The Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist

The Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist

Imagine a situation where your home was cut off from the outside world; no electricity, no communication, no access to clean drinking water or food supplies. Can you confidently say that you would be prepared to keep your family safe, or are you unsure about what you have around the home that could do the job?

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Guide To Survival Gear

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Survival gear refers to the range of accessories and items intended to keep you safe in an emergency, and they’ve been designed specifically to be kept out of sight and mind in the hopes that they’re never used. With a rise in natural disasters and political and economic uncertainty about, every good home should have some basic survival tools at their disposal.

But where do you start on your quest to build the best survival kit, and what essential items should be on your survival kit list? Do you need to go all out and have the latest and greatest accessories, or is it best to keep things simple?

Finding yourself in a survival situation

This guide will give you all of the information you need to know about how to make the ultimate survival kit, and exactly what knowledge you’ll need to keep your family safe in an emergency.

The Survivalist Trend

Survival gear and emergency prepping have been increasingly popular topics as of late, with television and media portraying more and more the likelihood of impending disaster. With heightened fears and discussions around environmental, social, economic, and political events, the survivalist trend has caused more and more people to prepare for anything.

With shows such as Doomsday Preppers and the like on our television screens, it’s easy to look at those who prepare for such emergencies as the extreme type. However, on a less fanatical scale, having your home organized to deal with an emergency or survival situation can mean the matter of life or death for your family.

Bear Grylls Expert Survivalist

While you don’t need to go to the extremes of Bear Grylls or other famous survivalists when organizing your items, there are a few choice products and a little bit of know-how that can get you through an emergency. Having your own outdoor survival gear doesn’t take long to assemble, and it will always be there when you need it most.

As we become more aware of possible threats to our family’s safety, thanks to a constant influx of information from the media, more and more Americans are likely to prepare their own survival kit list for their families in readiness.

Even those living abroad are jumping on the survivalist trend as well, with the UK reporting a dramatic increase in survival gear sale last year following the Brexit issue. However, this gear isn’t just great for the end of the world or a zombie attack, there are much more practical uses for it too.

Social unrest tend to promt people to think about survival

What Is Survival Gear Useful For

Although you might think that survival gear is kept stored away for the apocalypse, there are actually far more useful and realistic scenarios where it may save your life. Consider the possibility of any of these happening, and think about how protected your family would be. With just a few choice pieces of survival equipment, you can be prepared for the worst.

Environmental Disasters

The most realistic threat to our family’s safety comes from environmental disasters, with storms being the number one cause of death by a natural disaster in the United States.

Wild weather caused by floods, tornados, hurricane, snow, and more means we could be cut off from the outside world forced to live on the bare supplies we have. With survival gear at the ready, we can be comfortable with the supplies we do have at home.

Economic Crisis

As the global economic situation worsens, many people fear that the day will come when their access to finances is taken from them. Just by having some food and essentials stored away, you’re ensuring your family is taken care of if the worst ever happens.

Better be prepared then wait in food lines

Outdoor Enthusiasts

Any seasoned outdoors lover will already have their own wilderness survival kit on hand, intended to keep them safe and sound should they become lost or injured in nature. These same accessories can be used by all survivalists, and they’re usually compact and lightweight for easy transportation.

Social And Political Issues

With growing unease around certain social and political issues, and the constant fear of terrorism, many people feel safer knowing that their family would have medical equipment and food stores should anything occur. Although the chances are extremely slim, being prepared is better than nothing at all.

Politcal Unrest

No matter what the reason is for having a survival kit, once you’ve assembled the right gear to protect you and your family, it can be used for any type of disaster that strikes. There are countless benefits to owning a survival kit and not just the understanding and knowing you’re prepared.

The Benefits Of Owning Survival Gear

While the obvious benefit of owning survival gear is that your family is kept safe and sound in an emergency, there are some other benefits to be had as well. Not only can you benefit from being prepared, but you could be teaching your family some valuable lessons as well.

Peace Of Mind

Although a selfish reason to be prepared, having a survival kit removes any doubt or worry from your mind whenever you see a story on the news about an upcoming storm or political emergency.

Piece of Mind for having it all prepared

Increased Odds Of Survival

It’s been statistically proven with outdoors types that those who are prepared for the worst have a far better chance of surviving it. Just with a few essential items, you’ll have a huge advantage on surviving compared to someone who wasn’t prepared.

Preparedness For All Types Of Emergency

All you need is one survival kit and you can be covered for all types of emergencies. Whether it’s an environmental disaster, terrorist attack, or economic crisis, the one kit will cover you for everything.

