Once you’ve begun to stockpile survival gear, it can be hard to determine what you’re missing from your list. As a result, we’ve taken the time to create as much of a comprehensive list of all the different types of survival gear as possible.
Of course, every survivalist is different and has different needs. Thus, no two survival gear stockpiles will look the same. Some will undoubtedly want to stay away from purchasing battery or electricity dependant gear, for instance, while others will undoubtedly want to go the hyper-minimalist route, only buying what they think they will really need (and perhaps be able to carry in a single backpack). Don’t feel pressured into extending your list of survival gear by buying something you don’t really think you’ll use. Instead, scan this list for items that you might have forgotten or think would really compliment your needs as a survivalist.
I’ve taken the time to organize the gear into different categories for your convenience: to make browsing much easier. Check out the list and tell us if there’s anything you think you should add to your own personal list of survival gear!
Also, please let us know in the comments if there are any pieces of survival gear we’ve missed and you think should be added to the list. I’m sure there are plenty of value items we’ve forgotten!
1. Survival Gear List of Tools
Most of the items on this list are must-have survival gear pieces. With the proper tools, you can typically make your own shelter in case you need to, or fix one that you already have. Good survival tools can also help you to gather wood for creating fire for heat and to cook with, which is why tools are the very first thing on our list.
- Pocket knife (recommended: Zero Tolerance Tactical Response Knife or Benchmade Adamas Folding Knife)
- Survival/bushcraft fixed blade knife (recommended: Mora Companion Heavy Duty Knife)
- Survival/bushcraft machete (recommended: Ontario 6145 Military Machete)
- Flashlight (recommended: Nitecore P12 Tactical Flashlight)
- Emergency candles (recommended: 100 Hour Plus Emergency Candle)
- EDC bag (recommended: Condor EDC Bag)
- Hiking backpack (recommended: 5.11 Rush 12 Back Pack)
- Bug out bag (recommended: 5.11 Rush 72 Back Pack)
Other Survival Tools
- Axe (recommended: Fiskars 7857 Chopping Axe)
- Saw (recommended: Bahco Laplander Folding Saw)
- Duct tape/Gorilla tape
- 550 strand paracord
- Multitool (recommended: Leatherman Wave Multi Tool)
- Crowbar/fubar (recommended: Stanley FatMax Xtreme 55-120 FuBar III)
- Plastic tubing
- List coming*
2. Survival Gear List for Firecraft
The ability to make fire is exceptionally important in survival situations. Although you don’t need everything mentioned in the list below in order to make a fire, it might be handy to have a small variety of options as back ups, in case a lighter runs out of propane, for instance.
- Lighter (recommended: Windmill Delta Stormproof Lighter)
- Fire starter/firesteel (recommended: Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel with Emergency Whistle)
- Waterproof matches (recommended: UCO Stormproof Matches, Waterproof and Windproof)
- Magnifying glass
- Tinder (recommended: UST Wet Fire Tinder)
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife with Sheath – Amazon
3. Survival Gear List for Hydration
Whether you’re preparing for the zombie apocalypse or you’re an urban prepper preparing for an emergency, you’re going to need a way to collect and purify water. The survival gear below, therefore, will likely be stockpiled by all types of survivalists and preppers alike.
Water Collection & Storage
- Water collection tank
- Water bottle (recommended: Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Water Bottle)
- Water bag (recommended: Camelbak Thermobak 100oz)
- Non-lubricated condoms
- Water filter (recommended: Lifestraw Personal Water Filter)
- Water purification tablets (recommended: Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets)
4. Survival Gear List for Thermoregulation
You’re much less likely to need the heat generation survival gear if you live in a desert state or a place that typically does not get cooler weather. That being said, this type of gear can still be helpful in case of climate change or especially cold nights.
