What a Modern Survival Kit Contains

What a Modern Survival Kit ContainsIf you’re going to be spending time in the wilderness, you had better come as prepared as you possibly can. It’s not always easy predicting what will happen to you when you’re hiking through a dense forest, it’s good practice to have everything that you might possibly need. Your survival may depend on having and using these items.

To help you out in that respect, I’ve put together a small list of things that you absolutely must have with you on any kind of survival expedition.

Water Container

An average human can last only a couple of days without water, so this is your absolute first priority. If you can, get enough water to last you the whole expedition, and if you really want to go hardcore, make sure you get a large, stainless steel water container. Why? Because you can not only use to store your water, but disinfect it as well.

Just load it up with creek water, put it over a fire and wait for it to boil (shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes). Once water boils, any harmful pathogen inside of it has surely been killed, so if there aren’t chemical contaminants or any other pollutants in the water it’s absolutely safe to drink.

Multi-Purpose Knife

This is a must. Eventually you’re going to come across a scenario where a multi-purpose knife is going to be a necessity, and the great thing is that you can use this tool for many different things. Good examples are flipping strips of meat over the fire, using the butt-end to hammer in tent pegs, and if you have a ferro-rod along you can also use it to spark a fire.

Suggested reading: Eight tips to consider when buying a knife

Long Paracord

A parachute cord is an extremely tough, resilient piece of string and can be used for a number of things in the wilderness. You can find them at basically any camping store, but make sure you spend a little extra money to get a good quality cord that won’t fall apart on you when you need it the most. One of the most basic usesof a good paracord are to string a clothesline, a trip wire for snaring small animals, and it can even serve as an emergency fishing cable.

Map & Compass

One of the most important tips that I can give you is that you shouldn’t rely solely on a GPS unit in the wilderness. Why? Because you won’t always be in range of a GPS satellite, especially if you’re surrounded by a mountain range of a high altitude or passing through a really thick forest. Additionally, once the battery dies you’re pretty much stuck unless you have a spare, but even if you do it’s a good idea to bring a good old compass and map.

Knife and compass

Extra Rations

Always, always bring more food than you need. If it goes bad, you can always throw it away and have nature take its course, but if you plan to be out there for a while it’s a good idea to stock up on foods that have a long shelf-life. Granola bars are a great choice, as are potato flakes and basically any type of pasta (if you have the means to cook it in the wild, that is).

Related article: Survival Lessons from the Native Americans

Spare Clothing

The #1 rule of any camping trip is to be prepared for the weather, as it can turn on you in a moment’s notice. Bring along a water-resistant jacket, and try to avoid cotton as much as possible – the reason being that cotton takes a long time to dry, and causes chafing when wet. Also, always have a complete set of spare clothes, ‘cause you really don’t want to catch the flu in the wild due to spending excessive amounts of time in wet clothing.


You never know when something is going to go wrong and you end up with a bad cut, a sprained ankle or anything similar. It’s a good idea to carry the most basic first aid kit that you can use to quickly disinfect wounds, mend sprains, and a couple of painkillers wouldn’t hurt either (pun intended). It’s better safe than sorry whenever you’re out in the wilderness, so make sure you’re prepared for any eventual accidents.


Remember, there’s no artificial lighting in the wild, so apart from your fire the only thing you’re going to have lighting your path is some kind of torch. It’s a really good idea to bring a high quality flashlight with you and lots of extra batteries, or else you’re not going to be able to do much after sundown.

Article written by Howard Scalia for Prepper’s Will.

About the Author:

Howard is a 37-year-old former scout leader from Austin, Texas, and one of the best and most trusted blog writers at www.prosurvivalist.com. When he’s not working on some new interesting article, he enjoys taking long walks in the woods with his dogs.

Useful resources:

A DIY Project to Generate Clean Water Anywhere

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Learn how to Safeguard your Home During a Crisis



2 thoughts on “What a Modern Survival Kit Contains”

  1. Consider the Rule of Threes, a guide to survival priorities. Not that any aspect of survival can be ignored, but some aspects become fatal sooner than others.

    Severe (arterial) bleeding will kill you in under three minutes. Thus, severe bleeding treatments (tourniquet, compression bandage, etc) should be your first priority. A bit of duct tape can be handy for emergency first aid, and other uses as well. As mentioned other first aid supplies are a good idea.

    Exposure to harsh conditions will kill you in under 3 hours. Thus, shelter (spare/harsh environment clothing, fire starting kit, tarp, space blanket or bivy, paracord, etc) is the second priority. Don’t forget a needle and thread to repair clothing with. Braided fishline makes a good thread and is good for fishing as well.

    Being without water can kill you in 3 days or even less, so this is the next priority. A container to carry water, a way to boil water or disinfection tablets, a small filtration unit, and so on.

    Being without food can kill you in 3 weeks or so, so this is the lowest priority. If you have the ability to have extra, that is great. In addition, having at least some fishhooks, line and sinkers will give you the opportunity to catch additional food. Some wire for snares is also small and cheap and can be used for some repairs.

    In life, darkness happens. Always have a flashlight on you. I suspect I can count on the thumbs of one hand the days when I have not used my pocket flashlight at least once. And whenever allowed, have a knife on you to clean your fingernails, open packages, scrape off labels and so on. I also suggest a large (Engineer’s) bandana in a bright color, which has many uses. If you have any medications which going without would cause you severe damage, always carry some. These things will make your normal life much easier, and can keep you living in an emergency.

    And of course, don’t step off the pavement without a map of the area and a compass. I’d also suggest a good whistle.

  2. Every time I see an article like this, it is obvious that the author doesn’t live in the Southwest U.S. Regarding the prospects of surviving without access to water: The Pima County Medical Examiner in Arizona maintains a database that lists more than 2,800 deaths (with GPS coordinates) of illegal aliens in southern Arizona (http://www.humaneborders.info/app/map.asp). Where it is possible to determine cause of death, the vast majority of these cases are attributed to hyperthermia. It is frequently difficult to determine the actual cause of death due to the advanced deterioration of the body. Nevertheless, the lack of water, combined with extreme temperatures, can lead to death within a matter of HOURS, not days.

    If you live in a climate zone with moderate temperatures and abundant access to water, you are indeed fortunate. If you are hiking or bugging out in the Southwest deserts, you will require more water by a factor of two or three. It is imperative that you know in advance where your next verifiable resupply source is, including the distance and time needed to reach that location.

    I never go into the desert with less than 10 gallons of water – even if it is an assumed day trip.


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