best survival gear

Best Survival Gear & Tools For the Wilderness

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What do you think of when you hear the word “survival?” Does your mind jump to thoughts about being stranded in the wild, fighting off bears with a pocket knife, skinning snakes with your bear hands, drinking your own pee while in the desert, or are you more of the armchair survivalist?

Whether your a weekend warrior, planning an extended trip in the mountains, headed to an off the grid cabin or just kitting yourself out just in case SHTF then your likely here because you are looking for some survival gear to see you through the tough times.

The essential emergency survival gear is always having your survival basics covered that means your: fire, water, heat, defense, and shelter. Once you have those aspects covered you can start considering other secondary yet still utterly important gear like first aid, navigation, and communication.

We will be discussing some of the best survival gadgets and gear that we have found on the market. We have knives, to survival radios, and everything in between, here are your list of survival gear to keep you safe out there in the great beyond.

Finding the right survival gear for you can be challenging, so we put together a list of gear that might be what your looking for.

List of the Best Survival Gear & Tools


  1. Survival Blanket – Arcturus Heavy Duty Survival Blanket
  2. Survival Shelter Bivy – Go Time Gear Emergency Shelter
  3. Camping Cookware Mess Kit – G4Free Camping Cookware Kit
  4. Water Filter – Membrane Solutions Water Filter Bottle
  5. Survival Tactical Hatchet – LIANTRAL Survival Camping Axe
  6. Survival knife – Morakniv Outdoor 2000 Fixed Blade Knife
  7. SurvivorCord – 620 LB SurvivorCord
  8. Compass – SUUNTO MC-2 Compass
  9. Ferro Rod Fire Starter Kit – Ferro Rod Fire Starter Kit
  10. Pocket Knife & Sharpener – Sharpal Knife Sharpener & Tool
  11. Emergency Whistle – LuxoGear Emergency Whistle
  12. First Aid Kit – First Aid All-Purpose Kit
  13. USB Charging Camp Stove – BioLite Campstove
  14. Survival Folding Shovel – Sharvol Survival Folding Shovel
  15. GPS Navigation – Garmin inReach Explorer+, Handheld GPS

Survival Shelter Gear

1. Survival Blanket

Arcturus Heavy Duty Survival Blanket

Dimensions: 12.36 L x 8.74 W x 1.18 H inches

Weight: 0.32 kilograms

Material: Nylon

Pros: Multi-purpose, Lightweight, Good value for your money

Cons: Seams around the blanket are weak

Description: Depending on what you call it whether its a survival blanket, space blanket, mylar blanket, or emergency blanket having one of these around is a good idea especially if you are living in cold climates. Its cheap, light, easy to carry and keep on hand when you are going camping or backpacking in the winter or to keep in your car for emergency situations.

The Arcturus survival blanket that can be used in many different ways. It can be used as a ground tarp, shelter, tent or emergency blanket. The reflective side is used to keep heat in while the other side is waterproof and can also be used as a blanket, tarp or shelter. It weighs less than one pound and is around 5 ft x 7 ft.

It is reusable and requires little energy to set up. The aluminum side of this emergency blanket can be used to signal for help in the case of an emergency.


2. Emergency Survival Shelter Tent Bivy

Go Time Gear Life Tent Emergency Survival Shelter

Dimensions: 5.25” x 3.25”

Weight: 8.7 ounces

Material: 8um extra-thick mylar material

Features: Tear & puncture resistant coating, light and compact

Pros: High-quality material, Will last longer than one use, Comes with rope, Easy to set up

Cons: Material is thin

Description: The Life Tent is a waterproof & windproof 2-person tube tent, though we would recommend it only for one person as it is quiet tight. It is constructed from extra-thick tear & puncture-resistant polyethylene material that locks out rain, wind, and snow. Engineered to be a layer of protection against harsh elements whether its rain or wind the interior reflects up to 90% of your body heat keeping your warm, dry, and protected from the elements.

We should let people know that that though the material is very thin, it is meant more for reflecting the heat rather than insulation. So depsite the material appearing to be “cheap” reflective material should

The tent is super lightweight and compact making it easily stored in your car or as part of a survival kit. The tent features reinforced taped seams creating weather-resistant barriers. We want to emphasize here that this is a survival tent rather than a camping tent, so do not have those type of expectations.


