10+ Items to Add to Your Wilderness Survival Kit Immediately

Posted by: Crew Member Last updated on

A survival kit is meant to save the day when you're stranded in the wild - it's worth taking your time to compile a checklist of 10 essential items that you should never leave at home. This list includes everything from water purification tablets and bandanas to fire starters and fishing supplies. With these ten items, you'll be able to survive anything!

10 Things You Should Never Leave Home Without That Will Improve Your Chance of Surviving a Wilderness Emergency

Wilderness survival is not the same as wilderness living. In some cases, it's even dangerous to attempt to live in the wild. Your number one priority should be getting out of there and going somewhere safe if you're stranded. However, a few things can significantly improve your chances of survival in a wilderness emergency.

Map and Compass: If you're stranded, the first thing you'll need is to know where you are and how to get out of there. A map and compass, whether magnetic or GPS (Global Positioning System) enabled, will allow you to navigate your way back to safety quickly. Bring a map and compass with you into the wilderness, even if you're only going for a hike. These days, there are also GPS units that you can take with you, but it's essential to use a map and compass in case your batteries die or your GPS unit gets damaged.

Clear Plastic Bags: These bags can help protect your matches and provide many other uses as well, such as collecting water to drink or wrapping up the food you want to store away from animals.

Whistle: A whistle can help searchers find you much more quickly than shouting would. If possible, tie the whistle onto something that will keep it in reach at all times so that if you fall or are knocked unconscious, you won't lose it before being found.

Survival Blanket: A survival blanket is like a sheet of aluminum foil and can prevent hypothermia by reflecting 97% of your body's heat to you. They're very lightweight and compact; it won't be much trouble at all to bring one with you on future trips. One of the most important things to remember in a life-threatening wilderness survival situation is keeping yourself warm. With the use of an emergency blanket, you will be able to trap air and create something that can act as a barrier between your body heat and the cold environment around you. If you are out on a camping trip or any excursion that gets you off of the grid for more than a day, it would be wise to carry an emergency blanket with you at all times.

Water Bottle or Canteen: This is so obvious that it probably doesn't even need to be on the list, but every other item listed here would be moot if you ran out of water. Some outdoorsmen prefer canteens to bottles because they're strapped onto them at all times and don't have to go searching for them when their water runs out.

First Aid Kit: A first aid kit is only as good as the person using it, but it can be a lifesaver if you know how to treat injuries and take precautions against infection. A first-aid kit is always good to have in your car, but it can be even more critical when you're out in the wilderness because injuries are much harder to treat without modern medicine. So make sure that you include items like bandages, disinfectants. And painkillers. 

Battery-powered Flashlight – Two flashlights would be better than one: one for you and one for somebody else who might be helping to look for you. These are small enough to fit into a pocket, and they don't use up much space at all if you put in some spare batteries as well.

Survival Knife – A quality blade is the most crucial part of any survival knife kit, but always pack duct tape or electrical tape around the handle to ensure it won't slip out of your hands during crucial moments. A knife will give you a way to hunt and process firewood and be used for self-defense against large or dangerous predators. Some recommend that a machete is a better candidate for this role, but a good knife designed to take abuse will also do just fine.

Food – Make sure that you have enough food to last you at least two days (four is better) and that your water container is hardy enough to take the abuse of being carried in a backpack. Even in an emergency, don't give up hope! There's plenty to eat in the wild. Learn which plants and animals are safe to eat and carry a little bit of food with you just in case things get bad enough that you'll need it.

A Change of Clothes: If you're stranded, your clothes will quickly become uncomfortable. You may even lose them if you have to swim across a river or some other body of water. A change of dry clothes is lightweight and can make all the difference in staying alive until rescue comes. There are so many items included in a survival kit that it can seem overwhelming and challenging to put together – but with these ten things, your chances of surviving anything that comes your way will increase exponentially! Use the following list to help you pick essential items for your wilderness survival kit.

After picking the most valuable tools, store them together in a large backpack that will be easy to carry around with you wherever you go. You never know when disaster might strike or when you'll need these tools to save your life!

Know your surroundings 

By knowing where you are, how far it is to get back, what dangers are there in the area, etc., you'll be able to avoid them more easily.  If you have a map, compass, and protractor to help with direction, you'll know which way to go to avoid dangerous animals/people/mountains. Some plants, for example, can help heal wounds or cure a headache. Knowing your surroundings is also essential when it comes to hiking and camping, and any outdoor activities. It's key to remember that people who live in wilderness-prone areas have a lot of experience with this type of lifestyle and know-how to better take care of themselves.

Here we prepared for you a list of additional gear equipment that will help you to survive in wilderness:

Waterproof matches and a lighter 

When you're out in the wilderness, it's vital to have a way of starting a fire – and finding dry wood can be tricky, so it's essential that you keep your matches and lighter as dry as possible. The best solution is waterproof matches. You can also store your lighter inside an empty bottle or pocket vaseline jar with cotton balls inside to keep it dry. There are many different reasons why waterproof matches are helpful. First of all, they're harder to burn (obviously), which is great if you're in a windy area and lighting them is difficult (or if your matches are the cheap kind and all of them break easily).

Basic tools like a shovel and rope

Tools like a shovel and rope can help you out in many ways. Shovels are helpful if you need to dig yourself out of quicksand or mud, and rope can be used for things like tying up animals, hanging food out of the reach of wild animals, and building shelter.

Camping stove

Getting your hands on natural gas canisters isn't always possible in the wilderness. If you're going to be out in nature for a long time, then you might as well bring along your stove. These stoves are lightweight and compact enough that they won't take up much room in your backpack, and they'll help you prepare food and boil water so that it's safe to drink.

Water purification tablets

The safest and most effective way to purify water is by using a portable filter. Water filters, such as the LifeStraw or Katadyn Hiker pro, can cleanse up to 1,000 liters of contaminated water without iodine or chlorine (which don't work against viruses).


Wet matches are useless. Bring a waterproof container filled with cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly, or buy stormproof games. You should also bring a magnesium bar and flint to help you stay warm and start fires even when it's damp out.

Snow shovel

If you're caught up in a winter storm, and the snow is piling up faster than you can shovel, you're going to need a way out. In the wilds of the Arctic, Antarctica, and other snowy areas, this often means building an igloo or using a forest to move your shelter from one place to another.

Sleeping bag and pad

A sleeping bag isn't necessary for all environments, but it certainly can improve your comfort level if you're in a cold climate. If you're only planning to use it in the winter, then you can get by with just one bag that will serve across seasons.

Personal Locator Beacon

Personal Locator Beacons are relatively new to the market. They can be used to alert professionals that you need rescue or have an emergency on your hands. A PLB is your best bet if you're hiking in an area where cell phone reception might be spotty but should only be used when everyone agrees that it's necessary.

Extra food rations

So you can stay alive longer without needing to regularly hunt or fish for food (make sure it's not perishable!)

Adequate clothing

Depending on the climate where you'll be traveling through - think layers! You want waterproof clothes, strategically-placed pockets or storage, and easy to take on/off. I would recommend at least a light jacket if not a full raincoat, hat, boots that are entirely enclosed but fully breathable (so your feet don't get 100% wet while hiking in them), gloves depending on how cold it gets where you're going, and warm pants or leggings. 

Don't forget the undergarments! Nothing worse than being wet all day long!


Every country has its own rules and regulations about what should be carried in your survival kit. Keep yourself alive by being prepared before an emergency happens to you! If you are interested in starting your wilderness survival experience, please visit the Survivalbox. We have been serving the outdoor community for over 30 years and carry a wide range of equipment that will ensure your safety in any environment.