Education For Your Family

Having a survival kit and keeping your family educated on basic survival techniques is a lifelong skill that they can carry with them. By educating them you’re giving them a far better chance of surviving an emergency if they happen to be without you.

Educating kids of basic survival


With one compact survival kit ready to go, you’ll be prepared to tackle an emergency at home or on the move. A survival backpack packed with the essentials can be the difference between life and death for your loved ones if the worst should happen.

Packing A Survival Kit

Before you can consider packing a survival kit, you’ll need to do some forward planning. Emergency preparedness owes a huge percentage of its success to how well it was planned and thought out, so take your time. There are a few things to consider when packing your survival kit, so ask yourself the following questions.

  • How many people is this survival kit intended to serve, and who?
  • Are there any special medical conditions that need to be considered?
  • ​How many days of supplies will I require to ensure we meet the bare minimum?
  • ​What is our surrounding environment like, and is there the chance we may be elsewhere when disaster strikes?
  • What climate do we live in and how best can we prepare for the extreme weather conditions it experiences?
  • Will we require any weapons or tools intended for hunting our own food?
  • What size and weight are we comfortable with carrying when we think of our survival gear list?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can begin your quest for survival gear accessories to assemble your kit. For some, they might like to purchase a pre-packed survival accessory kit, and others will prefer to assemble this themselves to meet their unique requirements.

The Range Of Survival Gear

When packing your survival gear kit, you need to ensure you’ve covered off every area. Even if you think you’ll never have the need for a compass or food supplies, being unprepared in just the slightest can compromise your health and safety significantly.

Considering you may be living out in the wilderness, you’ll need adequate shelter and bedding to keep you protected from the outdoors. This includes consideration for rain, snow, extreme heat, cold, or other climates, so you should study the area you live in. You’ll need to stay fed and hydrated, so an adequate food and water supply of long-life variety are essential.

Some emergency preppers might be interested in survival weaponry, such as air rifles, bows, and knives. While they might sound extreme, can be extremely useful in sourcing your next meal. Other multi-tools or survival accessories that feature more than one item in one are also ideal, such as compasses and fire starters, as these give you a range of options in a compact packaging.

Fire Starters for Survival

If you want some form of communication device packed away, this could give further peace of mind. However, these often require batteries or cellular service to operate which might not always be a possibility.

Finally, but not least important, you’ll need to consider any medical supplies or accessories that might come in handy. It’s best to have a complete first aid kit available, and these don’t need to be bulky just to be effective. As with everything else to do with survival gear, it’s quality over quantity that matters most.

The Must-Have Survival Gear Accessories

The market for survival gear has grown significantly in recent years, as more and more average Americans look to equip their homes with the basics in survival supplies. These products represent some of the most popular items in the market today and they’re a must-have for your survival supplies list, with new and innovative accessories being introduced all the time.

Survival Straps

Also referred to as survival bracelets or paracord bracelets, these nifty little devices are like a survival kit that you can wear at all times. A survival bracelet is usually crafted from parachute cord, thanks to its superior strength, and often contains other accessories hidden away such as fishing hooks, a compass, and fire starter.

Survival Straps on Wood

To use your survival bracelet, simply remove the accessory you need and you’re ready to go. To make use of the paracord, these devices usually come with a small knife to unravel it. These are ideal for fishing lines, hunting equipment, and ever starting fires. Once used, though, you won’t be able to re-thread it.

Survival Watch

Somewhat similar to the survival strap, but with the added bonus of a watch face, these are often a little more expensive and reliable than the aforementioned type. Be careful to select a wristband material that’s comfortable, as you’ll be wearing this each day.

5 in 1 Survival Watch

A survival watch often comes with added features such as a thermometer, barometer, and more, however, you’ll need to ensure the batteries are always ready to go. These survival gadgets can sometimes be linked to your smartphone to record data as well, provided have your GPS enabled.

Survival Box

A survival box is the storage device you use to hold all of your accessories. For the most reliable survival box, you’ll need it to be weatherproof and shock resistant. Something that won’t be too heavy or bulky to carry, either, if you intend on carrying it around with you.

Survival Box for Food

Popular choices for survival box materials included aluminum and hard plastic, provided there is an adequate seal around the edges to keep them water resistant. Some feature locking mechanisms so that you can keep intruders out of your precious supplies.

Survival Kit

These prepackaged items come with a sturdy survival box and a whole range of supplies. Generally made to last 72 hours, they include everything from your food and water pouches to tools such as knives, fire starters, and thermal blankets.

