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’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

  2. what i think is that ,well suviving long term is not what you happend to bring on your trip,journey,whatever you would like to call it is your commen sense i’ve been in perdicament that i did’nt use my common snse and got me into a bigger predicament

  3. if you ever have to go and bunker down and survive i would recomend,the desert,forest, or newmexico,the swamp and river in mississipi or louisiana,and the mountains like the rocky mountains,where you pick to survive is based on your opinion and where you were raised, i like new mexico because i was raised there and there is all types of terrain.but unpredictable weather!

  4. have any of you people have any training for emergencies such as broken bones. should be the number one item on survival get some training for emergencies.

  5. Hey Jose,

    This is just a list of gear, we always advice our readers that knowledge and training are the number one priority and that they should train to be able to survive without the use of survival gear.

    That being said, having good gear sure will make things a lot easier!

    • How-to manuals on how to make diesel out of tallow,
      Firearms, ammo, gun cleaning supplies and reload supplies, fishing gear, water purification tablets of the means to distill water. Seeds, food and cast iron cooking pans.

  6. List is ok for the most part, some shit u need, some will be a waste of space, I.e. cell phone, get a radio or sat phone. Some one said cold weather gear, that’s good too, but u have too keep it dry to work, if your cheap a trash bag will work. Ammo definitely, but get ammo for a common caliber. 7.62×39, 5.56 NATO, or common civilian weapon ammo. Also u need some shit to clean your gun? They stop working if u don’t… Extra mags/ what ever feeds it. It’s hard to hear, but food is over rated, use if u get MREs like this says, strip them of things you dont need, there big, and they add up in weight. YOU HAVE TO HAVE WATER or be able to purify it. You need salt too, not just because u need it in small amounts to live(more so in hot climates) but you can preserve food with it too. Get a compass and map. If your set on electronics, which are awesome, get a solar charger. Solar chargers are actually pretty cheap. All electronics will break/malfunction in a day or 10 years, but it will happen. Some one here said some shit about gun packs, unless ur a sniper with a plan, u should have your “gat” available quick fast in a hurry. Have a tarp/ tent too. Keep copies of important documents. Vodka was a good suggestion. Gold, silver, platinum.

    • Keeping everything ready to go is the most important. Ammo, lots of it for lots of guns. Alcohol can be traded, baby formulas too.

  7. A harmonica is good for entertanement if you are not worried about noise, a pencil and small pad would be good for essential notes or a journal or last will, and a small cutting board would give you a washable surface to prep food on in stead of just a small mess kit.

    • My cross bow and survival buck knife. Doesn’t get much better when it comes to a stealth assault or a defense in some cases

  8. Regardless of how long the list, large the packback, or even how much knowledge & experience we have, if/when we are pushed into a serious, extended, survival situation, we will find ourselves in need of something; even if it is only peace and a trusted companion.
    Having said that, prepare spiritually and that will provide the Peace of a Trusted Companion. Then grab your backpack and go for it!
    Remember….Improvisation is the mother of necessity. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  9. For want of a nail, the survivalist was lost.

    At the very least, get a cheap picture hanging kit with several small nails, screw eyes, stainless steel cord, etc. Just toss in the whole package. You’d be surprised what good a simple nail can be. Screw eyes can be makeshift pulleys for lamps and food (don’t ever feed a skunk… unless you’re at a creek and can soak it off for three days >-P )
    Also, if you have the room throw in some clothespins.
    And last week I saw the coolest thing, a spear point. ( )

  10. I hate to be the obvious “bad guy” here…but you are NOT “living off the grid”. The only thing missing in your list is a direct telephone line to the ATF and a large orange X painted on the roof of your house, cabin, boat, tent, teep-pee, mud-hole or where ever it is you plan to “survive” a crisis. 11 of the 101 items make no sense at all.
    10.Personal Locator Beacon(TRACKED BY SATELLITE)
    78.Shortwave Radio(LOCATED BY RADIO SIGNALS)
    89.Emergency Credit Card(One swipe shows your location)
    90.Personal Identification Papers (YES…of someone else!)
    91.Family Photos(Do NOT comprimise the privacy of your family please!)
    94.Money-Putting a $20 or a $50 in your kit might come in useful some day…if you are vacationing in Tia Juana,Mexico GREAT!!! Otherwise…water, food, ammo, alcohol, precious metals and medical supplies are the only currency in a crisis.

