Top 10 Wilderness Survival Items

By Bob Jones May8,2023

top 10 wilderness survival items

Preparedness can help ensure survival when lost in the wilderness. It’s vital that you have everything necessary for signaling rescuers, making meals and starting fires, protecting against elements, performing first aid procedures and repairing gear.

Your children can purchase survival kits that contain all these items or you can assemble one yourself using items already lying around the house.

1. Machete

Machetes are invaluable survival tools that can be used for foraging, building shelters, digging holes and self-defense. Look for models with secure sheaths to hold their blade securely when in use.

Personal locator beacons allow rescuers to quickly pinpoint your location in the wilderness. Modern versions are more compact, cost-effective, and feature-packed than the earlier models.

2. Shelter Making Materials

Wilderness survival gear like sub-zero sleeping bags and emergency blankets can provide essential survival assistance if an accident happens in the wilderness, especially when combined with a first aid kit that includes hemostatic dressings and over-the-counter pain relievers.

Multitools can save a great deal of space in your backpack while offering essential survival tools such as cutting, splinter removal and general basecamp assembly. Consider investing in one that folds down or swivels.

3. Insect Repellent

Bug spray is a must in the wilderness. It provides protection from mosquitoes, ticks and flies – which are known to carry diseases – by spraying away their bites.

Campers looking for natural insect repellent alternatives such as lemon eucalyptus oil are advised to follow current CDC recommendations regarding DEET-free repellents.

An emergency whistle can help rescuers quickly locate you. Coughlans signal mirrors are also suitable, being compact yet sturdy solutions.

4. Cordage or Rope

Assembling and using cordage are integral to survival in the wilderness. Cordage can help build shelter, create bow-and-drill friction fires, tie trap triggers and much more!

Emergency whistles are essential camping survival tools. Light and portable, they allow search parties to locate lost campers quickly in remote backcountry areas.

5. Water

Purifying water for wilderness adventures is absolutely necessary, and water purification tablets provide an efficient and safe solution.

Ultraviolet light from the sun is another effective method for purifying water, killing bacteria, viruses and protozoa that contaminate it.

Signal mirrors can help rescuers locate your location if you become lost in the wilderness. Coughlan’s survival mirror reflects light upward, so rescuers can identify your position more quickly.

6. First Aid Kit

First aid kits are an integral part of wilderness survival, whether purchased premade or assembled from scratch. Being prepared with enough supplies to offer immediate medical aid could save lives in an emergency situation.

A comprehensive wilderness first aid kit should contain items to treat both likely personal injuries and more serious incidents involving others, including an emergency tourniquet to limit blood loss until professional assistance arrives.

7. Knife Sharpener

Survival situations often require knives; but over time their sharp edge becomes dulled. A knife sharpener provides you with the means to keep it razor-sharp.

Personal locator beacons can help rescuers quickly locate you in the wilderness if you become lost. Products like the Vargo titanium emergency whistle are small, compact and wearable as a bracelet – ideal for protecting yourself if ever lost!

8. Flashlight

Find food or light an emergency shelter using only light; flashlights are indispensable wilderness survival tools. Consider EDC flashlights with multiple modes, mode memory capabilities and rechargeable batteries as EDC options for optimal survival in the wilderness.

Consider packing a signal mirror to help helicopters identify your location more quickly and more efficiently. These small mirrors reflect light from all directions, enabling rescue crews to easily find you quickly.

9. Headlamp

Headlamps are essential survival gear in any wilderness survival pack, providing essential illumination in low light situations and freeing up hands for other tasks.

Headlamps usually include both a lumens panel and distance graphic; to maximize night-hiking or animal tracking activities, select one with an impressive lumen count and strong spot beam.

Flood beam headlamps are useful in lighting nearby areas more brightly, and should also feature a strobe light mode for increased safety.

10. Emergency Blanket

Emergency blankets can save the day in any emergency situation – whether soaking through in a stream, or caught up in an ominous storm – by keeping your gear dry while also acting as reflective signals to aid rescue crews find you quickly in the wilderness.

Similar to polar fleece or synthetic down blankets, lightweight space blankets are easy to store in any backpack thanks to certified space technology that reflects body heat for warmth.

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