We have become so accustomed to the modern style of living that it is questionable if we would be able to survive in the wild. However, our chances of making out alive after getting lost in a forest increase significantly if we have to access to survival gear.
There are at least 7 items that you should pack the next time you go trekking, camping or kayaking. They might seem trivial at first glances, like a handheld mirror, but this survival gear can spell the difference between life and death.
A compass and a paper map
We have learned to rely on our smartphones so much that we use virtual maps to find our way through foreign countries. However, there is hardly any mobile network coverage in the wilderness, so you need to use old-school navigating devices.
Bring a compass and a map of the local terrain alongside your smartphone. In case you lose your phone or the phone battery dies, you can still navigate pretty efficiently using a compass. A paper map will tell you where the roads are so you can get back to civilization quickly.
As their biggest advantage, a compass and a map are lightweight and compact so they won’t take up a lot of space. Of course, you should brush up on your knowledge of topography and reading the compass in order to use both items correctly and get the correct readings.
A universal knife
One of the most important items in your survival kits is going to be the universal knife. This knife can be a single-piece blade like the one the movie character Rambo uses or it can be attached to a Swiss army knife. The latter is more convenient for survival in nature because it offers additional fixtures.
There isn’t a task a survival knife isn’t useful for, from cutting up your hunt, severing strings, and ropes, as well as sharpening sticks and rods. Needless to say, the knife should be razor-sharp and made from a titanium alloy that guarantees it won’t break under stress. Remember, a sharp blade gives you a great advantage when alone in the wilderness so even a simple card knife will get you far.
Selecting the right footwear
Provided you are not lost in a desert landscape, the shoes you wear are essential. The last thing you need is getting lost in a forest with nothing but slippers on. What you really need are durable trekking boots that are waterproof.
In fact, some outdoor folks don’t trust conventional footwear to the extent that they make their own shoes for survivalists back at home. This guarantees that the sole won’t come off after a couple of hours of trekking and that their feet won’t be soaked after minor rainfall.
A signal mirror
A person stranded in the middle of nowhere has two basic instincts: to survive and to be saved. As far as the latter is concerned, you should have a substitute for a signal gun and flares that are bulky to pack. Believe it or not but a simple handheld mirror could prove to be a light saver.
Namely, it will reflect sunlight in a way that the rescue helicopter can spot you from miles away on a sunny day. The mirror or even better, a heliograph should be stored in the first aid kit for better protection.
A first aid kit
Although it’s the most cumbersome segment of survival gear, a first aid kid is a mandatory part of it. If you lack a proper survival first aid kit, then be sure to pick up the one from your vehicle because an inadequate kit is better than no first aid kit.
One of their biggest advantages is bandages and Band-Aids that will help stop bleeding immediately. Only when you stop the bleeding from a wound, can you start moving across the terrain to seek help? In order to react fast, read the manual that comes with every first aid kit and learn how to dress a wound properly.
A survival whistle
We all had toy whistles when we were kids but life is no game when you grow up, as emergency survival whistles save lives. Just like the aforementioned mirror, their main purpose is to alert rescue crews that you are nearby in instances when your voice is not strong enough. Survival whistles are usually made from brought plastic (so they don’t succumb to rust), they are extremely loud, lightweight, and buoyant in the case you need to be rescued at sea.
As night falls, your chances of survival get slimmer because of the darkness and the cold. Starting a fire will help solve both of these issues but in order to move at night, you will need a long-lasting LED flashlight. The one on your smartphone will waste the battery so an auxiliary torch is a must. It can double as a signaling device at night.
These are just the essentials your survival kit should feature. You will be grateful you wore proper boots and packed a knife when you get lost.