Survival Tools: What You Need to Stay Safe in the Wilderness

Going into the backcountry can be as tricky as exciting and adventurous. You know what they say, you never want to play with nature. As much as nature is wonderful and offers impeccable sightseeing and various activities, it can be also very unpredictable and unforgiving. Therefore, is crucial to always be prepared for unexpected situations.

With the sheer number of outdoor enthusiasts exploring the wilderness every year, it’s becoming more important than ever to educate people on how to safely enjoy the great outdoors. When you’re trying to stock up on all of the essential survival tools for your next adventure in the backcountry, it’s essential to do your research and choose quality gear that will serve you well.

What Do You Put in a Wilderness Survival Kit?

Survival kit on ground

It might seem like a lot at first glance, but these are the most basic tools you need to have with you to help you act fast and effectively. Be sure to include these tools in your hunting or camping gear every time you’re about to explore the outdoors.

Water Container

Wherever you go, a bottle or container of water must be on your list of survival essentials. A human can survive without any sip of water only for 3 days. But even that is not guaranteed. It mostly depends on your body’s needs.

But of course, not everything goes as planned. If you happen to run out of water, find the nearest creek or river to fill up your water container. However, this type of scenario requires having a water filter to ensure that the water is safe for drinking. If you don’t have a water filter, adding in some iodine pills will also do the job.

Survival Food

After hydration, food is the second most important thing to help you survive in unforeseen situations when you’re in the woods. Always make sure to have packed dry food like nuts and seeds, dry fruits, protein bars and canned food.

Of course, you can always cook food like rice or lentils, but if the situation, for whatever reason stops you from doing that, this type of food is easily accessible, no need to waste time on cooking and it can immediately boost your energy levels. Think about what type of food can last longer and what type is the most nutritious. Some common examples of nutritious dry food are smoked meat, energy bars, and cereals.


It’s extremely important to have a shelter in emergency situations, especially if you plan to stay outdoors for more than just a few days. Whether you’re hiking, camping, hunting, or fishing, you must have some sort of shelter to help you fend off the cold. We all know how unpredictable nature can be and the potential risks of hypothermia.

Staying in the woods during the day may not require bringing a standard camping tent, but it’s important to at least have an emergency tent. Emergency tents can be set up in no time and the process is pretty straightforward. An emergency tent is a tube-like shelter, enough to fit you inside and keep you warm during unpredictable times. Another alternative would be a tarp, enough just to cover yourself with something to keep you warm.


Man starting fire with firestarter in nature

One thing you must know how to do once you step into the wilderness is how to start a fire. A fire is needed not only to keep you warm but also to cook food, make a hot beverage and chase away any predators. A firestarter is an important survival tool kit and there are many different starters that can be anything from waterproof matches to lighters.

You can also purchase rod fire steel which is very easy and convenient to use and is also beginner-friendly. There are also other types of fire starter kits that contain everything you need to start a fire. All of these can play a crucial role in survival situations, ranging from basic necessities to advanced safety measures.

Multi-Tool Survival Kit

A multi-tool survival kit is fully packed with all the survival essentials you need for camping or hiking. Depending on the size of the multi-tool kit, it can contain basic tools such as a lighter, flashlight, compass, paracord, pocket knife, emergency blanket and first-aid kit.

Larger survival kits can be upgraded with survival food, water containers and filters, whistles, mosquito patches, protecting gloves, and binoculars and some advanced kits can have even solar-powered radios.


One of the most important things you should have in the wilderness is any sort of blade. That can be a multi-tool knife, a hunting knife, a pocket knife, a folding or fixed knife or a multi-function camp axe. If you want a knife that is versatile and can serve different purposes, then go for a multi-tool knife. There are many great multi-tool knives available on the market that can serve as a cutter, an emergency whistle and a firestarter, all in one.

There are several reasons why a knife or any sort of blade is an essential survival tool. You can use it as a self-defence weapon in emergency situations such as an attack by a wild animal. But most importantly, you need a knife to cut through bushes and chop branches to build a shelter or start a fire, cut and prepare food or hunt.


Another absolute necessity is having a navigation tool. We know that once we are far outside the comfort of our homes, there can be many unforeseen situations that may cause us to get lost. Carrying a small pocket compass, or a hand compass can be of immense help to get you back on the right track or find the way to where you’re supposed to go.

You can also use a topograph map for easy navigation around the area, however, a compass is something you must have whenever you’re in the wilderness. Most models come with a clear base plate that is easy to read and the needles are usually luminescent. In case your battery dies or you find yourself in the dark, this feature can save you from getting lost.


Having a good whistle that can produce a strong and powerful sound can be a life saviour when it comes to emergency situations that require urgent action. It helps signal people that someone is in need of help. By whistling, it’s easier for passengers to locate you by hearing where the sound comes from.

Another big advantage of carrying an emergency whistle is keeping animals away. The loud sound may be enough to scare off any potential predators or wild creatures that may come near your campsite. You could also carry a bear bell, which although not as loud as a whistle, can alert animals of your presence and prevent any unwanted encounters.

First Aid Kit

Being in the woods means that any injuries are highly likely to happen. Some wounds like deep cuts need to be treated immediately to prevent an infection. Most first-aid kits will have some alcohol for disinfection, bandages, aspirin, antiseptics or antibiotics, tweezers, cotton swabs, medical gloves and a safety pin.

So, next time you’re thinking about rocking any outdoorsy activities, invest in a first-aid kit that you can bring along anywhere you go. It’s better to prevent any negative consequences than to be sorry later. If you need to stay in the wilderness for several days, make sure to have a first-aid kit that holds more medical essentials and matches your trip conditions.


Man holding flashlight

Having any sort of light during the night in the wilderness is crucial to make nights more tolerable. A flashlight will help you flash your way through the woods once the sun sets down and will make nights less scary since it’s much easier to spot any animal approaching your shelter area.

Whether it’s just a pocket-size flashlight, a headlamp or any other source of light, it’s important to be prepared for the dark hours. You don’t want to be spending 12 hours in complete darkness. On a further note, sometimes there can be scenarios where you might need to signal for help. For this case, the best is to always carry with you an emergency signal locator lighting.


Batteries can be quite handy in moments of emergency if you have any battery-powered devices with you. Whether you will use them or not, it’s always best to have some extra batteries just in case, because you never know when you might need to use them. Some devices that may require batteries include flashlights, radios, emergency signal locators and GPS devices. Having extra batteries will ensure that you have power for the duration of your trip or until help arrives in case of an emergency.