Hiking Survival Kit
A hiking survival kit is a must for any hiking journey, no matter how short or difficult the trail. Have a well-equipped kit to keep you secure and comfy during unexpected circumstances. Here are some essential things to add to your hiking survival kit:
- Navigation tools – maps, compasses and GPS devices to help stay on track.
- First aid kit – including bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, insect repellent, and sunscreen.
- Fire starting tools – waterproof matches, lighters and fire-starting cubes to stay warm and cook food.
- Shelter – lightweight and compact emergency shelter to protect from the elements.
- Multi-purpose knife or tool – to do various tasks like cutting rope, preparing food, and repairing gear.
- Water and water filtration system – carry enough water, and a filtration system to get safe drinking water when needed.
Remember to customize your kit based on your individual needs, as well as the climate and terrain of the trail you plan to explore.
Essential Gear for Hiking Survival Kit
Outdoor activities such as hiking and camping? Yes, you must be prepared. A hiking survival kit is a must! What should it include? All the essential gear for safety on the trails. Here's what you need in your hiking survival kit. Must-have items listed below:
- Map and Compass: Even if you think you know the trail well, always carry a map and compass to avoid getting lost.
- First Aid Kit: This should include essentials like bandages, adhesive tape, and antiseptic wipes in case of injury.
- Water and Water Purification Tablets: Carry enough water and water purification tablets to stay hydrated on the trail, especially if there are no water sources available.
- Emergency Shelter: A lightweight emergency shelter like a bivy sack or an emergency blanket is essential for unexpected overnight stays.
- Knife or Multi-Tool: A knife or multi-tool can help you adjust gear, repair equipment or cut ropes or branches.
- Headlamp: A headlamp is an essential item if you need to hike in the dark.
- Whistle: This helps you to signal for help in an emergency.
- Firestarter: Matches, lighter or other fire-starting equipment are essential for warmth or emergency signaling.
- Sun Protection: Carrying a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses will protect yourself from harmful sun rays while hiking.
- Food and Extra Clothing: Always carry durable, high-energy, lightweight food with you while hiking. Extra clothing will protect you from hypothermia or weather changes.
Navigation Tools: Map, compass, and GPS
Essential for hiking in the wild: have the correct navigation tools. What 3 should you have? Map, compass, and GPS.
Map: Get a topographic map. It will show elevation, water, and hazards. Make sure it's waterproof and covers the area you're exploring.
Compass: A classic navigation tool. Learn to use it for accurate readings of your location, direction, and map.
GPS: An electronic device that uses satellites. Remember, it runs on batteries. Bring spares and a backup map and compass.
Navigation tools will help you confidently explore the trails and avoid getting lost!
Illumination: Headlamp, flashlight, and extra batteries
Illuminate your hikes with a headlamp, flashlight, and extra batteries. A headlamp is great for freeing up your hands and providing a wide field of vision. Get a lightweight, adjustable one with a long battery life. Flashlights are ideal for checking dark corners, signaling for help, and peeking at wildlife. Compacts and easy to carry are best. Always bring extra batteries to stay powered the whole hike.
Pro Tip: Invest in a rechargeable headlamp and a solar charger to save money and reduce waste.
First-Aid Kit: Gauze, bandages, pain relievers, and antiseptics
Carrying a first-aid kit when hiking is a must. It should have basic medical stuff for wounds, cuts, and bruises. Here are the essentials:
- Gauze pads to dress a wound
- Bandages to protect
- Ibuprofen/acetaminophen for pain relief
- Antiseptic wipes to clean
- Gloves to guard from infection
- Scissors to cut
- Tweezers to remove splinters/stingers
Keep the kit organized and waterproof. Replace used or expired items.
Clothing and Shelter for Hiking Survival Kit
Going for a hike in the wild? Don't forget your survival kit! It is key to your safety and comfort. You need:
- seasonal clothing
- suitable shoes
- a shelter
- a fire starter
Here are the essentials for your hiking survival kit.