Food & Water Gear

3. Camping Cookware Mess Kit

G4Free Camping Cookware 19 Piece Mess Kit

Dimensions: 5 x 7″

Weight: 2.2 pounds

Material: Stainless Steel

Pros: Easy storage, Light weight, Corrosion resistance

Cons: Handle can get hot

Description: This cookware set includes 2 big pots, 2 small pots, 1 foldable stove, 2 big pans and 2 small pans. It is multifunctional and convenient for outdoor cooking. The pots are made of high quality aluminum alloy that can resist corrosion and heat fast.

The coating inside the pot is non-stick layer that makes it easy to clean up after use. The foldable stove with storage case is safe to carry around without worrying about being damaged by water or fire.


4. Water Filter

Membrane Solutions Water Filter Bottle

Dimensions: Holds 22 fl oz

Material: Plastic

Features:  Eliminates 220 threats in water, purifies up to 1,500L

Pros: Easy to carry, Light weight, BPA-free, Water filter lasts 6 months (depending on usage)

Cons: None

Description: The Membrane Solutions Water Filter Bottle is a reusable water bottle that features a food-grade straw, life filter and silicone mouthpiece. This portable water bottle removes 99.99999% through its 4-stage integrated filtration technology getting rid of up to 220 different forms of substances including bacteria, chlorine, pesticides and other harmful toxins from any water source.

This product is ideal on the go and in survival situations so you don’t have to carry loads of water around with you and avoids the hassle of using chemicals or having boiling the water before drinking.


Self Defense Weapons

5. Survival Tactical Hatchet

LIANTRAL Survival Camping Axe

Dimensions: 18 inches

Weight: 2.33 pounds

Material: Steel w handle made out of aluminum

Pros: Lots of add ons, Sleek look, Many axe head model variations

Cons: Not exactly for every day use

Description: The LIANTRAL Survival Axe, Folding Tactical Axe Hatchet with Hammer, Nylon Sheath is a survival tool which includes the functions of chop, cut, split, chip, trim, open and scale.

This hatchet is made of high-quality steel and comes with a nylon sheath and also comes with a compass on the back of the axe, as well as a hammer, bottle opener, fish scaler, fire starter, whistle, glass breaker, safety hammer, compass, and some rope.

They were able to fit alot of different little addons in here which we liked. The blade is broad and thick with more weight than its competitors making it more able to chop bigger logs.

Looking for more survival hatchets?

6. Survival knife

Morakniv Outdoor 2000 Fixed Blade Knife

Dimensions: Blade length 4.3-Inch and length is 8.8-Inch

Weight: 5 oz

Material: Sandvik steel

Pros: Lifetime warranty, Easy to wield, Beginner friendly.

Cons: Not very super heavy duty, Noy for digging

Description: For those of you who know knives then you will have heard of Morakniv. They are a company that are from Sweeden and have been making knives for over 400 years. Yup, that’s longer than America has been around. They have many different models, some more fancy than others, and made for different purposes.

While the design of the knife is very simple and not very flashy, it feels like an extension of your arm, it is very easy to use and a popular model for bushcrafters as it is easy to wield. While it is not exactly made for battoning it’s great for carving, cutting and slicing.

Check this out for more survival knives with fire starters 
And here for more survival folding knives

Survival Gear Essentials

7. SurvivorCord

620 LB SurvivorCord

Dimensions: 1236 L x 3.5 W x 8  H inches

Weight: 0.82 Kilograms

Material: Proprietary nylon and Polyester blend

Pros: Includes a waterproof waxed jute strand, Can serve as a reliable fishing line, Offers excellent value for your money, Lightweight, Built for the harshest of survival situations.

Cons: Paracord is quiet thick

Description: The 620 LB SurvivorCord is an original, patented type III military 550 paracord and parachute cord that was actually designed at the request of Special Forces that were touring in Afghanistan if you can believe it. Apparently, there weren’t too many good reliable ropes out there!

You would never think that rope could be a multi-tool, but then you would be wrong. This baby has three inner survival strands that are woven together which you can pull out and use it you need it. It comes with an Integrated Fishing Line, a Multi-Purpose Wire, and a Waterproof Fire Tinder, making it a multi-functional survival tool.

This Type III Military 550 Paracord can also function as a parachute cord. This is a sign that it really is built for the harshest of survival situations. It comes with some care instructions and gives you a nice little “how to use” manual that gives you a bunch of different ways you can use this bad boy.

The 620 LB SurvivorCord paracord is made with lightweight and sturdy nylon, infused with 21 single strands that are braided together to form seven (7) durable three-strand yarns.

