No matter your life situation or where you live in the world, it’s essential to have survival kits at your disposal. No one can predict when a disaster will strike or what it will look like. Staying prepared for every situation is an essential part of being a responsible adult. In this article, we will examine what the best survival kits are and what they should include.
Important Features of a Good Survival Kit
Survival kits can combine any number of essential items. The tricky part with survival kits is that you usually have limited space, so you need to be highly selective. Here are some of the most critical items to include in a good survival kit.
When it comes to packing food, make sure that it’s non-perishable and long-lasting. You want food that packs as much protein, vitamins, and minerals as possible in a small package. There are a variety of options including MREs.
- Water/water purification system
It’s tough to pack large amounts of water because of how heavy and bulky it is. You’ll need at least a gallon or so, however, until you can locate an alternative water source. Staying hydrated is one of the most important keys to survival in any situation. You can always boil contaminated water, but you’ll also want a water purification kit of some sort in case you struggle to build a fire. You could also try our DIY Water Filter.
- Medical kit/first aid supplies
An excellent med kit should contain survival essentials such as bandages, tape, gauze, Neosporin, or another disinfectant.
The main thing to keep in mind with a knife is that it’s a sharp and durable one. There’s no telling what you’ll need to cut into, and you want to prepare for anything.
Packing tools is challenging because of how much space they take up. Only take the essentials and preferably things that have multiple uses, such as hatchets and leatherman tools.
Staying warm is crucial no matter where you are in the world. A lightweight but durable blanket is a must for any survival kit.
- Firestarter/waterproof matches
If you’ve ever done any research on surviving in the wilderness or listened to someone talk about their experiences, you know that fire is essential for survival. If you struggle with using flint or other methods to start a fire, invest in some waterproof matches.
Having a hand crank flashlight that operates on solar power is perfect for a survival kit. You don’t want to be handicapped by darkness when you’re trying to survive.
- Satelite phone or radio
Once you get into the satellite range, you’ll want to be able to call for help as soon as possible.
Compasses are small but essential pieces of equipment when it comes to survival. Knowing what direction you’re going is crucial to not getting turned around no matter where you are. Whether it’s the wilderness, the tundra, or the desert, a compass can save your life.
- Fishing line
If you’re close to a water source, then having a fishing line can be a good food source.
- Multi-use tool
You’ll never be able to pack every tool you need in your survival kit, so having a multi-use tool is essential.
- A poncho
Rain is inevitable in most parts of the world and can lead to hypothermia if you’re exposed for too long. A poncho or other lightweight but waterproof covering is crucial for survival.
Tarps are great for multiple uses in the wild. You can use one as a roof for your shelter, or you can wrap yourself up in one if you don’t have a poncho.
A rope is one of the most important but neglected components of a survival kit. If you put your mind to it, there’s an endless list of things that you can do with a good rope. Snares, gill nets, shelter construction, and drying your clothes are just a few things that come to mind.
The ability to signal to others with you or even call for help is a great commodity to have when in survival situations.
- Duct tape
Much like rope, duct tape has multiple uses but often gets overlooked. You can patch holes in your tarp or tent, bandage cuts, and injuries, or even create a drinking bowl out of it.
What’s the Advantage of Having a Survival Kit?
There are many advantages to having a good survival kit. Let’s hope you never have to use it, but it’s still good to be ready. The world seems to be becoming more unpredictable as the years go on, and you can’t predict the future.
Survival kits are usually prepared for one of two reasons: because you’re planning an off-grid trip or because you’re anticipating a disaster. Depending on what situation you’re planning for, you’ll plan your kit differently. If you’re planning a trip, you likely know where you’re going and the climate in that area. Planning this type of survival kit is more enjoyable because you have knowledge and expectations going in.
With emergency survival kits, also known as go bags, you want to include a wide variety of items to plan for any contingency. It’s more challenging to pack a go-bag simply because you don’t know what situation you’re packing for. It might be raining, warm, cold, or snowy, but because you’re packing ahead of time, you won’t know until the time comes to grab the bag and get out.
For that reason, you want a diverse selection of tools and survival items. You want a little bit of everything without packing too much of any one item outside of food and water. Food and water is the one thing that you know you’ll always need. Your best bet with an emergency go-back is to select one that’s prepacked for you and add whatever items you deem necessary.
How Much do Survival Kits Cost?
There are many survival kits, and you can purchase them to accommodate any situation or budget. Top-of-the-line survival kits can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars, but options are also available for under $100.
If you decide to build your survival kit, you can control how much you pay for it. You can pick the items that you consider the most essential for your situation, and you can even use items you already have in your home. Using things you already own is a great way to save money on a survival kit, but make sure that it’s in good working order.
What are the Best Survival Kits?
Let’s start by looking at the best pound-for-pound survival kits on the market. You can purchase most of these kits on Amazon or at outdoor stores that specialize in survival gear. If you plan on taking extended hikes or putting yourself in precarious situations, here are some of the best kits for your needs. These kits are pre-built for your convenience, and you can optionally add or subtract whatever items you deem necessary.
Premium Emergency Survival Kit
The Premium Emergency Survival Kit is one of the best overall choices for any survival or emergency scenario. It packs enough water and food for two people to survive for up to 72 hours and includes everything you need for basic survival. It also comes with a fully-stocked emergency first aid kit, as well as a fire starter and tinder kit.
