Survival Basics, Survival Kits, Survival Situations, Survival Tips

15 Essential Survival Items

Our team here at Sirius Survival spends a lot of time talking and interacting with our customers every day, and we love every conversation we get to have. We take pride in being able to guide and help anyone that reaches out to us. One of the main conversations we have on a regular basis with both new and existing customers is recommendations for items to pack into a bugout bag. Over the last few years we have had those types of conversations more and more. So we decided to take some time and put this article together which will discuss and break down fifteen different categories of the most essential survival items that we carry here at Sirius Survival. In each section we will talk about some use cases for those items and have recommended items for you to check out.

1.) Backpack

If you plan on keeping all your survival gear in one place for easy access you will most likely need a vessel to carry and pack the items in. Backpacks are the most popular and easy to use option. Being able to “grab and go” in an emergency situation is key. We offer two high quality options for that. The first being our trusted 50L Expeditionary tactical backpack and the second being the 40L Rambler. Lets dive a little deeper into each.

50L Expeditionary Tactical Backpack

The 50L Expeditionary Pack is comprised of high density (900D) Oxford fabric and offers a large amount of storage space divided up into two separate main chambers with multiple pockets and sections to neatly organize all your survival essentials. The 50L is the largest backpack we offer and includes multiple chest and waist straps you can buckle and adjust to ensure a comfortable, secure fit. This pack also has a built-in pouch for a water bladder making it a popular choice to be used as a hiking bag as well. The MOLLE webbing section on the front makes it easy to attach accessories such as, water bottle pouches, or our 15-1 survival kits. Five color and pattern options are available.

Rambler – 40L Tactical Backpack

The 40L Rambler is comprised of high density (900D) Oxford fabric just like the 50L Expeditionary pack. The Rambler offers one large main pocket for extremely easy access to all your survival essentials. It also features three outer pockets that are easily accessible and great storage spaces for smaller items you use most frequently such as a cell phone, flashlight, or fire starter. It also offers a large MOLLE webbing section on the front for easy access to mount accessories. Five color options are available.

2.) Battery Backup

With the world becoming more and more digital every day, one thing that tends to get overlooked in survival or bugout bags is a battery backup or power source. Keeping your devices powered up in a emergency, survival, or power outage situation should be a priority. One of the most common survival preparedness scenarios our customers talk to us about is the potential for the power grid to go down for a prolonged period. With the aging and outdated infrastructure most of the main power systems are built on in this country we would tend to agree that is a real concern and an almost inevitable event. Whether you are charging your cell phone, emergency radio, or handheld GPS we have many great options to handle those needs from battery banks to fully off grid solar charging solutions.

Durahub

The DuraHub is an extremely rugged ultra-capacity 20,000mAh, portable power bank that can fast charge up to 4 devices at once and offers QI wireless charging capability. It can store the equivalent of a week’s worth of recharge for most modern cell phones. 5 color options are available.

SolarHub Fold

Our SolarHub Fold is not only a 20000 mAh capacity battery bank but it also includes a four-panel solar array making it self-charging when placed in good direct sunlight. The four 1.5W solar panels will give you emergency charging capability when you need off grid charging solutions or in a power outage.

Flexible Solar Panels

For those of you looking for a more permanent solution than just a portable battery bank we offer off grid 90W and 100W Flexible Solar Panels. These panels are durable, flexible, and easy to install. These panels are built to be used off grid, ideal for cabins, off grid camping, camper van’s and much more.

3.) Food

Food is one of the most basic items necessary for survival. As recently as the Coronavirus Pandemic that started in early 2020, which is still fresh in all our minds, that global event showed us at least for the first time in my lifetime just how fragile the supply chains are in the United States. We all experienced going to the local grocery store and seeing empty shelves. Now that we know that is a real scenario that can happen. We know that we need an emergency food supply on hand. We carry various kinds of prepacked food options. From the most gourmet of survival emergency food to easy to carry calorie packed life saving survival bars.

