Survival gear is equipment and tools that are designed to help a person survive in emergency or survival situations, such as being lost in the wilderness or experiencing a natural disaster. The purpose of survival gear is to provide the necessary resources and tools that can help a person to stay alive and stay safe until help arrives or until they can find their way back to civilization.

Survival gear can include items such as first aid kits, water filters or purification tablets, shelter (such as a tent or emergency blanket), fire-starting tools (such as a lighter or matches), knives or multi-tools, flashlights or other sources of light, communication devices (such as a whistle or signal mirror), and food rations or other sources of sustenance.

The specific items included in a person’s survival gear kit may vary depending on the individual’s needs, the environment they will be in, and the potential risks or challenges they may face. Overall, survival gear is meant to help ensure a person’s survival in situations where basic necessities are not readily available, and can be essential in helping them make it through an emergency situation.

Navigation Tools

  • Compass: Essential for determining directions when GPS is not available.
  • Maps: Topographical maps can help you navigate unfamiliar terrain.

Fire Starters

  • Waterproof Matches: Can start fires even in damp conditions.
  • Ferrocerium Rod: Durable and works when wet, ideal for fire-starting.

Light Sources

  • Flashlight: Compact and powerful, preferably with multiple settings.
  • Headlamp: The headlamp is a hands-free light source useful for various tasks.

Food and Water

  • Portable Water Filter: Good water filters are crucial for purifying water from natural sources.
  • Fishing Kit: Compact kits for catching fish for food.

Signaling Tools

  • Signal Mirror: Can reflect sunlight to attract attention.
  • Flares: Highly visible and can signal for help over long distances.

Communication Devices

  • Two-Way Radios: Walkie-talkies are useful for communicating over short distances, while wind-up radio will keep you informed.
  • Emergency Whistle: A loud whistle can signal for help and scare away animals.

Shelter and Warmth

  • Emergency Blanket: Reflective, lightweight blankets that help retain body heat.
  • Tarp: Can be used for makeshift shelter or ground cover.

Cutting Tools

  • Survival Knife: Versatile tool for cutting, carving, and other tasks.
  • Multi-tool: Includes various functionalities like scissors, screwdrivers, and can openers.

First Aid

  • First Aid Kit: Basic supplies for treating cuts, burns, and other minor injuries.
  • Tourniquet: For controlling severe bleeding.


  • Paracord: Strong, lightweight cord useful for a multitude of tasks.
  • Duct Tape: Versatile adhesive for quick fixes and emergency repairs.
  • Vacuum Seal Bags: Vacuum Seal Bags are excellent for storing food and clothes.

Survival Gear In The City Vs. Wilderness

Survival gear varies considerably depending on the environment in which it is intended to be used. Here’s a breakdown of the differences in survival gear for city and wilderness scenarios:

    City Survival Gear

    • Mobile Phone with Portable Charger: Communication is key, and mobile phones are often still functional in urban survival situations.
    • Cash: ATMs and card readers might not work in power outages.
    • Public Transport Map: Helpful if traditional means of transport are unavailable.
    • Face Masks: Useful in case of smog, fire, or airborne contaminants.
    • Lock Picking Tools: Might become necessary to access locked resources in extreme cases.
    • Crowbar: Useful for forced entry and a variety of tasks.
    • Water Purification Tablets: In case the water supply becomes contaminated.
    • Emergency Food Bars: Compact and calorie-dense, made for urban survival scenarios.
    • Personal Alarm: To attract attention in case of danger.
    • Pepper Spray: A non-lethal means of self-defense against attackers.

    Wilderness Survival Gear

    • Compass and Map: Essential for navigation when GPS is unavailable.
    • Survival Knife: Multi-purpose tool for food preparation, building shelter, and more.
    • Fire Starter: Necessary for warmth and cooking.
    • Tarp or Tent: For immediate shelter from the elements.
    • Water Filtration System: Portable pumps or straws to purify natural water sources.
    • First Aid Kit: Tailored for outdoor injuries like snakebites, burns, and cuts.
    • High-Energy Food: Such as freeze-dried meals or trail mix.
    • Multi-tool: For various repair and construction tasks.
    • Fishing Kit and Snare Wire: Survival fishing kit or catching food.
    • Signalling Tools: Such as a whistle and signal mirror for attracting attention in vast, open spaces.
    • Hunting: Having a survival bow and knowing how to use it can benefit of catching small or medium size prey to feed yourself and your close ones.

    While there’s overlap in the types of gear useful in both settings (e.g., first aid kits, water purification, and food), the main difference lies in the specific challenges posed by each environment. City survival gear is often geared towards navigating human-made structures and crowds, while wilderness gear is designed for self-sufficiency and coping with natural hazards.

    How To Choose Your Survival Gear

    Selecting the right survival gear is critical for maximizing your chances of successfully navigating emergency or adventure scenarios. Below are some key considerations:

    Assessing Your Needs

    Before making any purchase, take the time to assess your specific needs based on the environment you’ll be in and the duration of your venture. If you’re heading into the wilderness, you’ll need different items than you would for an urban survival situation. Evaluate the risks you’re likely to face, such as extreme temperatures or lack of water, and plan your gear accordingly.

    Quality vs. Price

    While it might be tempting to go for the cheapest option, remember that in a survival situation, the quality of your gear can be the difference between life and death. High-quality gear is generally more durable and reliable. That said, you don’t have to break the bank; many reputable brands offer good quality items at a reasonable price. The key is to find the best balance between quality and affordability.

    Multi-functional Gear

    Items that serve multiple purposes can be incredibly useful. For example, a survival knife can be used for cutting, food preparation, and even digging. Multi-tools can handle a range of tasks from opening bottles to fixing broken gear. By opting for multi-functional items, you can carry less while still being prepared for various situations. This not only lightens your load but also simplifies decision-making in stressful moments.

    When it comes to selecting survival gear, the goal is to be as prepared as possible for the unknown, while also being practical and budget-conscious.