The 10 Most Coveted Survival Essentials

Preparedness is a wonderful goal, but it can become an overwhelming affair. When trying to determine the necessities for survival, many enthusiasts make the mistake …

Preparedness is a wonderful goal, but it can become an overwhelming affair. When trying to determine the necessities for survival, many enthusiasts make the mistake of overestimating how many items they need. In the context of essential survival gear, less is often more. There are a few distinct reasons for this.

First, it is better to have the basics than become wrapped up in expensive or complicated gimmicks. Second, weight is not your friend in a survival situation. Given these factors, the list of items needed for survival can be impressively short. Not only can the wilderness survival essentials fit into a small pack, but they can also be acquired with a small budget. Here are the ten items you shouldn’t be without.

Duct Tape

RediTape Travel Size Silver Duct Tape 2-Pack
  • TRAVEL SIZE DUCT TAPE - RediTape is duct tape designed in a convenient flat, pocket-size, travel-size shape. No more bulky tape rolls - RediTape flat packs have similar shape/size to a cell phone.
  • TAKE IT TO GO - Handy shape for everyday carry inside your backpack, purse, glove box, toolbox, hunting vest, suitcase, emergency kit, survival gear.
  • STRONG AND DURABLE - Excellent quality heavy duty duct tape with high strength, easy to tear, and strong holding force.
  • MULTI-PURPOSE DUCT TAPE - Great for repair applications at home, outdoors, on the job, traveling, emergency preparation, and crafts.
  • COLORED DUCT TAPE MULTI-PACK - This assorted pack includes: silver duct tape (2x). Each flat roll is 1.88" wide, 5yds long, only 0.6" thick, and 2 oz.

Last update on 2023-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

At this point, the ubiquity of duct tape almost seems like a cliche trope. However, there is a reason why this fix-all has stuck around for so long. Originally developed for water-proof military applications, duct tape has seemingly limitless uses in a survival context. You can fasten sticks for shelter, repair gear, or even make improvised shoes.

Recently, many new variants of duct tape have emerged that are superior in many ways to the World War II original. T-Rex and Gorilla are two popular brands, and they both have a myriad of advantages. These newer types have the same versatility as the old stuff but are stronger, more UV stable, and tear easier. Whicher brand you buy, duct tape should be on your shortlist for basic necessities for survival.

Paracord Bracelet

Last update on 2023-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you ask seasoned survivalists about their favorite pieces of kit, paracord is sure to be among the finalists. Paracord is a type of rope originally used for skydiving, but it has evolved to be a catch-all among nature lovers. Paracord is lightweight, incredibly strong, and imminently flexible. The usefulness of this wonder material is hard to overstate. Paracord can be used to build shelters, trap animals, administer first aid, and so much more.

Paracord can be purchased in a variety of forms, but many enthusiasts prefer the convenient form factor of a bracelet. Day to day, a paracord bracelet simply looks like a fashionable accessory. Yet, when the need arises, it can be untied into a very long length of life-saving rope. It’s cheap, useful, and versatile. Paracord should certainly be among your wilderness survival essentials.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Last update on 2023-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Experts may argue about certain aspects of survivalism, and not everyone carries the same opinions regarding gear, techniques, or strategies. However, there is one thing that every expert is certain to agree on: nothing is more important than water. If you ever find yourself in a survival situation, access to clean water is often the difference between life and death.

Unfortunately, dirty or contaminated water is abundant in nature, and consuming infected or unclean water can make your situation disastrously worse. You need a reliable method of finding clean water, and nothing is more efficient than a LifeStraw personal water filter. They take up less room than a permanent market, but they are capable of removing 99.9% of bacteria, making almost any water source safe to drink. If you include nothing else, make sure a water filter is among your necessities for survival.

MyMedic MYFAK First Aid Kit

Last update on 2023-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are lost or otherwise stranded in the wilderness, even a simple injury can be devastating. Whether it be cuts, sprains, aches, or burns, an untreated wound can hamper your strength and mobility and make escape impossible. Your health is crucial, and a first aid kit should absolutely be a central component of your wilderness survival items.

Although any first aid kit is better than none, we recommend seeking out a kit designed with a survival situation in mind. These backpacking kits are compact but contain enough components to deal with most situations. Always keep a first aid kit with you, and always make sure it is fully stocked. This is not an area where compromise is acceptable.

Ka-Bar USMC Fighting Knife

Ka-Bar USMC Fighting Knife
  • The traditional KA-BAR marked for Army personnel
  • Blade features U.S. ARMY tang stamp
  • Leather sheath included
  • Made in the USA

Last update on 2023-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Anyone who has spent extensive time in the wilderness will tell you that a good knife is an indispensable asset. The ability to cut and carve in precise ways is critical in any number of survival moments. Any knife is better than none, but a high-quality survival-oriented knife can easily be the key to your success in a survival situation. Few groups are more prepared or trained for tough moments than the United States Marine Corps, so it stands to reason that the knife they choose is going to be a top-quality item.

Built by Ka-Bar, the USMC Fighting Knife has been used by the military for decades. Its versatility is unmatched, as this knife is designed to fulfill any role from combat to bushwhacking. The 1095 Cro-van steel holds an edge without rusting, and the leather wrap handle provides a comfortable grip even when wet. When assembling the most important survival items, this is an ideal knife to have by your side.

