What Are The Best Survival Items?

Imagine you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, facing the uncertainty of survival. You glance around, realizing that the only tools you have are the ones you bring with you. In a situation like this, having the right survival items can make all the difference. From essential tools to reliable sources of light and communication, this article will explore the top recommendations for the best survival items to help you navigate any unexpected wilderness adventure with confidence and preparedness.

What Are The Best Survival Items?

Best Survival Item the Water Filtration System

Portable Water Filter

When it comes to survival situations, one of the most crucial elements you need to prioritize is access to clean drinking water. This is where a portable water filter becomes an essential survival item. These compact and lightweight filters are designed to remove impurities and contaminants from water sources, providing you with safe and drinkable water on the go. Portable water filters are easy to use and require minimal maintenance, making them an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and campers.

Water Purification Tablets

Water purification tablets are another effective way to ensure safe drinking water in emergency situations. These small tablets are portable, lightweight, and simple to use. All you need to do is drop a tablet into a container of water and wait for a certain period of time as indicated on the packaging. The tablets work by releasing chemicals that kill or neutralize bacteria, viruses, and parasites present in the water. While purification tablets are a convenient option, it is important to follow the instructions carefully and be aware of their expiration date.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw is a popular brand known for its innovative water filtration products. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is a compact and lightweight device that allows you to drink water directly from rivers, lakes, or other contaminated sources. The straw-like design makes it extremely portable and easy to use. As you sip through the straw, the filter removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is a reliable and convenient option for emergency situations or outdoor adventures.

Emergency Food

MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat)

In survival situations, having a reliable source of food is crucial for maintaining energy and staying nourished. MREs, also known as Meals Ready-to-Eat, are a popular choice for emergency food supply. These pre-packaged meals contain a variety of food items that are specifically designed to provide a balanced and nutritious meal. MREs typically include main courses, sides, snacks, and desserts, along with accessories like utensils and heating elements. They have a long shelf life and are durable, making them a convenient and efficient solution for emergency food needs.

Energy Bars and Snacks

Energy bars and snacks are another important component of any emergency food supply. These compact and lightweight snacks are packed with essential nutrients and calories, providing you with a quick boost of energy when needed. Energy bars often contain a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fats to keep you fueled throughout the day. They are easy to carry, require no preparation, and can be stored for an extended period of time. Including a variety of energy bars and snacks in your emergency kit ensures you have a convenient and accessible source of sustenance.

Dehydrated Food Packs

Dehydrated food packs are an excellent option for emergency food supplies due to their long shelf life and lightweight nature. These packs contain dehydrated meals that can be prepared by simply adding hot water. Dehydrated food usually retains most of its nutritional value and flavor, making it a practical choice for survival situations. These packs often include a variety of meals, such as soups, stews, and pasta dishes, providing you with a range of options to choose from. Dehydrated food packs are compact, easy to store, and can be a reliable source of sustenance during times of crisis.

First Aid Kit

Bandages and Dressings

A well-stocked first aid kit should always include an assortment of bandages and dressings. These items are essential for treating minor wounds, cuts, and scrapes. Bandages help protect the wound from dirt and bacteria while promoting healing. Make sure to include adhesive bandages of various sizes, sterile gauze pads, and adhesive tape in your first aid kit. Having an adequate supply of bandages and dressings ensures you can take care of minor injuries and prevent infections in emergency situations.

Antiseptic Wipes

Antiseptic wipes are an important part of any first aid kit as they help cleanse wounds and prevent infection. These pre-moistened wipes contain antiseptic solutions that kill bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. Antiseptic wipes are easy to use and provide a convenient way to sanitize the skin before applying bandages or treating wounds. In emergency situations where access to clean water and soap is limited, antiseptic wipes become even more valuable in maintaining proper hygiene and preventing the spread of infections.

Medical Tape

medical tape is an essential item for securing dressings and bandages in place. It is a versatile product that can be used for various medical purposes, such as immobilizing sprains, supporting joints, or creating makeshift splints. When choosing medical tape for your first aid kit, consider opting for hypoallergenic and breathable tape to prevent skin irritations. Medical tape is lightweight, compact, and easy to pack, making it a necessary item for any survival scenario.


In emergency situations, pain relief becomes crucial for managing discomfort and injuries. Including a supply of painkillers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, in your first aid kit can be a lifesaver. These over-the-counter medications help alleviate pain, reduce fever, and provide relief from headaches or muscle aches. However, it is important to follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional if needed. Painkillers should be stored in a secure and dry place within your first aid kit to ensure their efficacy when needed.

