Having a survival backpack list is vital when it comes to being prepared for disasters. You need to ensure you have all the survival gear you might need to sustain life in an emergency or a life or death situation.
We will break down the essential items on a survival gear list and some helpful tips on using them. Being prepared can make all the difference in a disaster situation, so don’t wait any longer! Start packing your bag today!
Assess What You’re Packing For
If you’re expecting to be in cold temperatures, you’ll want to make sure you have enough warm clothing to keep you protected for a few days.
On the other hand, if you’re expecting to be in a hot climate, you’ll want to pack survival gear that will help keep you cool and hydrated.
Short Term vs. Long Term
If you only need supplies for a few days, you can get away with packing lighter while you may need a more extensive survival kit and more survival supplies for extreme emergency scenarios. Consider what kind of situation you might be in, envision the worst-case scenario, and pack accordingly.
Having Extras vs. Weight
You need to decide what kind of backups you want to pack. Do you want to pack light and only bring the essential survival gear, or do you want to be prepared with multiple copies of everything? Weight is also a factor to consider. You want your “bug out bag” to be easy to carry.
Amount of People
If you are traveling with others, you’ll need to pack for more people. While this may require more survival gear, it can also help spread out the weight by having each survival kit suited for who is carrying it.
Survival Backpack List
One of the most essential items you can have on your survival gear list is fire starters. These will give you a huge advantage in a survival situation as they can help you stay warm, cook food, and signal for help.
There are many different types, and you don’t need all of them, but having multiple is a good idea, so choose the ones that best suit your needs.
Fire starter examples:
- Waterproof matches
- Flint and steel
- Magnifying glass
- Tinder – make sure to keep this dry
- Bow and drill friction set
- Cotton balls & Vaseline
In case you need to build shelter, repair something, or defend yourself, it’s important to have some tools in your survival kit. Again, you don’t need all of them, but having a few options is always a good idea.
- Multi-tool – These are great because they have so many different functions
- Survival Knife
- LED Flashlight with extra batteries
- Head torch for hands-free lighting
- Small shovel
If you find yourself in a cold environment, it’s important to have some basic items that will help keep you warm.
- Make sure to pack extra socks, gloves, and a hat
- Rain poncho/Waterproof jacket – Helps keep you dry
- Blanket – Wool is best because it retains heat even when wet
- Emergency blanket – Helps retain body heat, takes up less space than a standard blanket
- Sleeping bag – Down is best because it compresses well and keeps you warm even when wet
No matter what kind of survival situation you’re preparing for, it’s always a good idea to have some medical supplies in any survival kit. Make sure to have a fully stocked first aid kit and any personal prescription medications you may be taking.
You can buy pre-made first aid kits, but you will have intimate knowledge of everything it includes by creating your first aid kit.
Build your own first aid kit:
- Antibiotic ointment
- Pain medication
- Antiseptic wipes
- Hand sanitizer
Food and Water
In any emergency, food and water are essential to help sustain life. You need to make sure you have enough to last you, as well as some backups in case you can’t find any.
You may not be able to carry much water due to weight, but you can pack water purification tablets or a water filtration system to help you make more.
Canned food is a good option because it doesn’t require cooking.
Pack high-energy foods like granola bars, nuts, trail mix, and dried fruit.
MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) are a good option because they’re lightweight and have a long shelf life.
You’ll also need a way to cook your food and eat it. A mess kit is perfect for this. It includes a bowl, plate, and utensils.
In some cases, you may have a survival situation where you need to defend yourself from animals or other people. In these situations, it’s crucial to have a self-defense tool in your survival kit.
- Survival Knife – Can be used for self-defense or hunting
- Mace/Pepper spray – Can also be used to defend yourself against animals
- Stun gun – A good non-lethal self-defense tool
There are a variety of other items to add to your survival gear list:
- Map – If you get lost, a map can help you find your way back
- Whistle – Used to signal for help
- Spare batteries – For your flashlight, radio, and any other devices
- Cup – To drink from, collect water, and boil water
- Ziploc bags – To store food, water, or other items
- Duct tape – To fix things, duct tape can also be used as a band-aid in a pinch
- Fishing line – To catch food
- Safety pins – Used as a needle and thread
- Tarp – Used as a shelter
- Small mirror – To signal for help or to see around corners
- Glow sticks – To see in the dark
- Breathing mask – In case of a chemical or nuclear emergency
- Tactical pens – Can be used for self-defense or as a writing utensil
- Hand crank radio – To listen to the news or emergency broadcasts
- Solar charger/solar panel – For charging devices
Make sure you tailor your bug-out bag to your specific needs, so you’ll be prepared for anything.
A worthy addition to pack in your survival kit is a set of survival instructions.
Information to consider:
- How to start a fire
- How to tie different knots
- Edible and poisonous berries guide
- How to build a shelter
- How to purify water
- Signaling for help
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you’ve gathered all the survival gear you need for your survival kit, it’s important to practice using them. This will help you be prepared for any emergency.
If you have a fire starter, practice using it so you know how it works.
If you have a medical kit, familiarize yourself with the supplies and how to use them.
If you have a knife, learn how to sharpen it and use it properly.
Practice the various ways you have for filtering water.
Also, make sure to practice under varying conditions, like in the rain or snow, so you’re prepared for anything.
The more you practice, the more prepared you’ll be in case of an emergency.
Ready-Made Survival Kit
If you don’t want to put together your own bug-out bag, a few ready-made kits are available.
You can purchase a kit tailored to your specific needs or buy a more general kit. No matter what type of kit you choose, it’s essential to ensure it has everything you need to survive.
Kits can be bought online or at most camping and outdoor stores.
Ready to Head Out
Now that you know what to put in a survival kit, you’re one step closer to being prepared for anything.
Make sure to tailor your survival kit with supplies that make the most sense for your specific needs, and practice using everything in it. With a bit of preparation, you’ll be ready for any survival situation.