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Why Are Survival Bags Important?

No matter how much experience you have outdoors, you’re putting yourself at risk when you embark on the natural landscape for several days at a time. Depending on where you live, various factors like weather conditions, wildlife, water resources and landscape can all play a role in putting your skills and the gear you're selected to pack, to the test.

The gear you pack is what you’ll rely on when you need essential items and tools for getting through the day safely and comfortably. Your survival bag should contain the tools to help you survive against the elements, help you find and cook your food, and provide first aid or emergency needs if you’ve injured yourself or need rescue.

Review the rest of our Bags & Packs frequently asked questions here:

How Big of a Bag Do I Need? 

What Features Should I Want in a Survival Bag? 

How Much Should Your Bag Weigh?

What to Pack in a Survival Bag?

How Big of a Bag Do I Need?

The size of your bag depends on your trip and how much equipment you plan to pack. Many people end up packing one large bag and a smaller, secondary bag for other necessities. For example, using both the 20L and 10L Pathfinder Dry Bags are excellent choices for a several-day trip. 

If you plan to use multifunctional items and wash your clothes every couple of days, then you could get away with a smaller 10L to 20L pack or bag. If you want to pack a little heavier, then be sure to upgrade to at least a 30L backpack, which can fit your tarp, clothing, blankets, water, emergency kits, headlamps, and other vital equipment. 

What Features Should I Want in a Survival Bag?

Like most anything else, your survival bag should be durable and multifunctional to some extent. For example, a dry bag for your belongings can also be a great resource to collect tinder because of its waterproof capabilities. Lumbar packs can pack small necessities like your first aid kit, knives, and water bottle, which is ideal when you plan to travel outside of your camp for a couple of hours. 

All in all, your survival bag should fit everything you need. The bag should be durable and comfortable to wear, especially if you plan to use it while hiking, hunting, or traveling for several hours. Lastly, your survival bag or pack should be multifunctional to some extent, where you can also use it for basic tasks. 

How Much Should Your Bag Weigh?

Ensure that your bag is what you can handle. If you find yourself hunching over or struggling to stand with it on your back comfortably, then these are signs that the bag is too heavy. 

In reality, you don't know whether you have "overpacked" until you're on the trail then it's too late. You could make that discovery 100 feet in, or 2 miles in.That's why we advise following the 10C's and 5C's of Survival and carrying multi-purpose gear, so you only carry what you really need.

What to Pack in a Survival Bag

A survival bag can refer to one of several things. In some cases, a “survival bag” is another term for a backpack, which holds all of a person’s clothing, equipment, water, and camp setup. In other cases, a “survival bag” refers to the things that hold the utmost necessities when encountering the wilderness' natural landscape, which means that it needs to be packed with careful selection. 

Going off of the latter definition, your survival bag should have things that can help you survive in emergencies or if you’ve lost essential equipment. For example, if you lose your tarp, you’ll need a knife from your survival bag to build a new shelter. 

Some necessities include: