Best Survival Gear: Peace of Mind for Any Situation
Be ready for anything with our favorite survival gear options.
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BY Miguel de Guzman / LAST UPDATED ON September 30, 2021
Even if you're not a survivalist with an off-the-grid lifestyle, or someone who goes on camping trips every so often, you need to have the right items around to be prepared for the worst. Indeed, among the things this pandemic and the sight of empty store shelves last year taught us is that it's better to prepare for what may never happen than to be caught unawares. That's why when it comes to survival gear, you need items that are useful, durable, and can be relied upon to work for most situations, no matter what the conditions are.
With the bevy of options in the market, however, the task of picking the right items to add to your survival cache can be downright confusing. So to help you, we created the guide below to help you prepare for anything that comes your way.
This is a well-appointed kit with just about any survival tool you could think of for just about any situation.
- Eighteen pieces of high-quality survival gear that are well-organized in a durable, easy-to-carry toolbox
- Can be hard to find replacement items
- Kit is smaller in size than you might expect
A handy and compact filter that can make almost any water source into drinkable quality.
- Can filter up to 1000 gallons with just one straw
- Doesn’t use harsh chemicals, like chlorine or iodine.
- No batteries required
- Filtration can be slow
- Will not filter out chemical toxins with a micron size below 0.2
This sturdy knife from Gerber is lightweight and has a drop point blade. With a rubber grip and high carbon stainless steel blade, it is built to last.
- Comes with a pocket survival guide from Bear Grylls
- Comes with a military-grade and mildew-resistant sheath
- On the pricier side for a knife
- Similar versions of the same knife come with a wider variety of survival tools
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Survival Gear
- Emergency preparedness. Emergencies don't happen often, but they can happen to anyone, and they can have lasting effects. Indeed, they'll typically occur when you least expect it. Whether it's a raging wildfire, a tropical thunderstorm, or an automobile breakdown, emergencies often come unannounced, and one of the best ways to reduce the impact of any disaster or emergency situation is to be prepared with the right survival kit.
- Provides peace of mind. One benefit of having survival gear on hand is peace of mind. With the right gear, you can rest assured that you'll be able to handle any emergency. Whether you intend to camp, trek, or prepare for a natural disaster, you'll need the right equipment, and in an emergency scenario, a well-rounded survival kitbag can mean the difference between life and death.
- Buys you precious time in an emergency. Having a versatile and well-equipped survival kit on hand during an emergency can buy you precious time. Having the tools to treat an injury, cook food, or provide for other basic needs will increase your ability to mitigate loss, injury, and even death while waiting for rescue personnel to arrive.
Types of Survival Gear
Everyday Carry Survival Kit
Also known as "EDC," this type of survival kit consists of items that one might need for everyday emergency situations. An EDC kit should be small enough to fit in a pocket or a small bag, and while different people will have different items in their EDC kit depending on their needs, most will include basic survival tools such as a knife, a flashlight, or a tactical pen.
Bug Out Bag
A few notches above the standard EDC kit is what's called a bug out bag, or "BOB." The phrase "bugging out" refers to the decision to leave an area for safety after a disaster or emergency, so the items in a proper bug out bag should include the minimum required to survive in the field where help is days or weeks away. The usual items in a bug out bag include food, water, medical supplies, multi-purpose or navigational tools, and tactical vests.
Vestergaard started as a textile weaving company in 1957 in Denmark. Since then, the company went from manufacturing sewing machines to having a wide portfolio of humanitarian products, including mosquito nets and temporary shelters. In 2005, they developed the LifeStraw, an award-winning personal water filter that has turned into a brand of water filtration and purification devices.
RoverTac is a smaller company based out of Northern Cyprus that is committed to the research and development, design, production, and selling of survival tools, like the RoverTac Pocket Knife Upgraded Multitool and many other tactical hammers, multitools, knives, and axes that are ruggedly and uniquely designed to be the ultimate in survival gear. It prides itself on innovation and high-quality design and construction.
Marchway primarily manufactures rugged and ultra-lightweight, high-tech camping gear. It is well known for its ultralight folding camping chair, drybags, and heavy-duty super light camping cots. It has a great reputation amongst serious hikers and backpackers, who appreciate the lightweight, solid construction of its products.