ReadyWise

ReadyWise has been one of the premier options on the market for excellent long term storage survival food. With most of their food options having a 25-year expiration date, you can safely purchase their food with a long-term investment in mind.

APack

A-Pack prepacked food is more of the classic MRE or military style meals that you are familiar with. They are individually packaged 12 meals per case and come in self-heating packages. Each meal is 1,100 calories which means just two meals per day will give you more calories than the 2,000-calorie recommended diet. Not bad eating for a survival or emergency situation!

Datrex

The Datrex emergency food bars are prepacked vacuum sealed survival food bars that generally come with a five-year expiration date. These bars are designed to be lightweight and easy to carry. They aren’t designed to be delicious snacks but rather they are packed with everything you need to just survive extreme emergency situations for short periods of time when there are no other food options. They are available in three different options: the most popular one we carry is the 3,600 calorie 3 day / 72-hour Datrex Blue. We also offer the 2,400 calorie Datrex Red and the 1,000 calorie Datrex Aviation.

4.) Water

As we all have been taught you can go up to three days without water. That being said, going more than a couple hours without water can cause a big difference in physical and cognitive function. Add on top of that possibly being on the move in a survival situation. All that put together equals water being an essential item on your bug out bag checklist. When it comes to water there are basically two options, carrying it with you or finding a water source and filtering it as needed. At eight pounds per gallon that weight can add up and be difficult to carry and find the room for. We have a few recommended items to help with that, as well as some great water storage solutions.

VitalStraw

The VitalStraw was designed to be an easy on the go filter system for getting water as needed. You can simply use it as a straw and drink directly from the water source. Or you can fill up the water pouch that is included and use it as a portable filtration system you can drink out of as well. Some of the filtration specifications include filtering out 99% of bacteria (including e. coli) 99% of parasites (including Giardia, Cryptosporidium & more) 99% of microplastics (found in most water now).

Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets

A very easy option for water purification needs are the Potable Aqua tablets. This tiny bottle contains 50 tablets which is enough to treat up to 25 quarts of water. Simply use two tablets per one quart of fresh drinking water to treat it and make it suitable to consume. Once you put the tablets into the water you just need to wait for 35 minutes for it to dissolve and treat the water, after that you are ready to go!

Collapsible 2 Gallon Water Container

Bulk water storage solutions are sometimes very bulky and hard to carry. The Sirius Survival 2-gallon collapsible water container collapses down and folds flat for easy storage in a vehicle or bug out bag. Not only is it easy to store and carry but once it is filled with water it easily dispenses out of the twist valve faucet. These are also used sometimes as hand washing stations as well.

5.) Shelter

Compact options for emergency shelter solutions can be limited and hard to find. We have narrowed down a couple solutions that have been tested over time and proven themselves to be versatile. One main thing to remember when it comes to an emergency shelter is that they are primarily designed to keep you alive and not necessarily comfortable. Below we have two of our best options that we recommend for emergency shelter needs.

Bivvy Emergency Sleeping Bag

A Bivvy emergency sleeping bag is not only light weight and compact at just 4.8 ounces but one of the most multipurpose items you can have in your survival pack. Some of the uses include, rainproof shelter, tent flooring, rain poncho, emergency signal, bivouac sack, wind blocker, water collector.

Compact Emergency Survival Tent

Our compact emergency survival tent comes in an all-in-one kit that includes everything you need to make a quick shelter. Once set up this tent is 8ft long and can easily accommodate two adults. The reflective material that it is made of is designed to reflect and conserve your natural body heat to help you stay warm.

6.) Portable Weather Radio

When you are in a situation with limited communication abilities such as a power outage, the phone grids are out, internet is down, etc. A very important resource is to still be able to receive news, updates, or instructions from Federal, State, or local agencies. Generally, the radio waves will always be in operation and most if not, all major radio broadcast facilities are equipped with back up emergency power since they were designed with just this in mind, to be a main source for news and updates during emergency situations. Having an emergency radio with its own power source can be essential during a disaster like a hurricane, wildfire, or tornado.

