Must have Survival Gear


So here are my Top Eleven recommendations to start your collection of emergency gear:

  1. Emergency kit – The contents of the Basics Emergency Kit can be stashed in plastic freezer bags until you find just the right backpack—at which point, you can also start adding heavier-duty elements, like LED flashlights and a multi-tool and a good knife.
  2. Water Filter – The Katadyn® MyBottle microfilter is a water bottle with a microfilter built in—and it’s a great starting point for water filtration. If you need water for a few people or you want to upgrade to something that can filter thousands of gallons of water, something like the Combi would work well. If you really want to pull out all the stops and provide water for a large group, get the Expedition.
  3. Emergency food – Still saving up for the big freeze-dried entree variety pack? In the meantime, get more calories for your buck with high-energy emergency food ration bars. Or store dried beans and rice in food sealer.
  4. Shelter – I want the four-man, two-vestibule tent with taped seams and a rain fly. But a rip stop tarp will do in a pinch. Don’t forget the rope .
  5. Light – I buy little lightweight LED flashlights almost every time I pass one in a store. Super long-lasting, surprisingly bright for their size, and frequently on sale, they’re a great value for the money.
  6. First aid – Two approaches: A) Find a small, basic kit and keep that on hand until you can afford something more comprehensive; or B) collect individual components, like bandages and pain reliever, as you find them well priced, and add to the collection gradually.
  7. Cooking – Start small with a basic stove or stanley cook set for outdoor cooking. Even smaller with fuel and some matches.
  8. Sanitation – Travel size shampoos, toothpaste and toilet paper.
  9. Storage and tools – Absolutely, without doubt, the first instrument you want in your supply is a multi-function pocketknife. The second is a multi-function tool. The pricey ones will definitely last longer, but the value options will do the job. Lots of jobs, for that matter.
  10. Communications – This may be the most expensive item on my list of ‘basics,’ but in a true emergency, a shortwave radio  is an absolute must. And for $20-30, you can get a workhorse with radio, LED light, USB charger, and three different ways to power it all (solar, crank, battery).
  11. Power – Another example of multiple uses in a single product is a solar battery charger. You won’t be able to run the freezer, but you can keep all the vital little things operational. Recharge radio batteries or charge cell phones—with a single device.