Survival kit essentials

25 Essential Survival Kit Items: A Comprehensive Guide

With emergencies of all kinds becoming more and more frequent, the importance of having a quality survival kit has never been so real. Which raises the question… 

What’s the most practical and useful items to include in your survival kit?  

(If you're searching for the best Survival Kit on the market, click here!)

Owning a good survival kit gives you a 10x better chance of survival in the event of an emergency. A survival kit is a collection of essential items that can help you stay alive in an emergency situation, providing you and your family with shelter, warmth, fire, water, food, tools, and medical supplies. It can also help you signal for help, navigate your way, and defend yourself from outside threats.

But not all survival kits are created equal… Some are too bulky, too unreliable, or too expensive. Some are missing crucial items, or have low-quality ones that break easily. And some are just not suited for the environment or the scenario you’re facing.

That's why it’s crucial to know what items to look for in a survival kit, and how to use them effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we will show you the essential items in every survival kit, explain their importance and usage, and give you tips on how to choose the best survival kit for your needs.

Essential Items in Every Survival Kit:

A survival kit should contain items that cover the following basic needs: shelter, fire, water, food, tools, and medical. Depending on the situation, you may also need items for communication, navigation, and self-defence. Here is a list of recommended items for a survival kit, along with their importance and usage.


Emergency Shelter

Shelter is one of the most important needs in a survival situation. It can protect you from the elements, such as rain, wind and the cold. 

Emergency survival shelter

1. Survival Shelter: A 2 person survival tent can fit two people, or one person with extra gear. It should be easy to set up and take down, and have a sturdy frame and a waterproof cover. It should also have ventilation windows and doors, while being made out of a heat retaining material (for the cooler nights).

 2. Survival Bivvy: A Survival Bivvy is essentially an emergency sleeping bag, taking up almost no space while providing life saving warmth while retaining body heat. 

Fire Starters

Fire is another essential need in a survival situation. It can provide you with warmth, light, cooking capabilities and comfort. It can also help you cook food, boil water, sterilise wounds, and signal for help. Fire can also deter predators and insects, and boost your morale. A good fire should be easy to start, maintain, and extinguish. Here are some items that can help you make a fire:

3. Tinder Tin for storing fire starting tinder: Tinder is a material that catches fire easily, such as dry grass, leaves, bark, or cotton. It is the first step in building a fire, as it ignites the kindling and the fuel. A tinder tin is a metal container that can store your tinder and keep it dry and safe. 

Multiple ways of starting a fire: You should always have more than one way of starting a fire, in case one fails or runs out. Here are some options:


4. Ferro rod fire Starter: A ferro rod, or ferrocerium rod, is a metal rod that produces sparks when scraped with a hard object, such as a knife or a striker. It can work in any weather condition, and last for thousands of strikes. 

5. Mag Block Fire Starter: A mag block, or magnesium block, is a metal block that contains magnesium and a ferro rod. Magnesium is a highly flammable metal that can burn even when wet. To use it, you need to shave some magnesium shavings from the block, and place them on your tinder. Then, you need to scrape the ferro rod with a striker, and ignite the magnesium shavings.

6. Waterproof Match Set: A waterproof match is coated with a substance that prevents it from getting wet or damp. A waterproof match set includes a waterproof matchbox that can store your matches and keep them dry.

7. High Powered Rechargeable Torch: A torch, or flashlight, can help you see in the dark, and signal for help. A high powered rechargeable torch is more powerful and durable than a regular torch. It has a bright LED bulb that can last for hours, and a rechargeable battery that can be charged with a USB cable, a solar panel, or a hand crank. It can also have different modes, such as strobe, SOS, or dimmer.


Water is the most vital need in a survival situation. It can keep you hydrated, regulate your body temperature, and flush out toxins. It can also help you cook food, clean wounds, and prevent infections. A good water source should be clean, safe, and abundant. Here are some items that can help you find, purify, and store water:


Emergency water

8. Portable Water Filter Straws: A water filter straw is a device that allows you to drink water directly from any source, such as a stream, a pond, or a puddle. It has a filter that removes bacteria, parasites, and dirt from the water, making it safe to drink. A portable water filter straw is lightweight, compact, and easy to use. You just need to insert one end into the water source, and suck the water from the other end. You should have at least two water filter straws, in case one breaks or gets lost.

9. Dry Bag: A dry bag is a bag that can keep your items dry and safe from water, dust, and dirt. It is made of waterproof and durable material, such as nylon or PVC. A 5L dry bag can fit your essential gear, such as your phone, your wallet, your documents, and your fire starters. It can also be used as a flotation device, or as a water container

10. Water Bottle / Water Canister: A bottle to carry water in is an often overlooked, although crucial piece of survival equipment that should be included in all survival kits.


Food is another important need in a survival situation. It can provide you with energy, nutrients, and comfort. It can also help you heal, recover, and stay alert. A good food source should be nutritious, edible, and plentiful. Here are some items that can help you find, prepare, and store food:


Survival Food

11. Fixed Blade, Full Tang Survival Knife: A knife is one of the most versatile and useful tools in a survival situation. It can help you cut, carve, chop and slice. It can also help you hunt, skin, gut, and clean animals, fish, and plants. A fixed blade, full tang survival knife is more sturdy, sharp, and reliable than a regular knife - It has a blade that is fixed to the handle, and extends all the way to the end.

