Survivalist-Approved Emergency Items for Every Level of Preparedness

In “Survivalist-Approved Emergency Items for Every Level of Preparedness,” discover a comprehensive list of essential items that survivalists highly recommend. Drawing from interviews with 22 knowledgeable individuals, including survivalists, preppers, bushcrafters, homesteaders, and emergency professionals, this article categorizes these items based on the level of your survivalist instinct. Whether you are a seasoned expert or just beginning to explore the world of preparedness, this collection includes must-haves such as a sturdy backpack, reliable flashlight, versatile multi-tool, comprehensive first-aid kit, hand-crank radio, foolproof waterproof matches, and life-saving water purification tablets. With these recommendations, you’ll be equipped to face any emergency situation with confidence.

Survivalist-Approved Emergency Items for Every Level of Preparedness

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Level 1: Beginning Survivalist

As a beginning survivalist, it’s important to focus on the essentials that will help keep you safe and prepared in emergency situations. Here are some key items that every beginner survivalist should have in their arsenal:


A sturdy backpack is an essential part of any survival kit. It allows you to carry all your gear while keeping your hands free. Look for a backpack with multiple compartments and adjustable straps for a comfortable fit. Make sure it’s made of durable materials that can withstand harsh conditions.


A reliable flashlight is crucial for navigating through darkness or during power outages. Opt for a waterproof and shockproof flashlight with a long battery life. LED flashlights are a popular choice as they are energy-efficient and provide bright illumination.


A multi-tool is a versatile device that combines various tools in one compact package. Look for one with a knife, pliers, wire cutters, screwdrivers, and a can opener. Having a multi-tool can come in handy for various tasks such as cutting rope, repairing equipment, or opening cans.

First-aid kit

In any emergency situation, having a well-stocked first-aid kit is vital. Your kit should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, adhesive tape, tweezers, scissors, and pain medication. Familiarize yourself with basic first-aid procedures to effectively handle injuries.

Hand-crank radio

A hand-crank radio is an essential communication device during emergencies when traditional methods may be unavailable. Look for a hand-crank radio that also functions as a flashlight and can charge other devices. This way, you can stay informed about weather updates and emergency broadcasts.

By having these items at your disposal, you’ll be well-prepared as a beginning survivalist. They provide a solid foundation for your survival journey and ensure you have the necessary tools to handle basic emergencies.

Level 2: Intermediate Survivalist

Once you’ve become comfortable with the basics, it’s time to level up your survivalist skills and expand your gear. The following items are recommended for intermediate survivalists:

Waterproof matches

Having a reliable fire-starting method is crucial in survival situations. Waterproof matches are designed to withstand moisture, making them ideal for outdoor use. Store them in a waterproof container to ensure they remain dry and functional when you need them most.

Water purification tablets

In an emergency, access to clean drinking water becomes a top priority. Water purification tablets are lightweight and easy to carry, allowing you to treat water from various sources. They effectively kill bacteria and viruses, making water safe for consumption. Always follow the instructions provided for proper usage.

Emergency blanket

An emergency blanket, also known as a space blanket, is a lightweight and compact heat reflective sheet. It helps retain body heat in cold conditions and provides shelter from the elements. Emergency blankets are often made of durable materials that can withstand rough handling.

Emergency whistle

An emergency whistle is a simple yet effective tool for signaling for help in emergency situations. It can be heard from a distance and can save valuable energy when trying to attract attention. Look for a whistle with a built-in compass for added functionality.

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Paracord, also known as parachute cord, is a versatile and strong rope that is useful in a wide range of survival scenarios. It can be used for building shelters, repairing equipment, securing items, and even creating makeshift slings or tourniquets. Choose a high-quality paracord with a minimum length of 50 feet.

With these intermediate-level items, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle more challenging survival situations. They provide additional capabilities and expand your range of options for staying safe and self-reliant.

Survivalist-Approved Emergency Items for Every Level of Preparedness

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Level 3: Advanced Survivalist

As an advanced survivalist, you’re ready to take on more complex challenges and stay prepared for longer periods of time. Here are the recommended items for advanced survivalists:

Fixed-blade knife

A fixed-blade knife is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, including hunting, food preparation, building shelters, and self-defense. Look for a durable knife with a full tang construction for maximum strength and reliability.


A reliable firestarter is essential for starting fires quickly and efficiently. Consider options such as ferrocerium rods, magnesium fire starters, or waterproof matches. Choose a firestarting method that suits your preferences and practice using it before you find yourself in an emergency situation.

Solar charger

In today’s digital age, having access to power can be crucial during emergencies. A solar charger allows you to harness the power of the sun to charge your electronic devices such as smartphones, GPS units, or portable radios. Look for a solar charger that is lightweight, portable, and compatible with your devices.

Collapsible water container

Having a portable and collapsible water container allows you to collect and store water more efficiently. Look for containers made of durable materials such as BPA-free plastic or food-grade silicone. They should be easy to clean, leak-proof, and have a capacity that suits your needs.

Duct tape

Duct tape is often referred to as the “handyman’s secret weapon” due to its versatility and durability. It can be used for a wide range of tasks, including repairing gear, building shelters, creating makeshift bandages, or securing items together. Choose a high-quality duct tape that is waterproof and tear-resistant.

With these advanced-level items, you’ll be equipped to handle more challenging situations and be prepared for extended periods of self-sufficiency. They provide you with the tools to thrive even in demanding survival scenarios.

