The Top 5 Objects Needed to Survive in the Wild

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Five simple items can make the difference between life and death, in the wild or just about anywhere. Pack the bare essentials for survival in your car or backpack to weather any crisis—before you actually need them. The perfect survival kit includes items that help you heal, survive and find help.

5 Signal

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While survival may be your immediate goal in the wild, being rescued might be your next concern. A few items in your survival kit will help if you get lost. A mirror to reflect the sun may help alert searchers. A loud whistle is great if you are lost in the woods, not only to alert rescuers but also to scare away hungry bears. With the right signal, you may not ever need any of the other materials in your kit.

4 Trash Bags

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Trash bags are small, lightweight, water resistant and useful in many ways. Use them to keep rain and snow from soaking your clothing, or as a protective poncho from harsh sunlight that would otherwise bake your skin. When you sleep, use a trash bag as a water-repelling roof for your shelter. You can even use one to catch rain water so you don’t die of thirst.

3 Water Purifier

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Don’t guess about the safety of water, even if you are dying of thirst. Keep a water a purifier or filter system on hand. One option is a battery-operated wand that uses UV rays to kill cooties in the water. If you have more room for supplies, consider a combination filtration and purification system; some feature a filter pump and chemical drops that destroy bacteria. Or keep a supply of iodine water-purification tablets that you can drop into a container of water.

2 First Aid Kit

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You will need more than a supply of bandages to survive in the wild. Put together a proper first aid kit to address minor and major injuries. A well-stocked kit should include triangle bandages, large triangular cloths that can be fashioned into a sling; large gauze pads for compressing a wound; aspirin; scissors; nonlatex gloves; antibiotic cream and antiseptic wipes. Antihistamines, and a needle and thread might come in handy, too.

1 Knife

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You don’t need a huge Crocodile Dundee blade to survive in the wild. A 3-inch knife is sufficient to help you construct shelter, prepare food and make campfires. Don’t bring along a folding knife, which is not as sturdy as a non-foldable kind, and remember to keep it sharp. You don’t want one of your five tools for survival to be dull. You may not be able to take down a bear with it, but you can use a knife to gut a fish, open fruits with hard rinds or hack your arm off if it gets wedged under a rock.

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