12. Secondary Knife (as a backup): “If you’ve got one, you’ve got none”: You should always have a backup knife, in case your primary knife breaks, gets lost, or gets dull. A secondary knife can be a smaller, lighter, or simpler version of your primary knife, or a different type of knife, such as a folding knife, a pocket knife, or a multi-tool knife. The saying “If you’ve got one, you’ve got none” means that you should always have a spare of anything that is essential!

13. Folding Bush Saw for cutting: A bush saw can help you build a shelter, a fire, or a trap. It can also help you collect firewood, clear a path, or make a weapon. A folding bush saw is a type of saw that has a blade that can fold into the handle, making it more compact and portable. It can also have a locking mechanism that secures the blade when in use, and an ergonomic grip that reduces fatigue and improves control.

14. Portable & Lightweight Stove: A cooking stove is a device that can help you cook food, boil water or make a warm tea. It can used by just lighting a handful of small twigs and sticks and adding more when needed. 

15. Small and portable stainless steel cooking pots: Small and portable stainless steel cooking pots are more durable, easy to clean, and resistant to rust than other cooking pots. 

16. Military Can Opener: A military can opener is a simple and efficient type of can opener that has a small blade that pierces and cuts the lid of the can. It can also be used as a screwdriver, a bottle opener, or a scraper.

17. Emergency Fishing Set: A fishing set is a collection of items that can help you catch fish, such as hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, and lures. Fish can provide you with a source of protein, fat, and vitamins, as well as a recreational activity. An emergency fishing set is a compact and lightweight version of a fishing set that can fit in your pocket or pouch. 

Other Survival Tools

Survival tools can help you build, repair, improvise, and create. They can also help you solve problems, overcome challenges, and achieve goals. A good tool should be multifunctional, durable, and easy to use. Here are some essential items we recommend for every survival kit:


Emergency survival tools

18. Multi Tool: A multi tool is a device that combines several tools into one, such as a knife, a plier, a screwdriver, a scissors, and a bottle opener. It can help you with various tasks, such as cutting, twisting, opening, and fixing. A multi tool is compact, portable, and convenient.

19. Power Bank / Radio: A power bank is a device that can store and supply electrical power for your electronic devices, such as your phone, your torch, or your stove. It can help you stay connected and informed. It can also help you communicate with others, or call for help. A power bank / radio is a device that combines both functions, and can be charged by a USB cable, a solar panel, or a hand crank. 

20. Military Grade Compass: A compass is a device that shows you the direction of the magnetic north. It can help you orient yourself, navigate your way, and find your location on a map. A military grade compass is more accurate, durable, and reliable than a regular compass.

21. Signalling Mirror: A signalling mirror is a device that can help you communicate with others, especially at long distances. It can reflect the sun's rays, creating a bright flash that can be seen by rescuers, planes, or boats. A signalling mirror is lightweight, simple, and effective. It can also have features such as a sighting hole, a lanyard, or a whistle.

22. 30m Paracord: Paracord, or parachute cord, is a type of rope that is made of nylon and has a core of several strands. It can help you with various tasks, such as tying, securing, hanging, and lifting. A paracord is strong, flexible, and versatile. It can also be used to make items such as a bracelet, a belt, or a sling.

23. 5m Tactical Rope: A tactical rope is a type of rope that is made of synthetic fibers and has a high tensile strength. It can help you with various tasks. A tactical rope is durable, resistant, and reliable. 

24. Tactical Multi Shovel: A shovel is a tool that can help you dig, scoop, or move soil, sand, or snow. It can also help you with tasks such as gardening, farming, or burying. A tactical multi shovel is a type of shovel that has multiple functions, such as a hammer, a saw, a wrench, or a bottle opener. It can also have features such as a folding handle, a detachable blade, or a carrying case.

Emergency Medical Supplies

Medical is the last but not least need in a survival situation. It can help you prevent, treat, and heal injuries and illnesses. It can also help you reduce pain, infection, and inflammation. A good medical kit should be comprehensive, sterile, and accessible. Here are some items that can help you with medical needs:

 Survival medical kit

25. Quality Waterproof First Aid Kit: A first aid kit is a collection of medical supplies that can help you treat injuries and illnesses in a survival situation. It can include items such as bandages, gauze, antiseptic, painkillers, scissors, tweezers, and gloves. A quality waterproof first aid kit is more comprehensive, durable, and reliable than a regular first aid kit.

Sourcing The Equipment

Now that you know what the best items are for your survival kit, you may be wondering where to get them from?

You can go out and try to source each item individually, but this has some drawbacks. 

  • Firstly, it will take a lot of time, effort, and research to find and buy each item. 
  • Secondly, it will be very expensive when purchased individually, as you will have to pay for shipping, taxes, and fees. 
  • Don’t forget quality (quite possibly the most important thing to consider when looking for emergency equipment). When buying items individually, you’ll likely be rolling the dice with quality, and you may end up with low-quality products that you can't rely on when you need them most! (I’m sure we can all agree, this is not ideal)

This is why we’ve put together our own comprehensive Survival System with all of the products mentioned in this article (and more) so that you can skip the guesswork and get an emergency kit that you know you and your family can rely on when you need it most.

If you're ready to enjoy the peace of mind knowing that no matter the uncertainty in the world, you’re prepared for whatever life throws at you with a Survival Club Survival Kit - click here to shop now.

As we like to say - prepare for the worst and hope for the best (because life’s too short to live in fear)

Check out this video of 10 Survival Kit Essentials by Rob Nelson - Stone Age Man:


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