The 5 Most Important Survival Pack Items

| August 12, 2013 |

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When it comes to camping and survival, there are a lot of things you should have with you.  In fact, glancing through many survivalist sites you may even begin to wonder how you could possibly fit everything they recommend into your pack.  Lucky for you, I’m the kind of guy who likes to get down to the nitty-gritty and tell it like it is.

In a survival situation, there are somethings that, while “necessities” at home, become luxuries.  Toilet paper, for example, is not necessary for surviving stranded in the woods, neither is a pocket knife with 20 gadgets on it.  Likewise, you really don’t need 100 different power bars and snacks with you (though, admittedly, these are tasty to have on hand).  In this article, I’m going to go over the five things you simply MUST have in a survival kit.  Without these things, you’re in trouble.

Water:  Duh.  But I really don’t mean you should be carrying around 5 gallons of water on your back, that would get way too heavy way too fast.  What you really need is away to purify water you find from other sources.  If you’re stranded and have to drink from a steam, collect rainwater from leaves, or even drink ground water, you’re going to want a way to make this water safe.  One way is iodine tablets, and these take up very little space.  Another is a manual pump.  Either way, this tops the list because dehydration is the quickest and easiest way for humans to find themselves in mortal danger. 

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Knife:  “But wait, didn’t you say-?!”  Yes, I did  say that you don’t need some gimmicky pocket knife, but a real blade is essential.  When choosing a survival knife you’ll want to consider several things, but it mostly comes down to how strong, long, and sharp the blade is.  From hunting, to building, to cutting firewood, a good survival knife is a strong second on this list of essential gear. 

First Aid Kit:  Let’s face it, most things in a first aid kit, like bandage wrap, a thermometer, etc. you may never use, but you have to carry one because when you do need one of these items, it could be a matter of life or death whether or not you have it on hand.  A first aid kit doesn’t need to be especially bulky – most people aren’t going to open a large gash on their leg more than once, so you don’t really need 30 feet of gauze.  Just keep a little bit of everything on hand, and you’ll be all set. 

Matches/Lighter/Firestarter:  Let’s face it, matches beat lighters any day in terms of how “survival-y” they are, but sometimes the convenience is worth sacrificing some man-points.  Matches are good to have though, and if you do take them along make sure they are in a waterproof container and are the “strike anywhere” variety. 

A Flashlight:  The night doesn’t stop for you, and you shouldn’t stop for it.  When darkness falls, it’s important that you can still get things done and be well aware of your surroundings.  It is preferable that you get a light you can wear on your head in order to keep your hands free.

Survival doesn’t have to be complicated and cumbersome, in fact, it’s best if it’s not.  Stick to these essentials and, combined with some wits and know-how, you’ll be all set to brave the great out doors without fear.

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  1. Steve says:

    I’d recommend a good survival manual, too. The u.s. army one is good, and you can get it at Barnes and Noble for pretty inexpensive.

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