72 hour surival kit

For those who want the peace of mind that survival gear can bring, and aren’t too fussed on personalizing their supplies these are ideal. Best of all, you can purchase one for home, work, and your car then never give it a second thought.

Survival Shelter

A basic survival shelter is all you need when planning your emergency gear, so don’t expect to fork out hundreds for a fancy and luxurious tent. Although tent like in appearance, these shelters are generally made from a thin weatherproof material and designed to keep the warmth within.

Survival Tent

Survival shelters are often designed to fit two people maximum, so you’ll need to purchase more to accommodate for larger groups. Most of them are set up with a rope system that attaches to something sturdy, like a tree.

Survival Blanket

As is the case with a survival shelter, the blankets are usually not designed for comfort. However, they will protect you from harsh weather conditions and use your body heat to keep you warm and free from hypothermia or other potential problems.

Survival Blanket for Winter Survival

Survival blankets are usually constructed from mylar, which is a form of polyester resin. This fabric is extremely cheap to make and so the blankets are the most affordable survival item you can own. However, they can tear easily due to their thin construction so it’s best to stock up.

Survival Food

When you think of survival food, you probably imagine bland and boring portions of food divided out amongst the family. Unfortunately, this is still quite true of these products. However, they are nutritious and easy to carry, so your loved ones stay fed and full of energy for whatever comes next.

Stocked up Survival Food

Modern survival food also comes in options like organic and gluten-free to suit most dietary requirements, and with a little bit of hot water a few minutes’ wait they’re simple to prepare with minimal mess.

Survival Water

There are two options generally when considering your emergency water supplies, and a good prepper should have both in their kit. The first is a personal filtration system that can be used to filter natural bodies of water that you might find on your journey. These devices remove all waterborne bacteria and parasites making the water healthy to drink.

Water Purification Straw

The other is clean, filtered water that can either be carried in a bladder system on your backpack or in small pouches usually stored with survival food kits. Ensure you have both to keep yourself and others hydrated, as well as enough water to prepare your food.

Survival Hatchet

A survival hatchet might sound like an odd choice for an emergency accessory, but these handy devices will give you a whole range of uses. The solid blade will allow you to chop firewood or build an emergency shelter, so it’s great for the outdoor survivalist.

Survival Axe and Hatchet

With a quality hatchet you’ll be able to hammer tent pegs and tenderize meat too, and because they’re made in compact sizes suited to survival kits they won’t weigh you down too much.

Survival Knife

Another survival weapon that might seem extreme at first, but will come in handy with its numerous uses, is a knife. A knife can be useful for hunting, fishing, building shelter, medical assistance, and more.

Knife for Survival

There’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on something that’s going to be stored away for a rainy day, though, as long as it’s got a strong and durable blade on it. Survival knives are often small and compact, with a reliable sheath to keep them safe.

Survival Rifle

The survival rifle might not be a necessity for every emergency prepper, but if you’re comfortable with handling a firearm then they can be ideal for getting your next meal. Whether you want it to shoot BBs or pellets, there are some great options available.

Survival Gun

These air rifles are compact in size but powerful enough to take down small game, so when your food supplies run out there’s no need to go without. For those venturing into the wilderness, they give you a wider option of food choice provided you can catch something.

Survival Bow

If you’d prefer something less mechanical than a rifle, survival bows are another popular weapon for emergency preppers. With a little practice, a survival bow can be used in hunting so that you never have to go hungry again.

Compact Foldable Bow

These survival packs come with compact bow and arrows, usually in a set, and some can be folded down even further to take up less space. Crafted from fiberglass and other lightweight materials, you’ll barely notice them in your pack.

Survival Backpack

Finally, you’ll need something sturdy and reliable to carry all of your survival gear in. With a quality backpack on your shoulders, you can keep all of your precious items inside and carry them comfortably with you.

Survival Backpack with an Axe

These don’t need to be as detailed as a hiker’s rucksack, though, just enough space and durability to see you through. A backpack with the option for a water bladder and padded shoulders is ideal, so look for those with the best features.

Depending on your needs, who you’ll be traveling with, and what region you live in, your idea of what constitutes the essentials may differ. However, even if you can’t imagine yourself using one of these accessories they could end up being the very thing that saves your life, so it pays to be prepared.

Survival Gadgets And Technology

Using technology in a survival situation can be tricky, as these gadgets are great when you can rely on them, but as soon as their battery goes flat or the cell service drops out then they’re useless.

When planning your survival gear the aim is to keep these accessories out of sight and mind until they’re required, so technology might not always be smart. However, that’s not to say they aren’t without their strong points.

