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7 Survival Essentials to Keep in Your Hunting Bag

These survival essentials should be in every hunter’s bag, whether they plan on ever needing them or not.

Photo via Bass Pro Shops

You look right; then you peer left. After walking a few paces in one direction, you stop in utter confusion, as adrenaline rushes and the sun ducks away beyond the horizon. What’s your next move? Will you have the resources to last you through the night? Through a few nights? Well, fortunately, packing a few survival essentials and keeping them in your hunting bag each time you enter the woods can keep your chances of survival high.

There are, of course, other vital survival items that failed to make the list. Which ones weren’t included that you would suggest? Comment below to share your thoughts.

Start the slide show to see the items, including links to where you can buy them.


1. Coghlan’s Fire Starter

Fire is essential in any survival situation to not only keep you warm when temperatures drop, but boil water, prepare meals, and it can also give you a sense of comfort – something crucial in any stressful situation. While matches and lighters seem like good options, which they are, both can malfunction in damp conditions. A magnesium stick is the most reliable fire source, offering a quick way to get your tinder bundle blazing. Coghlan’s Fire Starter ($7.99) is an excellent option to keep in your bag. It takes little space, costs next to nothing and provides a shower of sparks with minimal effort. All that’s needed is a sharp knife (see No. 3).

2. Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets

Photo via Bass Pro Shops

Water is crucial in survival situations, and even if in an area where there is an abundance of it, it still may not be safe to drink. Therefore, you need a way to filter and rid the water of containments. If boiling water isn’t an option, Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets ($6.99) is the next, safest bet. One container full will keep enough tablets to rid up to 50 quarts of water from bacteria, viruses or protozoa, keeping you hydrated and healthy until you find your way out of the backcountry.

3. Winchester Bowie Knife

Photo via Bass Pro Shops

Having a solid, sharp knife on you is always a good option. It can be used for a multitude of applications like hunting, cleaning wild game, starting a fire, building a shelter and, in some cases, protection. Fixed knives offer the most stability and can be used for a wider range of activities than a smaller pocket knife. The Winchester Bowie Knife ($29.99) combines a classic and proven design with the capability to take on some serious backcountry tasks.

4. Backpacker First Aid Kit

Photo via Bass Pro Shops

Packing a first aid kit is smart, for obvious reasons. Bass Pro’s Backpacker Kit ($19.99) is filled with the essentials to keep you going if an injury leaves you sidelined. The kit is a “level 3” package, and will care for minor scrapes, cuts and sprains. The ability to keep off infection and keep you moving can make or break survival chances.

5. Silva Polaris Compass

Photo via Bass Pro Shops

GPS batteries die, and if you’re stranded with no accurate bearing, you could wind up trekking farther from civilization. The Silva Polaris Compass ($15.99), combined with a map, can allow for accurate readings – even at night. The acrylic base provides a durable base and is as simple as it gets. Sometimes, simple is best.

6. Bass Pro Shop’s 100’ Paracord

Photo via Bass Pro Shops

Paracord, while appearing like a jumble of rope, may be one of the most important items on the list. The low-stretch, durable cord can be used from anything such as holding together a shelter, being used for a fire bow, or an improvised tourniquet. Bass Pro Shop’s 100’ Paracord ($8.99) won’t take up a lot of room in your bag and can be doubled as a means to lower and hoist your bow or gun when normally hunting in a treestand.

7. Princeton Tec Fuel LED Headlamp

Photo via Bass Pro Shops

A quality headlight can be your best friend when the sun is setting and you’re struggling to gather firewood in an unfamiliar place. The Princeton Tec Fuel LED Headlamp ($26.99) packs 43 lumens on its’ high setting and sports a water-resistant design to keep you going in virtually any conditions. A bright light can give you a leg up at night or provide the extra light needed to exit the woods, thus preventing a surprise night in the woods. The best part: it’s an item you’ll most likely have in your bag to begin with. Just be sure to pack extra batteries.

More Slide Shows from Wide Open Spaces

If you enjoyed that slide show, check out 10 Under the Radar Brands at SHOT Show 2014.

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7 Survival Essentials to Keep in Your Hunting Bag