What if there was a way to guarantee your safety while out adventuring? While there are no guarantees when it comes to getting out in nature, there is one way to lower your risk and protect yourself against whatever dangers are out there: a survival kit.
With all the tools and equipment you need to survive away from civilization, the best survival kit increases the odds that you’ll not only live through a tough experience but come out of it stronger and smarter. Here are the top survival kits available, plus a breakdown on what you need and why.
- The 10 Best Survival Kits
- #1 TRSCIND Survival Gear Kit
- #2 EVERLIT Emergency Survival Kit
- #3 Sustain Supply Co. Emergency Survival Bag
- #4 Holtzman’s Gorilla Survival Emergency Kit
- #5 STEALTH SQUADS 42 in 1 Survival Kit
- #6 Urban Survival Bug Out Bag
- #7 Redfora Complete Earthquake Bag
- #8 Swiss Safe First Aid & Survival Kit
- #9 Everlit Emergency Survival Trauma Kit
- #10 Prepper’s Favorite Get Home Bag
- Who Needs a Survival Kit?
- What Do Survival Kits Include?
- How to Make Your Own Survival Kit
- How to Choose a Survival Kit
The 10 Best Survival Kits
#1 TRSCIND Survival Gear Kit
- TRSCIND 13-in-1 survival tool kit - It's a necessity for camping, hiking, fishing, as well as various survival and emergency situations. This survival kit for any outdoor adventurers, military personnel, campers, hikers, hunters, boy scouts
TRSCIND’s survival kit is more tactical than anything else: it includes tools for starting a fire, keeping you warm, and cutting through a variety of materials. It doesn’t contain any first aid products, but it’s a compact and useful kit for taking care of business on the trail or anywhere else.
While a range of useful tools come in the box, the credit card knife (AKA pocket knife) is 11 tools in one, adding to the overall utility of the kit. However, the compass may not be the most reliable object in the box, though the saw and ferrocerium rod and flint with striker are functional and uncommon additions.
#2 EVERLIT Emergency Survival Kit
The small size of this pouch might deceive you, but it contains the necessary survival tools you need to care for yourself off the beaten path. In addition to the survival knife and paracord bracelet, among other tactical equipment, there is also a first aid kit to take care of minor wounds.
Though if you’ve never used flint before, it might be tough to start a fire without a bit of practice, everything else in this kit is self-explanatory. From tending wounds to staying warm out in the wilderness, the kit covers most emergencies adequately. Though paracord bracelets are a handy item to have, some packages don’t include them, so EVERLIT’s addition to this bag is quite welcome.
#3 Sustain Supply Co. Emergency Survival Bag
- 72-HOUR SUSTAINABILITY FOR TWO PEOPLE - The first 72 hours after a disaster are the most critical. With this emergency survival bag, you’ll have all the supplies, nutrition and water needed for 72 hours of comfortable survivial for two people.
Pocket-sized survival kits are great for many applications but Sustain Supply Co. offers a larger pack with a more extensive supply kit for specific types of emergencies. The equipment in this pack is excellent for survivalist scenarios that involve harsh conditions and a lack of food and water—a real emergency.
The equipment comes in a full-size backpack that’s ready for the trail, and the kit aims to last 72 hours for two people. However, the bag comes with a label that highlights what it is, which is a negative for people looking for a more streamlined (and less obvious) survival solution.
#4 Holtzman’s Gorilla Survival Emergency Kit
A compact package with nearly a hundred functions, Holtzman’s Gorilla Survival pack is small but mighty. It has survival tools plus a comprehensive first aid kit so you can cover all your bases. And the highlight is the supremely tough LED flashlight, which can withstand extreme conditions like boiling water and even being run over by a car.
A great addition to this kit is fishing gear; it includes equipment for two fishing setups with the 99-foot line, weights, hooks, swivels, and floats. Rather than focusing on just first aid and basic survival, the inclusion of fishing gear gives you another means of obtaining food, instead of packing it along, which is ideal for keeping your backpack light.
