Backpack Camping and Woodland Survival/Gear/Basic Survival Kit

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Depending on the situation and/or individual, a survival kit can contain a wide variety of items deemed necessary or ideal for usage in a survival situation. While the contents and container may vary, the basic principle is to have a lightweight, compact, waterproof container with tools/supplies critical to emergency survival in the wilderness. One must put serious thought into each and every tool in their kit, what purpose it serves, it's advantages and disadvantages, and you should similarly have a high standard of quality for the container that keeps your life saving tools dry and usable.

Communications/Signals[edit | edit source]

When lost in the wild, the first rule is to stay put: the further you travel, the more difficult it will be to find you, and the more tired/weathered you will become.

Satellite phones and personal locator beacons aren't compact or lightweight, but some may find it an invaluable insurance policy. A ferrocerium fire starter can be used even in wet conditions to spark signal, but in dry climates/vegetation this may be inadvisable due to the potential to inadvertently start wildfires. LED lights are bright, compact, and inexpensive, but they prove of little use in daylight and are susceptible to breaking, battery drain, and malfunctioning. Glowsticks and flare guns are of limited quantity for usage and are fairly large, and are generally inadvisable (flare guns also having wildfire potential).

Some choose to keep a small mirror in their kit as a small, inexpensive and lightweight method of reflection based signalling during sunny daytime conditions, where other signal methods available may prove less viable, though creating an SOS signal with rocks may prove more reliable if possible. These mirror signals are extremely situational, but are hard to argue against of in terms of the weight/space/usefulness ratios.

Fire[edit | edit source]

Fire may also be used as a signal in a time of need, but it's the core of most everything else you'll desire in a survival situation: it will provide warmth where there is none, it will dry you when you are wet, cook food/boil water, and will provide a boost in spirits. The art of creating/using fire as a tool is one of the most useful, and perhaps most human thing one can possibly do. For even while animals display a wide variety of human like characteristics and vice versa, perpetually challenging the ideas of what separates man and beast, one distinction is incontestable: man conquered fire, and with it conquered the world.

As mentioned, ferrocerium rods are a common fire starting tool, able to be used in wet conditions, and even used to spark an SOS signal if necessary. Waterproof matches, windproof lighters, and in a pinch a magnifying glass can be used.

Tinder is extremely important, it can be easily found in most environments but if conditions aren't ideal it is common to carry dry cotton fluffing, or artificial compact tinder.

Cutting tool/sharpening device[edit | edit source]

Knives are another one of the most valuable multi-purpose tools that allows humans to conquer the wild, and great thought should be put into the condition and maintenance of your tools. Ideally, you would have brought the golden standard of a 6-inch, non-serrated survival knife with you in whatever situation landed you alone in the wilderness, but you likely wouldn't have a sharpening stone in your pocket. If space is leftover in your kit, a secondary pocket knife in addition to the necessary sharpening stone is never a terrible idea.

Food and Water[edit | edit source]

A sturdy canteen or bottle for water is essential in most cases. A simple filtration straw can be a good thing to bring as well should water need to be drawn in the field.

Food storage is situational and depends on local climate and wildlife. For example in areas with bears special care must be taken to safely store food.