So this rope can be used to repair gear, rig tarps and start your fire. Let me say that again. This piece of ROPE…. Convinced yet?


8. Compass

SUUNTO MC-2 Compass

Dimensions: 8.3 L x 4 W x 0.6 H inches

Weight: 0.05 Kilograms

Material: Plastic

Pros: Lightweight and easy to carry around, Equipped with a high-speed precision needle, Has declination adjustment

Cons: Nothing that we can think of

Description: Looking for a way to avoid getting lost? Then you might want to bring a with you. A compass is a standard survival gadget that is always good to bring with you for emergencies and thrown into your gear bag if your are headed out into the backcountry. They are light, cheap and might just be the answer to getting you back home. If it comes to it.

Suunto is the standard when it comes to compasses. Yes you can get a rugged looking compass that says its for “survival purposes” but I would prefer something name brand, you want this thing to work when it suppose to. It has a high-speed horizontal precision magnetic needle and is super lightweight and water resistant, making it good for backpacking trips.

This compass is nothing fancy, so we wont try to convince you that it will solve all your problems, so it wont solve your marriage but what it will do is get you back to where you need to go, assuming you know how to use the thing, which we recommend you figure it out before you head on out.

Need more survival compass options?

9. Ferro Rod Fire Starter Kit

Bushcraft Survival Ferro Rod Fire Starter Kit

Dimensions: 7.24 L x 4.65 W x 1.42 H inches

Weight: 0.26 Pounds

Material: Steel

Pros: Includes a reliable jumbo fire-starting jute rope, Offers 15,000 strikes, Certified waterproof, Offers great value for your money

Cons: Doesn’t include a blade

Description: As you probably know getting a fire going is pretty important even more so when you are reliant on the warmth and light that it can bring. It is the most important skill to have if your in any type of survival situation. Luckily for you, you wont have to rub two sticks together to get your fire going, you can get one started almost instantly with this thing. Its like Fire for Dummies.

Survival Ferro Rod Fire Starter Kit by Bushcraft Survival throws 5,500°F sparks so you will be sure that you can get some fire going. It comes with a flint rod that is composed of ferrocerium & magnesium blend ensuring the rod works well all weather conditions. It is good for up to 15,000 strikes with the striker is made of hardened steel

The kit comes with a 2 ft Jumbo proprietary wax-infused natural hemp cord works in all weather condition that is ready to use out of the box.


10. Pocket Knife Sharpener & Survival Tool

Sharpal 101N 6-In-1 Pocket Knife Sharpener & Survival Tool

Dimensions: 8.27 L x 4.72 W x 0.6 H inches

Weight: 0.01 kilograms

Material: Steel

Pros: Lightweight, Fully multi-functional survival tool, Equipped with a superior tapered rod, Budget-friendly

Cons: Can’t sharpen extra-large knives

Description: The Sharpal 101N 6-In-1 Pocket Knife Sharpener is another multi tool, this time with six functions. This multi-functional survival tool includes Tungsten carbide blade, ceramic blades (for s smooth finish), a fire starter, an emergency whistle, and a tapered rod (for serrations and gut hooks).

The tapered rod with a medium of 400 grit features a groove that is perfect for sharpening fish hooks and other pointed tools. 


11. Emergency Whistle

LuxoGear Emergency Whistle

Dimensions: 2.9 L x 1.7 W x 0.8 H inches

Weight: 0.05 Kilograms

Material: Metal

Pros: Designed to float, Super loud, Budget-friendly, Equipped with an adjustable lanyard

Cons: Isn’t very loud when it’s wet

Description: The LuxoGear Emergency Whistle so you can get found…in case you get lost. The whistle can go up to 120 decibels which can be heard up to a mile away. Its simple design makes it harder to break, so you don’t have to worry about some part being lost when you out and about. Super lightweight and easy to hold and blow even in rain-drenched conditions.

Its waterproof has good airflow and made with tough plastic so it won’t break even if you wanted it too. Well what more can I say about a whistle. It does what it’s supposed too.


12. First Aid Kit

First Aid 299 Piece All-Purpose Kit (FAO-442)

Dimensions: 19.25 x 2.88 x 7 inches

Weight: 1 pound

Features: 299 pieces

Pros: Inexpensive, Has just about everything you might need for an emergency, Compact

Cons: Basic first aid equipment

Description: This is one of those everything you can think of emergency medical kits that has a bunch of medical equipment, most of which you may never need, but has all the essentials in case of an emergency if you are ever caught injured far from civilization.

