Survival Gear: 6 Essential Items for Wilderness Survival

Who doesn’t love the great outdoors? Fresh air, green trees, and a little time away from modern life do us all a lot of good: until you’re looking out your tent in the morning at what may or may not be the path back to civilization, and nothing looks anything like it did when you started.

Visiting the wilderness is fun, but a survival situation can quickly go sour. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of six essential items that you can keep in your backpack, just in case the original plan of not getting lost doesn’t work out.

Victorinox

Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Knife

There are a whole lot of multi-tools out there, but not many with the durability and functionality you need to survive in the wilderness. With a 5-star rating, Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Knife is built to last. Plus, you can use it to cut through wood, pull out a splinter, strip wire, pick your teeth, pop open a bottle of champagne, and anything else you would ever need to do while stranded in the wilderness. Assuming you stop playing with it long enough to even go to the wilderness. ~$35

LifeStraw

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

The most important thing you need in any survival scenario is water. LifeStraw is 1,000 liters of potable water in your pocket. It is used in humanitarian efforts around the world. In your situation, it will be used to turn whatever mud puddle or swamp you come across into safe drinking water. The best thing about LifeStraw is it’s so easy to use. It doesn’t have batteries that wear out, moving parts that break down, or fussy chemicals that need to be mixed. If you can suck on it, you already know how to use it. ~$20

Garmin

Garmin Foretrex Waterproof Hiking GPS

You know how you typed in the location of the wilderness into your phone to drive there in the first place? Garmin Foretrex Waterproof Hiking GPS is the Siri of the wild. Once you let it know you’re going for a hike, mountain bike ride, or whatever you went out there to do, you can strap it onto your wrist and forget about it. When you turn around, it’ll already have the original path you took stored to create a map back for you. It also provides sunrise/sunset times, connects to your other devices, and keeps real time hunting and fishing information. If you find yourself in a spot you really like, you can also use Foretrex to come back again in the future. ~$150

iRonsnow

iRonsnow Emergency Multifunctional Power Bank

If you get really, really lost without a decent power bank, it won’t be long before you’re painting a face on your dead smartphone with your own blood and talking to it like it’s your new best friend. iRonsnow Emergency Multifunctional Power Bank carries enough power to give your phone battery a boost, and also functions as an emergency radio and LED flashlight. Definitely give it a good charge with its micro-USB cord before you go, but if you find yourself in a pinch, you can power the flashlight and radio with its solar panel or hand crank. Weighing in at around half a pound, this power bank is well worth its small footprint in your gear. ~$20

Original

Original Strike Fire Starter

If you know anything about the wilderness or cavemen, you know that having a fire going is your ticket to staying alive. Perhaps you assume that carrying a regular cigarette lighter will be enough to save you a headache that the survival dudes go through with steel wool on television. Remember, though, if you get lost in the wilderness, there will be no camp store to buy decent wood. Swedish FireSteel is a much better option for getting the dried grass or wet tinder you’ll have to work with to burn. It produces a 3000 degree Celsius spark that armies around the world depend on at any altitude. If you’re lost, Swedish FireSteel starts the fire that will signal help, keep you from freezing to death, or scare the bears away. ~$10

Military

Military Sleeping Bag

Speaking of freezing to death, the temperature is often rapidly changing and very unpredictable in the wilderness. This waterproof, military issue sleeping bag is not built for little girl’s slumber parties; instead, it’s a four-piece system that will surround your entire body in a cocoon of warmth that is adequate down to -50 degrees. Despite being one of the warmest systems available, it can be easily compressed into a highly portable, 9-pound bag. It’s like carrying a four-star hotel room on your back—sort of. ~$190

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