The Top 7 Things You Need in Your Survival Kit

Imagine that you are in the middle of nowhere for a few days, or that you are stuck in your home after a disaster, like a hurricane. What do you need to survive? Here are several things that you should have available. Remember, this is only a basic list; things that you might pack in a “go bag” that you can grab in a hurry. If you aren’t sure what something is, Google the keyword to learn more.

Clean Water/Iodine Tablets/Water Access

Your body is made of mostly water, so having water available is the number one tool for surviving. For three days, you need about three liters of water per person. To help to expand this, have some iodine tablets that you can use to purify natural water, such as the water you find in a stream. Also, think about investing in a 55-gallon water barrel to store water.


Some of the best food to have in your survival kit include energy bars, canned tuna (don’t forget the can opener or a sharp knife), and “backpack meals.”


  • Hooded rain jacket
  • Hiking footwear, or sturdy shoes
  • Bandana
  • Two pairs of pants and two shirts (not cotton, as it retains moisture)
  • Two pairs of socks (wool, if you think it will be cold)
  • Long underwear (choose polypropylene for warmth)
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves (for the cold and to handle rocks and dirt)
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Plastic bags (to place over your socks to keep them dry)
  • Rubber bands (to keep the plastic over your feet.


  • Tent (a tarp works too, but you have to have a way to set it up)
  • Ground tarp (to place your tent or tarp on to insulate against the damp ground)
  • Sleeping bag

Medical Supplies

You want to make sure you have a first aid kit, and it’s best to make one. This way, you know what’s in it. Here’s some necessities:

  • Cold pack (chemical kind)
  • Ankle brace
  • Assorted bandaged, gauze, and antibacterial cream
  • Ace bandage
  • Cotton balls
  • Tourniquet
  • Tweezers
  • Sunscreen
  • Small mirror (you can also use this to signal search planes)
  • Vaseline
  • Sawyer extractor (to deal with snake bites)
  • Anything else you personally need for your specific health needs

Survival Tools

  • A travel chainsaw
  • At least three different types of fire starters
  • Camp stove and propane
  • Small cooking pot
  • Two flashlights with extra batteries
  • A good quality knife
  • Compass and map (know how to use these!)
  • Cell phone with extra battery or power source
  • Topographical map
  • Survival GPS app
  • Solar powered charger


  • A shotgun or other firearm
  • Pepper spray (The big cans of “bear spray” are excellent)
  • Whistle
  • Air horn
  • Golf club, baseball bat, or other blunt object

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.