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 or survival kits will look the same. Some will undoubtedly want to stay away from purchasing battery or electricity dependent gear, for instance, while others will 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
(ex. Zero Tolerance ZT0350TS Folding Knife or
Benchmade Adamas Folding Knife)
*See list of best EDC knives / list of best bang for buck folders
- Survival/bushcraft fixed blade knife
(ex. Mora Companion Heavy Duty Knife)
- Survival/bushcraft machete
(ex. Ontario 6145 Military Machete)
(ex. Nitecore P12 Tactical Flashlight)
- Emergency candles
(ex. 100 Hour Plus Emergency Candle)
- EDC bag
(ex. Condor EDC Bag)
- Hiking backpack
(ex. 5.11 Rush 12 Back Pack)
- Bug out bag
(ex. 5.11 Rush 72 Back Pack)
Other Survival Tools
(ex. Fiskars 7857 Chopping Axe)
(ex. Bahco Laplander Folding Saw)
- Knife sharpener
(ex. Spyderco Sharpmaker Tri-Angle Knife Sharpener or
Lansky Blademedic Pocket Knife Sharpener)
- Duct tape/Gorilla tape
- 550 strand paracord
*See guide to paracord
(ex. Leatherman Wave Multi Tool)
(ex. Stanley FatMax Xtreme 55-120 FuBar III)
- Plastic tubing
- List of survival tools 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.
Please note how difficult it can be making a fire through traditional survival & bushcraft techniques like rubbing sticks together. While I wholeheartedly recommend you practice and aim to perfect these no-gear-needed fire-making skills, I also recommend you not depend solely on your ability to make a fire in this way if it’s at all possible. At least do your best to carry a fire steel on you as a backup, especially considering how hard it can be to light a fire in wet/humid conditions.
- Lighter + Lighter fluid
(ex. Windmill Delta Stormproof Lighter)
- Fire starter/firesteel
(ex. Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel with Emergency Whistle)
- Waterproof matches
(ex. UCO Stormproof Matches, Waterproof and Windproof)
- Magnifying glass
(ex. 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 ways 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
(ex. Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Water Bottle)
- Water bag
(ex. Camelbak Thermobak 100oz)
- Non-lubricated condoms
- Water filter
(ex. Lifestraw Personal Water Filter or
Sawyer Products SP128 Mini Water Filtration System)
- Water purification tablets
(ex. 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.
If you’re in a cold climate and are doing your best to prepare for power outages that may happen in the winter, take a read through our guide to staying warm indoors during a power outage when it’s freezing cold outside.
- Mylar/space emergency thermal blanket
(ex. ER Emergency Ready Thermal Mylar Blankets)
- Sleeping bag
(ex. Coleman North Rim 0 Degree Sleeping Bag)
- Butane/propane heater
(ex. Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Propane Heater)
- *See list of winter emergency supplies
- Rain jacket
(ex. Dickies Men’s Fleece Lined Hooded Jacket)
- Rubber rain boots
(ex. 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 food 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.
Of course, when you’re planning out what you’re going to eat after a SHTF situation takes place, you should also be planning out how to cook that food as well. No good having canned goods if you haven’t thought of a way to get those cans opened without spilling their contents.
(ex. Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular)
(ex. Barnett Outdoors Cobra Slingshot with Stabilizer and Brace)
- B.B./pellet gun + pellets
(ex. Crosman Phantom .177 Caliber Air Rifle)
- .22 LR rifle + ammo *(if legally permissible)
- Snare wire
- Fishing rod
(ex. Okuma Tundra Surf Spinning Combo)
- Fishing line
- Fishing lures
- Gardening knife
(ex. Sun Joe SHori-Hori Garden Landscaping Digging Tool)
- Pruning shears
(ex. Fiskars Traditional Bypass Pruning Shears)
Survival Food & Consumables to Stockpile
- MREs & Dehydrated Foods
(ex. Genuine U.S. Military Surplus MRE or
Valley Food Storage Mango Habenaro Chili)
- Hard candy
- Energy bars
- Canned food
- Wine & liquors
- *See list of best non-perishable survival foods
Cooking & Eating
- Can opener
(ex. Swing-A-Way Can Opener or
P-38 & P-51 Can Openers)
- Cast iron pan
- Tin can
- Aluminum foil
- Stainless steel cooking pot/cup
- Portable wood burning stove
(ex. Solo Stove Ultra Lightweight Wood Burning Backpacking Stove)
- Butane/propane camping stove + Butane/propane
(ex. GoHiking Lightweight Burner Classic Camping and Backpacking Canisters)
- Butane/propane portable stove + Butane/propane
(ex. 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.
