Top 10 Essential Survival Items

Below you will find a list of the 10 essential items/gear to bring with you in ANY survival situation. You could then build on top of these essentials to fit your given survival environment: ex snowy, desert, mountain, etc.

1. Compass
SUUNTO M-3 Compass
PRos
Luminescent markings.
Wristlock lanyard.
cons
Hard to read markings in low light.
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In order to know where you are going I suggest always having a compass. Even if you don’t have a map of the area you are in. You don’t always have a map but a compass is always useful! The Suunto M-3 has a really nice build and features – which is why it’s on my list.

2. Bandana
Colter Co. Reflective Survival Bandana
pros
High Visibility.
100% Cotton.
cons
Fabric can feel stiff and flimsy.
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A great choice for a bandana in a real survival situation. The high visibility is smart so you are more easily spotted. It also includes useful survival information printed on it.

3. Multi-tool
LEATHERMAN, Wave Plus
pros
One-handed opening.
25 Years Warranty.
cons
Some have reported that is feels “cheap” for a Leatherman.
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I love my Leatherman I suspect you will too! I bought mine over 15 years ago and it is still going strong! The new version has premium replaceable wire cutters, 18 tools, and a 25 years warranty.

4. lighter
Green Vivid: Waterproof Flameless Electric Lighter
pros
Eco-Friendly and safe.
Waterproof.
Windproof.
cons
Can be hard to use.
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Hear me out on this! This is a dual arc plasma beam lighter! Already here it sounds like Star Trek – and it kind of is. This lighter will never get blown out. 2 hours of charging provides 100-300 usages – a weeks worth of lighting.

I was contemplating putting as a con that some people have received a faulty product. However all these people have gotten a new one when they wrote the company so that evens it out for me. Mine works perfectly.

5. Metal cup
GSI Outdoors Rugged Glacier Stainless Steel Bottle Cup
pros
Adaptable: Cup or Pot.
Foldable handle.
Durable material.
cons
Cup gets warm (can burn lips if not careful).
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Sometimes you need a cup, sometimes you need a pot. This will do both. I love multi purpose items. Gives them more value. This is a great cup for giving you more value.

6. solar blanket
Swiss Safe Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets
pros
Designed to retain up 90% of your body heat.
Completely block rain, snow, moisture.
cons
Says 4 pack (but has 3 plus a bonus gold blanket)
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Advanced aluminized dual-sided thermal blankets that are designed to retain up to 90% of your body heat. These are perfect for use in emergency survival situation.

They are waterproof, windproof, and moisture-proof, helping to keep you dry in damp, wet, rainy, and downright cold environments.

Can be used as ground cover, sleeping bag liner, or to prevent hypothermia and shock in extreme weather conditions.

7. Flashlight
Outlite LED Flashlight
pros
Zoomable & 5 Light Modes.
Water Resistant & Heavy Duty.
USB Rechargeable.
cons
Some reports of units with lower than advertised lumens (but still bright).
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You should always carry a flashlight and this is a great one. The water resistance comes in handy so you don’t have to worry if you get a little wet.

It has a zoomable design and is very lightweight. The material is an aluminium alloy.

8. parachute cord
620 LB SurvivorCord
pros
Mono Fishing Line.
Waxed Jute Fire-Starter.
cons
Some people feels like it’s hard to use the fishing line.
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I’m gonna copy in their own description becuase that pretty much explains why you NEED this in your kit.

“Our patented SurvivorCord integrates 3 potential life-saving survival strands into our Top-Rated MIL-SPEC 550 Paracord.
Our paracord is made from a Proprietary Nylon / Polyester Blend, is 5mm in diameter, and contains 21 individual strands, braided into seven seriously-strong 3-strand yarns.
We’ve then included a single strand of waxed jute for starting fires, a 25 lb. mono-filament fishing line, and a wire that can be used for snares, conductive wire, and other emergency needs.”

9. protein bar
CLIF BARS – Energy Bars – Best Sellers Variety Pack
pros
Great for energy on the go.
A great mix of flavors.
cons
Some have recieved packages with expiration date one month in future.
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When you are out in that survival situation keeping a clear head can be difficult on low food and water. Having a bar with you to keep energy up in KEY for survival. These bars will deliver some needed energy in those stressful situations.

10. sharp knife
Gerber Gear: Ultimate survival knife
pros
Fire starter in sheath.
Integrated sharpener.
Stainless steel pommel = emergency hammer!
cons
Reports of the fire starter breaking after few uses.
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A knife is one of if not THE most important tool, and in my opinion we saved the best for last. This can be considered the Best Budget survival knife but calling it “budget” can give the idea of cheap. That is doing this a disservice. It does it’s job really well and is very affordable.

And that was it for my Top 10 Essential Survival Items. If you are in need of the skills to properly use some of these items I would suggest my list of the Best Surival Books – found via the button below.