Premium Portable Emergency Weather

Our Premium Portable Emergency Weather radio includes many multifunctional capabilities besides just being a radio. One of the most important features for an emergency situation is the hand crank on the side which allows this radio to be charged on its own without the need of an outside power source. It also features a small solar panel on the top which will provide limited but supplemental charging when exposed to very good direct sunlight. On the end is a bright LED flashlight that also has a button for SOS display functionality. This radio also has a 2000mAh battery bank with a USB port making it capable to charge cell phones and other electronic devices. Weather you are on the move or hunkered down at home this radio is a great addition to your go bag survival kit.

7.) First Aid Kit

Injuries are things that come up unexpectedly and generally happen at the most inopportune times. But the good news is you can be prepared to handle them if you plan properly and have the right tools on hand. Having a well stocked first aid kit in your go bag can make all the difference. We have put together a few different options ranging from the traditional first aid kit to a survival kit mixed with first aid supplies.

121 Piece First Aid Kit

The 121-piece first aid kit offers a nice variety of all the traditional first aid supplies that are essential to keep on hand. Essential medical items such as band-aids, prep pads, bandages, and disposable gloves. The compact size at just 7’’ x 5’’ x 2’’ makes this kit easy to store in survival kits, go bags, cars, boats, toolboxes, and kitchen draws at home for easy access.

94 Piece First Aid & Survival Kit 

Our 94-piece First aid kit is also packed with a nice selection of important survival tools as well. Making this a very versatile kit to have on hand. We put together this kit to cover a variety of situations and need with some of the most essential first aid supplies, but it also contains items such as a fire starter, multitool, compass, saw, and emergency signal whistle. Having first aid supplies and survival essentials on hand in an easy to carry and store kit can give you piece of mind knowing that you are prepared if an emergency or survival situation arises.

  • 8.) Flashlight

Having a reliable flashlight on hand can be invaluable in many situations. In the fall and winter months the sun can set at times as early as 4pm. That leaves a very large portion of the day in complete darkness. Our selection of tactical flashlights have many unconventional features such as USB rechargeable batteries which eliminates the need to keep spare batteries on hand and makes it much easier in survival or power outage scenarios to recharge. Especially with one of our back up battery power banks we mentioned earlier in this article such as the Durahub.

Driver DEFENDER

A customer favorite for many years now has been the Driver DEFENDER. This multifunctional tactical flashlight has many features that can be used in, survival, car accident, or just everyday situations. One of the best features is the built-in solar panel, meaning that if placed in clear direct sunlight this flashlight will be able to recharge itself during the daytime when not in use. Other features include: Seatbelt cutter, glass/window breaker, compass, LED emergency strobe light, and a USB charging port with a small built in battery bank to charge a cell phone or other electronic device.

C8T6 Compact Ultra Bright Tactical Flashlight

The C8T6 Compact Ultra Bright Tactical Flashlight is 1000 lumens on the max brightness setting. It’s extremely rugged design is constructed of aluminum alloy making it shock resistant and features a waterproof rating of IP64. The C8T6 offers 5 different light settings such as, high, medium, and low brightness levels. As well as a strobe and SOS option for emergency signaling.

LuxTac

If you are looking for the brightest option available, then the LuxTac is the one for you. At 6000 lumens this can light up very large fields of view with the push of a button. The aluminum alloy construction and rechargeable battery features make this light extremely reliable and easy to use. The LuxTac also features a glass breaker, USB charging port for emergency power needs as well as a OLED display screen to let you know how much battery life is left.

9.) Fire Starter

Fire or warmth in general can be the real difference between life and death in a lot of situations. Having a fire starter that is tested for reliability and most importantly easy to use is a staple in every well thought out survival kit. With many options available from the traditional ferro rod strikers to the latest technology in electric arc lighters we will break down a few options and you can decide which one appeals to you and your needs more. No matter which one you decide on being prepared is the main priority.