(ex. Coleman Red Canyon Dome Tent)
(ex. Texsport Reinforced Rip-Stop Polyethylene Tarp)
- Bivy sack
- Survival hammock
(ex. ProForce Jungle Hammock with Mosquito Net)
7. Survival Gear List for Medicine & First Aid Supplies
Prepper gear should also include at least basic first aid supplies and medicine. Though the medicine you can stockpile could never be enough to remedy each and every situation, having a basic first aid kit and some standard medicine will typically get you through a great deal of difficult situations.
Find out why Imodium is useful for survival.
- Tylenol Cold & Flu
- Benzocaine gel (for toothaches)
- Specialized medicine
- Topical Supplies
- *See full list of medicine & first aid supplies to stockpile
- Sewing kit
- Rescue shears
(ex. Prestige Medical Fluoride Scissor)
- Quik Clot
(ex. QuickClot Sport Advanced Clotting Sponge)
(ex. C-A-T Combat Application Tourniquet)
- Wound dressing
(ex. DuoDERM Extra Thin CGF Dressing)
- 50% alcohol solution
- *See full list of medicine & first aid supplies to stockpile
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!
(ex. Suunto A-10 Field Compass)
(ex. Garmin eTrex 20 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator)
Communication & Rescue
- Cell phone
- Walkie talkie
(ex. Motorola MH230R 23-Mile Range Two-Way Radio)
- Satellite phone
- HAM, CB, or shortwave radio
(ex. BaoFeng UV-5R+ Dual-Band Ham Two-Way Radio)
- Windup or AA-battery radio
(ex. Ambient Weather Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio, Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger)
- Signaling mirror
(ex. Ultimate Survival Technologies StarFlash Signal Mirror)
(ex. Fox 40 Sonik Blast CMG Whistle)
- Personal locator beacon (PLB)
9. Survival Gear List of Clothing & Apparel
There’s a wide variety of 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. Especially, of course, if you’re worried about long term survival.
Clothing & Apparel
- Wool socks
(ex. Wigwam Unisex Merino Wool Comfort Hiker Sock)
(ex. ProForce Shemagh)
- Tactical boots
(ex. Bates Ultra-Lites Tactical Sport Work Boot)
- Hiking boots
(ex. 5.11 Unisex Tactical Burner FF Polarized Sunglasses)
- List of clothing & apparel to stockpile 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 the very least, these items are likely to come in quite handy, especially in our power/electricity driven world of today.
- Rechargeable batteries
(ex. AmazonBasics AA High-Capacity Rechargeable Batteries)
- Battery solar charger
- USB solar charger
(ex. Opteka BP-SC4000 Ultra Thin Solar Powered High-Capacity Charger)
- Energy bank
(ex. 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 section of the 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
(ex. AAA 4326AAA Heavy Duty 16′ 6 Gauge Booster Cable)
- Cable ties
(ex. Pro Tie B8SD100 8-Inch Standard Duty Cable Ties)
- Spare tire
- Tire repair kit
(ex. Slime 70004 Power Spair 48 Piece Tire Repair Kit)
12. Survival Gear List for Security
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 your first time shooting.
- Bear spray
(ex. Sabre Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent)
- Pepper spray *(if legally permissible)
(ex. Sabre Red Police Strength Pepper Spray)
- Tactical flashlight
(ex. 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
Barter Items/Tradeable Goods
- Toilet paper
*See list of best alcohol to stockpile
- List of barter items/tradeable goods coming*
14. Survival Gear List for Educational Resources
The educational 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.
If you’re a prepper, first aid books are a must-have, and general survival books are a very good idea. If you’re concentrating on wilderness survival, it would be beneficial to keep a few good foraging and plant biology books on you, ones that will let you know what’s edible in your region 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.
(ex. HP Chromebook 11)
Looking for Budget & Discount Survival Gear?
If you’re interested in grabbing some inexpensive survival gear from outdoor retailers like Cabella’s, REI, and Patagonia, take a look at our massive list of knife & outdoor retailers’ sale, deal, & clearance pages! All the best outdoor gear discount pages to visit linked to on one page.
There’s also plenty of cheap, yet high quality survival gear that’s a great price whether or not it’s on sale. If you’re interested, take a look at what we think the best bang-for-buck survival gear products are at the $5, $10, $15, $20, & $25 price points.
Any Gear We’ve Missed?
Let us know if we’ve missed anything that should be on this comprehensive list by leaving a comment down below!