Planning a trip to the outdoors? Great, But make sure you are prepared for it! Survival essentials are what you need to bring with you and what you need to know before you set out. To help out, as we often like to do, we have compiled two lists for you. The first one is the top 10 things that outdoor professionals have stated are the things you should have with you when wondering away from civilization. The other list is the 10 essential tips you need to know.
Top 10 Survival Essentials – Tools:
These are all ranked in order of how many times they were mentioned by professionals.
#10) Communication / Shelter
There is a tie for the last spot between Communication and shelter. For communication this means a way to contact the outside world from where you are. There are fairly limited options for this being a satellite phone or a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), etc. Shelter material can be anything from a plastic tarp to basically anything waterproof or insulated in some way. I think this is not higher up on the list because you can make shelter from materials you can find in the wild. A space blanket would definitely help in colder climates.
Food is definitely important for survival but, like the shelter material, you can find this in the wild so I would take an educated guess why this is higher up on the list. But it does make the list because if you have a stash of power bars with you it can make things go a lot easier and it doesn’t weigh down much. A good rule is to have enough food to last one week. This doesn’t mean full meals but the amount you could survive on. You want high energy, high calorie in a concentrated form to save on space; so Chocolate, powerbars, dried fruit, canned tuna, nuts, jerky, etc.
This can be simple fishing line or a nylon cord or some other similar material but you want something strong, light, and not bulky. This is a multipurpose tool because you will need it for setting traps, lining for shelter, food storage, etc.
#7) First Aid Kit
The chances of you getting injured while out in the wild is quite high. Give yourself the best chances by having a simple first aid kit with you.
This is a big one. Your chances of survival are extremely diminished if you are unable to have fire, especially if you are in a cold and/or wet climate. There are techniques for starting a fire without the aid of tools but give yourself the advantage and pack a lighter or some waterproof matches.
This can mean a compass, map, gps or any other way of knowing your surroundings. Knowing how to get to high ground or to a river can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
#4) Water Bottle
Water is essential to survival. Once you find or make clean drinking water it is essential to have somewhere to store it.
#3) Water Purification
Water that you can’t drink is pretty useless and can be a pretty big temptation for when dehydration really kicks in. Also, being able to boil water is not always an option so take a few of water filtration tablets along and they could come in very handy.
The second most important tool to take on a journey is a knife. Almost any outdoors expert you speak to will tell you to take a good knife with you when heading out to the wild. There are many different types and price ranges for knives but as long as you take some sort of knife you are much better off than if you didn’t.
#1) Signaling Equipment
Signalling equipment makes #1 on our list of tools for survival essentials. You may be surprised by this since some other items higher up on the list may seem to be more important but this is indeed the most widely recommended tool to bring with you. Signaling equipment can range can be a whistle, mirror, flashlights, flares, or anything else that can grab the attention of a possible rescuer off in the distance.
Okay, now that you know the most important pieces of survival equipment you need let’s turn to the tips and knowledge you should be aware of. Take note, a lot of these correspond with the tools that were listed above. Now for survival essentials there are many different things to take into account like climate, types of possible wildlife in area, geography, etc. These will make the survival techniques change a little bit. For example, if you are in a cold climate you want to stay warm and dry at a all costs. When you get wet your body loses heat 20x faster. But the following tips give you a strong base for any climate or location.
Top 10 Survival Tips:
• Find Water
If you are in a survival situation you want to find water as fast as possible because you won’t last 3 days without it. If you suspect contamination, boil the water for 10 minutes before you cool and drink it. There are many areas that you can look for water in the wild depending on the area you are in. Take a look around our site for more information. But one key way is to make a rain catcher. Also try tool #3 above.
• Find shelter
If you find yourself in a survival situation you need shelter and fast. In some climates it is more of a priority than others but more times than not you will need to make some sort of barrier from the elements. A Lean-To is a very simple and easy type to construct.
Finding food is the last of the big three survival essentials. If you have water, shelter and food you are doing okay. Hunger will affect you mentally and will make it hard for you to think straight. Get familiar with the different types of food that you will be able to eat in the particular area you are going before any trip. You don’t want to end up eating the wrong type of berry. Also knowing how to build traps is a good skill to have.
Basically this means you should always tell someone where you’re going before you head out on an expedition. This could be the difference between you getting rescued or not. More often than not in survival situations the ones that live are the ones that get rescued. So in many cases survival is staying alive until you get rescued.
• Stay Positive / Think Realistically
After being in a survival situation for over 24 hours it really becomes a mental game. You need to stay positive while staying focused on your goal – make it out alive. What you need is to have a survival mentality. This means you believe that you will survive no matter what. There have been people that have lived through some extreme scenarios all because of their will to live.
• Keep an inventory
You don’t want to lose any of your tools or misplace something that gives you the advantage over the wild. Keep a mental inventory of all your items and check them daily. Especially if hunger is an issue you can easily forget or misplace something.
This seems obvious for a list of survival essentials but you need to learn to make one. It’s not as easy as it seems if you don’t have tools like a lighter or matches. There are several techniques to making one and, you guessed it, that you can find here on our site.
• Think of a rescue plan
Be prepared to be rescued. Think of every imaginable situation. What will you do if a plane flies over or if you hear someone off in the distance? Be prepared. Make an SOS sign, have a fire ready to send smoke signals, or check out some of our other distress signal ideas we have.
• Keep track of stars if you don’t have a Compass
Knowing how to spot the northern star can help you quite a bit. The stars are constant landmarks for you to follow.
• Mindful of wildlife
This just makes sense too. Know the dangerous animals in the area and where they like to sleep. The last thing you want to do is make your shelter next to an ant hill or snake den.
And there you have it. You are now equipped with the survival essentials.