Wilderness survival kits are available for different types of outdoor ventures. For example, there are cold and hot climate kits. And there are outdoor survival kits that can be used for water-based experiences. There are also survival kits that come equipped with a full array of medical supplies.
What is needed to Survive in Different Situations?
A variety of general survival items are necessary for any type of outdoors or wilderness experience. When hiking, exploring and/or camping, it is important to take along these various materials:
• Packets of food for sustenance – necessary until wild game or fish can be caught for consumption. If hiking for only one day, then food packets may suffice.
• A canteen or water bag – critical in all situations.
• A first aid kit – important for treating any wounds or injuries.
• Wooden matches and a waterproof matchbox – may make a vital difference when camping for two or more days.
• A relatively new sleeping bag that is solidly constructed – necessary for over-night ventures. Keep in mind that a newer sleeping bag is generally, all things being equal, more comfortable and warmer.
• Signal flares, a frying pan, a fishing kit, a can opener, a knife, a small shovel or hand spade, a signaling mirror, a compass and a survival manual – these should be on your short list of important outdoor survival kit items.
• Specific medications that are taken on a daily basis – should be included in any wilderness survival kit.
Cold climate and warm climate kits vary slightly in their contents due to their unique respective weather needs. For instance, in hot climates sunscreen and bug mesh may be necessary. And even different hot climates may have different needs. Traveling through a rainforest, for example, is a totally different experience than crossing a desert. The rainforest provides more possibility for food, water and the creation of shelter. A dry, hot desert, on the other hand, can be exceptionally unforgiving – whether it is a sandy desert or a rocky one. Alternatively, camping and hiking in cold weather can be a real challenge. It frequently numbs the body and the mind. Getting warm eventually becomes the primary focus. Water expeditions, to make matters even more complicated when it comes to your kit, could require a certain number of additional items such as an inflatable raft and a water repellent hiking suit and gear.
Regardless of the kit you choose, keep in mind that it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different aspects of hiking and camping as both can present difficulties for even the most experienced outdoorsman. Fortunately, knowledge and skills can be acquired through mini-courses that are offered at community colleges and your local YMCA.
Remember, preparation doesn’t just include material items. It also includes knowledge…which can mean the difference between survival, and…well…you get the picture.