essential survival tools and gear

Just when you think everything is going great, you’re out there hunting, fishing, on a safari or camping with friends, then you get left behind all by yourself. Or you might be out there on a road trip on the country side, and your car breaks down away from any sign of civilization.

Suddenly, the fun is over and you’re in a SHTF situation, in a real life Tom Hanks Cast Away movie. You need to survive and you need to find your way back to your group or back to civilization.

These kind of situations are not planned, but with the right survival tools and gear, you can definitely survive them. You can keep yourself fed, stay hydrated, sleep in a safe place, and navigate your way back to your tour, hunting or fishing group if you packed the right gear with you when you left the house.

A fire starter can help you stay warm when you start a fire, and when it’s dark you can make a tent if you packed one with you, and finally a good compass will help you find your way back.

Here in this article are 15 of the most essential survival tools and gear that will help you survive when SHTF.

1. A Survival Tent

survival tent

Having a solid tent as you survive the outdoors is not an option, but a necessity. In the absence of the safety and comfort provided by the walls of your home, when you venture outdoors for camping or when SHTF, a tent can shield you to a large extent from surrounding elements.

A tent will serve many purposes, providing a comfortable space to sleep and shielding you from elements such weather elements such as rain, direct heat from the sun, wind and cold.

It will even serve as a safe haven between the occupants and harmful animals and insects such as snakes, scorpions, spiders and so on.

A good tent will shelter you from a lot of things, that’s why you need to pick and choose a strong and reliable one. One that will not fall apart by the slightest gust of wind and will not allowing moisture or water to sip through it.

So, test your tent beforehand and make sure it can withstand the elements before taking it out there.

2. Loud Whistle

loud survival whistle

Getting lost in the woods or any remote area can be quite scary and lonely, even deadly. But a good whistle, a loud one can save your life because it can signal your location and help rescuers find you.

Screaming at the top of your voice may not help sometimes, and may even hurt your voice.

A loud whistle will come in handy when SHTF especially during a natural disaster like a flood, earthquake or Tsunami, because these SHTF situations can cause people to be trapped in certain areas.

Shouting at the top of your voice may not be loud enough to alert rescuers, but a hyper whistle like the one shown above will definitely draw attention even from far away.

That’s why it’s one of the most important accessory you should have with you whenever you’re venturing out there to test the outdoors.

3. Knife

survival knife

A knife may look simple and common but it’s one of the most important piece of gear you can pack whether you’re going camping in the outdoors or when SHTF.

It’s going to come in handy in different situations whether you’re trying to cut a rope, slice veggies, preparing food, carve a stick, for hunting, for fishing, for defending yourself and so on. The list goes on and on.

If you don’t have a knife, you’re not ready for the outdoors. No one cares if you have an axe, a spade or any other cutting tool. There are some things that are just meant to be done with a knife.

4. A Compass and Map


One of the most important skill any survivalist can learn is orienting, the skill of using a compass to find directions.

Of course, you may say compasses are old school and GPS’s are better, but to use a GPS you need a battery or power source, and without that it’s nothing.

With a compass, all that’s needed is the earth’s magnetic field. Learn how to use it to navigate, and you’ll be able to find your way.

You might get left behind when you go out there hunting with friends, fishing, kayaking, touring or camping. With a compass and good orienting skills, you can find your way back to your camp, if they don’t find you first.

5. Paracord or Parachute Rope


If you’ve seen a parachute up close, then you’ve seen a paracord or a parachute cord. It’s the lightweight nylon Kernmantle rope used in suspending the flyer from a chute, used extensively in the suspension lines of US parachutes in the Second World War.

It’s a very strong cord which have many applications today. The paracord is strong and durable hence it earned the name 550 cord, meaning it’s capable of holding up to 550 lbs. of weight without breaking.

As a survivalist, having a paracord set in your gear assembly will definitely come in handy in many ways including binding things together, securing animals, erecting a tent or shelter, repairing equipment, suspending food or other materials in the air away from the reach of animals, making snares, pulling things, starting a fire and so on.

6. First Aid Kit

first aid kit

If you ever decide to venture out there and test yourself outdoors, whether you’re going out hunting, fishing or just camping with friends, it’s important that you always take a first aid kit with you, and learn how to use it beforehand.

Things can turn sideways at any moment, and in the absence of a qualified personnel, having a first aid kit and being able to administer it yourself can increase the chances of survival.

7. A Cup

survival cup

You’ll never know how important a simple cup is, until you need one and it’s not there. A cup can hold water, can be used for making hot tea, and sometimes can even be used for cooking an easy meal in the wilderness if you have the right one.

