Wilderness Survival Kit
A wilderness survival kit contains survival tools and equipment you would need if you were stranded in the wilderness. A complete wilderness survival kit is designed to keep you alive should you become lost or stranded. An unexpected stay in the woods could be due to an injury or just becoming disoriented. Whatever the reason, you should be prepared to take care of yourself in the wild.
A wilderness survival kit should contain your essentials such as shelter, fire starting, and medical first aid. Weather is always a factor in any survival situation. If it's freezing cold or raining, you will need shelter to keep yourself warm and dry. Losing your body heat leads to hypothermia, a leading cause of death in the wilderness. A fire provides a source of warmth so you can get dry and stay warm. Your first aid kit cleans up wounds and helps prevent infection. In the woods, infection can fester and become a big problem. An adequate medical kit is necessary for any outdoors venture.
At the very least, you would want to have a quality emergency blanket. An emergency blanket can be wrapped around yourself and is designed to reflect and retain your own body heat. Every person should have one of these as a basic shelter item. Emergency blankets keep the rain, snow, and wind from draining your internal warmth and helps keep you alive. In a larger kit, you may want to carry a tube tent. A tube tent can be erected and provide a place to lie down and sleep while providing cover. These are easily set up and come with everything you need to provide yourself and another person with shelter.
Starting a fire is probably one of the most essential skills you could have if you were stranded in the wilderness. A fire provides warmth, a way to dry yourself, and is a great source of comfort when in the outdoors. Your wilderness survival kit should contain multiple ways to start a fire. The military Spark-Lite Fire Starter provides a proven sparking mechanism along with reliable emergency tinder that pretty much guarantees your success at this critical task. A magnesium stick is also a good piece of equipment to have because it also has its own built in tinder. You shave off the magnesium and then use your knife to create a spark which ignites the flakes. For such a necessary and critical survival task, redundancy is key. Windproof and waterproof matches should also be part of your survival kit. The more ways to start a fire, the better.
You hope to never have to use a first aid kit but it's negligent not to have one just in case. Even minor cuts and scrapes can become major problems in the woods if not taken care of. You need to thoroughly clean and dress the wounds to prevent infection. You hope to be rescued or find safety rather quickly, but if a few days turn into more days, a medical kit will make life more comfortable and can extend your survivability. Any wilderness survival kit should have a first aid kit.
Your wilderness survival kit should also have signaling devices such as the signal mirror and a quality whistle. A signal mirror allows you to get the attention of passing aircraft by reflecting light towards the airplane. A pilot sees this and knows someone is there needing help. A loud whistle can alert rescuers to your location from a very long distance. Don't skimp on the whistle. You want a pea less whistle; one that works by it's design rather than by a ball inside of it. Eliminating the possibility of a malfunctioning whistle increases your chances of gaining attention. A quality whistle carries much further that you yelling and screaming for help and you won't exhaust yourself by blowing it. Continuous yelling or screaming will also make you lose your voice. If that happens, you won't even be able to yell for help when rescue is close by.
Coast Guard approved 5 year shelf life food and water are always a smart idea for a survival kit. You can survive weeks without food and possibly days without water but having them available will keep your spirits up and allow you to concentrate your energies toward your rescue needs. You should still be on the lookout for new water sources though. Without water, your body will suffer tremendously and steadily decline without replenishment.
There are many other survival items you could put inside a wilderness survival kit depending on the size of the kit you are carrying. With a fanny pack survival kit, you are limited by its size. With a backpack survival kit, you can carry more equipment. Other good survival items to carry are 550 cord, a shovel, some chem lights for light, a sierra cup for carrying and boiling water, snare wire, and a knife. Think about what you may need to have with you in the wild for an extended unexpected stay. Your survival kit is your lifeline. You don't need to carry a pack designed for a solo trip trekking the Appalachians, but essential survival items carefully thought out can make or break you during an emergency. Always carry a wilderness survival kit when venturing into the outdoors.