- Mylar/space emergency thermal blanket (recommended: ER Emergency Ready Thermal Mylar Blankets)
- Sleeping bag (recommended: Coleman North Rim 0 Degree Sleeping Bag)
- Butane/propane heater (recommended: Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Propane Heater)
- Rain jacket (recommended: Dickies Men’s Fleece Lined Hooded Jacket)
- Rubber rain boots
- Poncho (recommended: Frogg Toggs Men’s Ultra-Lite Ponchos)
Crosman Phantom .177 Caliber Break Barrel Air Rifle – Amazon
5. Survival Gear List for Nourishment
Planning out what to eat after an emergency situation arises is one of the first things survivalists and preppers typically do. Although stockpiling is an excellent idea, it’s also great to have a plan for what happens if the emergency situation extends longer than a stockpile will last. Fishing and hunting outdoor gear, in this situation, will prove very valuable.
- Binoculars (recommended: Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular)
- Slingshot (recommended: Barnett Outdoors Cobra Slingshot with Stabilizer and Brace)
- B.B./pellet gun + pellets (recommended: Crosman Phantom .177 Caliber Air Rifle)
- .22 LR rifle + ammo *(if legally permissible)
- Snare wire
- Fishing rod (recommended: Okuma Tundra Surf Spinning Combo)
- Fishing line
- Fishing lures
- Gardening knife (recommended: Sun Joe SHori-Hori Garden Landscaping Digging Tool)
- Pruning shears (recommended: Fiskars Traditional Bypass Pruning Shears)
Survival Food & Consumables to Stockpile
- MREs (recommended: Genuine U.S. Military Surplus MRE)
- Hard candy
- Energy bars
- Canned food
- Wine & liquors
- See list here
Cooking & Eating
- Can opener (recommended: Swing-A-Way Can Opener)
- Cast iron pan
- Tin can
- Aluminum foil
- Stainless steel cooking pot/cup
- Butane/propane camping stove (recommended: GoHiking Lightweight Burner Classic Camping and Backpacking Canisters)
- Butane/propane portable stove (recommended: Smart Chef Deluxe Butane Burner Stove)
- Cooking/eating utensils: forks, spoons, knives, chopsticks
6. Survival Gear List for Shelter
As mentioned before, you can technically build your own shelter if you have the proper survival gear tools at hand. That being said, it’s always nice to get an upper hand on shelter, as it will also help you stay warm and dry in case of an emergency or survival situation.
- Tent (recommended: Coleman Red Canyon Dome Tent)
- Tarp (recommended: Texsport Reinforced Rip-Stop Polyethylene Tarp)
- Bivy sack
- Survival hammock (recommended: ProForce Jungle Hammock with Mosquito Net)
7. Survival Gear List for Medicine & First Aid
Prepper gear should also include at least basic first aid and medicine. Though the medicine you can stockpile will not be enough to fix every situation, having a basic first aid kit and some standard medicine will typically get you through a great deal of difficult situations.
- Tylenol Cold & Flu
- Benzocaine gel (for toothaches)
- List coming*
- Sewing kit
- Rescue shears (recommended: Prestige Medical Fluoride Scissor)
- Quik Clot (recommended: QuickClot Sport Advanced Clotting Sponge)
- Tourniquet (recommended: C-A-T Combat Application Tourniquet)
- Wound dressing (recommended: DuoDERM Extra Thin CGF Dressing)
- 50% alcohol solution
- List coming*
Fenix LD20 180 Lumen LED Flashlight – Amazon
8. Survival Gear List for Rescue
If you’re planning on getting rescued, or if you’re at all interested in navigation, communication, or really any way of knowing what’s happening in the outside world after the shit hits the fan, you might be interested in adding a few of the survival gear items below to your stockpile. Though not every survivalist/prepper will be interested in staying connected if the SHTF, if this is important to you, make sure you have a way to do it!
- Compass (recommended: Suunto A-10 Field Compass)
- GPS (recommended: Garmin eTrex 20 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator)
Communication & Rescue
- Cell phone
- Walkie talkie (recommended: Motorola MH230R 23-Mile Range Two-Way Radio)
- HAM, CB, or shortwave radio (recommended: BaoFeng UV-5R+ Dual-Band Ham Two-Way Radio)
- Windup or AA-battery radio (recommended: Ambient Weather Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio, Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger)
- Signaling mirror (recommended: Ultimate Survival Technologies StarFlash Signal Mirror)
- Whistle (recommended: Fox 40 Sonik Blast CMG Whistle)
- Personal locator beacon (PLB)
9. Survival Gear List of Clothing & Apparel
There’s a wide variety of survival clothing that would be helpful in emergency and survival situations. On top of your day-to-day clothing, you may want to be sure to include at least a few of the items below in your clothing/apparel prepper gear stockpile.
