Bottled water, collapsible water-containment vessels, water purification tablets and filtration straws are absolutely must-have items. The human body can last only about three days without water, so don’t even think of neglecting this most important category.
Stock non-perishable foods that don’t require cooking. These include canned goods (tape pocket-sized manual can openers to several of the cans), MRE meals and dehydrated or freeze-dried foods. An assortment will cover nearly any situation and offers diverse taste and texture preferences.
You need to stay up to date on all news pertaining to your situation, no matter what it may be. Batteries die, the sun doesn’t always shine and the electrical grid will surely be down, so stock a radio powered by elbow grease.
Shelters can get destroyed in minutes and take months to rebuild. Create your own portable shelter with the help of 550 paracord, and protect yourself from the elements with a heavy-duty tarp. Learn to construct various configurations that suit your purpose. If things get bad again, just pack it up and relocate.
Having fire allows you to keep warm, cook or heat your food, purify your water and provide you with a comforting feeling during the aftermath of a disaster. Always carry a durable lighter. They are compact, easy to use and provide enough fuel for hundreds of fires. An alternative is waterproof matches.
This isn’t really on most people’s radar when thinking of survival supplies, but a USB drive containing all your personal information will make your life much easier when things get back to normal after an emergency or natural disaster. From identification to insurance needs to irreplaceable photos, a USB drive takes up no space but provides so much peace of mind.
A knife is your all-around, go-to tool during survival or emergency situations. Choose one that has full-tang construction (the blade and handle are one solid piece), fits comfortably in your hand and sharpens quickly.
A firearm, knife, baton, pepper spray, baseball bat—anything that will help you protect yourself from someone taking advantage of a bad situation. When times go bad, good people will do anything to survive. Others will use the surrounding chaos and lawlessness to perform criminal acts. Don’t let yourself or your family members become victims. Choose a weapon well beforehand, become proficient using it and always keep it near.
Unless you are a lifetime student of survival skills and techniques, you’ll need a reference guide. From constructing shelter to water purification, a comprehensive guide provides descriptive details and useful illustrations for a plethora of survival scenarios.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your carrying bag. Poorly constructed packs can rip, break or be uncomfortable. Test several before you purchase to assure the best fit as well as easy accessibility while out in the field.
Every survival situation is different. But the bare necessities needed to survive them vary little. Food, water, fire and shelter must be considered first. Then ancillary items including tools and communications/signaling devices should be included. Consider the above group of basics to be your starting point when preparing for nearly any emergency or natural disaster that could come your way.
This article was originally published in “Personal & Home Defense” issue #204. To order a copy and subscribe to that magazine, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.
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