The importance of planning is certainly a great need in our lives and we all like to have our days and years comfortably planned ahead so that we know what we need to do and what obstacles we are going to face. Living our urban lifestyle, it is not hard to predict what may lie ahead or to even see into the future, at least when speaking about our plans for education, work, and family. However, unpredicted and unexpected events happen to everyone, and they are hard or even impossible to predict and difficult to prepare for. You may get lost on a hike in the mountains, your car may break down in the middle of the night on a deserted road or you may be the lone survivor of a plane crash – all of these incidents are stressful, dangerous and potentially fatal. In order to help you deal with and survive these intense situations, experts have created items that can greatly improve our odds when we find ourselves alone in the wilderness. Although it is not so easy to say what you will need in a specific situation, there are some essential survival supplies that should be a part of every survival kit. These basic survival items will show their true value when you need them most and get you back to safety.


As we said earlier, there are many ways where you can find yourself in a situation where you life is in danger. Normally, people do not think about this possibility and our hectic lifestyles and long working hours leave little room for “crazy hobbies” such as planning ahead for a potential natural disaster, a plane crash or a zombie apocalypse. However, even ordinary people go camping or horse riding in the woods, and there were numerous cases where people have wandered off just a bit too far and were later unable to find their way back or fall and are unable to get back to safety. Animal attacks, poisonous plants, wild rivers or avalanches are always around us, and it is just a matter of chance whether you will find yourself in such a situation.


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In order to survive, people need to have some survival skills, and these skills have to be accompanied by appropriate and good quality gear. Home-made survival kits are inexpensive, but when push comes to shove you need something you can 100% count on. You may be surprised that there are many companies that produce amazing items that are actually very affordable as well as durable. Even cheap camping gear is better than no gear at all, and every piece of material can be life-saving if you know how to use it. The importance of knowledge is huge, so people who buy tactical survival gear should learn how to use those items since this will mean the difference between life and death in some cases. Resourcefulness is also important because improvisation and adaptability can make up for lack of survival supplies, and this personal characteristic can be trained and perfected.

However, besides good-quality survival gear and knowledge, the will to survive is the most important element in your battle for your own safety. Numerous stories tell about the importance of maintaining a positive mental state in these situations, and experts advise that you always try to stay calm, take deep breaths and start thinking about your situation without fear or panic. It is imperative that you think about your resources, your “good” and “bad” features and the overall scenario that you are in. Once you take a clear look at your situation and find the motivation to fight for your survival, you can start using those items in a survival kit in the best possible way.


Wilderness survival skills could get you far, but even they are powerless if you do not have at least some items that can make your survival possible. Besides the will to survive and the knowledge on how to use the gear, you need to be in the possession of the basic survival items in order to make it out of there alive. Therefore, experts usually recommend that we have two survival kits, one called EDC kit and one called a bugout bag. EDC, or Every Day Carry, is a small container that needs to have the essential survival items, and it should be small enough to be carried around with you at all times. Attaching it your belt or putting it in your jacket are just some of the ideas, but you can be creative and invent a new method of keeping your EDC kit at your proximity. On the other hand, a bugout bag is a much larger unit and it should contain all necessary items that could help you survive through a natural disaster, war outbreak or some other emergency situation. These bags need to be waterproof, easy to carry and durable, and they should also be placed at a location that is easily accessible but well-protected and safe at the same time.

The Internet is filled with lists of “10 most important survival items” or “50 best survival items to have", and this is certainly not a bad thing since people can easily read about the necessary elements and the ways in which they can pack and prepare those items. However, it is hard to make a universal list with survival clothing and survival gear that could be used at all places on the planet, since weather, environment and other factors play a big role in this process and they create huge differences in the survival kits. It is not easy to create a kit for survival on a camping trip in the woods and for a sailing trip around tropical islands, and these differences should always be taken into consideration. Our reviews will make your life easier in this respect since we provide you with information about the products that are necessary, and we perform the tests so that you are aware of the product's quality and performances. For instance, by reading our reviews you can learn more about the best tactical backpack, and this can be a great starting point for creating your homemade survival kit.

