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The market is filled with an almost endless list of survival gear. Not everything is necessary, especially for a mobile survivor, whose carrying space and weight is limited. The variety of options out there can also be confusing and make one buy more than is required.
That is why we have picked out the best survival gear available in the market since 2020. Here is our list of what we consider absolutely the best and most essential with a few highly recommended products.
What is the most important survival item? We’d say a survival knife, something large like a small machete. With just this one thing, you can chop branches and trees to build a shelter or for firewood, make animal traps and weapons like a bow. The list goes on.
A good survival knife shouldn’t be foldable, which has a higher likelihood of giving way at the joint. Choose a survival knife that has a full, broad tang all the way to the end of the hilt. The hilt should also be solid so that the handle won’t break if you have to use it to hammer things.
This full tang high carbon steel blade weighs 13.7 ounces and is 10 inches long. Its oversized bolster keeps your hand from slipping toward the blade when you lean into the cut. It is military grade and even comes with a loud emergency whistle. Additional features include a built-in firestarter rod and a pocket guide by Bear Grylls himself.
Not everyone is adept at starting a fire bushman style a la naturale. It consumes time and energy which you may not have in times of emergency. The effort put into starting a fire could be easily saved for collecting firewood to make a campfire or smoke signal.
The faster you can start a fire, the faster you can cook food, boil water, keep predators away and so on. Thanks to 21st century technology, you don’t even have to rely on flames to do the work.
lcfun Waterproof and Windproof Outdoor Lighter
This lighter doesn’t need gas or butane to create a spark for lighting fires. That way, your fire starter doesn’t get put out by wind or rain. The Icfun Lighter is made to be highly durable. You can sling it round your neck using its thick lanyard.
Its rechargeable lithium battery can last 2 hours. But how do you charge it while you’re on the move? Read the next 2 sections!
Many more fire starters available in Banggood.com:
This gear may not be a critical item but it helps to have one when you don’t have time to build a fire. Choose one that serves multiple functions like the one below.
BioLite Campstove 2
This nifty camp stove generates electricity as it burns wood! It comes with a USB port for you to charge electronic devices and can store up to 2,600 mAh of power.
It’s also a smart stove. The LED dashboard on its side lets you keep track of the battery level as well as control the speed of the built-in fan for control of fire strength.
During emergencies, information is critical for survival. This includes intel on weather conditions and potential dangers in your path that help to decide your next course of action.
When you’re out and about, you can’t rely solely on battery technology. The best is to go for a hand crank radio which can generate power on demand.
There are models that are small and compact yet work within minutes from cranking. With a hand-crank survival radio, you can tune into any broadcasts.
Scorpion 2 Multi-Powered Weather Radio & Flashlight by Eon
This cool little gadget isn’t just chargeable with a hand crank. It’s also solar powered and chargeable via a USB port. The port works both ways too, serving as a power bank for your other electrical gadgets. It is hardy, weatherproof and has a long-lasting built-in LED flashlight!
Protection from the elements is critical for survival whether in a hot, cold or wet place. We recommend a tent over a tarp, as a tent is more insulated and keeps the bottom of your shelter dry.
Go Time Gear Life Tent
This easy-to-set-up emergency tube tent fits 2 people. It is compact, weighs only 8.7 ounces and fits in a nifty stuff sack. Its material is extra thick, making the tent puncture-resistant, windproof, tear-resistant, and well insulated.
To make sure it is well secured to the ground, it comes with a 550-pound nylon core Para-Synch Technology drawstring/cord, as well as a powerful survival whistle.
There are other choices of tents available on Banggood.com as below:
Blanket or sleeping bag
Staying warm can be a big challenge when temperatures can drop quickly after the sun goes down, such as in deserts and mountains. In humid environments, your sweaty wet clothes can give you a chill during the nights or early mornings, as it’s nearly impossible to dry them for use by the next day.
This is when a lightweight blanket or sleeping bag comes in handy. Even with a covered tent to buffer your body from the ground, it isn’t enough to keep you warm.
Choose a lightweight blanket or sleeping bag that can serve multiple functions. A brightly coloured one can be used to signal for help. The type with a reflective side can be used to deflect heat.