Emergency Medications

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or require regular medication, it is crucial to include a sufficient supply of your essential medications in your emergency kit. These may include medications for chronic illnesses, allergies, or specific medical conditions. It is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate quantity and types of medications to include in your emergency kit. Keeping your emergency medications up to date and stored in a cool, dry place can ensure you have the necessary treatments to manage your health in survival situations.

Survival Tools


A multi-tool is a versatile and compact device that combines various tools into one convenient package. Having a multi-tool in your survival kit can prove invaluable in a wide range of situations. These tools often include a knife blade, pliers, screwdrivers, can openers, and more. A multi-tool allows you to perform multiple tasks, from cutting rope to repairing equipment, making it an essential tool for survival scenarios. Choose a multi-tool that is durable, lightweight, and includes the tools you are most likely to use in your specific situation.

Survival Knife

A survival knife is a must-have tool for any survival kit. It serves a multitude of purposes, including cutting, chopping, self-defense, and even hunting if necessary. Look for a survival knife that has a fixed blade, is made of high-quality stainless steel, and has a comfortable grip. The knife should be sharp, reliable, and able to withstand tough conditions. Remember to keep the knife clean and well-maintained, as it will be your most trusted tool in various survival situations.

Fire Starter

In emergency situations, the ability to start a fire is crucial for warmth, cooking, and signaling for help. Including a reliable fire starter in your survival kit ensures you can easily ignite flames, even in adverse weather conditions. There are various types of fire starters to choose from, such as waterproof matches, firestarter rods, or lighters. Consider choosing multiple fire-starting methods to increase your chances of success. Remember to practice fire-starting techniques beforehand to familiarize yourself with the process and ensure you can efficiently start a fire when needed.


A compass is an essential tool for navigation and orientation, especially in unfamiliar or wilderness environments. It allows you to determine your direction, find your way back to a specific location, and avoid getting lost. When selecting a compass for your survival kit, look for one that is durable, waterproof, and features a clear baseplate with an easy-to-read dial. Learning how to use a compass effectively is also important, as it will enable you to navigate accurately and confidently during critical situations.


A reliable source of light is vital for survival, especially during the night or in dark environments. A flashlight is an essential tool in any survival kit, as it provides illumination, allows you to navigate, and can be used for signaling. Look for a flashlight that is compact, lightweight, and has long battery life. LED flashlights are a popular choice due to their energy efficiency and durability. It is also advisable to include spare batteries or opt for a rechargeable flashlight with a solar charging feature. Regardless of your chosen type, a flashlight is a must-have tool for any survival situation.

What Are The Best Survival Items?

Emergency Shelter

Tent or Tarp

When it comes to emergency shelter, a tent or tarp is a practical option for providing protection from the elements. A well-designed tent or tarp can shield you from rain, wind, and other harsh weather conditions. Choose a lightweight and portable tent or tarp that can be easily set up and secured. Look for features such as waterproof materials, sturdy construction, and sufficient space to accommodate the number of people in your group. Having a reliable shelter option ensures you have a safe and comfortable place to rest and seek refuge during emergency situations.

Emergency Blankets

Emergency blankets, also known as space blankets or thermal blankets, are lightweight and compact shelters designed to retain body heat. These metallic or reflective blankets are often made of Mylar or similar materials that reflect heat back towards the body. In emergency situations, where exposure to cold weather is a concern, having emergency blankets can provide crucial insulation and prevent hypothermia. These blankets are easy to store and should be included in every survival kit to ensure you can stay warm and protected during unexpected circumstances.

Sleeping Bag

A high-quality sleeping bag is an essential item for overnight stays or extended periods spent outdoors. During emergency situations, a good sleeping bag can provide insulation and comfort, ensuring you get sufficient rest and maintain your body temperature. Look for a sleeping bag that is lightweight, compact, and suitable for the conditions you may encounter. Consider factors such as temperature ratings, insulation types, and materials used. Investing in a reliable sleeping bag guarantees that you are adequately prepared for sleeping in challenging environments.

