Hunting can be a lot like camping. There is camping and there is glamping; there are also minimalist backpacking endeavors that are a bit more spartan. Hunting has tiers, too. In this article, we are going to explore the concept of survival kits in your hunting gear that could apply to camping gear as well.

Whether you’re taking the guide-led or otherwise luxury route for a hunt, you would still be wise to have a survival kit with you. If you prefer the more difficult hunting approaches way off the grid, a solid kit is an absolute must in case of an emergency.

Anything can happen, especially in rough terrain. So, we suggest three levels of survival kits for your hunting packs.

As the team guys say: two is one, one is none. Redundancy is very important in a survival situation, and planning is the only way to achieve this type of backup because if it gets to survival, you’ll need the forethought to help you out.

Level I: You have a lot of room to pack

·       Small mirror

·       Whistle

·       Fire starters (a lighter is fine, but a lighter, matches, and a mechanical firestarter are best)

·       Something to make shelter (a tarp and paracord is an excellent choice)

·       Extra cordage

·       Compass and map plus a great understanding of the area

·       Fixed-blade knife with a heavy-duty blade profile and a full hilt

·       Flashlight and extra batteries

·       Couple of MRE’s or other high-calorie, shelf-stable foods that will get you at least 3-5k calories

·       Water filter or reasonable substitute (including water purification tablets)

·       First aid kit

·       Some duct tape wrapped around something (a pencil or pen, flashlight, or other object)

·       Small amount of fishing line and a couple of hooks (this doesn’t necessarily have to be for catching fish)

·       Cord saw or small folding saw

·       Space blanket

·       Metal bowl or cup

·       Rescue beacon or GPS messenger as applicable

Level II: You have a small hunting pack and need to remain mobile and lightweight

·       Small mirror

·       Whistle

·       Compass

·       Multiple fire starters

·       50 feet  paracord

·       Knife (preferably fixed-blade, but a top-quality folder will work too if needed)

·       Small kit of basic first aid items including an ace bandage and some top-quality band aids

·       Space blanket

Level III: You are in a group and can split emergency kit necessities among friends

·       All the items in the first list

·       Compact cooking stove

·       Couple of tent poles or hiking poles

·       Tarp or other lightweight shelter

·       Water filter and backup pills or other treatment

·       More paracord

·       Multitool

·       Possibly a hatchet (if you can justify the extra weight)

·       More food

Having a way to treat water, start a fire, and treat basic wounds is enough to get you by for a couple of days. If you planned well, no matter where you go, it shouldn’t take more than a few days to find you. Let your family and friends know your approximate location and game plan, and that will work in your favor for times where a rescue might be necessary.

Exposure and dehydration are your two biggest concerns. If you are hunting, you are likely able to procure food, or at minimum, have protection against predators. Having multiple sources of heat and shelter, and treatment for water, you will be okay for several days.

It’s important to note that even though the tools in these kits will help you survive in brutal conditions (especially if you know how to use them based on an experiential basis), the understanding of your surroundings along with the tools you are using is exceptionally important. Prior planning and a clear head will help more than any tool on the market.

Buy the best quality you can afford that ticks all the boxes for a given item, but there is no need to be frivolous. Frivolity is a moot point in a survival situation, but practicality is a very important factor.

Use your tools and get familiar with them so if the time comes, you will be able to handle yourself competently and make it out alive, regardless of the twists and turns your situation might encounter. Above all else, maintain a clear head and trust your judgment in bringing gear and preparing for anything.