Your Ultimate Guide To Survival Gear

Ultimate Guide to Survival Gear

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or someone who simply likes to be prepared for a crisis, it is a good idea to have the right tools and equipment on hand. The right kind of gear makes it easier for hikers and campers to maneuver around the woods.

First – Check Out The Infographic

Guide To Best Survival Gear

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However, with ample survival gear options in the market, choosing the best gear can become a daunting task. Not to mention, there are several considerations to make and factors to consider. Rest assured, we have compiled this friendly guide to help you invest in the best equipment out there.

Types Of Survival Gear

Depending on where you are headed, survival gear can be classified in a number of categories. The most popular kinds include:

  • Basic Survival Gear: Basic Survival gear consists of basic tools and equipment you would need in a survival situation. This includes flashlights, water purifying filter, and warm clothing.
  • Camping Survival Gear: As the name indicates, camping survival gear is especially intended for, you guessed it: campers. This typically includes a tent, a fire starter, and a survival knife among other important equipment.
Flashlight in Woods
  • Tactical Survival Gear: Tactical and military survival gear are intended for service men and women. This type of gear is resistant towards damage and can handle a lot of abuse.
  • Wilderness Survival Gear: Wilderness Survival gear intended for folks who are headed outdoors in the wild. This includes survival gear, such as tents, a sleeping bag along with food and water supplies.
  • Winter Survival Gear: This kind of survival gear is especially customized for winter conditions, consisting of shovels, warm blanket, and jackets.
  • Urban Survival Gear: Urban survival gear is designed for most modern day threats and a more urban setting.
Survival Gear For Urban Environment

Reasons To Invest In The Best Outdoor Survival Gear

The wilderness can be unforgiving and merciless, which is one of the reasons why you ought to have the best gear at hand to handle all kinds of situations. When shopping, be prepared to pay more as the best gear costs more than poor quality items. However, here are a few reasons why you should invest in the best gear:

Emergency Preparedness

Storing emergency survival gear at home or at office is an essential part of keeping yourself and your family safe in case a crisis occurs. A catastrophic disaster in your neighborhood or area may leave you without several modern day luxuries that many of us take for granted. Who knows how long you might be without electricity and clean water?

DID YOU KNOW?

There has been 103 major natural disasters in U.S only according to FEMA. Are You prepared?

U.S Natural Disasters

Natural disasters, such as floods and hurricanes, may even cause great structural damage to your house, making it unsafe to occupy. This might force you and your family members to set up shelter in the outdoors during extreme weather conditions. Having a survival backpack along with a sturdy tent will ensure your family does not have to be cold and hungry.

No Electricity

Let’s imagine your car breaks down in the middle of the city. Your first instinct would be to call a friend or a family member to come pick you up. However, you may not have that luxury when you are out in the woods. No electricity could mean your phone’s battery is dead, making it difficult to call for help.

Electricity Emergency

Fortunately, having the right survival gear on hand changes things. You can use a hand-crank power charger to power up your phone battery or use some other tool to notify people in the vicinity.

Health And Hygiene

There is a strong possibility you might not have access to proper medical care when you are headed for an outdoor adventure. Maintaining good hygiene reduces the risk of health problems, hence ensure you have plenty of medical supplies. In the same way, having the best gear reduces the risk of accidents.

A warm blanket, appropriate clothing and a cozy sleeping bag further ensures you stay warm even when it is cold outside.

Stay Prepared

Natural disasters and emergencies can strike any minute. Buying the best outdoor gear ensures you are prepared for all sorts of challenges headed your way. This way, campers and hikers can enjoy their trip without feeling unprepared.

Be Prepared

Protection

The outdoors is filled with wild animals and predators, hence it only makes sense you take special measures for protection. Having the right gear at hand makes it possible for campers to defend themselves against wild beasts and perhaps even humans.

The Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist

It is essential you invest in the best survival gear. We recommend you build your supply by buying whatever you would need first. Invest in high quality goods that would last a long time. If you have to stick to a budget, consider purchasing the most important items first and can cut costs wherever you can. Here’s our ultimate survival gear checklist:

Space Blanket

A space blanket is lightweight and made using heat-reflective thin plastic. This special design reduces loss of body heat, helping you stay warm out in the wilderness. Extreme temperatures can result in hypothermia so you ought to make sure you have everything you need to keep yourself warm.

Woman Covered With Space Blanket

Even on a summer evening, temperatures can go down and it can get quite chilly at night. A space blanket would come in handy for both summer and winter months. Additionally, a space blanket is also great for covering yourself up in a storm.

Tent Or A Portable Shelter

Bringing a shelter of some kind would offer you great comfort and ease in the wilderness. Consider adding a small tent to your survival gear checklist. A small tent ensures you and your family have a place to sleep should a crisis occur.

While camping tents are an excellent option and offer plenty of room, they are quite bulky and may get too heavy to carry around.

However, with a little bit of outdoor knowledge and practice, you can build your own outdoor shelter. Build yourself a place to sleep in by simply using some rope, a tarp and some other structure material to make a tent.

A folded tarp occupies less room than a disassembled tent so consider using it as an alternative if you do not have enough space for a regular tent. However, to avoid accidents, get plenty of practice in advance.

Rope/Cord

At first, a rope may not seem essential for camping but is actually quite useful. Cords are versatile and can even be used to construct your survival shelter. This piece of survival gear might just end up saving your life. Parachute cords are a common favorite since they are lightweight, sturdy and flexible to use and take up little space.

Usage of Parachute Cords

Ropes and cords ensure you have a means for repair should there be any shelter issues. You can use ropes and paracords to make a shelter, create fire, make a clothesline for drying wet clothing, and securing gear to your backpack among other important things. Additionally, you can also use rope to lay trap and hunt your dinner.

Folding Shovel

Packing a folding shovel in your backpack might seem like and excess but it really is a necessity. A collapsible shovel will allow you to dig for clean water or make a snow cave as an emergency shelter.

The options are endless. While this might seem like an item you can live without, an expert knows have a shovel is an indispensable tool should you find yourself immobilized and in need of water.

Ready To Use Folding Shovel

Survival Knife

The importance of carrying and owning a survival knife are immense. The wilderness is crawling with wild animals so you should carry a tool for self-defense. The following are just a few uses of a survival knife:

  • Digging Tool: A sturdy and well-constructed survival knife can be used a digging tool. It can be used for disposing human waste, gathering edible tubers and for excavating fire pits. Campers may also use the knife to carve distressing signals on trees, dirt or snow.
  • Weapon: The most obvious use of a survival knife is that it can be used as a weapon. Apart from self-defense, it can be used to capture/kill small game or fish. However, ensure the knife is strong and sturdy enough to handle rough work.
Batoning Tool
  • Cutting Saplings and Splitting Wood: Carrying an axe or a hatchet seems quite unrealistic, not to mention it can result in a number of injuries but that does not mean you cannot split wood. High-quality and well-constructed knives can be used as a great alternative for wood-splitting. Survival knives can also be used for batoning.
  • Shelter Making: A knife blade can effectively be used for cutting cords and trimming limbs for building a shelter. The versatile tool offers numerous uses that are beneficial for hikers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Knife is Useful With Building Shelter

Whistle Or Some Other Signaling Device

So, you thought whistles were just for kids, didn’t you? Keep in mind that without a whistle, Rose would not have been able to signal for help after the tragic death of Jack in the movie ‘Titanic’.

Compact, lightweight and easy to carry, whistles serve as the ultimate signaling device, especially if you have kids and want everybody to stick together. Sure, you can use your phone to notify somebody but what would you do if there weren’t any signals? Blowing a whistle is the simplest way to attract somebody’s attention.

Simple Survivor Tool

As an alternative, you may also use a signaling survival mirror. These tools come with instructions and are quite easy to use. It is particularly useful if you are stranded in an area with no other explorers. Creating a fire and using a fire striker are also great ways of attracting attention.