Clothing & Apparel
- Wool socks (recommended: Wigwam Unisex Merino Wool Comfort Hiker Sock)
- Shemagh (recommended: ProForce Shemagh)
- Tactical boots (recommended: Bates Ultra-Lites Tactical Sport Work Boot)
- Hiking boots
- Sunglasses (recommended: 5.11 Unisex Tactical Burner FF Polarized Sunglasses)
- List coming*
10. Survival Gear List of Power & Electricity
Some survivalists will, no doubt, want to stay as far away from these items as possible, as most of them will, over time, become useless in a state of complete apocalyptic devastation. That being said, for short-term prepping emergencies, at least, these items are likely to come in very handy, especially in our power/electricity driven world of today.
- Rechargeable batteries (recommended: Eneloop AAA Rechargeable Batteries)
- Battery solar charger
- USB solar charger (recommended: Opteka BP-SC4000 Ultra Thin Solar Powered High-Capacity Charger)
- Energy bank (recommended: Anker Astro E4 Dual USB Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank)
- Car phone charger
- Butane/propane tanks
- Electricity generator
Spyderco Endura 4 FFG Folding Plain Edge Knife – Amazon
11. Survival Gear List for Car Emergency
In case you don’t have a car or vehicle, or don’t plan on using one in a survival or emergency situation, you can completely ignore this list. If a vehicle is in your emergency preparedness plan, however, you’ll want to make sure you’ll have these items at the very least.
- Jumper cables (recommended: AAA 4326AAA Heavy Duty 16′ 6 Gauge Booster Cable)
- Cable ties (recommended: Pro Tie B8SD100 8-Inch Standard Duty Cable Ties)
- Spare tire
- Tire repair kit (recommended: Slime 70004 Power Spair 48 Piece Tire Repair Kit)
12. Survival Gear List for Safety
In survival and SHTF situations, you’ll want to make sure to defend yourself and your family against both other people and animals. There are a variety of ways which you can do this, although of course some work better than others. Certainly look into attaining a firearm if this is legally permissible in your locality, and if you ever consider you may like to have it as a backup option. If you are interested in firearms, make sure to learn about them and train with them prior to an emergency situation. You can’t expect to be good with a firearm you first time shooting.
- Bear spray (recommended: Sabre Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent)
- Pepper spray *(if legally permissible) (recommended: Sabre Red Police Strength Pepper Spray)
- Tactical flashlight (recommended: Fenix PD35 850 Lumen LED Tactical Flashlight)
- Firearm + ammo *(if legally permissible)
13. Survival Gear List for Important Documents & Finances
Whether or not you plan on bugging out in an emergency SHTF or survival situation, you definitely want to have your important documents and some healthy finances on your side. Tradeable goods are also extremely helpful post-SHTF, which is why they’re on this list. It may be more beneficial to stockpile urban survival gear that will actually be of use to you and those around you in a post-SHTF situation, but in case there’s something you forgot or ran out of, tradeable goods are definitely an asset.
- Personal identification papers
- Extra money
- Credit cards
- Toilet paper
- List coming*
14. Survival Gear List for Educational Resources
The items on this list are of course not a must-have, but they’re great to have on you in case you need some help and aren’t quite sure what to do. Stock a Kindle e-book reader, tablet, or Chromebook full of useful survival books and resources and you’ll have a hell of a lot easier time if there’s something you haven’t let learned how to do or need to do for the very first time. It would also be beneficial to keep a few biology survival books, ones that will let you know what’s edible and what’s not: because you definitely don’t want to be nibbling on poison plants you thought were fine to eat in a survival/SHTF situation.
- Chromebook (recommended: HP Chromebook 11)
- List coming*
&&: If you found this article useful, you may also be interested in taking a look at our other survival gear and survival food item lists. Starting with this article, The Ultimate Survival Gear List, we also have an article about The Best Survival Foods: Non-Perishables That Can Outlive You, as well as more to come.