Outdoor Emergency Essentials
Whether you are facing a possible emergency or just an unforeseen situation, having the right gear with you to improvise or adapt to the unexpected can sometimes make the difference between a tragic outcome and a good story to share. Any time you are traveling, especially to a location that is remote, you want to be sure you have what you need with you for basic survival.
According to the Hierarchy of Needs, there’s nothing more important than primary physiological needs such as food, water, warmth, and rest. When developing your survival kit, that is something to keep in mind. The basic survival kit for pretty much any situation includes the “10 Essentials”:
- The ability to cut things (knife or multi-tool),
- A way to start a fire (lighter or strike-anywhere matches),
- Navigation tools that don’t require batteries or cell service (topographic map and compass),
- A way to see in the dark (flashlight or headlight—with batteries),
- Sun protection (sunscreen, sunglasses, hat),
- Rain protection (poncho, raincoat),
- An extra layer of dry clothing (for top, bottom, and socks),
- Extra food (shoot for at least 25% more than you think you need),
- A way to get purified water (water purifier or treatment tablets), and
- A first aid kit with a way to signal for help (mirror, satellite messenger, whistle).
For a short hike, these survival tools can be pretty basic and easily fit into a small pack. Going on a longer adventure? Scale up your “Essential” kit to meet the potential needs as far as number of people in the group, distance from resupply, and expected length of stay. For a family of 5 heading out for a 2-week boondocking adventure far from the nearest town, your Essential Kit should be pretty well stocked.
These camping survival tools can save your life
There are always innovative new tools on the market that can be useful for a variety of situations. Some people advise against survival tools that require upkeep (i.e., fresh batteries), but there are many items now feature solar or USB charge capabilities, so you can keep the ready-to-go with greater ease.
The LifeStraw is an easy, compact, and effective way to get fresh water in an emergency situation. A LifeStraw allows you to filter otherwise undrinkable water into water that’s perfectly safe. The microfiltration membrane removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella), and 99.999% of waterborne parasites (including giardia and cryptosporidium). You can also get a pitcher-sized version now that treats up to 10 cups of water at a time.
Stuck in a survival situation? Paracord is your go-to tool. This lightweight cord is light and strong. Small but mighty, it’s used for many things, including basic rope, hunting, fishing line, fire starter, and more. Many people are familiar with the survival bracelets made of paracord. You can even get a Paracord Grenade which includes a carabineer that can be attached to your belt or pack. Within the Paracord Grenade is an eye knife, fire starter, fishing line/hooks/weights, bobbers, swivels, tin foil, and tinder.
The KOSIN Emergency Survival Kit includes 18 useful items in a very compact case, including a compass, knife, whistle, emergency blanket, fire starter, flashlight, survival bracelet, and a wire saw.
Don’t forget portable power
There are a few interesting new products to address power needs in emergency situations.
Gone are the days where jump-starting a dead vehicle battery involved another vehicle or lugging around a bulky starter. The NOCO Genius Jump Starter is about the size of a cell phone and works with raving reviews. This little gizmo can jump even a diesel truck.
Another great gizmo getting great reviews is the Estream by Enomad. This portable USB charger generates power from any type of moving water. Then, it stores power for off-grid use. The device is small enough to fit in a pack and can hold 6,400 mAh in its built-in battery within about a 4.5-hour timeframe. It can charge 3 USB devices at a time twice as fast as a regular outlet.
Just a little preparation and essential survival tools is all it takes.
Our final recommendation to stay well-prepared for survival is by knowing How To Get Found In Case You Get Lost. Carry these camping survival tools and prepare for anything unexpected that comes your way.