Lantern/Flashlight

Most people underestimate the importance of an ordinary flashlight or a lantern. That is of course unless they have to take a stroll in the dark. A little artificial light can come in handy in case you hear something suspicious outside your tent or if you have to safely step outside for a bathroom break.

Flashlight as Great Survival Tool

Consider investing in a small flashlight that can easily fit inside your pocket and do not forget to carry extra batteries. Many people think they will be able to navigate the way using their phones and perhaps some moonlight but it is always safe to carry a flashlight in your pocket.

Compass

You cannot always rely on GPS to navigate the way, especially if you are headed out to the wilderness. Don’t forget to carry a hard-copy map of the area you live in. You may also include a road map. If you don’t know how to use a compass or read a map, you should probably learn how to right now.

First Aid Kit

You might not have access to immediate medical care in an emergency situation. This is why you should always carry a first aid kit in your survival backpack. First aid kits can be used for treating minor injuries and infections. Basic first aid supplies include gloves, cleaning wipes, bandages and gauze.

Emergency Kit

Change Of Clothing

Always pack at least one set of extra clothing in case it rains or your clothes get dirty. Wearing damp clothes will not only cause you to get ill but it will also encourage heat loss. This causes the body to utilize more energy for retaining or creating extra heat to compensate.

Similarly, you should also pack a pair of extra shoes and socks. Appropriate footwear prevents blisters and protects your feet.

Your Guide To Packing Survival Clothing

Planning a weekend out in the wilderness can be a fun and refreshing adventure but your trip can quickly turn into a horrific experience if you haven’t packed the right gear, particularly the right clothes.

No matter how cold or warm it is outside, packing the right survival clothing can make your outing a much more pleasant experience. Before you start packing, take the time out to do a little research.

Unprepared Hikers

If the area you are going to is prone to rain or snow, ensure you pack appropriate clothing. The weather can be unpredictable but that does not mean you cannot do your share of planning. The temperature can go from windy and chilly to warm and sunny within a matter of minutes so make sure you are prepared for everything.

Here’s everything you need to know about camping survival clothing:

Base-Layer Clothing

A base-layer is your first layer of clothing. To successfully trap heat, base layers must fit snugly. While you can use an ordinary t-shirt as a base layer, we recommend you invest in something more appropriate for your outdoor adventures.

For example, polypropylene is synthetic material that wicks moisture, which keeps you warm during the winters but cool during the summers. Layering several layers of clothing allows you to quickly make adjustments based on the weather. We recommend you pack a layer of synthetic base.

Camper Wear

You clothes are likely to get drenched with mud if you are going on a camping adventure with your kids. For this reason, it is worthwhile designating a pair of camp pants especially for cutting wood, preparing meals, hunting game or tending the fire.

Invest in a durable, thick pair of pants or shorts that you can put on as soon as you settle in the woods. Changing clothes is a simple way to freshen up.

Survival Pants

Weather Resistant Clothing

Do not forget to pack articles of clothing that are weather or wind resistant, such as outer layers and jackets. Invest in lightweight clothing that will be easier to pack if you are backpacking or headed out for an adventure during the warmer months.

Cozy jackets and warm blankets are likely to come in handy no matter what the temperature is outside since it gets cold at night. Water-proof clothing is an added bonus.

Extra Socks

Even with your best pair of boots, your feet are likely to get cold or wet because of sweat. Cold feet cause your body temperature to drop. This is the opposite of sweaty feet when your feet might not be able to breathe, causing your body temperature to rise.

Always pack an extra pair of socks to keep your feet warm and as an added tip, try to keep your feet dry no matter what.

Additional Items

Here are a couple of additional items you should carry:

  • Sun-screen
  • Biodegradable toiletries
  • ​Headlight
  • Bug repellent

Leave your fancy watch and expensive makeup at home. The secret to surviving harsh environments is to wear comfortable clothing in which you can move around easily.