However, no matter the regional and environmental differences, there are certain items that are always on the list of important survival gear, and they should definitely be a part of your survival kit checklist as well. For example, a good knife is an integral part of every list, and for a good reason too. This useful tool can come in handy when you need to do a lot of things, and it can also be a strong defensive unit as well. Our reviews section covered the Bear Grylls knife, which is a perfect example of a high-quality knife. Gerber knives and Gerber gear, in general, are well-known for their quality and they have a reputation of being strong, sturdy and reliable, which is exactly what you need in a survival situation. Besides being used outdoors, Gerber knives can be used at your home, for numerous purposes, and that makes this affordable knife a great addition to your survival gear checklist.

Besides a good knife, your bugout bag should contain some, or all, of the following items: fire starter, cordage, compass, water purification system, first aid kit, fish hooks, flashlight, mirror, and many other similar items. This list can be adjusted to your skills and your needs, as well as to your location, but it is important that you know how to properly use these items and how to make the best out of them in any given situation.

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​How to properly use your survival gear

Learning how to use your gear is the first step to safety and this activity should be a part of your schedule at least once a year. Testing the items and making sure that they are fully functional should become a routine, and only by doing so can we be sure that our survival items are good and that they will serve their purpose when the time comes. Also, if you do not use your survival gear in the proper manner, it can become harmful and dangerous, causing more harm than benefit and this is something that should be prevented at all costs. Taking a survival course or doing as much reading as possible about the techniques and principles of using survival gear can increase your chances of survival and the results can be truly life-saving, no pun intended.


For example, water is perhaps the most important element that you need when you get lost in the wilderness since the human body can only last 3 to 5 days without water. The importance of healthy, clean water is often neglected in our cozy homes and we take it for granted, wasting enormous amounts just to brush our teeth or to take a morning shower. However, fresh water is extremely important when we find ourselves stranded out in the "great outdoors". Since lack of water can quickly cause dehydration, which then results in lethargy, headaches, dizziness and confusion, it is imperative to find a reliable water source. Your body requires a few liters of water on a daily basis. Outdoor survival requires lots of activity and physical effort, which means that our body needs more “fuel” to stay energized. An important component is water so that your body remains well hydrated. However, the problem with natural water sources is that they are often contaminated. You will need to use a water purification system in order to ensure the water is safe to drink. The last thing you need is to become sick or catch a deadly virus while out in the wild. A simple, compact solution that we love is the LifeStraw water purification system. My LifeStraw review will give you insight into the world of water purification and show you why this item is a great and essential addition to your survival gear. Besides keeping the water clean, this item will prevent you from getting harmful bacteria and dangerous parasites into your bloodstream while at the same time allow you to drink as much water as your body needs.


When it comes to other items, such as a compass or a fire starter, it is best to ask a salesperson for help or to learn about your different options online. If you were a Boy Scout  you probably learned a lot about these items in your activities, but not all of us were part of this organization and even those that were have probably forgotten most of the skills learned. That is why we should remember to re-learn these skills from time to time to refresh our memory. You may find some recommendations have changed over the years so current knowledge and practice are essential to becoming a competent survivalist. For example, there are many uses for a knife. In my review section I cover one of my favorite Gerber knives. This knife has many practical uses, even around the house. This same principal can be applied to many other survival gear items. Cordage is extremely versatile; it can be used to tie knots to secure things around in your home or used to build a shelter with small logs, while your fire starter and be used in your fire place, BBQ or used to build a fire to keep you warm in the wild.

Our Top 3 Reviews

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife

Bear Grylls Knife - The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife is one of those crucial survival items that you must have in your backpack. Gerber gear is of the highest quality  and a name you can trust when putting together your tactical backpack. You have probably heard of Bear Grylls, so there is no need to explain where the name of this knife comes from. This ultimate serrated knife will definitely give you the security you need in the wilderness or in any emergency situation. The concept of this knife was designed by Bear Grylls and by the Gerber team of experts. They did a great job making this knife as versatile as possible while maintaining the highest quality. The aim of this knife is pack as many survival necessities into one small package – the knife comes with an awesome fire starter, sharpener, whistle and more. Read our review to see all this great knife has to offer.

5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Back Pack

Some people would probably think they can get away with any type of backpack for your outdoor hiking or camping, but they are definitely mistaken. The reason is simple – when you are out in the elements a high quality backpack will keep your gear dry, well organized and help you to keep all of your essentials accessible. When you are in need of a something you won't have to go digging through a ton of stuff or emptying out  your pack to find what you need.

