Top 30 Best Prepper Items You Need Now

By James Barton โ€ข  Updated: 08/11/19 โ€ข  15 min read

Surviving means that you have all the basic items any human being would require to stay alive. Some items might be of great importance to you but might not be of any importance to other people. This means that your list can as well be different from that of another person.

The benefit of having a customized survival checklist is that it serves your needs. But while it is a great idea to plan ahead of time, it doesn’t make sense to strain yourself. To understand better the items you should prepare, we have compiled the top best 30 prepper gear for any emergency. And here is the lowdown.

1. Water

When in emergencies, water will help to stay hydrated. Water is also an essential requirement when cooking. For your hygiene, you will have to regularly use water when washing your clothes or taking a bath.

You should always store water to use in such a situation. You need to learn different ways of purifying water so that in case your storage runs out; you can still purify more. You can use water purifiers to achieve this. You also need to take note of the nearby natural sources of water from where you will be getting the water.

2. Food storage

In case of emergency, you may not have a chance to access your nearest store and all you have to do to stay indoors. The crisis may prolong, which may sometimes force you to skip meals. While stocking different types of food with keep you nourished, you, you should ensure that you have those that can stay for a long duration without going bad.

Note that, while you may badly need food, you should never buy quantities which cannot fit in the available storage space. Though long shelf foods may have a more extended expiry date, poor storage conditions can drastically reduce their shelf life.

3. Drinks

The fact that you are in an survival situation does not mean that you need to stop having your favorite beverages. You need to have them in your list of survival items so that you continue to enjoy them even when you cannot go shopping for them.

You do not have to stock all the drinks you like. You can just have the essential ones since you also want to ensure that it is not so costly to have your survival list items complete. For this, you can also ensure that most of them give you the energy you need to keep you going.

4. Shelter

You may never know the type of situation that might befall you at any time. Sometimes, you are forced to move out of your residence and start life out in the cold. During this time, you will have to come up with temporary shelter to keep you away from the cold and heat during the night and day, respectively.

A tent can be of great importance in such a case. You have to know the stores that you can visit to get a good-sized tent for such a situation. You need to learn how to put up the tent early enough to avoid panic and frustrations when an emergency occurs. In case you fail to get a good tent, you need to learn how to put up a shelter using wood and leaves.

5. Firestarters

You will require fire when out there in the wilderness. You have to include fire starters in your list of items. This way, you can keep yourself warm in the night and also cook your food without experiencing problems associated with the source of heat.

In case the situation happens, and you do not have any fire starters, your fire starting skills can be of great help. Your cave-man skills can help you start a fire using traditional methods and keep yourself warm as you wait for help. To this effect, you can carry lighters, matchsticks or any other fire-starting tool that you know.

6. First Aid kit

In an emergency, you may get injuries that require attention before specialized medics come for your rescue. A First Aid kit will help you attend to such injuries so that you do not lose a lot of blood before getting help. One First Aid kit is enough to assist a lot of people as long as it has all the requirements.

With the kit, you also need to possess First Aid skills. You need to learn different First Aid skills early enough so that in case of any emergency, you know what to do. You can enroll for online courses or even visit institutions that offer such courses.

7. Cloths

Just like any other day, you will have to carry clothes. The type of clothes you chose to stock in your list depends on your environment. Even in an emergency, you still need to look neat and have appropriate clothes for each day.

You need to stock different types of cloths to use in an emergency. You can include cloths you can use when it is hot and when it is cold. This means that when an emergency happens, you will have clothes to use both at night and during the day.

8. Survival knife

In a survival situation, you will probably have to cut a lot of things. You need to carry a knife that can be used to cut strings to put up your shelter and even help you skin your hunt in case you decide to go hunting. Since you may not have any means to sharpen your knife, you can choose a double-edged blade.

9. Communication gadgets

You also need to communicate with other people, even if you are in an emergency. You may need to contact specialists so that you get the help you need. The communication gadgets will also help you reach out to your family members. However, it is vital to ensure that you carry a backup source of power to use when your phone goes off.

10. Tools for signalling

When you are in the wilderness, you may need to signal other people that you need help. The best way you can do this is by making use of a whistle. You may also need to carry a signalling mirror to help send signals to rescuers in case you have rescuers looking for you.

Ensure that you know how to use the signalling tools you have opted to carry. You may not want to send the wrong message to people just because you do not know how to use your device. Ensure that you how to make different signals depending on the type of message that you wish to send. Apart from a whistle, you can also opt for radio calls.

11. Navigation tools

People always get lost in the wilderness because they do not have navigation tools. Some of them depend so much on GPS. When the GPS goes off, such people are not able to access the places they need to access.

A map and compass can be of great help when your GPS goes off. You just need to have the map reading skills to be able to navigate using the map and compass. This way, you can still be sure to find direction even when you have run out of digital options.

12. Bow saw

In cases you do not have access to your kitchen; you may be forced to make use of firewood. You cannot find the firewood without taking the time to make your own from the woods. You have to cut the wood on your own so that you have firewood to make a fire.

A bow saw is portable and can be used in such a case. You can also use it to cut wood that you need to make a shelter. At times, you may also be forced to cut wood so that you make way for yourself in the wilderness; the bow saw will be of great help in such a case.

13. Flashlight

Staying away from home requires you to have a portable source of light. During the night, a flashlight will help you see the things you need. You can use the light while cooking or when moving around to your shelter.

When choosing a flashlight, you may want to consider the weight. You do not want to carry one that will add a lot of weight to the luggage you will be moving around. The battery life is also of great importance. Be sure to carry more batteries to use so that you can replace when the one you are using runs out of power.

