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13 Must-Have Items in your Wilderness Survival Kit

13 Must-Have Items in your Wilderness Survival Kit
1. Firestarter

A good fire starter is arguably the single most important tool you should have in your survival kit. Fire is going to help you cook food, boil water, stay warm, and sleep safely without worrying about predators. In fact, it’s good to carry a couple options with you in case one is lost, damaged, or inefficient in whatever environment or weather conditions you’re dealing with. Carry some combination of matches, a ferro rod & striker, and a good ol’ Zippo or BIC lighter. It’s also good to bring some tinder in case it's difficult to find some or you’re dealing with wet conditions. Then keep it all in a watertight container to keep it from getting wet itself. Check out Gerber’s Fire Starter here. Gerbers Fire Starter is a compact, packable survival tool that is easily attached to a backpack or keychain with a lanyard, ensuring you are always prepared. With built-in water-resistant tinder storage, an easy to spark ferrocerium rod, a sturdy metal striker, and a 100 decibel emergency whistle, you are ready to take on the wild.

2. Water Purification System

Next to fire, clean drinking water is obviously essential when out in the wilderness. Humans on average can only last 3 days without water and you might find yourself in a position where you’ll need to use the resources mother nature has readily available to you. Unfortunately, these water sources, be it a stream, lake, snow, rain, or whatever you come across, aren’t always the cleanest and can carry bacteria that will make you sick and possibly kill you. Keep in mind what environment you’ll be in and what kind of water sources you’ll most likely be using as that will help determine what kind of water purification system or kit you’ll need. This 30-piece water gathering kit from Off-Grid Tools is perfect for any survivalist or backpacker. It’s compact and has everything you need to produce clean water when you need it the most.

3. First-Aid Kit

A good first-aid kit is essential to any survival kit. We’re not talking just bandages and antibacterial ointments, although both should be included. You should be prepared for a number of contingencies that may happen while on a trek. Gauze pads for larger wounds, splints for fractures, tourniquet, and alcohol pads for sterilization are just a few to help you stay ready for most emergencies. The MyFAK (My First Aid Kit) by MyMedic was designed with three goals: Adaptive - Functional - Indestructible. This First Aid Kit can be used anywhere from a day at the park with the kids, a multi-day backpacking adventure, or off-road in your Jeep. It has all the core items you need for a survival trip neatly packed in a small easy to carry pack.

4. Map/Compass/GPS Handhelds

Having a good GPS handheld or any other device to help guide your way is always nice but you never know when one of those things will give out on you, break, or the battery dies. It’s always good to have a backup compass and topographical map tucked away to guide you in case they do. Nothing compares to Garmin’s GPS handhelds. They were one one of the pioneers of the market and continue to lead with innovations. You can’t go wrong with grabbing one of these.

5. Knife/Multitool

A good knife is your best friend and can help in many situations whether it's cutting cordage, sharpening sticks, hunting or skinning a fish, protection against predators, or many others. We recommend getting a good knife and multi-tool to help with anything that pops up. Choose one based on what needs you’ll have as they come in a range of different options. TacFul Gear has over 300 options for knives with options for the cost-effective to the quality seekers. Give the collection a look here and pick out a best friend.

6. Signal Mirror/Whistle

Getting lost isn’t fun but it happens. Say you’re deep in the Adirondacks or backpacking through the Rockies, it isn’t hard to get a little lost. That’s why it’s good to have a compass, map, and/or gps unit guiding your way but each of these have their flaws and you could find yourself trying to pick out the North Star as your last hoorah. Make sure to bring a signal mirror and whistle with you. A good mirror will help you flag down possible rescue from a decent distance while a whistle can help you signal SOSs and possibly ward off predators. A whistle of at least 100 decibels will cut through ambient noise and travel great distances. Three of anything is the The Universal Distress Signal, which takes its root from Morse Code’s SOS (••• — — — •••) is three blasts. Blow your whistle three times three times. Do this regularly every 15 min to every hour depending on your situation until you’re rescued. Another Off Grid Tools essential, this signaling kit has everything you could possibly need in an emergency situation where you need rescue. It includes a signal mirror, whistle, reflective patches, smoke cartridges, a signal blanket, chalk and much more. Definitely worth a look.

