bugout bags

What to Include in a Wilderness Survival Kit

A wilderness survival kit contains tools that will enable you to overcome any challenges in the wild and remain safe until civilization can be reached again, as well as comfort items to make the situation less daunting. Bugout bags
Plastic tarps can be an essential survival item that serves many functions in an emergency, including providing rain poncho protection or shelter from storms, water collection, or gathering purposes. When purchasing one for survival use, make sure it folds compactly for best results.


Water is essential to your survival in any wilderness survival situation. Carry enough bottled water with you until you find a source or arrive back at camp; additionally, bring iodine tablets as water disinfectants – they will kill any bacteria or parasites present in any drinking water that comes your way.

A survival kit should contain tools for accessing water in the wilderness, such as a water filter or purification tablets, fishing tools to hunt small game for food, and finally, an emergency rifle for self-defense – one which takes up minimal space but could prove invaluable in an emergency.

A wilderness survival kit should be light in weight to minimize its burden on its wearer and not hinder their movements. Preferably, it should fit easily in a backpack without interfering with movement.


Many people consider dry goods such as rice and beans when creating their survival kits, but fruits and vegetables should also be included. Fruits are more accessible to transport, while vegetables provide more vitamins and minerals than dried foods, which tend to be high in sodium content. Grocery stores frequently offer discounted canned soups and stews, so stocking up while they are on sale is always intelligent.

As part of your wilderness survival kit preparations, it is essential to consider your dietary requirements and allergies. Over the past decade, prepackaged food kits have advanced significantly to accommodate a wider variety of diets; even “survival ration bars,” which do not require water preparation, are now widely available.

Water purification is another essential wilderness survival item. Unfiltered surface water may contain harmful bacteria or parasites that reduce your chances of surviving in the wilderness, so including iodine tablets to ensure any drinking water found is safe to drink will significantly enhance your survival chances. You might also consider including a headlamp as it provides light for travel at night in unfamiliar terrain.


When lost or hurt in the wilderness, your priority must be shelter and warmth. After this comes food and water consumption, as well as signaling for help – this can all be accomplished more efficiently with a wilderness survival kit in hand.

Tarps and Mylar blankets should be included as essential survival kit items, providing shelter from wind, rain, and sun exposure, as well as protecting you from hypothermia risk. Furthermore, thermal or emergency blankets can rapidly increase core body temperatures to help avoid hypothermia risk.

Firestarting tools are indispensable pieces of survival gear, such as lighters, waterproof matches, or ferrocerium rods; dry tinder material like petroleum jelly-soaked cotton balls or flint sticks may also prove helpful in starting fires quickly and safely. A survival knife should also be included as one of the critical items. To save space, it would be beneficial to have duplicate copies of frequently used items within your survival kit.

First Aid

Wilderness survival kits must contain an adequate first aid kit that includes basic cuts and wound treatment as well as measures for hydration and infection control. An excellent first aid kit can prevent even minor injuries from turning life-threatening while waiting for assistance to arrive, helping you remain mobile while being cared for in an emergency.

An effective first aid kit must include bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, and other emergency essentials to meet various emergency scenarios. A basic model compass is essential; for nighttime navigation, you should invest in a Tritium compass, which glows brightly under UV lighting.

A thermal blanket should be considered essential if you plan to spend more than a day outdoors, as it’s an inexpensive, lightweight way to protect yourself in the event of being lost or hypothermic. A loud whistle can also come in handy as an attention-getter and warning animal off or alerting others of your location in an emergency. Enroll in CPR/Wilderness First Aid courses so you’re confident using these tools when the time comes.


Unsurprisingly, it can be easy to overlook critical items that could prove essential in an emergency survival situation. A headlamp is necessary wilderness gear when exploring at night or in poor visibility conditions – not only will it illuminate your surroundings and reduce injury risks from wildlife encounters or fellow hikers, but it will also reduce collision risk between wildlife and hikers.

Communication is of utmost importance when creating a wilderness survival kit. Before leaving home, leave an itinerary with friends or family; use non-electronic methods of communicating in remote locations – whistle, strobe flashlight, or signal mirror are suitable options – and pack additional non-electronic backup methods (whistle, strobe flashlight, and signal mirror are ideal) should the power go out. Packing electronic communication devices such as phones or GPSs with backup batteries and solar charging capability is also crucial.

Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) provide an efficient way to maintain emergency communications in remote areas. By sending distress signals and GPS coordinates directly to rescue centers, these beacons help ensure quick responses in an emergency.