Planning for an outdoors trip is an exciting time, but too many people get caught up in thinking about all the fun they’re going to have and completely fail to plan for even the most basic wilderness survival situations. The following items are just a few survival tools that you should always bring with you on a trip into the wilderness. There are plenty of items not included on this list that are great to have, but these are all easy to carry on any trip, and just might help save your life if your trip takes a turn for the worst.
Knife: This should almost go without saying, but a knife is one of the most essential survival tools there is. There are many reasons a knife could be useful in a survival situation, but some of the big ones include cutting rope and fishing line, procuring and preparing food, splitting wood, starting a fire, preparing a shelter, and self defense. These are just some of the reasons a knife is useful, but we think you get the point, a knife is a must have on any trip.
A big preference of ours is to save space and weight on any trip we take. For this reason we like a knife that can combine multiple functions. We like the BlizeTec Survival Fixed Blade Knife because it is of course a knife, but also gives you another means of starting a fire with the additional features it includes.
Cell Phone: Yes, we are telling you to bring your cell phone on your trip to get away from the rest of the world. We aren’t telling you to keep the thing on and check emails from the office while you are on your way to the summit, but keep it in your pack since it is an extremely important survival tool. You never know when you might have a signal, but if you get one it could be your savior.
Space Blankets: These are great because they are lightweight, don’t take up a lot of space, and can really help if you are stranded when the temperature starts to drop. Space Blankets work by reflecting your body heat back to you, which could help you make it through a night out in the cold. With such a low cost there is no reason not to include a Space Blanket in your pack.
Water Bottles: You need water to survive even when you aren’t in a wilderness survival situation, so why would you go into the wilderness without a way to keep water? There isn’t much to say about water since we all should know how important it is. The one thing we will say is to purchase a LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with Integrated 1000-Liter LifeStraw Filter so you can be sure to filter any water you find before drinking it.
Flashlight: Being stuck in the dark while doing your best to survive is not a situation we would want to find ourselves in. Pack a good lightweight flashlight so you can see what you are doing when the sun goes down. They can also be used as a signal to help rescuers locate you.
Extra Food: The hope is that you find your way out, or are rescued as quickly as possible. However, if that doesn’t happen it is a good idea to bring some extra food along on your trip. We aren’t telling you too pack your bag full of can goods from your kitchen cabinets, but you should consider bringing something lightweight and easy to prepare. Freeze dried foods are good, but something ready to eat is better. Look into emergency food bars, or Meals Ready to Eat for their ease of use.
Fire Starter: You should already have a method to start a fire with the knife we have recommended, but the knife shouldn’t be your only option. You should be carrying tinder and another backup method for starting a fire. One item that people fail to think of is a simple lighter. They are very cheap, light, and can serve as an easy way to help get a fire started. We carry the knife with fire starter on our hip, a lighter in our pocket and in our pack, and tinder along with another fire starter in our pack. It might sound like overkill, but they are all lightweight, and fire is very important when it comes to wilderness survival.
Again, these are just some of the items you should carry with you when you are heading out on a wilderness trip. We feel these are truly some of the essentials, but yes; there are other items you should look into bringing. Always be sure to dress for extreme changes in weather, even if your weatherman says it will by sunny and 80 all week long. Carry a map and compass and know how to use them. Wear good hiking boots and bring an extra pair of socks. Bring a winter hat with you to help stay warm if it gets cold.
We want you to have a great trip, but we also want you to be safe and be prepared for any wilderness survival situations we hope you will never encounter.