Navigational Aids

Topographic Maps

Topographic maps are detailed representations of the earth’s surface, providing valuable information about terrain, landmarks, and important features. These maps are essential for navigation and orienteering during outdoor activities or survival situations. By studying a topographic map, you can determine your location, plan routes, and identify potential hazards or water sources. It is recommended to include topographic maps of the areas you plan to explore or where you might find yourself in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with map reading and navigation techniques to ensure you can use this valuable tool effectively.

GPS Device

In addition to topographic maps, a GPS (Global Positioning System) device can greatly enhance your navigational capabilities. A GPS device uses satellites to determine your exact location, providing real-time coordinates and directional guidance. GPS devices are compact, lightweight, and easy to use, making them an excellent tool for maintaining situational awareness and finding your way in unfamiliar territories. It is advisable to include a reliable GPS device in your survival kit, along with spare batteries or a portable solar charger, to ensure you always have accurate navigation information at your fingertips.


While a GPS device is a valuable navigational tool, having a compass as a backup is essential. Compasses do not rely on batteries or satellite signals, making them extremely reliable in critical situations. A compass allows you to determine your direction using the Earth’s magnetic field, providing you with a reliable means of navigation. Including a compass in your survival kit ensures you have a backup method for orienting yourself and finding your way in case of GPS malfunctions or battery drain.

Communication Devices

Two-Way Radios

Maintaining communication with others during emergency situations is vital for coordination, safety, and seeking help. Two-way radios, also known as walkie-talkies, provide a reliable means of communication when cell phone coverage is unavailable or unreliable. These handheld devices allow you to communicate with other individuals within a certain range, enabling you to relay information, coordinate rescue efforts, or simply stay connected as a group. Two-way radios with features such as long battery life, weather channels, and a durable design are ideal for emergency situations and should be included in your survival kit.


A whistle may seem like a simple tool, but it can be a lifesaver in emergency situations. A loud whistle can be heard from a distance, making it an effective signaling device to attract attention and communicate for help. Whistles are lightweight, compact, and require no power source, making them an essential addition to any survival kit. Choose a whistle that is made of durable materials, has a reliable sound, and includes features such as a lanyard for easy attachment. In times of distress or emergency, a whistle can be a powerful tool for getting the attention of rescuers or other individuals nearby.

Signal Mirror

A signal mirror is a small, lightweight mirror that can be used to reflect sunlight and send visual signals over long distances. It works by aiming the mirror’s reflection at your intended target, such as a passing aircraft or rescue team. The bright flashing light can catch the attention of others and alert them to your location. Including a signal mirror in your survival kit provides you with an additional means of communication and signaling for help. Practice using the signal mirror beforehand to ensure you can effectively use this valuable tool in critical situations.


Flares are an important signaling tool, especially in emergency situations where visibility is limited or you need to attract attention over long distances. Flares emit a bright light and produce intense heat, making them highly visible day or night. They can be used to indicate distress, mark your location, or guide rescuers towards you. Flares are typically included in maritime survival kits, but they can also be advantageous in other outdoor scenarios. Keep in mind that flares should be handled with care and used responsibly, following safety instructions and regulations.

Fire and Light Sources


A reliable lighter is an essential tool for fire starting and providing a convenient source of flame when needed. Lighters are compact, easy to use, and can provide multiple ignitions before needing a refill. Look for a lighter that is windproof, waterproof, and durable. Having a reliable lighter in your survival kit ensures you can start fires for warmth, cooking, or signaling without the need for matches or other fire-starting methods.

Waterproof Matches

Waterproof matches provide an alternative fire-starting method when lighters or other ignition sources may not be available. Unlike regular matches, waterproof matches are designed to withstand moisture and can be ignited even when wet. These matches typically come in a waterproof container or box, ensuring they are protected and ready for use in various conditions. Including waterproof matches in your survival kit ensures you have a dependable means of starting a fire, regardless of the weather or environmental circumstances.

Firestarter Rod

A firestarter rod, also known as a ferrocerium rod or fire striker, is a reliable tool for starting fires in survival situations. This compact and lightweight device works by scraping a metal striker against the rod, creating sparks that ignite flammable materials. Firestarter rods are known for their durability and ability to produce sparks in various weather conditions, making them an ideal fire-starting tool. Combined with natural tinder or other fire-starting materials, a firestarter rod can provide a reliable source of warmth, cooking, and signaling.


A headlamp is an essential tool for illumination during emergency situations, especially when you need both hands free for survival tasks or navigation. Headlamps provide a convenient and hands-free light source, allowing you to focus on important tasks without having to hold a flashlight. Look for a headlamp that is lightweight, adjustable, and has a long battery life. LED headlamps are energy-efficient and provide a bright, focused beam of light. Including a headlamp in your survival kit ensures you have a reliable source of light during the night or in dark environments.