Hats And Gloves

Depending on the temperature outside, it is a good idea to pack hats and gloves. These items can offer extra comfort on a cold night. You may also use a pair of ear-warmers. Covering exposed skin is the first step towards protecting yourself against the cold.

As for warmer months, you can switch to well-ventilated shorts and shirts that offer a cooling effect.

Military Style Survival Hat

Combat Boots

Top quality combat boots can cost anywhere between $100 and $400, depending on the durability of the material and the brand. Despite the hefty price tag, the first rule to survival is to always treat your feet right.

Your feet support the entire body and thus deserve the best. A decent pair of combat boots will allow you to comfortably walk around the wilderness without trouble.

Combat boots are particularly great for hiking and are sturdy enough to withstand abuse. While you can buy a pair of low quality boots, make sure to double check the laces and the sewing on the seams. However, if the shoes feel heavy, they are probably good enough.

Combat Hiking Boots

Survival Clothing: What To Wear

Here are some tips you ought to keep in mind, the next time you are headed out to woods or are stuck in an emergency situation.

Avoid Heavy Base Layers In The Summer

Avoid wearing heavy base layers if you are planning a hiking trip during the summer or when it is warm outside. Long underclothes are a good idea during colder weather but it might not be necessary if the temperatures are soaring high.

Wear Appropriate Thickness Of Thermal Underwear

Thermal underwear is available in mid, light and expedition weights. The colder it is outside, the heavier thermal underwear you should wear.

Avoid Cotton

Cotton is a moisture absorbing material that will cause your clothes to get uncomfortably damp. This might get almost unbearable during cold temperatures, causing you to get a cold once you start sweating. Cotton t-shirts and clothing are a big no-no, especially if you are going hiking in rainy weather and are even outside during cold weather.

Cotton is Big No For Survival Clothing

Choose The Appropriate Socks

Similar to the base layer, choose wool or synthetic socks to wick away moisture, which can cause blisters. Whether you opt for thick or thin socks is a matter of personal preference but do consider the temperature outside before you make a decision. Thick, warm socks are great for winter whereas thin socks will do for summer.

Dress In Layers

Dressing in layers is important, especially if you intend on camping outside when it is cold. As you begin to warm up, you can conveniently remove some of the layers to prevent overheating and then put the layers on again when it gets cold again at night.

Wear Moisture Wicking Fabrics

Invest in fabrics that will wick away moisture to keep you warm. Polyester fleece is quite popular and is best known for its lightweight and breathable qualities.

Fleece Made From Polyester

Carry A Fanny Pack

Fanny packs are great for carrying small items, such as something to eat and drink, especially when the weather is warm outside. When it gets cold, you can carry a backpack for storing extra layers of clothing.

Urban Survival Gear: The Complete Guide

When people talk about emergency preparedness and survival, there is great mention of surviving in the wilderness, bugging out and surveying rural location. However, most people fail to realize that a large part of the population resides in urban areas and are likely to be home or inside their offices in case an emergency strikes.

Apart from that, disaster is likely to affect major cities first, which is why you should be prepared for whatever disaster is headed your way.

New Orleans After Katrina

When it comes to urban survival, consider the fact that disaster could strike practically anywhere. This is quite different from going to a bug out location, as you will be expected to remain in the same spot for several hours.

This type of survival gear is unique and requires you to be prepared at all times. Before we talk about purchasing quality survival gear, it is important you prep basic supplies, such as food and water among other important things. So, what items do you need? Consider the following categories:

  • Everyday Carry (EDC): An everyday carry bag should contain basic items that you would need outside your home.
EDC Bag
  • Get Home Bag (GHB): This bag is designed to help you get back home. This type of gear will be required in all kinds of situations. Keep this backpack near you at all times.
GH Bag
  • Bugout Bag (BOB): Yes, you will need a bugout bag even if you are at home. Natural disasters might cause you to move to a rural setting. You may also include items that might come in handy in an urban setting.
Bag For Bug Out

Carry basic items in each of these bags. A GHB must have enough food and water to last you a couple of hours till you reach home, whereas the BOB must have at least 72 hours’ worth of supplies. Apart from food and water, you will also need

  • Flashlight
  • Medical gloves
  • Blade
  • Waterproof matchsticks
  • Respiratory mask to help you breathe
  • First aid kit
  • Water purification tablets

Urban gear is quite different from typical wilderness survival gear. Rather than foraging and hunting through the wilds, survival in the city may require you to make do with whatever little you have.