Layered Clothing: moisture-wicking base layer, insulating mid-layer, and waterproof outer layer
When it comes to hiking survival kits, clothing and shelter are key. Layering your clothes is a great way to protect yourself from the weather. Wear a moisture-wicking base layer, an insulating mid-layer, and a waterproof outer layer.
The base layer should be made of materials like merino wool or synthetic fabrics like polyester. This keeps sweat away from your skin and maintains your body temperature.
The mid-layer should retain heat and keep you warm. Fleece and down jackets are great for this layer.
The outer layer should be waterproof and able to resist rain, snow, and wind. Try a GORE-TEX or a durable water-repellent-treated shell jacket.
Layering your clothing correctly ensures that you stay dry, warm, and comfortable, which increases your chances of survival. Be sure your layers are breathable, lightweight, and easy to take off. Before feeling cold, layer up and stay dry!
Emergency Shelter: Lightweight tent, bivy sack, or emergency blanket/tarp
When it comes to emergency shelter for a hiking survival kit, there are three possible lightweight options. A tent, bivy sack or an emergency blanket/tarp. Each has advantages and drawbacks.
A tent offers wind, rain and snow protection and helps maintain warmth.
A bivy sack is waterproof and breathable, ideal for quick trips with limited gear.
An emergency blanket/tarp reflects body heat and is suitable for short-term or single use.
Which shelter to pick depends on the trip length, weather and personal preference.
Survival Fire Starter Kit: Waterproof matches, lighters, flint & steel, fire starter cubes or sticks
A survival fire starter kit is a must-have for your hiking survival kit. It has the tools needed to start a fire in any climate – windy, wet, or cold. Here are the items to include:
- Waterproof matches – Coated to be used in wet conditions.
- Lighters – Easy to use, but wind can affect them. Consider a windproof lighter.
- Flint and steel – Sparking a fire the traditional way. You will need tinder to catch the spark.
- Fire starter cubes or sticks – Easy to carry and use in wet or windy conditions.
With this kit, you can stay warm, cook food, and signal for help in a survival situation.
Pro Tip: Practice using the kit before going on a hike. That way, you'll know how to use it in an emergency.
Water and Food for Hiking Survival Kit
If you're packing for a hike, it's crucial that you include water and food in your survival kit. Water is so important – it helps you stay hydrated and keeps your body working. Food is crucial too – it gives you energy and nutrients, keeping you going on your hike. Let's talk about what type of food and water should be in your kit.
Water Filter or Purifier: LifeStraw, Sawyer Mini, or Platypus GravityWorks
Choosing the right water filter for your hiking survival kit? LifeStraw, Sawyer Mini and Platypus GravityWorks could be your options.
LifeStraw: Perfect for on-the-go drinking. Removes bacteria and parasites but not viruses or chemicals.
Sawyer Mini: Light and small, perfect for the backpack. Filters bacteria, parasites and viruses.
Platypus GravityWorks: A gravity-fed filtration system. Removes bacteria and protozoa. Can filter 4 liters at once.
Remember: Size and weight of the filter, types of contaminants it can remove and if it meets your specific needs.
Water Bottles or Hydration Bladders: Nalgene, CamelBak, or Platypus SoftBottle
When picking between water bottles or hydration bladders like Nalgene, CamelBak, or Platypus SoftBottle for a hike survival kit, there are several factors to consider.
Water bottles are tough, easy to refill and transport, and can hold a large amount of water, making them great for long hikes. Nalgene bottles are well-known for being indestructible, while Platypus SoftBottles are lightweight and can be folded up.
Hydration bladders like CamelBak have a tube that allows for sipping without hands while hiking, making them convenient. However, they may need frequent refills and can't store much water.
Personal preference, the length of the hike, and the terrain will all decide the best option.
Pro tip: Take both a water bottle and a hydration bladder on your hike, as well as a water filtration device to refill from streams or lakes.
