Whether you’re going on an outdoor adventure or just commuting to work, every person should be equipped with a grab-and-go survival kit. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of 11 items that are essential to include when putting together your portable survival pack. These are things that can be packed into a small backpack or handbag, and will help to keep you alive in emergency situations until someone comes to your aid.

  1. Water – This is at the top of the list because it is the most essential item on the list. On average, humans can only go 72 hours without water. Pack several water bottles to ration, and then once they’re empty, you can use them to gather more water.
  2. Nonperishable food items – Bring along nutritional, no-cook foods like granola/energy bars, nuts, MRE’s (meals ready to eat), and snack foods. These are easy to pack and store, will keep you from starving, and will provide you with much-needed energy.
  3. Lighter/matches – Fire is a must to stay warm at night. It can also be used to make a signaling device with smoke. Both lighters and matches are small and lightweight items, making them easy to pack in any survival kit.
  4. Thermal blanket – The key to surviving at night is staying warm. Emergency thermal blankets or space blankets help to prevent heat loss from the body. Make sure you get a thermal blanket that is small, compact, and easy to pack. It is also extremely helpful if you get one that is reflective, as they can make for a great makeshift signaling device during the daytime.
  5. Knife/multipurpose tool – These tools are great for food preparation, gear repair, making a camp or shelter, and first aid and emergency situations.
  6. Safety whistle – Safety whistles can be used to signal to others around you that you are in need of help, and will assist search and rescue teams in locating you if you are lost. Safety whistles can be used endlessly because they are powered by your lungs and not by a battery or compressed air canister, which have finite lifespans. However, because of this fact, it’s important to use a whistle that does not take a lot of effort to blow.
  7. Flashlight (with extra batteries) – Flashlights will give you reassurance by providing you with the ability to see when you are faced with one of human’s most common fears: the dark. They also offer yet another signaling option. Pack extra batteries as well to prolong the lifespan of your flashlight.
  8. Small medical kit – Bring along a small pre-assembled first aid kit with the basics. At the very least, you should have splints and bandages for any accidents that may occur, and any personal medical essentials, such as an epinephrine pen.
  9. Compass – This may seem old school, but when your phone or GPS batteries die, a compass is the best way to determine your direction.
  10. Bath tissue – This item pretty much speaks for itself.
  11. Extra clothing – Pack extra clothing items that may come in handy such as a sweatshirt/coat (preferably water resistant) and an extra pair of socks.

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