Whenever you’re travelling in a remote area, regardless of location, it’s important to be prepared. You might not always need a full survival kit but the basics below will go a long way to keeping you safe. We’ve ranked these 4 items from most (#1) to least important but we recommend you carry each item.
This equipment list is designed to be compact and lightweight yet provide valuable tools. We always recommend a modular approach to survival kits to eliminate the need for duplicated equipment and ease of use.
- Firestarter (10x waterproof matches)
There are many options, each with their own advantages and weaknesses. Matches are often the most fail-safe but they must be waterproof and you must have enough to account for a few broken sticks. Lighters are the next-best option and are by far the easiest to use yet sometimes break or fail. Flint-based fire starters are failsafe but are hard to use and don’t work with candles (below). If you’re going with a flint make sure you practice lighting fires before you actually need to – they’re surprisingly difficult to use.
- Candle (1x tea light)
Candles are an often overlooked part of a survival kit but are invaluable when trying to quickly start a fire under less than ideal conditions. By first lighting the candle and then building a fire around it you can start a fire in the rain, with wet materials, or in the wind.
- Signalling Devices (1x pealess whistle, mirror)
It’s crucial that you’re able to get someone’s attention in an emergency or when lost so you’ll need at least one method, preferably a mirror and whistle at a minimum.Whenever shopping for a whistle, ensure you get a ‘pealess’ whistle so it’ll work when wet or frozen. The Fox40 whistle is undoubtably the most popular and rightly so – we highly recommend it.Signalling mirrors can be made of any reflective material but it’s important to get an unbreakable mirror both for safety and durability. Survival-specific models often have a hole in the middle of the mirror which can make aiming the reflection significantly easier.
A knife is an infinitely valuable tool – it can be used to cut small pieces of wood to start a fire, hunt, cut fabrics to make small sections of rope. Some people swear by a large knife with a single rigid blade but it’s all personal preference. A small, high-quality multi-tool such as the Leatherman Wingman provides many functions in a small size but it’s important to ensure the main blade is large enough to do some serious work. Regardless of which knife or multi-tool you choose the most important thing is that it’s kept sharp!