Hiking Survival Kit: Survival Gear Items Every Hiker Should Carry


Hiking is a fun activity to enjoy solo or with friends and family. For many outdoor enthusiasts, being among the hills and trees is the only way they feel alive. However, what was supposed to be a relaxing and stress-relieving hike can quickly turn into a disaster if you do not have the right hiking kit. As a result, it is critical to be prepared for any situation, as help may be a long way away.

Whether you're going for a short hike or setting up a tent in the distant wilderness, you'll need some useful survival equipment to stay safe and comfortable. Let's look at the top twelve survival kit items you'll need on your next outdoor journey.


Hiking Survival Kit


The following is a list of bare essentials to build your own survival kit while out in the wilderness:


1) Suitable Footwear


A man standing on rocks with Salomon hiking bots on

Credit: Switchback Travel


This goes without saying. Hiking is more enjoyable with happy feet. When choosing hiking shoes or boots, consider grip, comfort, and protection. Before you decide to wear the shoes on the hike, be sure you've worn them a few times. You'll know for sure that you'll be comfortable in them if you do this. Nobody wants to hike for hours with uncomfortable and painful blisters caused by new shoes.

There are numerous hiking shoes available from a variety of companies. These are a wonderful choice because they will provide you with a good grip and prevent you from slipping and falling.


2) Navigation Tools

 A man in the forest using his compass to get directions

Credit: Field and Stream


The most vital survival item may be navigational instruments such as maps, GPS watches, guidebooks, and compasses. If you are lost, navigation using a map and compass will considerably boost your odds of survival. It only takes a single incorrect turn to deviate from the main path. Even expert hikers can get lost.

Finding your way back without any navigation tools may be a tricky scenario.  Trails can be winding and confusing. It's possible that you'll stray off further from the main track. It's scary to be lost and have no means of confirming where you need to go. As a result, you'll have to pack a directional device with you. Make sure that the navigation tool that you purchase is waterproof. Before you go on your hiking adventure, be sure you understand how it works.


3) First Aid Supplies

 An Emergency USA first aid kit showing all the items inside

Credit: Emergency USA


One of the most essential and crucial supplies for hikers are first aid kits or essential medical supplies. A pre-assembled first aid kit, such as the one offered by Emergency USA, can be purchased. This will eliminate the need to guess what you may need. You can also assemble your own DIY kit to meet your specific requirements.

Whatever choice you choose, make sure your kit has the following items:

  • Bandages 
  • Gauze
  • Bandage tape 
  • Antiseptic ointment
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Gloves 


A small first aid handbook for treating medical emergencies is also a smart option. This way, you'll be prepared for any problems that may arise while on the path.


4) Knife

 A Swiss Army multi purpose pocket knife that has loads of useful items on it

Credit: Swiss Knife Shop


At times, you maybe be lost and will have to seek shelter. In such a case, having a knife can be incredibly handy.

Many tasks become much easier with a sharp knife, from constructing a quick shelter to gathering wood for the fire. You need not carry a large hunting knife. Even a folding pocket swiss knife will do. Choose something that is tough and sharp.


5) Food

 A man with a handful of nuts that he can eat while hiking

Credit: Alphotographic/ iStock


You never know when you'll get hungry while hiking. Having an emergency food stash can also help you prepare in case the hike takes longer than intended.

Avoid foods that spoil swiftly or require refrigeration. Dried fruits, 'trail mix' packs, and protein bars are all good sources of nutritious energy with long expiration dates and are light in your bag.


6) Water

 A man resting on a rock drinking some water and resting

Credit: Into the Backcountry


Staying hydrated is critical for our body, especially if you are sweating profusely when trekking. However, because there is no clean flowing water available outside, having adequate water can be difficult.

If you're going on a multi-day expedition, you won't be able to carry all of the water you'll need. So, in addition to bottled water or a hydration pack, you'll need some gear for filtering your own water while you're out and about such as water purification tablets.


7) Survival Whistle

 A pair of orange and black survival whistles

Credit: Loaded Edge Tactical


It is critical to pack a whistle that can alert others to your whereabouts if are lost. These are hardly used, but they are necessary. A whistle's loud sound can help locate those who are lost or injured. Rescuers might listen for sounds in nature that are abnormally high pitched. A whistle is a simple yet effective piece of hiking survival equipment.


8) Headlamp

 A headlamp that is on a black elastic strap so that your hands are free

Credit: Black Diamond


It's essential to be able to maneuver through the forest at night, hence you need to bring a source of light with you. A headlamp is the most popular option among experienced hikers. With a headlamp, you can free up your hands and perform multiple tasks simultaneously. Always have additional batteries on hand.


9) Fire Starter

 Flint that has been used to start a fire with some dry bark and leaves

Credit: X-Plore Gear


One of the most vital resources for survival is fire. You'll be able to keep warm while also illuminating your surroundings. Fire can also be used to keep wildlife at bay. Make sure that you have a good quality fire starter that will work in any circumstance. You should take some tinder with you in case it has been raining for multiple days or if your surroundings are damp and you cannot find anything dry. A pocket lighter is also a useful item to carry since it is lightweight and will not occupy much space.


10) Shelter and Emergency Blankets

 Emergency USA emergency blankets that are packed in a neat bag

Credit: Emergency USA


Temperatures can fall drastically at night. As a result, you should always have a small shelter and an emergency blanket on hand. Make sure that everything that you carry along with you is light and compact.


11) Sun Protection

Always bring sunglasses, clothing that will protect you from the sun, and sunscreen with you. In the short term, the absence of these items can lead to severe sunburn, and in the long term, it can lead to premature skin aging, skin cancer, and other problems.



 A couple wearing sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun

Credit: Jacoblund/ iStock


Good quality sunglasses are essential for protecting your eyes from potentially harmful radiation.

Glasses are also required in cold temperatures. You'll need special glacier glasses if you plan on spending a lot of time on snow or ice. This will help prevent snow blindness. Snow blindness is the result of too much UV light exposure causing momentary eye pain and discomfort. It feels like your eyes are sunburned.



 A tub of sunscreen being held in place by a pair of hiking boots

Credit: Our All Good Adventure


Long periods of time spent outside can expose you to UV rays, which can cause sunburn and skin cancer. It is recommended that you use sunscreen to reduce your UV exposure.


Clothing That Will Protect You From the Sun


A lady wearing clothing that is protecting her from the sun

Credit: REI


Certain clothing can effectively filter UV rays from contacting your skin without the need to apply sunscreen.


12) Duct Tape

 A person showing what duct tape can help with. being used around calf to hold up socks

Credit: Sunset Magazine


Duct tape can be used for so many things when you are hiking. A cut in a shelter or a hole in your waterproof gear may all be quickly repaired with duct tape. A few pieces of tape can bring your trekking pole back to life for heavy-duty use. Duct tape could also be used as a quick remedy for worn-out hiking shoes, but be mindful that wrapping the tape around the sole will likely only last a couple of hours before wearing away. Duct tape can be used to hold portions of your footwear together while the sole is being glued back together.



Now that you know about the essential hiking survival kits to bring with you on every trek, you're ready to embark on your grand adventure. Don't forget to look into Emergency USA emergency kits to ensure that you are prepared for any situation that may arise. We have the best survival kits out there!