Glow Sticks

Glow sticks are another valuable source of light for emergency situations, and they have the added benefit of being safe and easy to use, even for children. These chemiluminescent devices emit a colorful and glowing light when activated by bending and shaking. Glow sticks are lightweight, durable, and can last for several hours or even days, depending on the size and type. They can be attached to backpacks, tents, or yourself to provide visibility and make you easily distinguishable during low-light or nighttime conditions. Having a few glow sticks in your survival kit ensures you have a reliable and long-lasting source of light when needed.

Personal Protection

Pepper Spray

Personal protection is a crucial aspect of survival, especially in situations where you may encounter threats or potential danger. Pepper spray is a non-lethal defensive tool that can help ward off attackers and provide you with a means of self-defense. It contains a concentrated chemical compound that causes temporary incapacitation and severe irritation when sprayed on an individual’s face or eyes. Including a small canister of pepper spray in your survival kit allows you to have a non-lethal option for personal protection, providing peace of mind in potentially dangerous situations.


As mentioned earlier, a whistle is an important tool for signaling and attracting attention during emergencies. However, it also serves as a useful personal protection device. By blowing a loud and piercing whistle, you can potentially deter or scare off individuals or animals that may pose a threat. The loud noise can draw attention and alert others to your situation, increasing the likelihood of assistance or intervention. Including a whistle in your survival kit provides you with a dual-purpose tool that enhances your chances of personal protection and survival.

Pocket Knife

A pocket knife is a versatile tool that serves multiple purposes in survival scenarios. In addition to its practical uses for cutting, opening packages, or preparing food, a pocket knife can also be used for personal protection. Its sharp blade can deter potential assailants and provide a means of self-defense when no other options are available. It is important to learn proper knife handling techniques and understand local laws and regulations regarding the carrying and use of pocket knives. Including a reliable and sturdy pocket knife in your survival kit ensures you have a versatile tool for both practical and protective purposes.

Tactical Pen

A tactical pen is a discreet and versatile self-defense tool that combines the functionality of a writing instrument with the ability to inflict incapacitating strikes. These pens are typically made of durable and impact-resistant materials, such as aircraft-grade aluminum. They can be used to deliver focused strikes to sensitive areas, such as an attacker’s eyes, nose, or throat. Tactical pens are easily concealed and can be used as an improvised weapon when necessary. Including a tactical pen in your survival kit provides you with an inconspicuous, yet effective, tool for personal protection.

Emergency Whistle

While we have already discussed the use of a whistle for personal protection, having an additional emergency whistle in your survival kit can be beneficial. It provides you with an extra signaling device and serves as a backup in case the main whistle fails or is lost. Emergency whistles are often specially designed to produce a loud, piercing sound that can travel long distances, even in adverse weather conditions. Their lightweight and compact nature make them an ideal addition to any survival kit, ensuring you have multiple means of attracting attention and signaling for help.

Emergency Cash and Documents

Small Bills and Coins

In survival situations, having some emergency cash on hand can prove to be invaluable. It is important to include small bills and coins in your survival kit, as they may be essential for purchasing necessary supplies or services during emergencies. Small denominations allow for flexibility and ease of transactions, especially if change might be limited. Keep the cash in a waterproof container or bag to ensure it remains dry and accessible when needed most.

Copy of Passport and ID

Carrying a copy of your passport and identification documents is a wise precaution to take in case of emergencies. These copies can serve as proof of identification and citizenship, allowing you to access services or resources when your original documents are unavailable or lost. Losing your passport or ID during survival situations can complicate matters, and having copies can facilitate communication with authorities or embassies. Keep the copies in a secure and protected place within your survival kit, ensuring they are easily retrievable and in good condition.

Important Contact Numbers

Including a list of important contact numbers in your survival kit is essential for communication and accessing crucial resources. This list should include emergency contact numbers, such as local authorities, medical services, and rescue organizations. Additionally, include the contact numbers of trusted family members or friends who can assist or provide support during emergencies. It is also advisable to have contact information for your insurance providers, financial institutions, and any other relevant organizations. Keeping a list of important contact numbers in your survival kit ensures you have the necessary means of communication and can easily reach out for assistance when needed.


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