Non-perishable food: Granola bars, nuts, jerky, and dried fruit
When putting together a hiking survival kit, it is important to include food that will provide essential nutrients. Non-perishable options are best. Granola bars have carbs for energy. Nuts bring proteins and fats to keep you full. Jerky is a good source of protein and lasts a long time. Dried fruit is high in fiber and natural sugars.
These items are light, compact, and won't spoil. Don't forget to pack enough water! Hydration is essential for outdoor adventures.
Communication and Signaling for Hiking Survival Kit
Trustworthy communication and signaling are essential for a hiking survival kit. This way, you can stay connected with friends while out on the trail. Plus, it'll come in handy if you're ever in an emergency. Here, you'll learn the best items for communication and signaling.
Two-way Radio or Satellite Messenger: Garmin inReach, Spot Gen3, or Motorola T600 H2O
When it comes to signal and communication for a hiking survival kit, two-way radios and satellite messengers have their pros and cons. Options like Garmin inReach, Spot Gen3, and Motorola T600 H2O are all popular.
Two-way radios, like the Motorola T600 H2O, are good for groups in areas with good reception. They're lightweight, compact, and waterproof. But, their range is short, and they need line of sight to communicate.
Satellite messengers, such as the Garmin inReach and Spot Gen3, use satellites to talk to the outside world. They let you send messages, track your location, and request help in areas without cell service. But, they usually cost more, and there's usually a monthly fee.
Which one you should use depends on your budget and needs. Before you go, test the device and carry extra batteries or a solar charger.
Whistle, Signal Mirror, or Flares: Fox 40 whistle, Coghlan's survival signal mirror, or Orion emergency flares
A hiking survival kit requires 3 essential tools for communication and signaling:
- Fox 40 whistle
- Coghlan's survival signal mirror
- Orion emergency flares
The Fox 40 whistle emits a loud, distinct sound that can be heard from far away, making it perfect for emergency situations.
The mirror reflects sunlight to send signals over long distances, even in low-light or overcast conditions.
The Orion emergency flares produce both smoke and flames, and are ideal for attracting attention during day or night. But use them only in dire circumstances!
Cell Phone or Personal Locator Beacon: Garmin GPSMAP 66i, ACR ResQLink, or SPOT X 2-way Satellite Messenger
For communication & signaling in your hiking survival kit, invest in reliable devices like Garmin GPSMAP 66i, ACR ResQLink or SPOT X 2-way Satellite Messenger. These can make the difference between life & death!
The 66i features GPS navigation, two-way messaging & SOS functionality. Plus, a 3-inch color display & battery life of up to 35 hours.
The ResQLink is a personal locator beacon, with GPS tech sending distress signals to emergency services. Its small & lightweight, making it easy to carry.
The SPOT X comes with two-way messaging, SOS & real-time GPS tracking. Plus, a backlit QWERTY keyboard for ease of use.
Choose a device that suits your needs & budget. And, always have a plan in case of emergency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a hiking survival kit?
A: A hiking survival kit is a collection of essential items that could help hikers stay safe and alive during an emergency or challenging outdoor conditions.
Q: What should I include in my hiking survival kit?
A: Your hiking survival kit should include items like a knife, compass, map, fire starter, first aid kit, water filter, emergency shelter, whistle, and extra food and water.
Q: How important is having a hiking survival kit?
A: Having a hiking survival kit is extremely important, especially when hiking in remote areas or challenging weather conditions. It can mean the difference between life and death in some situations.
Q: Can I buy a pre-made hiking survival kit?
A: Yes, there are pre-made hiking survival kits available on the market. However, it's important to customize your kit based on your specific needs and the conditions of the area you will be hiking in.
Q: How often should I check and update my hiking survival kit?
A: You should check and update your hiking survival kit regularly, especially before a hiking trip. The contents of your kit may vary based on the trail's location, your experience, and the season.
Q: Can I leave my hiking survival kit in my car?
A: No, it's not recommended to leave your hiking survival kit in your car, as you may not have access to it in an emergency or during a multi-day hiking trip. Keep it with you or in your backpack at all times.