Survival Gear Pricing
- Under $50: Survival gear in this price range might not be comprehensive enough to help you in every type of emergency, but they'll consist of items that can prove valuable in most crisis situations, including first aid supplies, camping gear, MOLLE bags, etc.
- $50 to $100: Survival gear in this price range can be expected to be more comprehensive and heavy-duty. Apart from the items mentioned above, they will also include things like survival shovels, portable shelters, and tactical clothing designed to get you through the harshest weather conditions.
- $100 and up: If you're willing to spend this much on survival gear, you can expect to get the most extensive and robust equipment to get you through a disaster and survive for days or weeks. Items in this price range will include expensive tracking equipment such as satellite-linked devices, EPIRBs, and other heavy-duty gadgets that can help rescue personnel find your location.
One of the most important things to look for when choosing items for your survival cache is durability. Each item should be made from materials that won't break easily and can be relied upon to handle different conditions. Materials like steel, aluminum, blow-molded plastics, and waterproof fabrics are some of the materials you'll want your survival tools to be made from.
Naturally, the best survival kits will have all the items you'll need to get through an emergency. Of course, you can't reasonably expect to have everything in one kit, but whether you're lost in the wilderness or are in the middle of a natural disaster, items such as flashlights, knives, multi-tools, and medical supplies will be useful in most emergency scenarios.
A survival kit, especially an EDC kit, needs to be portable enough to take anywhere. Something too heavy and cumbersome will be a chore to lug around, and, in an emergency situation, you don't want to be weighed down by anything and be expending more energy than you need to.
- Cost. In terms of cost, this is one of those situations where one can expect quality and to go up in price. Depending on your lifestyle and needs, however, it could be money well-spent. That being said, basic EDCs or bug out bags that can hold you up until help arrives and make a big difference in an emergency situation can also consist of budget-friendly items.
- Waterproofing. It's important that the items in your emergency preparedness kit are either waterproof or are contained in something that is. You'll need them to be functioning without issue after an emergency such as a flood or a hurricane, after all.
- Restocking. A comprehensive and complete survival kit should be easy to restock from almost anywhere. It’s not full of obscure items that are difficult to find once you’ve used them all up. As your survival supply dwindles, you don’t want to have to search high and low for replacement items.
Best Survival Gear Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Do your research. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting, what it’s made from, and how to use it before you purchase any survival gear. What good is it to you if you can’t use it?
- Read reviews. Good quality survival gear comes from companies with great reputations who have been in the industry for a long time and have many happy customers and a proven track record.
- Think about where you’ll be using your gear the most. If you plan to be in a desert environment, don’t buy survival gear for snowy or cold climates. Tailor your kit to your own personal needs.
- Try your gear out as soon as you get it to see if it will work properly and as advertised. Examine it for quality and reliability. An emergency situation is not the time you want to find out your gear fails you.
Q: What are the top 10 survival gear products?
The top 10 survival gear items are:
- Fire Starter - reliable, waterproof, and easy to operate.
- Survival Knife - high-grade and rugged construction that is able to cut through almost anything.
- First Aid Kit - includes bandages, antiseptic, tourniquets, gauze, tape, scissors, and much more to handle injuries in the field.
- Water Filter - be able to get drinkable water anywhere.
- Emergency Blanket - keep warm, or use it as a shelter from the elements.
- Flashlight - allows you to see or be seen at night, making rescue easier.
- Cords - can be used for dozens of different purposes
- MREs - emergency ready-made meals to provide you calories and sustenance
- Compasses - be able to know where you’re going at all times, minimizing your risk of getting lost.
- Proper Clothing - protect your body from hypothermia or overheating.
Q: What is the best survival gear?
The best survival gear is constructed from rugged, durable, reliable materials and has a proven track record with many users. It’s practical and useful, and not based on gimmicks or things you don’t really need.
Q: What do I need in my survival backpack?
A survival backpack should have the 10 things listed above, but also a lightweight tent or shelter option, flares, a bow saw or axe for cutting wood, plastic bags or tarps to wrap wet items in, a towel, extra footwear, and an emergency radio.
As we’ve mentioned, high-quality construction and materials are what make a great survival item, like in the RoverTac Multitool Survival Axe. Great survival gear is well thought-out in design and purpose, like the Kosin Emergency Survival Gear Kit. A comprehensive and extensive supply of survival items will greatly improve your chances of success in survival scenarios.