10 Versatile Items For Your Survival Bag

10 Versatile items you need in your survival bag   In any survival situation, there are some items that are really versatile. These things should be a must for any survival bag. These items have so many different uses that it would be a mistake not to have them. You’ve probably heard about some of them, but you might not know about their many applications.

We all know that we can’t carry everything we want with us. Making your survival bag as lightweight as possible will help you cover long distances without breaking your back. The first rule, when it comes to preparing and equipping a survival bag is to know how much you can carry. You could have the best survival bag in the world, but if you cannot carry it for more than a mile, it won’t do you any good. The next thing you have to do is to make a list of all the items that you will need.

Read it twice and check if there is something you can eliminate from it. Once you have your list, it’s time to look out for the items that have multiple functions. This way you could have three items in one and make the best use of it without carrying extra weight in your survival bag.

Below are the 10 items that I have in my survival bag, items that you should probably also consider getting:

A fire making tool

When it comes to making fire, you should know how to make it using only what nature has to offer. However, since most of us don’t have the right skills or the time to develop them, having a fire starter in their survival bag is the next best thing.

Writing again about the importance of fire is like depicting the history of mankind. Fire will keep you warm, it will boil your water and cook your food and it can even keep wild animals at bay. Most people have a fire starter in their survival bag, but I chose to do it differently. Besides having a simple fire starter in my survival bag, I also have small storm proof lighter on my necklace (it looks like a bullet, so it’s quite cool).

The reason for having two fire starters it’s quite simple. If I lose my survival bag, if it’s stolen or if anything else happens that would prevent me from reaching it, I will still have my storm proof lighter. I can’t lose it unless I lose my head and I hope that won’t happen. People tend to forget that preparedness is also about having a plan B and it’s better to have another option for starting a fire in case something happens with your survival bag.

Related reading: How to make a fire in the wild

A tarp

This is a must-have item for every survival bag and you should get one today. There are so many uses for a tarp that it would be impossible to write all of them in just a few lines. Obviously, you can use the tarp to improvise shelter and using it on the top part or the ground section of the shelter section will keep rain out. There are so many other uses and these are just a few of them:

  • You can collect rainwater using a tarp; you can either create a rain trap by tying the tarp on trees or make a rain pit (you dig a hole and you line the pit with the tarp).
  • You can camouflage your vehicles or supplies.
  • A tarp can be used to haul items over long distances.
  • A tarp can also be used as a blanket or sleeping bag (insulated with dry leaves).
  • You can make a hammock out of a tarp.
  • Use it as a rain poncho.
  • You can use it to shade anything from supplies to your shelter.
  • You can use it to build a raft.
  • Use it to hide your supplies. Wrap them up in it and bury the supplies when you leave camp for hunting or whatever other reason.
  • You can use a tarp to make animal traps. Dig a hole in the round, improvise some wooden spikes, cover the hole with the tarp and leaves and put some bait on the tarp.

There are many more uses for a tarp and you can look them up on the internet. One thing is sure, it’s a versatile survival item that should be in your survival bag.

Aluminum foil

This is a suggestion that I’ve got from an old friend of mine and he was the one who convinced me to have it in my survival bag (Thanks, Michael!). There are many multipurpose uses for aluminum foil and here is what you can do with it:

  • You can use it to start a fire by using sunlight or a simple battery.
  • Use it as a heat reflector with fire to stay warm.
  • You can use it to catch rain or make a funnel out of it.
  • Aluminum foil can be used to boil water or to cook food.
  • You can make it into a pot or plate and use it to eat food.
  • You can signal for help using aluminum foil.
  • Use it to wrap berries or other food you forage.
  • You can repair an antenna with it.

Aluminum is such a versatile item that people use it for various purposes. They use it not only in a survival situation but in everyday life applications. The internet is full of sites showing you what can be done with aluminum foil, from party decorations to improvising an antenna.

You might also like this article: Survival improvise cooking you should know


A paracord is a lightweight nylon rope that can have many uses and it’s a must-have item for your survival bag. If you ever have the curiosity to cut open a paracord, you will see all the strong individual strings inside that make this rope incredibly strong. Even if some of the cords inside the rope will break, the paracord will remain steady. Here is what you can do with:

  • String a tarp or hammock.
  • Hang tools or other items from your survival bag.
  • Make snares.
  • Bundle items together.
  • You can cut it open and use the small threads as fishing line, dental floss or thread to sew clothes. You can even use them as shoelaces.
  • A paracord is ideal to make a pulley system.
  • Use it to build a raft.

And the list goes on. There are books on the internet teaching you how a paracord can be used in various scenarios and why it should be in your survival bag. When it comes to this item, I chose to go with a Paracord belt and besides the belt, I also have a paracord watch. The belt is a good idea because you can’t lose it and it’s always with you, while the survival watch is something I wear every day, it’s a good substitute for the belt and it also looks pretty good.

