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There are many different situations that could lead to a survival scenario, and any of them could happen to you. It's not always the extreme skier that's gone off course or the trail runner that's been injured in the middle of the wilderness. Your vacation tour group may have accidentally left you behind. Or maybe your car has simply run out of gas on a desolate stretch of wintery road. The question isn't whether you could find yourself alone or stranded in a potentially life-threatening situation. It's whether you'd be equipped to deal with it.
The communications equipment may include a multi-band receiver/scanner, a citizens band (CB) radio, portable "walkie-talkies" with rechargeable batteries, and a portable battery-powered television. The power supplies may include a diesel or gasoline generator with a one-month fuel supply, an auto battery and charger, extension cord, flashlights, rechargeable batteries (with recharger), an electric multi meter, and a test light. Defense items include a revolver, semi-automatic pistol, rifle, shotgun, ammunition, mace or pepper spray, and a large knife such as a KA-BAR or a bowie knife.
The undisputed experts when it comes to key survival gear? The rangers who save hikers who go astray. Jeff Webb, a search-and-rescue ranger at Yosemite National Park, has worked on more than 200 rescue missions. He's also seen action in Big Bend, Yellowstone, Canyonlands, Joshua Tree, and Rocky Mountain National Parks. With his advice, our editors put together this ultimate survival kit for hikers.
You’ll need specific food storage supplies (foil pouches and oxygen absorption packets) and 5 gallon airtight buckets which would be used as outer containers, storing several foil pouches of food at a time. We go into much more detail in our article about the Best Emergency Food Methods – these methods will allow you to achieve amazing shelf life for a wide variety of foods (we’re talking 10 – 25 years of shelf life). If you want to be ready for a genuine long term catastrophe, it would make a lot of sense to learn these techniques. Many of the best survival foods on this list can be preserved using the methods mentioned in the article about emergency food methods.
Your get home bag should (as much as possible) go where you go. That means keeping it in the trunk of your car when you go to work, taking it with you if you go on a trip, etc. The get home bag is the bridge that will get you from wherever you are when disaster strikes to the safety of your home where you’ve already prepared emergency supplies and survival tools and equipment. If you don’t have a suitable survival backpack to put together your get home bag, make sure you read our guide on the best survival backpacks and pick one of the top choices.
In a time of extended disaster, trust me — having a bag of M&Ms;, smoked beef jerky, or even a soda from time to time can be a big boost to morale, especially if you have children. With that said, do not overlook the value in having bulk freeze dried food stocked up in your pantry, especially if you would like to help neighbors and other family members who have failed to prepare. Leading producers like Wise Company (with its Entry Variety Pack) and Mountain House (with its Classic Bucket) factor in food fatigue and include variety deliberately, and as such they come with many flavorful choices for you and your family.
Credit card sized survival tools are handy, but let’s face it, most are pretty flimsy. But this 13-function tool comes from Victorinox, that famed Swiss maker of knives, watches and everything else the Swiss do better than anyone. That means that it will hold up better than the rest when you need it the most, whether that be a blade, a pair of tweezers or a simple straight edge. This card has you covered.
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In tropical areas, a survival kit may have mosquito head netting, additional insect repellent, anti-fungal cream, a machete, water purification tablets, foot powder, matches, a flint strike, a compass, a wire saw, a space blanket, medical equipment (gauze pads, elastic gauze bandage, antiseptic creams, anti-malaria tablets, anti-infection tablets, bandages, etc.), salt tablets, a fishing kit, snare wire, extra socks, a candle, a signal mirror, flares, a sewing kit, safety pins, tinder, tape, a whistle, and rations.