Wilderness Survival Kit List

Always bring a survival kit when you spend time in the wilderness.
Always bring a survival kit when you spend time in the wilderness. (Image: canada wilderness image by Michael Shake from Fotolia.com)

Whether you are going to camp in the woods or just like to explore, a wilderness survival kit ensures you are prepared for anything you may encounter. You should pack your wilderness survival kit in a lightweight, waterproof backpack that is easy to carry, yet has room for all of your supplies.


Pack a small emergency tent in your bag. These small tents are the size of a large envelope and take up very little space, yet provide protection from the elements while you sleep.


A small, folded parka is a must-have for any survival kit. You may encounter rain at an unexpected time, and a parka protects your body from unnecessary exposure to large amounts of water.


Pack a blanket for overnight wilderness expeditions. A wool blanket provides large amounts of warmth, or bring a small emergency blanket in case you need to camp unexpectedly. Emergency blankets are pocket-sized when folded and lined with reflective material to trap body heat.

Waterproof Matches

Include waterproof matches in your wilderness survival kit to build fires for cooking, warmth or signals. It is important that the matches be waterproof in case of rain or water submersion.


Select a small whistle for your survival pack in case you become lost or injured and must signal for help.


Select non-perishable food items for your survival kit, such as dehydrated bananas or Meals-Ready-to-Eat. You may purchase Meals-Ready-to-Eat at sporting goods stores or in the camping department of general stores. Also include high-protein items for energy, such as beef jerky or protein bars.


Bottled water is heavy and bulky, so pack water purification tablets if you plan on spending a long time in the wilderness. You should still pack at least two water bottles in case you are unable to find a water source immediately.

First Aid Kit

Prepare a basic first aid kit for your survival kit. Include gauze bandages, antibiotic ointment, scissors, medical tape and any medications you currently take. Also include burn ointment and sun screen.


Select a small, waterproof compass for your survival kit. Even if you are excellent at trekking through the wilderness, a compass will ensure you do not get lost, especially during an unforeseen storm.


Bring a camping knife to cut rope or tree branches as needed. A knife may also be used during cooking or as self protection against wild animals.

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