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5 Useful Items for Camping and Outdoor Survival

Updated on August 28, 2017
Michael Kismet profile image

Michael is an author with a passion for the environment and he is trying to save the planet, one reader at a time!

most important survival items
most important survival items | Source

Useful Outdoor Survival Tools

Within this article are the five most useful items, if you happen to find yourself in a survival situation while camping. The allure of being outdoors, camping, and hiking rural trails is derived from a desire for adventure and possibly a little danger.

There aren't any luxury items on this list, these are life and death innovations that can be kept in the convenience of your camping gear, emergency survival kit, or even in the trunk of your car.

#1 LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

If you haven't heard of the "LifeStraw", it's an award-winning personal water purifier that has been touted as Invention of the Year by Time Magazine in 2005. It is essentially the latest in super-light, compact, water purifying means that is a must for anyone who is an outdoors person. The "Lifestraw" is designed to filter a thousand liters of unsafe and/or contaminated water and does it without any chemicals, such as chlorine or iodine.

Also, amazingly desalinates salt water. Truly a great essential for heading out to the unknown. Its performance exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency's standard for any and all water filtering devices. It's been used my millions around the globe, allowing many impoverished communities to drink freely from any water source without fear of parasites and pathogens. It comes with a five-year shelf life, but it can be stored away when not in use, and the shelf life is not reduced by on and off usage.

An ideal outdoor gadget for someone who likes to pack light, and travel Alpine style. I never travel outdoors without one, especially if I'm in the woods. "Lifestraw" has saved many lives during emergency survival situations. A great gift for anyone who will be outdoors for long periods of time, or just prefers to re-hydrate straight from a stream. Comes in a bag, great for storing away in a vehicle, boat, or even an invaluable addition to an emergency survival kit.

#2 Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets

Emergencies happen, and they tend to happen when you least expect. But if you're an adventurer or taking a long trip, it doesn't hurt to pack emergency Mylar material thermal blankets along with your Lifestraw. There's a reason your weatherman gives you forecasts, no one can predict the weather, especially with the global climate changing.

These ultra-light, waterproof emergency blankets offer protection from thermal fluctuations by reflecting and retaining 90% of body heat. Can also be used to reflect heat from a campfire to retain a substantial amount of warmth for comfort, survival, and protection from exposure. When the Mylar blanket is unfolded, its dimensions are 55 inches by 85 inches.

This item must be used properly to be able to gain the most benefit. Works best on human skin, I find it's more effective between your clothes and your dry skin. If works so well, you could sweat very easily if you're wearing it and being active, so be cautious when using. I use one every time I head out to fish on a windy pier, always great for efficient warmth.

#3 Survival Magnesium Fire Starter

Magnesium emergency fire starters are incredibly useful when you need to get a fire going quickly. I always bring a lighter along with the fire starters. Because accidents do happen, lighters get misplaced, lost altogether, or gets submerged in water. For a half ounce, 2 by 4-inch emergency item, it's simply a no brainer to keep a Magnesium Fire Starter.

You might have seen this being used on the television show "Man Versus Wild" with Bear Grylls. The show was proven to be fake, but what isn't artificial about the show is the usability and effectiveness of a Magnesium Fire Starter. It does take a little practice to get the hang of it. What you choose as good dry tinder, and learning to find the right amount of magnesium to spark the fire is crucial.

If you're wise or safety conscious enough not to rely on a lighter and you're not too familiar with the preparation and work required for a friction fire, I suggest carrying one in your main pack. Definitely a must-have gadget for an emergency survival kit. I've never had a problem starting a fire with this little essential, granted some times it took longer, but never failed once. Cheap, effective and easy to carry, highly recommended item.

essential survival items
essential survival items | Source

#4 Outdoor Survival Pocket Chain Saw

If you're traveling briskly on a two-week excursion, you might not want the added burden of hauling a 15-pound utility ax with you. Made from strong carbon steel teeth, great for gathering your firewood quickly, with less impact on your joints. Essentially helping you save energy and calories for other laborious outdoor tasks.

My uncle swears by this item, it's built to last, additionally, it's also made in the U.S. It's basically having a chain saw that fits easily into your backpack or even your pocket. It's a 24 inch saw that is capable of bringing down medium sized trees if you actually require that much firewood of course.

A useful utility item or just as a backup woodcutter. If planning to store this particular survival item, always keep chain blade covered in grease to protect from rusting.

wilderness survival kit items
wilderness survival kit items | Source

#5 BioLite Wood Burning Camp Stove

This is the ultimate survival item for anyone who just can't seem to part with their smartphone, tablet, or anything indispensable that can be charged by USB. This wood burning camp stove can heat your can of chili while it charges your electrical devices. Fully charges after an hour of burning small pieces of food.

Imagine this in your emergency preparation kit, always having a way to cook your food, boil water, provide a source of warmth, all the while charging your electronics. One of the most useful and invaluable necessities one can have in their camping survival gear list. Weighs in around two pounds, and ideal for any adventure destination with dry wood.

I like to believe that even if I am in a survival situation, I will always have a power source for my pictures of friends and family, my favorite music and other media to keep my spirits up. Many times in life and death, survival situations, there is a mental factor to surviving, and the will to continue. A device that is holding things dear to you can make the difference in your very survival.

Can you honestly say that you're entirely prepared?

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essential survival items
essential survival items | Source

Emergency Backpack Contents

I hope this article has given you some great options for a safer outdoor experience. When potentially life threatening situations arise, one has to be prepared for the worst case scenarios. Those who are unprepared make a bad situation much worse than it had to be, simply by keeping on standby an emergency bug out bag ready to go, securely stored within reach, will keep you ready for any turbulent times.

If there are other useful or cool outdoor gadgets you think should be on this list, please do not hesitate to voice your opinion. Feel free to share this article with a friend and your social network. Thanks for reading, and remember, "safety first". Here are a few obvious things that should be included in your emergency survival gear:

  • A weapon, preferably a firearm or a knife, better to have one and not need it, than need it and not have one.
  • A quality first aid kit included should be plenty of gauze, pain reliever, disinfectant, burn cream, something for allergic reactions, and even a stitch kit.
  • A Strong rope, a rope is easy to carry, a valuable commodity in any survival situation.
  • A multi-tool, equipped with screwdriver, knife, can opener, and shears.
  • A compass and recent maps of the state you live in, or country.
  • Comfortable and durable footwear, you don't want to be caught in an apocalypse sporting heels or flip flops.
  • A radio with plenty of batteries, or one that can be recharged easily.

© 2014 Michael Kismet


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    • Michael Kismet profile image

      Michael Kismet 3 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you, Thelma. I appreciate your input, these simple and effective survival tools should be owned and stored by every safety conscious adventurer.

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 3 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Good camping advice. I really like the pictures you selected to use in this article.