All of this comes in a sturdy and durable bag that’s easy to carry and has plenty of space to add things like a blanket, tarp, or poncho. The Premium Emergency Survival Kit is lightweight and spacious and is best served for power outages and similar scenarios.
200 Pcs Emergency Survival Kit
This emergency/survival kit is my personal favorite. AOKIWO 200 Pcs Emergency Survival Kit It is custom-built by military veterans and designed to serve the needs of first responders, medics, military personnel, and police officers. Aside from having 28 different pieces of crucial gear for emergency and survival, it also includes medical supplies, fishing gear, and an EMT pouch.
This kit from AOKIWO has everything you need including a fire starting kit, an emergency blanket, a defense whistle, compass, blanket, knife, flashlight, pen, wire saw, and much more. The included flashlight has three different modes when you need extra light. There’s also a first aid kit that’s packed with everything you need to mend cuts and bruises.
You can always add your food and water pouches to the kit for short-term use on hiking trips if you so desire.
Best Survival Kit for a Tight Budget
The best overall survival kit for someone on a budget is the Ready America 70280 72 Hour Emergency Kit. This kit is built for two people to survive for three days using only the contents found inside. The Ready America emergency kit boasts Mayday Industries food and has a lengthened shelf life. This means that you can purchase an emergency kit at any time, and your food won’t be outdated if you don’t use it for a while.
This kit also can survive temperatures from -22 degrees Fahrenheit to 149 degrees Fahrenheit. It also includes 12 water packets that will help you and a loved one survive for up to 72 hours. A first aid kit, a survival blanket, and face masks are also included in the survival bundle. The best part of all is that you can buy the Ready America emergency kit for less than $40 on Amazon!
Best Go Pack for Most Situations
One of the best go-packs for emergencies is the Everlit 72-Hour Bug Out Bag Emergency Survival Kit. The Everlit was designed by military veterans and is equipped to help you survive in any situation. It includes a 200 piece first aid kit with everything from bandages to gauze to combat tourniquets. The kit also includes a thermal blanket, an emergency shelter, and a 3 in 1 hand-crank flashlight, radio, and charger.
As far as food and water go, you’re in good hands with the Everlit Bug Out Bag. It boasts 3600-calorie emergency food bars, two dozen packs of emergency drinking water (plus water purification tablets), and a slew of other protective gear and survival tools. One of the best parts is that it all comes in a water- and tear-resistant tactical backpack with multiple compartments for maximum organization. The extra compartments and size of the pack make it possible to add some of your items for good measure.
Best Survival Kits for Backpackers
When it comes to a survival kit specially purposed for backpackers, it’s hard to beat the Wise Food 5-Day Survival Kit. It has everything you need for basic survival, but it comes in an easy-to-carry and comfortable backpack. When you’re planning for a backpacking trip, you’re also not planning for long-term survival. You are planning a short trip to the woods and only need sparse amounts of survival equipment.
The Wise Food Kit boasts 32 gourmet meals, a small stove for food preparation, fuel tablets, and water-resistant matches for a fire, and five large fluid pouches with a stainless steel cup for drinking purposes. As far as other survival items go, it also includes a 42 piece first aid kit and playing cards in case you get bored. It also has a squeeze flashlight, a hygiene kit, a rain poncho, and a Mylar blanket to stay warm at night.
Best Kit for Long Term Survival
When it comes to long-term survival in the wilderness, you want tools and items to help you form a lasting food supply. You’re less concerned with food and water packets. One of the best long-term survival kits is the Aootek Upgraded First Aid Survival Kit. For extended hiking trips or living in the woods for weeks or months at a time, the Aootek kit is perfect.
It boasts 268 unique items in a small package with room to add your personal touches. Included in the kit are wire strippers and cutters, a pair of pliers, and numerous other hand tools. It also features everything you need to navigate through the woods if you get stranded. You’ll also get a fire starting kit and everything you need to do some fishing so you won’t starve. It makes sure to include everything you need to cook and prepare a meal in the wild.
Cater to Your Strengths and Weaknesses
When packing your survival kit, something to keep in mind is to pack according to your strengths and weaknesses. In other words, if you know you struggle starting fire with flint, then pack waterproof matches as well as flint. This way, you won’t freeze to death while you learn how to use your flint.
Another example is if you’re good with a bow or not. If you plan to survive in the woods for long periods of time and need a renewable food source, then hunting is a good option. However, if you don’t have experience or skill with handling a bow, then bringing one along is useless. It would help if you instead packed fishing supplies and snare supplies. It’s pointless to pack things in a survival kit that you can’t use or don’t know how to use. Efficiency is crucial when it comes to your survival kit.
Build Your Survival Kit for You
Whether you decide to pack your survival kit or buy one that’s prepacked, the most important thing is that it suits your personal needs. We all live in different parts of the world and have different strengths and weaknesses, and you must choose or build the kit that works for you. The main thing is that you don’t put it off for too long because you never know what’s waiting around the corner.
If you’ve used one of the survival kits listed above, please let us know which tool or item was most needed. We’ll know you survived after reading your comment.