Go Time Gear Life Bivy Emergency Sleeping Bag
This sleeping bag is made of 26 micrometers of extra-thick mylar material, coloured bright orange for easy visibility. It features a coating that is windproof, waterproof, as well as tear and puncture resistant, allowing it to withstand extreme conditions, such as rain, snow and wind.
Weighing only 4.1 ounces, it can be packed into a tight sack and even comes with a powerful 120-decibel survival whistle.
Other sleeping bags available from Banggood.com are:
First aid kit
Essential for accidents and illnesses, it should have more than Band-Aids and antibiotic ointment for cuts and scrapes. Include other items such as iodine, bandages, gauze pads for larger wounds, steri-strips to help close wounds with uneven edges, and alcohol prep pads.
There are so many ready-made first aid kits in the market. Choose one considering its weight and size as well since you’ll be lugging it around everywhere.
A compass is handy when your view of the sun is blocked and there is no satellite coverage. When used with a good map, you can work your way around easily.
Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Lensatic Tactical Compass
This lightweight tactical compass is super sturdy and is protected by an aluminum casing, which makes it waterproof. It is actually military-grade so it can tolerate most extreme weather conditions.
The fluorescents in the compass allow you to use it at night. It also comes with a rotating ring, conversion chart, pouch and lanyard.
More choices of compass available in Banggood.com here:
This lightweight cord is made from sturdy nylon and multiple strands of fiber. Aside from tying things, it is strong enough to hold your weight for climbing.
Water filtration or purification
You might need to treat water before drinking or using it to clean wounds. Water in the wild could be contaminated by bacteria, viruses, chemicals, silt and fecal matter.
A head lamp is definitely more convenient than a torchlight. It keeps your hands free while helping you see in the dark. Go for a solar rechargeable one.
The head lamps available at Banggood.com:
Palm-sized mirrors are good enough. The reflected glimmer can reach up to 7 miles depending on weather conditions.
This is your best friend when you have to walk in the rain. Pick a durable one that covers head to heel.
Instead of carting part of your kitchen with you, get cookware for camping. These are lighter and more compact.
REDCAMP Camping Cookware Mess Kit
This model comes in a set of 9, 12, 13, 18, or 23 pieces. The biggest set includes 1 pan, 3 pots, 2 dishes, 5 bowls, 1 soup bowl, 1 fork, 2 folding spoons, 1 tool card, 1 loofah, 1 nylon bag and 1 survival bracelet. Even so, it collapses into a light and compact stack of barely 1 pound.
Instead of a leather or plastic canteen, get a metal bottle with a single wall. Metal water bottles allow you to boil water directly over a fire quickly. Don’t get double-wall insulated ones. Heating this type of water bottles will cause an explosion.
Personal locator beacon
PLB gadgets these days can do more than just indicate and broadcast your GPS coordinates. PLBs such as the goTenna can send an SOS signal without need of any network coverage, and more.
goTenna Mesh Off-Grid Pairing SMS & GPS Devices
With this cute gadget you can send messages between goTenna devices within a 4-mile radius without needing a network, router or phone service. It works like a walkie-talkie but better. The goTenna can access maps and be connected to your smartphone. Plus, its communication network is encrypted and private.
Your knife is worthless and dangerous if it is dull. You can use a natural stone to hone a knife but it won’t sharpen your knife as well as a blade sharpener.
A pair of compact high-powered binoculars can help you spot danger, food, water or rescuers from a long distance away. It’ll save you lots of energy.
Since you already have a survival knife, get a multi-tool that has other tools like scissors, tweezers, bottle opener and mini-screwdriver. Criteria for choice should be easy handling. Otherwise, you might as well not get one.
This option only makes sense if you’ll be near or in bodies of water. The fishing pole we’re talking about here are the compact, foldable ones. Options include the pocket fishing pole, short rod and telescoping rod. You can include 1 or 2 fishing hooks (1 large and 1 small). There’s no need to pack the whole range.
If you’re constantly on the go, these survival gear will help you tremendously in most terrains. They’re great for situations where you won’t be near civilisation, or for doomsday scenarios.