15 Critical Survival Items

Critical Survival Items vs. Small Survival Kits

Why Carry the 15 Critical Survival Items?

Quality Survival KnifeIt is essential that the items you take into the wilderness are useful. Most people think only of taking a small wilderness survival kit when they should instead consider taking proper critical wilderness survival items. Fishing or sewing kit may help you survive in a few limited scenarios, but will not save your life. They will only allow you to fish or sew. It will be proper clothing, matches, a survival knife, a whistle and a First Aid Kit that will save your life not the contents of a fishing kit!

Decide what critical survival items you need and always carry them, not a small PLACEBO KIT filled with trinkets and toys. What you take into the wilderness is critical to your survival, although your most precious possession is the mitigative learning and experience in your brain. Carry the critical survival items you need to help ensure your Survival and leave the toy survival kits on the shelves of the stores that sell them. This does not mean that you cannot carry or build a good Survival Kit, it means that that kit should contain Critical Items and any extra items that would be useful in your environment.

15 Critical Items

The 15 Critical Survival Items is a generic list of items that can help you to survive in the Canadian Wilderness. The More Quality Critical Items you Carry the Easier Time you will have Surviving. Of course the more you carry the less likely you are to have the items with you, so some compromises are required. Not all items are needed in each time you travel into the wilderness. In harsh and barren environments you may need more items and large amounts of food and fuel to survive over for extended periods of time. The 15 Critical Survival Items are ranked in order of priority.

Top 8 Critical Items, Always Carried

Proper ClothingMeans to Make FireCarbon Steel Survival KnifePealess Plastic Whistle
Personal First Aid KitGlass Signal MirrorLiquid Filled Sighting Compass2m of Strong Cord

The Item 1 to 8 are: Proper Clothing, Means to Make Fire, Survival Knife, Carbon Steel Survival Knife, Pealess Plastic Whistle, Personal First Aid Kit, Glass Signal Mirror, Liquid Filled Sighting Compass, and 2m of Strong Cord. Each of these eight items are extremely critical in nearly all survival situations and should be carried on your body at all times.

Number 9 & 10, Hard to Replicated in the Wilderness

2L plus Cooking PotBow Saw

The items 9 and 10 are ones that you can technically live without, but that you cannot replicate in the woods. A 2L plus Cooking Pot and a Bow Saw. These items are very critical because you cannot create them in the wilderness and your life will be much harder without them, especially over the long term in cold weather.

Number 11 to 14, Making your Life Easy

Sleeping Bag and Protective CoverInsulative MattressShelterBackpack or Waterproof Container

Items 11 to 13: Sleeping Bag and Protective Cover, Insulative Mattress, and Shelter. Shelter will save your life in critical situations where you or a companion is sick, injured or unable to light a fire. Item 14 is your Backpack or Waterproof Container. Use this to always carry your critical items whenever and where ever you travel.

Number 15, Preparing for Complications

Extra Items

Item 15 is Extra Items that may come in handy during a survival situation. These include 500 KCal of High Energy Food, a Headlamp, an extra layer of Warm Clothing, a Candle, Water Purification, and Leather Gloves. These items will make you life easier, especially if you are stranded and have one or more complication. See the list below of more details.

Additional Survival Equipment Resources

Article by Bruce Zawalsky (16th October 2007, updated 5th October 2013)
Chief Instructor of the Boreal Wilderness Institute