10 Things You Need For Wilderness Survival

By James Barton โ€ข  Updated: 01/09/18 โ€ข  7 min read

Humans, unlike wild animals, have no natural adaptations to survive in the wilderness. However, campers, hikers, hunters, and backpackers often venture into the wild to satisfy their thrills. Without the right supplies, surviving in the wilderness can be a wishful thought. To make the most out of your expedition and come back home in a single piece, you will need a few vital supplies. Here are the 10 things you need for wilderness survival.


10 Wilderness Survival Items

   1. A Camping Pack

The first and most important thing you will need for your journey to the wilderness is a camping pack. You may have many pockets but it is not feasible to carry everything you will need in the pockets. Besides carrying a lot of stuff in your pockets will interfere with the movement of your legs and weigh you down due to weight.

The camping back will enable you to carry essential stuff in an organized manner. High-quality camping packs have zippered compartments where you can organize useful things to maximize space use. Do your assignment well to find the best camping back for your needs.

    2. First Aid Kit

Anything can happen in the wilderness to cause an injury. Such injuries are often mild and can resolve without any intervention. In rare cases, the injuries can be severe enough to cause serious wounds that will require time to heal. The best way to shorten the healing time and minimize complications of such injuries in the wilderness is to carry along a First Aid Kit.

The smallest of First Aid Kits contain bandages, gauze, gloves, alcohol cleaning wipes and OTC medications as well as other supplies. These components will help mitigate things like cuts, burns, headaches, nausea, indigestion, splinters, and infections. First Aid Kits are available in different sizes. Consider your needs and buy a suitable model for you.

    3. Food and Water

While you can go several days without eating, doctors say you cannot do a few days without drinking water. You will be risking deadly dehydration. That is the reason why you must carry safe and adequate drinking water to last you through the journey if the place you are going do does not have a reliable water supply.

You also need to guarantee food supply that will last you through the days you wish to spend in the wilderness. Depending on the nature of your journey, you may get an opportunity to prepare your own meals. In such a case, you must have the right material to enable you to cook such as fires source, cooking pans, plate, a spoon and a cup.

    4. Compass or Map

One of the worst things that could ever happen to you in the wilderness is to lose your way. Your water and food supplies may eventually run out as you try to find your way home placing you in danger of starvation and at the mercy of predators. Among the things you need for wilderness survival is a compass or map.

In case of a map, find one that clearly illustrates the nearest water sources, ranger stations as well as other helpful installations in your destination. You can also carry along a compass. You must learn how to read a compass because many people get confused with the directions. Know each direction in relation to the landmarks in your residential areas so you can trace your way back if you are lost.

     5. Fire

In most cases, the weather conditions in the wilderness are not friendly. At worst is extreme cold that could predispose you to hypothermia and lung problems. Among the things you will need for your wilderness survival is fire. The fire will help keep you warm. But thatโ€™s not the only thing you will need the fire for; you will also need the fire to cook food, to purify drinking water and to provide light in the darkness.

You also need some supplies to build the fire. Among those supplies include a lighter or a match, kindling, tinder and well-seasoned firewood split to the right size. A funny way of making a fire during a bright sunny day is to use a lens from binocular or camera, or a magnifying glass. Just focus the light on some tinder especially newspaper cuttings and you will see the fire in no time.

    6. Knife

A knife is an extremely useful supply for hikers, hunter, backpackers and campers alike. This tool is extremely versatile. You can use it for a number of applications including cutting, chopping and even for defense. With the right knife, even the worst survival situation will be no issue to you.  

Not just any knife will do. You have to choose keenly to make sure you carry the right knife for your needs. Most survivalists use fixed blade knives because they are more resilient and durable than folding knives. This is because they lack any moving parts.  Fixed blade knives are ideal for cutting large branches and limbs.

    7.  Shelter

It would be crazy and suicidal go into the wilderness and spend time on the open ground. Besides the blood-thirsty wild animals, the Mother Nature can also meet its wrath on you. Thus you will require some sort of shelter to protect you from nature and provide you with warmth. As night falls, temperatures cool down and other nocturnal creatures gradually become active.

Shelters such as tents or sleeping bags are ideal. You may also use natural shelter such as caves, rocky crevices, clumps or bushes, and low-hanging branches if you are sure of your safety. Just make sure you find a suitable shelter that will provide you with the necessary protection.

   8. Personal Hygiene Supplies

Going outdoors for a couple of days does not mean you suspend your personal hygiene until you return home. You will need to continue with your daily routines outdoors just like you do indoors. This means you must carry along personal effects for showering and grooming. You also need your dental hygiene device. When it comes to your teeth, you can use a more natural method by chewing on the ends of small twigs or tree branches to create soft, moist bristles.

    9. Warm Clothing

No matter where you go, the wilderness has a way of becoming so chilly or so hot. Without protecting your body even during the day, you can run into serious medical problems. This is why you will need warm clothing including a heavy jacket and an underlayer. During the day, you may also need some sunscreens to protect you from the UV rays and save your skin from sunburns.

   10. Insect Repellent

Insects are real pains in the wilderness. Not only do they annoy when crawling over you but they could also minimize your chances of survival by encouraging the spread of bacterial, viral and parasitic infections. Therefore an insect repellent will be a handy survival supply in the wilderness. You could be eco-friendly by choosing to use a natural insect repellent. For instance, lemon juice is a good natural insect repellent for mosquitoes.  


The above 10 things you need for wilderness survival will go a long way in helping you make the most of your time outdoors. Ensure you collect all of them well in time before you set out on your journey or you could face a difficult survival situation that will be difficult to mitigate. It does matter whether you are a hunter, a hiker, backpacker or a camper, these supplies are essential if you were to be successful.

James Barton

James Barton

Hi, I'm James. I am the founder and main editor for The Survival Corps. I have been a part of the survival and prepping community since my mid 30's as I downsized and started to prepare to be self sufficient in a time of crisis.