Survival Gear: 101 Emergency Preparedness Items That You Should Own

Survival Gear

We receive a ton of suggestions from our readers; but one of the most popular emails we receive is from readers who want to share what’s in their bug out bag or survival kit.

We would like to thank everyone for their suggestions and have compiled a list of the top 101 pieces of Survival gear our readers carry with them. Some of these items are great for Bug Out Bags and wilderness survival, while others might be better suited for an urban survival situation.

This is a list of what our readers find most important to them and is in no way a list of what we think you should or shouldn’t carry. Everyone’s needs are unique and will change depending on a number of factors. The list of survival gear is presented so you can see what others carry, and to give you some ideas if you’re just getting started in preparedness.

Survival Gear List: 101 Top Suggestions from our readers.

  1. Cell Phone
  2. Water Bottles
  3. Flashlights
  4. MultiTool
  5. Pocket Knife
  6. Knife (we recommend the SOG Knives – The Seal Pup Elite Knife)
  7. Emergency Food or MRE’S
  8. First Aid Kit
  9. Compass
  10. Personal locator beacon (PLB)
  11. Hiking Backpack
  12. Sleeping Bag
  13. Canteens
  14. Sewing Kit
  15. Maps
  16. Duct Tape
  17. Plastic Tubing
  18. Lighter
  19. Space blanket
  20. Plastic Freezer Bags
  21. Crowbar
  22. Fire steel
  23. Waterproof Matches
  24. Emergency Candles
  25. Hiking Tarp
  26. Water Storage
  27. Water Filter
  28. Camp Axe
  29. Shovel
  30. Flares
  31. Signal Mirror
  32. 4 Season Tent
  33. Ham Radio
  34. C.B. Radio
  35. Bivy sack
  36. Whistle
  37. Good Hiking Boots
  38. Thermos for Cooking
  39. Chlorine Bleach
  40. Water-purification tablets
  41. 550 Paracord
  42. Hiking Hammock
  43. Tinder (for fire starting)
  44. Machete
  45. Plastic painters tarp
  46. Salt
  47. Mylar blanket
  48. L.E.D. HeadLamps
  49. Fishing line
  50. Dental floss
  51. Extra Socks
  52. Gloves
  53. Rain suit or poncho,
  54. Wide Brim Hat
  55. Ultimate Survival Kit
  56. Bandanas
  57. Bible
  58. Playing Cards
  59. Fire Extinguisher
  60. AM / Weather Radio
  61. Riffle
  62. Ammo
  63. B.B. / Pellet Gun
  64. Slingshot
  65. Snare Wire
  66. Multi-Vitamins
  67. GPS Device
  68. Portable Camping Stove
  69. Propane
  70. Batteries
  71. Solar Chargers and battery power banks
  72. Fishing Pole
  73. Magnesium Fire Starter
  74. A Survival Tablet
  75. Saw
  76. Plastic Trash Bags
  77. Binoculars
  78. Shortwave Radio
  79. Eating and Cooking Utensils
  80. Scissors
  81. Sunglasses
  82. Sunscreen
  83. Jumper Cables
  84. Cable Ties
  85. Oil (for your vehicle, can also be used to start a fire or create smoke for a signal fire)
  86. Tool Kit
  87. Tire Repair Kit
  88. Hard Candy ( can give you a boost of energy and a boost to your morale)
  89. Emergency Credit Card
  90. Personal Identification Papers
  91. Family Photos (morale Booster)
  92. Dust Mask
  93. Lantern
  94. Money (Putting a $20 or a $50 in you kit might come in useful someday)
  95. Rubbing Alcohol
  96. Pepper or Bear Spray
  97. Can Opener
  98. Chemical hand warmer packets
  99. Energy Bars
  100. Survival Books

Survival Gear List at Amazon

Shirts of Liberty

OFFGRID Survival book



  1. i like the list also. for item # 102, i have a dry bag with a change of undies, and a pair of wool socks. (ok i see socks are # 51) i also would add a cold weather hat of some type. a bar of soap, and a “camp towel”.

  2. haha! yeah the cell is definitely number one no matter if you plan to live long term or short term. thanks for commenting back.

    • yes sour , of course there will be no communication at all !!! in the end of the world and its going to be sooooon..
      prey for food first.

