Practical Survival Gear 101 (Hiking Essentials) - Best thing to take hiking
Look Good On The Hike, But Still Pack Your Bags Well. Photo By Pineapple Mango

Here is our field-tested list of AFFORDABLE survival gear that will fit in your hiking (as well as rockhounding, mushroom collecting, and general outdoor) backpack.

Our years out in nature helped us see what's really valuable (even if you don't use it in every outing) and what is just dead weight.

When I am speaking about survival, I am not talking about a sudden earthquake or an alien invasion. I talk about more realistic scenarios like: "You slipped on the rock, felt, cut your leg, and busted your hydration pouch" type events.

I have selected the top items based on the following:

  • How essential it is for survival
  • Low weight and size
  • Affordability.

There will be no 50-lb survival suitcase or a magic-survival-knife-3000 for a low, low price of $500. Only practical and affordable items.

If you are looking for a quality backpack, sturdy boots, or a rain jacket that actually keeps you dry, check our reviews here.

Outdoor, Camping, and Hiking 330 Piece First Aid Kit

330 piece first aid kit
A first aid kit is one of the most critical items you must bring along. Treating medical emergencies is very important when you are away from civilization since professional help is not quickly accessible.

  • Perfect For Hiking: This is a compact, lightweight, and practical first-aid kit
  • Complete Package: From cuts and scrapes to blisters and incest bites, this kit has got you covered
  • Outdoor Specific: Contains items for general survival in the outdoors


Cold Steel Finn Wolf

cold steel finn wolf review

A knife is a necessary tool for the outdoors. But don't be tricked into buying the latest survival bowie for $100 or more.

You need something simple, reliable, and practical. Cold Steel Finn Wolf is just that. Not a prop for the Rambo movie.

  • Practical Blade: A 3.5-inch long and 3mm thick blade is perfect for most applications without being too bulky to carry
  • Rugged Lock Mechanism: The blade is held tight, doesn't wobble, and will not close on you during use
  • Ambidextrous: Opening studs are located on both sides of the blade, and the clip can be reversed for right or left-hand operation
  • Bright Handle: This is more important than you can imagine. It is much easier to see it the nature vs some tacti-cool shank with blacked out blade and green handle. Bring a camoed knife, lose it, profit! (for the manufacturer)


Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

As the sun dips below the horizon, a reliable headlamp becomes your best friend.

If you don't see where you are stepping, in the best-case scenario, you bite it and make others laugh. The worst-case scenario is you take a fast and painful trip down the cliff.

Have you ever gotten stuck past dusk despite planning to return home early? I have! So get a flashlight to see where you are stepping!

black diamond spot headlamp

  • Impressive Brightness: Up to 500 lumens on the highest setting
  • Long Battery Life: 350 hr on the lowest setting and 7 hr on the highest one
  • Smart Design: Comfortable and breathable elastic band and adjustable light angle
  • Multiple Settings: Proximity and distance modes, dimming, strobe, red, green, and blue night-vision, and lock mode


LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Staying hydrated is non-negotiable, and the LifeStraw helps make questionable water safe.

And I am not only talking about sipping from a stream. Have you seen some taps at rest stops and campgrounds? I felt safer drinking tap water on my motorcycle trip in Southeast Asia!

Avoid diarrhea in the middle of the woods and pick up this lifesaver (literally!)

lifestraw personal water filter review

  • Easy To Use: Filters as you drink, no batteries, pumping, or waiting
  • Innovative Design: Lightweight and cheap
  • Universal Protection: Protects against bacteria, parasites, microplastics, dirt, sand, and cloudiness
  • No Expiration Date: Keep LifeStraw in your backpack until you need it!



So there you have it, friends.

A short list of affordable survival gear worth carrying with you.

  • No overpriced items.
  • No weird stuff crafted by German engineers for a Jupiter mission.
  • No shiny crap to weigh you down.

Only useful, practical, and essential items!

The Best GPS for Outdoor Activities - Review

Garmin Foretrex 601 Our team at Oregon Discovery used dozens of various navigators over 15 years. We went on thousands of outdoor adventures, from hiking in the Oregon wilderness to extended desert trips and everything in between.

Check our multi-purpose and adventure-specific GPS navigators review.


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