There are many nature lovers who, when we can escape to spend one or several days in these natural paradises. However, in this environment, any unforeseen event becomes a serious problem because we are alone and help usually takes a long time to arrive. Here you will see the homemade outdoor survival kit that I consider essential.
Carrying the right material on our outings can make the difference between living or dying, it seems I’m exaggerating but if you check the news of these last months, you’ll see that in the mountains people get lost and die of hypothermia, in the deserts of sunshine, in the jungles of dehydration, nature is not a game.
That’s why when making the backpack you must take into account these 10 basic needs, the survival manuals speak of 4: Water, Fire, Shelter, and Food. I go further, I have studied the most common cases in which people suffer serious accidents and, in most cases, carrying some of these elements would save their lives: Orientation, Lighting, Signaling, Communication, First Aid, and Cutting elements.
Taking into account these priorities, I have chosen these objects to carry in my backpack.
1. Homemade Outdoor Survival Kit: Water Filter
Water is one of the elements that we must carry if or if in our backpack, even if it is to spend several hours walking. The human body can survive several weeks without eating but only an average of two days assuming that the temperature is not excessively high or your physical activity.
For this reason, in addition to carrying a canteen with water, I would choose a filter with which I could drink from any water source I find on my way. Many people think that when the water looks clean and crystal clear, it is safe to drink from it, but the pathogens that the water may contain are so microscopic that it is impossible to tell the difference between pure water and contaminated water. This mistake could cause us to vomit or have diarrhea, achieving the opposite effect by quickly dehydrating us.
I always carry several lighters in my pockets and backpack, as they are very easy to break when hit or get wet, this is the only reason why which could also carry a ferrocerium or flint because although it is more resistant and can get wet it is also more difficult to light a fire with it.
The importance of having elements to light a fire is based on the fact that it is the quickest way to warm up or dry out if it is wet. We must not forget that hypothermia is one of the main causes of death in nature and if you get lost, having to spend the night in the mountain, fire can save your life.
3. Thermal Blanket
Like the lighter, this object is known for its function to maintain your body temperature, but it is important to note that the thermal blanket is not useful if it is not used correctly. Its usefulness lies in the ability to bounce heat off by creating an insulating surface, for this we must wrap ourselves with it in the best possible way, covering our whole body in a squatting position and not letting heat escape through any openings. You could also create an emergency bag, folding it in half and closing two of its sides with duct tape, this way it would keep much more heat.
Also, a thermal blanket can be used to create a small shelter, protecting us from the rain or the night’s rays. To do this, all you have to do is lift it off the ground and stretch its four corners with the help of ropes
4. Homemade Outdoor Survival Kit: Energetic Gel
You should always carry in your backpack an energy source that you can consume quickly, it doesn’t have to be energy gel, it can be chocolate, fruit, or any food that provides sugars to the body. This is important because when you are doing physical activity there is a risk of getting dizzy and suffering from a drop in tension.
This has happened to me when I’ve been on trips of several kilometers and it’s quite frequent, between the heat, the weight of the backpack, the slope of the road. In these cases, the food that will help you keep going is that which contains simple carbohydrates, which are rapidly absorbed.
The good thing about taking gels or energy drinks is that some also provide mineral salts for extra hydration, caffeine, and other supplements.
I have chosen GPS because it is the way to gather two elements in one, the map and the compass, but I am one of those who think that it is more reliable to use these two in the old way since they will never run out of battery. Anyway, carrying the three elements is never too much, the GPS is a very useful object because you can mark locations, as the starting point. With this object, you can guide you in situations that with the map and the compass you couldn’t, like for example when the fog covers the landscape, although I have to remember that in cases of low visibility is better to wait that it clears to avoid accidents with the land.
Being prepared to orient yourself in the area is more important than any Rambo type object since the first thing in a survival situation is to try to reach civilization.
