Be prepared! An excellent motto to live by, or expect the worst (then everything else always seems so much nicer when 'the worst' doesn't actually happen, but then if it does... it pays to 'be prepared'). Everyone should have a list of essential survival items embedded in their memory somewhere, a list of things you need to survive in the wild if you find yourself stranded or in a situation where you are relying on just the bare essentials. Here are those items, and why you need them:




Essential Survival Items - Things You Need To Survive In The WildCredit:


Essential Survival Items - Part 1 of 2


Space Blanket

Waterproof and windproof, the space blanket is very easy to pack and takes up hardly any room at all. The airtight foil traps and reflects over 90% of your body heat, keeping you very warm indeed. The space blanket can also be used as sunshade or shelter, it can be used to collect rain water, it can line the rear of a shelter to reflect and trap the heat from a fire, it can be used as a ground cover for keeping your sleeping bag dry or even for drawing the attention of any rescuers using its shiny surface.


Flint and Striker

Flint and Striker - Survival Kit


The Flint and Striker is used for creating fire and is therefore one of the most essential survival items you can have. Definitely try to have matches and a lighter with you for ease of use but both of these will eventually diminish, the flint and striker is your reliable and continuous fire making friend.





Magnifying Glass

Magnifying Glass - Essential Survival Items


Like the flint and striker this is another infinite fire making source. As long as there is sunshine, with the magnifying glass you have a continuous way to make a fire.




Multi-Tool - Essential Survival Items

The Multi-Tool in an invaluable item, much like a swiss army knife, it is a compact, versatile and functional collection of essential hand tools all in one small, easy to carry unit. They will often feature pliers, a serrated blade, a file, wire cutters, a wood saw, screw drivers, scissors, a fire starter rod and even a mini flashlight. The all-in-one ultimate survival tool.



Parachute Chord

Parachute Cord - Essential Survival Items

Very strong, very durable, lightweight, easy to carry and with a hundred and one uses. Perfect for lashing to make shelters, cooking stands and any number of creative constructions. Taking the parachute cord apart will enable you to use the inner lines for fishing lines, fishing nets and sewing thread. Snares can be made for catching animals as can a bow and arrow. The parachute cord also has many medical uses such as making tourniquets and splints.




Knife And Sharpener

Survival Knife - Essential Survival Items


Pretty much the most useful survival tool you can have in a wilderness situation. A good durable knife will be essential for food preparation, skinning animals and gutting fish as well as cutting cord and vine for building shelters. A good sharp knife will allow you to sharpen and whittle sticks into spears or traps or arrows for hunting and snaring. It will also come in very useful in different first aid emergencies and even for self-defense. Use your other tools when you can to do any general cutting or hacking and keep your knife sharp.



First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit - Essential Survival Items

Obviously one of the more important things you need to survive if you find yourself stranded in the wild. It should contain all the essentials such as bandages and safety pins, wound closure strips, gauze pads, plasters and antiseptic as well as painkillers, anti-diarrhea tablets and maybe an insect repellent.

Everybody should own one regardless to keep close at hand in the home or car.



Scalpel Blade

Scalpel blades come in very handy for a number of uses, whether it's a medical situation, simply removing a splinter, skinning an animal or even just shaving or cutting hair. They are one of those items that take up little to no room in your survival kit. A razor blade is a perfect alternative but scalpel blades tend to be more versatile due to their shape.


Fishing Line And Hooks

You never know your luck, you do not have to be a professional fisherman to set a few baited hooks up around the area and check back now and then.



A mirror is a perfect way of signaling and is very effective for signaling at great distances, obviously more so in the day time and if used properly is even more effective than a fire. A mirror is also essential for being able to check out any harder to see places on your body to keep an eye on any wounds or infections etc.



Compass - Essential Survival Items

You would need to have maps with you to be able to use a compass effectively but a small reliable compass can be an invaluable item due to the fact that in general humans have one leg longer than the other, and this leads to walking around in big circles when you think you are walking in a straight line. A compass will keep you on the right course.




Potassium Permanganate

This can be an excellent addition to your survival kit if you know how to use it properly. Firstly it can be used as a very effective water purifier. Just add a couple of crystals to every liter or so of water, so it turns a very light tint of pink, give it a good stir then leave it for about thirty minutes. A few further crystals and a darker shade of pink will give you a good solution for cleaning wounds or fungal infections. The other great use is that potassium permanganate makes a great fire starter when a few drops of glycerin is added to a few of the crystals. Glucose powder or sugar can be used as an alternative to glycerin, just grind up 1 part sugar and 2 parts potassium permanganate but for this method you must use your own spark to ignite.


Leatherman 830040 New Wave Multi-Tool with Nylon Sheath
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Gerber 31-000751 Bear Grylls Survival Series Ultimate Knife, Serrated Edge
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Stansport Deluxe Emergency Preparedness Kit
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Continue reading with Essential Survival Items - Part 2