Lightweight Survival Gear - Ounces of Prevention Are Better Than Pounds of Cure

As any hiker or backpacker will tell you, after even just a few miles on the trail, you feel each and every ounce of weight in your pack.  Quite often, this is the ultimate deciding factor on whether to bring certain gear -- weight. But, this should never discourage you from including emergency survival equipment in your pack. Even the smallest lightweight survival gear could literally save your life if you become lost in the woods.

Here are some items that weigh next to nothing and when added together will comprise a good collection of lightweight survival gear.

1) Food. A couple of granola bars and some dried fruit weigh very little and yet will provide you with enough energy to continue in your efforts to find help and safety.  You need not necessarily pack enough food for three meals a day. You want just enough to stave off hunger pains for a day or two, just in case.

2) Water is, of course, heavy. But odds are pretty good if you're going on a hike, you're already planning on bringing at least one water bottle. Toss into your kit a supply of water purification tablets.  Using these, you will be able to safely drink water from a lake, river, or stream. They also make water bottles with a purification filter built right in, which is not a bad option, though they do weigh a touch more than a standard plastic water bottle.

3) An emergency blanket, sometimes called a space blanket, is extremely light. You could put a few of them in various pockets of your pack and never notice them. These will serve you well for emergency shelter. Wrapping one around you will trap your body heat, keeping you warm. You can use one or two more to construct a makeshift tent of sorts. Doing so will help keep you out of the elements. Being able to get dry is essential for staving off hypothermia.

4) While you could try getting a fire going with nothing more than what you find around you, doing so does make the task a lot more difficult. Stashing a couple of butane lighters and some strike anywhere matches in your kit will make your life oh so much easier. Again, these weigh almost nothing and are vital components of your lightweight survival gear.

5) A small LED head lamp is very useful and weighs very little. A head lamp is preferred over a flashlight because of it being hands free.

Other very handy and lightweight survival gear items are bandanas, a sturdy pocket knife, and 550 paracord. Each have so many essential uses they should be considered standard equipment in any kit.