Top 10 Items for Your Wilderness Survival Kit List

When you're lost in the wild, your chances of getting hurt or lost go up. Based on NamUs (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System) data, over 600,000 persons go missing in the US every year, with some getting lost in the wild. 

If you get lost or hurt in the wild, you better pray to the heavens you're not alone. But even if you're not, what if your companion can't help? Can you make it on your own? 

This is where a wilderness survival kit list comes in. This list allows you to plan for an emergency before it becomes necessary. While you can't foresee every accident, you can prepare for what you might encounter in the wild.

In this post, we'll talk about the essential items for your wilderness survival kit.

10 Items to Include in Your Wilderness Survival Kit List 

  1. Map & Compass
  2. Water Filter
  3. First-Aid Kit
  4. Signal Device
  5. Lighter
  6. Flashlight
  7. Communication Device
  8. Cordage & Hooks
  9. Knife
  10. Survival Bag

Whether you're going on a day hike or a weekend trip in the wild, you must prepare for the unexpected. By unexpected, we mean accidents, weather changes (e.g., blizzards and tornadoes), or losing your way.

Fortunately, having a wilderness survival kit list ups your chances of surviving. Here are the most important items to include in your kit:  

1. Map & Compass

wilderness survival kit list map and compass

Technology can help you in the wild, especially with GPS (Global Positioning System). However, you can't solely rely on your smartphone in the wild. Think about what might happen if your phone runs out of juice. 

Packing a good old map and compass in your wilderness survival kit will help you find your way back to safety. 

A map shows clearly identified trails and roads, while a compass points you in the right direction. When used properly, these navigation tools are extremely helpful. 

2. Water Filter

Humans can survive without food for about three weeks. However, that's not the case for water.

Most humans can't survive without water for three days. If you're one of the lucky few, you can go on without water for four to seven days. 

The point is, you need water more than food in the wild. While you can usually find rivers and lakes in the wild, the water there's not potable. They're filled with contaminants that'll do you more harm than good.

So, you must carry a water filter that provides enough water until you get rescued or find your way back to safety. But a water purification system’s heavy and impractical, especially if you're running away from wild animals. 

Enter the handy Prepared Hero Water Filter Straw, which gives you clean drinking water and prevents dehydration. It can give you 264 gallons of potable water and protect you from water-borne diseases. 

You can also place your straw inside a water straw filter case to keep it safe. Doing so protects it from contaminants that render your filter useless.

The Prepared Hero Water Filter Straw Case prevents water and dust from ruining your filter. Plus, this sturdy case is pressure-resistant and weatherproof. 

3. First Aid Kit

wilderness survival kit list first aid kit

A first aid kit is another essential item in a wilderness survival kit list. 

You can buy a pre-assembled first aid kit or make one. Most pre-assembled first aid kits come with bandages, gauze, disinfecting wipes, over-the-counter pain medication, and medical tape. Should you choose to buy a pre-packed first aid kit, routinely check the item's expiration date. 

On the other hand, making one ensures that you have everything you need. For instance, you can include your medicines if you need regular medication. 

Whether you’re buying pre-packaged kits or making one, make sure your first aid kit contains essential items.

4.Signal Device

There are tons of heartbreaking stories where search helicopters have passed over lost people too weak to give them signals. 

Avoid being in that situation by having a signal device. You can use visual (mirrors and flares) or audio tools to signal rescuers or companions from miles away. 

The most common signal devices for a wilderness survival kit include signal mirrors, flares, and alarms. 

Signal mirrors work best on clear, sunny days. They can be seen up to 15 miles away. Many compasses come with a signal mirror, sparing you the trouble of bringing another one.

However, signal mirrors don't work well during dark days or at night. They have way less range, making them almost unnoticeable.

Flares, on the other hand, work anytime and are easy to spot (can be seen from miles away at night). 

Complete the safety circle by having an alarm. Contrary to popular belief, security alarms aren't just for fighting robbers. You can also use it to signal rescuers when you're stuck in the middle of nowhere.

The police-recommended Hero Defense Alarm includes a screeching siren and bright light that'll signal rescuers or your companions.