Solar Panels for Phones

Thankfully, these gadgets are improving beyond the point of needing batteries or electricity to operate, with many of them now running on solar energy. Cell phone chargers, generators, sun ovens, and more, can all be powered by natural energy if you wish to pack one in your survival kit.

Keep in mind that these survival accessories are for the bare necessities only. While it might be nice to have music playing on your smartphone that’s been charged through your solar device, the room that these take up could be used for something more worthwhile and potentially lifesaving down the line.

Finding The Best Survival Gear

With literally hundreds of survival gear brands now available, and that number increasing daily, it can be like finding a needle in a haystack when searching for reliable and affordable accessories. While you could make your own homemade survival gear, these products are usually so affordable and simple to use that it really would be a waste of your time.

There are a few things to consider when purchasing survival gear, so before you start to fill your survival gear kit with the first items you find, keep in mind the following must-haves.

Brand Reputation

There are a few quality brands in the survival gear market, with even more making their name known today. When all else fails, try to stick to a popular brand such as SOL, SE, or EliteMax with a reputation for making quality mergency gear.

SOL Gear Reputable Brand

Real World Reviews

Before purchasing any product, give it a quick check online to see what the reviews are like. These are your best indicator of how well a product held up in a real world situation, so you don’t need to second-guess its quality.

Quality Craftsmanship

The materials and work involved with a survival accessory are a good sign of how well it was made, with the higher quality the better. A higher quality product translates to more durability, which means a reliable survival item for your prepper kit.

Ease Of Use

When you purchase a product, try to imagine how effective it will be in a real life scenario and how quickly you will be able to use it. Anything complicated that requires a lot of time or energy to assemble isn’t going to serve you well in an emergency.


Considering we might need to take our survival gear on the road with us, it needs to be lightweight and compact enough to fit in our backpack without weighing us down. Less is more with survival gear, and quality always wins over quantity.

Transportability of Survival Gear


One major advantage the survival gear market currently has is that the products are affordable. Because they’re intended for a single use, you don’t need them to last for many years of wear and tear, which means the consumer saves in the long run.

Although it’s possible to purchase survival gear kits as a complete accessory, it often works out better value to purchase each item individually. This way you can ensure that every single item in your kit is of the best quality, and you can shop around for the best price too. A survival gear kit should take time to prepare, so don’t be afraid to spend yours searching for the best products.

Where To Store Your Survival Gear

While some emergency preppers have one kit ready to go at all times if disaster ever strikes, the more organized among them might have a few scattered around. Depending on where you spend most of your time, and how easy you would like to access your gear, there are a number of smart places to keep your survival kit.

Unpacket Survival Kit
  • Car survival kit – these can be kept in the trunk of your car, ready to be used when you need it most.
  • Home survival kit – a survival kit kept at home can be far bulkier than one that you use on the move, but you should also have a backpack ready to take if you need to leave urgently.
  • ​Office survival kit – considering how much time we spend in our workplaces, it makes sense to have a backup survival kit there.
  • Personal survival kit – these are small and discreet and can be kept on your person at all times. Either a backpack or paracord bracelet makes a great choice.

With a complete kit in the places where you spend your most time, you can have absolute peace of mind that you’ll be protected. Now that you have your accessories sorted, it’s time to learn the basics about surviving in an emergency.

Safety Basics For Surviving

Having the right survival gear can mean the matter of life and death in some cases, but it’s worthless without a little bit of knowledge to use with it. Any good survivalist will have a basic understanding of how to stay safe in the outdoors or living indoors during an emergency, so here are a few tips to get you started.

Medical Care

Taking a basic first aid course could literally be a matter of life of death in an emergency, as you’ll be equipped with the skills and information to perform a number of procedures. With everything from CPR to burns and insect bites covered in these courses, they’re invaluable to know in everyday life and survival situations.

First Aid Kit for Medical Care

Fire Building

While many of the survival accessories come with a flint and fire starter, without knowing how to operate them they’d be useless. There are countless videos available on YouTube on how to start a fire, so spending just a few minutes watching one of these could be what keeps your family warm in the outdoors.


Although you don’t need to be an expert huntsman, if you’re purchasing survival weapons you should know how to use them. Whether you take safety lessons at your local gun range or study how to fire a bow and arrow, this little bit of education can mean a safe and proper use of your weapon.

Weather Conditions

Not only should you be aware of the different types of weather in your area and possible natural disasters, but you should know how to best prepare for them too. Understanding the basics about conditions such as heatstroke and hypothermia mean you can avoid them before they become a problem.

Hypothermia Signs

Food And Water

Understanding how much energy the average person needs will better equip you for survival, as you’ll need to ration out your food and water supplies. Take some time to research each individual family member’s caloric needs to ensure that everyone has adequate nutrition in an emergency.


Your health and safety are extremely important in a survival situation, and with dangers coming from all areas including wild animals, harsh weather, infections, and more, you should always be alert to any danger that might be present. Educate your family as well, so that they can be an extra set of eyes and ears when you need it most.


While you might not think it, basic hygiene in a survival situation is extremely important. Not only will good hygiene leave you feeling fresh and comfortable, but it can keep away potential infections and bacteria. Always practice good hygiene and impart the information on your family so that nobody falls ill from carelessness.

Hand Sanitizer

Survival Schools

A recent trend to gain attention in the world of survivalists are survival schools. These schools are intended to teach children and adults how to survive in an emergency and how best to use their gear. With basic primitive skills and knowledge about safety, nutrition, tool making, food tracking, and awareness, these courses can equip you with everything you ever needed to survive in the wild.

The aim of these courses is to give you enough knowledge so that if you were dropped in the wilderness alone and with the bare essentials you’d know how to survive. Although they began as classes for nature lovers and outdoor types, they’re now evolving to suit urban survivalists too.

Although owning basic survival gear is a great place to start, having this extra knowledge and know-how gives you a greater chance. However, these courses simply aren’t available to everyone and so no-fuss survival gear is the next best choice.

Differnet schools of survival

Items such as paracord bracelets and survival kits take the worry out of assembling your gear, so if you’re completely new to the world of emergency preparedness then these are the best option. It's best to leave the rifles and tricky mechanisms until you’re better equipped to handle them.

Urban Emergency Preppers

One group that has the most to gain from survival gear is those living in urban areas. While traditionally you might think of doomsday preppers as those living in an electricity-free wood cabin in the great outdoors, more and more city dwellers are looking to purchase survival kits just in case the worse should ever happen too.

Following the disaster of September 11 and the chaos that followed downtown, many residents took an interest in learning how to survive a catastrophic event such as this again. Classes in the larger cities such as New York City now teach their students the best escape routes in the area, how to live on organic foods and make their own household items such as deodorant and soap.


Although a different approach to surviving in the wild, for those in larger cities these types of survival measures will be far more effective for them to learn than the wilderness techniques. Thankfully, survival gear has been manufactured to suit all environments and so its usefulness extends beyond your location.

The Future Of Survival Gear

If the current market for survival gear is anything to go by, this is an area that will continue to grow exponentially as public fear increases. The constantly reported threat of terrorism, economic collapse, environmental disasters and more is enough to scare even the most cynical among us into preparing a basic survival kit.

The latest trend of survival schools shows an interesting approach to emergency preparedness, with classes now available for adults on how to survive in a crisis. These practical teachings when coupled with quality survival gear can equip just about anybody to adequately deal in an emergency. This knowledge can be shared with friends, family, and neighbors so that they have the best chance of survival too.

Urban Survivalist Modern

With the introduction of urban survivalists and gear that has been marketed specifically to their location, we are likely to see more information and knowledge shared around this area. While it’s ideal to know how to survive in the wilderness, the reality of ever stepping foot in the middle of nature is just not realistic for some Americans.

As our reliance on technology continues to grow, too, you can expect survival gear to make more of a shift in this direction. Where once we relied on compasses and flint for fire starters, many more solar products will emerge that might replace these devices. However, for your own peace of mind, it’s best to stick to traditional methods to ensure their reliability.

Why Having A Survival Kit Is A Must

The idea of survival gear and emergency prepping may seem paranoid and overprotective at first, but when you see how basic the approach can be you’ll understand just how easy it is. If it means a matter of safety for our family, then isn’t it worth a little of our time and planning?

Gone are the days when emergency preppers were seen as conspiracy theorists wearing tin foil hats, as they’re now replaced with the everyday family who grabs just a few of the essentials to keep their family safe during a storm or power outage.

Storm Shelter for Survival

Whether you’re an urban survivalist or an outdoors type, there are plenty of basic, affordable, and practical items to get your hands on. With a little bit of knowledge on how to use your best survival tools, you’ll be ensuring the very best outcome for your loved ones.

These kits don’t have to be complicated, provided you have the essential survival gear on hand. You never know what type of emergency might strike, and it’s worth a little forward planning to know that your family will be protected should the worst ever happen.

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