#5 STEALTH SQUADS 42 in 1 Survival Kit
- ✅STEALTH SQUADS Exclusive Survival Military Holster/ Pouch 42 in 1 >> Get PREPARED and be READY for your next adventure. Grab yourself an excellent, great value, customized and approved by US Military Veterans combines emergency supplies, survival gears, first aid kit, EDC tools, all essential for your everyday or emergency use. Come rain or shine! Need a KIT with a Real Knife? Look no further! Titanium coated blade! All metal constructed for DURABILITY! For outdoors and home use.
The STEALTH SQUADS survival kit is a military-approved bundle with the basics for survivalists. It includes a pocket knife with a titanium-coated blade for durability and longevity, plus a lifetime warranty to ensure quality. The knife does add some weight to the package, though, which is a drawback for those looking to pack light.
The highlight of this deceptively small kit is the titanium-blade knife, which the company highlights as being a “real knife.” And it’s true—the kit offers a hefty knife that is ideally suited to everyday use, too, rather than just survival scenarios. The inclusion of a first aid kit is helpful, while basics like paracord and fire starter round out the package.
#6 Urban Survival Bug Out Bag
- ✅ Protect Yourself and Your Family- A multi-purpose 72-hour survival kit designed to prepare you and your family for any emergency event or disaster, whether you are bugging out to a shelter or staying indoors. This 72-hour emergency kit will prepare you for a HURRICANE, EARTHQUAKE, FLOOD, CIVIL UNREST, PANDEMIC, WILDFIRE, WINTER STORM, EVACUATION and more. Disasters are unpredictable, prepare today and have peace of mind in knowing you’ve done all you can to protect the ones you love.
If the middle of the woods isn’t your scene, you might be more concerned with urban issues than forest ones. The Urban Survival Bug Out Bag is more of a disaster preparedness pack than a survivalist one, but it includes all the items you need to stay safe while waiting out the danger in an urban environment.
Whether it’s in the middle of the city or away on a remote trip, this full-size backpack packs everything you need to care for two people in survival conditions. The food bars and water have a five-year shelf life, which means you can keep this pack on hand as a standby for years. Plus, the addition of hygiene items like toothpaste and body wipes helps add a level of comfort for the more pampered among us.
#7 Redfora Complete Earthquake Bag
- COLOR-CODED ORGANIZATION SYSTEM: Built for 2 People for a 3-Day Period, Organized in Re-sealable Waterproof Packs
- FOOD + WATER + HYGIENE INCLUDED: 3600 Calorie Food Bars with 5 Yr Shelf Life, Water Pouches (24), Hydration Bag with Straw, Water Purification Tablets (20), Full Hygiene Kit and More
This 3-day kit aims to make emergencies livable and safer with the addition of food, water, and tools to help access heat and shelter. It’s an “earthquake” bag, but it’s also an ideal bug-out bag for almost any scenario.
With a bit of food and water to tide you over during an emergency, the highlight of this bag isn’t necessarily the abundance of items. It’s the focus on specific items that add to your comfort, such as the 30+ hour candle for light and a bit of heat, or the hand-crank flashlight that doubles as a radio but can also charge your phone.
#8 Swiss Safe First Aid & Survival Kit
- 200-PIECE FIRST AID: Keep your family safe indoors & outdoors with premium First Aid supplies
- COMPACT, LIGHT AND PORTABLE: Rugged kit fits into backpack or car glovebox, weighs only 16 oz.
- ★UPGRADED GEAR FOR 2021: Includes Fire Starter Rod, Wire Saw, Fishing Line, & Mylar Blanket
For people who are a bit less adventurous or simply want a lightweight just-in-case bag, the Swiss Safe first aid kit is a helpful pick. It has everything you need to tend to injuries, plus a few extra items for comfort and utility.
Although it doesn’t contain food or water supplies, the compact kit allows you to start a fire and keep everyone warm, repair clothing or tents, signal for help with a mirror, and even go fishing. For a kit so small, it covers a lot of functions, which is helpful when you’re short on space or just want the bare-bones emergency essentials.
#9 Everlit Emergency Survival Trauma Kit
- ✅【Everlit Emergency Trauma Kit】: Uniquely customized by U.S military VETERANS to get you well-prepared in advance to emergencies during the outdoor adventure, hunting, camping, travel, disaster, and accident. Everlit Emergency Trauma Kit is ideal for field tactical medics, police, military, combat life savers, first responders, outdoor enthusiasts and more!
