpack, Black - 3

All the items should be able to fit in your outdoor backpack. If you don’t have one yet, this is the best time to go shopping. Make sure the one you choose has the following features:

  • Made of a strong and durable material that can survive any rugged environment.
  • Big enough to accommodate all your survival gear together with some food supplies.
  • You should be able to carry it comfortably when it is fully packed. The best backpacks feature a reinforced back that will take some of the weight off your shoulders. Also, look for one that has adequate padding for more comfort. Hip straps are a must because you will need your hips to support some of the weight.
  • Fitted with a rain cover to protect you when it rains.
  • Offers the possibility to hang smaller items (like a water bottle) on the bag’s side.
  • Has compartments, where you can store different items. You don’t want a bag that will force you to squeeze everything in one pocket. Retrieving them will be one hell of a nightmare.
  1. Extra clothes

Carry a few extra clothes with you. You don’t need them because you will get dirty (most people can stand dirt) but rather when it rains. Having to wear soaked clothes will put you at risk of getting cold-related sicknesses. That is not something you want when you are out in the wilderness.

  1. A hat

You need this to protect your head and face from the sun during the day. At night, you can use it to keep your head warm.

With those items, you will surely be ready to hit the outdoors and enjoy every wonderful thing that Mother Nature has to offer. Don’t forget to go through the list a few times to ensure that you have everything.

When you are out in the jungle, keep your survival kit with you or very close to you at all times. If you lose it, you will just have invited unimaginable trouble to your life. So, protect it as much as you are willing to protect your life.

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