Pine resin

If you are in the wilderness and there are pine trees in your area, then lady luck is smiling upon you. Pine resin is the sticky substance that comes out of the bark of the tree when the trunk has been cut. It’s a defense mechanism of the tree that helps it seal the wounds and prevents it from being exposed to insects. You will notice that the resin hardens and crystallizes when exposed to air, but that it’s no problem because it can be melted down. Here is how you can use pine resin:

  • Pine resin can be used to start a fire in wet conditions.
  • It can be used as a glue (a really good one). This is how you make it: heat the resin and sprinkle some charcoal on it. You can then use it for whatever purpose you like. The possibilities are endless.
  • It can also be used to make an item waterproof.
  • Pine resin can be used to treat wounds. If you mix it with water, it will create an antiseptic that can heal wounds.
  • You can also use the resin glue as stitches and glue the skin around the wound together to stop the bleeding.

You can collect pine resin and carry it in your survival bag for later use, just make sure you don’t store it near a heat source.

Survival MD - A Must Have!

Multi-purpose shovel

A multi-purpose shovel it’s recommended for your survival bag because it can make a huge difference when you are stranded in the wild for an extended period of time. A tool that can make your life easier and helps you complete survival task faster is an item you want in your survival bag. The models that are on the market today are really incredible.

There are some models like the one from the link above that has everything incorporated, from a flashlight to a knife and even a pair of sturdy pliers. It’s definitely an item on my wish list. A multi-purpose shovel can be used for various tasks:

  • You can dig holes much faster than you would do it with a knife.
  • Use it to cut down trees.
  • You can use the saw to cut lumber.
  • Use it for self-defense or offensive actions.
  • You can use it for building up a shelter and any other projects you might think off.

And the best part is that a tool like this has many other tools incorporated, so you don’t have to buy additional items for your survival bag. It’s truly an incredible tool and you should check it out.

White Birch

White birch can be easily peeled off the tree and it can be used for pretty much everything. All you need to do is find it and make good use of it as follows:

  • You can eat it as is or ground up into flour if you don’t have any alternative.
  • You can make cords by twisting the fibers.
  • It can be used as tinder for a fire.
  • You can use it to make shingles for your shelter.
  • Wave pieces of birch together to make various items (shoes, bowls, etc.).
  • You can use birch resin to make arrow spears or fish hooks.

When it comes to birch, I’m not saying you should carry it with you at all times, but instead make the items you need and add them to your survival bag.

Multi-purpose tool

When it comes to picking out survival gear that is small, portable and ideal for creating options most of the people stop at the Swiss Army Knife. Sure it can be an excellent multi-purpose tool, but it’s not the only option. The brand is irrelevant as long as it does the job well and fits your hand comfortably.

When choosing a multi-tool, make sure it contains all the functions you need and fits your style and knowledge on how to use it. There are multi-purpose tools with limitless features, and you need to research before buying the one that is right for you. Here are just some of the options it should have:

  • Cutting blades
  • A saw
  • A pair of pliers
  • A corkscrew
  • Scissors
  • A can opener
  • A bottle opener
  • Screwdrivers (flat and Philips’ head)

Make sure you read the customer’s review before you make a choice. You could get a tool with more or fewer functions, depending on the other items you have in your survival bag.

An excellent and reliable survival knife

When it comes to survival knives, the options are endless and you have to choose a knife that fits your needs. A knife can be used for anything, for slicing, cutting, piercing, etc. It can also be a good self-defense item if you know how to use it. You should at least see how the shape of the blade influences the use of the knife.

You also have to inquire about the material the blade and the handle is made off and so on. I have a knife that has a fire starter and a whistle incorporated into the sheath. It also has a pull through sharpener that keeps it in good shape. Some people can survive in the wild with just a knife.

You should also read: Why blade matters when picking the perfect knife

A crossbow

A crossbow is an item that many survivalists love and for a good reason! It can be used for many things and it’s especially useful for hunting because it’s silent and you don’t waste any ammo (you can retrieve the bolts). It’s an item that can be used for defense or offensive actions without giving away your position.

A crossbow can be used even for fishing and there are many videos on YouTube of people doing so. There are powerful crossbows on the market that are no toys and you should learn how to use it if you purchase one. Practice shooting with your crossbow.

The items listed above are a valuable and useful addition to every survival bag. Even though there are many ways you can use some of them to obtain water, I still have to add one more.

A water purifier is a must for every survival bag

You can’t live too much in the wild without water and you have to do whatever you can to obtain it. Since water adds a lot of weight to your survival bag, and sometimes it’s difficult to transport, it’s recommended to have various purification or filtration methods.

On the market, there are many you can choose from and it seems that the most popular ones are the water life straw and the water life bottle. Once again, you can pick your water purifier depending on your budget and based on the research you do. Regardless of what you purchased, you need to make sure you have enough water once you are in the wild. You should also learn and have a good knowledge of how you can find and filter water in the wild and the following articles will provide you with useful information.

Recommended reading: Water Procurement in the Wild  –  Useful methods for filtering water in the wild.

The items listed in this article are not exclusive. You should add in your survival bag all the items that you consider necessary and that you can carry. Since in life there are no two people alike, the same can be said about survival bags and you won’t find two identical ones. Each survival bag should be designed based on the person who uses it. I hope my suggestions will help you select the right items for your survival bag.

You can use the comment section to suggest other versatile items that you consider should be in a survival bag.

Stay Safe and God Bless!

Other Survival and Preparedness solutions you may like:

The LOST WAYS (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

US Water Revolution (A DIY Project to Generate Clean Water Anywhere)

Bullet Proof Home (Learn how to Safeguard your Home)

Blackout USA (Video about EMP survival and preparedness guide)

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