Survival Gear 101

Survival – Gear you need to survive

Most people don’t think about survival, and that’s the point here. Whenever there’s a situation that puts people in a higher than normal risk to life, plenty of them die. You don’t have to be one of them. Look, we know that at any moment a car crash, a heart attack, or a bad fall can call on survival skills. But in each of these situations your survival is resting on others shoulders too. The ambulance drivers, the medics, the hospital, and the doctors. But what if none of that’s around. That’s the survival we’re talking about here. This is not some far fetched scenario. Extended power-failures, catastrophic natural events, man made wars, and severe economic collapse are realities faced every day. But we’ve grown accustomed to the predictable normality sheltering us from the harsh reality of humans fighting for their survival. Any true survivalist will tell you they never want to be in that situation, but if they are, they want to be prepared. In this post, we’ll be talking about the basic gear survivalist consider the most important. Pay attention and learn to survive.

The survival instinct

A survivor knows what it will take to make it through to the next day with just their wit, a good set of equipment, and the knowledge to put it all together. If the time ever comes, it will be up to you, and you alone to make sure you and your family make it through every day. What reasons do you need to survive? Here’s a few: To not die: Simply living out life is the most basic reason for survival. It is so basic that our minds turn to this instinct quickly. Whether fight or flight, the survival instinct kicks in more frequently then we imagine. In organized society we do a lot to not die, like buying groceries or going to a warm home. Keep others safe: You want to help others not die too. You need your family to be okay until the situation passes. Preserve your way of life: In the extreme examples of collapsing society, the way you choose to live your life may be challenged. Maintain sustenance: Any hope for you and your family’s survival rests on the basic ability to get fresh food and water. Keep the peace: In extended periods of stress where society goes dark, there will be others who don’t have simply survival in mind. They have other motives including taking advantage of those simply powerless to do anything about it.

It’s going to be on you

It will be up to you to provide a new normal. One that provides the needs for comfort and life. What we’ve done is put together a basic list of must have survival gear. We broke it down by category, and then by subject. Go through this list and do your own inventory. Get ready what you have, go and get what you don’t.

The main categories of survival gear

  • Gathering tools
  • Shelter tools
  • Storage tools
  • Lighting
  • Travel tools

Gathering tools:

Axe or hatchet – Small hatchets and axes are handy tools to gather large hunks of wood. With the wood you can build structures, build fires, and make other tools you’ll need to get by if required. Pocketknife – Pocketknives are the totally underrated, but totally versatile tool for the survivalist. A pocketknife gives you a basic utility tool in a small package, and it also gives you the ability to cut. Water filtration: When the municipal water systems do down, you’re going to need access to purified water. Whether you gather water from a stream or it’s just an extend power outage in your neighborhood, water standing in pipes, pools, and ponds goes bad. You need filter it.


Tent – The basic form of shelter is the tent. It can be a quality store bought tent, or it can be fabricated from materials you keep around like plastic, or waterproof fabrics. Sleeping bag – When you’re sleeping outside you do not want your body on the ground. It will drain your energy, warmth, and motivation. While you can fabricate a tent, a good sleeping bag is an excellent piece of gear to purchase as part of your plan. Lightweight, multi-season, and tough are basic requirements. Hammock – A hammock can be multi-purpose. It can be used as simple above ground storage, it can provide elevation off the ground for sleeping, and depending on design, it can provide shelter in a pinch.


Silicone bags: We’re not talking baggies and Tupperware here. You should have an ample collection of reusable silicone bags. These bags will keep clothes and gear dry, and they’ll keep food fresher if you get food-safe bags. Nylon drawstring bags: The preferred nylon draw string bag is one with a good Denier rating. The Denier rating signifies how thick the nylon construction is. Higher density bags provide better protection against cuts and tears. Look for a 600D rating or better. Waterproof packs – The idea of waterproof can’t be stressed enough. The two biggest enemies you’ll face in a true survival situation is wetness and no drinking water. When you or your things get wet their ability to keep you warm is compromised. And while the human body can go an amazingly long time with no food, it’s only a day or two before your body starts to shut down for lack of water. Aluminum water bottles – As mentioned above, without water the human body last only a few days. One of your first priorities in a survival situation is to get a solid source of water. Once you find the source, you want to store it in aluminum bottles. Aluminum doesn’t affect the water it holds, and if you drop it nothing breaks.

Fire and light:

Solar powered lantern – Light is a nice thing to have in the middle of the darkness. Battery’s, however, may be hard to come by. So, the best solution is an LED solar power lantern. LED solar lights have high luminosity and low power consumption. Tactical flashlight – While the lantern is good at the camp, if you’re traveling you need a more portable source of light. That’s where a good tactical flashlight comes in. A good tactical flashlight has a few hidden surprises too. First, if needed it serves as a clubbing weapon. Second, a bright enough beam will temporarily blind a would-be attacker. Candles – Candles are still around for good reason. They work. Now, they’ve taken on a more decorative function lately, but at the end of the day they provide both lighting, and a light heating element. Zippo lighter – Nothing beats a Zippo for getting fire in a pinch. They last forever and will burn on a few different fuels. They fit neatly in storage too.


Paracord survival bracelet – For about five bucks you can get a 10 to 18 feet length of sturdy paracord that conveniently fits around your wrist. Can’t count the uses a good length of paracord can go to. Flares – More on the traditional side, a set of flares is handy. From rescue to marking hazards, flares function as signals at long distances. Good boots – Like the rest of your clothing gear, your boots should be the best you can afford. Lightweight, waterproof, and insulated boots are lifesavers when you’re on your feed in strange terrain and bad weather.


Guns, ammo, holsters – Well, if the situation really goes south there’s nothing like the security of having and knowing how to use a gun. Whether your looking for food or for basic protection, a firearm trumps every other hunting or protection device.

Survive with the right gear

If you pack the inventory on this list, you’ll have a good set of tools to meet most any survival situation. And remember, the day after S.H.T.F. is a day to late to find this stuff.

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