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11 Survival Gear Items Every Hiker Should Have

August 22, 2018 4 min read 1 Comment

11 Survival Gear Items Every Hiker Should Have. Visit idhikethat.com to find out the items you should never be without.

It is recommended by survival experts that everyone who spends any amount of time in the wilderness be prepared for survival with an emergency kit.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are injured or lost, having the right survival gear items can make a huge difference between a comfortable night spent outdoors and a cold one.

Items like a whistle or a signal mirror can alter fate to issue rescue instead of abandonment.  In addition to the top ten hiking essentials, everyone who enjoys the backcountry should carry these 11 survival gear items:

1.  Water purification/filtration system

Survival water purification is one of the most important wilderness skills everyone should learn.  Water makes up more than two thirds of a person's body weight.  Because many water sources (rivers, lakes, and streams) contain bacteria and other harmful pathogens, it is essential for your health to carry some type of water purification system.  

A couple different systems to consider:  Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System and Gregory Hydration 3L Reservoir.  Potable Aqua Iodine Tablet and Chlorine Dioxide Water-Purification Tablets are also great ways to purify water as you are exploring the backcountry.

2.  Whistle

Having a whistle on hand in an emergency situation could save your life.  Imagine you are climbing a mountain with friends and the earth falls beneath your feet and you disappear in a hidden ravine.  Suddenly your voice isn't loud enough to be heard.  But with the sound of your whistle, your friends would be able to find you.  

The Fox 40 Sonic Blast whistle is a great whistle and is very loud, which is great for emergency situations.

3.  Headlamp

While exploring in the wilderness, you should always be prepared in the event you get stuck in the dark.  Having a headlamp could help you find your way back home, and keep you from getting hurt.  The Vitchelo Headlamp and Black Diamond headlamp are both well-made waterproof headlamps.   

4.  Sleeping bag/blanket

Being prepared for an unexpected night in the wilderness is always a good idea.  When choosing an emergency sleeping bags, consider the following factors:  size, weight, cold or temperature rating, budget, purpose, vents, and having a backup emergency mylar blanket.

5.  Lighter

A survival lighter will give you access to a fire.  When in a survival situation, chances are you may end up cold or in the dark.  A fire can provide warmth, cook food, scare off wild animals, and sanitize wounds.  When choosing a lighter, consider the quality, resistance, and reusability of the lighter.  

6.  Fire starter

Just as important as it is to carry a lighter, it is also wise to have a fire starter.  Coghlan's Emergency Tinder is safe sure emergency fire starting kit that starts fires without matches. The tinder will light even when wet and is non-toxic and odorless.

7.  Knife

Your chances of survival are greatly increased with a knife.  The number of things you can do with a knife are endless, including cutting rope, building emergency shelters, and cutting bandages.  Consider fixed blade knives as they are more durable, resilient, and good for cutting large objects, such as branches.

8.  Smartphone or Personal Locator Beacon

If you began your trip with a fully charged phone, then your smartphone could serve as your greatest survival tool.  Learn how to turn a smartphone into a survival tool with survival apps.

9.  Compass

A compass is useless without the knowledge of how to use one.  But having a compass in your pack can help you find your way back to civilization if you get lost in the wilderness.  You will be able to find a road or other sign of home on the map that you can get to by navigating with your compass.  

The Suunto MC-2 G Mirror Compass and Eyeskey Multifunction Compass are both great compasses to consider.

10.  First aid kit

First-aid kids are always wise to carry, whether you are in the great outdoors or traveling across country in the car.  The Surviveware Small First Aid Kit is durable, compact, waterproof, and well-organized.  It is small, yet contains 100 basic lifesaving items.

11.  Signal mirror

Having a signal mirror and knowing how to use one in a survival situation will help you get the help you need.  Watch this hilarious, yet informative video to learn how to use a signal mirror.

Carrying these 11 survival gear items with you on your hikes will leave your mind at ease in the event a situation were to occur, and you have to jump into survival mode.  

In addition to these must-have survival gear items, it is important to learn how to perform the 9 basic survival skills, including how to start a fire, as well as how to find and purify water.

Have you had to use one of the above survival gear items in an unpredictable situation?  We would love to hear your experience.

1 Response


August 28, 2018

am just a dayhiker but i always have a rope in my pack. it doesn’t have to be one used by rock climbers but could at least carry my weight. and that silver emergency blanket thingy (sorry can’t remember the name).

- @eyeontheview

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11 Survival Gear Items Every Hiker Should Have