With warm weather now a daily reality, it’s a great time to start making plans to get away and enjoy the great outdoors. Although trekking through the wilderness can provide relaxation, exercise, and other benefits, staying safe while enjoying all the sights is important. To ensure you can handle any emergency you might face, here are a few survival items that every outdoor adventurer should keep close at hand.

1. Compass

Knowing where you’re going when you’re outdoors is of utmost importance. Most people think they can easily find their way back to their starting point when they’re deep in the woods. However, you would be surprised how quickly trees start to look alike. 

With a compass, you can always know which direction you’re headed so you don’t end up walking in circles. Training yourself on compass usage before you leave for your trip is critical.

2. Matches or Flint

Fire will be one of your most important tools if you find yourself in an emergency survival situation. Fire allows you to purify water, cook food, and signal for help. To make it easy to start a fire, it’s a good idea to pack some type of fire starter whenever you take it to the woods. 

To save weight and prevent worries about dampness, you can opt to pack a flint instead of matches. Of course, if you’re going to use a flint, you must practice with the flint before you leave your home.

3. Knife

Another great survival multitasker is a knife. Ideally, a knife should have a long and sharp blade so that you can easily use it to slice through small branches to create a shelter. In extreme circumstances, you might also need a knife with a long blade to serve as protection against wild animals. 

Additionally, you can use a knife to prepare different types of food so that you’re never left without sustenance. Although a knife shouldn’t go dull after using it for only a few days, you may also want to consider taking along a sharpener of some kind.

4. Signaling Device

When you’re far from civilization, you can’t depend on people to find you without putting in some effort yourself. That’s why it’s vital to bring some type of signaling device in your backpack at all times. 

During the day, you can use something as simple as a small mirror to reflect sunlight and attract the attention of planes or cars. At night, you’ll need a bright, flashing light to ensure you are seen. To help first responders pinpoint your location, it’s a great idea to have a GPS keychain attached to your clothing whenever you’re headed on a long trek.

5. Water Purification

The human body can only survive for a few days without water. This means that you must have access to water at all times when you’re enjoying the great outdoors. If you get lost, and your water supply runs out, you’ll need to have a reliable method to purify water to give yourself a better chance of survival. 

To create pure, clean water, you can use water purification tablets, straws, or bottles. If these methods become exhausted, it’s always important to have fire as a backup purification method.

6. First Aid Kit

No matter what outdoor adventure you go on, you should always make sure you have a first aid kit. This essential survival item can, in some cases, make the difference between life and death. In your kit, make sure to include basic items, such as bandages and anti-bacterial ointment, as well as items to help treat more serious injuries. 

Since certain first aid items can diminish in effectiveness over time, it’s a good idea to look over your first aid kit to ensure everything is up-to-date.

Always Explain Your Plans

If you’re going on a trip and plan to be gone more than a few hours, it’s important to let someone else know about your plans. This will ensure that someone comes looking for you if you don’t return on time. With enough people looking for you, you hopefully won’t have to put too many of these outdoor survival items to use. Still, having them with you when you hit the trail is always a good idea.


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