Survival is not just about prepping or the amusing antics of a television survivalist.
Every day, real people find themselves in situations where comfort, if not survival, hinges on their ability to be prepared with the skills and knowledge to get through natural disasters, accidents, or other emergencies.
Learning all the practical survival skills now can save you and is technically beneficial. A wilderness emergency could happen to anyone, anywhere. When confronted with an unexpected survival situation, man has the potential to overcome many challenges, beat incredible odds, and come out as a survivor.
But just what is survival anyway?
Survival is the art of survival. It means to remain alive, to live. Survival is taking any given circumstance, accepting it, and improving it. And survival is a state of mind.
"Better be prepared as always." This statement is undoubtedly a cliche.
You want everything prepped up to secure a smooth and enduring expedition. Besides getting lost, other important events where knowing survival skills include being caught in natural disasters, experiencing extreme shifts in weather, accidents causing some form of incapacitation, and many other unforeseen circumstances.
So if you are active and like to spend time outdoors, having some ability with regards to primitive skills can save your life, and it goes hand in hand with the bear gears and tools as your support resource.
Whether you are planning an epic hiking trip or want to prepare for something a little more drastic, you need the best survival gear for the job.
Regarding the best survival gear, fire, food, water, and shelter are top priorities.
In our list of the top 10 survival gear products, we've chosen fire, food, water, self-defense, security, stealth, and shelter-building tools.
At the same time, buying survival gear should be relatively inexpensive.
Early Native Americans and other primitive cultures survived without expensive sporting goods and outfitters.
We live in the modern age, though -- in many ways, we have an advantage. Most people need those advantages because going from a wired world to the wilderness comes with a learning curve -- one that can kill you if you're not prepared.
The Top 10 Cool Survival Gadgets and Tools That Can Save Your Life
1. FireKnife Survival Knife
You should bring a lighter, but even a reliable Zippo will have trouble when a FireSteel ignites a pile of dry kindling.
If you go camping, even if you're not technically roughing it at the campsite down the road from your house, you should probably bring this knife along.
The FireKnife is two useful camping tools in one. The first tool should be obvious from the name; it's a nice half-tang blade from Mora of Sweden with a smooth cutting edge. It's a simple straight-blade knife perfect for all the little annoying camping tasks; making kindling, cutting rope, stabbing bears, etc.
The handle, however, is an equally helpful device. Namely, it goes along with a Swedish FireSteel.
The Swedish FireSteel is an innovation from the Swedish Department of Defense that's a common issue among militaries, outdoor rescue squads, and other people who must start a fire quickly.
Survival Power: You scrape along with it with the included scraping tool, and you get bright, hot (as in 3000 degrees) sparks that can easily ignite pretty much anything. It'll work in the cold, soaking wet, and almost everywhere else. You can see why this knife might be helpful if you're tromping through the woods.
2. The First 24 Survival Kit
It's surprising how many people honestly believe the world is about to collapse.
Whether prepping their bunkers or learning how to light a fire using just a polished can lid, many people are ready to run to the woods, where the First 24 survival kit comes into play.
As Taurus makes this, as you might expect, the anchor of this kit is the Taurus Judge, with some customization by Pro Aim Tactical. That takes a.45 Colt cartridge or a.410 bore shotshell, so it will have firepower.
The rest of the kit includes a Sting survival blade, three inches of carbon steel; a six-inch LED flashlight; adhesive emergency lights, a fire-starting kit, a spherical compass, and, of course, batteries and paracord because every survival kit needs both.
3. BioLite Camp Stove
When a natural disaster hits, you best be ready. That means stocking food, water, and other necessities.
However, you can't do much about your power grid.
Sure, a battery would suffice, but that fuel source will inevitably run dry.
The BioLite Campstove is a brilliant solution that solves many problems. It's great not just for emergency scenarios but for those that like to camp.
At first glance, it looks like your garden variety portable stove. And don't get us wrong, it is. But instead of using a petroleum-based fuel source, it works with twigs, pine cones, pellets, and other biomass, such as pine needles or leaves.
And while you cook your dinner or boil off that bacteria-laden water, you can power up your phone or just about any 5V gadget thanks to the built-in USB plug.
Not only is it a camping stove, but it is also a charger, generating power from burning biomass. You would have to burn hours of fuel to get the stove to charge your phone entirely, but in times of need, it could provide that extra spark needed to let you make that pivotal call. A genius survival gadget indeed!
Survival Power: The whole system packs down into a somewhat portable 8.25 x 5″ shape and weighs 2 lbs
4. Blue Freedom
Blue Freedom may sound like a comic book name. Still, it is one of Kickstarter's most interesting eco-tech projects, a mini-hydropower generator designed to be used just about anywhere there's running water.
The principles of hydroelectricity are simple: Use the force of moving water to turn a turbine.
Make sure that turbine movement generates electricity that can be stored and then used or stored in batteries and capacitors for later use.
The team behind Blue Freedom just scaled the whole idea down.
Survival Power: The result is a hydropower plant that you can hold in one hand, a friendly-looking, disc-like device with a sizeable fan-based turbine installed in the center.
Putting it in running water, such as a river or stream, storing a charge for just one hour in a current can create a 10-hour battery charge for standard mobile devices like smartphones.
It uses a USB port for charging and is designed to work for everyday, valuable items like MP3 players, GPS units, LED maps, electric razors, and even small camping fridges.
5. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Safe, purified water wherever you go is what the LifeStraw personal water filter offers you.
