Survival skills are very important as you never know when your life would depend on it. Getting lost or being in a survival situation or crisis can really test your abilities. However, this would more often than not be moot if you do not have the necessary tools to perform life-saving actions. As such, here are the top ten things that you should have with you if you want to increase your chances to survive in any type of situation.
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1. Swiss Army Knife
This nifty tool is considered as one of the most important survival items. Depending on the number of attachments, a Swiss army knife can serve a multitude of uses. It can be used to cut through materials, to open cans of food, to dismantle objects for repair, and many more. You only have to make sure that you purchase a high-quality Swiss army knife so that it can serve you well in times of need.
Getting lost in the jungle can be a harrowing experience. While survivalists tell you that staying in one place will increase your chances of getting found, circumstances may force you to move from your current location. A compass can help you move in the right direction, especially if there are no vantage points that can lead you towards safety.
3. Triage/Triangular Bandage
Triage is a triangular bandage that can serve many purposes. It can be used as a dressing to staunch bleeding and prevent infection. It can also be used to cover up burns and immobilize joints in case of sprains or fractures. Triages are very adaptable based on the situation, but you would need to do some research and practice in order to utilize these bandages effectively and quickly, especially when treating seriously injured people or yourself
4. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit will carry all of the essential items needed to treat basic injuries and ailments whenever immediate medical attention is not available. Different first aid kits exist, but you should only get that which you can utilize. Otherwise, all those excess items in your kit would just be excess baggage. The essentials in a first aid kit include bandages, antiseptic, alcohol, and general medicines such as antibiotics, antihistamines, and over the counter painkillers. While these objects can only treat the most basic of emergencies, it is so much better than not being able to help at all.
5. Fireproof Matches
Cold weather can be deadly if you are exposed for too long. Unless you can start a fire using sticks, fireproof matches are absolutely important. You can create your own fireproof matches by dipping regular matches in melted wax. Place these matches in a waterproof container and stick a piece of sandpaper inside the box. Keeping yourself warm against the elements can significantly increase your chances of survival.
6. Water Filtration Tools
In some instances, you may find yourself with no clean sources of water. A water filtration bottle or chlorine tablets can clean water enough for it to hydrate you without making you sick. Of course, finding a clean water source is still a priority, but having the option to drink water from unlikely sources may be necessary to save your life. You can also create a makeshift filtering system using sand, charcoal, rocks, and cloths in a pinch if you do not have these tools nearby.
In places where you might not be found easily such as in the jungle, in a burning or collapsed building, or in a crowd of people running, a whistle can help in getting rescuers’ attention. It can also help your party search for you in case you get separated from them. Some groups carry individual whistles, and some also orient themselves to use whistles as a form of Morse code to communicate with each other across large distances. You should purchase a good quality whistle that can give off a loud sound that can be heard as far as possible.
Flashlights are important in any type of crisis situation, which is why you should always have one handy. Flashlights can be used to light a darkened path or to signal for help. Purchase a flashlight that has multiple settings such as those with strobe or high beam functions, and you should also have a crank-powered flashlight on hand in case your primary one fails. Your flashlight must also be comfortable to hold for prolonged periods of time. It should come with a loop that you can wrap around your wrist so that you will not lose it.
A blanket can help you live through the extreme cold as well as heavy rains. Keeping yourself dry and warm is essential as hypothermia can pose a real danger to you and your group. Emergency blankets are very light and compact which makes them easy to carry around. It can also serve other purposes in a pinch such as to avoid inhalation of dust, to use as a makeshift sling, or to smother small fires, among others.
Money makes the world go around, and it can also help in saving your life. Of course, this only applies when there are people around whom you can actually pay to help you out. A substantial amount of cash can help grease the wheels to cover your extraction from a hostile situation. It can be used to purchase or borrow a phone to contact someone that can help you out. It can also buy preferential treatment and top priority if time is of the essence and if you would need to jump ahead of the queue. Truly, money talks, and you can definitely use that to your advantage in an emergency.
Of course, a clear head and presence of mind are two of the most important tools that you should have. All the nice gear and equipment will not help if you don’t know how or when to use them. Research on survival tips, learn first aid, and practice using simulated conditions so that you will be ready to save yourself and others should a crisis ever come. These, along with the items mentioned above, will help in keeping you alive, well, and upright.