Exploring nature’s most remote and wild places is one of the most beautiful and wondrous adventures to be upon. The wilderness is exciting, awe-inspiring, and beguiling yet can be a dangerous and deadly place if you get lost.
Having these items will in no way save your life if you are lost in the wild, but they will give you a fighting chance. Please, if you do not know how to use a knife, flint, and rope safely and effectively, travel with someone who can and let them carry the kit. If you are under 18 years old, ask your parents before handling knives!
In my opinion, having a knife is most important as it can replace the other two. And if you find yourself lost with no gear, a knife is the first thing you should make (use a stone you split or sharpen tied with shoelace or plant fibers on a stick). A knife can help with cutting vines to make rope, carving wood, or making sparks for a fire, and even hunting and defending yourself (only in extreme cases of survival). As you can see from the picture of my survivalist kit, my knife has a serrated back edge. This edge is important to be able to cut thicker wood without dulling your sharp edge – in case you need to build a raft or shelter.
Having a flint along is the second most important item. It makes starting fires much easier and, if you have one like mine, much more definite. Mine has magnesium which can be scraped off to use as a fire accelerant. It will burn even damp kindling. The magnesium shavings are dangerous though! When ignited they burn very hot; thus, be careful not to get any on you. A Magnesium Firestarter, as they are commonly called, will give you the most reliable fires you can ask for in survival. Matches run out and do not work wet. Lighters can break and be empty when you need them most. A flint will give thousands of fires. That should be more than enough for anyone’s survival needs!
A rope is very versatile and useful, but the easiest to replace of the three items. Woven vines make a nice alternative. But to be safest, carry a length of rope. It can help hold a splint or a raft together and help you climb places you would not otherwise be able to.
There are several additional items to always take along in outdoor adventures. A strong water canteen or bottle and a snack are important. You should overdress because often in survival you will have to spend a night outside, which can get cold. Even if you do not wear the windbreaker, sweater, or jacket, keep it with you in case you get lost. And a hat would help during those hot sunny hours of the day!
These are great survival aids, but to get rescued quicker, I suggest adding a bright neon cloth (probably orange or red) or small mirror to your kit. It will aid you in flagging down a plane or rescue team. A GPS beacon is also a very useful device to carry. It will help rescue teams pinpoint your location. I strongly advise taking a compass along and a map of the area you are traveling. These two simple navigational tools could prevent you from getting lost in the first place.
Even though having the right supplies along can help a great deal, surviving a life-or-death situation takes having discipline and confidence in yourself as well. It is best if you are not alone in your ordeal, but even if you are, remember that if you try hard enough you can make it through. You need to always be calm, for if you panic you cannot think. Find your purpose and fight to get home for it. And above all, never give up.