LifeStraw is an ingenious invention that lets you drink directly from puddles or streams without any associated risks.
The TIME Magazine Invention of the Year winner uses a microbiological purification filter. It comes at a more than reasonable price, so it's accessible for the hardcore camper and everyone who wants it.
It's been used by backpackers and relief agencies in third-world countries. It weighs only 2 ounces and is a perfect tool for extreme survival situations like wilderness survival and a tool for providing water safe to drink during an evacuation of a widespread disaster.
This could prove to be a savior if an actual survival situation kicks in while you're hiking or even provide some quick relief from dehydration while on a regular trek.
Survival Power: Portable water filters do not remove chemicals, so none is a complete water solution. Outside a city following a collapse, local water sources may be contaminated with chemicals as industrial runoff leaches into groundwater, making this water unsafe to drink, even with a water filter. In a wilderness setting, though, a Lifestraw should do just fine for you and be a real lifesaver.
6. Cammenga Model 27CS Lensatic Compass
With frequent malfunctions in several store-bought compasses, including polarity issues, you want a compass you can count on.
Learn proper care for a compass and how to protect polarity and use it in the field.
Navigation is an essential survival skill; along with fire and water procurement and shelter building, navigating with a compass is taught in Special Forces survival training and local survival schools in most areas.
7. SunRocket Sunlight
Boiling water with just sunlight may seem impossible initially, but the SunRocket Sunlight is here to blow you away.
It gives you the power to boil water using only the sun's heat. Not only could this prove key for your cooking and drinking needs, but it could also prove an essential part of any first aid kit, heating water to sterilize for use in treating injuries.
It's not as expensive as you might think either… A genius survival gadget that could make your day or save your life!
8. Leatherman One-Hand Tool
A multi-tool should be viewed as something other than a knife with many other stuff attached.
If you're really after a survival knife, you should get one separate to a multi-tool, a straight-edged, fixed knife that is far more reliable in crucial situations than one designed to fold away.
However, that doesn't mean multi-tools aren't useful.
They save a lot of space in your bag and can provide all sorts of benefits when dealing with the niggles and hassles of camping life.
This Leatherman multi-tool makes handling those hassles easier, allowing for one-handed deployment of all 16 features on the survival gadget.
It's also straightforward to identify each tool via imprints left on the handle, meaning this is one of the most practical multi-tools, which is why you bring along the survival gadget in the first place!
9. Dakota LLine'sGhost Rider Versatile Snares
In U.S. Special Forces survival training, a person will learn that squirrels, rabbits, and other small mammals can make a quick meal.
All you need to know in the wilderness is how to read the ground around you and recognize areas where small mammals are likely to travel. Then set up several small, simple traps around the area (deadfalls, snares, etc.) and wait for the traps to spring.
If you bait these traps, you have greater chances of not only catching an animal but catching it faster than if you didn't bait these traps.
Survival Power: Snare placement can be a key factor in whether or not you catch anything; your ability to know where to set snares relies on learning and practicing basic trapping skills for capturing small games. Baiting traps with common game foods like nuts, seeds, and berries (and artificial baits) can help boost your sharing success.
10. Zippo Hand Warmer
There’s nothing like a hot piece of metal in your pocket to get you through some cold days this winter.
The Zippo Hand Warmer uses a platinum-catalyzed glass fiber burner to provide up to 10 times more heat than your average hand warmer.
Sounds like a great compact solution for those in colder areas suffering poor circulation. If you learn how to flick it on properly, you'll look like an absolute boss.
Survival Power: Capable of burning for 12 hours, the Zippo Hand Warmer uses 12 ml of everyday lighter fuel.
What Features to Consider
Price versus Dependability
Price is a crucial factor in survival equipment, although not in the way you might imagine.
It is preferable to choose equipment of higher quality with higher-value or high-end survival gear rather than seeking lesser, more inexpensive solutions, although this is achievable.
Even if you find top-selling survival gear, you should have faith in its quality rather than just its popularity.
The specific reason is that you want to be certain that whatever equipment or supplies you use in an emergency in the wilderness will be dependable. You might only sometimes be in a position of safety where you can contact customer support and receive a replacement the following week in the mail.
You want cheaply constructed equipment to stay intact during a crisis like an accident or bad weather. That's not to imply finding equipment at a fair price is impossible.
You should look for equipment using more comprehensive criteria than just price, not just price alone. Is it trustworthy and of excellent quality in addition to the price?
We're talking about equipment exposed to severe weather, harsh environments, and possibly even shock or damage. The equipment's resilience is therefore given top emphasis.
Are the building materials weather-resistant? Plastic is never a superior material to stainless steel. Is the equipment weatherproof, and will it function in severe weather?
You will usually carry the outdoor gear in your hands, a backpack, or on a belt clip. It must be reliable and efficient while still being as light as possible.
The more weight the object is, the more worn out you'll feel. It's better to avoid carrying heavy equipment because you might even have to throw it away or leave it behind in some circumstances.
Is the thing necessary? Can you live without it, or will you rarely need it? Only what you might require in an emergency is an exception.
Even though emergencies are unlikely, you should be prepared with the right equipment.
In any case, evaluate the accessory or piece of gear and determine whether the trip or activity you're organizing needs it. Carry only what you need; everything else will weigh you down.
Will you have to buy and carry additional items if the product requires them? For instance, you will need to install batteries in battery-operated lamps, and you may also wish to take a replacement set. For instance, will your lighter run out of fuel while lighting a fire?