Today we're bringing you a guest blog post from Dan Sullivan of SullivanSurvival.com. Dan's an expert on survival and preparedness, and he's put together a list of the top 10 survival items that he thinks will come in handy in a survival situation. Take it away, Dan!
Question: how many survival items do you think you’d need in a disaster or emergency? 10 items? 20? 50?
We can sit here all day trying to figure that out, but the reality is that having the right items is what’s important. If you don’t have that paracord to climb over that fence, if you don’t have that granola bar to give you energy when you need it, your survival could take a turn for the worse.
In today’s article, I want to give you a few suggestions: here are the top 10 survival items you didn't know you needed! We all know about knives and multi-tools, but there are others that can be of assistance. And some of them, as you’re about to see, are dirt cheap.
#1. Plasters/Band Aids
You'll always have some in your first aid kit, but why stop there? Plasters can be stored anywhere: inside your wallet, your purse, your laptop bag, your jacket’s pockets etc. They’re small, lightweight and very cheap. If you ever get a cut (or run across someone who does), a sticky plaster will make things much easier.
#2. Aluminium Foil
This cheap and lightweight item has numerous survival applications. Here are just a few: outdoor cooking, to reflect heat inside your shelter, to protect trees during winter, to make char cloth and, of course, to keep tinder and other items dry.
#3. Boiled sweets
This is a serious survival food that can be kept in any survival location or survival bag. It’s lightweight, full of carbohydrates and lasts a long time. Perfect for bug out bags, get home bags as well as for your pantry, basement and bug out location.
#4. Dental floss
Although there are many uses for floss in a survival situation (to make a bow, snare traps, to hang things etc. etc.), I think the main survival use is the default: to clean one’s teeth. If you’re out in the middle of nowhere, if you’re dealing with a long-term survival situation, dentists and specialized equipment will be hard to come by. The best and only way to keep your teeth clean is to have a solid daily routine consisting of brushing, flossing and using mouthwash.
These aren’t exactly the first things that come in mind when you think about survival food, but consider how important it is to keep healthy and have plenty of energy. You'll likely be expending physical effort in a survival situation, not to mention all the mental focus you’re going to need.
A good ol’ pair of socks may literally save your life when bugging out. Definitely don’t forget to add two pairs in your bug out bag, one thinner and one thicker. You can’t possibly know what the weather will be like when the unthinkable finally happens. If you get your feet wet, it’s nice to know you have a dry pair of socks somewhere in your bag that you can wear once you dry off your feet. Keep them in zipper bags just in case your backpack lands in water or if rain gets in.
#7. Nail Clippers
Though you could use small scissors to cut your nails, nail clippers work easier and better. Make sure you put those too in a Ziploc bag to keep them waterproof, or they’ll begin to rust.
#8. A back-up survival knife
Though a good survival knife can even be used for things like chopping wood, you probably don’t want to do that. It’s much better to have things like an axe that will do certain tasks much better.
For things like digging or knife-throwing, you should have a cheaper survival knife. This way, you’ll spare the main blade. Two knives also follow the survival rule of redundancy, but don’t stop there. You can and should have a folding knife to have with you at all times in your pocket.
#9. A Poncho
My latest bug out bag addition. There’s nothing worse than being outside in the rain, on the move and without an umbrella. If you catch a cold while you’re bugging out, it is going to be tough. Even with the right medicine, if you get ill you're going need to lie down and rest somewhere warm for a few hours, or even a few days.
A poncho can not only prevent all of that by protecting you from rain, but it can also help you make shelter, gather firewood, forage and tie things.
#10. A Sewing Kit
Needles and threads are small and cheap, yet can help you in various emergencies: torn clothes, bags, making early warning signals in your camp site and much, much more. Why not add them to your bug out bag?
As you can see, I didn’t put the condom on this list as it’s just one of those things that’s gotten popular by TV producers who saw it as a funny survival item. Still, I’m sure many haven’t thought about the items above and their usefulness; they’re much more important than condoms IMO.
I hope that I made my point, that survival is much more than just basic necessities such as shelter, water and food. There are many other things to take care of and a huge number of things can go wrong. But if you’re smart, you can prepare for most of them by learning a few basic skills and by acquiring the right survival items.
Great article from Dan; what are your essential survival items? What do you carry with you for emergencies that no one else will have thought of?
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