UCO Stormproof Match Kit

UCO Stormproof Match Kit
  • Includes 25 windproof and waterproof matches, 3 strikers and match case that can hold up to 40 matches
  • Matches are easy to light, will burn up to 15 seconds each and will relight after being submerged in water
  • Waterproof, durable ABS plastic case floats and keeps contents dry and protected; external, integrated, and replaceable striker for easy lighting
  • Extended length of match allows for added safety to keep from burning fingertips
  • Length of matches: 2.75 inches (7 cm); Kit weight: 1.7 oz. (48 g)

Last update on 2023-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Learning to survive for yourself is a fascinating exercise because it forces you to analyze what elements of life are truly essential. When it comes down to it, humans need shockingly few things to live. Water, shelter, food, and warmth. Within this framework, fire is an essential element. When thinking about building fire for survival, many people instinctively consider using a lighter. This is not a bad idea by any means, and we wholly encourage adventurers to keep a lighter among their gear. Yet, lighters fail and run out of fuel. When this occurs, you want matches.

Don’t just reach for some strike-anywheres out of your kitchen drawer. Survival matches are a different animal altogether. Stormproof matches let you stay warm, cook food, and signal for help regardless of the environment. They burn brightly even when wet, and the long burn time gives you plenty of flexibility to ignite kindling. They’re cheap, compact, and they can save your life. Don’t forget these important survival items.

MECO Emergency Flashlight

MECO Emergency Flashlight
229 Reviews
MECO Emergency Flashlight
  • Emergency flashlight With Built-In Rechargeable battery, store energy in for a long time, NO
  • High conversion efficiency, Cranking for 6 mins gives an hour light, Ready for the uncertain world
  • Classic Design, Durable, Army Green vs Dim Gray,Outdoor Survival Gear, Best Gift for Outdoor
  • Size: 124x45x32mm Weight: 86g With A Quick to Use Carabiner Clip, Clip it on your backpack and take
  • 100% Brand New, Guaranteed by MECO! 40 days money back guarantee!

Last update on 2023-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Anyone who has never been lost in the woods at night has never truly experienced the inky darkness that pervades a barren landscape. Having proper illumination isn’t just a matter of comfort, it is a matter of safety. If you cannot see, you cannot cook, hunt, or navigate safely. Thus, having a source of light is a vitally important element of survival.

There is no shortage of flashlights on the market, but the battery-powered options leave a lot to be desired. A hand-crank-operated light like the MECO gives you unlimited light without any concern for batteries. Further, the strobe feature is a great asset for signaling help. This light is easily one of the essentials for survival.

SE Military Sighting Compass

SE Military Sighting Compass
  • FLOURESCENT: Our thermo-elastic liquid-filled capsule with floating dial makes sure the whether light discipline is your goal, or just practicing navigation at night, you will always be able to see your way.

Last update on 2023-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It’s hard to find your way to safety if you don’t know the direction. Having a high-quality compass is an absolutely essential item for any outdoors enthusiast, and this SE Military compass is a great example. It’s compact, affordable, waterproof, and incredibly high quality. Buy it, learn how to read it, and keep it by your side.

Swiss Safe Mylar Blankets

Swiss Safe Mylar Blankets
18,429 Reviews
Swiss Safe Mylar Blankets
  • FOUR MYLAR EMERGENCY BLANKETS (Army Green) - Advanced dual-sided aluminized mylar blankets.
  • BONUS GOLD SPACE BLANKET - Each package includes ONE EXTRA GOLD colored space blanket.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND DURABLE - Military-grade 12-micron aluminized polyethylene mylar, 52"x82" & 2 oz.
  • EMERGENCY USE - Designed to retain up 90% of your body heat, completely block rain, snow, moisture.
  • OUR PROMISE: Swiss Safe promises customer satisfaction and our items to be free of any manufacturer defects

Last update on 2023-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It is hard to beat mylar blankets in terms of bang-for-your-buck. These blankets are known by a lot of names, including space blankets and survival blankets. Regardless of the name, they keep you warm and dry while taking up almost no space in your pack. Not only do they provide warmth, but they can be used to build a shelter or even fashioned into a tourniquet. Even if you barely venture off the trails, there is no excuse for not having a mylar blanket or two in your gear collection.

Sven Folding Saw

Sven Folding Saw
  • 21 in. model: Closed: 23 in. x 1.5 in. x 0.56 in. Open: 23 in. x 20 in. x 15 in., Wt: 14 oz.
  • 15 in. model: Closed: 17 in. x 1.5 in. x 0.56 in. Open: 17 in. x 15 in. x 13 in., Wt: 12 oz.

Last update on 2023-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Admittedly, a knife is a more crucial item. Thus, if you have to choose, the knife should be your choice. That said, a folding saw can make your life a great deal more comfortable and convenient if you need to use it. From breaking down firewood to building shelter, having access to a saw can be a valuable addition to your bag of tricks.

The Sven is extremely sharp, allowing for fast and precise cuts. Despite its rugged construction, it still manages to be exceptionally lightweight and ergonomic to use. If you have the space, you won’t regret having it with you.


As you can see, the survival essentials do not need to be a long list. Despite their life-saving nature, every item on this list of survival necessities can be purchased for under $100. When outfitting your bug-out bag with things needed for survival, don’t fall for gimmicks or overpriced toys. Only a few survival essentials are needed to satisfy your survivalist needs. Assemble the basics, purchase high-quality items, and make sure you are always equipped to deal with whatever situation life throws at you.