Here, in no particular order, are our top 10 survival items. Keep in mind that these items best serve the area in which we live, so your top 10 could be somewhat different than ours but we feel these items will, if nothing else, help you hit the ground running. A good survivalist, outdoorsman/woman or prepper will always be making modifications and/or changes to their kits.
- Shelter – preferably a tent, tarp or other products that is relatively quick to set up and pack up when it’s time to move. Building all natural shelters can take hours to complete, not to mention burn thousands of calories in the process. Natural shelters are also not portable.
- Metal Container – Often referred to as the one item that is almost impossible to replicate in the wild, a good stainless steel, single walled water bottle or cooking pot is irreplaceable in any survival situation.
- Knife – Preferably a good full tang knife can be purchased for around $50 or so and a must have for any outdoor camping trip or survival situation. Knives can aslo be used to make spears, traps, carving and crafting items that you may need if you find yourself in a situation lasting longer than 2 to 3 days.
- Water Filter – I prefer the Sawyer Mini filter but literally any kind of water filtering device is always a good idea. Most small water filters cost less than $25 and can be found in just about any outdoor/camping section at your favorite retail store.
- Fire Starter – “Keep it simple, stupid” is the approach I take here. I carry at least 4 Bic lighters and at least 2 ferro rods and strikers in each of my kits.
- Fuel Tabs/Fire building – For all natural fire starter brand we recommend Black & White Fire Starter. For more tactical and/or chemical based products we recommend Hexamine fuel tabs as these will burn in pretty much any conditions at 1300 degree F.
- Compass & Map – Of course you’ll need a map of the area you’re in plus some knowledge of how to read a map. You’ll also need a decent compass. Although maps can be somewhat hard to find now days there are tons of app for your phone and other means to find these, especially if you live in a very remote area. I downloaded the satellite photo of our area using Google Maps, saved the image, printed it off and then laminated my self made map.
- Food – Pack something you enjoy eating that has a good bit of calories and protein if at all possible. There are tons of products to choose from so I won’t get into specific brands as your taste and mine may differ completely.
- Light – For years I carried (and still do every day) a pocket flashlight with, at least, 1000 lumens or better. But now days I’ve become a huge fan of headlamps as they keep both your hands free and follow whatever direction you’re looking in. Whichever is your preference, make sure you have a decent light with a source to charge it and/or back up batteries in your kit.
- Saw or Axe – Having one or both, saw or axe, will make gathering wood for your camp much easier and you’ll be happy you had it with you at the end of the day. Although some would argue you could just use a large knife (which is somewhat true) what happens if you break your knife beating on a tree while trying to chop it down? Be smart and get yourself a good quality saw or axe. You’ll be glad you did. Trust me.
Thanks and stay safe!