    You actually have some good items on your site…just NOT the ones listed above.

    • I agree completely. When i first read this i was like “nope, nope,nope,nope for everything youve listed haha. IF you are to bring a cell phone, remove the chips from it. the ONLY use i could see in a cell phone is the flashlight most newer ones have. (which mine includes more code) but if you already know it then you dont need a phone to do so. just bring a flash light

  11. I agree with John Murphy. The list of 101 things while most of it is comprehensive it’s not going to help you truly bug out. If SHTF my wife and I will disappear. I know this list is a list of things to help you survive and as I mentioned, a lot of it has merit but how long do you think you’ll live if everyone who’s anyone can find you. It could be a military mindset that drives me in this direction but even my family knows they’ll never find me if I dont make contact.

  12. The basic premise of this list is survival, part of survival is using all your resources, including the government or whomever your worried about finding you. The situation you are describing sounds more like evasion. Whether or not your evasion is for legitimate reasons or not is beside the point. I also am distrustful of any organization that wishes to control all aspects of your life, but i would still use them to accomplish my objective. If you are going to evade someone a hair dye kit and some way of changing your normal appearance would be helpful.

  13. list isnt a bad start def need to weed through the not so needed items though if you all want some info on some really good supplies how to use them and why get the book called ” Patriot” really good book, story about a guy who planned very well for the comming collapse. great story as well very inforative on survivalist supplies and methods.

  14. an interesting add that i found when reading the army survival manual is the addition of a condom as a water bladder. They are compact and though made of thin latex rubber are required to be made strong. When it comes to compact water carrying devices, as odd as it is to say, you probably cant beat a condom. (just be sure to get the unlubed kind, haha)

  15. remember that mre’s are bad for you use them as a last ditch source only there only for if you have a multivitamin with you cause of all the perservatives in them and just while I’m talking get a gas mask it servives a lot of things and it will look intimitating to an enemy like sunglasses but this is in theory mind you

  16. MRE’s are ok, but there’s a reason we in the military refer to them as “Meals Rejected by Everyone”. Some of the meals are downright horrible. Not to mention some of the meals can bind you up. Still, if there’s nothing else available, then they’re the best choice. Something I haven’t seen mentioned in the sites I’ve been perusing, and think might be useful, is instructions on how to construct a solar still. Unlike water filters, which occasionally need to be replaced, a solar still continues to produce clean water as long as the materials and water source hold out. Also, I saw someone mention something about gold, silver, and platinum. Those are excellent ideas. Alcohol also. However, one can’t forget some of the other HUGE luxury items: chocolate, sugar, dyed cloth (bolts of it can be bought at fabric stores), perfume, shampoo, body wash, and anything else anyone can think of to use as a trade item. Naturally, plenty of people, weapons, and ammo to protect those treasures isn’t out of the question either.

    • Afterthought: One can never overestimate the usefullness of a dog and a cat. Dog: 1) Early warning system. I know this should be painfully obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people out there don’t like or want pets. Dogs have senses that are more sensitive than our own. A few dogs in camp will ensure that no one can surprise you, regardless of the time of day. 2) Many dog breeds were developed for hunting. You can train them to hunt, and bring the kill to you. 3) Good for group morale. Studies have shown that there are good health benefits to owning a pet. Cats: 1) Study how the Black Plague was able to spread so rapidly across Europe. Having cats around you is a good thing. 2) Cat owners have told stories of finding dead animals left on their porch by a feline friend. In a survival situation, this would be a very good thing, for very obvious reasons.

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