Overlooked Survivalist Gear: 8 Important Pieces

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Preparedness can save your life when you find yourself in an emergency. While building survival skills is crucial, you should also have the right equipment if you want to better your chances of surviving. You probably already know the basics, but some overlooked survivalist gear can make a big difference.

Here are eight important pieces of gear that many survivalists overlook.

1. Duct Tape

Duct tape is easy to forget because it’s such an everyday, mundane item. However, it’s one of the most versatile tools around, so it deserves a place in any survival pack.

Some brands of duct tape can hold up to 180 pounds when applied in three layers. That makes it a reliable tool for holding things together, whether that’s torn clothing or a makeshift shelter. Considering how affordable and easy to store it is, too, there’s no excuse for not keeping some.

2. Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is another important piece of overlooked survival gear. Materials don’t need to be complicated to be effective. Some firefighters’ equipment is made of leather because it’s fire-resistant and relatively affordable. Foil is another simple but useful material.

Foil can collect rainwater, keep food dry, and reflect sunlight for heat or light. It’s also a handy cooking tool. Like duct tape, it’s cheap and widely available.

3. Baking Soda

Another everyday item with many survival applications is baking soda. While survival likely won’t involve much baking, soda’s uses go far beyond the kitchen.

Baking soda is mildly abrasive, making it an effective but safe cleaning solution. You can use it as toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, or virtually any other cleaner. It’s also handy as an itch reliever for bug bites, poison ivy, sunburn, or other irritations.

4. Prescription Medication

Many survival kits include over-the-counter medications like pain relievers, but prescription drugs are crucial for long-term survival. More than 131 million people – roughly two-thirds of American adults – take prescription medication, so most people should plan to keep some in their survival storage.

The difficulty here is that prescription drugs are hard to stock up on by design. If you need them, just make sure you always have a sufficient supply by getting refills whenever available so you don’t run out in an emergency.

5. Paper Maps

Navigation and orienteering are critical parts of survival. As a result, it’s a good idea to keep some physical maps in a survival pack to avoid getting lost. However, since people rely on digital navigation services so much today, maps are often overlooked as survival gear.

GPS networks may go down or become unavailable in some areas in an emergency. Having a few laminated maps provides a way around that issue.

6. Dental Floss

Dental floss is another piece of overlooked survival gear that can make a big difference. While dental health is important, in a survival situation, floss is more useful as a type of easy-to-store string.

Floss is remarkably strong for its size, so it’s ideal as a makeshift fishing line. It’s also a good way to tie things together to make your own survival gear or repair shelters. Alternatively, survivalists can use it as a tripwire for traps or to rig an alarm system around their camp.

7. Wipes

Wet wipes are useful in everyday life, and that handiness extends into survival situations. These easy-to-store tools are great for cleaning things such as wooden stakes before using them for cooking.

It’s also important to maintain some amount of personal hygiene in an emergency to prevent infection, and wipes are great for that. When water is scarce, these products can provide a quick and effective way to get clean without sacrificing drinking water.

8. Entertainment

One of the most easily overlooked pieces of survival gear is something for entertainment. In a long-term survival situation, keeping your mind sharp is crucial, and having something to entertain yourself with helps with that.

Studies show that things like listening to music can improve mental alertness and sleep quality, both of which are critical to survival. Survivalists should consider this when stocking a shelter by remembering to store some games, reading material, or music.

Don’t Forget These Crucial Pieces of Gear

These eight pieces of overlooked survival gear can make all the difference in a worst-case scenario. Hopefully you’ll never need them, but it’s better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them. Next time you’re stocking up your survival kit or shelter, remember to include these items.


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