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Survival Gear You Need for the Wild

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If you’re new to camping and survival gear, you might be wondering, what do I need to survive a few days to a week or even longer in the wilderness? 

Some of these are going to be obvious, such as food and a temporary shelter, but there’s other items that most of us don’t really think about, such as a utility/hunting knife (a Bowie knife, for example). 

Here’s my list of items that I think are going to be very important to survive in the wilderness… 

Bowie Knife A popular knife with collectors. The great Bowie knife originated as a “fighting knife”. It could protect you from predator animals, used to hunt small animals, clean and cut up meat and fish or free you if you got tangled up in heavy bush.

*Please note, that while a lot of states allow carrying Bowie knives on a person, the blade must be under 5 1/2 (14cm).*

Tent/Shelter 

This is probably going to sound obvious, but you’ll need a tent or temporary shelter to protect you from rain and wind. Even if it’s warm, being wet for a prolonged period of time can lower your body temperature and can put you at risk of hypothermia. 

Food If you’re not a hunter, you’ll want to bring your own food. This could be canned soup, smores, hot dogs, beans, camp popcorn (in a covered pie plate with a handle), etc. You could also bring chips, crackers, protein bars, peanut butter. Anything lightweight, calorie-dense and filling…

The more non-perishable foods, the better. Carbs and proteins will be your best friends, especially if you’re on a more adventurous, active camping/wilderness trip. 

A Way to Cook Your Food

Perhaps another no-brainer, but you’ll need a way to cook your food. You might want to invest in a little camp stove, or you might like the idea of using natural resources, like twigs and branches that fell off trees to make your own fire. 

*Please be careful and respect bylaws about burning, especially in hotspots.*

Matches/Lighter

If you’re not bringing your own camping stove, you’ll need a way to light a fire to cook and keep you warm. A good tip for a fire, put stones around it if possible and a safe distance from trees and anything else. Put twigs down first, then larger pieces and leave plenty of space for air between them. 

Waterproof Container/Bag/Backpack

If you’re bringing a change of clothes, socks and matches, you’ll want to keep these dry. This could save your life, or at least keep you comfortable. This will also prevent mold and mildew in not only your clothing, but food as well. 

Water/Drinks

Another obvious one, I know, but being hydrated is so vital. You could survive without food for a couple of weeks potentially, but only a few days without water. 

Can Opener

If you are going to pack canned food, obviously you’ll need a way to open them, so you’ll need a can opener.

Pots/Pans/Utensils

Older or thrifted pots and pans would be ideal, since you’ll likely be putting them on a flame, which can turn them black and discoloured. You could also bring a small cast iron pan, If you wanted to have bacon and eggs or other meat.

You could also eat right out the can if you’d rather not deal with the bulk of pots and pans or washing them out. There are also sticks for hot dogs and other meat or you could just find a twig. 

Storage/Cooler

If wildlife: bears, cougars or coyotes are a concern, you’ll want to have a way to store your food and garbage, so it doesn’t attract these predators. If you want to bring hot dogs, bacon or anything perishable, you’ll want to keep it cold. You might also want pop or beer. 

Light Source

When it gets dark out, you’ll need to be able to see. A campfire can certainly help, but if you need to answer nature’s call, or leave the site for any other reason, you’ll need to see where you’re going and what you’re doing. A simple flashlight or glow sticks would do, but you might want a lantern. 

Garbage/Grocery bags 

This is obviously for your trash. Please don’t litter, but they can also keep your feet dry too. You could also put dirty, wet clothes in them to separate them from clean, dry clothes and items. 

Gas/Fuel

If you’re going to a really remote area, gas stations are going to be few and far between. It’s a good idea to have a couple of jerry cans of gas just in case. 

Compass/GPS

I hope you don’t get lost, but these things happen. It’s good to have a way to find your direction. Heaven forbid, if you get injured and need to call for help, this will also help search and rescue and other first responders find you quicker. 

First-Aid Kit

Hopefully you won’t need it and especially not for anything serious, but even minor scrapes, burns and cuts can happen anywhere. It’s a good idea to have a small, basic first aid kit (antibiotic cream, rubbing alcohol, bandages, anti-diarrheal, etc.) The last thing you want and need is an infection. 

Phone Charger/Power Bank

You might have a CB or other two-way radio or a SAT phone, but if you don’t, it might be worthwhile buying a power bank to charge your cell or mobile phone. They’re inexpensive and easy to use. Just remember to charge it before you head out. 

Other Suggestions/Thoughts 

None of these items need to be expensive and you certainly don’t need a lot to survive in the wilderness. Just common sense and a few basic items. Humans are resilient and we need less than you’d think to not only survive, but be comfortable. 

You might also want to let other family members and friends know where you’re going and a rough estimate of when you’ll be returning in case something did happen. 

Of course, I hope you don’t need to use the emergency items or plan, but I would rather have a reasonable amount of backup items and not need them, then need them and not have them.

Safe Travels and Happy Camping! 

 

 

 

 

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