14. Medicine

In case you are suffering from a given disease, you need to include your prescribed medication in the list of items. You might not know how long the situation will last, and you do not want to miss your prescription. Ensure that the medicine is stored in a prescribed way so that they remain as effective as they should be. It is crucial to seek expert opinion on the ones you should go for since you will be stocking them for long.

15. Defense mechanism

Outdoor life can have challenges associated with your safety. In case you are in the wilderness, you need to carry tools that you can use to scare away the wild animals and people. A short gun can be used to serve this purpose well.

Pepper sprays can keep you safe from attacks from other people in the wilderness. Your fighting skills can also be of great help in such a situation. One might attack you when you do not have access to any of the tools you carried, and your fighting skills can help you to overpower your attacker. You can regularly engage in such training so that in case of an attack, you know how to get yourself out unhurt.

16. Cordage

You may need to use a metal wire or even a nylon string for various outdoor purposes. You may need such strings when building your shelter or even when you need to carry your firewood to the location where you will be setting up your fire. You can also use the strings as fishing lines when you need to catch some fish.

17. Survival stove

Sometimes, making a fire in rainy weather can be a big problem. A survival stove can help you prepare the meals you need faster than you would do with the fire. It easy to use and will save you the hustle of having to get firewood from to time.

The type of stove you choose for this purpose will also determine the effectiveness. You may go for light ones since you will have to carry them from place to place. Efficiency in terms of fuel consumption is also a factor that you may have to consider since you do not want to spend a lot in the process.

18. Hunting tools

Although you have stocked food, you can never be sure that it will last to the last day of the situation or stay in the wilderness. You may be forced to hunt so that you supplement your diet. Before you carry the hunting tools, ensure that the place you intend to visit allows one to hunt the wild animals.

A short gun can both be used for defense and hunting. It is the easiest way that one can opt for to get fresh meat in the wilderness. You can also carry a spear in case you know how to use it for hunting and fishing.

19. Backpack

In a survival situation, you will need to carry your stuff from place to place. You may need a spacious backpack that can accommodate all the other items you have included in your list. This is a tool that you should buy once you know the list of things you will need to survive. This is to ensure the size matches the items you will carry.

20. Personal items

Depending on your preferences, there are items that you are likely to include in your list. The items include your perfumes, oil and other items that you may require. Such items might not be necessary for every person since everyone does not like the same items. In most cases, such equipment may be applied for your hygiene.

21. Compact binoculars

When you are in the wilderness, it is vital that you can see far beyond your eyes can reach. The importance of this is that you can notice approaching animals and other people that can attack you and take necessary measures to avoid them. When you are lost in the wilderness, binoculars can also help you see places with settlements so that you know the direction to take.

22. A solar charger

In extreme cases, it is also possible that you can run out of power options to use in charging your gadgets. Having a portable solar charger can be of great assistance in such a case. You can be sure to charge your devices so that you do not lose communication with other people.

23. Survival utensils

In survival situations, you may not have access to your kitchen equipment. It may also not be possible to carry all your appliances to the wilderness. You will need to bring utensils so that you have what to use in cooking and serving your food. When choosing what to carry under this category, just ensure that they are not as heavy as you have to move from place to place carrying them.

24. Walkie talkies

There are times when you may be caught in a survival situation as a group. In such a case, you need to have tools that you will use to communicate with each other. Sometimes, people visit the wilderness without any means of communication within their groups, and they end up getting lost. A walkie talkie can be of great importance when you are attacked, and you want to inform other people to offer help.

25. Survival watches

In survival situations, you may want to know what time it is so that you plan your activities accordingly. Such a device can also have other specifications that can help you plan your day. Survival watches that can provide information about temperature and humidity can help you to know the type of cloths to wear. A good survival watch should also be waterproof so that you do not have any problems even when it rains.

26. Safety shoes and gumboots

Normal shoes might not be of any importance in survival situations. The extreme weather conditions require special footwear that is specifically made for such purposes. Rugged terrain might need steel-toe boots to help you move from one point to the other without injuring yourself. In rainy seasons, gumboots can be of great help to ensure your feet are safe from any infections that might come from having contact with water.

27. Books and journals

The fact that you are in an emergency does not mean that you should get bored. You can also include a few books and journals on the list of items you need to carry so that you find what to do during your free time. This might not be a preference for every person, but they will help you pass the time during this period. Focusing so much on the situation can lead to stress. Books will help you to stop focusing so much on the situation.

28. Sleeping bag and a rain poncho

Although you have included clothes, you also need to take extra caution of the cold. You may have to carry a sleeping bag that can keep you warm in the night. A rain poncho is also important since you may be forced to move when it is raining.

29. A shovel

A survival shovel can be of great importance when you are in a survival situation. A survival knife might do a lot of things but might not be able to do some of the most critical tasks. For example, the knife cannot be used to dig holes for putting up your shelter.

At times, you may fail to find the best place to set up your tent. In such a situation, you may be forced to clear an area before you set up your shelter. A shovel can be of great assistance in such a case.

30. Trash collector

Different activities in a survival situation create a lot of waste that needs to be collected in one place. Taking care of your environment is your responsibility. A polythene or trash bag can help you manage the waste so that when you leave the location, you can safely dispose of.

The choice of waste collector you opt for is also a great essence. Ensure that it can carry all the waste you will have accumulated within the period that you will be in the survival situation.


Surviving means that you should have access to the most essential items that any human being requires to stay alive. You do not have to focus on items that bring comfort as they will turn the whole process to be expensive. In the list, we have the most important things that will help you get through such a situation without any problem. Some of the items we have included may not apply to everyone. Note that emergencies will vary and the best prepper gear should suit your needs. When buying your items, make sure you go for affordable brands to help save some few bucks.

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.