Wilderness survival depends on your wits and what you have in your kit. Time and again, you probably have heard stories involving people who faced severe challenges in the wilderness during a hike or trip. Sadly, a lot of these stories have tragic ends. However, if people keep a few essential items in their pouch, these tragedies can be interesting anecdotes instead.
To avoid tragic endings in the wilderness, here are the 7 must have items for wilderness survival:
A Good Survival Knife
One of the most essential things you should make sure to bring is a knife. A knife has quite a large number of uses in camping activities and life in general. You should look for a fixed blade knife if possible. Fixed blade knives are more resilient and durable than folding knives. Also, they can be used to perform different tasks such as cutting rope, opening packages, cutting branches and other things to build emergency shelters and cutting bandages.
The knife needs proper maintenance by cleaning it after use using a damp rag. Avoid leaving it wet as this may cause rusting of the knife.
Suggested reading: The blade type of a perfect survival knife
A Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Water is life and without it, you die. Having a stainless water bottle filled with clean water can be one of the wisest things to do before setting out on your trek. You should avoid carrying aluminum and plastics bottles as during a wilderness survival situation you may need to boil water for disinfection.
Plenty of Good, Versatile Cordage
Having a rope is very useful especially in a survival situation. You can carry a paracord bracelet and a large length of unused paracord. Cordage is pivotal when constructing a shelter and can also be used when making a bow drill to make fire. Also, if you are in need of food, you can use it to make primitive traps such as an arapuca bird cage and Paiute trigger.
You can also make cordage naturally by using inner barks of trees and various wildflowers. However, you may end up consuming a lot of time and only be left with a substandard quality cord that may even be inadequate in length. Pro tip: wrap the paracord around old gift cards to avoid having them tangled inside your pack.
Waterproof Fire Matches
You may include magnesium starter matches that have a white phosphorus tip to strike anywhere for fire. These are advantageous for wilderness survival as they do not need a box striker to light up. You need to store the matches in a water-tight cage or bag.
Recommended article: How to start a fire against all odds
Even if you know the walking direction, it can be daunting to walk in a straight line. It’s important to have a map of the area that you’re camping at. With a compass, you may use the map to find your way to civilization. Also, it may help you find various signs on the map such as road signs that may help you find a route. However, just in case you don’t have a compass, you can use landmarks to remember the direction.
A First Aid Kit (Only the Essentials)
You may not carry the whole first aid kit, but you may have the basic items such as band aids, sterile gauze and tape. It’s advisable to build your own kit instead of buying the prepackaged first aid kits that claim to have everything. Building your own kit gives you excellent knowledge of what is contained in it and more importantly how to use it. Most people will buy a kit and assume that they are well-prepared which is a bad idea. However, just in case you have to buy the kit, ensure that you master the use of each item.
A Tactical Flashlight
Just in case you get lost in the wild, the rescue team may need to look for you. Having a flashlight can be beneficial as it can be seen from a great distance. Tactical flashlights are a good way to attract attention especially if you have trouble making fire.
These items will take minimal space, but they can absolutely save your life if you find yourself in a wilderness survival situation. Also, they aren’t expensive. However, this isn’t an end all list. Each destination you trek will have different obstacles. You may want to consider where the locality is to determine what works best for you.
Article written by Jack Neely for Prepper’s Will. Jack is a fitness expert, survivalist, and world traveler. He’s been in several life or death situations, and he’s making an effort to spread his knowledge around the web to help others survive these situations as well. He’s also on the content team at The Tactical Guru.
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