Never underestimate the important of having a simple cup in your survival gear.

8. Water bottle

water bottle

One of the most important elements anyone would need to survive in any situation is water. Not just any water, one that is clean. Having a sturdy lightweight water bottle will help you carry clean water with you so that you can quench your thirst and stay hydrated.

9. Solar Radio

solar hand cranked radio

As a survivalist or in the case of an emergency, maybe you get lost in the woods, you need to be able to find a way to tell the weather and find shelter if you have to.

You also need to know the direction you’re headed if you’re on the move. This solar hand crank battery operated portable radio has everything you need to do this.

With a built in compass, you can know the direction you’re headed. It comes with 7 pre-programmed independent band channels NOAA real-time weather forecast with public emergency alert system to keep you inform of the condition of the weather.

You can even use it to recharge your phone if it runs down. The radio is solar powered, and even if there’s no sun, you can crank it with your hand to generate power.

It’s a must-have tool you should have in your survival kit, if you ever need to head outdoors for camping, hiking or any other outdoor exploration activity.

10. Portable pocket multi-tool

portable pocket multi-tool

This portable pocket multi-tool by Rovertac is an all in one survival tool you can use as a knife, saw, plier, screwdriver, bottle/can opener, and even a wire cuter.

It’s an all in one portable tool every prepper needs in his/her survival kit. It’s so small you can just fit it into your pocket, and it even comes with a durable nylon pouch you can strap to your hip.

11. Rechargeable flashlight

hand crank solar flashlight

Get ready for uncertainty with this hand cranking solar powered rechargeable flashlight. Take it with you when you go hiking or camping to serve as an emergency flashlight.’

It’s a great survival tool you should have with you always.

12. Survival Hatchet

survival hatchet

Made of full tang, high carbon steel, this 2.5 inch blade hatchet by Gerber is a must have survival tool you should have with you.

It weighs only 1.4 lbs, which is less than a bottle of water. You can use it to cut or split wood for making a fire or even a shelter when the weather gets really worse.

13. Tactical self-defense pen

tactical self defence pen

Not only can you write with this TAKEFLIGHT tactical pen, but when you find yourself in a dangerous situation such as when you have to defend yourself from attackers, or when you’re trapped inside a sinking car, you can use it to break the glass window and escape.

It’s a survival multitool you should have on you all the time, because it’s very portable and you can carry it around with you without it inconveniencing you.

By the way, remember it’s a pen, so you can write with it too.

14. Water Filter Bottle

water filter bottle

This isn’t just any water bottle.

It’s a water filter bottle with 2-stage integrated filter straw that will remove bacteria and protozoa from water collected from lakes, streams and other bodies of water to ensure that you have a clean and safe drinking water anywhere you are.

survival water filter bottle

The LifeStraw water filter bottle is one survival gear you should have with you all the time whenever you go camping, hiking, or you can just save it in your survival kit or backpack in case of any emergency.

15. Pocket Knife Sharpener

survival knife sharpener

Sharpal’s pocket knife sharpener is one more important survival tool you should have with you when you’re out of civilization.

If you go camping or hiking, your knives and other gears you have that requires a sharp edge to work properly will not stay sharp forever.

With this knife sharpener, you can always keep them sharp and ready for use.

16. Outdoor Knots-Tying Cards

outdoor knot tying cards

Knowing how to tie different type of knots is a survival skill everyone or every prepper needs to know in order to be able to survive in the wild.

This outdoor knot-tying cards contains step-by-step color coded knot tying diagrams which are very easy to read and follow.

If you’re a camper, backpacker, prepper, day hiker or wilderness survivalist, you need to know how to tie different types of knots and having this knot tying card with you always will ensure you’re not found wanting when an emergency situation arises that requires the skill.

17. Single and Double Camping Hammock With Mosquito / Bug net

single and double camping hammock

Having a hammock packed in your survivalist backpack is not an option, it’s necessary that you have it. Especially one equipped with a mosquito net.

If sleeping on the ground is not an option, then having a hammock is important. It will protect from anything creeping or crawling on the ground, and one with a mosquito/bug net like this one will protect you from mosquitos and bugs as well.

This is definitely a survival gear every camper, hiker, prepper, or survivalist needs to have packed in his/her backpack.

18. Outdoor cook set

outdoor survival cook set

To stay alive in the case of an emergency, or if you go out camping, hiking or backpacking, you still have to eat.

That’s why this adventure cook set by Stanley is a must have outdoor survivor gear you should have with you.

It comes with a 24oz kettle and 2 ceramics cups that fits right into each other so you can carry them as one. The kettle has a vented lid with a foldable locking handle to carry it when it’s hot.

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