Essential Survival Items That Will Save Your Life


essential survival itemsThese essential survival items will save your life! Make sure that you have these ready at your home and at your bug out bag and even at your survival cache! It’s essential to have these before SHTF happens, because then it’s too late. Be ready and you and your family will survive.

I’ve written these recommendations to help you prepare for anything from a small natural disaster to the complete collapse of the society and everything between.

We’re talking about preparing your home for extended emergency by having enough food and essential survival items available. We’re talking about having those items also packed in bug out bag(s) in case that you need to evacuate and travel far away. We’re talking about survival caches and so on.

You should be prepared for the long lasting emergency where the electricity is down indefinitely and there is no tap water. There is no super markets open or grocery stores. there is no gasoline available. Many people argue that it’s unlikely situation. I hope they’re right, but as most of us admit it’s just a question of time when the SHTF really happens. And I hope that you’re prepared and ready at that day.

There’s also positive thing about being ready for worst scenario. When you have prepared for the worst, anything not so critical is “easy” to handle and if the worst SHTF happens, you can still survive. Without any preparation & skills, you and your family are at the mercy of others and I sincerely hope that you’ll not be ever on that situation.

essential disaster survival kit items list
emergency situation
natural disaster wildfire

List of Essential Survival Items That Will Save Your Life

Here’s the official‘s List of Essential Survival Items that will save your life and life of your family! Don’t wait, prepare now!

Emergency flashlight / Latern

When lights goes off for whatever reason, it’s essential to have a flashlight available. The trick is to know and remember where it is especially in emergency situations. It’s better to have multiple flashlights stored on different places at your place, so there’s always one nearby. The another trick is that the flashlight must work! If you don’t use it for a year, most likely there’s no power anymore in batteries. So make sure that you have always fresh pack of batteries stored next to the flashlight.

Any kind of a flashlight works as a emergency light in SHTF, however more brighter is always better. Consider LED light. Those are small, durable and long lasting. In addition to flashlight you should have lantern type of light.

Click here to find excellent flashlights for survival use.

Keep also few candles ready! If you run out of batteries those are useful. You might want to know how to a make oil lamp. To prevent running out of power / batteries make sure that you’ll have also a solar battery charger available.

Battery powered radio / Two Way Radios

When electric grid goes down, there’s no television, internet or phones. But the old good radio is still working and most likely at least government is able to broadcast essential survival information. So make sure that you have not only one but few radios ready with batteries. Choose small ones that are easy and light to carry. Radio allows you to stay up to date about news and weather etc in natural disasters and other emergency situations.

Make sure you’ll check out Scanner and Weather Radios section at my preppers store!

If mobile phone network goes down (which can happen because of power failure, technical issue, cyber attack, EMP etc. reason) it’s good to have two way radios ready! Using two way radios you can stay in touch with your family members when you’re not nearby. In emergency situations that’s important to be able to communicate because you’ll never know what’s going to happen.

Consider also buying a HAM radio and learning how to operate it. HAM radios are used by ameteur radio operators to communicate with one another on multiple frequencies. HAM radios have usually very long range compared to two-way radios. With a powerful HAM radio you’ll be able to communicate with people all over the world.

essential survival items list knifeSurvival knife & Axe & Multitool

A good survival knife is a must have if you’re forced to leave your home. At home you don’t need a knife too much, but outdoors in wilderness a sharp survival knife becomes a real life saver. There’re lot of different kind of knifes for survival purpose. I’ve reviewed and used hundreds of survival tools and hand picked the best ones for my store.

Check out my hand picked favorite survival knifes.

In addition to survival knife you should have a light weight axe. With axe you can make firewood to stay warm and cook food, build shelters etc.

If you have Bowie Knife and Axe, then you need just a good multitool and you’ve a quite perfect tools for everything in natural disaster and emergency situations.

Stored / Bottled Drinking Water

You need water because dehydration kills. Therefore keep always bottled water available and ready to take with you. If you have enough storage space, you should store drinking water as much as possible.

To be more prepared you should consider buying water filter and water purification tablets. With those you’ll be able to procure water from contaminated water sources. You might want also learn how to do water filter by yourself.

essential survival items - emergency foodNon-perishable / Canned emergency food

When SHTF availability of food can become a real issue. Human can survive about three weeks without food, but sure you’ll not want to try that especially with your family. Natural disaster, long lasting emergency situation, pandemic, civil unrest or war etc. can result to the situation that there’s no food available. And it’s better not to trust governments ability to deliver food in emergency situations.

Therefore you need to build up your own emergency food supply. It’s better to have one at home and at least one at your survival cache. Make sure that you have stored enough food. You can use our Food Storage Calculator to estimate how much food you need to have that you and your family will survive one year. Yes, we’re planning in long term and preparing in long lasting scenarios and you should also!