In extreme cases, you might have to break into buildings, smash car windows and break entry into locked locations to scrounge for whatever food and water you can find. From protecting yourself from danger to finding shelter, here is a list of special urban survival gear:

Survival Backpack

A survival backpack is necessary for packing all kinds of necessary items. For your BOB, it is advised you opt for a camo bag, something that will help you blend in well in the wilderness. This is obviously something you don’t want in the city as it will only make you stand out.

Opt for a normal backpack or a regular survival backpack instead. Even a laptop pack or fanny pack would work well, as long as it’s durable. The trick here is to choose a bag that won’t make you stand out.

Water Access

Water is bulky and heavy which is why you cannot haul it around everywhere you go. Fortunately, there are plenty of water resources in the city. Almost every commercial building or resident has a water supply. Consider investing in a Four Way Key that will allow you to access to water to any tap, even if the handles are removed.

This is a useful tool that comes in handy during an emergency.

Water Acces Key

Safe Water

Consider opting for small, portable water purification systems that will allow you to drink from questionable water sources without worrying about bacterial contamination. Also include a water bottle that you can refill from time to time. Water purification tablets are also a great option for purifying water.

Purification Tablets

Ultimate Urban Blade

A blade is a necessary survival tool but in this section, we will be discussing the importance of a different kind of blade. Invest in a professional survival knife with a sturdy blade. There are several brands in the market that offer multi-tool options.

Multi tool options can not only be used as a rescue tool but can help you gain access to secured locations. These tools are not only useful for workers, firefighters and people in the military but also for anybody in an urban survival situation

An Urban Survival Guide

When it comes to urban survival, it is wise to gain advice from an expert. There are several survival guides in the market that can teach you how to survive an act of terror, break in to a safe location or how to confront bad guys.

Ebook Survival Guide

Reading a survival guide will provide you with all kinds of useful information along with several tips and tricks on how to survive man disasters, social unrest and urban disasters.

Radio Transceiver

Emergency Radio

When the power grid goes down and other communication networks stop working, there is only one method of communication that will allow you to stay connected with whatever is happening around the city: ham radio. Invest in a small radio but do not fall for an inexpensive model that won’t work.

There is no point in investing in something that won’t work properly so be prepared to pay extra money for a quality device. A quality radio will last for several years and will be reliable in case of an emergency.

Tactical Flashlight

Invest in a good quality tactical flashlight. These flashlights are not only great for military purposes but also act as a great survival multi-tool. Some flashlights offer an emergency battery backup system along with detachable waterproof case that can be used for storing additional survival supplies.

A Map Of The City

A map of the city comes in handy during emergency situations since you may have to find the nearest hospital or clinic near you. A map of the city or the area you live in will help users track the nearest way out.

Map Reading

These are just a few handy items that should be part of your urban survival gear.

Fire Starting Gear For Survival

As you continue to stock up on essential survival gear, it is important you stock up on devices that will help you create a fire. It might seem simple in the movies but starting a fire in the wilds can be quite challenging, especially if it’s windy outside or raining.

If you are caught up in an emergency situation, handy devices, such as a fire starter could save your life. Here are some of the most popular fire starting tools you should include in your survival backpack:

Strike Anywhere Matches

Safety matches are the most commonly used type of matches. These matches need to be struck against the special striking surface on the box. On the contrary, strike anywhere matches can be ignited using practically any solid surface.

