Very few people plan on getting lost in the woods, but if it happens, it’s a good idea to be prepared. Surviving the elements is often simply a matter of common sense, patience and making use of Mother Nature’s gifts. Whether you’ve uncovered a recent urge to become a survivalist or you’re planning an extreme forest camping trip, this list will help you distinguish the wood from the trees. Below is our list of all the gear you’ll need to survive on your own in most forests.
Before setting out on any expedition, it’s important to research your terrain thoroughly so that you can prepare properly; wherever you’re going, a survival kit can often make the difference between a comfortable night getting back in touch with nature and a cold and horrid one. Don’t make the potential mistake of not bringing one of these Bushcraft BCB Ultimate Survival Kits. This air-tight aluminium tin contains everything you’ll need to get you through the night. Buy it on Amazon here.
First Aid Kit
Don’t make the same mistake many have made in the past: before leaving for the woods tell someone where you’re going and how long you expect to be there. The safest way to enjoy yourself is to take precautions, and packing a First Aid Kit is Precautions 101. Make sure you pack this 90 Piece Premium First Aid Kit Bag in your bag and leave it there – it’ll be ready when you need it. This kit is fantastically compact and has everything you’ll need to treat most injuries. Buy it on Amazon here.
Personal Locator Beacon
While most sensible people try to avoid getting lost, things can happen and it’s usually best to prepare for all eventualities. I recommend this Mcmurdo 91001220A Fast Find 220 PLB. On activation, it transmits your unique ID and precise GPS location to the global network of search and rescue satellites. Within minutes rescuers are alerted to your situation and receive regular position updates. Unlike other PLB’s on the market, the Mcmurdo doesn’t require a subscription fee or rely on commercial call centres. It also has impressive battery life: Mcmurdo claim that their batteries will last for six years. Buy it on Amazon here.
Getting a message to the outside world can be the key to effective survival. Unless you intend on climbing very tall trees each time you decide to call for help, you’ll need a good satellite phone. This DeLorme inReach is perfect for this purpose. The DeLorme inRreach offers 100% coverage and an SOS feature that can provide your friends and family with much-needed reassurance. You’ll need to pay a fee to connect to the system, but this is probably worth it when you consider the alternatives.
Be sure to bring your mobile phone along as well. While not entirely reliable in the wilderness, smartphones are certainly a useful addition to any survival kit. You’ll need one with good battery life, but use it sparingly. Buy it on Amazon here.
The most important element of survival in the forest is shelter. I recommend bringing a tent with you, as these will provide most of the protection you’ll need. This Coleman Coastline has plenty of room and holds up well in bad weather. It’s very sturdy and even a novice will be able to set up in a jiffy. Buy it on Amazon here.
It’s a good idea to brush up on your bush craft before you leave. This book by a former SAS operative should help. Buy it on Amazon here.
There’s a lot of stuff on this list, and you’ve probably guessed by now that you’ll need to be carrying it all wherever you go, and for that, you’ll need a sturdy bag. This Karabar Makalu Large 120 Litres Travel Backpack is great value for the money and is one of the best on the market. It comes with a 3 year warrantee and is remarkably durable, considering the lightweight waterproof material that it’s made from. Buy it on Amazon here.