Survival Gear: The 4 Most Essential Pieces

16 Aug 2018
Larry Ficks

If you’ve taken multiple survival training courses over the past several years, you’ll notice that while they do differ in one way or another, there’s one single constant – the list of essential survival equipment. If you’re venturing in the Australian outback, it’s easy to overlook wilderness survival equipment when you’re focused on your camping gear. That being said, here are the most essential pieces of survival gear that you shouldn’t leave the house without when going on a wild adventure.


camping shelter

The shelter is arguably the most important piece of survival gear when you’re out in the wilderness. Believe it or not, it is even more important than water. You can go for about two to three days without water, but you can die from exposure in just a few hours. When I say shelter, I don’t necessarily mean a tent, but something that will cover you, retain and reflect your body heat. There are moisture resistant, heat-reflective blankets that can help you survive even in severe climate conditions.

First Aid Kit

Camping first aid

The first aid kit is another piece of survival equipment you shouldn’t leave your home without. You don’t need a kit with IV bags, surgical equipment, splints, rolls of gauze or whatever. You just need some essentials to treat and protect minor injuries until help arrives or until you are able to drag yourself to receive better care. Actually, you can make your own first aid kit using a zip-lock freezer bag. Generally, you’ll need a small piece of moleskin, cloth medical tape, antiseptic and alcohol wipes, assorted band-aids, and small packs of Tylenol, antihistamine, Advil, ibuprofen and personalised medication.



Light is especially important if you’re wandering at night. The most commonly used survival lights are headlamps because they leave both of your hands free to do whatever else you may need to do. Alternatively, you can get a survival torch, which is moisture-, rust- and corrosion-resistant, easy-to-use and convenient to carry. The power of the torches and headlamps is expressed in Lumens, and you generally don’t need more than 150 lumens. Whichever you choose, make sure you have extra batteries to power the headlamp or torch.

Fire Starter

fire starter

Fire is essential for cooking meals, warming up yourself, and even signaling for help. For all of these reasons, a fire starting kit is an absolute must-have. In fact, you should have multiple tools to start a fire, just in case. You can use flint and steel, waterproof matches in a waterproof container, a lighter, or a Swedish fire starting kit.