Level 4: Expert Survivalist

As an expert survivalist, you have honed your skills and are capable of handling the most extreme survival scenarios. Here are the recommended items for expert survivalists:

Portable water filter

A portable water filter allows you to purify water from natural sources such as rivers, lakes, or streams. Look for a filter that removes contaminants such as bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. Consider factors such as flow rate, filter lifespan, and ease of use when selecting your portable water filter.

Tactical flashlight

A tactical flashlight is a high-performance flashlight designed for rugged use and tactical situations. Look for a flashlight with multiple brightness levels, a strobe function for self-defense purposes, and durable construction. Additionally, consider options with rechargeable batteries or solar charging capabilities.

Emergency food bars

Emergency food bars, also known as survival or ration bars, are compact bars designed to provide essential nutrients in emergency situations. They have a long shelf life, are lightweight, and provide a high-calorie count to sustain energy levels. Look for bars that meet your dietary restrictions and provide a good balance of macronutrients.

Portable stove

A portable stove allows you to cook food and boil water even when traditional cooking methods are not available. Look for a compact and lightweight stove that is easy to set up and has good fuel efficiency. Consider options that use propane, butane, or solid fuel tablets.

Signal mirror

A signal mirror is a small mirror with a highly reflective surface that can be used to signal for help during emergencies. When aimed correctly, they can reflect sunlight over long distances and attract attention. Look for a signal mirror that is lightweight, durable, and has a built-in sighting mechanism for accurate targeting.

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With these expert-level items, you’ll be exceptionally well-prepared to handle the most challenging survival situations. They offer advanced capabilities and provide you with the tools to thrive in even the harshest environments.

Level 5: Master Survivalist

As a master survivalist, you are among the most experienced and well-prepared individuals when it comes to survival situations. Here are the recommended items for master survivalists:

Long-term food storage

Having a long-term food storage solution is essential for extended survival scenarios. Consider options such as freeze-dried meals, dehydrated foods, or canned goods with long shelf lives. Ensure you have a sufficient supply to sustain yourself and any potential group members for an extended period.

Gas mask

A gas mask is a critical piece of protective gear that filters out harmful gases, chemicals, and airborne particles. Look for a gas mask that provides a secure and comfortable fit, is compatible with various filters, and has a wide field of view. Familiarize yourself with proper usage and maintenance.

Portable generator

A portable generator provides a reliable source of power during extended power outages or off-grid situations. Look for a generator that is fuel-efficient, quiet, and easy to start. Consider the power output required to meet your needs, whether it’s charging electronic devices or running essential appliances.

Night vision goggles

Night vision goggles enhance your vision in low-light or dark conditions, giving you a significant advantage in the field. Look for goggles with infrared capabilities, a comfortable and adjustable fit, and a long battery life. Familiarize yourself with the different generations of night vision technology to choose the one that suits your needs.

Emergency medical guidebook

An emergency medical guidebook is an essential resource for understanding basic first aid techniques, treating common injuries or illnesses, and providing guidance during medical emergencies. Choose a guidebook that is easy to understand, concise, and contains relevant information for wilderness or remote situations.

With these master-level items, you’ll have comprehensive equipment to handle even the most extreme and prolonged survival challenges. They represent the pinnacle of preparedness and ensure you have the tools and knowledge to survive in any situation.

Additional Recommended Items

In addition to the recommended items for each level of survivalist, there are a few additional items that are highly recommended across all levels:


A LifeStraw is a compact and lightweight water filter that can be used to drink water directly from natural sources. It removes bacteria and parasites, making water safe for consumption. Keep a LifeStraw as a backup water purification method or for situations where carrying larger water filters may not be feasible.

Sleeping bag

Having a high-quality sleeping bag is crucial for maintaining body warmth and ensuring a good night’s sleep in challenging outdoor conditions. Look for a sleeping bag that is suitable for the anticipated temperatures, lightweight, and easy to pack. Consider factors such as insulation type, size, and shape when choosing your sleeping bag.

Hand sanitizer

Maintaining hand hygiene is crucial during emergencies to prevent the spread of germs and illness. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with a high alcohol content to disinfect your hands when soap and water are not readily available. This simple preventive measure can go a long way in keeping you healthy.

Weatherproof tarp

A weatherproof tarp provides versatile shelter options and protection from the elements. Look for a tarp made of durable materials such as ripstop nylon or polyester, with reinforced grommets for secure anchoring. A tarp can be used to create a waterproof shelter, cover equipment, or provide additional insulation.

Emergency cash

Having a supply of emergency cash is essential for unexpected situations where electronic payment methods may not be available. Keep a small amount of cash in your survival kit for purchasing supplies, paying for transportation, or accessing necessary services. Ensure the cash is stored in a waterproof container to keep it dry and secure.

Remember, survival gear is only as good as the knowledge and skills you possess. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the proper usage and maintenance of each item. Additionally, practice essential survival skills such as building shelters, starting fires, and finding sources of food and water.

By gradually acquiring and mastering the items recommended for each level, you’ll be well-prepared for a wide range of emergency situations. Remember to adapt your survival gear to suit your specific needs and the environments you anticipate encountering. Stay safe, be prepared, and enjoy the journey of becoming a skilled survivalist!

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About the Author: Outdoor Lifer

I'm Adam, the author behind Outdoor Life Reviews. As an outdoor enthusiast, I created this website to provide thorough and honest reviews of various outdoor recreation products. From hiking and camping gear to fishing equipment and biking accessories, I cover it all. Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or just starting out, you'll find valuable insights and recommendations here. Additionally, I share tips and advice on how to enhance your outdoor lifestyle. So grab your backpack, tent, or kayak, and join me on this exciting journey as I explore the vast world of outdoor activities and gear.