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10 best survival kit essentials to buy today

Whether you’re prepping for the apocalypse, getting into bushcraft or just packing for a spot of wild camping, you’ll need these survival kit essentials.

A selection of survival gear on a white background
Published: May 30th, 2022 at 10:33 am
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Surviving in the wild without your creature comforts is never going to be easy, but there are plenty of practical tools out there to help you get by. We’ve rounded up some of the most useful survival kit must-haves, including essentials like water filters, multi-tools and first aid kits.


While most of these survival kit accessories are small and lightweight, they could end up saving your life, or making it a whole lot easier. So they’re well worth including in your pack, to help with everything from navigating to preparing meals and getting through natural disasters like fires and floods.

Planning a camping adventure? We have plenty of practical tips, product round-ups and advice in our camping section.

10 survival kit essentials

SAS Survival Guide: How to Survive in the Wild, on Land or Sea

SAS Survival Guide How to Survive in the Wild, on Land or Sea book on a white background

You can have all the gadgets and gizmos you need, but if you don’t know basic survival skills, you won’t last long in an emergency situation. So, a pocketbook full of tips and tricks is a good place to start. This one comes from John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman, who spent 26 years in the SAS and became its Chief Survival Instructor.

Inside, you’ll find instructions on all the key aspects of surviving in the wild, from navigation and setting up camp to self-defence and dealing with emergencies like floods and fires.

Lifesystems Adventurer First Aid Kit

Lifesystems Adventurer First Aid Kit, dry bag and contents on a white background

There’s a huge selection of first aid kits available to buy online, each with a different selection of supplies inside, and Lifesystems’ range is particularly practical. This bag comes with all the basics, including wound dressings and scissors, cleansing wipes, paracetamol and even inspection gloves.

To make sure your essential supplies stay dry during poor weather, flash flooding or rafting adventures, don’t forget to invest in a first aid kit dry bag.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter on a white background

The LifeStraw is just 22cm long and weighs 57g, so keeping it in your bag to access safe drinking water is a no-brainer. Just dip the end into any water supply and suck up the fluid through the filter. It’ll protect you from 99.999% of bacteria and parasites, including E.coli, Salmonella and Giardia. Plus, it’ll get rid of 99.999% of microplastics, grit and cloudiness.

A long-lasting bit of survival gear, the LifeStraw will filter up to 4,000 litres of water, which is enough to keep you going for five years in the wild.

Lifesystems Stormproof Matches

Lifesystems Stormproof Matches on a white background

Lighting a fire can be one of the trickiest tasks in any survival scenario, and even trusty matches can let us down when the weather turns. Happily, these hardy ones should do the job on even the stormiest of days.

You get 25 matches in the pack, each of which burn for around 20 seconds. They come in a heavy-duty polycarbonate container with three strike panels. The entire set is just 7.5cm long and weighs just 60g, so it’s well worth keeping in your bag.

Reusable Survival Blanket

Survival blanket on a grey background

If you find yourself in climates with extreme temperatures, a survival blanket could save your life by keeping your body temperature consistent.

This option is particularly practical, as it’s reusable and reversible. In cold weather, make sure the gold side is facing out to protect yourself against hypothermia. For hot days, keep the silver side facing up to deflect the sun’s rays.

Victorinox Swiss Champ Knife

Victorinox Swiss Champ Knife on a white background

This little gadget packs 33 different tools into a single pocket-sized accessory weighing just 185g and measuring 9.1cm long. So, it definitely deserves a place in your survival kitbag.

Its many tools include tweezers, scissors and wire cutters, as well as a fish scaler, screwdriver and nail file. There’s even a ballpoint pen and a magnifying glass.

Compare other multitools in our round-up of best multi-tools for outdoor adventures.

Lifesystems Mountain Whistle

Lifesystems Mountain Whistle on a white background

In dire situations, alerting people nearby could be your only option, and a whistle can help you get their attention with relatively little effort. Opt for a metal version for durability and sustainability. This one can produce up to 100 Decibels of sound.

In colder climates, go for a plastic whistle, which will be more comfortable to use than a metal version.

Freeze-dried food

Freeze-dried dessert - Vanilla rice pudding packet on a white background

There’s no need to go without dessert when you’re in a survival situation, as this pack of freeze-dried rice pudding proves. Just open the sachet, fill with boiling water and stir. After nine minutes, it’ll be re-hydrated and ready to eat.

There are lots of other meal options available to buy online, so you could stock up on a few varieties for your survival kit bag. Other popular options include vegetarian soup, chicken goulash and raspberry crumble.

Incognito Insect Repellent

Incognito insect repellent

Insect repellent should stop you suffering from annoying, itchy red bites, but it could also save your life if it keeps dangerous mosquitos away.

This deet-free formula repels a whole range of biting insects, including mosquitoes, midges, sandflies, horseflies, ticks and many more, for five hours. Its made from natural essential oils, plus an active ingredient known as citrapel 75 (PMD) that comes recommended by the NHS and Public Health England. What's more, the bottle is made from sugarcane plastic, which has a positive carbon footprint and is recyclable.

Incognito is so successful as a product, it is also available in roll-on form, as a suncream-repellent hybrid, a shower gel and as incense sticks. It is safe to use on children, and smells fantastic, unlike many insect repellents.

Ultra Compact Survival Emergency Fishing Kit

Ultra Compact Survival Emergency Fishing Kit on a wooden table

At just 138g, this 15cm-long fishing kit tin works hard in your survival kit bag, and should be incredibly handy when it comes to preparing fresh food.

There are 15 different types of fishing gear inside, yet everything fits neatly into a pocket-sized tin. You’ll get a 25ft fishing line and 25ft of nylon thread, as well as 10 barbed hooks, 14 weights and four screw-in eyelets to make a fishing rod from branches.


Plus, there’s rubber bait, glow sticks and a hook remover.


Alice TufferyDigital Writer

Alice is a digital writer with a knack for tracking down the most innovative and exciting products to hit the market. Working across several of Our Media's special interest brands, she's written for publications including Countryfile, Gardens Illustrated and Science Focus. Outside of work - and lusting over homeware and gardening products - you’ll find her rambling in the great outdoors or watching an old film.


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