Survival gear is very specific to the individual carrying it. No two personally packed survival bags will include the same contents. This is because the items inside are handpicked and thoughtfully brought along based on the individual’s needs and personal skill set. Whether you are putting together your first set of survival gear or reassessing your skills to re-pack, here are three things to think about while gathering your gear.
The skills you currently have will dictate the gaps you need to fill with survival gear. The very size of your bag can indicate whether you are an amateur or an expert survivalist. (We’ve all seen the crazily skilled survivalists on Animal Planet go into the wild empty handed). Whether you are an amateur or an expert, make sure your survival gear matches your skill set.
If you are still learning the basics on starting a fire, make sure to bring along a fire starting kit – and maybe a ferro rod as a back-up. You should assess your skills in all areas, define your weaknesses and bring additional survival gear to fill the gaps in your skillset.
Opposingly, if you are a skilled survivalist try not to bring additional tools that would be unnecessary on your venture. This will only weigh down your bag and hinder survivalist skill improvements.
The environment you live in will greatly affect what type of survival gear you should have. There is no set of gear that works for every environment. If you will be venturing into a forest-like environment, make sure you have waterproof materials that can endure heavy rainfall. If you will be in a very hot climate, such as a desert landscape, make sure you are equipped with enough materials to provide proper shelter – even a short hike in desert heat can be deadly.
Keep this in mind while packing your survival gear around the environment; pack for the worst and hope for the best. If you lose your trail in the desert and your short hike turns into an overnight stay, make sure you are equipped with the tools, such as cover and shelter, to survive.
Additionally, assess the available resources of the environment. Knowing what your area can be a huge advantage. You might be able to rely on wood and tinder in a forest landscape but might not in the desert. You should be prepared to utilize available local resources and fill the gaps with gear and skills.
Distance and Duration
Lastly, you should consider the distance at which you are planning to travel and the duration of which you will stay while packing your survival gear. If you are planning to stay overnight in the tundra, you will want to make sure you packed enough wood and kindling to keep you warm during the harsh nights. If you are traveling great lengths, make sure to your survival gear includes a very large water container to keep you hydrated on your trek.
There is no “one size fits all” pack for survival gear. Assess your survivalist skillset and be honest about what you excel at and what you may not be so great at. Bring additional tools where you need improvement and think twice before bringing a tool that you may not need.
Use the environment to your advantage, apply your skillset in everything you do and carry tools over gadgets.