        • I just posted on this, yes you can be tracked from any transmitting radio. It is a good idea to have a monitor radio that you can only listen to all the bands with, this way you can’t be tracked. Also have a multiple LED flashlight that has a blue LED for night travel, you can see up close but it is hard to spot from a distance..

        • Who tf is the enemy it’s just talking about getting lost in the wild or something not a Chinese takeover it’s not call of duty like tf???

  3. and another thing… unless you live where there’s never cold weather, i think you need to include ice creepers. staying put during an ice event may not be an option. i’d also add a fresh disposable razor (or a shaver with a replacable battery) to your kit, so you can keep a good seal between your face and your “dust” mask.

    • In a survival situation, any fuel consuming device is a bad idea unless you have the money and proper long term storage for fuel, even with this your fuel supply will run out or fail. Generators are also motors that require substantial maintenance such a s oil changes, general tune ups, etc. My system runs my complete home, I will still have power for 5 days without sun or wind When you weigh all of the facts a solar/wind power system always wins out. This being said your cooking/heating supplies should not require fuel unless renewable such as wood for example. Solar cookers/heaters are simple to make as well and will last you a lifetime…

  4. I replaced the rubbing alcohol with a cheap rot-gut vodka. This allows me to use it for medicinal value as well as a possible trade item if i needed it. you might also want to consider apple cider vinegar (the brown vinegar from the store.) as I’ve heard that it helps guard against tear gas and other airbourne toxins when you soak your face rag or your face-mask in it. jsut a thought.

      • brown vinegar can treat poison ivy, put it on ivy rash every 2 hours during the day for 3 days then daily till rash is gone

        • 3 Days, then daily? In four days poison Ivy rash should be gone naturally unless you have severe allergic reaction to it then only thing that will help is benedryl.

          • Also Witch Hazel can be of use. I’ve had severe reactions to poison ivy many times, and from what I’ve tried Witch Hazel seems to do the trick.

          • Fels Napha soap. Meant for cleaning it dries everything out. $3.00 for a HUGE bar that will last forever!

  5. Soap and towel, definitely.
    I usually take a set of wool socks and clean underwear and use a food vacuum sealer to shrink them down into a small package. It fits in the back corner of my pack. I have been very glad once or twice when I’ve been damp and cold and been able to get some dry socks. You can seal other stuff in the bags as well – matches and firestarter, food, meds. I’ll seal four ibuprofen or imodium in a packet. They stay fresh and dry until you need them, and it’s much cheaper than buying the little packets in a gas station.

    • Fishing gear is always a great idea Johnny, but remember to add a few Yo-Yo traps. They have plenty of line on them and when a fish hits the bait they automatically set the hook and reel in the fish. They are small, compact and if you set 3-4 around a water supply you are sure to keep yourself in fish!!

    • For real! Where would you buy the solar recharging stuff? Cell phone service will be down. And a generator? I guess if you choose to bug-in, and have no close neighbors to hear it and come to pay you a visit! We will be taking our pick-up truck, obviously, as this is way more than any bug-out bag could ever hold.

      • You can buy a solar cell phone charger at Walmart. Besides that this list is ridiculous you dont need roughly half this stuff to survive. its mostly comfort items.

      • A good item to buy would be a solar powered [multi use]radio. I have a solar powered radio that also has a crank for night use, AM, FM, and the weather alert channel. It also has a flashlight and a cell phone charger. Modern cell phones even without service can have many uses if you think about it.

        • yes. I very much agree. it is very very useful to have one. I have one and I would not go without can charge your phone as well as many other small devices. it has a light n it. it is very portable. solar charging, as well as crank change. \

        • If its the same radio i have, my 6 yr.old broke the handle charging the radio. So I decided to include various kinds of adhesives. Epoxy for sure, super glue, wood etc. Some epoxy can fix a cracked block on a small emgine. Sometimes even a short time running could be what you needed.

