Survival Backpack

5 Essential Survival Items For Your Bug Out Bag

These 5 essential items for your bug out bag can also be considered must have items to include in a survival backpack or your day pack when going out hiking.

These 5 items will help you meet your basic wilderness survival needs – water, shelter, and food.

Survival Bushcraft Knife

A good bushcraft knife is probably the most essential piece of survival gear for your bug out bag or day pack. There are a few things you should look for in a bushcraft knife before buying.

  • what kind of steel is it made from?
  • does it have a full tang?
  • Is the handle made from robust material?

The type of steel will determine how well the knife holds an edge for outdoor work, hence, a carbon steel is recommended. The tang is the steel that extends from the blade into the handle. A full tang is where the steel goes all the way through the handle, which gives strength to the structure of the knife.
A Durable material for the handle is essential as you do not want the handle to disintegrate during heavy use. I prefer a hard wood or micarta handle.

A good knife can be used for protection, used to make survival tools and used for collecting fire making material.

Fire Starter

Fire is an essential part of survival. You may have to spend the night in the wilderness if you get lost on a hiking trail, or standed. Fire will help to keep you warm, cook food, purify water and keep predators at bay. You will need a reliable way to get your survival fire going!

While matches or a butane lighter are easy and convenient, they are not always reliable. It would be wise to carry a fire starting tool that will work even in damp conditions. Your best options would be a ferro rod or a magnesium block with a ferro rod.
Take a look at our post on 3 Essentials For Making A Survival Fire

Water Purifier

Water is an essential for surviving for any length of time in the wilderness. There may be water available, but what do you do if it is not safe to drink. Boiling the water is an option for removing potentially deady micro organisms, but it does not remove silt and other particles in suspension in the water.
Modern technology has brought the personal water filter to our rescue. These personal water filtration tools are lightweight to carry and easy to use. The product can be used many times in most instances, before the filter needs to be replaced. It is a worthwhile addition to your survival kit or hiking bag!

Mess Kit

A small mess kit is a great idea to carry with you. A number of compact lightweight models are available that are not going to add too much weight or take up too much space in your pack.

They are useful in many ways, from collecting and boiling water, to heating or cooking food. Should you be forced to forage for food, you will probably need to cook, since some wild food items are only safe to eat once cooked.

Having one of these durable, compact and lightweight mess kits would definitely make meal times in the outdoors or in the survival situation much easier!


Unexpected rain storms on your hiking trail, or wet conditions in the survival scenario can as a result, lead to many complications for your survival. Hypothermia would be the main concern which could threaten your health. Space age materials have made the bulky tarp a thing of the past.

These new materials have allowed for the manufacture of lightweight, strong materials that are ideal for an emergency shelter.
When choosing a tarp, consider the following features:

  • Waterproof – this would be the main requirement
  • Durability – is the material strong and rip resistant
  • Loops on all four corners – used to tie the tarp in various configurations depending on the weather

A good tarp will first of all not only keep you dry in wet weather, but in addition can be used to protect you from the cold. When you build a fire to reflect heat into your shelter, the heat will be retained under the tarp, hence keeping you significantly warmer!

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