As a rule of thumb for planning an emergency survival kit, remember that the federal government expects the public to be self-sufficient for 72 hours. Most hikers, adventurers and survivalists weigh themselves down with useless garbage and forget to add the survival gear that really makes a difference in a life threatening situation. You will learn what survival gear is truly important in a life or death situation and which small, unexpected items can have a big impact on your chances of survival. Do yourself and your life insurance company a favor: Add some gear from the list below to your backpack.
A team of park rangers and paramedics with a helicopter are better suited to get you out alive than yourself and you might be too incapacitated to do much surviving yourself anyway. Most smartphones barely have enough battery power to last for two days but many $20 keyboard phones can last for two to three weeks when used sparingly. And if you have no clue what-so-ever you can always carry a GPS or install a GPS app on your smartphone.
While you wait for that posh helicopter to bring you back home you might find yourself in danger from your surroundings. Yes there are leaves, grass, shrubs and saplings everywhere but in most cases you’ll have to start your fire under imperfect conditions. Your body stores most vitamins and minerals over days or weeks so you don’t have to be picky with what you eat.
Flashlights are cheap, weigh next to nothing and there is simply no excuse not to have one. There’s nothing worse than to bleed to death from a minor injury that you could have fixed with a simple bandage.
It’s possible to build a comfy shelter with nothing but a survival knife but I would highly recommend that you also pack at least some of the survival gear mentioned below.

You can buy expensive tarps online to build marvelous survival shelters but I prefer plastic trash bags. Make sure you choose the big ones so you won’t have to pin multiple bags together for a roof.
To build a comfy shelter you have to make many individual parts like sticks, saplings and your plastic bags stick together. It’s lightweight, cheap and you can use it for about nine gazillion other survival and DIY projects.
Try to carry your gear after your backpacks fabric tore apart (hope you brought some plastic bags) or walk in shoes without soles.
The solution to broken gear and accidents is to always carry a small DIY survival gear repair kit with you.
You can make almost anything hold together for at least a few more days – which is hopefully long enough to get back home safe.
Cargo pants store more gear than jeans and a long sleeve shirt can protect you from mosquitoes but in general your choice of apparel has only a small influence on your chances of survival.
The best thing about bandanas is their versatility, which is only rivaled by a good survival knife. Another item you don’t usually see on survival gear lists are wool socks or wool clothes in general. Tactical backpacks have lots of pockets to organize your gear, are waterproof and don’t break easily.
Most websites and companies just want you to buy their ridiculously overpriced survival-something. An iron will, the right education and a good portion of creativity are far more important than the latest survival gimmick.

Keep reading to learn how you can improve your chances of survival for free or at least crazy cheap. The best way to ensure your survival is to prepare and educate yourself before you get anywhere close to danger. The cheapest one will cost you only $79 and you can store thousands of survival books, manuals and checklists on it. But then you switch on your Kindle, open The Survival Medicine Handbook page 353 and have all the information you need to patch up your daughter at your fingertips. To have a dedicated companion you can trust and depend on is one of the most important things you can bring on any journey in life. To have a close friend or family member with you in times of struggle will give you that little extra willpower that sets apart the survivors from the dead.
Just make sure you can actually trust your companion and that he won’t let you bleed out in the forest and steal your survival gear at the first opportunity.
Climbing gear is great for the mountains but not so useful in a swamp and you won’t need a fishing pole in the desert. Make it a habit to plan and think about possible hazards before you leave and adjust your gear accordingly and you’ll live longer than the guy who just brings the fanciest stuff without giving it any thought.
They’re one of the most essential survival items that you should always carry around.
You don’t usually need a screw driver in the forest and you can do most, if not all, things a multi tool can do with your survival knife.

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