5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Back Pack is an outstanding pack. It is a safe and high-quality backpack that is great for both amateur and professional outdoor adventure. The backpack is made from 1050D durable nylon, while the coating of the backpack is water repellent. Hiking during heavy rainfalls is not be a problem and all your gear inside stays dry.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter should be at the top of your survival gear list for many reasons. This survival item will ensure that you have clean and drinking water at any time you want. The designers of this item emphasized the fact that it can filter up to 1.000 liters of contaminated water, before it needs a replacement. Due to its compact and simple design, it is ideal for hiking, camping, traveling but is also a great starting point for a home emergency survival kit. It weighs almost nothing – only two ounces, with 9 inches in length and 1 inch in diameter, making it perfect when it comes to obtaining safe drinking water in an emergency situation. What I really love about it is that it requires no electrical power – it’s purely mechanical.

How to create a homemade survival kit

Even though pre-packaged survival kits (bugout bag) are often created with the best intentions, they are designed to be universal and often contain some less-than-ideal items. When you are dealing with a natural disaster or emergency you want to be able to rely on all of your gear. When you do some research you will likely find some items that are not in most pre-packaged kits. This is why most experts recommend that you create your own bugout bag so that it suits your situation. Just like when you buy a car, we receive it with attributes and settings that are designed to accommodate an average driver, but we soon learn that the height of the steering wheel is not good for us, that the seats are moved too far back/front or that the rear view mirrors are not at the best angle for our sitting position. We quickly make adjustments and we tailor the settings to suit our individual needs, and the same principle should be used when buying or creating a survival kit.


Similar to the quality of the materials or the price, the performances of a certain product are extremely important when you want to know what should be in a survival kit. Once again, you need to read and learn as much as possible about the items that you plan to have, and only by doing this can you truly understand how everything works and what is the real purpose of your item. For example, our reviews can once again be a useful guide. We tested the LifeStraw water filter. Our LifeStraw review can give you the perfect insight into how this water purification system works and how useful it can be. We already mentioned how important fresh, healthy water is so understanding the performance of such an item is imperative in order to stay safe and hydrated in those dangerous and exhausting moments.

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We all know that survival depends on numerous factors. A combination of gear, skills, and luck is the best recipe for staying safe and getting yourself out of difficult situations. Outdoor adventures can be fun, educational and healthy, but once they step over a certain level of danger – all the fun ends, and you are left with only your mind and your survival instincts to rely on. Instincts cannot be trained, and they depend on many factors as well, but we can train our mind and our body so that we are prepared as much as possible for that unexpected event. Yes, it does sound contradictory to prepare for something you do not expect, since those two things are mutually exclusive, but a lot of movies have been made about dramatic survival situations and a lot of real-life scenarios have been recorded to make us learn from those experiences and try to predict the future as much as possible.

Basic survival techniques can be learned in books, survival schools, training camps, military, Boy Scouts and with other organizations and associations. All of these courses cover several common steps that need to be taken when you are lost outdoors. First of all, you need to look for shelter, and if there is no natural shelter available – you must know how to make one. Different materials can be used for this, and improvisation and creativity can play a huge role in this process. Besides shelter, a very important element is fire. As we said earlier, your survival gear kit should always contain some kind of fire starter whether it be matches or some other method of starting a fire. Since fire provides warmth, gives a strong psychological boost and protects your from dangerous wildlife, it is extremely important, and you should always know how to start a fire in humid and wet conditions since life does not always “play by the book” and your circumstances will hardly ever be ideal.

Good survival gear can help with these elements that were previously mentioned, but the biggest importance is when it comes down to water and food. Water purification systems will keep you safe from parasites and bacteria while food usually needs to be hunted or trapped, which is extremely hard if you are left with no survival items. Wilderness survival means that you eat what you catch. This can be pretty hard if you are a vegan in these moments since fish, rabbits or bird's eggs can be life-saving additions to your diet. Every amount of food that you put into your system can give you that little bit of energy that may make the difference between making it far enough to be rescued. If you remembered to take some fish hooks or some cordage with you – lucky you! 

Even if you never tried fishing before or placed a trap, hunger will soon force you to experiment and with a simple trial and error method you can quickly become skilled fishermen or a hunter. Of course, your willingness to survive and your instincts will likely drive you forward. Other important skills in these situations are learning how to signal for help or how to navigate in the woods or other wilderness areas. Your survival gear can be of great help in all of these situations and we strongly recommend that you go through our reviews and learn a bit about the products that could be so precious to you in moments of crisis. Reliable survival items can make a difference between life and death and this clearly shows how important it is to know as much as possible about basic survival skills and gear.

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