For the more adventurous and risk-taking people out there, sometimes a standard first aid kit isn’t enough. For people who hunt, camp, and rock climb, for example, injuries are more likely and more common. Everlit’s trauma kit adds a few extra items to address those intense and potentially life-threatening scenarios.
For people well-versed in addressing severe injuries, this kit has most of the items you would need in a rural or outdoor setting. However, it only addresses the medical needs of an emergency, not food or warmth. For this reason, it’s not the ideal fit for every adventurer.
#10 Prepper’s Favorite Get Home Bag
- THE PERFECT KIT: Disaster Strikes - You're Ready! Grab Your GHB and Head Out Fast! This Sturdy 600 Denier Tactical Survival Bag is Lite Weight, Compact, Tough as Nails and Ready To Go. Comes Pre-Packed With All The Survival Gear & Supplies You'll Need For 3+ Days of Travel. This Kit is Packed Tight With Supplies Recommended by FEMA and the Red Cross, Strategically Arranged For Easy Access When You Need Them
Whatever the disaster, this “prepper” bag intends to get you through it safely. Prepper’s Favorite boasts a high-quality bag that contains everything you need to “get home” in a bag that weighs less than five pounds.
While many kits contain emergency water pouches, this one features an entire water filtration kit. Filtration straws, storage bags, and strainers are a great addition to this kit, especially for people who plan to travel off-grid where water is available, yet the safety is questionable.
Who Needs a Survival Kit?
The short answer is that everyone can benefit from having a survival kit at the ready. You never know when you might need survival and emergency equipment, and it pays to prepare ahead of time. But more specifically, many people who enjoy the great outdoors are likely to benefit from keeping some supplies on hand.
If you’re a regular adventurer, beachgoer, hiker, climber, kayaker, or any other type of outdoor enthusiast, a survival kit can make the difference between merely surviving and thriving. After all, you might be able to live without a tent or flashlight, but it may not be easy.
The best survival gear focuses on function while ensuring you’re somewhat comfortable (and at least warm).
What Do Survival Kits Include?
In general, survival kits include a means of accessing shelter, warmth, food and water, and medical assistance. However, the range of available kits only hints at the possibilities. Survival kits can include everything from basic LED flashlights to hand-crank models that also charge smartphones. Here are the basics of what survival kits include across each of the essential categories.
Protection from the elements is essential for survival no matter where you are. Whether it’s the hot sun or freezing temperatures, a shelter is the first thing you should worry about when out in the wilderness.
Most survival kits will feature mylar blankets or sleeping bags, while some include two-person tents for emergencies. Other shelter tools include paracord for stringing up a cover or ponchos for rain protection.
Most of us tend to carry matches while out adventuring, but there are other means of making fire. Many survival kits include fire starter sticks, flint, and more. The key is learning how to use the tools you purchase for making a fire.
Thankfully, there are plenty of YouTube videos and online tutorials to get you started. But of course, you’ll want to study up before venturing into the great outdoors with your bundle of kindling.
Food and Water
Some kits include high-calorie energy bars for emergency sustenance, while others include fishing kits so you can catch your own food. The best survival kit will have a way to feed yourself that fits your lifestyle and your abilities.
For some, that means a survival fishing kit including a survival fishing net and survival fishing pole. However, for others, that means prepackaged bars and pouches of water that are easy and safe to consume.
A first aid kit is usually at the top of the list when it comes to survival. After all, even a small cut can result in an infection that stops you in your tracks. Therefore, first aid equipment is a smart inclusion for any survival kit.
However, you may want a few alcohol pads and bandages in your kit, or you might want a more comprehensive kit with a tourniquet, burn treatment, and more. Fortunately, there’s a survival kit out there for every emergency, and you can always put together your own supplies for specific conditions or injuries as applicable.
Other Items to Add
For most of us, a basic first aid and survival kit that gives us food, water, shelter, and a bandage is enough. However, some people require life-saving medications and can’t go longer than a day or so without them.
For people with existing medical conditions or regular medications, it’s important to consider those needs when making a survival kit. Include extras of medication if possible, plus specific food items if you have a condition that warrants packing them.
How to Make Your Own Survival Kit
While it’s possible to purchase all-in-one kits like the ones we’ve listed, the best survival kit is one that fits your unique needs. For that reason, many people opt to put together their own kit with the items they find most appealing.