5. Lighter

wilderness survival kit list lighter

You need to start a fire to survive cold temperatures and make smoke to signal rescuers. Hence, you must include a lighter in your wilderness survival kit list.

While matches can start a fire, they're useless once wet. Hence, a reliable lighter is your better bet. It’s also easy to carry, making it a perfect addition to your wilderness survival kit list and family bug out bag

6. Flashlight

One of the worst parts of being lost in the wild is getting lost in the dark. Always bring a flashlight, even if you're only planning a day hike.

A flashlight makes it easier for you to navigate at night. But they don't just give light. They also signal your companions and rescuers.

But you know what's better? A flashlight that doubles as a baton to protect yourself from wild animals. 

Prepared Hero's Flashlight Baton is easy to grab and light to swing. You can use it to protect yourself and loved ones from human or animal attackers. Plus, it's so durable that a car running over it didn't leave a dent. 

7. Communication Device

During a wilderness survival scenario, you must keep in touch with other people. While your smartphone can help, you might lose signal or battery in the wild. 

Packing a device that doesn't rely on power and cellular towers can save your life. It lets you contact your companions and rescuers when your phone has no signal or battery. 

The PowerTalkieX Radio Set allows you to contact people within a three-mile distance with a crisp voice and noise reduction tech. The PowerTalkieX also comes with a hands-free set for easy communication. 

On top of that, the set provides up to 15 days of communication. It's also lightweight and as thin as a smartphone, so you don't have to carry a bulky walkie-talkie. 

8. Cordage & Hooks

wilderness survival kit list cordage

Cordage refers to any cord or rope (everything from a nylon string to a metal wire). It's one of the most important items in your wilderness survival kit. 

You can use cordage to climb steep places, drag game, tie firewood, catch fish, and much more. It can also serve as a cloth line and food line. In short, cordage can make all the difference in a wilderness survival scenario. 

Since catching food is one of the best functions of cordage, you must pack hooks. When appropriately used, cordage and hooks can give you that saving meal. 

9. Knife

wilderness survival kit list knife

You'll likely need to cut stuff in the wild, so a knife is a must-have item in your wilderness survival kit list. 

A reliable survival knife or multi-tool can sharpen sticks, cut cords, skin animals, and create shelter. Aside from these, you can use a knife to protect yourself from wild animals or open wounds to extract what's stuck inside. 

10. Survival Bag

According to research, approximately 1,500 people in the US die from hypothermia. Don't let this happen to you or your loved ones.

Include a survival bag in your wilderness survival kit to stay warm in extreme cold conditions and at night. 

The Prepared Hero Survival Bag provides enough coverage yet is compact enough to fit your pocket. 

The bag is also made of waterproof and windproof materials that reflect 90% of the heat to you. On top of that, the Prepared Hero Survival Bag is bright orange, helping rescuers find you.

You can also use the bag to keep moisture out of your food and clothes. Plus, you can hang it between trees for shade or rain protection. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are 10 items in a survival kit?

Here are the most common 10 items in a survival kit:

  1. Map & Compass
  2. Water Filter
  3. First-Aid Kit
  4. Signal Device
  5. Lighter
  6. Flashlight
  7. Communication Device
  8. Cordage & Hooks
  9. Knife
  10. Survival Bag

What's the most valuable tool for wilderness survival?

A fire starter is the most valuable tool for wilderness survival. Fire helps you stay warm, cook food, boil water, and sleep safely without worrying about predators. 

What are 5 things you need to survive in the wilderness?

Here are the 5 things you need to survive in the wilderness:

  1. Fire
  2. Shelter
  3. Signals
  4. Food & Water
  5. First Aid

What are the 7 elements of survival?

Here are the 7 elements of survival:

  1. Positive Attitude
  2. Fire 
  3. Shelter
  4. Water
  5. Signals
  6. Food
  7. First Aid


wilderness survival kit 

Whether it's your first or gazillionth time in the wild, it pays to be prepared. Remember, poor preparation can lead to injuries and death. 

Now that you know all the essential items, include them in your wilderness survival kit list. Of course, you can add any items you may need. Just make sure you have the essential items mentioned above. 

Are you ready to tick everything off your wilderness survival kit list? Head to Prepared Hero and shop for survival tools now!