Emergency Survival Kit Checklist
Top Ten Items In My Emergency Kit:
Before I continue with the major gear items, I feel it’s important to make sure you have some important items that I never go into the woods without. Many of these items you can find cheaply at Walmart or you can splurge and get a prepackaged survival kit from an online retailer. Whatever you choose, I recommend you make sure you have the following:
1. First Aid kit.
For this I usually just bring the basics for dayhikes, but might add a few more, larger bandages and gauze pads for linger hikes, just in case of a more serious injury. I recommend getting whatever makes you feel the most comfortable, just remember it adds weight and takes up valuable space, so keep it to a minimum. I include a pain reliever, in case I hurt myself and need to relieve the pain just enough to get back or get help.
2. Sunscreen and sunglasses.
3. Water filter (or water purifying tablets), and water bottle or hydration pack.
4. Flashlight and Lightstick.
5. Compass and Map or GPS Unit.
(Garmin is my favorite, has saved me from getting lost a few times using the waypoint marker where we started from.)
6. Rope Chain Saw, Matches or Firestarter (Flint).
7. Mylar Blanket and Rain Poncho.
8. Knife and/or Multitool with Knife.
9. Pepperspray or Bear spray and Bug Repellent. (I prefer the citronella bracelets).
10. Extra Food. (Bars, Dried food, Trail mix, etc.)
I Love Multitools!
Multitools in a survival kit Rule!
If you’re on a budget and want to make sure you have what you need in an emergency, I recommend looking for multitools. I’m partial to Swiss Army knives and Leatherman Tools, and found a Whistle from Trendbox for less than $7 on Amazon, but there are a bunch of other tools out there that are great too. This 7-in-1 Whistle is very small and I love having it in case of emergency backpacking, hiking and even trail running. It includes:
Reflector (Mirror), Magnifier, and Compartment
Leatherman Tool (Another Favorite of Mine).
Go Time Gear is Great
After some dayhikes that took longer than expected and the risk of needing to stay the night increased, I decided I wanted a good quality, lightweight emergency tent and bivy for dayhikes and I found Go Time Gear perfect for this.
These can also be used for very lightweight backpacking in the summer if you don’t want to carry a normal sleeping back and tent. I wouldn’t use these if you expect the temps to fall at night or if it might rain, or if you want a comfortable night sleep, but it will keep you alive in an emergency under those conditions.
There are other things people include in a survival kit, like Rope, bungees, Carabiners, and extra clothes (hats, gloves, socks, etc), but I view those as extras that could come in handy, but aren’t necessary. You want to keep your pack as light as possible, so limiting items is essential. Some people prefer even less than what I’ve suggested, they don’t want to carry it. I feel more comfortable and confident while backpacking when I feel I will be prepared for emergencies that might come up, and that is more important to me than the extra weight.
If you’re willing to carry it for peace of mind, I believe it’s worth it.