What is a Hiking Emergency Survival Kit?
First of all, a hiking emergency survival gear kit is not a first aid kit. Sure, it’s nice to have something to take care of cuts, scrapes, snake bites, and the like. That’s first aid, we are talking about a full kit to help you when an emergency happens while out hiking.
A survival kit contains essential items you need in case you:
- Get injured and can’t walk or crawl out of the wilderness
- Experience extreme temperatures
- Get lost
- Have to signal for help or communicate with people far away
- Encounter a tornado or other storm
- Need to drink tainted water without getting sick
The following are 9 major must-haves for your survival gear list. Most likely, some of these will be new to you regardless of your skill level.
1. A Pain-Relieving Drug or Herb
A survival emergency could be accompanied by pain. You need to be cool-headed because that will increase your chances of survival.
Pack whatever works for inflammation and pain for you, that can be aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, or whatever you choose to alleviate your pain levels. Ibuprofen and aspirin may do the trick, but there are other options also.
If you need something other than drugs, try turmeric combined with a fat. Fat increases absorption. So does piperine (Bioperine), and a lot of turmeric supplements contain it.
Other good ones include CBD oil with piperine or fat, ginger, and willow bark.
Research contraindications, side effects, and interactions before packing any of the above for your trip. Or consult with your doctor if you don't know.
2. Fire-Starting Tools
This one is obvious. Everyone knows to pack matches, a lighter, and kindling materials.
If you want to make your hiking or camping trip thousands of times more awesome, there is something far better than any lighter.
The Wolf and Grizzly Fire Set generates large sparks that are 5,400 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s built to last, too. You will be able to spark it up at least 20,000 times. It only costs the same as about 10-12 disposable Bic lighters.
The longest dimension is less than 4”, and it only weighs 2.23 ounces. Don’t lose it!
The kit also includes a paracord with built-in emergency jute in case you run out of other kindling materials.
Learn more about the Wolf and Grizzly Fire Set or buy one.
3. Kindling (Fire Starter) Materials
A lot of American nomads swear by laundry lint from a dryer.
Keep in mind that it is favored the most by people on REALLY tight budgets. It doesn’t burn as well as some commercially available products. You could end up wasting a lot of lighter fluid trying to restart it when it goes out.
Backwoods Biker Survival Fire Kit (SFK-1) is a favorite among serious preppers. It burns for a long time and provides a big flame that is hot enough to blaze up a fire pit easily. It should last long enough to dry out some wet twigs and bark if needed as well.
You can make your own if you can figure out what it’s made of. The “Fire Cake” is a secret family recipe that has been perfected since 1736. Cotton is one of the ingredients in SFK-1.
The kit is usually under $20 USD, and you get enough of it to start 20 fires. It also comes with a ferro rod and a striker.
Both Fire Cake and dryer lint are super-light for the amount of fire-starting power you get. A great budget happy medium between the two is a container full of cotton balls. That would certainly be an upgrade from dryer lint.
If you need to find something in the wild, look for red pine. The needles come in clumps of two. If they come in clumps of five, that’s white pine. Cut a branch into small sticks that are easy to ignite.
4. LED Lights & a Flashlight
Some knives come with LEDs so you can use them more easily at night. Pack one of those in your emergency kit or add an LED keychain or two.
Always pack a flashlight with enough power to last through a prolonged emergency.
For extra security, try a solar powered or solar assisted flashlight. The GoSun SolarLight Solar Assisted Flashlight can be charged fully by the sun or by USB. You can charge your phone and other gadgets with it. This kind of makes your phone solar powered, too.
It also weighs 0.3 pounds and gives you 280 lumens of light. You can set the beam length to 50 feet as a lantern or 650 feet as a flashlight.
5. Fishing Kit
Hooks and line are ultralight additions to any hiking emergency survival kit.
Don’t want to eat bugs? Try catching fish instead! It just might work.
If you use a lure, try practicing using it with just the line and no pole. That could mean using a tree branch or something else you find in the wild. If you can pull it off, you just might save room in your survival kit by not having to pack bait.
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts learn at an early age about the wonders of paracord. You can use it as rope, sewing thread, a water rescue tool, and many other things. You can even make animal traps with it.
Research how to use a paracord before your next outdoor adventure and get some practice in.
7. Trash Bags
You can use a trash bag as an arm sling, a shower, a poncho, a tourniquet, an emergency blanket, a trail marker, a water collector, a fish trapper, and so much more.
8. Foil Blanket
Like a trash bag, a foil blanket doubles as an emergency poncho if you don’t have one. It’s very light and traps body heat really well.
If you don’t have a foil blanket, pack some trash bags.
9. GPS & Communication Devices
In the old days, some people packed walkie talkies for communicating on the CB frequencies. Now we have GPS and satellite technology, and they ain’t just for Big Brother anymore.
In your hiking survival kit, pack something that allows you to communicate via satellite, wi-fi, and cellular service. Versatility can save your life.
The ZOLEO Satellite Communicator gives you all these options plus a mobile app to help you keep in touch with the rest of the world. It works even if you have no cellphone service or internet. You’ll even get hourly weather forecasts for your GPS coordinates that span 44 hours into the future.
Other Essential Gear for Hiking Survival
Water filters or purifiers, topical antibacterial agents, compasses, topographical maps, pepper spray, and head lamps. The list is ongoing, depending on where you are going, how far you are from others, and the terrain. Always remember to do your research on the location of your hike, tell a family or friend exactly what route you plan to take, and check in with them. Follow the trails warnings and enjoy yourself!! Happy adventures!!
Don't forget, Survival Gear Systems carries premade survival kits for those who don’t want to spend the time ordering all their essential gear separately or those that are worried about forgetting something that you just might need in an emergency. We all know it is better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.