BigDaddy Fire Starter

The BigDaddy has been our flagship fire starter for many years, and for good reason. The quality and ease of use of this fire starter are second to none. It features a large 5 inch by ½ inch rod for easy striking. The paracord lanyard can be unraveled for over 8.5 feet of emergency cordage.

ZeuX – Electric Arc Lighter

Rechargeable electric arc lighters first came on the market a few years ago and have been very well received by the prepper and survivalist community. One of the main benefits to this style of lighter as opposed to the classic zippo style is the elimination of lighter fluid. Now, there is no need to refill the lighter with fluid periodically. By having the lighter run off a rechargeable battery the lighter can produce an electric arc which will ignite items it comes into contact with. With a simple push button ignition system, the Sirius Survival Zeux lighter makes starting fires almost effortless.

10.)  Cordage

Rope can give you the ability to fix and create resources and tools to thrive and succeed in a survival situation. From creating temporary emergency shelters, to making a bow drill, or rigging an animal trap the possibilities are endless for the ways you can use cordage. We have chosen a few different options to recommend for bulk cordage to keep on hand. From bulk 100ft rolls to the classic paracord bracelet. Below we get into the details of each option.

100ft Paracord Rope

The most popular cordage option we have on our site is the bulk 100 feet of paracord. 100 feet sounds like a lot (which it is) but is surprisingly rolls up into a very manageable size making it easy to carry, store, or pack in any survival kit. This paracord is rated to hold up to 350 pounds making it extremely reliable for accomplishing most tasks you will need it to perform. With 10 color options in stock, you are sure to find a color you like!

Paracord Survival Bracelet 

The classic paracord bracelet with a twist as we like to call it, not only is this bracelet made out of around 20 feet of 550 paracord but it also contains 11 survival tools woven inside of it. Survival essential such as, fire starter, fishing hooks, 15 feet of fishing line, and dry tinder for fire starting. Wearing this bracelet is an easy way to make sure you have access to some of the most basic, essential survival tools at all times.

11.)  Entertainment

As simple as it sounds having a form of entertainment can help pass the time and brighten spirits during a tough situation.  If you are evacuated from home due to a hurricane or wildfire or even at home during a power outage for example, having something as simple as a deck of cards can help make the situation better and bring back some sense of normalcy. It has been proven that keeping a positive attitude during a tough time is one of the number one factors associated with coming out of a survival or emergency situation successfully.

Standard Playing Card Deck

Our classic deck of cards can offer hours or even days of simple fun and entertainment. Keep your mind occupied with mindless games such as go fish or crazy eights or go all the way up to the complex such as poker or bridge. Card games are a simple way to keep both adults and kids occupied and having fun no matter the situation you are weathering out.

12.) Emergency Blanket

A mylar emergency blanket also known as a Thermal Solar blanket has been a staple with emergency responders and survivalists for a long time now. Chances are you have seen these before and are somewhat familiar with them. But the technology and utilization of them can save your life. The material not only blocks the wind, but it traps and reflects body heat back onto you making you very warm and significantly more comfortable. If you are in a survival situation and find yourself in cold weather or stuck overnight chances are the temperature will drop. Hypothermia can start to set in at temperatures as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit that may sound like a manageable temperature but spending a full 12 hours straight in that kind of temperature overnight, without the proper clothing or gear can be deadly. Having an emergency blanket in your kit is essential, extremely affordable, and won’t take up much space at all.

Emergency Thermal Solar Blanket

The Sirius Survival emergency blanket is an affordable, compact survival tool. We have them available in 2, 4, and 8 pack quantities. The larger quantity discounted multi packs have been a popular option with customers that want to equip all their vehicles, boats, RV’s and survival kits with one of these. Having one of these on hand can make a life saving difference when you are in an emergency situation.

13.) Multitool

A Multitool is exactly what the name sounds like, a tool that has multiple tools built into it. They are usually compact, foldable, relatively lightweight, come in carrying cases. Having a multitool in your go bag can check a lot of good items off your essential gear checklist at once. Most Multitools will have tools such as pliers, wire cutters, knife blades, saw blades, and screwdrivers built into them. Multi-tools are very user friendly and eliminate the need to carry individual tools freeing up more valuable space in your go bag.