7. Flashlight/Headlamp

Keeping well lit in the dark can help you out tremendously. Headlamps are always very convenient but make sure you have something, whether it's a headlamp or some other type of flashlight. You never know when you’ll have to navigate in the dark and the night can be very unforgiving. The Fenix PD36R 1600 Lumen Flashlight is phenomenal. It is a rechargeable high-performance flashlight unlike anything else on the market its size. This LED rechargeable flashlight delivers a maximum 1600 lumens to an impressive distance of 928ft (283m), all on a high capacity 21700 li-ion battery. It has a 21700 li-ion battery, extending battery runtimes by twice the standard li-ion battery.

8. Cordage

Having cord with you can be very beneficial as another useful tool in your pack. You can use it to rig tarps and camp spots, repair gear, trapping prey, or even take it apart for a fishing line. It’s a great pair with your knife. The guys over at Atwood make a mean rope. They’re pretty ingenious when it comes to the different paracord products they provide from bootlaces to dog leashes and more. They make it easy to carry your cord with you while serving multiple purposes instead of just taking up room in the bag. Check them out.

9. Solar Blanket/Space Blanket

A solar blanket or space blanket will help you stay warm and can provide several other opportune uses. They’re very compact and lightweight making it easy to fold up to carry with you in your pack. Solar blankets can retain heat during the day and help keep you warm at night. And while space blankets can’t retain heat they are a little more compact and have other uses. Because of their ability to strongly reflect heat and light back, you can use the power of the sun to cook food or to signal for help like a signal mirror. You can even use either one to supplement a tarp or ground pad as part of your shelter construction. These space blankets over on Amazon are a steal. 10 blankets for $16 and 4 ½ stars with over 2,000 reviews. Bring a few with you to hang up around the tent at night to reflect your body heat and keep you toasty at night even in the coldest temperatures.

10. Bear Spray

Wherever you’re camping, hiking, or backpacking there’s a good chance there’s some big bad hairy beast that you would probably not want to cross paths with. Bear spray doesn’t just work on bears. Bear spray works to fend off wolves in Yellowstone National Park, mountain lions in the Colorado Rockies, or even moose during mating season in the Alaskan mountain ranges. Wherever you are and whatever you’re trying to fend off, bear spray is good to have in your kit. Surprisingly, a gun can work pretty well too. The Frontiersman Bear Spray from Sabre is a great option here. Sabre is known well for its self defense products. This bear spray has a 2.0% CRC concentration that instantly inflames the mucus membranes of predator's eyes, ears, throat and nose which causes disorientation and fear that will make it run in the opposite direction. The canister features a high-volume spray nozzle to deliver a heavy fog spray 35 feet to keep users at a safe distance.

11. Proper Clothing

Proper clothing is essential to surviving especially in cold temperatures. It’s good to have multiple layers as you can always remove them. This also allows you to take them off if they get wet. Hypothermia is not a joke. Make sure you’re dressing according to the conditions of the environment. Try to avoid cotton clothing and wear wool as it keeps you warmer. Check out all our clothing here at TacFul Gear. You won’t be disappointed in the options. We’ve got a wide selection of great brands like Tru-Spec, tactical clothing, and boots to get you prepped for any extended stay at the Nature Inn.

12. Fishing Line & Hooks

This one is pretty self explanatory. It doesn’t take much space to bring some fishing line and hooks and if you find yourself in a tight spot you can fashion yourself a fishing rod or trap and have yourself a good dinner. Off Grid tools with another fantastic survival kit, this 127 Piece Fishing And Hunting Kit has all the components to set yourself up for a good survival fish. Don’t be intimidated by its 127 piece count. The pieces are small and plenty so that you can catch multiple fish for dinner. Check it out and see why we love it.

13. Dry-Bag/Water-Proof Container

Having some type of water proof container or dry-bag is important because you never know what kind of conditions you’ll be in. You could have to deal with torrential downpours or find yourself neck deep in a lake after some unfortunate circumstances. It’s good to have one of these containers to keep your most important items dry whether it be your matches/fire starters, any electronic devices like a GPS, or lights. You have to carry these items in something anyway, might as well make it a water-proof or water resistant container. The perfect dry bag for your next adventure, the River's Edge 20l Waterproof Dry Bag is constructed from heavy gauge 500D P.V.C. coated nylon with reinforced seams. All seams are electronically welded which results in stronger and more waterproof construction than sewn-and-taped seams. Roll-top closure is designed to keep contents dry in any wet situation where the bag is not submerged.

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