You’re a minimalist and utilitarian and you’re asking yourself what are the few pieces of gear I need to carry with me? Well, we hope this list can help you plan and make the right decisions when planning your expedition. Some of these items are interchangeable like the machete and knife, it is mainly the utility and the purpose of these items that are crucial. For instance, if you only need a single type of fire starter, any will do. A single firestarter would be fantastic, matches, or a magnesium striker. Not all of these are required to successfully survive in the wild, so we’ll put them in order from most crucial to least crucial. We’re going to assume that you’re wearing the proper clothes.
The knife serves so many functions are you even surprised that it came up as #1?
You see it most of the time on survivor shows, gotta have your knife. You can do pretty much the entire gambit of survival stuff with it, from building shelters, to traps, to making rope. But it takes a lot of time and effort. Be careful cause it’s sharp, and without a med kit that could end up badly. The ones that we recommend below cover all the bases of a good knife, full tang, tried and trusted, have guards, great durability.
Cold Steel SRK Survival Rescue Knife with Secure Sheath – Standard Issue Knife of the Navy Seals
KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri
A backpack can help you in so many ways, you can forage easier, carry more materials, saving lots of valuable time. It is also vital to carry the rest of your gear so you can keep on the move. We’ve included two of our top picks, a medium and large backpack We stuck with utility, both of these are the best in their categories in our opinion. They are military style and highly durable, so the materials they are made of are slightly heavier than ultra lightweight camping gear.
REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack Large Army 3 Day Assault Pack Molle Bag 40L
WintMing Military Tactical Backpack 70L
With a reliable fire starter and trusty knife you’ll have much less to worry about. You can create a warm fire at night to ward off animals and cook food. If you have nothing else, you’ll at least survive the night, and if you catch anything, you can cook up a great meal.
überleben Zünden Fire Starter – Traditional Ferro Rod
Morakniv Companion Spark 3.9-Inch Fixed-Blade Outdoor Knife and Fire Starter
Amazing for a multitude of things from making traps, building your shelter, fishing, and more. There are many creative ways to use rope in the wild. We recommend type 3 military paracord for your survival situation, it can be split into 7 smaller strands do more lightweight jobs.
Here’s a great guide by R.E.I. on how to make a paracord bracelet https://www.rei.com/blog/camp/diy-paracord-survival-bracelet
Type III Paracord Used by The US Military 7 Internal Strands
5. Pocket ChainsawThe pocket chainsaw consumes about one quarter of the calories you’d use vs an axe. So this handy little tool will save you a TON of energy when you need to build shelters, start fire, build traps, or anything else of the sort.
Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw 36 Inch Long Chain
This will save you a lot of time if you’re moving about in the wild, no need to rebuild shelters. It will insulate you and keep you warm next to a fire. There are SO many choices here it really depends on your budget and requirements. My personal recommendation is anything from Marmot. I’ve had one of their tents for over 10 years, their quality is superb.
Always great to have a medkit, sanitize cuts, keeps you feeling great!. This is cheating a little bit, cause there are more than one item in the medkit, but I’m going to just count it as a single item.
Surviveware Comprehensive Premium First Aid Kit Emergency Medical Kit
This will let you purify lots of water by boiling and you can also get a great meal. If you’re looking for a single purchase to cover all your bases, we suggest this Snow Peak Titanium cookset for two. It’s lightweight and durable and from one of the best outdoor gear companies around.
Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact Cookset
9. Hunting Rifle / Fishing Rod / Emergency Rations
There are a few contenders for #8 depending on the kind of person you are. I prefer the Hunting Rifle because it doubles as self defense, but if you’re not the type to carry a gun. The fishing rod if you’re near a body of water that you can fish in. Last if you’re not in a place where you can hunt or fish easily, emergency rations will be a useful sustenance. We suggest the Ruger 10/22 Takedown for it’s legendary reliability and accuracy.
10. 3in1 Emergency Radio
If you’re wondering what’s the difference between an emergency radio and a regular radio, it is that emergency radios are designed to provide accurate and up-to-date weather information and alerts using the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) network of radio stations. They also provide emergency features such as solar powered charging and hand crank charging. Below is our recommendation for the best emergency radio.
11. Shovel/Axe (Runner Up)
You can use it to make a rain trench, level ground for your tent, go to the toilet, saw wood, dig a fire pit, and anything else that needs to move some dirt. We recommend this classic brand SOG for reliability and time tested design.
SOG Entrenching Tool