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Backpackers Survival Kit

Anyone who hikes or backpacks, especially in remote areas should always carry a backpackers survival kit.    Of course this should be in addition to the normal backpacking gear you would carry, such as a canteen, Knife, GPS unit, etc.   When planning a backpacking trip, make sure to check a local weather forecast, then dress and pack accordingly.   In addition to your gear, you should have a plan, including exit strategies, and a copy should be left with someone before you depart

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Backpackers Survival Kit 1

Make sure you are familiar enough with your GPS unit to use it competently.  If you get a new GPS unit practice with it before taking it out in the field.  If you are planning a very remote trek, consider investing in a Personal Locator Beacon, they are expensive, but there is nothing like the peace of mind they provide. 

Any experienced backpacker will tell you "Weight" is everything.   You wont find too many backpackers toting a Mag-Lite with 4 D-cells in it.   So that must be taken into consideration when planning your kit. The lighter, and less bulky you can get the better.

Here is an example of what would be found in a backpackers survival kit:

Good Quality Compass              
Good Survival knife
Small insect repellent or net
Small tube sunscreen
Lip balm
Tube Tent
Loud whistle
Emergency Blanket (opt.)
Map of local area
Lightweight Survival Manual
Aluminum Foil
Trash Bags and ziploc bags    
Waterproof matches
Bear Spray (if in bear country)
bullion cubes or dried soup
small flashlight with spare batteries
LED microlight on lanyard
Leatherman multi-tool
Water Purification tablets
Small Fishing kit
Signal Mirror
Wire Saw (opt., deadfall usually ok)
Energy Bars
Strong cord or rope
Small first aid kit
Small Sewing kit
Pocket Hand warmers
small radio and batteries
Laser flare.

Be "Bear Aware" if you are hiking in bear country.  Make plenty of noise, avoid heavy underbrush if possible, you dont want to surprise a bear.  Store and prepare food away from your tent if you make camp.  Clean up behind yourself, leave campsites as you found them.  Avoid animal carcasses, bears can sometimes be close by guarding their food.  

Keep your eyes open for bear tracks, droppings, scratch marks on trees and logs broken apart.   There is nothing in a  backpackers survival kit that will kick a grizzly bears ass, so exercise caution and common sense.   As a last resort, bear pepper spray has been proven to be effective against bear attacks, if there is potential for you to run across a bear, pack some.


Bears have very keen sense of smell, dont give them a reason to come and check you out.

You might also consider carrying a Survival Rifle or sidearm.  In addition to the tragic stories of hikers and backpackers being eaten for lunch by cougars and bears,  you also place yourself well outside the protection of law enforcement while hiking in remote areas.  There are unfortunately individuals in the world who would see a lone hiker or even a small group of backpackers as an opportunity to take advantage of someone. 

Choosing to own a firearm is a personal choice, and should be considered carefully.  If you choose to be a gun owner, be a responsible one.  Take a safety course, and learn how to properly handle a firearm.  There are also alternatives such as pepper sprays, stun guns, etc...  If you decide a firearm is not for you, at least consider some other means of self defense.  There is no 9-1-1 in the wilderness.

Download Bear Spray vs. Bullets by US Fish and Wildlife (PDF 51KB)

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Other Survival Backpacks and kits on this site:
Hurricane Survival Kit
Pilots Survival Kit
Car Survival Kit




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