10 Items You Need In Your Survival Kit

Whether you're backpacking or rafting, all outdoor activity comes with an underlying risk, and it's better to be prepared than caught off guard. Make sure you pack your survival kit with these ten essentials before heading out on your next adventure.

  1. Emergency Shelter
    You never want to be stranded in an emergency survival situation, but having a reliable source of shelter is crucial if you ever are. According to the CDC, between 2006 and 2010, roughly 2000 deaths a year were attributed to weather exposure. Tents, tarps, space blankets, and bivvy's can help protect you from the elements until rescue arrives.
  2. Fire
    From smoke signals to cooking dinner the old-fashioned way, fire proves to be a valuable tool in all circumstances. However, unless you're a master of the outdoors, you won't be able to start one without aid. Matches, fire starters, and even a magnifying glass are helpful additions to a survival kit.
    First Aid Supplies
  3. First Aid Supplies
    You never want to be unlucky enough to be caught unprepared for a medical emergency. Grab a first aid kit and tailor it to your needs. Have allergies? An EpiPen is essential. Are you an aspiring lumberjack? You're going to want tweezers for those splinters. If you already have a first aid kit, but it's been sitting on the shelf for a while, check the expiration dates and replace any expired products. Avoid using expired products as they may not be effective and can be unsafe. We also recommend tossing in an emergency guide for the times you need to administer first aid you're unfamiliar with.
  4. Hydration
    Since people can only survive up to 3 days without water, any self-respecting go bag will include water or ways to purify water in a crisis. So before you head out, bring plenty of water with you and have a way to sterilize water readily available. LifeStraws or disinfection tablets are both small, easy ways to do this. While you're out, drink plenty of water before feeling thirsty.
    Survival Navigation
  5. Illumination
    Sometimes you set out a little later than expected and get caught in the great outdoors after dark. It happens. Don't be caught unprepared, and pack at least one light source. Flashlights, glowsticks, and lanterns can help you navigate your way back. Step up your game and bring a headlamp for a hands-free light source.
  6. Insulation
    Hypothermia could sneak up on you at night even if the day was warm. Be sure your survival kit contains extra socks or gloves, and you have additional layers with you. You can take it a step further by including hand warmers and a poncho.
  7. Navigation
    A GPS is a remarkable piece of technology; however, it isn't infallible. If you happen to wander into a cellular dead zone, you'll want an alternate form of navigation. Maps and compasses are excellent solutions for orienting yourself.
  8. Nutrition
    You may be able to survive for weeks without food under the best of circumstances, but that doesn't mean you should! You should pack a minimum of one extra day's worth of food for emergencies. It's even better if they are ready to eat, nutritious, and dense in calories. For non-emergency use, trail mix and energy bars are a great go-to.
  9. Repair Kit & Tools
    Multi-tool

    It's always helpful to have basic tools on hand, whether in an emergency or simply relaxing in nature. Essential things to include are scissors, knives, and duct tape. You can step it up a notch by packing a can opener, screwdriver, pliers, or wire cutters. Want to feel like a pro? Have a multi-tool in your backpack.
  10. Sun Protection
    We all enjoy a nice sunny day, but be sure to protect yourself against UV rays. While most know that UV rays can cause cancer, they can also cause premature aging in your skin and increase your risk for eye diseases by damaging your cornea. So slap on some sunscreen before basking in the sun and grab your sunglasses!

Whenever you venture out into nature, it's vital to have the necessary equipment and training to keep you and your companions safe. By including these ten survival essentials in your go-bag, you can head out on the next adventure knowing you're prepared for whatever life throws your way. If you don't have a survival kit or are looking to upgrade yours, My Medic carries the equipment, dry bags, and complete survival kits to help you stay alive when the going gets tough.

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