Easiest way to build emergency food supply is to buy ready made emergency food. However any non-perishable food is fine.emergency-banner

If you have storage space and financial resources, you might want to buy more non-perishable emergency food (and other essential survival items) than you and your family probably needs. When SHTF happens there is always neighbors and other people who have not prepared and are helpless – however they’ll also need water, food and shelter. It’s good thing to help others if you’ve resources to do that. However the best way to help others is to get them prepare before SHTF happens.

Consider sharing this post with your friends and neighbors and helping them to get started building their own essential survival items storage, bug out bags etc.


You should have at least one pair of extra underclothes, pants, shirt and jacket ready. Those should be packed in a waterproof bag. This way you’ll have dry clothes if you get wet.

Also a survival blanket is good to have as well as a tent and sleeping bag. Of course you should have clothes etc. for each of your family member.

It would be good to have also water proof clothes just in case that you’re forced to stay outdoors and it rains or floods.

Furthermore you should be prepared for cold weather also. At least you should have cold weather parka and snow pants and cold weather sleeping bag for each of your family member. You never know how far away you need to evacuate to be safe and there could be cold. Usually the NORTH is the best direction to go in emergency situations if you need to flee the nation. There’s Canada and Rocky Mountains and there is also cold.


essential survival items first aid kit

First aid kit

Compact first aid kit is essential to have with basic remedies for pain and fever etc. Anti-diarrhea medication is also good to have in survival first aid kit because if emergency last longer you are quite likely going to eat or drink something that might cause diarrhea. In emergency situations it might be dangerous because there’s danger of dehydration and availability of clean drinking water might be limited. Other important items are antiseptic spray, rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide.

You might want to have at home / survival cache a complete first responder medical first aid kit. Those are big, but essential in disasters etc. situations. At your backpack you should have smaller first aid kits that includes only the very essential items.

Lighters & Matches

To be able to start a fire is essential if you want to stay warm and cook. So, get multiple lighters and matches. Store them on waterproof boxes or small bags.

You might want also to learn how to start fire without matches.

Firewood is a great way to stay warm and cook, but in windy & harsh weather it might be hard to get fire started. It’s also very visible. You can learn how to make a Dakota fire hole. It hides the fire and makes it easier to get fire started, it’s also hotter and produces less smoke.


essential survival items - tarpTent / Shelter / Tarp

A good tent makes it easier to stay outdoors especially if situation lasts, but sure it helps even if you need to stay out in wilderness only a one night. Tent’s take space, so you should have smaller one ready at home. It should be small enough to be easy to carry with your bug out bag.  If you have survival cache, you could store bigger tent there. You can find good camping tents from my store.

You should have also waterproof tarp. Tarp can be used to collect rain water for drinking, building shelters in the forest and underground and insulate warm room at your home.

Smoke & carbon monixide detector

These are essential to have at your home, but even more important at your cottage, survival shelter and van. If you’re stressed and have been awaken long times, you’ll sleep more deeply. That happens in emergency situations. In emergency situations it’s also more possible that fire starts and if you don’t wake up  it might be the end. Smoke detector wakes you up in a such situation before you’ll be burned alive by wildfire.

Carbon monoxide is even more dangerous than smoke and fire because human can’t detect it. It’s invisible and tasteless gas that first makes you sleepy and the kills you. If you’re sleeping and carbon monoxide gets in, you’ll be wasted. Detector works just like a smoke detector, if it detects that dangerous but common gas it alarms and wakes you up before it too late.

essential survival items list  compassCompass / GPS / Map

These days some people are unable to navigate without GPS. What happens when GPS-network goes down and navigators & smartphones shows just a blank screen? Hopefully you’re not in such situation and you know how to find directions with compass and map or even without.

However, GPS is useful as long as it works, so you should have at least a one gps-navigator at your bug out bag. Again don’t forget batteries! Here’re handheld gps-navigators suitable for survival use!

In addition to the gps-navigator, your should have a traditional compass and map(s) of your area and larger area also including nearby states, whole country and Canada. Maps should be as detailed as possible. Make sure that you have also a map that shows railroad track routes. In some situations roads might not be safe to use and in such situation you could travel by walking alongside railroad tracks.

To be more prepared you might want to learn how to find directions without compass or map in wilderness by reading my post about it!

essential survival items - backpackKeep your bug out bag ready!

You should have some of these survival items immediately available and ready to use at your home. It’s good to have these also in a separate survival cache(s). And you need to have these also be ready to take with you.

In emergency situation you probably don’t have time to collect everything you need all around the house. Therefore you should have everything packed in a bug out bag and keep it ready to take with you. If optimal case each of your family member have a own backpack packed with essential survival items – it’s just impossible for one person to carry everything what for example four people needs.

If you have a car or other vehicle you can use that’s great, however you should always be prepared for the worst. In the worst scenario things get really bad. In such situation you might be forced to leave the area and entire state or even country. It’s possible that gas in not available, which make your vehicle at some point useless. So, you need to be prepared to walk and carry your essential survival items.

This might require long walking and at least you should be ready for it. Walking long distances and carrying essential items requires a good backpack. Don’t save when buying bug out bags for yourself and for your family members. You can find excellent backpacks from my preppers store!

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