Consider Environment and Conditions
If you plan to travel in the desert, that’s a whole different set of variables than hiking in the mountains. Before packing your survival kit, consider your environment and the potential dangers there. For some people, that will be a risk of sunburn, while for others it’s the chance of falling and breaking a bone while free climbing a boulder face!
Depending on where you plan to go and what the weather and climate are like, you may find that you don’t need as extensive a shelter as a two-person tent. Or you might realize that including fire starter isn’t crucial for warmth, but that you should include some form of food in the pack if you’re not relying on a campfire.
Source High-Quality Items
The beauty of designing your own survival kit is that you hand-pick every item in it. However, that’s also the drawback, as there are so many possibilities out there. But once you have an idea of where you’re going and what your individual needs are, it’s easier to narrow down the list of must-have items.
However, you want to be sure to buy high-quality items that are dependable in an emergency. It might mean investing more in a high-quality knife or sourcing a reliable solar-powered or hand-crank lighting and battery charging option.
You may wind up spending more than if you purchased a pre-made kit, but it will be custom, and for some people, that’s worth the additional cost and the time it takes to find what you need online or in-store.
What to Put in a DIY Survival Kit
Of course, the items you add to your kit will depend on your specific needs, and it’s perfectly fine to leave out anything you don’t think will be necessary wherever you’re going. Plus, if you’re traveling somewhere beachy with a lot of water, you might find that things like an inflatable life vest or survival compass are more important than if you are climbing a mountain.
How to Choose a Survival Kit
It’s tempting to grab what other people consider to be the best survival kit without a second thought. But the problem is that every person has different needs and circumstances depending on their abilities, their knowledge of the outdoors, and where they plan to go. Therefore, you should choose a survival kit with these factors in mind.
For some people, including pre-made and dehydrated food in a survival kit sounds like a complete bummer. Those folks would rather have a fishing kit so they can catch their own fresh meals should they run out of rations. For others, those pre-made food items are the only way they’ll be able to eat because they’ve never fished in their lives!
Existing ability level counts for a lot when it comes to survival scenarios. If you know that you’re not a good fisher, there’s no point in focusing your energy on finding a kit that has fishing equipment. Instead, look for kits with high-calorie bars or other food items, or just a kit with a camp stove so you can heat up prepackaged foods.
The same goes for building shelter or navigating. If you have no sense of direction, adding a GPS to your kit might make sense, while for someone else, a quality compass is sufficient. And with shelter, if you’re unsure of how to string up a tent with paracord, opt for a pop-up emergency shelter instead.
While it’s admirable to learn how to build a fire by rubbing two sticks together, the truth is that most of us have no idea how to do that. And while YouTube videos can help, it’s better (and safer) to rely on your existing knowledge than try to learn a new skill just for emergency prep.
Matches are a great failsafe, especially when they come in a waterproof container in an emergency pack. There are also flint and other handy fire starters in survival kits, so there’s no reason you have to pack a magnifying glass and hope for sunny weather.
Of course, some basic knowledge of first aid and navigation is helpful for your survival, but your location also has a big impact on what you need to prep for.
While people who enjoy outdoor adventures will no doubt need tools like paracord and plenty of bandages, those staying closer to home may not. Whether your survival kit is for outdoor emergencies or just urban prepping, that will affect your ultimate purchasing decision.
The best survival kit is one that has the items you need without adding extra bulk that will weigh you down. So if you have to carry it on a trail with you, it’s best to go for a compact bag of the absolute essentials.
For urban scenarios, however, a large backpack with enough rations for the whole family may be a smarter option. Then again, those traveling to beaches or lakes will be focused on a waterproof survival kit above all else.
Although needs vary widely based on the above factors, there is one kit that covers all the basics. The EVERLIT Emergency Survival Kit contains the essentials you need for tending to injuries, staying warm, and getting a shelter set up.
While it doesn’t have the expansive rations of Prepper’s Favorite Get Home Bag or the bug-out backup of the Sustain Supply Co. Emergency Survival Bag, EVERLIT’s kit is a reasonable solution to any “what if” scenario a traveler can dream up. You can clean and bandage wounds, start a fire, find your way in the woods, and more—which is sufficient enough for survival and a bit of comfort, too.