6. Homemade Outdoor Survival Kit: Whistle
Sometimes it is possible to reach civilization, either because we are totally lost or because the weather conditions do not make it possible. That’s why it’s very important to carry signaling objects. They weigh almost nothing, they are cheap and easy to get, the whistle is a very small element that you can wear around your neck and in a dangerous situation, it can help you to mark your position. The equivalent to this object would be to shout as loud as you can, but you would not last long until you lose your voice, besides you would lose a lot of energy.
It can be used to scare away a wild animal, such as big cats, bears, wolves, etc… or simply to find your companion if you lose sight of them for some reason.
7. Homemade Outdoor Survival Kit: Headlamp or Flashlight
Lighting is another quality that we should not forget when preparing our backpack, it is as important as the orientation elements or other objects on this list. You may be thinking that you don’t need it if you are just going to spend the day, but the truth is that quite often we get disoriented in nature and the route becomes longer than expected, becoming night in some cases. If this happens to you and you can’t see anything, you run the risk of suffering a fall due to poor visibility or of going into hypothermia due to not being able to advance through the surroundings.
A simple light can help you see the path and what is around it, making your journey safer, and guiding you more easily. I have to emphasize that a headlamp will allow you to have your hands free, which helps a lot when we are using the map and the compass, or we need them to move forward more safely.
8. Homemade Outdoor Survival Kit: Phone
All these objects are very important to help us out of a dangerous situation, but there is one that can save us from almost any problem, the telephone.
The phone will make it possible to communicate with our rescuers when necessary, as long as we find an area where there is a signal to call the emergency number. Also, we can use many applications that are useful in nature, such as the Map, some Apps to send our location, the flashlight, and a long etcetera.
Therefore, we should not forget to carry it well charged or with an extra battery and well protected from moisture, such as inside a waterproof plastic bag or using a special housing.
There are also some phones designed for adventure, waterproof and shock-resistant, but that already depends on the budget we have and what we like adventure-proof technology.
9. First Aid Kit
If something needs to be carried at all times, it is the first aid kit. When we talk about survival, we think of making a fire or building a shelter, but the reality is that in most situations none of that will be necessary. Nowadays it is difficult to lose a lot of time since everywhere there are houses, roads, highways, and telephone coverage, but it is very easy to suffer a fall, get hypothermia, break a leg or suffer heatstroke, among many other injuries.
That is why carrying a first aid kit is essential and not only that, but we must adapt it with the tools and medicines we may need and that we know how to use. It is highly recommended to get trained in first aid and to make our emergency kit (the ones sold are very basic), as well as to teach our companions where to keep it and how to use it.
10. Homemade Outdoor Survival Kit: Knife
After everything we have commented on in this guide, you will have realized that most of the situations that can occur in nature are solved with everyday elements, however, the knife could not be missing in a list of survival objects.
It is known that it is important to carry a knife or simply a razor in your backpack, although many times it is only used to make us a snack and little else, there is an explanation for carrying this object.
Most of the tasks that can be done with a cutting element you can’t do with your hands or anything you find in nature, maybe you can make a kind of primitive axe with a sharp stone, but it won’t be the precision of a sharp metal blade.
To differentiate when to carry a knife or when to carry a knife, you should know that the knife is much more fragile as it consists of two pieces joined by a point and the knife will be more resistant as its blade is made of a single piece.
That said, the functions you can perform with a knife can be, cutting a bandage, dividing a rope, as well as other plastics and fabrics.
And with the knife, we can perform work that requires more hardness such as splitting wood, which is essential to start a fire with which to warm up in case of hypothermia, because although we have a lighter, often need access to the inside of the wood to get its driest part.
I hope that this guide will be useful to you, that you will put it into practice equipping us for the adventure safely and that you will not forget the best virtue you can carry with you: common sense.
Be cautious, train yourself in outdoor skills, and prepare well before leaving home. Checking the weather on the route is never wrong and letting someone know where you are going to be is essential.