Stainless Steel Multitool Pliers

Our stainless steel multitool includes spring loaded pliers, knife blade, wood saw, nail file, ruler, flat head screwdriver, phillips head screwdriver, and 11 magnetic connector bits. The stainless steel construction make this resilient in harsh conditions to rust and wear. It also come in a nylon Velcro sealing carrying case with a belt loop to wear if preferred.

14.) Cooking

Having the right tools to cook off the grid can make preparing meals much easier and efficient. A simple compact cook stove and pot and pan set are great additions to any survival kit or camping gear. Portable camp stoves run off bottles of butane fuel mixes. They are very efficient and have a high concentrated volume of heat to boil or cook very quickly.  A compact cookware set will give you most if not all of the tools you need to both cook and eat the meal you prepare. Below we get into the details of the 12 piece cookware set we have developed that includes all the basic essentials you need to prepare a great meal in any situation.

Camping 12pc Cookset & Camp Stove Combo Pack

We have put together the perfect combo pack that covers all the essential items for cooking off the grid. It includes both our 12-piece cookware set and our camp stove. The cookware set includes essential items such as two cooking pots, utensils for both eating and cooking, as well as bowls to eat your meal out of. All twelve pieces conveniently fit into the large cooking pot making this very compact and east to store. The butane powered stove folds up and fits into a plastic carrying case measuring in at 3.5’’ x 4’’. The windproof flame allows you to prepare meals in almost any conditions. With an aluminum alloy construction this stove has the durability to last for many years and adventures to come.

15.) Comfort

Once you have all of the above essential items on hand and ready to use you can start to think about maybe adding what we will call “luxury” essentials. If you have the room in your go bag you can think about adding some items to make your time a little more comfortable. Items such as pillows and hammocks. We offer a great line of both that are extremely durable, easy to use, and most importantly fold up to be compact, easy to carry and will not take up much space.

Inflatable Camping Pillow

Inflatable pillows were originally developed for the hiking market and are still extremely popular today. They roll up in a nice convenient carrying case to only 4 inches by 2.5 inches, so they barely take up any room and weigh just 2.8 ounces. Once fully blown up with air they open to be 16.9 inches wide 12.6 inches long and 4.3 inches tall. Having a comfortable pillow will tremendously help you to have a great night’s sleep leaving you well rested to take on the challenges of the day.

Camping Hammock With Mosquito Net

Our portable hammocks come equipped with everything you need to set them up very quickly such as straps, D rings, and even a mosquito net to block bugs, and other insects from getting in. This innovative attached netting feature makes sleeping much more enjoyable especially if you are in a warmer region of the United States that has a lot of mosquitos or other insects. With 7 colors to choose from you can fine the perfect one for you.

Hammock Sleeping Bag

The sleeping bag hammock is an insulated hammock with premium TC cotton and has a nylon outer shell. That combination will keep you both warm and dry. This large sleeping bag rolled up weighs surprisingly only 1.5 pounds. This hammock is a great option if you think there is a possibility you may be sleeping outdoors on cold nights or in the winter months. Being up off the ground and well insulated is essential in cold weather survival situations.

Conclusion

Now that you have taken the time to read through this article, hopefully you are walking away with some new knowledge and an understanding of why preparedness is important. Being prepared for the unexpected for yourself and your family is an absolute priority and for you to be researching articles like this proves you are off to a great start. To make your path to being prepared for a survival situation even easier our team at Sirius Survival has put together and hand selected a well thought out 175 piece bug out bag that encompasses all of the needs we went over in the sections above.

Pre-Packed Emergency Survival Kit/Bug Out Bag for 2 – 175+ Pieces

This emergency pack is full of emergency supplies that cover shelter, sustenance, self-defense, first aid and much more. This all fits neatly organized in just the smaller pockets of the backpack, and weighs in at a total of 13.5lbs.

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