Its compact lightweight and can easily fit in your go-bag or overnight backpack without taking up too much space. It is also used as an emergency kit that can be stored in your car for situations when you are on the road and get stranded or stuck. Although this is a basic survival kit it will do the job for minor emergencies.

If you want more of a list of survival kits check this out.

High Tech Survival Gadgets

13. BioLite USB Charging Camp Stove

BioLite Campstove 2 Wood Burning Electricity Generating & USB Charging

Dimensions: 5.0″ x 7.91″

Weight: 2.06 pounds

Features: USB charger, 3,200 mAh internal battery, FlexLight

Pros: Bio stove, USB Charger, Comes with extras, Easy to setup

Cons: Has some plastic parts

Description: The CampStove 2 is a wood burning stove, grill, and…wait for it USB charger! The stove generates electricity from the heat of the fire to power lights, charge your phone, or anything else that you can connect using a USB. The grill top fits your family dinner together with a fan that can create a smokeless flame. It takes any type of small twigs, or pellets and has it has no smoke its more eco friendly.

It comes with a Kettlepot, French Press, grill together with a cover, a USB Light and a bowl. You can Boil, steep, cook, and grill with this stove that also has a LED and carries more than 3W of power. Its easy to break down and to set back up and can stow it away in a small carry bag.


14. Survival Folding Shovel

Sharvol Survival Folding Shovel

Dimensions: 12.8 L x 10.2 W x 3.4 H inches

Weight: 5.14 pounds

Material: Steel

Pros: Made with high carbon stainless steel, Very portable, Life time warranty, Enhanced with an O-ring seal

Cons: Not for super intense digging

Description: The Sharvol Survival Shovel is a Multitool that comes with an Instant Switch Mechanism that allows you too easily switch from one mode to another. Whether you need a shovel, axe or saw, this multitool allows for easy switching between the three modes without unscrewing and retightening. It’s also easy to clean and can be stored in your backpack or glove compartment when not in use.

This folding shovel is designed and enhanced with an O-ring seal that works to keep mud, water, and all forms of dirt out from places where it’s not suppose to be. The O-ring seal also provides friction that keeps the handle in place and prevents it from coming unscrewed while being used. 

Its ergonomic handle is made from aerospace-grade aluminum and high-carbon stainless steel. This baby comes with 17 different functions including a knife, compass, fire starter, screwdriver, saw, bottle opener, spear, hacksaw, hammer, hook, hoe, discourger, wire cutter, ruler, whistle and…shovel. Not if you can ask for anything more than that!


15. GPS Navigation

Garmin inReach Explorer+, Handheld Satellite with Topo Maps & GPS

Dimensions: 2.3 inches

Weight: 8 oz

Features: Two-way messaging, satellite coverage, Cloud storage, maps, Compass, weather

Pros: Portable and light, Lots of functionality, Pair with mobile devices, Enhanced with an O-ring seal, Can trigger SOS

Cons: Bit more expensive

Description: The inReach Explorer+ is the first handheld satellite communicator to include built-in, high-resolution color aerial imagery and U.S. topographic maps for outdoor navigation—all with a bright, sunlight-readable display that makes it easy to see your location and track your trip details. It’s also the first handheld communicator compatible with Garmin’s new Earthmate app for iPhone® and Android™ devices, which allows you to view all of your inReach data on a smartphone or tablet.

The device is a handheld satellite communicator that lets you send and receive text messages from anywhere on earth. With two-way messaging, you can communicate with family and friends to let them know your whereabouts.

The device is also a GPS tracker that provides the location of your travels so others can follow along online. The SOS button on the Garmin inReach Explorer+ sends an alert with your GPS coordinates to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center; this information allows rescuers to respond quickly if needed


Conclusion

What you are looking for survival gear will depend on where you’re going and what you’re prepping for. The essential emergency gear is always having your fire, water, heat, defense, shelter combination down. Everything from those basics will be left open to your particular case. Happy packing!

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Bram Johnson
Hi, My Name is Bram, the Editor of Survival Artist. Here you will find all things Wilderness, Survival, & Primitive Living. I grew up in the backcountry and got hooked on the simple chop wood carry water lifestyle. If you know anything about me then you know you can find me either running up mountain trails or sipping coffee over a book of philosophy.