      • Mary there are thousands of great survival products on the marks, just beware of the junk. Goal-Zero makes great stand alone and mobile solar systems you can choose from. I use their back-pack solar charger that has a battery back-up. I can charge my GPS, cell phone, Flash lights, etc while I am hiking. For a bug-out stove I recommend the Kelly Kettle, it requires no stored fuel and you can cook as you boil water. Also remember to start buying rechargeable batteries for all the things you use, the solar chargers will keep your gear running for a long time. MURS radio sells a great hand-held HAM radio that runs off of triple A batteries, you can also get a great HAM receiver to listen in when you are not transmitting for about $40.00. This will keep you from being tracked from the output of your HAM transmitting radio. For great BOB, look at the Eberlestock G4 Operator pack, it is a military quality Sniper pack that can conceal 2 rifles along with all of the essential gear you will need to carry. It is designed to distribute all of the pack weight between your shoulders and hips to eliminate fatigue..

    • Item 64, great weapon to carry. Silent, effective. But they’re much more accurate with good round shot! Marbles or steel shot work best. And carry extra surgical tubing ! And PRACTICE with it !!!

  6. Is there anybody out there that is planning to survive in the wild,indefinitly.
    I’ve been thinking sw New Mexico.Not wanting to deal with winter.
    Not wanting to wait until something bad happens. The system we now live in
    makes us wage slaves and with economy the way it is not going to get any better
    but getting worse. Bugging out. “D”….

    • I am planning on going off the grid indefinitely but in the pacific northwest. I am hoping to leave from texas in the next several weeks. I have a good portion of these suppiles. Am always looking for someone to join me on this endeavor.

    • Southwest area ,you ll experience problems finding water,I was considering that area and was told to stay away.From all the desert region which has no water,to just the dry land with no water in site.Just my opinion.

      • get up here in Canada. Ya it gets cold but there is lots of land and bush that know one will find you if you don’t want to be found!

      • I read a report from NASA on Youtube that states the southwest will be experiencing a severe drought for the indefinite future. This will also include most of CA. and Mexico. The NW this year ..2014/15..had lower than normal snow pack. This probably means forest fires. Our spring started in Feb. this year. Dont know what it means.

  7. don’t forget misquito netting, you can get it pretty cheap and even sew your own (I made one for each of my kids). Nothing will be worse than remembering everything above and then not being able to enjoy one moment becuase of misquito bites!! (or any other creepy crawly….especially if we are hiding out from all of the crap that is bound to happen in the next couple of years. I will be in the Green Mountains of Vermont!

  8. I’m brand spanking new at this and a little overwhelmed, well,maybe alot overwhelmed.I am also trying to get the people I love,to listen and help me get started.I can’t do this all on my own. How do I get them to listen with out sounding like I’m losing it?? I’m 63 and I think they believe I’ve gone round-the-bend. Thanks for being here. Di

    • I’m preparing all the time buying my 4 wheel drive pickup next month. Di I think most people r to close-minded to see what the government has done to this country n still hoping for it to change. Ne 1 interested in embarking together I promise to always have your back I was born here n though the world will b in chaos soon I will protect what is mine and whom I m with for me that’s the American way but I will step off the grid n whom ever I travel with u would b the only one who knew where that would b. Does anyone know where a firearm can b purchased without a hassle

      • Hey I’m thinking of goin either up north or over to the scotish wilderness its pretty remote in some places and the population is lower than a lot of places

  9. Good list for being well-prepared!

    May I suggest 1 item essential in your kit:

    • Insect repellent (with DEET, sweat-proof, kids-friendly, odourless, whatever! Spray, apply, patch etc – just don’t let the bugs bug you!).

    In warm or cold weather. In the urban environment or wilderness, one of man’s greatest irritant and threat is really the insects.

    Insects (mosquitoes, ticks, bugs and other creepy crawlies etc) test our resolve. Irritated us to no end. Pricked our peace of mind and comfort.

    Thanks for the great list! :-)

    • I agree. There needs to be some sort of insect repellant. Mosquitoes and other insects can be a huge problem all over the world. They carry potentially deadly and debilitating diseases and the best medicine in this case is prevention. Mosquito nets, DEET repellant, skin so soft, etc. And yes, skin so soft from Avon DOES keep the mosquitoes off. I used it in Honduras and it worked better than any other mosquito repellant I tried. I also didn’t have to worry about it getting on my hands then contaminating my food. You have to be more careful with DEET with all its chemicals.

    • Dave when the repellant runs out “smoking yourself” around a fire is quite effective. Any “greens” will work but pine is even more effective for some reason. If stealth is necessary digging a hole to make the fire in also works well.

