A good wilderness survival kit is essential for any emergency situation that you may find yourself in. If you find yourself lost or stranded in the wilderness, you’ll be thankful you have it. If you’ve never packed a wilderness survival kit before, this article will help you understand what to bring, and why.
Swiss Army Knife – while it doesn’t have to be an actual Swiss Army Knife, having any sort of folding knife and multi-tool in your kit is essential. A survival knife is an absolute must, and having the other tools hidden within a Swiss Army Knife or similar knife will only serve as a bonus.
Ziploc Bags: Pack one gallon size and one quart size ziploc bag, for a total of two ziploc bags. These can be used to collect water, store water, waterproof a variety of items, and in a pinch you can even boil water in a ziploc bag. These are great to have, and take up virtually zero space, so there’s no reason not to have a couple in any survival kit. Additionally, you should be able to pack your entire survival kit inside of the gallon sized bag for ease of storage.
Tincture of Iodine – Tincture of Iodine is used to disinfect water if you aren’t able to boil the water for any reasons. You will need to use 5 drops per quart, and the quart-sized ziploc bag we packed earlier will take the guesswork out of figuring out how much water a quart is, exactly.
Dental Floss – In a survival situation, dental floss has many uses outside of just dental hygiene. It will work as a snare wire, as a fishing line, as a cord to tie any number of things together, and pretty much any other task you would normally use string or twine for.
Cigarette Lighter – A camp fire is essential for a survival situation, as it will keep wild animals away and also allow you to boil water, cook food, and overcome any cold or wet weather conditions. For this reason, a cigarette lighter is an essential ingredient in your survival kit.
Strike Anywhere Matches – Should your cigarette lighter fail for any reason, strike anywhere matches will allow you to start a fire without it. For extra reliability, dip the match heads in paraffin wax and store your matches in a film canister or similar waterproof container to protect them from both water and breakage.
Adhesive Bandages – Adhesive Bandages (also known as band-aids) will be essential to take care of any nicks or minor cuts you might get while out in the wild. Additionally, the small cotton pad can be stripped off and used as tinder to start a fire if necessary.
If you can think of anything else you’ll need for your particular climate (mylar blankets or hand warmers for colder regions, additional water storage and procurement methods for arid regions, etc.) feel free to add them as necessary, a survival kit needs to be adapted to meet your particular situation and experience level.