Survival Gear Checklist

Survival Gear Checklist

What does it take to live off the grid? Besides a lot of grit and training, it takes preparation and the right supplies. Deployment and extreme camping is not for everyone, for sure. But being prepared is the best way to combat uncertainty and the unplanned situations that are sure to arise.  When going out in the deep wilderness and away from civilization, take these items with you:
 
  • Baby wipes – Yes, really. Before anything else. 
  • Decent boots – durability is key. Also, if you plan to wear boots every day, they’ll last longer if you rotate between two pairs of the same boot.
  • Socks – material is secondary to fit. One of our customers who did 4 combat tours in Afghanistan swears by the Fox River brand.
  • Multi-tool 
  • Knife – your multi-tool will have a knife on it, but knives can dull and sometimes you want a full-tang knife rather than something that can fold up on you.
  • Whetstone
  • Work gloves – you can really use any gloves for this, but some manufacturers engineer their gloves to work best with their branded jackets or parkas. Do a little research before you buy so you can get the best fit for what you’ll need, and contact our customer service reps if we can assist in helping you make the right decision.
  • Canteen(s) – you can use plastic to carry your water, but if you think you might at any point need to boil your water, you can’t really do that in plastic. Get a metal canteen too, just in case.
  • Water filter/LifeStraw – if you’ve got a lot of people you’re trying to keep hydrated, a water filter system is the better choice, but if it’s just you and you want to be able to drink out of a stream if you need to, get the LifeStraw.
  • Iodine tablets – good in a pinch. They don’t nuke all bacteria, like cryptosporidium, so these should only be used if you’ve got no other choice.
  • Matches, as well as flint and steel for when your matches inevitably get wet.
  • Lighter – redundancy. A favorite saying in the military is “Two is one. One is none.” Zippo is a good brand because they’re really durable and reloadable.
  • MREs – even though they’re not gourmet, you’ve gotta eat, and these are portable.
  • Duct tape – MacGyver was not wrong about all the uses for this stuff. Mythbusters proved you can actually patch a boat with it if you have to.
  • Plastic tubing
  • Paracord
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses – UVA and UVB protection are a must. Don’t just get dark glasses. Protect your eyes.
  • Wide brim hat
  • Solar charger – you probably don’t want to carry around a generator, so why not use the sunlight you get for free? It’s weightless and abundant.
  • Compass – although this is almost useless if you don’t know how to use it, so get a map also (and a map protector and markers)
  • GPS – in case you leave the area you’ve got a map for.
  • Watch – one that you wind yourself. You could also get one of those Citizen watches that uses EcoDrive to convert any light into stored battery power.
  • LED flashlight and batteries – you can still get a flashlight that uses a regular incandescent bulb, but LEDs are brighter and use less power, so your batteries will last longer.
  • SAT phone – in the event it’s WAY too hairy out there and you need rescue (or cell phone if you’re staying in areas with cell towers).
  • Pepper spray – you know why you might need this.
  • Survival blanket – not exactly glamorous, but these blankets will keep you warm in an emergency, and they pack really small.
  • First Aid kit – you can stock your own or you could purchase a pre-stocked one, but you definitely will thank yourself when you need a band-aid or a compression bandage.
  • Eating and cooking utensils
  • Plastic trash bags – these can be used for trash, but also can be used in place of a poncho and can be used to keep your gear bags dry in the rain.
  • Cable ties – you can use these things for so much stuff I couldn’t possibly list it all.
  • Crank radio 
  • Saw – you might need to cut apart some trees for a fire or to build a shelter.
  • Fishing line and lures – you might not like fish, but I bet you’d eat just about anything if you’re hungry enough.
  • Needle and thread – while you could stock this in your first aid kit in case you think you’ll need to give stitches, it’s far more likely that you’ll need to stitch a hole in your sock first.
  • Bandanas – can be used to keep sweat out of your eyes or to patch your pants.
  • Crow bar – you can use it to open things, and in a pinch you can use it as a hammer.
  • Sleeping bag
  • Dental floss – not floss picks. Get a box of the old-school kind of floss. 
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Clothes appropriate to climate – for instance, if you’re going somewhere where there is a lot of rain or humidity, Gore-Tex fabrics are great. If you’re going somewhere hot, you’ll probably want something moisture-wicking, and to stay away from cotton.
  • Mirror – no, not for checking your hair. It’s for if you have to signal to a plane for help or something.
  • Toilet paper
  • Bleach – you can use bleach to sanitize your water, clean your dishes and canteens, and a myriad of other uses.
  • Condoms – don’t scoff. They can come in handy if you break or lose your canteen. You can also store small items inside them if you absolutely don’t want the item to get wet. 
  • Tampons/pads – also useful for first aid.
  • Pad and pen or pencil – you’ve got your knife, so you can sharpen your pencil when it gets dull. You never know when you’ll need to remember something really important. You could trust your memory, but what if you forget anyway? Better to write it down.
  • Field identification book – we aren’t all walking encyclopedias of what plants are safe to eat, so a book like this could be really handy.
  • Can opener – the can openers on multi-tools can be impossible to use. 
  • Personal identification and important documents.
There are always more things you can think of, and there are more lists out there than just this one. The most important thing you can bring with you into the wilderness is your know-how and intelligence. It’s one thing to have all this gear, but it’s another thing altogether to know how to use it all. Be safe and smart