These matches are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts just as campers and hikers and are bound to be more useful in a survival emergency. These matches are typically used for survival conditions. You can pack regular safety match sticks are well but these are a better option.

Water Proof Match Sticks

Lighting regular matches may become difficult when it is raining outside. This is why you should consider investing in waterproof matchsticks. However, waterproof matchsticks tend to be expensive. You can try making them at home or simply invest in another fire starting tool.

Lighters

Lighters are portable devices that can be used for igniting a flame. Similar to matchsticks, lighters may be difficult to use during extreme weather conditions. Don’t forget to pack tinder and newspapers in your backpack.

Fire Starter

It doesn’t matter if you know how to create a fire using stones. Having a couple of matchsticks and a lighter can make the task much easier during an emergency. You can choose from a variety of different fire starters in the market which you can use to create sparks that will help you start a fire.

However, beware, as some fire strikers can be difficult to use and require some practice. It is thus essential you practice how to create a fire in advance.

Firestarter By Survival Spark

You may also consider adding lightweight tinder to your container. Dried lint and newspaper is also an option as both the items burn readily and can come in handy during a difficult situation. Always use and pack these tools with great caution, especially if you have kids.

It is also a good idea to learn how to use these survival tools in advance so you are not stuck in a difficult situation during your time of need.

Methods To Start A Fire Using Ordinary Survival Gear

An emergency could strike at any moment hence chances are you might not have enough time to pack a lighter or matchboxes. Rest assured, there are several ways you can start a fire using ordinary survival gear.

But first, you will need supplies, such as dry wood, to maintain a flame. Not all wood ignites easily, hence look out for wood that would make excellent tinder. In an urban situation, you might not have many trees to gather wood. Fortunately, wooden furniture, newspapers and wooden pallets will work just fine.

The following methods can be used to start a fire:

Flint And Steel

Flint rocks emit sparks and can be used to start a fire. Follow these instructions to create a fire:

Starting a Fire with a Magnesium Fire Starter
  • 1. Start by building a tinder nest using woods and dry plant materials.
  • 2. Hold the flint rock in your hand, keeping it between your thumb and forefinger. A few inches of the flint should escape past your grasp.
  • 3. Hold a piece of char cloth and position it between your thumb and the flint rock. If you do not have access to a char cloth, you may use lightweight tree fungus instead.
  • 4. Now, use the back of your steel knife and scrape it against the flint. Continue to strike it on the material until it forms a spark.
  • 5. Use your char cloth to catch the sparks and watch as it slowly starts to glow. Rest assured, char cloths are designed to hold a glow and won’t catch fire.
  • ​7. Begin adding large pieces of wood to help the flame grow.
  • 8. Add more fire inducing items and watch the fire burn.

Hand Drill

Using a hand drill is another effective way of starting a fire. Follow these instructions:

How to Start Fire With Hand Drill Method
  • 1. Start by building a tinder nest using wood and other dry plant material so it can catch fire easily.
  • 2. Look for a piece of wood that can be used as the base of the hand drill. You will need this piece of wood to create friction.
  • ​3. Use a sharp object and cut a V-shaped notch on the center of your hand drill. The notch should be big enough to accommodate the spindle stick.
  • ​4. Now use your spindle stick (it should be thin and about 2 feet long) and position it on the center of the fireboard.
  • 5. Now, hold the stick between the palms of your hands and start rolling it back and forth. You must push the stick firmly onto the fire board.
  • 6. Continue rolling the stick back and forth. Position one hand further than the other until an ember has formed.
  • ​7. Use a small piece of bark to transfer the sparks on the tinder. Continue to blow on the tinder nest until you see a flame.
  • 8. Start adding large pieces of wood onto the tinder to create a larger flame. However, this method could take a while and requires physical determination.

Use these simple methods to create a fire if you do not have match sticks or a lighter lying around.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this useful guide has provided you all the information you need about survival gear. Stock up on the most useful items and slowly build your collection. Good luck!

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