      • This is helpful cause mosquitoes carry lots of diseases yeah but the smoke is what gives you away not really the fire itself

  10. I guess jose doesn’t care about long term survival huh? They said it was a list of what some readers carry…. persoanlly I carry a lot of this stuff either in a bugout bag, as my EDC, in my vehicle or stocked up in my BOL

  11. do u really think ur going to have half this stuff when ur trying to suvive? a list of things u should have should be the bare minimum on what u can use and purposes for them like 550 cord, can be used to tie things down, climbing, hanging ur kill to skin it, fix broke tools, make a handle, etc. half these things you arnt going to have, find, nor need to survive and all u need to do it know how to use the things u have to make ur life in the wilderness much easier on urself or a group u are with in the situation.

  12. It for sure a good list, some stuff on there is a bit more than you can carry. I would have to say go with item #101. Remember there are other Items that double for other items, one which would be good is #28, camp ax and #29 Shovel, for a E – tool. An E tool does just as much as a small camp ax, as well as (as strange as this sounds) a place to sit when going to the bathroom. You can break small branches and dig holes or make clearing as well, plus it’s lightweight.
    Also do remember as it states right at the begining of the list “Our list of the top 101 Survival Gear Items our readers carry with them. Our list of the top 101 Survival Gear Items our readers carry with them. Some of these items are great for Bug Out Bags, and Wilderness survival, while others are better suited for an urban survival situation.” Key part of that phrase is,
    “Bug Out Bags, and Wilderness survival, while others are better suited for an urban survival situation.”

    Depending on the situation, depends on what your going to bring. If everything goes to hell and a handbasket, your probably not going to bring #10 a PLB. #44 a Machete I really couldn’t say why you would need that unless your in a jungle. Keep in mind there are lots of backpacks out there, pending on the use and what your doing with your bug out bag, you should be able to fit about 80 – 100LBS and carry with you. It sounds like alot, however you be surprised what you can do. What I would like to add for #102, is train with your gear!!! in others don’t wait for everything to go wrong, set up a camping trip, not just during nice weather, but bad weather too, this will do lot of differnt things. it will teach you how to deal with te elements, and it will also get you used to your gear that your carrying.

          • many TOURIST get lost in the mountains of oahu—go e. 5mi. and you hit water—go w. 5 miles and you reach the ocean. they choose to go the long way–app.75+ miles

        • It really depends on where you live. Places like jungles are tough to live in without a good machete, but it is possible. For me, I’ve never bothered buying one because I live in Canada. There doesn’t tend to be any jungles up here :)

  13. i personaly am geeting ready for the apocalypse! i’m buying all the guns ammo and basic survival tools i will need. i was told buy my grandpa that if anything ever went down on our home soil my best bet would be to head for the west. new mexico would be my ideal place to bed down and survive!

    • I have read what people think is best for their bug out packs I however have added just a little bit more. Like well in zip lock bags I have pastas rice different types of food that will last a long time I have a strong believe that society will fall maybe because of major food and water storage . Most likely food for sure anyway my pack is a 300 Leiter . 4 season tent sleeping bag good for -35 along with a couple of quilts. My thinking isn’t about 72 hrs it’s long term bug out. Another supply that I have is important as well that would fit long term is garden seeds, in any case even if long term wasn’t required better to be safe then regret many of the suggestions I’ve read for supplies I have as well I just think that these other things I’ve added for myself are just as important.

  14. I’ve been reading & working on pulling together a Bug out Bag for over a year (it take money & time to find good deals, especially when you are on very limited income!I live in S.Ca & last Easter (2010) we had a 7.0 earthquake & I watched my condo building sway back & forth for what seemed like an eternity. I got really serious about survival after that,but I’m still not really ready & I know an earthquake is not going to wait for me to be ready. So here’s where I need help….There are hundreds & hundreds of survival & backpacking sites on the Internet. I’d like to know if anyone can tell where I can find survival / backpacking web sites in my area (so they are talking about my part of the country) or a list of items I should have in a pack based where I live. Also can anyone tell me some good web sites to get bargain equipment? I’m still looking for a water pump, radio, & some other things. Also because I’m small & I’m in my 60s I have to watch the weight, so I’m into the idea of ultra light backpacking. Thanks for any ideas. JDell

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